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Archive | August, 2018

Guide to Launch a New ‘Anything’ Online

So you’re going to launch a new product/website/blog/service online – how do you make a big splash that gets people on board and taking action?

Product Launch Guide

While this isn’t meant to be a step-by-step primer, we have put together what we think are the crucial nuts and bolts to any successful launch.

Know what you want. You can launch just about anything with a little creativity. But the first question you should be asking yourself is not what to launch, but what you want to get out of a launch. Do you want sales? Do you want to build a list? Positioning? Speaking engagements? Attracting partners and affiliates? By knowing what you want, you’ll be much more successful in figuring out how to get it.

Forget hype. Create an event. People are over run with hype and hoopla and the latest and greatest everything, which is why you don’t want to add to the noise. Instead, you want to cut through all the hype and turn your launch into an EVENT.

Think about it – despite how busy we all are, we still love holidays and birthdays and graduations and so forth. Why? Because they are events – they’re things to look forward to and celebrate. That’s why when you turn your marketing into an event, you’ll completely bypass all the other marketing that’s happening and you’ll stand head and shoulders above the other distractions competing for your prospects’ attention.

Create urgency. Whatever it is that you want people to do – buy your product, get a freebie for subscribing, join your membership, whatever – give them a deadline or use an element of scarcity. For example, if people purchase during your launch period (typically 2-7 days) then they get a special deal or extra bonuses or a lower price. Or your offer is only available during the event – after that it goes away permanently.

It’s because you’re running this special event that you can add in the scarcity element. Otherwise it’s difficult to do it ethically – for example, those scripts that say the price will increase by midnight of the day the visitor hits the page are not only unethical – they may even be illegal.

And because of the scarcity – the bonuses going away or the price increasing or the actual product no longer being available – you’ll find there is a surge in sales in the hours before the deadline. Scarcity really is a powerful motivator.

Introduce something in the middle of your event to spike sales. Let’s say you’re doing a five day event. On day 1 sales will be high because people are primed to buy. But by day 3 sales will have fallen off dramatically. That’s why you need something to add excitement and make more sales. It might be an additional big bonus, or it could be a payment plan. Whatever it is, introduce it shortly before the halfway point. You should see a sales spike in the hours immediately after your announcement and again on the last day of the event in the final hours before it closes.

Your sales letter is not what you think. Sure, on the day of your big launch you’ve got a sales letter ready to sell your product or sell whatever action you want them to take. But that’s only the END of your sales letter. Really your entire sales letter begins with your first marketing message and continues all the way through the pre-launch phase.

What you’re doing throughout your entire prelaunch phase is introducing yourself to your prospects, letting them know that you suffered from the same problem they have and you’ve found solutions. You’re telling your story, and as you tell your story you also share tidbits of really excellent information that they can use right away.

You’re actually accomplishing two things at the same time – you’re establishing trust by telling your own personal story, and you’re establishing credibility by sharing some of your best material with them for free. Mind you, you’re not giving away the farm or telling them everything you know. Rather, you’re telling them what they need to do to accomplish their goal or solve their problem. You’re just not telling them how to do it, because that is covered in the product.

This way, when you get to the actual product launch day, you’ve got people who don’t even need to read your letter in order to purchase your product – they’re ready to buy. And those who do need a sales letter to make the decision are already warmed up and very interested – you just need to push them over the fence.

Begin your launch just as you would begin a sales letter – with a big headline. You need something to capture people’s attention and get them excited. And each phase of your pre-launch should have another headline, whether it’s a written message or a video. Always be capturing attention and creating curiosity all the way through the process.

Remember, this is an EVENT, so treat it like an event. Rather than using hype, attract people with what’s actually happening and what’s really taking place. Your launch can change people’s lives – if not then maybe you should rethink it. And because it can change lives, you need to clearly convey that message to your prospects. And the best way to do that is by using an attention grabbing headline each time that sets the tone, and then following up with really great information.

Have a great offer. This goes for anything and it’s especially relevant for launches. Just because you’re going to all the trouble of creating an event doesn’t mean you don’t also need a great offer, because you do. I don’t care if you’re a wiz at prelaunches and launches, if your offer stinks then you’re not going to make sales.

So what’s a great offer? It’s something where the customers thinks, “Wow, I can’t believe I’m getting so much value for so little money.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that your offer is cheap – it could be $1,000. But it does mean that you are offering far more in value than the price you are charging.

For example, if you’re showing someone how to set up a business that pays them $1,000 a week, then $1,000 for that information is nothing (it’s peanuts). Or if you’re showing them how to solve a problem that’s been driving them crazy for days or weeks or even years, and you’re doing it for only $47 while they’ve spent hundreds trying to solve it, then it’s a great offer.

