Internet Marketing & Judo

Are there really similarities between Internet Marketing & Judo?

Ok, I bet I know what you are thinking before you have even read this article. How can there possibly be a connection between Judo (the martial art) and the concept of Internet Marketing. I will try to explain and therefore convince you.
Firstly I would just like to state that I started Judo in 1975 when I was eight years old. I found it hard and not that easy to pick up. I would even sometimes dred going to the dojo every Friday evening, if I hadn’t had my big sister there for support I would surely have given up within the first year. I was encouraged to carry on by her and of course my parents.
Our family motto is, persevere, and that is what I was encouraged to do by my parents, now 35 years on I am a black belt 2nd Dan (2nd Kyu). I go as often as I can these days, just to keep fit and to train others to excel and bring them on with my knowledge of the sport. The main reason though is because I too, have encouraged my two children to take up the art. I help and give advice where ever I can along the way, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see my teachings and my passion develop others skills.
For those of you who already know me, I am also an Internet Marketer. When I began exploring the world of online income generation I again found it very hard to make waves in the industry, just like many people other do. But the difference here is, I persevered and am slowly becoming part of the illusive 5% who succeed in the online marketing world. Like in my early judo days, I wanted to give up, throw the towel in but I have been encouraged to continue with my dreams.
Now judo, like Internet Marketing is not for everyone. You have to be disciplined, you have to want to participate, you have to have the desire to become a winner, be afraid of nothing (at least don’t show it) and when you take a fall, learn from it. Get-up, shake yourself off and start again. Any form of martial art is a great way to find out exactly who you are as a person. It brings out the real you; it allows you to set yourself goals, just like you guessed it, setting up an Internet Marketing business.

The meaning of Judo is gentleness, softness, suppleness, and even “easy”, depending on its context. The true translation of “ju” is soft method. The soft method is characterized by the indirect application of force to defeat an opponent. More specifically, it is the principle of using one’s opponent’s strength against him or her, and adapting well to changing circumstances. Judo is seen as a means for governing and improving oneself physically, mentally, emotionally and morally.
In order to have a good understanding of the Internet Marketing world, we need to utilize the meanings of judo to establish our business. It is ok to be an aggressive marketer or judo player as long as it is done correctly; the method must justify the end product. If you get that part wrong then you could lose that battle. In business or life, morals are an important and crucial part in the development of having good solid foundations.
The novice will wince at the thought of going up against someone bigger, the more experienced will use the opponents size to their advantage. In business, especially if you are on your own, you will need to study the competition and then find the right time to strike.
So the main similarities between Internet Marketing and Judo are;
1. To achieve success you must first stare failure straight in the face and come out on top.
2. We all make mistakes in any walk of life, but winners learn from them.
3. Never be afraid to climb a mountain, besides if you do not try then how can you expect to reach the top. Perseverance is the key.
4. The bigger the opponent the harder they fall, by this I mean over come your fears. If the opponent or company is bigger than you, use it to your advantage.
5. You need to know your opponents every move. A good marketer will know where and when the time is right to strike, and get that sale or the lead needed and so on.
6. Nothing will be achieved over night, take small poignant steps, life is a learning curve.
7. Self-Discipline is a must, and having the correct mindset along with determination is the key to success both in the dojo and the office.
8. Your life education should never stop. We all start at the bottom of the ladder as a novice, in sport, in work, in life. Believe and you will succeed.
9. Listen to advice and be prepared to take it, all advice is relevant no matter how critical.

Everything in your life starts with you. Self improvement will lead to life improvement. You are the foundation of your life, the decisions that you make, the actions that you take, they are what create your life. If your life is not the way you want it to be then only you can change it. Yes you can get help from other people, but only if you accept their help.
I now not only train but also have a coaching role at my local judo club, this has helped me be able to also show new and established internet marketers how to earn an income from home and in turn be successful.
Remember this today if nothing else; “The road to success is always under construction”.
I wish you all well in whatever field you are in, whether it be as a judo player, a sportsman or an Internet Marketer.

Website Traffic Hide n’ Seek

A website needs to be seen and be easily found.

 So tell me why you are hiding it it away out of sight and killing your business?

 Your website needs revving into shape, it needs re-fueling, and must be driven on the busiest main street, the world wide web, funneling tons of hot prospects and customers everyday.

Besides have you ever seen a McDonald’s restaurant on a deserted back street or dark alley that no one ever goes down?

Of course you haven’t, but for most websites with little or no traffic at all, it’s exactly the same thing as being located on a deserted back street or dark alley where no one will ever go.

The fuel required is traffic & lots of it – simple!

Sure, you might have a fancy site and looks great – or maybe you spent a fortune on it – which sucks, because you don’t actually bring in any customers… it’s what I like to call “lost in internet outer space”.

