As your blog gets bigger and attracts a larger audience, content writing becomes content planning and content managing. On larger blogs, a team of authors usually works together. Blogs are written by individual authors, but these authors still have to work together. Otherwise, a blog with the exact same topic could appear twice. Or, authors could use a totally different style and tone of voice. In this post, we will give some tips on how to manage the content of a growing blog.

Managing a growing blog: content planning

Read more: ‘How to manage the structure of a growing blog’ »

Content planning

If your blog and your audience are growing and you’re getting more serious about blogging, you should make a plan for your content. If you have a personal blog, planning your content will be fairly easy.

Frequency

You should blog regularly. It’s hard to give exact numbers. For a company blog, a daily post will be totally acceptable. For a personal blog this probably won’t be doable at all. Try to establish some kind of frequency and stick to it. Your readers will appreciate a reliable schedule. Once you know you can commit to your chosen schedule, make sure to communicate it to your audience somehow, so they know what they can expect.

Variation

If you often write about similar topics, make sure to mix things up a little. Don’t write articles about nearly identical topics one after the other. Of course you can still write blog series, but try to vary between topics as much as possible. You could also make variations in the form of your content. A video post for example really spices things up!

News & current events

When planning content, you should take a look at your own calendar as well! Are there any major events coming up which are worth mentioning in your blog post? Make sure to mix these ‘current-events posts’ with the other posts you have lined up.

Style guide

If your blog is growing and you are working with multiple authors, composing a style guide for your blog is a great way to make sure everyone writes and spells in the same way. In a style guide you can agree to write words in a certain way. Of course, we all should write proper English, but use of capitals and brand names could differ. As all authors write for the same blog, it will create more unity if everyone spells the important words in the same way.

In the style guide you could also agree on the length of posts, the use of paragraphs and headings, and the use of images. It should be a document in which you write down all the things you want the blogs to be similar in. If you work with an occasional guest blogger, a style guide could be a great document to help them write a post that fits the style of your blog as well.

Editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is really necessary if you’re working with multiple authors on a blog with frequent posts. You could make an excel sheet, or write down the posts in your own calendar, but you definitely should make some sort of planning. Decide amongst each other who writes which posts. These decisions are most easily made in some kind of meeting in which all authors will sit down together. Decide what topics you want to address and who will write about them.

Conclusion

A growing blog will ask for more content planning, especially when blogging with multiple authors. It’s important to come to an agreement about style, the topics to write about, and the number of blog posts to write. As long as authors keep on working and talking together, a blog with multiple authors can be a great success and make your blog even grow further!

Keep reading: ‘Managing a growing blog: technical SEO’ »

Before you start making any improvements on your website (SEO, UX or otherwise), you should ask yourself: what’s the mission of my website? Why should people visit my website, read my posts or buy my stuff? What’s the purpose of my website? You should be able to answer these questions in a heartbeat. In this post I’ll explain the importance of having a clear mission. Also, I’ll stress the importance of communicating your mission to your audience.

think about the mission of your website

What is a mission?

The mission of your website consists of the ideas you have about your website and your company. Every website owner has certain expectations of his visitors. You want them to read your posts, or to buy your products. Perhaps you want to inform or entertain your readers or to improve their lives with your awesome products.

So, before you start making any improvements to your website you’ll have to think about your mission. Do not think too lightly of this. It’s really hard to have (and keep) clearly in mind what it is you want to do. In our site reviews, this actually is one of the main problems websites seem to have. Lots of websites just do not make clear what it is they offer and what makes their offer so special.

Read more: ‘Focus on clarity first’ »

How to formulate the mission of your website

Take the time and literally write down your mission of your website on a piece of paper. A computer or an iPad will do as well of course. You have to come up with one mission, one message to send to your audience. Once that message is clear to you, you’ll be able to communicate it much better to your audience!

To help you formulate the mission of your website, we’ve made a list of questions you should be able to answer:

  • What can people do with the products or information you’re offering on your website?
  • What makes your products or ideas unique?
  • How will your products/services enhance your clients’ lives?
  • Why should people buy the products/services on your website and not on another (e.g. cheaper or better known) website? Or why should people read your information and take your advice instead of information on another website?
  • What’s the reason you’re offering these products/services or information, besides making money?

Ways to make your mission clear to your audience

Once your mission is clear, you can check whether or not your mission is reflected on your website. Focus on your homepage and landing pages first, as these are the pages where your visitors enter your website. Be aware you literally just have seconds to get your most important point across. People’s attention span is really short, particularly online. So you have to make sure you tell all the important stuff first, and tell it quickly.

There are a few ways to make sure your mission and purpose are instantly clear to your audience. You should 1. write decent introductory content, 2. make sure your headlines and taglines are clear and 3. insert nice, suitable pictures.

1 Introductory content

Your homepage and your landing pages should include a clear introduction. In this introduction you explain the mission of your website. What is your website about? What do you ‘sell’? Make sure this text is really clear and adapt the wording to the language use of your audience. This text should not be too long (one or two paragraphs at the most)!

2 Headline and taglines

Another way to communicate your mission to your audience is to make good use of your headline and tagline. The headline is the title of a page or post. A tagline is a small amount of text which serves to clarify a thought. It could be the explanation of the headline, or a description of your brand or company.

Make sure that headlines and taglines clearly communicate the core goal of your product. This is most easily done by creating a headline for your landing page that attracts your visitors’ attention. Below that could be a tagline that really brings home the message of your headline.

If possible, try to write your headlines in an action-oriented way. You can do this by using verbs and sentences that imply an action for the visitor. For instance, we could have a headline saying: ‘Keep your site optimized with the Yoast SEO Premium plugin!’. This shows people one of the core values of the plugin, and making it active will motivate a lot more people to actually try it.

Read more: ‘About headlines and taglines’ »

3 A picture is worth a thousand words

A third way to make sure your mission is clear to your audience is to make good use of pictures. For most products, it is easy to find pictures that reflect the purpose of your website. Think about what you want to tell your audience, keep your mission in mind, while choosing pictures.
If you are selling candy, make sure to put pictures of tasty candy on your homepage. If you are selling cruises to Hawaii, you could definitely take some great shots of a tropical island and a nice cruise ship. For those of you that sell things like consultancy or plugins for that matter, it is more difficult to find suitable pictures. If you offer information on your website, search for a picture that reflects the information you are offering.

Keep reading: ‘Optimizing images for SEO’ »

Conclusion

Businesses are born of ideas, some of which are great, some are not. But they’re all born out of the idea that what you have to offer is special, and adds something to the market. That is your mission! And that mission, that advantage, that promise, should be well reflected on your website!

Email marketing for your online shopWhile writing last week’s post about email marketing, I decided to also write a post about email marketing for ecommerce shops. This post will go into how you can leverage email in your ecommerce business to gain new, lost or recurring clients.

Every subscriber counts

It’s much easier for people to subscribe to your newsletter than it is to actually spend money and buy something at your online shop. So you’re probably getting a lot more newsletter subscriptions than you are getting sales. This is fine, of course, because you’re still able to reach out to these people. That’s why every subscriber counts: they’re all special and valuable to your business.

A few days ago I got this email from a Dutch webshop:

Newsletter email marketing for online shop

Email from Dutch webshop fonq.nl stating VIP discounts

They’re offering special “Exclusive VIP discounts” in this email. Basically they’re offering a discount to everyone, but as a newsletter subscriber you get ‘early access’ to those discounts. I’m not sure how legitimate this actually is, as I think the discount was available to everyone from the start. However, it is a nice idea to give your newsletter subscribers just that little edge.

You can even think about giving your newsletter subscribers a discount, but our preference is to leave perks such as this for your loyal customers. More on that later in this post.

Recovery

One great way to use emails in your ecommerce business  is by sending recovery emails. Recovery emails are emails that are sent when someone has abandoned their cart without finishing the transaction. You could email them reminding them there’s still something in their cart and they’re welcome to complete the purchase. Usually there’s a time limit to this, so do mention this. This will actually also create urgency, which can actually help. Some businesses even choose to give discounts after a cart is abandoned. We personally don’t like to use discounts this way, as it seems unfair to the rest of our customers. However, it does seem to work, so I’m just putting it out there!

bol com recovery email - email marketing for online shop

Email from Dutch webshop bol.com telling me I’ve left something in their shopping cart

It can be as simple as this. They’ve reminded me I’ve left something in the shopping cart. And just to make it a bit less pushy, they also tell me: “Maybe you wanted to save this item for another visit to our site. If that’s the case, please put it on your wish list and be sure it’s saved.” So apart from just telling you to go buy the stuff you’ve left, they also inform you on a helpful functionality. That makes it a lot less intrusive and you’re actually more likely to go to their site. And whether you end up buying that exact product; it got you back on their website.

Retention

Email is a great way to increase your customers’ retention. What this means is that it’ll increase the amount of customers that purchase repeatedly, instead of just once. So this would help make your clients recurring clients. By emailing your customers on a regular basis, your brand will stay top of mind and they’ll return more quickly to buy something again. Of course your emails would have to be interesting, enticing and engaging for this to really work:

Amazon retention email - Email marketing for online shop

Email from German Amazon asking to review the product you recently bought

Now as with a lot of things on Amazon, this is a stroke of genius. It gives you a good reason to go back to their site, without sounding salesy at all. You end up on their website and before you know it there’s another dvd, eBook or iPhone 6 in your cart.

