Get The Competitive Edge

Whenever consumer spending is slowing down, you need to defend your market position and maintain your competitive edge. Here are ten ways to keep ahead of the competition and how to stay ahead of your rivals.

Know the competition. Find out who your competitors are, what they are offering and what their unique selling point (USP) is. This will identify the areas you need to compete in, as well as giving you a platform for differentiating yourself.

Know your customers. Customer expectations can change dramatically when economic conditions are unstable. Find out what matters to your customers now, is it lower price, more flexible service, the latest products? Revise your sales and marketing strategy accordingly.

Differentiate. It’s essential to give your customers good reasons to come to you rather than a rival. Your USP should tap into what customers want and it should be clear and obvious, no-one should have to ask what makes you different.

Step up your marketing. Make more effort to tell people who you are, what you sell and why they should buy from you. It doesn’t have to be expensive; marketing can range from posters in your window and leaflet drops through to advertising campaigns in local media.

Update your image. Simple steps such as painting the front of your premises can make your business look more modern and inviting. But look also at business cards, stationery, your website, branded packaging, clothing and so on. Does your image reflect your USP?

Look after your existing customers. They will be your competitors’ target market. Provide better customer service by being more responsive to their needs and expectations. If feasible, consider offering low-cost extras such as improved credit terms, discounts or loyalty schemes, remember, it’s cheaper and easier to keep customers than to find new ones.

Target new markets. Selling into a greater number of markets can increase your customer base and spread your risk. Consider whether you can sell online or overseas, for example. Are there groups you’ve never targeted before who might be interested in your offer? Don’t waste time marketing to people who won’t be interested, however.

Expand your offer. What related products or services might your customers be interested in? You might even consider diversifying into another area, many cafes have successfully offered Internet access, for example.

Be the best employer. Skilled, motivated staff underpin vibrant, growing businesses. But attracting them means more than paying a competitive wage, people are often more impressed by a good working atmosphere and benefits such as flexible working and structured career development.

Look to the future. Businesses that plan for growth are more successful than those that are happy to stay still. Keep up with developments in your sector, follow consumer trends, invest in new technology and crucially, have a clear idea of where you want to be in one, three and five years’ time.

SEO Research Tools

seo research

This video goes through two fantastic little SEO research tools to use to spy on your competitors, and also how to check your own sites quality so you can make improvements for better search engine ranking. Have Semrush and ahrefs in your internet marketing arsenal and easily keep an eye on things. Enjoy the video and feel free to comment in the box below.

SEO Research and Discovery Tools Video

Time: 9m 30s

Choosing the right SEO tools for you is very important, feel free to take a look at a post I did some months ago for some great little pointers & tips, thanks for reading http://helpfulimsolutions.com/choose-right-seo-software

For more videos like this one please go to http://essentialmarketingtoolkit.com

Increase Traffic by Tomorrow Morning

Increase GraphWe all want to Increase traffic to our websites so below are a few ways to do just that by tomorrow morning!

Have you ever wondered if the content you are writing is really any good? If no one likes your content, you simply will not get any social shares, link backs, or indeed traffic. There is an art to content creation.

Follow the tips here, and you will increase the likelihood of your content being shared, which will help you generate traffic & create epic content.
General writing hints.

Use the words “you” and “I”  using the words “you” and “I” within your content will create a feeling of a conversation between you and your readers, which will keep them engaged longer.
Keep it simple don’t try to use fancy words within your posts. If a fifth-grader can understand your vocabulary, you’re doing well. Otherwise, you will lose a lot of readers.
Get to the point no one likes reading fluff. The quicker you get to the point, the better.
Use sub-headings using headings within your post will make content more readable.
Make your headline eye-catching from creating a sense of urgency to creating curiosity or making a promise, make sure your headline is attractive enough so people will want to read the rest of your content.
Limit your paragraphs ideally, your paragraphs shouldn’t be longer than 5 to 7 lines. This will make your content easy to read.
A picture says a thousand words all text with no images makes content boring.
Make your images relevant – don’t use pictures for the sake of using them. Make sure they are relevant to your content.
Create an expectation within your intro once people read the intro, they should know what to expect from the rest of your post.
Let your personality shine from vulnerability to humor, show off your personality. Let your readers get to know you.
Bold, italicise, and underline if you are trying to emphasise a point, consider bolding, italicising, or underlining certain phrases.
Tell a story stories hook readers and keep them entertained.
Wrap it up make sure your readers get your point by the time they finish reading your post.

