Ad Swapping Methods

Ad swapping is an excellent method that you can use to gain traffic to your website, or more commonly used to gain subscribers to your list, which in turn gives you more traffic. If this is done correctly it is a very simple and effective method of traffic building.

Basically, ad swapping is the trading of ads with other ezine publishers, website publishers or marketers who are in the same industry niche and have the same interests as you. Ad swapping works best if you have a mailing list but it is not essential. If you have a mailing list then you broadcast your ad swap partners advertisement to your mailing list while the ad swap partner endorses your ad to their list, this is called cross promoting.

Ad Swapping Methods You Can Use

There are many different methods that you can use for ad swapping. Here are some of the more popular methods:


Broadcast Ad Swapping

If you have a mailing list then you can increase traffic and subscribers at the same time by swapping a broadcast with another ezine, or website owner, this is also known as cross promotion and it can generate massive amounts of traffic and new subscribers if your own broadcast is offering something for free when the prospect signs up to your mailing list.


Website Link Swapping

This is probably the easiest method and the method that is most associated with link swapping. All you have to do is to swap your website URL with another from a partner, and place it on your website. Try not to promote links to websites that will damage your reputation and always try to keep them relevant to your own niche. Checkout Traffic Bunnies.


Recommendation Swapping

If you need to break the ice between yourself and a possible partner, then write a small advert recommending their services or website and place it on your website or blog, then send the person a link to it and ask if they would like to reciprocate.

Blog Roll Ad Swapping

A blog roll is basically a list of your favorite blogs, as you place links to your favorite blogs on your blog then in turn, ask if they will do the same for you, this may not generate excellent traffic but at the very least it will get you very important back links to your blog.


Thank You Page Swapping

This is an often overlooked, yet potentially great way to grab some additional traffic and possibly paid subscribers. If you are selling a digital item and you send your customers to a thank-you page for their downloads, try placing some offers from other possible partners on there and ask if they would reciprocate, if you do not make many sales and you have an affiliate program, try to sweeten the deal by offering the other person to use their affiliate link in their ads, this way you will both gain from the ads.

Writing Your Swap Ads

You simply need a little imagination and some knowledge of what you are selling in order to write a great copy for your swap ad. Like most ad copy, the purpose of the advert is to get someone to do something that is good for you or to take affirmative action.

Here are a few tips that you should use when writing your copy:

  • Keep it brief and to the point. An advertisement is not a thesis. You have less than 5 seconds to grab the attention of anyone reading it, so make use of every single word. All advertisements have a certain objective and your ad must make that clear right from the first sentence. Make it as definite as you can and as short as possible.
  • A swap ad is not the same as a classified or even a sales letter. The most critical aspect of a swap ad is its title. Spend a little time and get the title right, then you have more than half your work done already.
  • Every word should breathe power into your ad. Do not use anything for decoration, unless it is busy working for you, do not include it in the ad copy.
  • Keep sentences short, yet powerful, and arouse the reader’s curiosity as much as you can, but do not become so confusing that you leave them wondering what you are trying to say. Your ad must get them to take the action by the time they are finished reading it.
  • Always include your website URL in your ad, otherwise it is pointless.

Do Not Make The Ultimate Affiliate Marketing Mistake

Affiliate marketing can be really powerful when SEO and affiliate goals all push in the same direction. Yet it is also painfully clear that many affiliate marketers are missing out on substantial, sustainable growth by ignoring SEO or making mistakes that hurt the effectiveness of their affiliate campaigns.

Focusing on Keywords Instead of Solutions

A lot of affiliate sites plug keywords onto their landing pages without pausing to think about how their products benefit their customers.

The biggest mistake SEO wise is that they focus on keywords and not providing solutions.“Keywords are important because they are what have traffic, so use them as a base, but create solutions where your affiliate relationships will provide value and help solve a problem.

If you have a hardware or home repair site, don’t optimize for sub-pumps and drywall. Instead, optimize for how to fix a hole in drywall and incorporate the products in. With the sub-pump, think about the tools and the parts you’ll need to successfully solve the issue and use affiliate links for them.

Bottom line: Don’t just list your product’s bells and whistles or rely too much on keywords. Show your potential customers how much better their life is going to be after they buy your product.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 2. Relying on Affiliate Marketing as Your Only Revenue Stream.

Another common mistake affiliates make is treating affiliate marketing as a business model instead of a revenue channel.

There is nothing wrong with self-labeling yourself as an affiliate just do not treat your business in this manner, affiliate marketing is a revenue channel, if it’s the only channel you are using to monetise your traffic, then you may be doing it wrong.

Bottom line: Diversify your revenue channels and don’t put all your eggs in the affiliate marketing basket.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 3. Not Producing Original Content.

Too many affiliate sites are little more than contentless shells with lists of products. You can spur traffic to these sites with PPC ads, but what happens when your advertising dollars run out? Your site will sink.

A real site has real value and unique content for your visitors. Why would a search engine want to rank your site over a vendor or the originator of the content? Answer: they generally do not. Yes, there are examples of sites that do rank, but the vast majority of sites that duplicate content do not rank well. You have to add value in order for the search engine to want to rank your site.

Bottom line: Turn your affiliate site into a hub of useful information that will help it earn organic backlinks and keep customers coming back for more information as they conduct research.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 4. Forgetting to Delete Inactive Plugins and Themes

You need to be extra careful today about cybersecurity and customer privacy, which means one of the worst mistakes you could make is forgetting to delete inactive themes and plugins.

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t update inactive themes sitting idly on your site. You also might not bother to delete them. Unfortunately, this poses a significant threat to your cybersecurity.

Themes and plugins that sit idly on your site are easy targets for hackers. Regular updates help keep hackers at bay; when you forget or don’t bother to update, they often find ways to exploit old code and create a backdoor to your site by hiding malicious code inside them. Hackers can also hide malicious code in your uploads directory, wp-config.php file, and your wp-includes directory.

So make sure you’re regularly combing your website for suspicious code, updating everything you use to the latest versions, and removing any inactive themes and plugins ASAP.