Related products

There’s another way to get your customers back to your website and maybe ordering some things. My colleague Michiel got an email confirming his order at Wehkamp.nl. The confirmation email included this:

Related products in email marketing for online shop

Related products in email

He had ordered sweaters from this webshop and wehkamp.nl was smart enough to show related products in the confirmation email. The only thing that I’m thinking is that showing sweaters when you’ve just bought 3 sweaters might not be the best product group. T-shirts or maybe some pairs of pants would make more sense. But then again, it could just be me and other people might like 10 new sweaters.

Admittedly, this is a bit more aggressive than the Amazon example, but cross-selling items in your confirmation emails has been found to increase your transaction rates by 20%. The aggressiveness also comes down to where you place these related items. Wehkamp showed these related items quite close to the bottom of the email, so that makes it a bit less agressive. However, I can image that this also means less people will be enticed to buy something else. This comes down to what works best for your business and what you feel comfortable with.

Reward your loyal customers

A few months back I wrote a post about creating loyal customers. Email is a good tool to give something extra to your loyal customers. You can even make different segments of loyal customers and email these groups accordingly. This can start from people who bought just one product to people who have bought a multitude of items in your online shop.

By giving these customers something extra, you’re expressing your gratitude that they’re you customers. And, of course, in return you’ll get another nice revenue boost from your most loyal customers.

How’s your email marketing?

I’m really curious as to whether I bored you out of your skull or you’ve actually learned something. Do you think you’re doing a good job at your email marketing, or did this post just wake you up? Let me know in the comments!

This post first appeared as Email marketing for your online shop on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

The basics of email marketingLast year, Michiel has written a few posts about social media marketing and how you (and we) could improve on it. This gave me the idea to highlight one of the marketing techniques that’s working out pretty well for us: email marketing.

Today’s post will outline why you should start with email marketing, if you’re not doing it already, and how to make sure you’re getting the biggest impact from your emails.

What is email marketing?

Email marketing comes in many shapes and forms. However, it’s basically this: every email you send to (possible) customers with the hopes of gaining or continuing their business. Most of the times, this comes down to newsletter marketing. You’re trying to sell your products or services through your daily/weekly/monthly newsletter.

However, for a lot of webshops, that’s not all the email marketing there is to it. At Yoast, we also send out emails when a customer’s license is about to expire, for example. And quite often, our email support is also a place where marketing happens.

Why you should be doing email marketing

For those of you not doing anything in email marketing yet, this one’s for you:

Email Marketing Revenue

Email marketing revenue by source

These are the stats for this year so far. As you can see, 23.1% of this year’s revenue has come from either email or newsletter. The only portion that’s bigger is the organic portion, which means traffic from search engines.

To my mind, this should be more than enough to convince you to start doing email marketing. But if you feel it’s not, here’s some more to convince you:

Content SEO eBook Revenue - Email Marketing

Content SEO eBook sales

That’s the revenue for our new Content SEO eBook. And guess when we released it? That’s right, on February 3rd. We announced the release on Facebook, Twitter, our own website and in our newsletter. So what worked best? Since the release of that eBook, over 75% of the revenue of this eBook has come from our newsletters.

And to top it off: the Return on Investment (ROI) was over 22,000%, since we earned back over 221 times what we invested. This is the total ROI, since we sold a lot more than just our second eBook from those two newsletters.

So email really is a great marketing tool. It keeps your brand on the minds of your (potential) customers. On top of that, it makes sure your new product launches won’t go unnoticed; the release notice is actually sent to a whole bunch of people that have already expressed interest in your business.

How to do email marketing

Now that you’re convinced you need to be doing something with this email marketing thing, let me tell you how I think you should go about it. So I’ll try taking a ‘start-to-finish’ approach.

Building your email list

The first and foremost thing to building your email list is to make it as easy as possible to sign up. And as easy as possible means, for example, cutting down on the signup form fields:

newsletter signup example - email marketing

Real-life newsletter signup example

This is a real live example we’ve encountered in our Website Reviews a while back. This is simply not how you do this. You should ask for just the most necessary, which is just the email address to be honest. You really do not need anything else. On yoast.com we ask for just an email address and we’re getting over a 1000 new subscribers every week.

Next to keeping it simple, it also helps showing your signup form to people when they’re engaged on your website. We’ve done this by using a little box that slides up as the user scrolls past a threshold. If you’re using WordPress, there’s an awesome plugin by our friend Danny called Scroll Triggered Boxes that’ll make this easy as pie to set up. Other engaged visitors are people who actually buy your products, so be sure to have a signup in your checkout as well!

Of course there are a lot of other things you could try, such as a HelloBar, a static signup in your sidebar, a Twitter campaign for your email list. I do have to say though, the Twitter campaign wasn’t successful at all in our case. However, we try to keep it all as non-obtrusive as possible on yoast.com. We don’t want people to get annoyed by our signup forms, even though that would probably get us an even higher success rate.

Think about deliverability

Once your email list starts growing, you should really start thinking about deliverability. What I mean by this is the percentage of emails that are actually getting to the people in your email list. Simply sending your newsletter from your WordPress admin won’t cut it, most of the time. You have a good chance your emails are actually ending up in people’s spam folders. And that’s a real shame, because people won’t even know you sent an email in the first place!

If you’re using a service such as MailChimp it’s easy enough to increase your deliverability. MailChimp has a simple checkbox to authenticate your campaign. There are four types of authentication and checking this box in MailChimp will enable all four of them by default. So my advice is to really start using an email service such as this. It doesn’t have to be MailChimp, as long as you’re sure to check for such deliverability options.

Keep your email’s content engaging

One of the most important things to do is to keep your email’s content engaging. People should want to read your newsletters or other emails. This comes down to keeping a healthy balance between promotional and informational content. This can be a fine line to walk, but it’s well worth the effort. Let me give you some tips how you can keep your readers engaged:

  • Be personal; keeping a personal tone tends to resonate more with your following and seems to increase click ratios as well;
  • Interact with your following; you can do this by asking for feedback, give them special discounts or saying thanks to them (which can be combined with discounts);
  • Make announcements; whether this is about a new product or service, or about something noteworthy within your line of work (f.i. we usually highlight any big Google changes in our newsletter), keeping your following up to date and sharing news worthy items really helps increase their engagement;
  • Share your knowledge; I feel this is probably the most important one. Sharing your knowledge makes for worthwhile emails for your following, but it also shows them you know what you’re doing. So not only do they get more informed, their trust in your brand will increase.

Make your emails mobile friendly

Mobile is really growing in the email market, with almost 50% of all newsletters being opened on mobile. So you should really make sure your newsletter is as mobile friendly as possible. A lot of the mailing services offer default templates that are mobile friendly and will scale down nicely. If you don’t want to spend too much time or money on your newsletter at first, this is a good option.

Another thing to take into account with mobile emails, is your subject line. Since mobile screens are obviously not as wide as desktop screens, your subject lines might not actually fit the screen. This might not be a problem at all, but it’s a good one to keep in mind. It could be a good idea to test this.

A/B test your emails

Since every company is different and therefore your clients probably differ a lot from ours, or at least they expect something different, it’s important to test. Don’t just assume that what’s been working for others will work for you.

All of the mailing services I’ve checked out offer A/B testing on the subject. And that’s a great way to test which subject line gives you the highest open rate. That’s a great first step for optimization. However, not a lot of them offer A/B testing on the content (body) of an email. And that’s obviously the best way to know how to optimize your text for a higher click rate.

While you’re at it, it’s probably also a good idea to test how often you should ideally be sending emails to your customers. This is again a fine line to walk, since you’re in danger of sending it too often for at least a portion of your following. And while we’re talking timing, also think about the time you’re sending out your emails!

Tag your email links

Some mailing services offer this as well, but we still tag the links in our emails by hand, because we want to do it a particular way: custom campaigns. As I also explained in that post, custom campaigns are a way to “tag” your links so you can easily find them in your Google Analytics. This way you know exactly what traffic and sales came from your newsletters. This is also the way I could tell you our ROI on our newsletters earlier in this post.

To conclude

Next week I’ll be doing a post on email marketing for ecommerce websites. This will go into creating repeating customers and regaining lost customers using email.

For now, this is it! What do you think? Are you missing anything in here you think is really important? Let me know in the comments!

This post first appeared as The basics of email marketing on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

13-featured

Confidence When Starting an Online Business

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Getting started in the online was a bit tough for me.

It was 2009 or so, and all of my friends already had nice jobs and paychecks, while I was still sitting in my mom’s apartment, trying to figure things out on my own and find my place among my online mentors.

I carefully analyzed every piece of online business advice I could find and dived into almost every “next big thing” tactic that the gurus were trying to sell.

My results? Few and far between. I was making next to nothing, and if it hadn’t been for my mom who was very understanding, well, life would have been difficult for me.

Obviously and not surprisingly, I wasn’t confident at all about what I was doing.

I started thinking that maybe I don’t have what it takes, that maybe I should abandon the web, put together a CV and send it out to a couple of places, so maybe I could catch up to my friends and secure myself a nice shiny job too.

But for some reason I decided to keep going.

I probably had some internal resistance telling me that “a job” wasn’t the right path for me or something.

Along the way, I stumbled upon Sylvester Stallone’s story. It taught me two things: (1) my situation was, in fact, nowhere near tough yet, and (2)  failure is just a step towards success .

I can’t explain why this particular story resonated so well with me, but it helped me regain my confidence and stop worrying about all the small and big failures I was experiencing. I knew that if I dedicated myself to doing something for long enough, eventually it would pay off.

And it has.

However. Looking back, I can honestly say that I spent way too much time running on willpower alone instead of having the right tools and mindset in place. And although it has worked for me, this can’t be the optimal way of finding your confidence.