Back up your points stats are everything. If you can’t back up your data, no one will take you seriously. Make sure the sources you are using are credible.
Showcase your accomplishments somewhere within your content, or in your author bio box, you need to show off your accomplishments. This will prove that you are an authority, which will help cultivate a following.
Make your content actionable people should be able to read your content and know what to do next. From how-to posts to list posts, the more actionable you make your content, the better off you are.
Use instructional videos and images in the B2B world, using images or videos that help guide people through the steps they need to take to achieve a certain outcome is an easy way to provide more value.
Give them more at the end of your article, consider offering additional resources or guides. For example, having a downloadable PDF or a checklist will help increase the value of your content.
Use stats within your headlines data-backed headlines tend to get more clicks and generate more traffic.
Make your headlines results-driven if headlines have a clear benefit, your audience is more likely to read the post.
Don’t forget industry insights writing actionable content isn’t enough. Giving an overview of your industry is always valuable. Think Forrester Research. Such content helps establish thought leadership.
Focus on evergreen content content that doesn’t get old after a year or two tends to do better in the B2B world.
Focus on long tail topics the more specific you get with your content, the more link backs and social shares you’ll generate.
Solve your customers’ problems even if a problem is not related to your product, solving it through content will increase the likelihood of your customers coming back.
Update large portions of your content regularly your evergreen content won’t stay evergreen unless you keep it up-to-date. This will also allow you to redistribute your content every time you update it.
Spice it up B2B content is generally dry and boring to read. By infusing your content with emotion, you can keep your readers engaged.
Turn your text into visuals B2B content typically has a lot of stats and data. Consider using infographics instead of text for data-rich posts.

Now that we’ve broken down how to write great content for businesses, let’s go over how to make consumers love your writing:

Don’t forget the emotional crack consumers have a short attention span, much shorter than B2B readers. Keep your substance-filled content short and edgy.
Be trendy in the consumer world, trendy content tends to do better than evergreen. Trendy content is typically more socially driven.
Timing is everything the quicker you are to break a story, the more readers and traffic you’ll get. Stay on top of Twitter and Google Trends to see what’s hot.
Visuals are more important than text consumers prefer visuals (images and videos) over text.
Connect your content with pop culture if you can incorporate what’s happening in the world into your content, you’ll get more social shares.
Use emotional visuals from humor to sad stories, visuals that evoke emotion tend to get more social shares. The three most popular emotions to evoke are: awe, laughter, and amusement.
Test hybrid content from podcasts and videos to text, try using a mixture of content formats on your site to see what appeals most to your audience.
Quantity matters in the B2B world, you can get away with posting only once a week. In the consumer world, you need to post multiple times a day if you want to generate a large audience.
Consumers want to participate 8 out of the 10 most shared articles on the web are quizzes. Consumers love to engage and participate. Consider creating quizzes.
Keep the vibe light consumers tend to read content during their downtime. Keep the content light so they don’t feel overwhelmed.

In Conclusion

Creating great content is only half the battle. Promoting it is the other half.

Before you consider promoting your content, focus on writing great content. You are not going to get it perfectly right away, but as you continually improve your writing skills, you’ll notice increases in your traffic.

The beautiful part about it is that you should see results right away!

Take a look at more ways to increase your traffic by clicking HERE

Use Twitter Testimonials

Why use Twitter testimonials?

Curating your Twitter testimonials is not new though: some brands have been doing this for ages but so many businesses are not utilising this powerful trust building method that the concept needs to be laid out in more detail.

images

Twitter created the opportunity to share short ideas, links and news in real time. It allows the world to discover something new every day!

Many people and businesses shy from Twitter and social media because they are afraid of people saying bad things about their brand. The reality is that 99.9% of the time is quite different. It is positive and provides social proof.

Testimonials are one part of the positive aspects of crowd sourced feedback and sharing online.

Why not tap into the power of these positive comments on Twitter.

But why are Twitter testimonials a credible source of creating online trust?

Here are 3 quick examples of why.