Bottom line: Make sure all of your themes and plugins are always up to date, and if you’re not using certain themes and plugins, delete them and make sure they’re gone.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 5. Missing or Duplicating Meta Descriptions

Here’s a simple recommendation that a lot of affiliate sites are missing out on: ensure your listings’ titles and meta descriptions are relevant and unique. These appear as snippets in the SERPs and go a long way toward setting you apart from your competitors.

If you don’t have the resources to write unique descriptions for every one of your products, here’s a simple hack: upload the first paragraph of each page. It may not be perfect or optimized, but it’s better than nothing.

You can also use popular plugins like Yoast SEO (the best WordPress plugin for basic on-site SEO) to create custom templates for your meta descriptions, which makes the whole process a lot easier, or you can try out a plugin that automatically generates meta descriptions, such as SmartCrawl.

Bottom line: Differentiating your products with unique meta descriptions will help your affiliate pages rise through SERPs and sets you apart from your competitors.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 6. Ignoring Mobile Optimisation

Most affiliate sites look awful on mobile devices. This is unfortunate because they’re missing out on a huge opportunity to possibly edge out big brands in mobile SERPs.

As far as mobile and SEO go, the biggest issues are site speed, especially because of images, plugins that aren’t being used and also forgetting to include ways to get to your website or landing page from an AMP version. If you’re an affiliate and you’re competing against huge brands, they often have red tape which prevents them from using proper image sizes, and they can have tons of excessive scripts weighing their sites down. By creating a faster experience that also provides value, you may be able to outrank them because of their red tape.

Bottom line: Prioritise mobile optimisation. This is especially true since Google is switching to mobile-first indexing.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 7. Using Free Web Hosting Solutions

Word Press Engine as a hosting solution is good, but be wary of free solutions.

Do not use Wix or Squarespace or any other free web hosting solutions, this is not how you build a real site or business. These services can change their terms of service or even go out of business. You do not own the site design or architecture, and you have less control over elements that will assist with rankings. Own your site, content, and data, always.

Bottom line: Affiliates need to treat hosting solutions seriously. Cheaping out on a hosting solution could compromise your control over your site or worse, endanger your customers.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 8. Highly-Irrelevant Backlinks

Backlinks are the bread and butter of affiliate sites, but irrelevant backlinks are liable to get you in trouble with Google they may even be considered link schemes, which will do more harm than good.

The best way to avoid this? Ensure that your affiliate pages all add significant value to anyone who lands on them.

Try to get your affiliate links hosted on sites with a modicum of authority. You can use SEO tools to judge the quality of your backlinks and identify those that might be devaluing your affiliate site.

Bottom line: When reaching out to sites to host affiliate links make sure they’re relevant to your niche.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 9. Undefined Canonicals

Using canonical URLs will help you improve link and ranking signals for your content. It also makes life easier for your customers by syndicating your content which makes navigation simple and intuitive.

My best-practice advice when it comes to URL structure is to organise your site into silos. Introduce categories into your site structure and then clearly communicate those categories to your customers through the URLs they land on when they follow your affiliate links.

Check out the Google Search Console page for more information on using canonical URLs.

Bottom line: Canonical URLs are key for good content management on your affiliate site and improve your ranking signals.

Affiliate Marketing Mistake 10. Pretending SEO Best Practices Don’t Apply to Affiliate SEO

You don’t get to ignore common SEO mistakes on your affiliate site. Broken links, 404 errors, duplicate content, thin content, and too many redirects are all issues that need to be weeded out.

Download a comprehensive suite of SEO tools that can check your site health for you. This will help you find and eliminate errors that impact your crawlability such as broken links, while also identifying and problematic content you need to correct.

SEO is a lot of work, but the rewards are well worth it not only will you clean up your site internally, but you’ll also improve your crawl budget, make navigation easier for your customers, and possibly improve your site speed in the process!

SEO for affiliates is not different than for a merchant or any other site, the search engines do not care, your site is valued on what you provide your users.

Bottom line: Affiliate sites need SEO just as badly as other websites, so don’t neglect regular site maintenance and clean-up.

Conclusion
Don’t underestimate the impact SEO will have on affiliate marketing in the long run.

PPC ads are a great way to attract early leads and get some attention to your affiliate site, but if you want to supercharge your conversions, grow your affiliate site over the long-term and cultivate strong organic links, then there’s really no beating SEO.

Discover how to dominate your niche

Email Marketing Tricks

In email marketing nothing matters more than measurable results.  Clicks and sales equal money.

Every trick here borders on the ridiculous, but they all work.  Even better, they can double or triple your conversion rates compared to the standard way of handling your email marketing.

Just like everything else someone suggests to you, these tricks are worth testing.  See if they boost the performance of your campaigns.

Special Characters In Subject Lines

Everybody knows what an Emoji is, but very few know what “Unicode” is.  The simple explanation is that Unicode is pre-emoji.

The best part is all email service providers allow it.

You can see some examples here, but I’ve also included a screen capture below:

The easiest way to use them is to simply copy and paste the Unicode you’d like to display into your subject line before you send your next email.

They key with this is to keep it relevant.  If you do that, it’s possible to see double your open rate.

Resend To Unopens

Sadly, this isn’t possible with every autoresponder.  Check the help area of yours to see if you can do this.

It’s early morning and you send out an email to your list.  You get a 20% open rate and a 10% click through rate.

While those numbers are normal, they suck.

A smart way to improve your results is to resend the same email later on in the day with a new subject line to those that didn’t open the first email.

If you really want to kick it up a notch, you could do something similar with anyone that didn’t click.

For those that didn’t click, give them new reasons to click the link and see what you’ve sent them.

Ask For Replies And Read Them

Roughly 75% of the time I’ve done this, I’ve made money.

Send a brief email asking a question related to something you sell:

“Hey NAME,

If you recently ordered PRODUCT, why did you get it?

If you didn’t order it for yourself, why not?

Just hit the reply button.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thanks,

YOUR NAME”

There are numerous benefits to this, but the first is sales.

If people are replying to a message like the one above, they’re interested.  You just haven’t done a good enough job of selling them.

Take this opportunity to address their concerns and conquer them.

This also lets you see what your biggest objections are.  If you discover what they are, you can build things that are designed to overcome them into your sales messages.

Double Your Subject Impact

Have you noticed that most email service providers now provide a preview of the email?  There are two ways to ensure that yours helps you get more opens.