Relying on luck is never a good strategy, and you can easily run out of your willpower much sooner than you’ll find any success.

Therefore, what’s a better solution? And is there a road-map to confidence when running an online business?

I believe there is, and that we don’t have to be wandering in the dark endlessly until successful.

So this brings me to the actual topic of this whole blog – finding confidence when running an online business.

I’m aware that I can’t give you a road-map to confidence all on my own. It’s way beyond me. After all, I’m just one guy, and no matter what I say, it will still be just one guy’s perspective.

That’s why I reached out to 13 generous experts from various niches and asked them specific questions on the topic.

Before we start, let me just be honest for a minute and say that I’ve gained an incredible amount of insights on entrepreneurship and finding confidence when going through these answers and preparing them for publication. I am very happy to be able to deliver this resource to you, and I’m also more than certain that you will get just as much value out of it as I did!

Let’s welcome the experts:

Cliff Ravenscraft Cliff Ravenscraft
Bogdan Condurache Bogdan Condurache
Ruben Gamez Ruben Gamez
Demian Farnworth Demian Farnworth
Adam Connell Adam Connell
Mike McDerment Mike McDerment
 
Bamidele Onibalusi Bamidele Onibalusi
 
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The road to becoming a confident online entrepreneur

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SHARES

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Step #1: Finding the right mentors

Some people say that getting business advice from our friends or family isn’t the best of ideas (unless they are entrepreneurs). However, when we’re just starting out building our “thing,” it is rather difficult to find knowledgeable people who would invest some trust in us and share valuable information (on top of the cliche “create quality content”).
How to find people worth paying attention to? People who can give us this much needed confidence boost, who will get us going and motivate us to take action. And what’s probably even more important, how to get them to pay attention to us? Can they really have that much impact on our confidence and therefore our businesses?
Jaime
Jaime Tardy
Finding a mentor has been HUGE in my life.

I was constantly on the lookout for people that were where I wanted to be.

I would do whatever I could to reach out, talk to, seem eager and know how much I valued and appreciated them.

One of the biggest problems mentors have (as told to me by many millionaires!) is that they give advice, but then the person listening doesn’t DO the advice.

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One of the best ways to get them to pay attention to you is to DO what they say!

And then tell them you did it, and how much of an impact it made.

And yes – they can have a HUGE impact on confidence. My first mentor made me cold call 50 people a day. He was like – you’ll get used to it! And I would never have pushed myself that much because it seemed too scary. He changed my life!

john wide
Bamidele Onibalusi
Bamidele Onibalusi

I think the best way to start is by quoting the bible verse that says “By their fruits you will know them.”

I believe this is critical, because I recently ventured into fish farming here in Nigeria and quickly realized that success in the business mainly has to do with who you learn from; various people have various “secrets” to success, and the failure rate is generally high, but why I really followed my teacher was because of the results he is getting; he has the biggest fishes and makes the highest profit of everybody else I know (sometimes his profit is up to 150% in 6 months).

Follow your mentors based on the results they are getting
However, most of the others who are very opinionated about “what works” and what doesn’t are barely getting results; they have really small fishes, profit margin is low if there is any, etc.

Determining who is worth paying attention to is simple; look for someone getting the kind of results you are getting, and follow the person until you are getting your desired results.

Once you’ve determined the leaders you want to follow, the most effective way to get them to pay attention to you is to …

reveal your PASSION to them

If you are really passionate to succeed, you will give it everything it takes and you won’t care how difficult or ineffective it seems. Leaders see that, and they are ready to support those who have that kind of passion; look for tips they share freely online, passionately utilize these tips to get results, and showcase your results to them, letting them know it is thanks to them, and tell them you will like to learn from them in a closer way. This can be very effective!

Getting advice and support from the right people can impact your confidence as well as ability to succeed; sometimes, it is often the no. 1 most important factor.

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Step #2: Making your vision clear

The way I see it, problems with confidence are often connected to our lack of clear vision as for what we want to achieve (and how we want to achieve it). In other words, because we don’t have the right goals set, it’s not clear to us what to do next. This prevents us from getting stuff done and building our confidence along the way.
How to go about setting the right goals? How can someone get over the initial vague idea of “think about what you really want to achieve and make it your goal?” How to be specific and create goals that motivate rather than discourage?
risley
David Risley
The best way to get those goals is to break it down like a hierarchy.

Start out with with the big, grandiose goal that you have.

Then, beneath that, break it down into sub-goals or purposes.

Then you define plans to achieve those purposes.

And the plans are broken down into programs, projects, etc.

When you do it this way, then you can step back and see that the little tasks you’re doing are in alignment with the larger plans, and hence your purpose, and your goals. This allows you to get specific for what you’re shooting for (very important), but also know that everything has a direction to it.
natalie
Natalie Sisson
Note. In her answer, Natalie refers to the concept of “Painted Picture,” which was originally introduced in a book titled Double Double: How to Double Your Revenue and Profit in 3 Years or Less, by Cameron Herold. Natalie teaches us why creating our own Painted Picture will help us get our vision cleared and our goals nicely defined.
Enter Natalie:
A Painted Picture is a clear vision of where you want your business to be, three years from now.

He [Cameron Herold] suggests you get out of your office or normal working domain (which for me is never normal) to actually write it.

It’s a really interesting exercise to go through each section of your business (and your life), writing out your vision in the present tense.

It’s powerful too. It’s as if you’re already there and you can visualise what the future looks like…which is the whole point.

It got me all jazzed up reading about what I wanted my business to become. Even though I’m not there yet, seeing it written down on paper, just gets me excited.

It took me about two hours in total and it was challenging, and also fun. I mean you get to let all your inhibitions go and dream up a grandiose vision for what you really want your business and life to look and feel like.

Natalie also shares:

When we ONLY focus on our vision for our business and our life, then it makes it much easier to do everything in our power to make that vision a reality.

Each of our goals we set, and the strategies and objectives that support them, suddenly become so much more doable, because we have the big picture staring us in the face.

We have the WHY we’re doing what we’re doing. Then we do everything in our power to stay true to it.

Bogdan-Condurache
Bogdan Condurache
I believe that it was Benjamin Mays who said:

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goals. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.”

This is perfectly true for me and talks about setting any kind of goals for yourself, be it small or high-sky. Of course, setting the goals high-sky will make it very hard to achieve them and will probably discourage you along the way, so I wouldn’t actually recommend that, but from my personal experience the key is to set intermediate goals or step-by-step goals, which are easier to achieve and will motivate you just enough to keep going.

I can actually share a bit of personal experience from my own career path: after graduating college and getting a major in Financial Banking & Insurance, I decided I don’t really like this field of work and wanted to do something in the graphic design business, which was just of a hobby for me at the time. This was something I have never studied seriously, and I didn’t know a whole lot about the industry, but I felt that this is what I really wanted to do and my long-term goal should be to have my own graphic design studio and be successful at it.

So …

I started splitting this long-term goal in smaller pieces

… knowing that this would take a lot of time and effort to get there, but having an achievable goal in front of me would motivate me just enough to keep going.

This got me to my first goal which was learning the trade, that I have achieved mainly by getting an internship job with a graphic design firm and also studying design tutorials and online classes. After a few months, I have learned the basics and “stolen” a few tips & tricks from my colleagues, so it was time to move on, setting a different goal.

Along the 7 or 8 years that had taken me to finally achieve my goal, I have set and achieved a lot of different goals, like: “getting a better paid job,” or “trying to be more creative” and “getting more creative responsibilities” and so on, until the skills, confidence and experience had all build-up enough to start on my own. Also, meeting cool creative people with the same drive as me, has finally helped me bite the bullet and co-found ThemeFuse (and PixelKit later on). Of course, this is a goal that I now consider an intermediate one, as I have moved past and set higher expectations, but still taking them one step at a time.

So, in my opinion setting smaller goals is the right way to achieve a bigger, high-sky goal.


Setting smaller goals is the right way to achieve a bigger, high-sky goal.
Click To Tweet


Also, it’s very important that you have passion for what you plan to do, because without it, just setting the right goals will never be enough.

map5-rev

Step #3: Going for a minimal viable product or not?

Nowadays, it seems like we’re witnessing a major product launch every week, or a success story that’s extremely impressive. As a result, we trick ourselves into thinking that whatever we aim to create has to be huge, has to have a ton of features and offer a ton of benefits. But then we lose our confidence when we find out that building something huge also takes huge time and huge resources.
How to overcome this? Should we go for a minimal viable product instead? Is it really that effective? And can we gain confidence by building a very simple solution for just one pain first, and then expand over time?
Demian

Demian Farnworth:

Much better to build the audience first. That way you can learn what they need and then give it to them. Most people and businesses have it backwards. They build the product first and then try to find the audience. Of course, there are exceptions. Regardless, do your market research.

Adam-Connell
Adam Connell
The problem with creating a product with a huge number of features is that sometimes we can overcomplicate our offering.

I’ve seen too many start-ups that roll out a product where it seems like even the founders aren’t exactly clear on how the product can be of value.

I’m talking about the kind of sales pages where you look and end up thinking “Yeah, but how is this going to help me?”

 
Sure, the copy comes into it but when you’re trying to solve too many pains all in one go, you can end up tripping yourself over.

I believe the best way to start off is to:

Step #1

Identify the biggest pain point …
Step #2

… Solve it first.
You will be clearer on who the product is for and that will reflect in how you position the brand.

The bonus here is that creating the product will take up fewer resources and you will accomplish it quicker.

You will be able to get feedback quicker and get early adopters on board.

This makes things easier for you in a personal way and also financially.