Twitter testimonials are easy to verify: They may boost brand credibility by showing

the real people using the product and discussing it;
Twitter testimonials give users more context; This provides context around the

brand’s approach to social media and engagement culture;
Twitter testimonials engage readers: This is enabled by encouraging them to join

the brand’s official accounts and helping promote its product online.

The beauty of Twitter is that has some very simple tools that make it very flexible:

There are quite a few ways to filter out noise and publicise what’s important for you

and your business.

Let’s see some of them: Here are 4 ways to use Twitter to supercharge your online

credibility.
1. Curate and publish Twitter testimonials using Twitter favorites

Twitter favorites have always been a bit under-utilized feature. In the past people even

had to wonder how and why to use it. Nowadays, Twitter users tend to favorite tweets

when they want to say thanks.

While retweets should not be usually perceived as endorsements, a favorite is a good

way to express that you agree with and support the statement. That’s how I use the

feature from my personal Twitter account.

For an official business Twitter account, I usually recommend a more practical

approach: Use favorites to curate positive Twitter context around my brand.

I heard about this method long ago: Perch has been using favorites to curate Twitter

testimonials since 2010. Amazingly, after several re-designs, the Twitter testimonial

widget is still there on their site (It must have been working very well for them!):
The method has undergone some important changes: Previously you could have used

RSS feeds which were publicly available for your Twitter streams, but Twitter has

disabled RSS feeds, so now you’ll need to use the official Twitter widget to generate

the embedded code for your favorites.
This way you actually get full control over what testimonials get publicized while

making sure the process is very easy.

2. Curate and publish Twitter testimonials using hashtags

You can encourage your customers to tweet their experience using a hashtag. This

call-to-actionimages can be included in the order status auto-responder email (they are very

easy to set up) to further engage a hopefully happy customer.

This is a more dangerous, less controlled method giving more power to your user

which can actually blow up. On the other hand, it’s unlikely to go massively wrong

unless you are as big as McDonald’s. Smaller brands use hashtags very effectively.

The brand hashtag adds more visibility to your business on social media and can help

you build loyalty using social media by engaging more of customers. Bannersnack is

a good example of doing that well and it seems to be working very well for them:

There are more tools to publicise your social media proof and create more reliable

assets, including:

Storify
Scoop.it
Paper.li
RebelMouse.com

3. Curate and publish Twitter testimonials using sentiment search

Another method to semi-automate positive brand sentiment tracking is using

sentiment search. This a well known trick: Twitter supports a “smilie” search:
A good example of using sentiment analysis to curate feedback is Site Geek. It

publicises on-site user reviews as well as Twitter reviews of each listed hosting

company:
In most cases, that will be a bit cluttered feed, so instead of publicizing those tweets,

I’d recommend collecting and archiving them using social media dashboard called

Cyfe: It allows you to create multiple dashboards with multiple widgets (To monitor

lots of sets of results) and it also archives all the results.

I use Cyfe to monitor lots of search sets (hashtags, possible reviews, content ideas,

etc) throughout many search platforms including Google (through Google Alerts),
I log in to Cyfe a few times a month to find some social proof and I can then publicize

those tweets using a “Embed Tweet” feature:

The beauty of using Twitter search is that it’s very flexible. For example, you can filter

out all tweets that contain links using -filter:links in your search query. If you are into

local business or simply want to curate testimonials coming from a certain location

(this is very useful if you are hosting or monitoring an event) DirJournal also suggests

using location settings when setting up your Twitter search:

4. Curate and publish using Getkudos
This is a pretty new tool for me but it’s free, so why not add it to the toolbox?

Getkudos helps you collect and publicise your Twitter and Facebook kudos (I wish

they supported more networks by the way!)

It’s very easy to set up: Simply connect it to your social media accounts and login

once in a while to curate mentions:

Once you have some curated content, use one of the widgets (inline or floating) to

publicise kudos on your own site. The example of the inline widget can be seen on

Getkudos home page. Here’s an example of the floating one:

You can also collect more kudos from your happy customers via email or live on-site

chat. You also get a separate public page listing your kudos which is another brand

asset you can promote (example):

Are you utilising Twitter for collecting and promoting your business testimonials? Have

you heard of case studies of those who do? Please share your thoughts in the

comments!

