Infinite Scroll
Everybody seems to be talking about Photon. Nobody really seemed to notice the Infinite Scroll feature added to the latest Jetpack. While it is slightly buggy, it’s pretty neat nevertheless. It’s also pretty easy to add support for in your own themes. I added it to this blog, just to see how. :)

So, here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Use Template Parts

Look at the HTML produced by your main Loop. The main one being the one that displays the main set of posts. This is usually in the index.php file.

Let’s say that HTML looks like this (overly simplified, of course):

<div id="content">
	<div class="post">...</div>
	<div class="post">...</div>
	<div class="post">...</div>
</div>

Each one of those posts is produced inside the loop, while the content container is outside it. Now let’s look at a simplified version of what The Loop might look like in PHP:

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
        <div id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>" <?php post_class(); ?>>
... all the post creation stuff here ...
        </div>
<?php endwhile; ?>

What we need to do is to separate that “post” from the Loop itself, in a way that the Infinite Scroll code can then produce the post independently. With Template Parts, this is actually rather easy. We just cut and paste all that post-producing code, and put it in a new “content.php” file. Then we change the Loop into this:

<?php 
while (have_posts()) : the_post();
	get_template_part( 'content', get_post_format() ); 
endwhile; 
?>

The get_template_part function will load that content.php file for us and include it there.

See a template is a file listed in the Template Hierarchy. But a template part is a file that contains only part of a template, and you can name them yourself. In this case, we named it “content”. It will become, therefore, content.php in the theme.

We also created a mini-hierarchy for ourselves while we were at it, using the Post Formats. What this means is that if I want to display, say, the “quote” format posts differently, I can copy content.php to content-quote.php, and make my changes in there. Then quotes will be displayed however I like in that new template part. And if content-quote.php doesn’t exist, then it falls back to using content.php, just like the normal fallbacks.

By separating out the Post from the surrounding loop that it’s in, then each post can be generated independently, sent over the wire via Javascript, and inserted into the page. Thus, Infinite Scroll can do the job.

Step 2: Enable Infinite Scroll

A theme can declare support for infinite scroll using add_theme_support(), like so:

add_theme_support( 'infinite-scroll', array(
	'container'    => 'content',
) );

The “container” is the ID of the element in the page that was our wrapper class. Let’s go back to that HTML again:

<div id="content">
	<div class="post">...</div>
	<div class="post">...</div>
	<div class="post">...</div>
</div>

See how the “id=content” is the big wrapper for our posts? Well, we tell the Infinite Scroll code that, it then uses it in the Javascript to know where to append the new posts to. Easy.

Step 3: Finishing touches

Simply speaking, that’s all there really is to it. But, there’s additional ways to customize it for your particular theme, to look better. Each of these is an option you can add to that add_theme_support call. Let’s go over them briefly:

Footer: You may have noticed when you enabled this and test it that you now have a sort of white footer overlay at the bottom of the page. This provides the page with a footer space that scrolls with the page, giving it a sort of finished look. Some people may like it, some not so much. We can use the footer option to adjust it.

First, using ‘footer’=>false will simply turn it off.

Alternatively, giving it the ID of some other element on the page will make it match that element’s width. For example, if you have HTML that looks like this:

<div id="page">
	<div id="content">
		<div class="post">...</div>
	</div>
	<div id="sidebar">
		<div>...</div>
	</div>
</div>

..then using ‘footer’=>’page’ would make it match the width of the “page” element, so as to be the proper width across the screen to fit better with the page.

Type: Infinite Scroll supports two methods of loading new posts. One method is called ‘scroll’, where new posts are loaded as the user reaches the bottom of the page. When they scroll, essentially. The other is called ‘click’, which adds in a new button towards the bottom of the posts, and when you click it, it loads more posts. You can force one type or the other using the ‘type’ option.

Footer Widgets: Some themes support having widget spaces in the footer. This has become fairly commonplace after Twenty Ten did it. Well, if you’re using the scroll type, then the widgets won’t be seen for a while on some blogs, since it will just load in more posts and keep pushing that footer further down. You could set the type to click to allow the footer to actually be seen.