So now that you know just how important traffic is to your online business I am going to help you get the traffic you need to start seeing an instant profit online. I have assembled a one of a kind 6 part intensive online training program so you can finally uncover the most profitable methods for promoting your business online.

This training is going to show you my entire arsenal for driving serious traffic to websites. These are the same strategies that I use myself day in, day out to gain out of control targeted traffic to my network of websites and can continue to do the same for you for years to come.

So stop blowing a gasket worrying about gaining traffic ever again and grab your copy of the TRAFFIC BOOSTER PACK on launch day November 11th 2014 at 11am EST (4PM GMT)

When you use the methods I share with you in the complete Traffic Booster Pack Guide, you will realise why it’s feasible that you can see your website mentioned in over 250 places online literally in a few days!
It does not matter whether you are a complete newbie or a seasoned professional, you will find tonnes of golden nuggets in the Traffic Booster Pack.

Included in the Traffic Booster Pack is a special 6 part video training, supported by PDF guides, mp3 audios and much more.

You will discover over 100 traffic generation strategies. They include:

• Setting your SEO into cruise control.

• Explore real PPC advertising that gets results.

• Find out why your blog is the drive belt of any business.

• Be amazed how article writing can explode your traffic just like releasing a pressure valve.

• Find out the secrets of forum marketing and see how it can become your fuel injection system.

• Get tips and tricks from the traffic manual that work right now, start today.

• Guaranteed traffic like you never thought possible!

• Drive your cost per click down through the floor whilst getting super-targeted visitors who want to spend money with you.

• How to use safe lists the proper way, unlike most people who have not read this report do.

• Not to mention the ins and outs of using classified ads – ways that work to drive traffic instantly, this minute.

• Included is a section on using press releases to generate thousands of back-links to make Google love you.

• If you thought banner advertising was stuck in the past prepare to be amazed!

• Using social bookmarking to get traffic, without getting your account banned. Given that social bookmarking sites are growing by the day, this method alone is worth the price for the Traffic Booster Pack.

TWO bonus guides that go into the depths of precisely how and where to promote your offers and your business.

..And, if that’s not enough, I’m also sharing the super-secret method I use to get the maximum return from ad swaps – although many have written them off as impossible to monetise.

Discover How The Big Guns Gain Tons Of Daily Visitors To Their Sites

I am opening this up on a very limited basis because if you’re like me, we’ve learned that truly great and rewarding businesses are built on long-term profitable relationships and not the quick buck, flash in the pan stuff so many people are trying to pass off on us.

So, right now is your opportunity to join a close group of people just like you and me who share the same goals as us… whose #1 goal is to work together, share innovation, techniques and to create solid businesses, relationships, and long-term growth.

This is not your “typical” offer so you better hurry. Because while I’m not limiting this to any specific number (just in case we go over)…
I will have to take this page down at some point especially when word gets out I’m literally giving it away at a small starting price of just $9, and judging by the number of people visiting this page every few seconds right now… It won’t be long before everyone knows.

So don’t procrastinate, join now while the opportunity is still open.

Ask yourself, where has procrastination ever got you? There’s no reason to put this off, you now understand the massive traffic potential that is just waiting for you. Ready for the taking and if you don’t take it someone else will.

So don’t waste another minute, take Traffic Booster Pack for a test drive from November 11th 2014.

Join now. Your timing is perfect. It’s time for you to be awesome!

http://trafficboosterpack.com

The Best Website Building Tool

This post summarises what I consider to be the best Online Website Building Tool, also known as Online Website Design & Creation Tools.

Webs claim to be “the world’s largest do-it-yourself website-creation solution” and back this up with a record of over 50 million websites built with them. Formally known as FreeWebs, this tool was created to “open up the web”, allowing almost anyone to design, create and manage their own sophisticated-looking website. In fact, they claim that “if you can use Microsoft Word, you can use Webs”, enabling the average computer user to create websites that would have required a professional Web designer just a few years ago. This increasing web accessibility has been facilitated by ever increasing connection speeds and computer processing power. Webs, however, stands out in its ability to combine these developments in a product that is unique in both sophistication and simplicity. Whether you choose the free version, or to pay, I think that you will be satisfied with the features available, as the simple user-interface makes Webs a pleasure to use for beginner and more advanced users alike.

Registration and creating your own page with Webs could not be easier. Simply choose a name and this will become the address of your website in the format, yourname.webs.com. Furthermore, users paying a monthly fee are able to choose a valid domain name consisting of simply www.yourwebsitename.com (or any other extension) as well as associated Email addresses. This is an excellent, cheap and easy way to present a highly professional image.