The first is to use a sub headline as the first thing in your email.  The only catch with this is if you send html emails, it may not show up.

If that’s the case, use this code inside of html of your email to add in a hidden second subject line:

<style type=“text/css”>

span.preheader

display: none !important; }

</style>

</head>

<body><span class=“preheader”>INSERT YOUR SECOND SUBJECT HERE</span>…”

Keep in mind that this works on desktop and mobile devices.
Use this to give your readers another reason to open your message.

Video/Image Trick

This is sneaky and if you do it wrong, you’ll upset people.

We’re so used to watching video online that we naturally click a video’s play button.

Since we can’t (yet) embed videos into an email, use an image of the video instead.  

For this to work, you’re going to have to have the video be one of the first things they see.

As long as you do that, you’ll see people clicking the image like crazy.

Bonus Trick:  Easy Mode List Building

When it comes to list building, many traffic sources don’t want you to send people to a squeeze page where it’s only purpose is to capture an email address.

5 Internet Marketing Solutions

We have been doing the whole internet marketing thing for over a decade now, and get asked internet business questions all the time. Whether it’s at live events or via Facebook or another social media platform, it’s a fairly constant thing. A short while ago, I spent over 2 hours answering questions on a call and realised that most of the questions I get asked are the same exact ones. Here is an internet marketing solutions guide.

Assuming you may have some of the same questions, I thought it would be cool to post answers to the 5 internet marketing queries I hear most often.

What is the best way to get traffic?

This is probably the question that frustrates me most. It’s normally asked like the answer should be a one word response. The truth is that this is an incredibly complicated question with an equally complicated answer. The short answer is that every product or service will have a completely different best source of traffic.

The best source of traffic would provide you with the perfect customer. Someone that not only wants what you sell, but has a desperate need for it. This traffic source should provide you with not just customers, but raving fans that love you and want to buy EVERYTHING you sell.

To find this elusive customer, the first step is to identify them. You need to know exactly who they are. You need to speak directly to their situation. Your marketing, sales messages, and any other forms of communication you use need to focus on them.

The first step to identifying them is to think about where they go and use those websites to figure out more about them. Quantcast can be a gigantic help with this if a site has been “quantified”. I’ll use TMZ.com as an example:

This helps with language you should be using, the nature of your sales messages (if they’re spending time on TMZ, it would be helpful to match the type of messaging they use), and gaining a better idea of who you serve.

Once you’ve identified them, you need to find them. Alexa.com will give you ideas. It’s owned by Amazon and they have a ton of data they’re willing to share with us. Throw your primary competitor’s URL into Alexa and they’ll provide you with data including what sites are referring traffic their way, what sites link to them, and similar websites. Some of those sites may offer advertising options or accept content that they’ll post to their audience for you.

Once you have this data, it’s time to start testing strategies. The first choice is whether you want organic traffic (free) or paid traffic (costs money). If you’re starting with little money to spend on advertising, organic traffic is going to be your obvious choice. If you have a budget, paying for traffic provides instant visitors. Either way, you choose to risk money or time.

Finally, get to testing out different strategies. I can’t dictate where to start or where you’ll finish. The path you choose to take makes no difference. It will take time and testing to get it right and find your traffic “holy grail”. Never give up and if something doesn’t work it’s just a test that didn’t work out. Keep at it and you’ll find the one that works best for you, your skills, and your audience.

Internet Marketing Solutions Guide to; Why doesn’t my website rank in Google?

Again, super complex question with a long list of possibilities. It’s nearly impossible to give a precise answer without seeing the website in question. Instead, I’ll give you a few things to consider that will help you fix the problem:

Is your on-page SEO setup right? This is where ranking in Google begins and if you do it wrong, it can be where it ends, too. Images should be named accurately and with keywords where appropriate. Pages should be named accurately and with keywords where appropriate. Titles should be accurate and contain your keywords where appropriate. Highlighting should be natural and focus as much on conversion as SEO. Notice a common thread here? Your best bet is to focus on creating a great page.

Is your site socially viable? Are people spreading around your content? Is your website valuable enough to your audience that they recommend it to others? If not, you need to figure out how to make that happen. The easiest way to do that is to create solutions to any barriers that would get in the way of people buying from you. That’s the same type of content that gets shared.

Are you getting the right links pointing to your sites? Socially viable content will also generally attract links just for being awesome. Building links for the sake of building links is a dead process. Article marketing, press release marketing, and things like blog commenting as a way to drive links is a bad idea. Instead focus on getting quality links from quality sources. The more authority links you get the better.

Is there a penalty against your website? If you have had your website for more than 2 or 3 years, odds are you used some very “old school” link building strategies that are now frowned upon. If that’s the case, you’ll want to develop a list of the old style links and use Google’s disavow tool.

Are you a trend chaser? If so, I’m guessing that your business is nearly nonexistent…

Trends can be great traffic sources, but a very low percentage of the “big things” you try are going to pan out into real businesses in the end. I’ve been testing some automated Amazon affiliate products for over a year. I’ve made roughly double what I’ve spent on the products, but barely. Also remember that I have a far deeper knowledge base than most people…

Fulfilled by Amazon products, Autoblogs, Blog networks (private and public), Kindle publishing, T-shirt selling, and who knows what else. Any trend is going to be a goldmine to a small percentage of people. For most, it will simply be a massive waste of time.

Instead of worrying about trends, find an audience to serve, products and services they want AND need, and a unique selling proposition that speaks to the specific group of people you’re looking to serve. Not only will you be a lot happier, the odds of you succeeding go way up.

Once you have that sorted out, figuring out a way to take advantage of new opportunities and feed any new customers into your current sales systems is worth trying.

Why aren’t people buying the stuff I sell?

This problem is based upon two main issues:

Crappy offers AND Message to market match. Either of the two will kill any chance of making sales.

Your message is the core of what you’re selling. It’s needs to be convincing to your audience and should enter a conversation they’re already having with themselves.

In my personal experience, the sales copy I think will perform best is almost never the best performing. The key is to test everything. The offer the headline, the bullets, the close, the post script.

Let your audience tell you what they need to hear to buy what you sell. Test EVERYTHING.

If your message is wrong, change it.