The ‘footer_widgets’ option lets you specify a widget space that you registered with register_sidebar(). It will check that space to see if there’s any widgets in it. If there are, then it will automatically set type to “click” so that those widgets can be seen. If not, then it will let the type stay as “scroll”. Thus, it can choose the type intelligently, depending on whether widgets exist in the footer or not.

Wrapper: If you have some complex HTML for your posts, then you can give the ‘wrapper’ option a classname to use. It will wrap the returned posts in a div with that custom classname for you. This also allows you a way to perform styling tricks on those just-loaded posts.

Render: The ‘render’ option gives you an alternative to making a content template part. You can give this a function name, and that function will be called to render the posts instead. If you’re writing a theme, I suggest using the content template part instead. It’s easier and way more flexible.

Posts per page: By default, the Infinite Scroll module makes the page show 7 posts only, then more load when you scroll down (for the ‘scroll’ type). This is smaller than most people’s settings (default of which is 10), but it doesn’t matter since the whole point is to make it load new posts when you scroll down to them. If you happen to need a different number, you can use the ‘posts_per_page’ option to change the number.

There’s also a few things you can do with CSS.

When infinite scrolling is enabled, then body_class (which you should have been using in the body tag anyway) will get the “infinite-scroll” class added to it. If the type setting is ‘scroll’ instead of ‘click’, then the class “neverending” will be there too. Also, once the user gets to the last post, the javascript code adds an “infinity-end” class to the body, meaning that you can style what happens when the user gets to the end. Jetpack’s documentation page suggests hiding the normal footer until the user actually reaches it, using CSS like this:

/* Hides navigation links and site footer when infinite scroll is active */
.infinite-scroll #navigation,
.infinite-scroll.neverending #footer {
	display: none;
}
/* Shows the footer again in case all posts have been loaded */
.infinity-end.neverending #footer {
	display: block;
}

But obviously you can use it for more than just this functionality; because it’s on the body, the classes can be used to adjust anything on the page, and make them different with the infinite scroll than without it.

You can also style the “span.infinite-loader”. This is the spinning handle thing that shows up at the bottom of posts, before the new ones load in. Honestly, the loading is pretty quick and the default style looks pretty good to me. You can adjust the style of it if you like, perhaps to make it more centered on the container.

The div#infinite-handle will be the box that shows up to load more posts, if the type is set to “click”. You can use this to reposition the box, make it wider, change the color, etc.

Finally, if you are doing anything extremely tricky with Javascript, loading in new posts may be not handled precisely well by your existing code. The official support page methods a post-load event fired on document.body that occurs when the posts are loaded. You should refer to that documentation for more info on it, if needed.

Summary

On the whole, it’s a clever module to add to Jetpack. It still has some problems with specific sorts of content (some videos display very wonky sometimes), but I’m sure they’ll have that sorted out before too long. Adding support for it in your theme might also get you thinking about Template Parts and how to use them, and that’s definitely a good thing to be doing.

As promised in my post yesterday, today marks the day for a new release of my Video SEO plugin. This one brings support for yet another few plugins and some more: two new video hosting platforms: Wistia and Vippy.

Wistia support: embedding and SEO

Wistia logoThe support for Wistia that is added in this release was on the list from day one of this plugins release. It was one of the most highly requested video platforms to be supported, but there was an issue: there’s no official Wistia plugin other than a small thing that preserves the embed code from being mangled, even though Wistia itself does support oEmbed.

So I decided to go the extra mile and add oEmbed support for Wistia through the plugin, which, in itself is fairly easy. But then I found out that oEmbed in WordPress really has no way to filter the URL you’re sending to the video provider, and I needed to add variables to get the SEO version of the embed code. A lot of thinking later, I decided, heck, let’s try it with the normal embed code. And it worked, miraculously, Google found it and properly showed it as a video.

WordPress 3.5 adds a filter for the oEmbed URL, which means that when you use a URL in the editor, I can add parameters to that to further optimize, so we’ll do that further down the line. For now, this update makes it easy to embed Wistia videos, just drop the URL to the video on one line and it should embed the video properly, recognize it in Video SEO and do all the optimization for you. Gotta love simplicity.