Once you have entered a password you will be asked to fill in a few more details before choosing your template and launching your site. With over 300 professionally tested templates from which to choose, chances are you’ll find something both unique and to your liking. Other website template providers do exist that offer a wider selection which advanced users or those with something very specific in mind may want to consider. Likewise, although 90% of users will be more than satisfied with the customisability of Webs’ templates, some may find them a little too rigid for their liking. This said, it would be almost impossible to improve on these drawbacks without sacrificing a certain amount of simplicity and ease of use.

This brings us on to Webs’ website site builder which, we can safely say, is the simplest in this category. It is based on a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface which makes adding new content, pictures, videos, and much more a breeze. By simply pointing, clicking and dragging it is possible to quickly and easily put together a professional looking website without having to understand HTML. Overall, Webs’ web design tools and interface are some of the most intuitive on the market and certainly represent its strongest selling point. Furthermore, there is an advanced mode that enables experienced users to make more complex editions to their websites. When it comes to web storage and bandwidth, users are unlikely to be disappointed as the limits may be quite restrictive. Webs.com is unbeatable for entry-level webmasters but may prove inadequate for much more experienced webmasters.

In order to kit out your website, Webs offer a vast array of features and applications which can be installed to your site with a single click. All the popular applications such as Cafepress Shop, Meebo IM, AllStar Experts, Forums, Blogs, Guest Books and donations are available as well many lesser known and more specific ones. Users can also integrate their Website to social media profiles such a Facebook and Twitter which represent excellent sources of publicity for those on a limited budget.

We were especially impressed with several excellent features that enable you to get started in Ecommerce. Even the free account allows users to list up to 5 items in a WebStore. The Webstore feature is nicely integrated with an intuitive set of options that allows almost anyone to set up their own online business. Items are advertised on your website and can be paid for with either PayPal or Google Checkout. With 4 pricing plans, Webs.com caters for customers who plan to sell a small number or an unlimited number of items in their WebStore.

Whether or not your website is intended for commercial purposes, everyone wants to increase their web traffic. This can be done in two ways: search engine optimization and online advertising. Paying customers of Webs can enjoy access to sophisticated search engine optimization (SEO) tools which allow editing of meta tags, meta descriptions and page titles. Furthermore, the URL is generated from the name of the menu item. Paid accounts also come with Google Adwords and Facebook Ads credit which is a great way to begin experimenting with online publicity and advertising as well as boost visitors to your site. To monitor your Webpage, Webs comes with Clicky as default but users can also add Google Analytics. These tools are brilliant, providing you with in-depth website information, and are free to all. Webs make it easy to integrate these analysis tools to your website so you can effectively track all vital statistics.

In conclusion

Webs does a fantastic job in providing a high degree of sophisticated web design possibilities through, potentially, the most simple user interface available. We are happy to give our #1 spot to this product that makes website creation accessible to all, without significantly sacrificing features or content. Although there are various restrictions depending on what you are paying, we found that, whatever price plan you choose, you will be getting your money’s worth. Furthermore, Webs’ 30 day money back guarantee should give you peace of mind when parting with your hard-earned cash. Finally, as the cherry on the cake, it must be added that Webs’ boasts excellent and responsive 24/7 customer support. For all of the above, we would recommend Webs to all users, from beginners to advanced, to organizations and individuals as a do-it-yourself website-creation solution you can rely on.

You Will Never Have A Viral Blog post

We all, as bloggers and business owners crave that one day what we write about will be seen by the masses, we need our posts to go viral. A single viral blog post can make your website a hot property and create a huge buzz around your business brand very quickly.

imagesSo what makes a post go viral?

Let’s dissect some recent posts that captured readers’ attention and attracted loads of social media shares. Here are some examples and lessons from blog posts that went viral.

 

 

 

1. Positive content

Uplifting content gets shared more than you may believe. Practical advice that can help improve life skills is always in demand. There are countless posts that hand out tips on leading a happier and more fulfilling life. Some do it better than others and make readers care enough to share.

I discovered “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself’” on StumbleUpon. The post has garnered over half a million likes, over 20,000 tweets and thousands of shares on other social media.

a. The enticing headline:

A post’s headline is a key viral driver. Unless it motivates readers’ enough, it won’t get clicks no matter how great your content may actually be. Negative headlines have been seen to convert better than positive titles. Readers can be skeptical of positive superlatives like ‘best’ and ‘most’, perceiving them to be cliché or an attempt at endorsement, and view negative ones like ‘worst’ or ‘never’ to be authentic and impartial. In this post, use of the negative word ‘stop’ makes readers pause and wonder if there’s something they’re doing that they shouldn’t.

b. The list

Time and again, studies and split-tests have shown that headlines containing numbered lists attract massive click-throughs.
c. Structure:

Online readers get put off by chunky paragraphs and scarce use of bold and italicized font. “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself“’ presents 30 points in numbered list with no more than four lines under each. It’s easy to read and digest.
d. Actionable tips:

The post offers readers actionable advice that can be incorporated right away. Every tip tells you what to stop doing and what positive action to take. Some also have links to books on a similar topic for further reading.