If you can afford it, hire a copywriter. If you can’t afford the best, ask one of them for one of their students. You’ll get insight into your messaging from one of the best at a drastically lower expense.

When you have a bad offer, nobody will buy what you’re selling. If it isn’t working, change it.

Why aren’t I Succeeding?

Only a few percent succeed at this internet business thing. Instead of telling why you’re not getting into that small group, I’ll tell you a few things you need to get there:

Persistence – It’s good to know when to give up or stop wasting time on something, but the moment you give up could be the moment you’re about to break through. It’s a delicate balance, but you’ll be better served by sticking to a project until you make it work than giving up on it. This applies to traffic strategies, too. If you aren’t making it work, figure out how to make it work and then, MAKE IT WORK.

Discipline – This is the one that gets me most often. You have to force yourself to get things done. Not just anything, but the right things. My solution to this problem is to break down a project into the smallest possible pieces. A sense of accomplishment will usually be enough to drive me to finish things up and instead of focusing on the end result I’m working towards, I do better when focusing on each small piece.

Value – Are you providing measurable value to your customer? If so, how? Identify this and it makes it easier to sell your products and services, too.

Differentiate – “Me too” products and services die every day. Most of them should. Do something to make yourself different from your competitors. A crazy guarantee, personalised service, better bonuses… Do whatever you can to be different in the eyes of your customers because that’s what will get them to come back.

Passion – Do you love what you’re doing? If not, stop. Find a way to make money doing what you love and it becomes a pleasure to do the work. It stops being work.

If you enjoyed these five internet marketing solutions then spread the word, thanks for reading.

How Do You Build Your Profitable Online Business

Below are 7 ways to build a profitable online business.

1. Focus on building a community.

A community of people who know like and trust you can make you money for a lifetime if you treat them right.

2. Focus on providing value and helping people.

Give and you shall receive – they say. And it’s true – the more you give, the more people will follow you and trust your recommendations because they know you act in their best interest.

3. Focus on building your brand.

A brand is an asset. Once people associate your name with high quality this increases the value of everything you create. People are more inclined to check out what you have just because it comes from you. Also if you decide so in the future you can sell your business as a brand.

4. Focus on selling high quality programs.

This is how you provide even more value to your community. You shouldn’t be ashamed to sell. Because there are programs and products out there that can change a person’s life! And it’s in their best interest to get these products in their hand. You’re helping them by providing them with quality products. The keyword is quality. You should never promote crap products because that will only hurt your reputation and people will lose trust in you.

5. Reinvest your profits into growing your community.

This is how you scale a small business into a big business. Reinvesting your profits is key to your success. Your community is your #1 asset. The bigger your community, the more authority you will have in the marketplace. And the more money you will make because you will have bigger influence and more people ready to buy.

6. Focus on building a high converting sales-funnel.

This is how you make more money with the same amount of traffic. A high converting sales-funnel will allow you to make a lot of money with a small community and ultimately allowing you to grow that community by reinvesting your profits back into your business.

7. There’s only 2 things you should work on in your business: TRAFFIC. And CONVERSIONS. 

So focus on those 2 things.

Every minute you spend working on your business ask yourself this:
Is what I’m doing now going to increase my traffic and influence? Is it going to make me more sales? Is it going to provide some kind of value to my community?

If the answer is no, it means you’re doing the wrong thing! Stop immediately what you’re doing and focus back on the activities that will make you money. For example: creating videos, writing a promo email to your list, finishing your product and gen

10 Easy Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach

10 Ways to Boost Your Instagram Reach Today

1. Find your optimal posting times

Even though Instagram uses an algorithmic timeline now, optimal posting times are still relevant as timing is a factor in the algorithm.

Posting at the right times can help generate an initial round of engagement on your posts which can, in turn, prompt the Instagram algorithm to push your posts higher on your followers’ feed.

Instagram Expert, Sue B. Zimmermansuggests posting when the majority of your audience is online:

It may take time to get a long-term understanding of your followers’ activity, but it’s important to make sure you’re posting when the majority of your audience is online.

If you are using an Instagram Business Profile, you can check your Instagram Insights to find out when your followers are most active by the day of the week and the time of the day.

To access your Instagram Insights, tap on the profile tab in the Instagram app and then the bar chart icon (Insights icon) on the upper-right corner. There will be a section for your followers’ activity information, and you can tap on “See More” to see more detailed insights. Here’s an example of what you’ll see:

Instagram Insights - Followers

2. Experiment with videos

Several studies have found that photos tend to get more overall engagement (i.e. likes and comments) than videos on Instagram. On first look, it might seem that photos are better than videos for engagement — and it could well be!

On closer examination, we might draw a different conclusion. News Whip studied the Instagram accounts of 31 news publishers and made an interesting discovery. While photos, on average, get more likes (and overall engagement) than videos, videos generate more comments than photos. In fact, videos, on average, received more than twice the amount of comments than photos!

Instagram Engagement Study

It is not certain if the Instagram algorithm values likes and comments equally or one more than another. But since commenting requires more effort from a user than liking, it’s possible that the algorithm values comments more than likes and would rank posts with more comments higher than posts with more likes.

Last year, Instagram found that the video watch time on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent over a six-month period. At this growth rate, it could be great to experiment with videos to see if it increases your engagement and organic reach on Instagram.

3. Host contests or ask questions to encourage engagement

Asking questions or calling for an action is one of the fun ways to encourage your followers to interact with your Instagram posts. We found that hosting a giveaway contest is an effective way to engage our followers.

Buffer Instagram giveaway contest

Some of the call-to-actions we have tried are:

  • Enter to win by sharing your favorite emoji party combo in the comments below 👇
  • To enter, simply tag a friend below who you would “Vote” for as your favorite marketer and you’ll both be entered to win!
  • To enter tag a friend below who you know is rocking it on social media! 👊
  • What’s on your reading list this week? 📚 Drop your book suggestions below for a chance to win a free book of your choice from the Buffer team! 😄❤

While giveaway contests usually generate more comments than usual posts, we try to give it a few months in between each contest to keep things fun and exciting.

Something that we do more often is asking a question in our Instagram posts. Several of our most-commented posts (excluding contest posts) are posts with a question such as thisthis, and this.