Get help with your marketing message. You go through the whole process of prelaunch and launch, only to have a dud. Ouch. You can prevent this and have a strong event by taking a little time to have some conversations with your prospects in advance. For example, float your idea in a blog post and gauge reaction. Are they excited? Do they want to know more? Or is the sound of silence all that you’re receiving?

Talk to your prospects and customers on forums, webinars, via email, teleseminars, etc. Gauge reaction and tailor your sales message accordingly. This can only aid you in having a successful event.

Suss out the marketing objections. You’re having a conversation on your blog or in your forum and you see the same problems coming up, what do you do? If you’re smart, you tackle them head on in your launch. For example, your product is on how to be an amazing baker even if your prospect can’t make a Rice Krispie treat to save their life. (For non-bakers out there, Rice Krispie treats are super easy to make.)

So you keep hearing, “When I make cookies they always get too thin at the edges and that part burns.” So you make a video that shows you had the exact same problem, and it was really embarrassing when someone would comment about your weird cookies, but then you found the secret and here it is and now your cookies are perfect. And Voila! You are now the expert baking problem solver, all because you listened to your market and discovered some of the things that were driving them crazy.

You might be wondering why I call these things objections, and the reason is this: If your prospects feel like they can’t do the simplest of things, then they’re not going to possess the confidence to invest in your program. But if you can show them how rapidly they can make improvements, not only will their confidence in their abilities increase, but so will their confidence in your ability to dramatically help them.

Sequence your launches. You might be thinking that launches are just for huge products and million dollar deals, but that’s just the high profile launches. If you’re smart, and especially if you’re just getting started, you’ll start small and stack your launches. For example, your first launch might be for your blog – to get your first readers and start building your list.

Your second launch might be a small product in which you’re really focused more on getting active affiliates than making sales, because with your third launch you’re going to be going bigger, with a more expensive product. Having those affiliates in place from the last launch will help you tremendously. Maybe when you’re focused on gaining affiliates and building your mailing list, you pay 100% commissions.

Then as you get bigger, you start charging more for your products but paying lower percentages to affiliates (example: 100% the first time, 75% the second, etc.) And you just stack this way, doing one launch after another, sometimes with different goals in mind and always building on what you’ve done previously.

Remember, launches aren’t just for the Internet marketing realm. Because we’re in Internet Marketing, we’re witness to a lot of IM launches. But if you look at others niches, and just about ANY niche, you’ll find that launches are there as well. In fact they often work even BETTER, because they’re not overcrowded with launches the way that IM can be. So the tip here is to think outside of IM, to look at any other niches you’re in or you want to be in, and think about doing a series of launches in that niche to build your business there.

3 Secrets from a $315 Million Dollar Blog

Six years after starting a blog called the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington sold the website for 315 million dollars. But 3 years before the deal was done, Arianna shared her secrets to creating a successful blog at the MarketingProfs event. Little did they know at the time just how successful her blog would become!

3 Secrets from a $315 Million Dollar Blog

Here are 3 points she said marketers should keep in mind when creating and growing their own blogs, along with my elaboration:

1. “Make it easy for your contributors to contribute.”

You’ll notice when you visit the Huffington Post there isn’t just one writer, there are hundreds of writers. In fact, any celebrity can share their thoughts in a blog post if they do it “transparently and honestly.” How can you adapt this method to your blog? Allow anyone known (and perhaps even unknown but up and coming) in your industry to make blog posts, and make it easy. If they want to phone it in, email it in or use any other method (snail mail?) then let them. So long as it fits into your blog’s guidelines, publish it.

2. “Have a clear point of view.”

Forget keeping everyone happy by covering every point of view. Instead, choose your angle and stick with it. It’s clear to all where the Huffington Post stands, and it should be just as clear to your readers where your own blog lies in the spectrum of opinion. Find the truth in each story from your point of view and your visitors will have a clear idea of what you stand for.

3. “Provide a safe environment.”

It’s not going to be easy to get new contributors if they’re afraid they’re going to get attacked each time they make a post. That’s why the Huffington Post employs a team of comment “pre-moderators” who approve or reject comments. Thus no personal attacks are allowed, and disagreements are kept on a civil and intelligent level.

If success leaves clues and you consider selling a blog for $315 million to be successful, what can these blogging guidelines do for you? Put them into practice and let’s find out!

7 Non-Pushy Ways to Get Your Customers to Promote You

Why don’t your customers recommend you to their friends? It’s not because they don’t like you – if they didn’t like you or your products, they wouldn’t be buying from you. Nor is it because they don’t have time – we all naturally recommend things we like to friends.