You can then shape the rest of your product roadmap around the bigger picture that you have envisioned for your product (as well as customer feedback).


When you’re trying to solve too many pains all in one go, you can end up tripping yourself over.
Click To Tweet


Ruben

Ruben Gamez
I like the idea of starting with a smaller goal as a starting point. With Bidsketch, my original goal was to learn how to make money from a product. I went very niche because of this and planned to apply what I learned to the next product. Once I accomplished my initial goal, I realized that I could continue growing the product, so I simply set a new goal. I’ve done this four or five times now.

For me, this approach of smaller quick wins keeps me focused and motivated.

I think too many people aim for huge goals with unrealistic timelines. You obviously should have a goal that motivates you, but keep in mind that your goals (and approach) will change over time.

Mike McDerment

Mike McDerment

The answer to something like this isn’t binary – it’s about philosophy and approach and context, more than hard and fast rules.

It’s also about psychology – let’s start there.

Whenever you encounter something overwhelming – and there are lots of those things in a start up – you need to take a step back, and focus on what you can control.

… you need to take a step back, and focus on what you can control …
You can’t control what other people are going to do. You can’t control the fact that your competitors are massively outgunned in terms of resources, but there are things you can control – like managing to your next milestone. Stay focused there – however seemingly insignificant that milestone may seem because execution is just about everything when you are a startup.

WRT to philosophy, I think there are a bunch of ways to approach this. Philosophically, I think you want to play to your strengths. So when you are small, chances are any users you have are early adopters – people that found you before anyone and take pride in that. This kind of audience is encouraging and supportive as a rule – it doesn’t take as much to convince them like a mainstream audience.

The consequence: you will be celebrated (and you should celebrate progress), whereas the big guys need you to blow their mind or it’s like, “who cares?” and the difference is entirely about audience maturity and the philosophy and approach you apply to assessing your progress as a result.

map5

Step #4: Get only the essential education that you need

Every online business owner tries to learn and acquire new skills every day. But at the same time, we often lose our confidence when we realize how much there is to master and how seemingly insignificant we feel.
Do we need to be spending hours every day acquiring knowledge in order to become confident? Or is it actually a trap because we will never feel competent enough? How to tackle this and how to seek the truly essential education we need?
danny iny
Danny Iny
cliff

Cliff Ravenscraft

I think that acquiring knowledge is important and helps us bring additional value to those who follow us. However, I don’t see a direct correlation to how much knowledge you have to the amount of confidence that you have.

Many people suffer from what we like to call “Imposter Syndrome.” The fear that we are not competent enough come from the fear that others know more than we do and that we will be judged for where we are in the journey of our area of expertise.

I believe that everyone can confidently step out into this world, no matter where they are in the journey, and avoid the “Imposter Syndrome” by simply focusing all communication in these four areas.

Area 1
Start with what you have experienced so far in this area of expertise. Tell people “your story.”

In many cases, the more mistakes you’ve made, and and you share with your community, the more relatable and likable you will seem to those who are fellow strugglers on the journey.

Of course, you should also share your successful experiences as well. Don’t worry about those who will be offended by your sharing, telling you that you sound boastful. The fact is that sharing your success stories, and giving the details on how you succeeded, will do much to encourage and inspire others.

Share the challenges that you are facing now. Don’t pretend that now that you have a platform in this niche that you no longer face challenges. By sharing them, again, you are being more relatable to those who follow you. Also, there is a great chance that many, who are further along in the journey, may reach out to help you overcome those challenges.
Area 2
Area 3
Share what you are learning right now and how you plan to implement what you are learning.

Obviously, this means that you are actively learning new things. I make it a point to read books that are devoted to my personal and professional development. I listen to podcasts from experts in business, social media, technology, etc. I’m always learning something new. Being a great student of life makes you a great teacher for your community.

Share what you hope to accomplish moving forward. DREAM BIG DREAMS. Know where you want to go. Have a destination in mind. This is the only way that you will get there.

Also, if you don’t know direction that you are heading, why should anyone follow you?

Area 4
By focusing on sharing those four areas of your life, you can lead with great confidence! If you are always true and honest about those things, you can not be considered an imposter. Just be yourself and know, for sure, that many will criticise you for that.

You don’t need to spend hours a day, every day, gaining more knowledge to become competent and confident enough to deliver a message. You just need to grow some thicker skin and then put that skin in the game.

yaro

Yaro Starak
In my life as an entrepreneur true confidence has only come from achievement.

Tangible outcomes are what drive motivation. Of course learning is necessary – and some of the best education comes from the projects that don’t succeed – so you have to find a balance.

The best advice I can offer is:

Always acquire knowledge that is directly correlated to an outcome you are working towards today.

Only study what you need to know to solve today’s problems, and put into action what you learn immediately.

If you are unsure of what path to take, then the problem you have is a decision making one. You must study what you need to know in order to make the decision of what path to take.

map5-rev

Step #5: Master the craft of planning

Lack of confidence leads to procrastination, and that sometimes leads to complete inaction. Unfortunately, the enormity of the project at hand – building a business – literally paralyzes many entrepreneurs.
How to master the craft of planning? How to create a good plan that breaks down a large project into doable chunks? Are there any quick hacks we can implement to feel confident about executing our plan one step at a time?
Adam-Connell

Adam Connell
I’m a firm believer that anyone can accomplish anything that they put their mind to, whether you lack self-confidence or not.

The key is passion; we have to believe in the product we create.

When planning out your project you need to break it up into smaller tasks and create a complete road map for your project. They need to be manageable otherwise they may start to become tedious.

It’s important that the plan is as thorough as possible, consider everything from creation to marketing and growth while considering the possibility that you may need to react quick to demand in future if your product takes off.

Consider a time frame but keep things realistic and allow yourself some room to manoeuvre.

Try not to let falling behind schedule phase you, you cannot account for everything and sometimes things don’t go to plan.

But, if you can consider potential road blocks before they happen and account for them you will make things a lot easier for yourself.

Prioritize your tasks but be prepared to re-evaluate these as your project progresses.

Most importantly, try to make things as easy as possible, consider what tools are available to make managing the project as easy as possible and think about how you can make your business as process driven as possible. You will love how much more efficient processes can make your business, you need them in place early on.
… try to make things as easy as possible …
Ruben

Ruben Gamez
I like to keep things simple, so my plans aren’t very detailed. I usually start with a goal and then work backwards from there. From a high level, what do I need to accomplish this goal? I end up with a rough idea of what needs to get done, then spend some time prioritizing.

At that point, I add about two weeks worth of tasks to my active list and only research as the need comes up – not weeks before the project has started, but right as I’m working on those specific things. The only exception might be with risky tasks. For online businesses the biggest risk is building something that people don’t want to pay for. So it’s probably a good idea to make your first task testing your assumption that people want to pay for whatever you’ll be providing.

Anyway, going back to planning, the idea is to move as quickly as possible and stay focused. I do this by creating a high level plan, prioritizing things that matter while delaying ones that don’t (like a business account), testing assumptions, and breaking down my work into four hour tasks (maximum one day tasks).

curve-under

Bamidele Onibalusi

Bamidele Onibalusi
I would first advise not to become too obsessed with planning, as that alone can deter you from your main goal of getting things done.

I believe the most effective way to go about this is by breaking down each task into the smallest possible task that will take the smallest amount of time necessary. Once this has been done, you should start working on the most rewarding tasks, that will deliver the quickest results.

Seeing these results will motivate you and give you confidence to proceed with your other tasks.

map5
Bonus round!

map1

Defeating confidence problems

What were the main confidence problems you experienced in your career and how did you overcome them?
John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas
risley
David Risley
Not having promotions work as well as I had hoped. Hey, it happens. The best way to overcome it is to have something pulling you forward so you don’t stop. For me, its my family.
Jaime
Jaime Tardy
I wasn’t confident in my value at first – and I had a hard time asking for what I wanted. Like when I found my mentor, it took all of my strength to send the first email to him!
Demian
Demian Farnworth
Thinking I could compete with the big boys and girls. You cure that insecurity with hard work, training, education, and experience. Everyone starts at the bottom.
Bogdan-Condurache
Bogdan Condurache
During my career as a graphic designer, I have encountered many times what I would call “feedback fright”. What I mean by this is getting a bit uneasy about showing the client a pitch or a design proposal that I have have been working on. Lack of confidence made me doubt my initial feeling of “wow, this is great stuff” and made me start questioning the whole design style, idea, execution, etc. “What if the client will not like this?” or “What if the idea is too bold or not bold enough?” are questions that fuel the “feedback fright” syndrome and can influence your work in a bad way, because what happens is you start changing the proposal without a real reason, making it worse actually.

I have somewhat overcome this (I still experience it from time to time) by making sure the foundation of my work is sound and that I personally like the outcome – because if you don’t like it yourself, there’s a big chance no-one else will like it either. Also, getting better at your job and accumulating experience will increase your confidence, so even if someone doesn’t like your work and gives a bad feedback, you can fight back with good arguments and ideas that come from experience and gut feeling, challenging the client’s feedback. I know this is very specific stuff, from a specific industry, but maybe you can extrapolate it to a more general business model.

cliff
Cliff Ravenscraft
My greatest confidence issue that I’ve faced in my business was pricing. Especially when I’m offering a new product or service that I’ve never offered before. Questions like, am I good enough, will believe believe I’m worth this price, etc?