4. Curate user-generated content

Brian Peters, our digital marketing strategist, grew our Instagram account following by about 500% (4,250 to 21,000) in under six months. His secret? User-generated content.

Curating user-generated content can encourage those users to engage with and share those content. Since the Instagram algorithm considers users’ relationships when ranking content on their feed, building relationships with your users through Instagram might also help your content rank higher on their feeds.

Apart from organic reach, Crowdtap found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional media and other non-user-generated content. This makes user-generated content a valuable strategy to try.

User-generated content infographic

5. Tell Instagram Stories

In our State of Social Media 2016 report, we found that while 63 percent of marketers surveyed use Instagram, only 16 percent have created Instagram Stories. There’s a great opportunity to stand out before it gets too crowded!

Instagram Stories take a prominent position on the Instagram app — above the feed. This allows you to stay on top of your followers’ feed and grab more of their attention. If your followers view your Stories regularly, it could possibly even help your Instagram posts rank higher on their feeds.

It’s worth noting that the Stories are also ranked by an algorithm; possibly one very similar to the feed algorithm. Spend the time to craft great Stories to help them rank better.

6. Go live on Instagram

A similar “trick” is to go live on Instagram. When you use live video, you will appear right at the front of the Stories feed, assuming no one else is live at the same time. The “LIVE” logo also makes your profile photo more prominent in the Instagram app.

Instagram Live

Social Media Examiner found that the more they went live on Facebook, the more their non-live content received exposure. Michael Stelzner said that one reason might be their brand is in front of their fans more often so the fans might go to their Page to see their content more — even if the fans don’t watch the live video.

This effect could play out on Instagram, too. Seeing your logo at the top of their feed might encourage your followers to check out your Instagram profile.

From our State of Social Media 2016 report, we concluded that live video has yet to hit mass adoption as only 27 percent of marketers surveyed had created live video content. While the percentage might be higher today, I believe live videos aren’t mainstream yet. So it’s another perfect way to stand out and deliver great content!

7. Use Instagram ads

This might sound a little counter-intuitive but Instagram ads can be an effective way to grow your organic reach.

If you have an Instagram Business Profile, you can promote your existing posts from within the Instagram app. (Here’s how!) By boosting an existing post and selecting the appropriate target audience, you can drive more engagement to the post and help it rank better on your followers’ feed. The paid reach can eventually help to drive organic reach!

Instagram ads - Promote existing post

So which post should you promote?

Here’s a quick way to pick a good post to promote:

  1. Go to your Instagram Insights on the mobile app (tap on the profile tab and then the bar chart icon).
  2. Tap “See More” under the “Top Posts” section.
  3. Tap on “Impressions” at the top (a pop-up should apply to let you adjust your stats filters).
  4. For the first filter, you can choose “All”, “Photos”, or “Videos” according to your preference.
  5. For the second filter, select “Engagement”.
  6. For the third filter, select “7 days”.
  7. You will see your top posts by engagement for the last seven days. From there, you can pick a post to promote.

Picking a top post from Instagram Insights

As these posts have received the most engagement from your followers, they would likely also resonate with the people you promote to (assuming you have targeted people like your followers).

8. Post less

When explaining social media algorithms, Michael Stelzner encouraged marketers to re-think your posting strategy.

Rethink is the keyword here. Rethink your posting strategy on social media – Less is actually more!

Sue B. Zimmerman also gave a similar advice for marketers who want to overcome the Instagram algorithm.

If you truly want to connect with your audience, it’s better to share one fabulous photo instead of 20 mediocre images. So next time, before you hit post, take a moment and consider how this content contributes to your brand, and does it effectively encourage engagement from your followers.

I believe this is about the allocation of your resources and time. Instead of publishing 20 posts a week, use the same resources and time for just one or two posts and make them great.

Quality content that is relevant to your followers has a higher chance of eliciting a positive response from your followers. In turn, this can help your posts rank higher on your followers’ feed.

9. Create specifically for Instagram

One way to create quality content is to create content specifically for Instagram. Instagram, being a very visual platform, has a greater focus on the photo or video itself than the text. So a post that would do well on Instagram is probably different from one that would do well on Twitter or Facebook.

For smaller social media teams or solo social media manager, it can be challenging to always create unique content for each platform. Crossposting and repurposing content from other platforms can be great, too. If you are doing that, it’d be best to craft specific caption for each social media platform as your followers likely follow you for a different reason for each of the platforms.

Now with Tailored Posts, you can write customized captions for each social network. We’re hoping that this feature would encourage you to be (even) more creative with your social media posts and would help you drive more engagement.

Buffer Multiple Composer

10. Be a great Instagram user

This last point might be a little vague but it nicely wraps up many of the points above.

Social media algorithms are built to encourage genuine, positive behaviors on the platforms such as sharing, showing appreciation, quick replies, and more. Often, they would also try to discourage abuse or hacks.

My gut feeling here is that being a great Instagram user will help you grow your organic reach over time. That includes:

  • Posting quality content that is relevant to your followers (be it informative, inspiring, or entertaining)
  • Answering questions on your posts quickly
  • Thanking people for commenting on your posts
  • Exploring other people’s profiles, engaging with their posts, and building a relationship with them

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What’s your Instagram strategy?

The main objective of Instagram (and most social media platforms) is to make users happy and let them enjoy the experience. As brands on Instagram (and social media), I think we can do a lot to create great experiences for our followers — which will, in turn, benefit ourselves.

I’d love to learn from you, too! What’s your strategy on Instagram? Is anything in particular that is working well for you on Instagram? Thanks.

Why Use LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

For business to business social networking, LinkedIn is where the action is!

LinkedIn is the most professional of the major social networking sites, used by over 450 million business professionals worldwide. Since it is largely focused on business to business connections, LinkedIn should be a big part of your social media marketing strategy.

Most people only use LinkedIn as an online resume. To take LinkedIn to the next level and use it as a marketing tool, put the following recommendations into action.

How Important Is Your LinkedIn Profile?

Think of your LinkedIn profile as an interactive resume on steroids. In addition, to information about your work experience and education, LinkedIn allows you to enhance your profile with the following Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase your expertise:

Status Updates: One of the best ways to keep your connections informed about your happenings is by posting ‘status updates.’ Status updates are brief statements that you feel your connections will find useful. In addition, they can include links to related content on your Website or third-party Websites. To appear active in the LinkedIn community, post useful and actionable status updates on a regular basis.