How To Get A Bigger Blog Following

Allow me to show you 10 Ways to Interact With Your Readers and Get a Bigger, Better Blog Following.

Focusing on creating excellent blog content that can generate awesome engagement is a great idea. I always encourage it, and many business blogs are making sure to post excellent content for excellent engagement.

However, a major problem many blogs are facing is that they create content that drives engagement, yet over time, the engagement dwindles.

imagesJust what’s happening? Is it your blog content or something else? The biggest problem is usually the fact that businesses aren’t interacting with their readers, and if readers don’t get interaction, they aren’t as likely to keep commenting. I am going to take a look at just how you can interact successfully with your clients through some great tips and steps.

1. Read Your Comments Regularly. If you want to make sure you are consistently interacting with your readers, the best way is to make sure you are reading your comments regularly. You can check your website daily, use comment tools like Disqus, or use comment moderation to make sure you see each and every comment, giving you the chance to respond. In fact, no matter what tool you use, comment moderation is something that you should use to make sure you don’t miss any comments and can also control what gets through to your website.

2. Respond to Comments Quickly and Ask Questions. By checking your comments daily, you will have the chance to respond to them quickly, instead of letting them sit there for awhile. The faster you are able to respond, the better it will look to your readers, which can be a great encouragement for them to comment more. When you respond, try to come up with something unique for your response outside of the usual, “Thank you” response. You can address what the reader says specifically and you can also ask him or her a question to further the discussion. If they don’t want to answer publicly, you can encourage them to email you. One question to ask is what type of blogs they’d like to see in the future and just what it is about the post they liked. This can help you develop more ideas for future posts, tweaking them to your visitors’ wants and needs.

3. Listen and Use Client Questions as Blog Topic Ideas. A great way to be successful by interacting with your readers is to listen to your clients and use their questions as blog topics. Readers like to know that they are being listened to and you can show this by not only responding to their comments but by also using one of the questions or suggestions as your next blog topic idea. You can ask your readers what they would like to see more of in your blog postings. In addition, when they comment on a blog, ask what in that topic area they would like to see more of. This could even provide you with the chance to research different aspects of your industry, becoming better informed as well.

4. When You Share Your Blog, Mention People and Ask Them to Share. Do you have some clients that interact more with you or that you follow on Twitter? Then take this as a chance to mention them when you share your blog, asking them to share it as well. Something you will see is that people do enjoy being addressed individually, feeling as if you are focusing predominately on them. Your tweets or other social media posts might come across as too standoffish, even if you believe you are talking directly to your clients. However, if you specifically mention a few, asking them to share, you will find that they are more receptive and willing.

5. Write Blog Posts on Trendy Topics to Create Discussions. You want to make sure that you are writing evergreen content to make sure many of your posts stay popular throughout the months and years. However, if you want more interaction on your blog, you will also need to write on trendy, or even controversial, topics to generate discussion. Always make sure that you write delicately if you do address a controversial topic to avoid people misunderstanding your post.

If you aren’t comfortable with writing on the latest controversial topic, then you can still write on something currently trending. For example, at the time of writing this blog, the Hugo Awards were experiencing a huge controversy regarding their awards. If you don’t want to write on what is referred to as “Puppy-gate” but want to write on the awards themselves, then do so. You are still writing on something trendy that is likely to drive interaction, but you aren’t focusing on the controversial aspect of it.

6. Ask Your Clients to Comment After They Read Your Post. If you are still looking to drive engagement on your blogs or social media posts, a great way to encourage it is to ask people to comment. Did you write a list? Ask people to comment with their favorite points. Did you write a post about a product, service, or news item? Ask people’s thoughts on it. Make sure you address the question as if you were directing it to the individual reading the post. This will help make it feel like it is directed at the person who reads it, making them more likely to comment. Once they’ve commented with their answers, always remember to respond and ask even more questions to develop a conversation and relationship with your readers. A great way to make sure you keep a conversation going is to ask open-ended questions, leading your customers to talk more and interact frequently.

7. Provide Value Not Only in Your Blog, But Also in Your Comments. Every aspect of content needs to have some sort of value that can be offered to your readers. You want to write blogs that provide value because your clients are likely to comment more if they learn or receive something by reading. In addition, when your clients comment, you need to make sure your comment provides excellent value as well. This can be by answering a question the client asks or asking them questions to further the discussion and learn more about what your clients want and need from your blog. Value is a great way to help you rank and will also help you keep your readers coming back and commenting.