I overcame these fears by putting my new products out there with a price that was just beyond my comfort zone and allowing my clients to tell me that I should be charging much more than I charged them. In every product or service I’ve ever offered, I’ve ended up more than doubling the price of what I originally charged. It was putting myself out there and not failing that gave me the confidence to grow in this area.

yaro
Yaro Starak
My main confidence issues originally stemmed from being so different to everyone else around me. All my peers went on from school to university to jobs. I had no desire to get a job, and I knew I wanted to be my own boss, but without any local role models it was difficult to believe I could pay my bills with my own business one day.

I have to admit during the first few years out of university I was very lost and had little confidence. However as I started to get results and slowly generated enough money to live independently I realised what I was doing was so much better than anyone else around me. Eventually I became proud of being an entrepreneur, and people came to me asking how I did it.

I learned an important concept I call the “success ladder,” which is one tool that can give you confidence, step-by-step, as you strive towards full independence as an entrepreneur.

The success ladder is a simple idea – you celebrate each step forward and use it as the building block for the next step. When you apply this principle every day, you see how the small tasks you complete lead to bigger results. It becomes stronger and stronger as more results come your way, until you reach a point where you feel as if your results are inevitable – a very powerful form of inner confidence.

Danny Iny
Danny Iny
map5-rev

Getting instant confidence

What would be the one thing to do right now to gain some instant confidence in your business?
Demian
Demian Farnworth
Shoot low. Set some easy to achieve goal. Knock it out, and do it again. Those small success will build your confidence.
Jaime
Jaime Tardy
One thing I LOVED to do, was to have all of the kudos, testimonials, etc in one place. When I wasn’t feeling confident I would go back and read those. They were amazing people singing my praises, and while I was hard on myself – it was easy to see how much value those people got out of working together.
Bogdan-Condurache
Bogdan Condurache
The one thing i did was to make sure we built a product that people need and want. If you have something that people want, in our case great looking and perfectly working websites, you build a client base that appreciates your work and buys your stuff. And with this appreciation comes confidence, you start feeling more secure, more sure of your decisions and ultimately more successful. As i said earlier, having great foundations, like passion and skills for what you do, is the key to being confident and having a successful business.
yaro
Yaro Starak
Do something. I learned a long time ago that you must focus on output – on creation, not just consumption. Consuming things, whether education, or entertainment, will not lead to an outcome. Only creating things for the consumption of other people leads to the results you want, so get out there and create something for other people.
risley
David Risley
Generate your first dollar. From there, it gets easier.
Mike McDerment
Mike McDerment
This is a tough one – it really is a question that varies company by company, person by person, day by day. The answers for me have evolved over the years because the measures of progress have. To begin, it was customer validation in the form of feedback. Then it evolved into watching product usage, and eventually in time it was revenue added. But normally what gives me confidence are subjective things. For example, I get fired up when we hire someone awesome and see them getting ramped up on our business. That gives me confidence, because I know a super capable performer is going to be applying themselves to making FreshBooks a great company for other FreshBookers and our customers.
map5

Being a successful entrepreneur

Is it possible to be a successful entrepreneur without being confident?
John Lee Dumas
John Lee Dumas
Mike McDerment
Mike McDerment
One of the best things I ever read – sadly I can’t remember where – is that every “successful” person has had moments where they have doubted themselves and felt like a failure at the very moment the world is exalting their “success.” I know I’ve had moments where everyone around me thinks “this is a big success” and is patting me on the back, but for me it’s not like that – all I can see is the work ahead and it’s daunting.

So I guess what I take from this is, successful or not, we are all human – we have moments of doubt and fear. I think there is a tendency to believe this is not true of “successful” people. What I’d say to those who aren’t feeling confident is, that those internal demons are a source of motivation. Control them. Channel them. But don’t for a second think you are the only one. You are not the only explorer of the terrain you are on, and as lonely as the path of building a company can be, you have to keep that in mind and just focus on what delivering on the things under your control.

Adam-Connell
Adam Connell
I believe it is.

In some cases I’ve known people to turn their lack of confidence into a positive attribute and go on to do great things purely by striving to do better.

And for others, the confidence comes along when achieving success.

Wow, that was a lot of information to take in all at once! I’ll let you process this in peace, but remember to take action on what you’ve learned here as soon as possible.

Also, are there any confidence issues you’re experiencing right now? What one thing are you planning to do ASAP to solve this issue?

 In the meantime, don’t forget to share this with whoever might consider the information inspiring. 

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13 Successful Entrepreneurs Share How to Gain Confidence When Starting an Online Business | NewInternetOrder.com

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Shhh! …

What follows is something you surely haven’t heard before! In order to truly grow your business you need to:

Step #1
Step #2
Step #3
Step #4
Step #5

Okay okay, just kidding. These – and similar ideas – have truly been beaten down to death on the web as it is. Really, how much Facebook marketing advice does the world need?

But I digress, so let’s get back on track!

 
… scroll down for 14 non-obvious marketing tactics that work …
What I have for you here is a set of marketing tactics that are hopefully not that obvious. (Although, it’s very likely that you’ve heard of some of them before.) But what’s more important is that not all of them come from me.

I’ve been kind of fascinated with this topic lately. So I’ve decided to do a bit more research and find some truly inspiring stuff, which I can then expand upon and share here. So, the ideas themselves are something I’ve stolen from the likes of Neil Patel, Forbes magazine, Jeremy Clarkson, John Jantsch, and a bunch of other people.

1. Be a true-blood guy (or gal)

mma

Everyone’s way too nice on the web these days if you ask me!

No, wait. This doesn’t sound right.

Anyway, what I mean is that there’s a general belief circulating around that we should always be nice to all people (no matter what they say about us) and that if we have a critical – yet not fact-based – opinion, we should keep it to ourselves.

Bollocks.

This works against the one thing we probably all want to achieve – getting our personal brand across.

For the life of me, I can’t remember who said it, but it was something to the tune of:


‘People come for information, they stay for personality.’ – Who said this?
Click To Tweet


And the problem is that if you want to be all things to all people, you will probably end up attracting no one.

Jeremy_Clarkson
Jeremy Clarkson (twitter) is a great example here. He’s built the popularity of his show – Top Gear – to a worldwide phenomenon. Do people watch it for the cars? Sure, some of them do. But most of them watch it because it’s incredibly entertaining, and cars just play a supporting role (Oscar worthy role, but still).

For example, here’s what he once said about Sarah Jessica Parker:

“People think ‘oh she must be pretty, she’s on television’. She isn’t – she looks like a boiled horse.

Did he offend some people? Probably so. Did he make thousands of people around the world laugh? For sure.

So what I’m trying to convey is this: Be real. If you want to say something, say it. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.

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2. Create products and give them away for free

salesman

I should clarify. If you’re in the physical products business then it’s probably more difficult to give those away for free. Like, for example, giving away shoes or refrigerators. But in the digital market, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

Let’s take a look at what happened with Quick Sprout a while ago. Previously, the site’s homepage was the blog (I think). Now, there’s an online SEO tool.

Neil – the founder of the site – said that the tool cost him $100,000, yet he decided to make it available for free.

Wow!

And yes, he did make it profitable eventually. Neil has a great funnel set up in the background. In short, everyone who visits the tool is also exposed to Neil’s Pro membership.

qs

Although Neil is clearly far ahead, I can mention a small success of my own too. It’s my Social Share Starter plugin. Since its release, it has generated hundreds of new subscribers and opened a couple of doors for me in terms of WordPress software projects.

“Free is the most powerful word in the English language.”

3. Break the pattern by publishing unusual content

pattern

At one point, virtually all websites hit a plateau and become predictable.

And don’t get me wrong, in a way, predictability is a good thing, especially if your content is predictably exceptional.

However, introducing something new every once in a while and breaking the pattern, so to speak, can work even better.

Here are some ideas:

  • If you’re known for publishing ultra-long content, publish an image post with a quote on it and no additional text whatsoever. See how it goes, how many shares it gets, and so on. Like this one:
you are right
  • If you’re mainly publishing text-only posts, try investing in an infographic.
  • If you’re publishing just your own perspective on things, try inviting someone who has a reputation in your niche and do an interview.
  • Need more ideas? Try either of these 52.

The idea behind this is to check if what you’re currently doing really is the best use of your publishing calendar, and if maybe your audience would actually resonate with something else even more.

This knowledge is something you can only get through experimentation. No case study on the web will give you reliable data whether you should or shouldn’t try Technique X in your content game.

4. Focus on just the essential info and invoke curiosity

curious

We often feel the urge to go into incredible detail when describing our services, products, or the thing we do for a living in general.

As it turns out, this doesn’t always work. Actually scratch that; it rarely works. The thing is that people don’t really need all that information when making a purchase decision.

For example, consider the following. Do you know what components your iPhone was built with? Do you know what’s the processor, who’s the RAM manufacturer, how many mAh does the battery have, and so on?

Most likely, unless you’re an iPhone freak, you have no clue, yet you still wanted to buy it when it came out.

Your clients only need to know the essentials – how your product is going to enrich their lives.
It’s a similar story with all kinds of products. Your clients only need to know the essentials – how your product is going to enrich their lives.

And it’s not just me talking here. Neil Patel reports this to be the case as well. At one point, he shared that changing the landing page on his private site from long-form, in-depth content, to just the essential short form has given him 318 percent more leads.

It’s kind of sad, but people really don’t care about us or our stories. The only thing they want to know is how your content can benefit them. (Or maybe that’s not sad at all?)

5. Dedicate just as much time to writing your headlines as you do to writing your content

headlines

Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. But please bear with me.

It’s a known fact in the world of publishing that headlines account for around 80 percent of a given publication’s success.

What this means in plain English is that headlines are more important than content. And it makes sense when you look at it.

At the end of the day, if your headline isn’t a success, no one will even get to your actual content.