7 Non-Pushy Ways to Get Your Customers to Promote You

The reason they don’t recommend you is because you don’t make it easy for them. Here are 7 ways to not only make it easy, but to also remind them in a very nice, non-pushy way that you really would like a little word of mouth now and then…

1. Encourage them to write online reviews. Whatever your product or service, if you believe in it then ask your customers to rate it for you. Give them a 1 to 5 star option on one or several aspects of your product, and give them a place to write their comments.

2. Remember those “refer a friend” scripts? You used to see those buttons everywhere. Now that they aren’t as popular as they once were, it’s the perfect time to add them to your website. Remember, doing the opposite of what others are doing is quite often the way to stand apart and get ahead.

3. “Share with a friend.” There are other options besides the “refer a friend.” For example, you can let them share the content of your blog post or article by simply clicking a button and choosing the email addresses they want it sent to. Better still, simply having this button will often remind people to send it to their friends, and they’ll copy and paste the content in an email.

4. Use your “Tweet This,” “Like This,” and “PlusOne” buttons. Then ASK them to share it. You can double your tweets and likes simply by asking.

5. Depending on your service, you might be able to “share the credit.” For example, the Flip digital video cameras have an option at the end of the video editing process where the user can “share the credit” with Flip. They check the box, and a small screen appears at the end of the movie saying it was created with a Flip Camera. If you can incorporate something like this into your product or service, by all means do so.

6. Do you have raving fans? Then create a button for their websites and Facebook pages that lets them share their enthusiasm for your product or service.

7. Make a special offer. For example, if you offer a monthly service, give each customer a free month of service for each paying customer they refer.

9 Tips to Confidently Live Blog at an Event

You subscribe to a certain marketer’s emails, blog and tweets. He writes a blog post saying he’s headed to the Incredible Fantastic Marketing Symposium tomorrow. The next day you get tweets he sends during his airport time, and a little later he sends you another update telling you he’s arrived and he just met Joe Rich Bucks Guru!

9 Tips to Confidently Live Blog at an Event

Have you had this experience? Next, he sends you updates via his blog, tweets, Facebook status and emails filling you in on all the details and sharing some of the new ideas he’s picked up. Really, you can’t help but feel like you’re there yourself, and you’re really into it. Near the end, he tells you to watch out for an incredible deal he’s putting together with Guru’s 1, 2 and 3, and when he sends the offer, you can’t help but check it out (and maybe even pounce on it, what the heck!)

So how did he manage to hook you into sharing the whole experience with him, and maybe even making a purchase you hadn’t planned on?

Sharing a live event with your readers isn’t magic, but it does take some skill to pull it off effectively. And this isn’t just for Internet marketers attending conferences – this is for anyone in any niche who is at a live event. Maybe you cover local sports on your blog, or you’re a foodie at a culinary show, or you’re a book reviewer going to a writer’s conference. Whatever the event, if you can effectively share it with your readers, you can amp up your professional credibility by several notches in one weekend while increasing your readership and even your sales.

Here are 9 tips for effectively live blogging an event…

1. Know your purpose. What do you hope to get out of your live blogging? Do you want to better connect with your readers? Educate them? Increase your readership? Sell a product? By knowing your purpose going in, you’ll have a much better idea of how to proceed. For example, if you’re looking for new readers, you’ll be spending more time on Twitter with real time updates. (Don’t forget to ask for the retweets.)

2. Get it right the first time. At a live event you don’t have time for rewrites. That’s why you’ve got to get it right the first time so that you can spend as little time as possible rewriting and correcting mistakes. Speed is paramount – after all, if you have to spend 100% of your time writing, you won’t have time to network or even enjoy what’s happening.

3. Go for quality, not quantity. Maybe you’re at a weekend training and you’ve got six different classes to attend. Go to all six and blog about each one, right? Well, no. It’s better to pick and choose what you’ll be writing about so that you can provide high quality content your readers will enjoy. If you’re trying to cover everything, you won’t cover anything well and you’ll just end up fried because you’re not taking breaks. Not to mention the fact that your readers may not appreciate getting six full blown 300 – 700 word updates in one day.

4. Share golden nuggets, not War and Peace. Let’s say you’ve chosen 3 of those 6 classes to attend. Now then, don’t cover them play by play or word for word. Instead, simply pick out the juiciest bits and share those. And if you’re tweeting, don’t forget to use the hashtag for the event so that people can find your tweets.

5. Make it personal. That is, don’t give a book report. Instead, put your own personal spin on what you’re reporting. Have a point of view and SHARE IT – otherwise your coverage will be no different from anyone else’s.

6. Be a real reporter. Real reporters don’t simply take what is offered – they ask questions, they get interviews, they investigate what’s going on and they even get the pulse of the entire event. Who can you talk to? What can you discover? Find angles of your own and not only will your reporting be more interesting – you’ll also find that because you’re being proactive, you’re enjoying yourself infinitely more then if you were simply a passive observer.