8. Get Rid of Spam Comments or Use Comment Moderation. As I mentioned above, comment moderation is a great way to ensure you see every comment and respond to it. It also helps you to weed out spam comments. Comment spam is unfortunate for many reasons including making your blog look unprofessional to first time visitors or even your recurring readers. It also can make you ‘lose rank‘ with Google. You don’t want any comment spam and without a comment moderation system chances are you will get spammed.

9. Respond in an Easy-to-Understand Manner. Another way to help boost success when interacting with clients on your blog is to make sure you respond in an easy-to-understand manner. You already know that you need to make sure your blogs are easy for any reader to understand, but the same also goes for your comments. Keep the jargon out of your responses and talk to your clients in a manner they will understand. If you don’t, you might just see them leaving your site for a competitor that is more willing to talk without jargon. You don’t want to talk down to your clients, but you also want to make sure you aren’t confusing them.

10. Keep All Interactions Positive and Upbeat. An excellent way to make sure readers are willing to continue interacting with you on your blog is to keep everything positive and upbeat. People respond better to optimism and positivity, regardless of how much negativity you might see currently online. We all crave some measure of positivity, and readers will be more likely to talk with you if you keep things happy and nice. This is true whether clients are asking questions, saying they appreciate your company or even if they are disgruntled.

Talk the Talk and Interact With Clients!

Use these tips to make sure you are able to interact well with your clients. By interacting, you will see amazing success both in engagement on blogs and social media, as well as more revenue. You may even see a boost in traffic because happy customers will talk and tell their friends. If you are looking for excellent content that can start a great interaction chain before you respond to clients, then you are in the right place. Express Writers offers excellent blog content for all of our clients, giving you the chance to get interaction and boost traffic and revenue. Take a look at what we can do for you. Which of these suggestions do you plan on trying first?

Tools For Content Marketing

Producing great content is very important, so I have decided to give a few of my secrets away showing you what I consider to be some of the best tools for content marketing.

You need to be attracting hundreds if not thousands of people to your articles, blog posts & services in order to increase your subscriber list and grow your authority as an expert in your chosen field.

The list below will show you how to write engaging blog posts, create many article ideas along with very attractive headlines, also I show you how to distribute your content and much more.

Getting Content Ideas

Topsy will allow you to find the most popular content on Twitter, it is great for generating ideas for your daily blogging efforts. You can discover exactly who is sharing and see what and who the key influences are at any given time. You can see who has re-tweeted your content simply by putting in a blog post url and clicking search. Also there is a cool tab called “influential only” which will show you who the most influential people are who have shared an article or blog post, it’s a great way to build relationships with others. Add value & promote for them and they will do the same for you, it’s win win all round.

BuzzSumo will help you find the most popular content on any subject you care to think of. Obtain detailed stats on social media from the dashboard, and find the most shared content and those sharing it. Search any keyword and see the main people influencing that subject field. There are so many things you can do with this tool, check it out to see what I mean.

All Top allows you to discover all of the top blogs on any given subject by aggregating the best of the web. Find a category you are interested in from the dashboard and keep track of the most recent popular posts, giving an endless array of content ideas.

Tag Board, here find interesting content on any topic, by entering a hashtag and watch as the tagboard retrieves countless amounts of epic content from across the internet. It does this by aggregating all of the recent posts from, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook and many other social media platforms that contain the particular hashtag you are after.

Feedly helps in the finding of great content ideas to share online, again this tool will aggregate all of your selected favourite blogs in one easy to navigate dashboard.

Scoop It Here find numerous content ideas by doing a quick and easy search. Nice piece of kit, simple to use.

Social Crawlytics With this tool discover some of the most in depth social sharing data available on the net, and find out which posts are the most popular on the top social media sites around like LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter. Identify the most popular content on your website, thus allowing you to see what is working and what is not. This will give you constant information as to what to blog about next, and which services & products to promote, great for affiliate marketing ideas.