Vippy support

Vippy logoAnother video platform that had been requested literally on day one of the plugin being released was Vippy, requested by my SEOktoberfest buddy Geir. His colleague from Metronet, well known WordPress developer Ronald Huereca, patched the plugin to automatically support Vippy when the Vippy WordPress plugin is being used.

Supported plugins & themes

This release adds support for two video embedding plugins, FlowPlayer and WP Video Lightbox. Which means we now support 12 video plugins. We now also support the embed codes for YouTube and Vimeo videos from the popular Weaver theme, even though I think it’s unwise to use those, because when you switch themes, your videos will no longer play.

What else do you want?

If you’re a user of the plugin: what else would you like to see? If you’re not a user yet but you do do video, what’s holding you back? Please let me know in the comments! Also, if you don’t have the plugin yet, buy it here.

Video SEO for Wistia & Vippy is a post by on Yoast - Tweaking Websites. A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don't want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

About 2 months ago I released my first premium plugin for WordPress, my Video SEO plugin. A lot of people have asked me about the how and why of the selling and I thought it’d be a good idea to outline that in a post.

Why sell premium WordPress plugins?

Of course we got some backlash for making a plugin available to the world and daring to charge for it. Unfortunately there are still people in the WordPress community who think everything should be free. What they don’t understand is that not everything can be free.

I’m the author of several highly popular WordPress plugins. My Google Analytics plugin is nearing 4 million downloads and my WordPress SEO plugin has over 2.5 million downloads. They’re both free. I’m not saying making those free plugins hasn’t made me any money, of course it has. There are some (though few) donations, there are people ordering website reviews, hiring me as a consultant etc. But we’d make more money if we didn’t release those plugins. That’s the cold and harsh reality. I’m not willing to stop releasing those plugins though. I’ve always said they’ll be free and I want to keep those that I’ve released for free, free.

Other plugins though, like the Video SEO plugin, require a bit more support and continuous updating to work with video networks, new embed codes, changes from Google, etc. When I was looking at what needed to be done for that, I knew that releasing it for free was not going to be a viable option. Which is why we made it premium. Some people think its price tag $89 is too much. Well, in that case, you’re not seeing the value yet and I probably need to explain better. Anyone who knows what this kind of search traffic is worth to their site knows that $89 is dirt cheap.

Making money directly == more time to invest in development

Getting paid to develop a plugin means you can invest more time. I don’t have to make my money doing consulting on the side now, working on those plugins is paying for itself. This means development on these plugins accelerates quite a bit. I’ve been able to add support for a nice list of video embedding plugins to the Video SEO plugin because of that and the next version, due tomorrow, will add two new video hosting providers, Wistia and Vippy.

I can honestly say that this has done very well for us. The plugin has made us a nice amount so far and users seem to be very happy. Reviews like this one from Bas and this tweet from Bryan make me very happy and proud:

You now know the why, on to the how:

How we sell premium WordPress plugins

When I decided I wanted to go premium, I needed an infrastructure to sell those plugins. I looked at ThemeForest / CodeCanyon and several other marketplaces. All of them wanted an extraordinary percentage of sales, considering how much extra sales I estimated they would add. Of course I do have a head start, being in this industry for a while and having been blogging on this blog for at least 7 consecutive years.

So, I decided to go self hosted. I tried several ecommerce plugins and while each had their benefits, they all failed to do well what I needed them to do best: deliver digital goods. All of them failed, until I found Easy Digital Downloads.

This plugin was built with the exact purpose of what I needed to do in mind, and built by a coder who actually knows how to write decent code, Pippin Williamson. He has a good model around it too, the core plugin is free and can be found on WordPress.org, while he has a growing set of extensions of which some are premium.

The first ones you’ll want to grab are for payment gateways. I’m not in the US, so I can’t use Stripe, unfortunately, which left me with PayPal (which is built-in and free) and Moneybookers. It’s not ideal, so I’m trying to figure out a better solution, if you have ideas, do let me know in the comments.