2. Personal stories

A well-told first personal account of an experience and lessons learned thereof adds authenticity and makes for an interesting read.
Consider a recent LinkedIn post ‘Why I won’t take your business card’ that was shared 281 times and elicited several comments and opinions (some from the top 1% of most viewed profiles on the network).

The post discusses the importance of building relationships over making an explicit sale at networking events through the lens of a marketing strategist who found herself in a similar situation.

While the honest narrative is compelling enough to encourage responses, the author ends her post by asking questions and soliciting comments. A simple “do you think……” or “I would love to hear your opinion on……” at the end of your blog post can nudge readers into leaving a comment. Even one or two comments encourage more people to comment, which in large part, can be attributed to the psychological phenomenon known as ‘social proof’, where we are influenced by and conform to others’ actions.

Another hugely shared (4,685 times on LinkedIn) post ‘Four Business Rules I Learnt in Kindergarten’ is an example of the author’s creative and playful approach to discussing a serious business topic. Attracting over 400 comments, the post struck a chord with readers for delivering simple yet valuable lessons we sometimes tend to oversee. A black and white photograph accompanying the post gives it a warm picture book feel, and really sets it apart from other LinkedIn posts.

3. Make it intriguing

imagesExplore ways to deliver useful content without sounding like thousands of other posts doling out tips and advice on the same topic.

A great example is ‘Marriage Isn’t for You’, which not only managed 10,000+ shares on Twitter and Facebook, but also landed the writer a book deal.

Two things work for the post:

The interesting headline that instantly incites curiosity. There’s also more to the headline than meets the eye (a clever move by the writer), which lifts the value of the post.
A refreshing and heart-warming take on marriage. Check out the post here.

Say you’re giving financial advice to entrepreneurs. A title such as ‘Here’s Why You Can’t be the Next Millionaire’ is a more intriguing title than ‘How to be a Millionaire’, which is pretty standard stuff for blogs in your niche.

Instead of saying what you should do to set the cash registers ringing, you can explain what you may be doing now that’s keeping you from being the next millionaire. ‘A Little Mistake that Cost me $7000 a Year’ is another click-worthy title and an interesting lesson on preventing financial mistakes.

If your title is a click-magnet, make sure your content sustains the curiosity created by it. Also remember that it may not be possible to drum up a captivating, click-worthy title for every post.

4. Capitalise on the most happening news events

Readers tend to get behind blog posts surrounding buzzing news and major events they’re exposed to on news sites, in the papers and on their social media pages.

Oxfam GB timed their blog post on maternal health around the birth of Prince George, a hugely popular event that took the web by storm. The charity organisation used Facebook to draw attention to their blog post and delivered the important message that every baby’s arrival into the world is a cause for celebration.
Use Google Trends, BuzzFeed, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit to stay on the pulse of trending news items. Explore possible ways of relating news stories to your niche. Lessons, opinions, potential consequences : there are many ways in which you can use viral news to grab readers’ attention and encourage shares.

Finding blog post ideas

Viral Blog posts with useful content keep readers coming back for more. You must keep posting new content on questions people are asking, topics they’re searching for, and discussions they’re having online.

It continuously supply blog post ideas. You’re sure to find issues and topics that may have escaped your radar. Don’t worry about the spelling, grammar and style of forum posts, they are bound to be very casual. Focus on what people want to know about and the kind of problems to which they’re soliciting advice from fellow forum members.

Identification of forum members occurs through user names and some forums also allow guests to comment. Naturally, discussions are honest and open. This gives you a chance to really get into people’s minds and understand their needs, problems, interests, fears and lifestyles.

Quora

It is an authoritative and popular Q&A social media site that can help you zero in on winning blog post ideas. Its early adopters were technology pundits, internet marketing gurus and entrepreneurs. As such, the content quality and credibility of the site ranks highly.

You can type a keyword to see questions related to your topic. You can also test if potential blog topics may generate interest and response from readers by posting questions and seeing if they’re answered.

Yahoo! Answers

It is another community-powered Q&A site covering 25 categories. You will not find as high a number of intellectually curious and elite members on the site in comparison to Quora. There is, however, no dearth of opinions, musings and personal experiences, which can spark off interesting blog post ideas.

Parting tips

Here are a few more tips to make your content move and become viral posts.