Quora is a great little Q & A facility. The questions here are usually unique, interesting & intelligent asked daily, which will allow you to find new angles to master in any new content marketing campaign. Explore new and interesting ideas for articles and blog posts alike, also good for email marketing content ideas as well as any videos you may be thinking of doing. Quora is not like Yahoo Answers where there is so much repeated waffle and garbage talked about.

Listly Here you can simply type in any keyword and get hundreds of content ideas on any topic, I use it for headline engagement.

Uber Suggest Is great for long tail keyword research and generating new topic ideas as well as finding new keywords to use.

Gaining Creative Content

Toggl Is a cool little productivity tool, it is a simple time tracking tool. To use it just enter the task you are currently working on and click start. Toggl will track your time in the backgound thus keeping you focused on the task in hand.

Evernote can go hand-in-hand with Google Drive & is ideal for writing your blog posts within the system they provide. With Evernote you are able to record audio and turn it into text, free of charge.

Quabel is a distraction free writing app that allows people to focus on creating content speedily. Set yourself a goal and let the timer begin, also this will back up your work as you create it, automatically.

Stay Focused is a Google Chrome extension which blocks sites which appear as time wasting ones, there is also a Firefox plugin called Leech Block which does a similar job.

Camtasia is excellent for creating video, for Mac users then Screenflow is probably best.

Audacity is a free audio editor for those who want to create great podcasts and place them on sites like itunes, soundcloud or stitcher radio.

Canva will help you create very engaging graphics even if your design skills are not too good. There are built in templates to help create social media posts, blog graphics, pinterest photographs, twitter headers, Kindle & facebook covers plus there ads. Creating cool looking graphics is of paramount importance these days when dealing with any kind of social media platform.

Pic Monkey is another photo editing tool that makes life easier when creating images for blog posts, to gain attention.

Pixabay has thousands of copyright-free images that can be used on your blog or
ever for commercial use. No registration is required.

Unsplash Gorgeous, copyright-free images.

123rf  One of the most affordable stock photography sites online. It’s about
a dollar per image.

IconFinder allows you to use icons in blog images.

GraphicRiver Thousands of icons, web graphics, infographics, and other design elements that you can use in your blog posts. Here’s a quick image I whipped up using some cool graphics from GraphicRiver…

ReciteThis Create picture quotes. Great for posting on sites like Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google Plus.

Slideshare – Find unique and engaging Slideshare presentations to embed in your
blog post. Fun and easy way to add value to your posts AND stand out.

Recordit Make your content stand out with animated screencasts. Record quick videos with Recordit and then turn them into animated gifs that you can put in your blog post. It’s a great way to make your article stand out from the rest. These also work well on Google Plus.

Wordle Create beautiful word clouds in just a few clicks.

QuotesCover  Create beautiful picture quotes for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram. QuotesCover makes it easy.

 

Blogger Outreach

The first step to blogger outreach is finding the top influencers in your niche. The best two tools for identifying the top bloggers and social media influencers are Topsy and BuzzSumo. On Topsy, you can enter ANY url (or blog post) and find out the top social media users who shared that article. This is a super easy way to find the top bloggers who are most likely to share your article. The other is is BuzzSumo. Simply enter your main keyword and find the top social media users around that topic. After every post you write, send a personalized email to at least 50 related bloggers and let them know about your latest blog post. This alone can easily generate thousands of highly-targeted visitors. In fact, if I could only choose ONE strategy for promoting my content. This would be it. Even above email marketing.

BuzzStream  One of the most popular platforms for blogger outreach. Buzzstream allows you to scale your blogger outreach without losing the personal touch.
You can build a list of influencers, create email templates, set reminders, schedule emails, track your conversation history, and more.

Contactually Helps you track, manage, and build relationships with other top bloggers. Gives you a systematic way to scale your relationships and keep up with the people who
matter. You can also use their ScaleMail feature to send up to 250 personalized messages. Add a few personal notes to each one and then click send to broadcast your email to all of your contacts. Contactually allows you to create ongoing, meaningful conversations.

InkyBee One of the best tools for finding the most popular bloggers in any niche.
Gmail Canned Responses – Gmail has a magical little add-on that is perfect for content marketers. It’s called “Canned Responses”. First, you’ll need to open up your Gmail settings and click on the “Labs” tab. From here, you can enable “Canned Responses” in your Gmail account. You just enabled a hidden feature that could easily save you hours of time every month.