I use another one of these premium extensions, the software licensing one, to generate my license keys and several others to perform various other tasks and tricks, like a MailChimp extension to sign people up to my mailing list when they buy, an AWS S3 extension to host my files on Amazon, etc. etc.

Google Analytics eCommerce tracking for Easy Digital DownloadsIn fact, I even wrote my own, an extension to track sales in Google Analytics ecommerce tracking, which is now for sale for $15 on the EDD site. It has allowed me to optimize my sales process already, and if you start selling, I hope it’ll help you too. The fact that it was relatively easy to write this extension is a testament to how well written Easy Digital Downloads is.

Conclusion: use Easy Digital Downloads & sell!

If you’ve ever considered selling plugins or ebooks or other digital goods, this is the plugin you need and it’s written by the kind of guy you want to rely on. Pippin has been tremendously good in support and has given some very smart advice.

Also, I can definitely recommend selling plugins. It’s funny and a bit sad at the same time, but I realized the other day that while I get abusive, support demanding emails for my free plugins on a daily basis, each and every paid user that needed support has been great to work with. It’s as though when people pay for stuff, they respect that you have a job to do, whereas some free plugin users seem to not think about you at all. Loads of people have been telling me I should charge for my WordPress SEO plugin. I won’t, but it’s good to know that there are a lot of people willing to pay for my work.

We’re very close to releasing our second premium plugin, one that is geared towards Local SEO, make sure you sign up for the newsletter on the right or below this post to get news about that and the other cool stuff we have planned.

I would love to hear what you think of all this, let me know in the comments!

Why & how we sell premium WordPress plugins is a post by on Yoast - Tweaking Websites. A good WordPress blog needs good hosting, you don't want your blog to be slow, or, even worse, down, do you? Check out my thoughts on WordPress hosting!

reviewReviews are like flyers in your local travel agency – some have no impact on you whatsoever, but some make you want to visit a certain place so bad that you literally can’t wait to reserve a flight and a hotel.

Now, let me clarify one thing. Writing a review is not about convincing anyone to do anything. It’s about giving some honest opinions about a given product and listing its pros and cons. In the end, whatever you write should only provide new knowledge to your readers so they can have an easier time making their own decision.

That being said, reviews can have a tremendous impact on our product-buying decisions. Reviews create massive social proof. Let me give you an example, which coffee grinder are you more likely to buy: one that has no reviews, or one that has 20 reviews, 17 of which being positive and 3 negative?

If you’re like most people you will go for the second one despite the fact that 3 people consider it a bad product.

So at least this one thing’s clear – reviews are powerful. But what’s in it for us – online entrepreneurs, and for our online businesses?

Reviews and online businesses

Reviews are a great way of selling affiliate products. This is a practice well known in the affiliate space.

There are basically three stages of buying a product (at least for most people):

  1. Looking for a solution. This is where people start googling their problem and searching for possible solutions. An example: “how to learn guitar chords.” As a result of such a query one will probably stumble upon some guitar playing products, guides or books. That’s where they move to the second stage.
  2. Reviewing available solutions. This is where the reviews come into play. Once someone becomes interested in a given product, they will probably start searching for reviews and opinions to make sure that the product is indeed a quality one.
  3. Buying. In this last stage someone simply makes the final move and buys the product.

Now, a smart affiliate will completely take over the stages #2 and #3.

If someone is in the stage #2, they are at least considering spending some money. This is a very good moment to provide some insights about the product they’re considering and either lead them towards buying it or listing a range of alternatives.

If after reading your review the person becomes convinced to buy the product, you can capitalize on this by providing an affiliate link. This way, the person doesn’t have to leave your site to move to the stage #3 because it’s all in one place.

Disclaimer. I really don’t advise to write a fake review just to get someone to buy what you’re promoting. This is not the point of a review. People will see through your intentions immediately, and they will never ever believe another review of yours. In a word: be honest.

Okay, it’s time to talk business. Here are the steps and elements of writing a properly usable product review.

get the product

Get the product

Writing a review without actually having the product can be hard… And by hard I mean impossible.

When it comes to digital products, you can get a downloadable copy of the product (you don’t have to get the DVDs or whatever else the product consists of), but when it comes to physical products you absolutely have to lay your hands on them.