Analyse blog comments for ideas
To increase views, link to past and future posts
Post to Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Submit to Reddit, Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon.

What about you? What content and headlines have you found to work? Look forward to your insights in the comments below.

Do You Make These Social Media Mistakes

Today 90% of businesses use social media, of those that do many make these social media mistakes which can be costly to the growth of your business or brand.

imagesBut, simply opening an account or sending out some tweets and liking the odd thing here and there is not enough to make social media platforms a viable and profitable part of a marketing strategy. By avoiding some basic mistakes, many businesses have the ability to increase ROI and create more opportunities from social media accounts.

 

Listed below are 14 social media mistakes to avoid.

1. Not having a strategy

Less than 20% of businesses say that their social media strategy is mature. Social media users are inundated with information and messages every second of the day. Businesses that don’t have a strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audience. Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, thinking through a brand’s social media voice, and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind.

Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the web, but receive little to no engagement.

2. Not integrating with other digital assets

Social media works best when integrated with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts on islands. Not only should the accounts be linked together through profiles, but they should also be directly tied to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns. Not connecting these accounts reduces the amount of reach each asset has separately.

3. Not using images

Images on twitter cause tweets to take up more space on the feed and help drive engagement. Tweets that include an image have 200 percent more engagement than tweets without images. While an image may not be appropriate for every tweet, businesses should include one whenever possible to help draw attention to their message.

4. Not providing content users demand

Many businesses decide to use Instagram as another way to push static ads that could be posted on any other platform. However, Instagram is best used when businesses give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on and give insight into the personality of the brand. Instead of posting a touched up photo destined for the pages of a magazine, businesses should use Instagram to send out a picture of the photo shoot, the models laughing, the chefs cooking, or the crew eating some pizza around a big table. Businesses can stay on message and keep a consistent digital voice while still allowing followers to feel personally connected, which in turn fosters more sharing and increased followers.

5. Not using a consistent voice

A business’ Twitter account should be used for business, not personal anecdotes. While unique, funny and chatty messages can make a Twitter account seem more “human,” getting into arguments, insulting other brands or using it to advance the unrelated interests of executives pushes the platform off-message and can create backlash. Brands shouldn’t have their Twitter account act and sound like a robot either. Repeatedly sending out the same messages can create ill will from consumers as well. The key is to find a happy middle ground where the brand’s voice is consistent, caring and human at the same time.

6. Not utilising images or using the wrong size image

Visual stimulation helps drive engagement on social networks. In fact, 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text according to Zabisco. On average, photos get 50 percent more impressions than any other post type on Facebook, while also gathering more likes and comments according to a study by Roost. To optimize images on Facebook, businesses should make sure to use the correct image size, which varies depending on where the image is going to be used. For the average post, that means uploading a 1,200 x 1,200 pixel image, while Facebook ads have different guidelines businesses should follow to drive the most potential engagement.

7. Not removing the URL from a post

When you put a link in a Facebook update, the social networking site automatically creates a clickable image that also works as a link. Because of this, businesses don’t need to include the URL in the post. While having the extra link doesn’t hurt anything, it does show to some users that the business doesn’t understand the capabilities and features of Facebook, so it’s best to delete the extra URL.

8. Not interacting with followers

Social media is meant to be interactive and consumers expect a certain amount of responsiveness from businesses on Facebook. Responding to posts, thanking consumers for commenting and addressing complaints helps consumers feel more connected to the brand. Businesses should have a strategy in place to respond to comments, both negative and positive, and how to use the social media platform as a part of a crisis management strategy. Not every comment needs a response, but responding to followers helps build camaraderie and trust between brands and consumers, which can affect future sales and word of mouth marketing.

9. Not using the platform at all

Google Plus may be the most underutilized social media platform today. It is directly integrated with Google search results, making profiles an integral part of any digital marketing or search engine optimization strategy.

10. Not utilising circles or communities

Circles on Google Plus allow businesses to segment followers into groups and address each segment separately with unique content. If circles aren’t utilized, each piece of content goes to every single follower. To increase conversion rates and engagement, instead of pushing content to everyone, businesses should create content that appeals to specific audiences and then post that content to the applicable circles and communities.

11. Not including descriptions or prices

Pinning images to Pinterest is simply not enough if businesses want to use the social media site to drive traffic and increase sales. Despite easy access, many businesses are forgoing the use of rich pins, which include a thorough description of the item and the price. Descriptions should use terms that people search for and be as descriptive as possible and including the price entices pinners to click the link. In fact, a study from Shopify found that rich pins with prices get 36 percent more likes and repins than regular pins.