Posts: LinkedIn allows you to easily publish articles (or posts) to your profile. This is a great way to establish yourself as a though leader getting exposure to your LinkedIn community.

Videos and Presentations: If you post PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare or videos to YouTube, you can display these valuable content items in your LinkedIn profile.

Recommendations and Endorsements: LinkedIn makes it easy for you to request recommendations and endorsements from your connections. A collection of glowing recommendations that underscore your expertise and experience will significantly enhance your profile.

Publications: If you wrote and published traditional books or e-books, you can highlight these publications with active links so connections can view and purchase them.

Projects: If you have successful projects you want to highlight, post your projects including a description, link and the team members you worked with.

Take Advantage Of LinkedIn Community Features

In addition to your profile, LinkedIn provides a number of community features that allow you to communicate and collaborate with other LinkedIn users, including:

Groups: LinkedIn Groups help you stay informed and keep in touch with people that share your interests. You can create your own LinkedIn groups or join any number of groups that focus on your area of interest or expertise. Participating in LinkedIn Groups by adding value to the discussion is a great way to expand your circle of influence.

Company Pages: Company Pages are a powerful research tool that you can use to find companies to do business with or research competitors. In addition, you can create a Page for your company to showcase your expertise. You can publish your company’s description, headquarters address and Website address. To further your company page’s value, you can post targeted jobs, recruitment videos, information about products and services and company images.

LinkedIn The Business Building Tool

LinkedIn can be a valuable business tool to help you grow your business and catapult your career. The following strategies will help you use this resource to produce results:

Brand Your LinkedIn Address: When you create a LinkedIn profile, it will create a LinkedIn Web address that will appear like a collection of odd letters and addresses. LinkedIn will let you customize this address to create a branded LinkedIn address with your name.

Become an Recognised Expert: By actively participating in LinkedIn group discussions and publishing thoughtful posts on a regular basis, you have an opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and thought leader.

Warm Call Sales Prospects: If you’re in sales, you can use LinkedIn as a ‘warm calling’ tool. If there is a prospect you want to reach, you can easily find them on LinkedIn and see how you are connected to them. If you have an active list of LinkedIn connections, you are most likely only two or three connections away from the prospect. Use LinkedIn’s introduction features to ask one of your connections for an introduction.

Find Rock Star Employees: Successful business people are always looking to find valuable employees that will ensure their future success. LinkedIn provides you with an easy place to find them. You’ll have access to a pool of talented individuals within your LinkedIn groups. You can also post a job directly on LinkedIn to attract a talented set of candidates.

Keep Your Connections Current: Whenever you meet someone, connect with them on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to expand your influence and keep connections up to speed on your accomplishments.

Dominate Your Niche In 50 Steps

Creating a site that gets a lot of daily traffic is something that needs to be maintained by consistently updating your website with great content and with the best SEO practices in mind. That’s why we’ve created this list of 50 things to keep in mind when trying to dominate your niche.

Creating a site that stands out on the web that gets hundreds of thousands of page views a month might not come across as an easy task, but by creating an awesome website with great content, it is an achievement that can most certainly be worked towards by anyone.

Follow these rules, and hopefully you’ll see plenty of progress and success in the months and years to come. Keeping content, usability, navigation, and more in mind, there are many avenues and methods that can be taken to help put you, your brand, and site, steps above the competition!

1. Create The Best Content To Dominate Your niche

There’s no better or more obvious way to dominate your niche then by creating the world’s best content. The better your content is, the better rankings and search engine positions your likely to see. But how do you create the best content? Don’t worry in this list, we made sure to add plenty of steps that can be taken to ensure the likelihood of better content being posted onto your site. One of which is by hiring more expert writers for your site.

2. Create The Best Blog Post Titles

Creating the best titles for your posts is one step that can be taken to ensure better content delivery. There are many benefits to focusing on your blog post titles such as better SEO rankings, as well as potentially longer times being spent on your site. Creating titles that are simple, yet invoke curiosity and explain what your content is about is a great first step to better blog post titles.

3. Ensure Your Site Loads Quickly

Ensuring that your website loads up quickly should be a given among most bloggers and webmasters. But when we get so involved in creating our website and content, load times can be totally forgotten or overlooked. To ensure your website loads up more quickly, minimize the number of plugins you use and use a theme optimized for SEO.

4. Make Your Website User Engaging

User engagement can play a huge factor for visitors coming to your site and how they perceive your website. By allowing individuals to post comments, and replying to those comments can allow for an increase in search term keywords, while providing a better and more helpful experience by users coming to your site.

5. Post Content More Often

You might see this method being used once or twice in this list and that’s because of its high importance to maintaining your site and establishing your brand online. The more content being posted on your site, the more of a presence you’re likely to have online and the better your reputation could become.

6. Offer a Product Or Service Not Offered By Anyone Else

Whether you’re an e-commerce site, a site that offers a service, or a blogger, offering something else that no one in your niche is offering can give you a huge advantage over your competitors. This could be anything from providing 24/7 help or promoting a product line that the online community in your niche feels so obliged to share with everyone else. Whatever it is, offer something no on else is offering to become the dominant player in your niche.

7. Make Your Site Stand Out On Social Media

Sites that stand out or make their mark on social media can provide your website with a boost in awareness, reputation, and even credibility. The more your website gets shared on social media, the more notice your website will receive. Focus on 1 or 2 major social media networks at first, then expand to others if possible. Use these networks as a method for branding your website and becoming known as a reputable source in your niche.

8. Brand Your Business & Website

Don’t just create a business or a website. Instead, you should always to attempt to create a brand that people will come to know and love. To better brand your business and or website, ensure that the website and content your posting has a purpose for your overall message.

9. Ensure You Have a Domain That Stands Out

Make sure you’re choosing a domain that is brand-able, and really stands out in your niche. Think of what people are more likely to click on when they see your future website listed on the first page or two of Google. Here is a small guide we created to help you create that perfect domain.

10. Use The Best Images

Using awesome images can have a major positive affect on your brand. If possible, try to capture and post some of these images yourself, instead of having to use stock photo sites every time. Taking the images yourself can go a long way in enhancing your website’s brand and credibility.