How are you going to review the new iPad without ever holding it in your hand, right?

There are a couple of ways to get a review copy of a product. First of all, you can plainly ask for it. Some companies realize the power of reviews so they tend to respond to such requests. Secondly, you can buy it through your own affiliate link, which can allow you to get it for even 75% off. Thirdly, you can borrow it from someone who already has it.

Be honest

I briefly mentioned this just a minute ago, but I want to stress it out here one more time.

The only good review is an honest review. Building credibility and trust takes time, and you can lose it all with just one fake review.

Always give your honest opinion. Here’s an interesting fact. People will not necessarily give up on buying the product just because you’ve listed some disadvantages of it. But they will surely notice that you’re being honest.

What? Why? For whom?

Essentially, people don’t care. However, if you do a good job at answering these three questions you can make them care.

What?

This is the question you should start your review with. Begin by saying what the product is. You can use some of the sales material provided by the product owner for this.

However, make sure to use a conversational and non-pitchy tone. Talk to your readers like you want to provide genuine information, not like you want to sell them something.

Why?

Why is the product useful? Why are you reviewing it? Why someone would consider using it? Essentially, every why that stumbles your mind will most likely also stumble the minds of your readers. If you leave those “whys” unanswered people will simply find another reviewer.

For whom?

Every product has a target group of customers. You need to say who those people are and why they should be particularly interested in the product.

If someone from the target group reads your review, they should feel that it’s been created specifically for them.

Besides, people outside of the target group will rarely end up buying the product anyway.

images

Include images/videos

Depending on the product you’re reviewing (if it’s a physical product, for example) you can use some images/photos or even videos of the product.

The best approach here is to take the photos yourself, or shoot the videos yourself. This is a big credibility boost and it shows your professionalism like nothing else.

Besides, a picture tells a thousand words, right? People simply like to see the product from different angles.

Additionally, once you have some photos or a video you can share them through social sites like Flickr or YouTube. This will give you additional visibility and probably new traffic to your review. (When you’re uploading the video or the photos make sure to provide a link to the review on your site.)

List the benefits/features

There’s been quite a fierce talk going on online regarding features, benefits and their use for online marketing.

Some people think that listing benefits is crucial for marketing success, others say that features are good enough because people can imagine the benefits on their own.

Essentially, a feature is something the product does. A benefit is something that feature means to the user/customer.

I, personally, think that benefits are a must when constructing any sort of marketing message.

For reviews, you should find a good combination of features and benefits and mention them in a visible part of your review. Don’t focus on benefits or features alone.

List the pros

Every product has those. If no, why are you even bothering to review the damn thing?

When describing the pros focus on what they mean to the customer (list the benefits). Give the reader a reason to be interested in the product. But be careful not to sound pitchy, like a marketer. Instead, go for the conversational and honest (again) tone.

List the cons

Listing cons is what makes your review real. Every product has cons, there’s no perfect stuff.

Make the cons real. If there really is something wrong with the product then you absolutely must mention this in your review. Don’t be afraid that you’re kissing your affiliate commission goodbye. People will only acknowledge you for being honest and treat your review seriously.

Present price points

Some products have different price points and different options a customer can choose.

List the pros and cons of each offer individually and say which one you consider bringing the most value.

Also, mention any bonuses, guarantees or other extra information that might be important to the customer.

Show some alternatives

This is optional, but it might be a good idea in some scenarios, especially if there are a lot of alternatives available. Listing them along with affiliate links can make you some additional money even if the reader decides not to buy the main product.

You don’t even have to describe each alternative. Just the name and a one-sentence description will be enough.

Your verdict

You should always share your final opinion. Tell whether the product is worth its price or not. Of course, this is just your personal opinion, but it’s always good to have one.

However, if you say that the product is not any good then you should reconsider using an affiliate link…

OR

You can simply not review anything you don’t consider valuable.

For me, crafting a good review is more science than art. Reviews are not about being catchy and telling a story, they are about describing the basic characteristics of a given product and telling whether you find it worth its price or not.

What’s your take here? Have you stumbled upon any reviews lately that you knew were fake right away?