12. Not using active images

Pinterest is all about visual stimulation, but many businesses are using static and uninspiring images to portray products. Instead, businesses should use colorful images that show the products in action. For example, instead of a picture of a sweater on a table, use an image of someone wearing the sweater doing something fun. Curalate looked at a half million Pinterest images and found that factors like color, white space and even the inclusion of faces make a difference in terms of engagement.

13. Not linking to product page

Businesses should strive to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to go from browsing Pinterest to buying a product. To do that, businesses should link directly to product pages instead of home pages or other non-related content. The more links and moves a consumer has to make before buying a product, the less likely they are to make a final purchase.

14. Not using hashtags effectively

imagesThere is no limit to the number of hashtags a business can attach to a post and for some that freedom has led to an overuse of this normally effective outreach tool. Hashtags allow people to filter through the millions of posts every day, and it’s very tempting for businesses to try and wedge their way into conversations where they don’t organically belong by using hashtags. But, just like traditional marketing outlets such as email, traditional mail and phone calls, spam can turn off consumers. Instead, businesses should only use hashtags that directly apply to the post or the company.

 

 

In Conclusion

Brands should strive to create their own social media voice, while also attempting to optimise their social media efforts by avoiding the common pitfalls listed above. Social media has the ability to be an effective and cost controlled method for reaching out to potential consumers, engaging with current fans and helping increase sales. Just like any other marketing strategy, social media efforts should be continually monitored and updated for full effect.

 

5 Blog Topic Tips

Never Run out of An Idea for A Blog Topic Again.

Below are five Simple Blog Topic Tips that Work

Developing new and exciting article topics, titles and inspiring headlines can be challenging for content marketers due to the overwhelming amount of existing online content.

To help content producers and bloggers create lists of article topics and create great headlines when they face writer’s block, I’ve listed five topic creation techniques you can use to make sure you never run out ideas for blog topics.

 

1. Use the blog topic generator

The Blog Topic Generator is a HubSpot tool which generates a list of article topics based on the keywords you input.

For example, if you fill in the fields using keywords SEO, content marketing, and social media, Blog Topic Generator will generate potential topics such as 10 Signs You Should Invest in SEO, What Will Content Marketing Be Like in 100 Years?, and 15 Best Blogs to Follow About Social Media.

Using Blog Topic Generator to develop a list of article topics saves you a tremendous amount of time because you’re getting a tool to do the preliminary brainstorming work.

2. Play the ‘Ad Strategy Game’

Here’s how the ad strategy game works:

Create a list of marketing practices such as content marketing, SEO, and social media marketing.
Create a list of industries such as accounting, manufacturing, and retail.
Select a marketing practice and industry.
Develop an article topic based on the marketing practice and industry. For example, if you select content marketing and retail, create articles such as 5 Content Marketing Secrets Retailers Should Know or How Content Marketing has Revolutionized Retail.

While the ad strategy game is similar to the function of Blog Topic Generator, it’s slightly different because it forces you to think outside the box using your own creative juice and develop article topics that the Blog Topic Generator can’t produce.

3. Visit your older articles

Visit your older blogs and develop new article topics based on them.

For example, if you’ve previously written articles such as 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2013 Every Entrepreneur Should be Aware Of or Unraveling 10 SEO Tips Digital Marketers Must Know in 2013, create new articles such as Entrepreneurs! Pay Attention to These 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2014! or 2014 SEO Secrets Revealed. This approach will help you develop articles quickly since you’re just updating new versions of older blogs.

As a bonus, developing new versions of previous articles gives you a chance to perform internal linking and boost search ranking. When you create a new version of an older article, you can link the new version to the old one, and vice versa, and pass SEO juice between the two. This tactic will help both pages improve their search ranking. To learn more about internal linking, read HubSpot’s Deep Dive Into Internal Linking for SEO guidebook.

4. Think about your clients’ pains

Come up with different client pains and address them in your articles.

For example, if you’re a social media marketing agency and your clients have trouble attracting customers over the summer because their target audiences are on vacation, you can write an article on how businesses can stay top-of-mind with prospects by using mobile Facebook ads. Customers who are on vacation go online more than ever these days to post holiday photos, stay connected with friends back home, or browse for local restaurants and events.

Thinking about your client’s pains and developing topics based on them will help you generate plenty of article topics because your customers, just like every other business, have numerous problems.

5. Think about your product benefits

Think about your product benefits and create articles on each benefit.

For example, if you offer social media marketing services, write an article about how social media is an effective marketing research tool.

Then take it further. Maximize the number of articles you can write for each benefit by showcasing the benefit from different angles. For instance, you can develop articles such as How Facebook Helped Me Discover 10 New Clients, 10 Effective Ways to Use Twitter for Marketing Research, and 18 Simple Ways to Generate Inbound Leads Using Instagram. These articles all focus on the central benefit: social media is a powerful marketing research tool.