So here’s what I encourage you to do:

Write 25 different headlines for every piece of content you create.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

This is not my idea, and to tell you the truth I was also shocked when I first saw it.

The reasoning behind it is that writing the first 5 headlines is ultra-easy. Writing the next 10 gets difficult, but you can still get through it. However, writing that final 10 will get you bleed through your fingertips.

It’s those final 10 headlines that can give you some gems – things that are not obvious at all. Things that you’d have never come up with if you hadn’t used all the common ideas on the first 15 headlines.

The secret is that people tend to resonate with things that break certain patterns.

6. Steal ideas from Reddit

reddit

Reddit isn’t called the front page of the internet for no reason. It’s also the best way to waste a Saturday afternoon, but that’s another story.

Reddit is an extraordinary source of content ideas that are interesting to people at this very moment. Now, I don’t encourage you to steal content in any shape or form. But I do encourage you to steal ideas. So if something works on Reddit, maybe it can work in some other form on your site as well.

Here’s how you can implement this:

  1. Look for things that are fast growing in popularity.
  2. Try identifying something about them that you would be able to do or present better.
  3. Release your own version.

I know that such a description is a bit generic, but I leave it up to you to find exact applications.

I will give you an example though. Here’s a popular entry from Reddit’s DIY section: http://imgur.com/a/fD4e4. It’s a guitar-shaped cat playground. The idea is great. The execution is okay-ish. But for someone in the carpentry business, building something that’s of better quality shouldn’t be a problem.

7. Invest in relationships with potential clients by doing free work

free hugs

First off, I like getting paid for what I do just as much as the next guy. That being said, it’s kind of impossible to make every hour of your work billable, especially if you’re just starting out.

The big problem here is trust, or lack thereof.

In other words, people don’t really trust your expertise enough to pay you for your services if you’re new to the market. To overcome this, you can do either of two things:

(a) Offer your services really cheap – so your clients don’t have to trust you all that much because the investment is small.
Not recommended.
(b) Offer your services for free.
Recommended.
The trick here is that if you start by offering your services cheaply, you will find it very hard to increase your rates later on – the clients will resent it.

On the other hand, if you start offering your services for free, people will understand that it’s not a permanent thing, and that you are likely to ask for money pretty soon.

However, what’s different now is that you’ve already built trust with them and proven that you can deliver results. This entitles you to ask for higher rates.

Speaking from my personal experience, offering free advice is what got me most of my initial freelance writing gigs. I talked about it in one of my guest posts at Be a Freelance Blogger.

8. Be a show off

ferrari

Note. Showing off isn’t in all people’s nature. And there’s nothing worse than a pretender who wants to show off but doesn’t really know how or why, so they just end up looking cheesy. So in short, if you don’t feel confident showing off, please skip this point.

Showing off is a very interesting marketing and promotion method. On one hand, it’s very easy to appear like a jack ass who’s just bragging about a new watch or some other gizmo. But on the other hand, it can reinforce your message and present a specific persona that resonates with your audience’s wants.

This can work especially well if you’re in the coaching business, or in consulting. The idea is to make people think, even subconsciously, “Hey, this guy has what I want to have. Maybe if I listen to what he has to say, I’ll get there too!”

Whether it’s a valid thought or not is another thing.

9. Reuse your existing results

recycle

During the course of your online career, you will naturally have better and worse days, better and worse content, that’s only natural.

But there’s always a small set of posts or articles that did exceptionally well and gave you big recognition. Maybe they even continue bringing consistent traffic through Google today.

So first of all, by all means, go out and find those articles. And then reuse them as a marketing tool.

A man much wiser than me once said that it’s easier to improve something that already works, than it is to build up something that doesn’t.

I couldn’t agree more!

Here’s what you can do exactly to reuse some of your best content:

Step #0

Well, you need to identify this content first. So go to your Google Analytics or Clicky (my preferred tool) and see which posts are the most visited ones on your site. Also, check for your most commented posts (you can sort posts in WordPress by the number of comments) and the ones that have brought in the most social media shares (you can do this via the Social Metrics plugin).
Make sure that there’s a specific call to action under each of these posts/pages. Either invite people to join your newsletter, download your thing, or buy your product (whatever it is you do).
Step #1

Step #2

Erase all distractions from the page. I encourage you to focus on convincing the visitor to do one specific thing. For example, if that thing is newsletter subscription then try making the subscription form the only possible route out of the page. Get rid of sidebars, and if it’s possible, get rid of the top menu as well.
Build additional internal links from other posts on your site to those that bring the most results. This way, you should be able to improve those results even more. After all, your popular stuff is popular for a reason, so if you manage to get more eyeballs on it, people are likely to start sharing and resonating with it more than with your average post.
Step #3

10. Guest post with a purpose

writing

Guest blogging is a very popular promotion method these days, I give you that. However, not many people use it as an actual element of their business.

Here’s what I mean. Every day, I see tens of guest posts where people link to their generic websites (from the bio boxes) or social media profiles. I’m sure this gets them some traffic and recognition. But at the same time, they’re leaving a lot on the table.

(I need to be honest with you and admit that I was just as guilty of doing this as anyone else.)

To give you a good example of things done right, consider this post by Milica Pantic. She explains how she makes money from guest posts directly.

In short, it’s all about these four main elements (in that order):

mitz
  • Picking what you want to promote with your guest post.
  • Deciding what you can write about to pre-qualify the people that are your target group.
  • Figuring out how you can point them to what you want to promote.
  • Finding the best place where to publish your post to reach the exact target group you’re looking for.

The main reason why guest posts are great for this sort of promotion is because you get to position yourself in front of any audience you wish. You just need to find the right website. There aren’t many advertising methods that give you this opportunity.

11. Try local offline marketing

mainstreet

Everybody’s hot about promoting their businesses on the web these days, and rightfully so. However, we shouldn’t forget about all the offline possibilities that are still there and can work exceptionally well.

What’s even better, oftentimes, they are really cheap to execute too. Literally, all you need is some creativity and a bit of time on Saturday.

Here are some of the cleverer things I heard people doing:

Leaving stickers in random places like bars, cafes, public spaces, basically anywhere where other people hang out.
Using chalk to advertise on sidewalks.
Donating branded bookmarks to libraries.
Leaving branded pens at places like banks, post offices, or any other place where people sign their names on pieces of paper. The idea is that the staff won’t notice everyone’s using the wrong pen…
Using sticky notes wherever it makes sense around town.
Printing out beer coasters and leaving them in your local bar.
Leaving your business cards everywhere. Trying places like public bulletin boards, restaurants (along with your tip), inside books at the library, and of course, when you meet a new person.

12. Find, and get on board with existing giveaways

giveaway

The web is chock full of various giveaways these days. And this is especially valid for all kinds of digital products. Be it plugins, WordPress themes, short e-courses or memberships, e-books, icon packs, you name it. People are ready to give them away left and right.
find giveaways that are related to your niche, then add one of your products to the giveaway
What you can do to capitalize on this trend is find giveaways that are in some way related to your niche and website. The best case scenario is finding something that’s directly in your niche, but if that’s not possible, then go one step up.
For example, if you’re in dog training, there might not be a specific dog training giveaway going on, but there probably are some giveaways or even contests focusing on dog owners in general. Maybe someone’s giving away leashes, treats, or some other dog-related stuff.

There’s nothing holding you back from picking one product from your own offer, and adding it to the giveaway. That way, you’re piggybacking off the giveaway’s popularity by itself. It requires almost no marketing on your part whatsoever.

Of course, the difficult part is contacting the giveaway’s managers and convincing them to include your stuff.

13. Supervise everything

supervise

Granted, this is a very counterintuitive piece of advice.

In today’s world, countless experts preach the idea of outsourcing and finding other people to do some of your tasks for you. (By the way, I’m generally preaching it too.)

But the thing we need to keep in mind is that we shouldn’t ever let anyone take over a whole department of our business for us.

For instance, let’s use content as an example. When you first started out, you likely created all of the content yourself. But as you grow, you might get tempted to invite other people on board – to hire help. This is all great and it’s actually the direction you should aim for. However, you should still be the person who’s making the top-level decisions.
be the person who’s making the top-level decisions
The thing is that as you build up your site’s presence, people come and identify with your content. They come to read “you” primarily.

This is a relationship very easy to lose if you disconnect yourself from the publishing process later on. Whoever you hire, will always have their own ideas and ways of handling things. And while you do want to get the most out of their expertise and skill, you need to be very careful not to lose that unique touch that only you can provide.

And this goes for all kinds of tasks you’re doing in your business.

So all of my rambling boils down to this:

Be the decision maker. Don’t assume that others will be better at it than you.

14. Be persistent

persistent

Let’s end this list with the simplest advice possible, yet at the same time, something that makes all the difference in our marketing efforts, and basically in anything we do in life.
Being persistent is what makes you successful.

Not talent.

Not hard work.
(If hard work paid off, slaves would be the richest people on the planet.)

Not connections.

It’s persistence.

You maybe know this story, but let me tell you about Michael Jordan.

Jordan was not accepted on his high school basketball team. This may not sound like a big deal, but what it actually means is that he was not a talented kid. I mean, clearly, no trainer in the world would say no to a talented young player who wants to be on their team.

Yet despite not being talented he became the biggest star in basketball history.

He did it because he was persistent.

Michael Jordan at Boston Garden
He even summarized this in one of his famous quotes:

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

Let me end this post with this. If you don’t believe me, believe Michael Jordan.


Be persistent. Fail forward. Fail to succeed.
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3300+ Words Worth of Non-Obvious Marketing Tactics That Work | NewInternetOrder.com

spam-words

spam-words

There’s much information online on starting an email list and then growing it as one of the main parts of your online business.