11. Create a Helpful Website To Dominate Your niche

Make sure individuals in your niche can find almost all the information they are looking for. All the questions relative to a product or service in your niche, should be answered by the content posted on your website, if you truly want to become a dominate player in your niche.

12. Avoid & Minimize Distractions Like Ads

The last thing on your mind when it comes to your website should be ad placement. That’s not to say you can’t have any. Just don’t make placing more ads within your content a priority. That’s not what leads to a great and successful site and can in-fact, compromise your long-term or future potential. Keep your advertisements or links as non-intrusive as possible.

13. Have a Good Variety Of Content

Don’t only ensure that you are posting consistently, but also ensure the content you posts comes in variety. This refrains your website from becoming overly repetitive and can give repeat visitors something new to look forward to daily.

14. Make Sure Your Website Is Well-Organised

A well-organized website will simply make your website easier to understand as a whole. To ensure better organization, use a menu structure and category hierarchy that makes sense. Also, make sure the categories being used are smaller sub-niche topics people in that niche are constantly searching for. That will make finding certain blog posts on your site easier than ever and ensure a much better user experience.

15. Become The Go To Resource

If you become the resource that everyone wants to visit in your niche, you can undoubtedly become a more dominant player in your niche. In order to become that go to resource, you need to ensure your website has content on many of the subjects and topics available in your niche. You should also ensure that content is being written with uniqueness and originality in mind.

16. Write Content No One Else Has Thought Of

Creating a website that promotes content creativity can help your site stand out in other ways. If you look at BuzzFeed for example, they’re actually a source of news who present their content in a much more engaging and trendy way. This is all due to the way they create their content and blog post titles.

17. Focus On The Details

Make sure you’re always focusing on the smaller details of the site. Aspects like font, color, headings, and more, can truly make or break your website’s short and long-term potential.

18. Write Lengthier Content, Guides, & How To’s

Ensuring there is a variety of content on your site can be made easy by creating really long and in-depth content that answers every question on that topic. Even though this content will be longer to create, its long-term rewards in terms of traffic, rankings, and credibility, will make it all worth it in the end. Visitors could also consistently be coming back to that content just as a reference or for getting an answer to a specific question.

19. Cover Everything Your niche Has To Offer

Don’t leave any stone un-turned, if you truly want to become the dominant player in your niche. If we take a look at CNN or FoxNews for practical purposes, we’ll find that the major news outlet covers absolutely every international news story they can on a constant basis. This means if you want to dominate your niche, constantly work towards filling your site up with more and more helpful content, that people can’t get enough of.

20. Grow Your Site With Age & Be Patient

Another important step towards dominating your niche, both now and in the future, is to allow your site to grow with age and practice patience. No website grows to its ultimate form overnight. It’s a process where the more content you add to your site, the more seeds you inherently plant for creating a more dominant online presence.

21. Post Often & Be Consistent

If you’re willing to let months go by without posting, you can never expect to be the dominant site in your niche. This is because there is a much greater likeliness your competitors are consistently posting. And if that’s happening, you need to make sure you’re on that same level or higher. Otherwise, why should your site be considered better or greater than theirs?

22. Hire Expert Authors To Write For You

One thing you can do as your site grows and grows is work on hiring more authoritative voices to write for your blog. This can essentially allow your website to become more of a resource for visitors who grow an increasing trust for the kind of content you publish.

23. Become An Authoritative & Trustworthy Source

Trustworthy sources will always achieve some of the highest rankings. But to build a website that established those two traits takes time and patience. For now, ensure the content or form of your content being posted is consistently being improved.

24. Get Noticed By Bigger Brands & News Outlets

Getting noticed by bigger brands and news sources truly means you’re headed in the right direction and can be a positive sign you’re posting the right kind of content. This means you should always create content other websites and brands are looking to share on their own.

25. Make Your Site & Content Reflective Of The niche Today

To become a bigger and better brand in your niche, ensure that the content of your site reflects how that niche is currently being perceived. It’s important to note that niches always go through changes overtime and it’s important for your website to reflect that. Technology changes, new products come out, newer innovations, etc.. Always try and capitalize on these topics trending in your niche.

26. Interlink To All Your Posts

By interlinking to your posts, you’re essentially creating an encyclopedia in its own way that can be used as a helpful online resource by visitors. Your ultimate goal in any niche is to help others. Interlinking to your posts therefore, is an SEO strategy that makes sense.

27. Write Content That Solves Problems

Seek out the problems individuals are having in your niche and create content that solves those problems. This will ensure better long-term SEO rankings and better awareness by visitors. Supplement your content with longer how to guides and tutorials that solve these long sought-out issues.

28. Create Lists Like This One

Creating lists is a popular method big brands like BuzzFeed and many others use to get the attention of visitors. They’re easier to read, browse through, and can be more fun to engage with. That’s because lists are a very straight-forward way of digesting many different kinds of content.

29. Learn To Outsource Various Tasks

Don’t try and manage all your web tasks alone. Instead, always work on building and managing a team who can take on some of these tasks for you, even if you can’t see the short-term profitability in doing so. This could lead to a better and more trusted brand over-time, by allowing you to focus on your most important tasks for long-term website growth.

30. Ensure Your Site Has a Contact Page

These three sections can ensure your website is more of a legitimate resource than others. By allowing visitors to contact you or know more about you, your brand, and vision can put you a step above other competitors who may have failed to do so. Ensuring visitors can contact you can further help your brand and promote more word-of-mouth advertising by those your brand has helped.

31. Make Your Content More Thorough

There are some types of content that simply require details and thoroughness. Always ensure that if you’re choosing a topic to write on, you cover all the bases, especially if that topic seems to require it more than others.

32. Supplement Content With Videos & YouTube

One way to ensure better variety and addition of content is by supplementing your content with YouTube videos. This can allow you to present content in a much more appealing way and allow you to ‘act out’ the content instead of writing it down for everyone to read. It can essentially also lead you to building a brand potentially twice as strong by creating both a YouTube and Google or search engine presence.

33. Ensure Website Is Mobile-Friendly

This is a fairly easy, basic, and straight-forward SEO strategy that will lead to better rankings and help you dominate your niche. For most, this is a one and done strategy that requires your theme to be mobile friendly. To ensure your website is mobile friendly, simply check out your website’s mobile status in Google Search Console.