You can now start creating email templates for your blogger outreach, customer support, frequently asked questions, joint venture emails, and more.
I have 5 different email templates I use for blogger outreach. So each time I publish a new blog post, I can click one button and upload one of my favorite templates. From there I do a bit of customization. I like all of my emails to be fun and personalized 🙂
The more fun you have with your emails the better responses you’ll get. Most people are way to uptight and professional in their emails.
Have fun with it! You’re not a robot.
And then you send it off! But by creating templates, you can send 25 outreach emails in a fraction of the time.

Boomerang Gmail plugin that reminds you to follow up on emails. You can setup Boomerang to remind you in X number of days if you don’t hear back from someone. This tool is essential for any content marketer doing a lot of blogger outreach. Helps you stay on track of multiple conversations. Or even schedule recurring emails to remind yourself of important tasks you need to finish.

BananaTag See what happens to your emails after you press send. BananaTag allows you
to find out whether or not someone opened your email or clicked a link. Integrates seamlessly with Gmail and Outlook. Get detailed metrics for ALL of your blogger outreach.
So when you email your favorite blogger, you’ll know exactly when they opened your email and whether or not they clicked on your link. BananaTag will even tell you whether they’re on their desktop or mobile device. And best of all, your email appears NO different to your contacts. All of the tracking is done seamlessly without any change in the user experience.

Rapportive Integrates seamlessly with Gmail to give you additional (insightful) info on every contact in your inbox.

Refresh.io  This one is a hidden gem. It’s a great blogger outreach tools but still quite undiscovered in the social media world. Basically, Refresh allows you to search just about ANY person on the web and find out some really cool stuff about them.

Internet Marketers Tools Of The Trade

There are hundreds of different tools and services out there to make our lives a lot easier as Internet Marketers & Online business owners. Some of them are amazing and some of them not so great. So I have decided to put together a selection of some of my favourite resources online.

Blogging:

WordPress: The number one blog publishing platform online. I run all of my blogs on WordPress. It’s free and extremely customisable. WordPress also works well for hosting your own products and membership sites.

Hosting:

Host Nine: This is hands-down my favourite web hosting company online. I have tried a number of different hosting services and this one has been the best by far. They allow you to quickly and easily install WordPress with just a few clicks of the mouse and they have an amazing customer support team, willing to assist your every need.

Amazon S3: The Amazon Simple Storage Service. I use this service to store and publish almost all of my videos. They have extremely reliable internet storage, which is great for hosting large files like videos and podcasts. Using Amazon S3 you’ll never have to worry about running into bandwidth problems. This can be extremely helpful – especially when you’re running a product launch.

EZS3 – Ok, so now you have your files uploaded to Amazon S3 but how do you publish those files and create video players that you can post to your website? That’s where EZS3 comes in.

EZS3 takes the technical side out of it – allowing you to quickly and easily upload your files, create video players, mp3 players, and then upload your media onto your website. Plus, they also have a complete stats program to show you exactly how many people viewed your video, listened to your podcast, or read your pdf.

Pretty cool!

And a must-have for anyone like me who really doesn’t like to mess with
the tech stuff.

Other Essentials:

FileZilla – Free FTP software

Survey Monkey – Create custom surveys in minutes in order to get feedback from your subscribers.

YouConvertIt.com – A Free online conversion tool that allows you to convert a nearly unlimited type of media file formats, including documents, images, audio, videos, etc… Convert your files to different formats quickly and easily.

Shopping Carts:

Clickbank – #1 Digital product marketplace online. Clickbank makes it super
simple to start selling your very own product and start recruiting affiliates.

Rapid Action Profits – The RAP platform has many of the same plug-and-play
features of Clickbank but with a TON more flexibility and features. First off,
they provide instant commissions paid through payPal. Affiliates get paid
instantly through PayPal. This can be a HUGE incentive for affiliates because
they don’t have to wait weeks to get paid.

Plus, because affiliates receive their commission directly from the customer
you don’t have to cut affiliate checks, do mass pays, or even send out 1099?s
at the end of the year.

Up to 100% commissions, easy affiliate management, 2nd-tier program, built-in split-testing, integrates directly with your autoresponder, one-time offers, upsells, and downsells.