Once you’ve developed a large list of topics, schedule them in a content calendar. A content calendar helps vary different topics so that you avoid writing articles about the same benefit too close together.
Wrapping it up

With the increased usage of content marketing by companies, content marketers are expected to develop new, enticing articles on the fly to compete for consumers’ attention. This can be mentally challenging because it’s difficult to constantly create new article topics.

By using the five techniques above, you can leverage free tools such as the Blog Topic Generator to develop new article topics easily and quickly, visit older blogs for inspiration, and think about your clients’ pains and create numerous articles to address their issues.

If you’ve other topic creation approaches you want to share, please leave them in the comments section below!

20 Twitter Facts and Statistics

What first attracted me to Twitter and social media was that you could achieve world wide marketing for free, called an organic reach. This enabled bloggers to build global brands. That is changing, here are some Twitter facts and statistics you should know about.

This year we are seeing the rapid emergence of pay to play, to reach your followers. So questions need to be addressed.

Is the social media free lunch over? That also leads to another question. Is social going the way of mass media where the only way to gain attention is to pull out the cheque book?

The answer is much more complex than that. It is dependent on many factors including your choice of social networks, tactics and tools.
Is Twitter’s organic reach going to disappear too? Facebook is pushing the comfort boundaries of organic reach.

For Twitter though the filtering is not an option as it is a news breaking social network. Applying filtering algorithms to it’s stream will take away its meaning for existence and continuing evolution. You only have to look at its latest hiring trends that are mass media and television centric to realise that Twitter is pushing towards the integration of television, social and mass media.

That focused strategy by Twitter management to make mass media and social work together is maybe one of the reasons that its latest quarter two results that exceeded every analysts expectations. The World Cup marketing coup by Twitter was evidence of that successful and ongoing evolution. I don’t expect Twitter’s organic reach to disappear as it has too much to lose if it takes the Facebook path.

Twitter facts and statistics

Below are some surprising facts and statistics that show Twitter is on the path to successfully reinventing itself.

1. There was a 24% increase in monthly active users over the last 4 quarters with the total now at 271 million.

2. Twitter has added 53 million users in the last 12 months

3. Twitter’s monthly mobile users now total 211 million, which is a gain of 29%

4. 81% of Twitter’s advertising revenue came from mobile ads

5. Increase in sales is up 124% from a year ago at $312 million compared to $139.3 million in second quarter of 2013

6. Twitter expects to have revenue of between $330 and $340 million in the third quarter of 2014

7. Twitter is growing the fastest in Asia Pacific with expectations it will increase its user base by more than

33% in 2014 according to eMarketer

8. Twitter penetration rates in Asia Pacific stand at 19.8% for Japan, 18.3% for for Indonesia and 12.2% in Australia

9. Twitter penetration rates in the USA stand at 27.9% of all social networks users, 19.2% of internet users

and 15.2% of the total population

10. In the USA the number of Adult Twitter users is estimated at 34.7 million

11. Timeline views reached 173 billion for the the second quarter of 2014

12. Twitter is currently valued at $27.3 billion which is 200 times forward earnings compared to Facebook at 39.4 times

13. During the World Cup there were 672 million tweets

14. Germany’s defeat of Argentina in the final generated 618,000 tweets per second

15. There were 32.1 million Tweets during the World Cup final

16. The previous record for an event was the Superbowl, and that received 24.9 million tweets

17. Twitter spends more than its competitors on stock based compensation as a percentage of revenue on its

employees at $158 million (50.29%) compared to Facebook (10.9%) and LinkedIn (14.3%)

18. Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views reached $1.60 in the second quarter of 2014 which is an

increase of 100% over the last year

19. Katy Perry has the most Twitter followers currently at over 55 million followed by Justin Bieber (53 million)

and Barack Obama (44 million)

20. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than those without

 

The Social Media Quick Step

Social media is more than just a fun way to engage and communicate with friends & family. It is an extremely powerful business marketing tool if strategically implemented correctly.

A common mistake businesses make is failing to develop a formal social media plan. Having a plan for social media is just as important as it is any marketing strategy. A savvy business owner does not buy traditional advertising without developing a plan, and the same applies with social media.

A social media marketing plan includes many of the same elements of a traditional marketing plan. Research into target markets and consumer purchasing is a must. Identifying brand strengths and weaknesses is also important.

Once you’ve conducted research, it is time to start outlining strategies and developing your plan.

 

 

Below is a social media marketing strategy plan.

1. Identify a social media manager

With the many tasks involved with running a successful business, social media can fall by the wayside. Before your business embarks on a social media campaign, it is a good practice to identify a person or multiple people who will be in charge of monitoring and posting content. It is important for the social media manager to not only ensure content is posted on a regular basis, but also monitor and respond to all comments and feedback. The assigned staff should be willing to monitor the company’s social pages 24/7, which can be easily accomplished through e-mail alerts and mobile apps.