34. Ensure Smooth Website Navigation

Focusing on your user experience is one great way to stand above the competition. Ensure smoother and better website navigation by adding a related content widget to the end of your posts. This increases the likeliness users will continue to visit other blog posts on your site. Provide related content you feel you’re targeted audience is interested in reading for a better user experience.

35. Focus On niche-Specific Keywords

For most bloggers, focusing on niche-specific keywords should be a given. Always make it your jobs, as an SEO enthusiast, to find both short and long-tail keywords you can base most of your content off of. These are the search terms people in that niche are searching for. The more keywords you can capitalize on and base great content off of, the more likely you’ll be found in the search engines.

36. Don’t Limit The Type Of Content You Post

As mentioned, mix up your content often. Never stick to just one kind of post as it’ll be much harder for your website to reach the majority of your audience. Types of content you can focus on include:

Reviews
Videos
Tutorials
Guides
How To
Opinionated
Lists

37. Consider Creating a Forum

Many of the dominant players in their respective niche have integrated a forum into their website. This is something you should only consider if it makes sense doing so and you feel is something you can manage or have a desire to achieve. Top websites like WarriorForum.com have built much of their reputation based on their forum alone.

38. Offer Lower Prices Or Higher Quality

One of the most important steps you can take if you’re an e-commerce site is to offer lower priced products than your competitor. Otherwise known as USP or unique selling proposition, this will give customers a reason to come back to your site over others. Whether it’s a higher quality product, lower priced product, or easier shipping and services, it’s important to find what part of your service will stand out more-so than others.

39. Maintain a Stellar Online Reputation

Maintaining a great online reputation for your brand is a task that comes along with any and every website. You want people to discuss your website in a positive light. The bigger your website and brand grows, the more important this task becomes. The more positively people talk about your website, the more likely it is to grow in popularity across the internet.

40. Focus On Community Involvement

Community involvement is really what provides proof that your website has content worth reading. Similar to engagement on YouTube videos that provide credibility for that video, same goes for websites. Whether its comments or shares, always try and focus increasing involvement in your community and your niche, as this will help with brand awareness and recognition as well. Comment plugins like Disqus can also go a long way in encouraging more users to get involved in the discussion, while blog commenting is another great way to bond relationships within your niche and keep you up on hot topics.

41. Add Social Media Sharing Links

Social media sharing is another great way to boost your website’s popularity and a method that allows your visitors to become more engaged with your website. Make sharing across social media sharing and entice people to share with easy-to-use links and with content that truly helps them. With one share leading to another, it can be hard to imagine just how fast your website could spread or grow on social media, on social media alone.

42. Ensure All Your Content Is Fully Readable

Readability is a huge and differentiating factor from one niche site to the next. It’s so important to emphasize your website’s readability and in placing it as a top priority for your website. Many visitors will simply leave a site because they had trouble reading the first sentence or two. Take the extra step to ensure you have some of the best readable fonts across other sites in your niche. This not only refers to plain paragraph text, but text in your titles, headings, and menu as well.

43. Create Audio Podcasts

One method that can truly allow you to dominate your niche is by creating audio podcasts. If you don’t prefer getting on camera or creating YouTube videos, one way to implement more content variety is by getting on a microphone and getting in a discussion over a topic in your niche. This can create some awesome debate or controversy in your niche and get noticed way more often. Pat Flynn from Smart passive income utilizes this method quite a bit and has grown to incredible new heights over the past decade.

44. Create a Newsletter To Dominate Your niche

Creating a newsletter for your website is an excellent way to grow an audience you know wants to hear from you. With your daily newsletter reaching the inbox of hopefully, thousands of subscribers, you can in-turn build your brand to a new height by constantly looking for new ways to help or entertain them. With a list, you now have a resource at your hand that you can work on using to spread the power of your brand even further.

45. Revise Old & Outdated Posts

As a blogger and webmaster, it’s always important your website doesn’t contain outdated information, especially if you’re aware of it. Every few months, go back to old posts just to make sure the information is accurate and reflects what is going on currently. If you have the extra time, consider sprucing up older posts you feel could be improved.

46. Keep An Eye On Rankings

If you’re looking to take your job seriously, keep an eye out for rankings. There are a number of ways you can do this to keep track of your progress, while placing markers on future goals. One way is by simply using Google Search Console to look at movement in keyword positions, impressions, and clicks. You might also decide to hire a third party service to keep track of this for you like the keyword tool Jaaxy or the all-in-one toolkit, SEMrush.com.

47. Watch For New Competitors

You should never panic whenever you see a few new competitors entering your niche. This is an inevitable occurrence that can’t be avoided and should not cause you to worry. Because your site has aged longer and gained more trust overtime, new competitors shouldn’t come as a threat. Instead, use them to see what new ideas they are implementing in the niche to see if it can inspire any new ideas for you.

48. Keep Your Site Updated

By consistently keeping your site updated and by adding new content to your site overtime, you can be sure to maintain both short and long-term rankings. This can help keep and maintain current rankings for your site and ensure potential future growth. Keeping your site updated is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your website’s rankings and contribute to growth for sites that are just starting.

49. Create Resources & Citations For Your Blog

One great strategy to keep visitors returning to your blog is by creating a resource section for your blog. With this page, you can include any tools, websites, or services you use that helps solve a problem within your niche. This is further useful as it compiles and lists everything being used by yourself in one easy to visit section on your blog or website.

In addition, make sure you create a resource or citations section at the end of blog posts that need them to instill more authority and trust. Wikipedia.org for example, never fails to include a citation/resource section at the end of their posts, turning them into a very credible source.

50. Follow The Steps In This List Often!

The last thing you want to do to truly dominate your niche is to follow the steps within this list often. Choose new steps or strategies to implement and work on over a course of a few months or more. This will allow you to grow your website to new heights, especially if you find that step takes more courage than others.

Whether that means hiring new individuals to join your team, creating 2,000+ worded readable content, getting on camera or microphone to stir a debate, or improving your keyword research, there are a never-ending amount of steps you can take to dominate your niche.

So why not start on your next plan or step today to dominate your niche?