If you’d like a complete review of Rapid Action Profits, check out our article
over here.

InfusionSoft – Infusionsoft is one of the premier shopping cart solutions available online. This is what you’ll want to go to once you’ve reached a certain level of scale online. It allows you to create a complete sales process with one-click upsells, downsells, order-page bumps and more.

It also comes with a very powerful affiliate program which allows for lifetime lead tracking – which means your affiliates not only get credit for the first sale but also for any of the backend sales. This is a HUGE benefit for affiliates.

Nanacast – Nanacast offers many of the same features as InfusionSoft
but it’s MUCH easier to set up. Much less technical hassle. Certainly one of the shopping cart solutions you should take a close look at.

PayPal – PayPal has become one of the easiest and most convenient ways to
pay online. If you’re looking for a very simple way to accept payments on
your website, PayPal will definitely do the trick.

Autoresponder Software:

Aweber – Aweber has long been known for outstanding email deliver ability rates and top-notch service. You definitely can’t go wrong with Aweber.

Get Response –Get Response has some of the best email deliver ability rates in the industry and it’s another great choice for anyone looking for the best autoresponder service.

Testing & Tracking:

Google Analytics – Track all of your incoming traffic for free. Google Analytics
provides you with an enterprise-class web analytics solution at no cost to you. Gotta love Google’s business model 🙂

Google Website Optimizer – GWO allows you to quickly and easily split-test your squeeze pages, sales letters, etc… This is definitely a must-have tool that
EVERYONE should have in their marketing toolbox. If you’re not testing, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table.

HyperTracker – I use Hypertracker in conjunction with Google Analytics and Google Website Optimizer. Hypertracker allows you to setup seperate tracking links for each of your individual traffic sources so that you can see exactly how many visitors, subscribers, and sales are being generated from each traffic source. This allows you to quickly and easily identify which traffic
sources are producing the most results. If you’re not tracking you’re marketing then you’re flying blind. If you want to create a real business online you MUST track everything you do so that you know what’s working and what’s not working. You can then zone in on the high-leverage traffic sources which are producing the most results.

W3ROI – W3ROI is very similar to HyperTracker while adding some extra advantages for those who want to track their PPC campaigns.

Clicktale – Clicktale is a fascinating little tool that provides some very interesting insights into your business. Basically, Clicktale records how people navigate and interact with your website. It then creates visual reports that show where your visitors look, what parts of the page they’re clicking on, which parts they skip and how far down they scroll. This can help you optimize the designof the page for higher conversions.

Graphic Design:

99Designs.com – The #1 online marketplace for graphic design. 99designs allows you to post a graphic design contest where multiple designers compete for the winning bid. So you can get literally hundreds of people creating designs for you and you only pay the one that you decide upon. What I really like about 99designs is that you get to see lots of different approaches and variations on your graphic design project. So instead of just having one designer create a single design for you. You have multiple graphic designers coming up with LOTS of different variations and you get to choose the one you like best.

http://www.minisitegraphics.com/ – One of the best in the business. Sean has created designs for Ewen Chia, Jimmy D. Brown, Michael Rasmussen, Russell Brunson, and many others.

http://wowminisites.com/ – WowMiniSites creates GREAT looking graphics at a great price.

Video Creation:

Camtasia Studio – I use Camtasia for ALL of my video creation. It allows you to create professional videos and screen captures with ease. If you have never used it, then no problem as they have free to access video tutorials to walk you through everything you need to know to use the Camtasia system.

Tech Support:

WebSupportTeam.com – Outsource your techie stuff for just $99 per month. The WebSupportTeam will upload your websites, setup squeeze pages, setup opt-in forms, add PayPal payment buttons, install scripts, add Aweber follow up messages, configure Aweber settings, integrate Aweber with 1ShoppingCart, and much, much more! Don’t let the tech stuff get in the way of growing your business. The WebSupportTeam has a large team of people who can get it done quickly and affordably.

Customer Support:

http://www.shieffservices.com/ – Outsource your customer support.

HeroDesk.com – Another great place to outsource your customer support.

Transcription:

InternetTranscribers.com – This is one of the VERY best transcribers online. HIGHLY Recommended.

Legal Stuff:

LegalZoom – Allows you to easily setup an LLC or incorporation for your business.

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