This isn’t one of those articles.

The harsh truth is that no matter how good your marketing is, and your individual tactics are, a big portion of your email messages will still get filtered out into spam folders.

People won’t even see them in their inboxes.

“So I spend all this time trying to get subscribers and then my email tool fails to deliver? Really?!”

Well, yeah.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly the case.

MailChimp actually reports that on average, 10-20 percent of email gets killed off by spam filters.

And this concerns legitimate businesses, not spammers. Heck, if you’re a genuine spammer then the numbers are probably more like 95 percent, but I digress.

So why after learning all those great list-growing-techniques we still end up defeated by a script that calls itself the spam filter?

The answer:

You’re using the wrong words

There are two sides to writing proper email copy:

  1. Writing copy that converts and convinces your people to take action on what you’re saying. This is something guys like Derek Halpern and Neil Patel will teach you.
  2. Writing copy that doesn’t get flagged as spam by an automated piece of software – a spam filter. This is what I will be talking about here.

We can argue which of these aspects email copywriting is more important, but frankly you can’t have one without the other.

That being said, if your copy doesn’t check out with spam filters then the fact how good it is conversion-wise won’t even matter.

Let’s try to understand how spam filters work and how we can defeat them.


arrow-l

What’s a spam filter?

A spam filter is a small piece of software that’s installed on every email server.

The only task it has is to read (yes, read) all email coming in and decide whether it’s spam or not.

Spam filters use complex math to make that decision.

At the core of this math, there’s a database of phrases, expressions, and the relationships between them, along with specific point values for each entry.

Having this data, the spam filter calculates the individual message’s spam score and checks if it exceeds a given threshold. If it does, off to the spam folder the message goes.

The difficult part is that there’s no single internet-wide threshold. Every server has its own, so you can never know what’s a safe spam score.

How to defeat the spam filter?

Since we do know what’s the spam filter’s game, we can adjust our copy to get thee lowest score possible.

Now, spam filter algorithms are not secret (like Google’s). If you go to http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_0_x.html you will get the complete list of factors with their exact spam values.

The list is long and complicated, though, so what I’ve done here is I’ve taken the most crucial expressions and put them on the following typography chart.

How to read this thing? Generally, the higher up the list the expression is, the more you should avoid using it.

Note. I’m excluding a big part of Viagra, porn, dating, and pharmacy -related stuff. Those are the biggest spam factors, but I figured no one here is in this business anyway. If you do want the full list, however, feel free to contact me through the contact form.


95 most spam-filter-visible things to avoid in your newsletter emails

 

Tier 1 (spam factors of 2.5-2.0) “the high risk list”

Message body mentions many internet domains · Subject starts with dollar amount · Offers an alert about a stock · Contains a URL with an affiliate ID code · “University Diplomas” · “What are you waiting for” · Subject contains lots of white space · Contains a URL in the BIZ top-level domain · Tiny font size (HTML) · Talks about a million North American dollars · Claims to honor removal requests · “Money back guarantee” · Claims you registered with a partner

Tier 2 (spam factors of 1.9-1.6) “the avoid if possible list”

“Confidentiality on all orders” · HTML includes a form which sends mail · Claims you have provided permission · Stock Disclaimer Statement · Subject includes “life insurance” · Incorporates a tracking ID number · HTML font size is huge · Describes body fat loss · Subject contains “Your Bills” or similar · Subject “GUARANTEED” · HTML has a low ratio of text to image area · Contains a URL in the INFO top-level domain · Talks about quotes with an exclamation! · Message body has 70-80% blank lines · Subject contains “Your Family” · HTML link text says “push here” or similar · “No Claim Forms” · “Free Preview” · “Home refinancing” · “Compete for your business”

Tier 3 (spam factors of 1.5-1.1) “the better not do list”

Talks about millions of dollars · Send real mail to be unsubscribed · Claims compliance with spam regulations · Prestigious Non-Accredited Universities · “Be your own boss” · Domain name containing a “4u” variant · “Buy Direct” · Message body has 90-100% blank lines · They have selected you for something · Talks about exercise with an exclamation! · Claims you can be removed from the list · Claims you wanted this ad · Contains mail-in order form · Subject starts with “Hello” · “Get Paid” · HTML font size is large · “You can search for anyone” · “Freedom of a financial nature” · Subject: contains G.a.p.p.y-T.e.x.t · Contains “earn (dollar) something per week” · Weird repeated double-quotation marks · “Have you been turned down?” · “Home refinancing” · Talks about free mobile phones · Talks about “starting now” with capitals · “People just leave money laying around” · “Why Pay More?” · “Eliminate Bad Credit” · Claims you can be removed from the list · “Receive a special offer”

Tier 4 (spam factors of 1.0-0.3) “the quiet killers list”

Contains “Dear (something)” · HTML has a low ratio of text to image area · HTML font color similar to background · List removal information · Subject contains “As Seen” · Possible mention of bill 1618 (anti-spam bill) · “Amazing Stuff” · Information on mortgages · “Save big money” · “There is no obligation” · “Consolidate debt, credit, or bills” · “Lowest Price” · Mail guarantees satisfaction · Subject contains “Your Own” · “While you Sleep” · Offers a full refund · Subject is all capitals · Doing something with my income · Talks about Oprah with an exclamation! · Subject contains “For Only” · “One hundred percent guaranteed” · HTML is extremely short · Subject line starts with Buy or Buying · Describes weight loss · “See for yourself” · “Dear Friend?” That’s not very dear! · “Free Membership” · HTML has very strong “shouting” markup · “Requires Initial Investment” · “As seen on national TV!” · “Accepting credit cards” · Mentions millions of dollars

Quick fixes

Okay, so the obvious path would be to not do any of the above, but that will rarely be possible. So here are some quick fixes that you should look into.

First of all, there’s one fix (to rule them all) that allows you to never worry about ending up in the spam folder ever again. That fix is convincing your subscribers to add you to their white lists.

The value of this fix, according to Spam Assassin, is -100 (negative 100). This basically makes you invisible to spam filters even if you’re selling Viagra.

Other things worth doing:

  • If possible, mention only one URL in your message.
  • If you can set up your email service provider to not say anything along the lines of “you’re receiving this message because you opted in yada yada” then do so.
  • Don’t say anything about spam in the email.
  • Don’t say anything about actions required for unsubscribing.
  • Don’t start the subject line with “Hi”
  • Don’t start your email with “Dear [someone]”
  • Don’t claim compliance with any spam regulations.

Compiling this list gave me a lot of insight into what I should be doing with my own emails, so I hope you will get similar value as well.

For convenience, if you’d like a more printer-friendly version of this chart then it’s on the “thank you” page of my email newsletter signup (hint!).

Get the thing here:

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[Downloadable] The Words to Avoid if You Don’t Want Your Emails Flagged as Spam | NewInternetOrder.com

manifesto3

Something got me thinking the other day.

The thing is, have you noticed how difficult it is to find simple and short advice on the web these days?

I mean, wherever you look, all you see are “ultimate guides” for this or that. And although I love in-depth advice as much as the next guy, it’s becoming really hard to keep up with the online world.
 

For instance, here’s the most recent guide by Neil Patel – the guide to building your blog audience.

guide

Want to take a guess at how many words it is?

arrow-down2

30,000

You know … the casual number of 30,000 words. I bet this is a nice afternoon read, provided that you don’t have a life to live and stuff to do.

But I’m not hating. Not at all. I’ve actually had a quick look at some random chapters in the guide and they do seem to provide top-notch advice and insights from the man himself.

In other words, if you have 30,000-words-worth-of-time to spare then go on, read it and then apply the advice to your blog. It will most certainly help you make it awesome.

 

(By the way, just to give you a general idea about the scale, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding is almost exactly 60,000 words. I leave the math to you.)

 

But what if you don’t have the 30,000-words-worth-of-time? What then? Are you effectively outed from getting quality insights?

Quite frankly, you are.

At least in part.

Feel free to correct me, but most of the content I see being published on the web these days (meaning 2014) falls into one of these categories:
 

  • Ultimate guides – great for in-depth advice on a complex problem; upwards of 25,000 words.
  • Infographics – there are better and worse, but the good ones achieve the goal of showcasing data-heavy information in an understandable manner.
  • Short posts – explaining one idea in a simple manner; and not being connected to any specific big picture of things.
  • Long posts – explaining one idea that’s a bit more complex; this type of post isn’t connected to any specific big picture either.
  • Link bait – usually a gathering post where a number of experts chip in on some problem and share their advice; the idea is to then get those experts to link back to you.
  • Filler content – content created for marketing/SEO/fill-in-the-blank purpose.

 

And out of all of the above, I would say that the only type of information that’s usable in the long run is indeed the ultimate guide. The rest is just entertainment.

If you don’t believe me then just try to pay attention to your own attitude towards the next blog post you read. Ask yourself this:

  • Did I take action on it?
  • Did I make any notes and included anything new into my business?

Probably not. But that’s okay … me neither.

Ultimate guides, however, are a bit different. Whenever you’re going through one, the time investment is so significant that it simply feels bad not to do anything about it later on. Even if you end up not applying 100% of the advice, you will surely do something.

Going back to my initial question, yes, you are outing yourself if you can’t devote significant time to ultimate guides.

And this bothers me, personally.

It bothers me because I’m one of those people (also known as normal people) who don’t have time for a new 30,000-word guide every week. So whenever something new comes out, I’m like “Damn it! One more thing I have to go through!”