2. Create branded pages

Once you have identified your manager, it’s time to create branded pages. First, determine which social media sites you want to use. Small businesses should consider Facebook, Twitter and Google+ at the very least. In some cases, other sites including LinkedIn, Pinterest and Houzz may also be appropriate. It is important for all of your social media to have the same look and feel as your company website. Facebook cover pages do have some flexibility and allow you to have some very specific elements can be incorporated for maximum impact:

Use colour and photos
Integrate your profile picture into your cover
Incorporate a call to action
Point out where people can call or contact you

After you create your social pages, be sure to include links on your website and invite all of your customers and friends to join your pages.

3. Develop a planning calendar

Now that your social sites are “live”, it is time to start developing a planning calendar. Ideally, this should be done on a monthly basis. Your planning calendar may outline the following: Number of posts per week,
Time the post will be made, you should vary your posting times, Identify content for each post.

A planning calendar lays the foundation and ensures you are maintaining your social sites and posting on a regular basis. Of course, you can also post other news, tips and ideas as they arise. The biggest pitfall businesses run into are they generally have a lot of excitement when they first establish their social media presence, but the momentum quickly fades. Having a monthly planning calendar will help keep your social media efforts moving forward.

4. Generate engaging content

Now that you have identified a manager, set up your pages, and developed a planning calendar, it is time to

start generating engaging content. Once you generate content, you can plug it into the dates/times you have reserved on your social media calendar to compose posts. As you consider content, think outside of your company and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What type of information is not only engaging, but is something followers would like to share? Creating sharable content is one of the quickest ways to pick up new followers.

Let’s take a look at some content ideas:

Weekly tips and advice
Post something humorous (in good taste)
Highlight and recognize your customers
Incorporate “social media” only offers
Be interactive – ask questions people will want to answer
Photos and videos
Coupons and contests
Product overviews
“How To” videos
Sales and special events

Remember, maintaining the attention of your followers will keep them engaged.

5. Monitor responses and track your results

It is imperative to monitor all comments and respond in a timely manner. Good or bad, all feedback needs to be addressed. If someone praises your product and/or service, thank them. If they have a complaint or concern, reach out to them. It is important to investigate the validity of the negative comment and address it immediately. Customer feedback can help you better understand reaction to your products and/or services. Also be sure to incorporate a good tracking system. This can really provide important insight into your customers and their behavior. Companies such as Global Response provide excellent outsourced social media analytics programs that can be easily incorporated and integrated into your social strategy.
6. Use results to better understand consumer behavior 

What better way to gauge customer demand than to ask them yourselves? Don’t be afraid to engage your followers and get their opinions. Doing so can help identify both areas of strength and weakness. As we discussed earlier, prompt response to comments is key to developing a relationship with your followers. Even big box stores work to maintain open and responsive communication with their followers: I find in my marketing practice, social media intimidates many small businesses. If you approach it like any other form of marketing and develop a plan, it can become a very useful and effective tool which complements your traditional marketing strategies.

Here are 9 things you may not know about social media.

1. A social media strategy, guidelines and a system for handling negative comments are the first steps to mastering social media.

2. Facebook’s algorithm means that only an estimated 10 per cent of your Company Page updates are seen by the people who like your page. This percentage has a better chance of increasing if you post regularly, and your fans ‘like’, ‘comment’ and ‘share’ your content. Or you can always fork out money to boost your posts, but this can get expensive.

3. Twitter’s Advanced Search lets you find tweets on a topic within a certain radius.

4. LinkedIn lets you keep information about the people in your network. You can add ‘how you met’, set ‘reminders’ like birthdays or follow up calls, and also add ‘notes’ and ‘tags’.

5. The three main formats of YouTube videos that you can create are ‘talking head’ (like on the news), ‘interviews’ (via Skype or in person) and ‘screenshare’ videos.

6. Google+ has made a change to its ‘authorship’ system. Your headshot no longer appears in the Google search results, but your name still does.

7. You can get super creative with Instagram. There are cool free apps (like Photo Editor) and paid apps (like WordSwag) that let you overlay words onto your pics.

8. Pinners (aka people on Pinterest) absolutely love infographics. Try publishing one yourself and see how many backlinks and social media shares you get. Ask your designer, or else try oDesk, Elance or Fiverr if you’ve got a tight budget.

9. Tools like Feedly, Buffer and Hootsuite make social media a breeze. Follow your favourite blogs with Feedly, schedule your social media updates with Buffer and monitor your accounts with Hootsuite.