Related Posts:


How to Write a Properly Usable Review | newInternetOrder.com

No, this headline is not just a trick to get you to pay attention. I’m really going to point out some douchebag marketing techniques.

Although this isn’t about things you should do yourself. On the contrary, it’s a list of practices you should avoid at all times.

And I know that most of them actually work, as in they generate sales for whoever uses them, but in my opinion, pissing off 98% of your audience is not a viable business model, no matter how much money you can make.

However, some douchebags don’t care about things like customer backlash, and that’s why we see so many of those so-called marketing tricks being used all over the internet.

For instance, when was the last time you saw a lame “as seen on” block? Or a video that was supposed to go down soon? Or some fake testimonials? The internet is full of it.

Feel free to check out my guest post at Respectfully Disobedient to get the full list of douchebag practices, along with a word on why you shouldn’t use them yourself:

Please, Let The Day Come When Most “Online Selling Rules” Die

Do you know of any other “interesting” marketing tricks like the ones described in the post? What’s your opinion on the topic?

Related Posts:


Douchebag Guide to Online Marketing | newInternetOrder.com

I know that I sound just like the rest of the internet right now, but I’m going to say this anyway: SEO is vitally important for your WordPress site’s existence. No matter if you’re a blogger, an online business owner, or the person in charge of a corporate WordPress site.

Even despite all the recent algorithm updates like the Penguin and other ridiculously sounding animal names, SEO is still your best call for attracting new visitors and building your site’s popularity.

WordPress gives us quite a lot of unique optimization features, especially if we add a couple of plugins to the mix. We can set the permalink structure, create sitemaps, tune the indexation settings, and so on.

But no matter what exact actions we take, we need to keep the big picture in mind, and make sure that we’re not doing something just for the sake of it. To find out what I’m on about feel free to check out my guest post at ProBlogger:

Essential SEO Settings for Every New WordPress Blog

I have one more question. What’s your opinion on the Penguin update and the carnage it has caused in the blogosphere, and on the internet in general?

Related Posts:


WordPress vs. SEO – Getting It Right! | newInternetOrder.com

hateHave you ever seen a TV ad of a mobile network that you’re already a customer of, in which they’re announcing that everyone who signs up for their services will receive a new iPhone for $10 (or something similar)?

So you call them up, say that you’ve been a customer for 5 years now and that you want a $10 iPhone too. And to let you know how important you are they say something like “no no, this offer is for new customers only.” What you want to say in such a moment is probably something like “screw you then, I’m leaving!” (Remember, don’t curse at anyone … who didn’t have it coming, it’s rude.)

Anyway, that’s essentially the problem. Too many businesses (online and offline) tend to focus only on getting new customers and forget about taking care of the existing ones.

“That’s not me” – you might be thinking – “I’m always providing good value to my folks.” But are you, really? How’s that email list of yours, for example? Do you offer a shiny new gift just for joining it and then keep attacking your subscribers with constant promotion and very little free content? How’s that taking care of anybody?

An extreme scenario, I know. But if you’ve been on the internet for a while I’m sure you’ve come across many email lists (mostly in the internet marketing world) that try to convince you to join them by offering a ridiculous amount of free stuff only to send absolutely no pure-information content after day one… only sales pitches and affiliate emails that haven’t even been edited.

The mobile network case and the internet marketing list case are very similar. They are both examples of “new customers only marketing.” An approach where a business owner focuses only on getting new customers and completely forgets about the folks who have already bought something.

This approach is not the best possible idea. The most obvious result of such a behavior is a much lower stick rate, which means that after a very short period of time people decide that they no longer want to be your customers and leave as soon as they have the chance. In the end, the lifetime value of a customer decreases.

Considering that the most expensive part of marketing is getting a new customer, while keeping an existing one tends to be a couple of times cheaper, focusing your efforts only on new customers is a highly uneconomical practice.

And it doesn’t matter whether we’re talking niche e-commerce stores, email newsletter lists or social media consulting. Same rules apply. Treating your existing customers right can go a long way.

Everybody knows that it’s much easier to sell something to an existing customer than to a freshly obtained lead.