That’s why I’m aiming at leveling the playing field a bit. And I’m going to do it with the new series of posts coming out soon.

Instead of being just yet another online business blog, I will focus on the essential, the actionable, and the easy to grasp advice.

You can see a sample of this in my previous post – the comparison of the 5 top to-do list tools. Feel free to tell me if I achieved the goal or not, but the idea was to make that post usable even if you just have a quick glance at it and don’t actually read it.

So to make this mission clearer, I’ve just published a manifesto. The Normal People Manifesto – I call it.

In it, I explain what online business for normal people means, and what’s the first step to fight the information noise of the 21st century.

I’m also making the manifesto my new About page. I actually think that it’s one of the more important things I’ve ever published here. Jump in:

 
arrov-curve-1

manifesto2

Have You Seen the Manifesto? & Here’s Why “Online Business Advice for Normal People” Is So Scarce on the Web | NewInternetOrder.com

banned-from-adwords

So you’ve just been banned from AdWords … now what?

If that’s the question on your mind, you’re in the right place.

On a personal note, I didn’t really mention this until now, but one day, I too got banned from AdWords.

 

As a matter of fact, I can even do you one better. I got banned from AdWords twice!
 

It happened a couple of years ago, at a time when I was making some nice monies with the AdWords-to-affiliate business model. Everything was going well, until this email appeared in my inbox (actual email):

 

 
Hello AdWords Advertiser,

Your AdWords account has been suspended because it doesn’t comply with our Advertising Policies and our AdWords Terms and Conditions. Please note that this means your account and any related accounts have been suspended, you can’t create any new accounts, and your ads will no longer run on Google, our search partners, or on Display Network placements.

Let me translate this into plain English:

 

 
We, Google, don’t want to have anything to do with you. And although you are ready to throw a lot of money at us, we won’t accept it because f*** you, that’s why.

So how did I manage to get banned twice? I don’t know why exactly (I can only imagine that it’s because there’s a big mess at Google), but a stunning 2 years after the initial ban notice, I got another one saying the exact same thing.

I don’t know, maybe Google feels that once in a while, they need to remind me I am banned.

Anyway, onwards.

 
 

The not-effective way of handling an AdWords ban

 

A standard human reflex is to just send an email back asking about the issues, trying to negotiate, saying that you will improve, promising to be a good boy, etc.

 

But with Google, none of that works.

 

Google AdWords is notoriously known for not responding to any email, so you’re just hitting a wall with every attempt to experience any form of actual human interaction with anyone at Google.

 
 

The alpha-male way of handling an AdWords ban

 

Note. Sorry, but if you’re looking for classic “nice guy” advice, this is not it. I won’t be talking about how you should fix your site, reach out to Google, apologize, and so on. None of this has made its way to this tutorial.

Before I go into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at the two possible scenarios that you might be in at the moment:

 

Scenario #1:

AdWords was the only traffic source for your site. A fairly common thing in the online business space, especially if your business model is affiliate marketing or advertising.
Scenario #2:

AdWords was just one of the traffic sources.
Now, this might sound counterintuitive, but the first scenario is a lot easier to deal with, even though you are losing 100% of your traffic after the ban.

Here’s what you do:

 

only

Things to do if AdWords was your only traffic source

 

Step #1.

Start by buying a completely new domain, new hosting account (at a new IP address; you can do this with IXWebHosting, by the way – they offer unique IPs to every customer).

 

Step #2.

Install WordPress, pick a new theme, and create a new structure on your new site.

The structure should be a bit different than that of the original site, but it should provide a somewhat similar experience.

 

Step #3.

Copy your old content to the new site. At this point, your new site is very similar to the old one, content-wise. But it does have a new design and a new structure. Not to mention the new name and web address.

 

Step #4.

Now the best part. Create a new AdWords account with another credit card number.

Yeah, I know, Google tells you that you can’t do that, but the fact is that it’s not so much that you can’t … you’re just not allowed.

Kind of like your mom saying “don’t touch the pie until it cools down.” You know you’re not allowed to, but you will do it anyway…

With Google, the worst that could happen is them banning you again. In which case, you will just repeat the process.

 

Step #5.

Launch new campaigns on your new account.

Done.

not-only

Things to do if AdWords was one of your traffic sources

 

This is a bit tougher.

You can’t just scrap the site because you don’t want to lose those other traffic sources, but you still want to get your advertising traffic flowing.

 

The simplest solution, although I will be sounding a bit obvious, is to start testing new advertising networks. Often, it’s also the best solution.
 

These days, there really are many possibilities. And I’m not only talking about other PPC networks, like Yahoo Advertising, 7search. You can also try media buys, direct blog ads, sponsored posts, newsletter ads, and so on.

 
 

Let me emphasize the point here. This really is the first thing I would try after being banned from AdWords.
 

However, if you do want to somehow get back in the system, you can do the following.

Note. High risk method.

 

Step #1.

Create a gateway site. This site is just a one-page site – a landing page. It should play a role of a middleman between your ad and the target page on your main site.

This means the gateway needs to feature some strong copy to convince the visitor to click through to your main site. This will obviously lower your overall CTR, but that’s another story.

The technical side of this gateway is similar to the approach described a couple of paragraphs above – you need to get a new domain and a new host.
 

Step #2.

Cheat your way into AdWords one more time with a new email and a new credit card. Just like described above.

 

Step #3.

Set your campaigns and point them to your gateway.

I’ve labeled this method high risk because it’s a lot easier for Google to get a grasp on what’s going on, so the lifespan of your new site will be even shorter.

 

What about “the right thing to do?”

There’s no right thing to do here.

I said it multiple times in the past and I’ll say it again; I’m not here to teach the right thing to do. I’m here to list the possibilities and leave it up to you to decide whether it’s a path worth taking in your specific situation.

I’m not judging. If you are okay with the methods described here, it’s your call. If not, that’s cool too.

Looking for some online business advice for normal people
and more resources just like this one? Jump in.

What to Do if You Get Banned From Google AdWords | newInternetOrder.com

At first, the topic of how to learn SEO online seems like something that’s been fairly well-covered on the web.

I mean, there are sites like Moz.com, Search Engine Journal and so on. But as it turns out, they are more about the in-the-trenches practices and advice for people who are already deep into SEO.

But what if you’re just starting out? There surely has to be something for the beginner on a site like Moz, right? Well, not really.

Here’s why. Granted, Moz has their beginner’s guide to SEO (link), but that thing is 10 friggin’ chapters. Again, 10 chapters. In total, that’s probably in the 30,000+ word range. And 30,000 words is a mid-sized book.

What’s wrong with it? Let me quote the classic:

Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!


How to Learn SEO Online

So…Moz isn’t really a good place for a beginner to learn SEO online. In fact, there are very few places where a beginner can actually get some useful advice; advice that they can implement right away without having to go through a whole book worth of content.

And I know I speak the truth because I still consider myself somewhat a beginner. I too have difficulties picking the right tactics and staying confident that what I’m doing will actually work, especially with things changing so fast.

So, long story short, I’ve been doing a lot of researching on this, and by the looks of things, I can only recommend three ways of obtaining good SEO advice for a beginner (that is if you’re a person who wants to grow your business’ online visibility by ranking it high on Google).

1. Relevant and updated gathering posts

Every once in a while, a blogger goes the extra mile, contacts a number of top players in the SEO market and asks them about their most current advice that could help a true beginner succeed.

This time, it’s Ayodeji of Effective Inbound Marketing who’s done this. He took the time to interview 19 SEO experts and published the results in one large gathering post.

Posts like that are great places to go for relevant information. The experts featured are people practicing SEO every day. So whenever they get asked about what they’d do if they were just starting out, they always share the most current and updated advice.

Furthermore, I actually encourage you to look for similar “how to learn SEO online” posts in the future. If not Ayodeji then someone else will surely repeat this group interview thing in a couple of months or so.

2. Link building strategies at Point Blank SEO

Point Blank SEO is one of the coolest SEO blogs in the last few years. The advice is clear, understandable, and actionable.

For instance, link building is known to be the core of SEO. In plain English, if you want to do SEO actively, you’re going to be link building a lot.

So a while ago, Jon – the founder of Point Blank SEO, published this link building strategies page.

What’s great about it is that it features quite a lot of tactics, but each one comes with a short description, so depending on how much time and dedication you have for this, you can pick something that suits you in one way or the other.

3. Fizzle and their website traffic course

Fizzle is a training site created by Corbett Barr. It provides quality, real-talk business training with no BS. It’s a paid program ($35 a month), but there’s also a $1 trial.

One of the courses available (and the library is quite big) is about website traffic. Ultimately, the reason why we’re doing SEO is to get traffic. Good search engine rankings on their own are pointless if they don’t bring traffic, right? And it just so happens that Corbett knows a thing or two about traffic. After all, he’s the guy behind Think Traffic.

The website traffic course at Fizzle is video-based and consists of 16 lessons. Everything is laid out nicely and easy to follow, just what a beginner needs.

Feel free to take advantage of the $1 one-month trial and check it out.

Action and learning

I guess that’s it for the places to go, but I’d like to take one more moment to encourage you to do some sniffing around of your own. Good SEO advice is only as strong as it is up-to-date. So, unfortunately, you need to be on a constant lookout if you want to build and retain good search engine visibility.

Oh yes, one more thing. For some additional info on how to learn SEO online and apply it to your online business, make sure to also check out these two posts: the SEO glossary – to get to know the terminology, and my guest post on ProBlogger talking about the essential SEO settings for sites running on WordPress.

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How to Learn SEO Online If You’re a Beginner (and an Online Business Owner)? | newInternetOrder.com