Like for example, if you have an uncle who has been a Ford customer for half of his life, do you think that it will be easy to convince him to buy a Renault instead? Well, it is possible but not likely if the nearest Ford dealership offers him a good deal on buying back his old model and replacing it with a new one for a highly discounted price.

So let’s take it the other way around: how to make your existing customers love you and leave only if they’re dead?

Switching to existing customers focused marketing

There’s only one main rule of this existing customers focused marketing: letting them know you care.

You can do it by offering something valuable only to your existing customers, for example. Or by sharing a piece of advice they wouldn’t have gotten if they hadn’t been on your email list. Or simply by conducting a short survey (more on that below) and providing a product they need/want… I’m sure you have many ideas of your own.

Let’s talk benefits – what existing customers focused marketing can do for you.

1. You can only guess what new customers want, you can always ask what your existing customers want

When you’re trying to get some new customers it’s always a guessing game. You can do market research, ask a few people, brainstorm a little, perform keyword research, but in the end, you have to go with your gut feeling about what a well-received product is probably going to be. And of course… you will get this wrong more often than you think.

When you’re working with your existing customer base, you can do something as simple as a survey to find out what they want, or what problems they need taken care of. If they’re happy with your previous products/services, they will be keen to respond.

2. Zero-cost marketing

Showing an offer to a new customer costs money. It doesn’t matter if you’re investing in PPC, spending time on improving SEO, or buying 30-second spots on TV. Showing an offer to an existing customer costs no money – you can simply send them an email.

3. Increasing the lifetime value of a customer

When you’re focusing on your existing customers, it means that you’re creating new offers, content and opportunities just for them. Hoping that some of these offers will actually convert is not a reckless thing to do… So in the end, each customer will bring you more money.

4. Increasing the stick rate

If a customer sees that you actually care and constantly provide them with tailor-made content, advice and the right offers at the right time, they are more likely to stick around to find out what else you have in store. Even if one of your offers backfires and doesn’t get a desired response, people won’t leave you because they know that despite this one slip-up you’ve been sharing great stuff so far.

5. Better bond with your customers

What do you call someone who always has a good advice, always has something encouraging to say, is always there to help you to solve your problems? … That’s a friend.

6. More predictable income

Existing customers are much easier to predict. If you know what the average lifetime value of a customer is, and what the average stick rate is, you can pretty much calculate what your next month’s income will be.

You can do that also when it comes to new customers, but this group is a lot more prone to any changes in the market sphere. For example, they might just not show up if a new competitor hits the market with a far better offer. Existing customers are not that eager to leave you just because there’s a new guy on the block.

7. Hitting two birds with one stone

If you’re treating your existing customers right, you can use this fact to attract new ones as well. That’s the best part – you can share your offer with anybody. What’s more, the word of mouth works a lot better too. Happy customers are more likely to recommend you to their friends and followers.

To summarize this post (and to keep it 100% honest) I don’t consider the new customers only marketing an entirely bad thing. I’m just saying that forgetting about the folks you’ve already convinced to buy from you is a SERIOUSLY bad thing. And it will start to bring you down soon (there’s only so many new customers out there).

If you were to remember just one thing from this post …

Your existing customers should never get a worse deal than your new customers. (Like the $10 iPhone example.)

What’s your opinion? Do you have any examples of businesses that get this right and treat their customers like they should be treating them?

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How to Make Your Existing Customers Hate You for Getting This One Thing Wrong | newInternetOrder.com

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There’s so much “good blogging” advice on the internet that one day I decided to take a different approach and write something about how to aim for the bottom…

Of course, training bad bloggers was never my goal, but the idea was to point people’s attention to some common mistakes through a “reverse tutorial.”

Did it work? Well, I don’t know … and there’s probably no actual way of finding this out. But at least it was entertaining (I hope so).

Anyway, check for yourself. All this and more in my guest post at ProBlogger:

13 Steps to Being the Worst Blogger on the Planet

So how many of these steps are you guilty of taking? I know that there’s at least a couple on me.

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Who Else Wants to Be the Worst Blogger on the Planet? | newInternetOrder.com

hireToday’s post is about freelancing. But this time we’re not talking about being a freelancer. We’re talking about hiring a freelancer. Would it be a worthwhile investment for your business?

Enter Romel Curambao of broadbandexpert.com.

With the emergence of freelancers nowadays, businesses have made some drastic changes in their workforce lineup. Some companies are no longer hiring many employees because of these freelancers who are competent enough to provide the services they needed. These freelancers have indeed created a niche for themselves and many businesses have certainly maximized their talents.

From the looks of it, hiring a freelance expert is more of an advantage for the company. Many companies have already tried this and they have succeeded with it. So if you’re looking for an effective member of the company and thought of employing a freelancer, you will surely enjoy the following advantages of doing so.

Lower expenses

Sometimes you may have fewer projects and maintaining many employees is very costly whereas with just one freelancer, your expenses will be lessened. Also, the rate of freelance experts is lesser in other geographic locations so you can really afford to hire their services. Furthermore, you are not obliged to provide health insurance, life insurance, social security, tax, or other benefits that a regular office employee receives. Well, at times you may give performance bonus whenever targets are achieved but that’s the only other cost you will shoulder aside from the regular salary. This is really cost effective, isn’t it?

Competence

With freelancers around, you are assured that the operation will be smooth sailing because they are highly skilled and very much capable to do their part in the company. Of course, these freelance experts have undertaken trainings that enabled them to be more effective in their chosen field of expertise. This means that you don’t have to train them though they needed minor orientations to make them fully fit for the job.

Commitment to work

Freelancers are certainly good addition to the company for they are committed to their job. Their desire to work is very intense knowing that their income depends solely on their performance; meaning income is not guaranteed. If they will not work, they will have no income. So you are assured that these freelance experts will really work hard which is definitely good for your company.

Out of the box thinking

Usually freelance experts have many ideas to contribute to the company. Because of the nature of their job, their being freelancer and their experience in doing so has taught them to be more rational, innovative, analytical, and easier to welcome change whenever there are developments which are definitely good signs of an excellent working attitude. This will greatly contribute to the business’ success.

Flexible contract

Freelance experts may work for short term, long term, temporary or permanent depending on your needs. As agreed upon by both parties, freelancers may just work on a per project basis and extension depends on you based on their performance. If you are just starting and still struggling to have a place in the business world, well hiring a freelance expert may be a good start for you because you are guaranteed quality service at a lesser cost.

If you will hire a freelance expert to be part of your strong workforce, you are on the right track. Aside from the expenses you save, you are definitely guaranteed of quality service, less pressure, but definitely more output. But this will only be realized if you can find the right freelancer available over the web that can effectively deliver the right services you needed.

Romel Curambao is very passionate with his writings. He really sees to it that his articles have a deep impact to his readers. A dedicated and devoted writer, Romel delivers flawlessly regarding concerns on internet options. He’s connected with BROADBAND EXPERT wherein most information regarding the topic can be found.

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Advantages of Hiring Freelance Experts | newInternetOrder.com

Some time ago I revealed my personal secret of how I’m able to write whenever I want (more or less) without worrying about things like writer’s block.

To be honest, I don’t remember the last time when I was hit with this whole writer’s block. And it’s not that I’m particularly talented or anything. I’m just well prepared.

There are many things I have set in place to help me work productively throughout the day. But there’s one particular thing that’s simply essential to my blogging existence, so to speak. And that is my bank of ideas.

Bank of ideas sounds fancy, I know, but it’s actually just a mind map containing all my post ideas – the things I want to write about.

How does this help me to fight writer’s block? In many cases, the most difficult part of writing is getting the main idea for the post itself. Once you have a clear vision of what topic you want to cover, writing becomes just a formality.

However, ideas don’t grow on trees like that, so you have to have your own way of noticing them and then writing them down somewhere. This whole concept is what I explain in detail in my guest post at SmartBloggerz:

Writer’s Block Still Breathing? Let’s Mortal-Kombat Him Once and For All!

What is your main way of fighting writer’s block? Do you have a unique approach at it you’d like to share?

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How to Build Your Bank of Ideas and KILL Writer’s Block Once and for All | newInternetOrder.com