7. Team up. If you’re going with a friend or colleague, you might work together on writing and promoting your content. If not, get someone to help you with promotion so that you can focus exclusively on creating great content. For example, they can submit your posts to Digg and other sites for you, thereby freeing you up to focus solely on content creation.

8. Get questions from your readers answered at the event. Your readers will become even more engaged if you ask them for questions they want answered from someone there at the event. Think of yourself as their representative and take polls on what they want to know. Again, if you have an assistant, they can help you with this.

9. Recap the event. This can be your most popular post, so spend some time on it. Recap the highlights, add in things you didn’t write about previously and highlight the biggest takeaways.

Pssst: This is also a great time to plug the recordings of the event if you are an affiliate. 😉

How To Handle Nasty Blog Comments

You pour your heart and soul into a blog post and BAM! Someone hits you with a rude, disparaging comment. Should you fire back and show them just how wrong they are?

How To Handle Nasty Blog Comments

While it’s tempting to do just that, I advocate you take a breath first. Sit back, relax, go get a cup of coffee, walk around the block or do whatever you need to do to calm down.

Only when you are completely calm and rational should you even think about replying. Now reread the comment and look for something positive. Anything. You might have to look hard, but it’s there.

Maybe they said you don’t know what you’re talking about. Do you? If you did your research, this is your chance to point out the experts who back what you wrote. Perhaps the commenter completely disagrees with your point of view. This gives you a chance to honor the fact that their opinion differs, while calmly and rationally explaining why you hold yours.

The one thing that is paramount to keep in mind is that this is not a fight and should not become a fight. That adrenaline surge you felt when you first read the comment occurred because your primitive brain thought you were under physical attack and needed to defend your life. You do not. This is simply another person on the planet who chooses to view things differently than you do. And that’s ALL it is.

Also keep in mind – as nasty as this person appears to be right now, this is still a living, breathing human being with friends, family, fears, challenges and shortcomings. Don’t escalate the dialogue with confrontation. Instead, allow them to have their opinion. Respect their opinion, or at least give the appearance of respecting it (no matter how off-the-wall crazy it might be.)

Answer calmly, rationally and above all NICELY and politely. Often they will respond to your kindness with kindness of their own, and may even offer an apology. If they don’t respond, don’t worry about it. Your goal is not to win them over; it’s to appear as the same rational, intelligent, level-headed expert your readers expect you to be.

That’s why you’ll always keep in mind that your audience is reading this interaction. If you sink to the level of your detractor, you will lose respect and you will lose readers. But if you fail to take the bait and remain the same cool, calm professional you are, your readers will respect you even more.

7 Keys to Making a Great Website Header

The right header can give your website a professional look, attracting attention from your visitors and even increasing your conversions. The header can set the tone for your entire page, and can help visitors decide to linger or leave.

7 Keys to Making a Great Website Header

Obviously, you want to spend some time making your header look professional and convey exactly the message you want. After all, if a picture paints a thousand words, then your header can say a lot about you and your product or service.

With this in mind, here are 7 tips on how to make your header work for you instead of against you.

1. Use great graphics. Think of the biggest benefit your visitors get from your webpage, blog or product, and then find a way to convey that in a picture. For example – if you teach gardening, then a luscious, bold garden filled with vibrant flowers will work nicely. If you teach cooking, you’ll want a header that conveys the type of cooking you teach – Italian? Vegetarian? Keto?

But what if your main benefit isn’t so easy to convey? For example, you’re selling a product on how to get massive traffic through social media. One idea is to have a person telling another person, who tells another, who hands over cash to the website owner. Or perhaps it’s one of those diagrams where one person tells 5, who each tell 5, who each tell 5 (think MLM.) There are a number of possibilities – you’ve just got to find the right one for your website.

2. So you’ve got the perfect web graphic for your header in your, um, head, but you’re no graphic artist. Now what? Consider hiring a professional to create your graphic for you. View their portfolios to find someone who makes headers you like, and then hire that person. The money you spend to make your header can pay off very quickly, so don’t sweat the $50 to $200 it costs for a professional looking header.

3. Don’t forget the headline. Sure, you’ve got your website name and your graphic, but what about a slogan or headline? Your header is prime real estate so be smart and think of the perfect headline that tells exactly what your site, blog, product or service does. Make it compelling and curiosity or benefit driven, something that grabs prospect’s attention and persuades them to read further.

4. If possible, place your best keyword(s) in your header. Again, this is to grab the attention of your visitor and get them to read further on your page, rather than passing you by for the next website.

5. Align your header with your theme. If your website is blue and yellow, use those colors in your header. If your website uses a particular font, consider using the same or similar font in your header, and so forth. Your website should look seamless, not like a bunch of disjointed parts slapped together in Frankenstein’s basement.

6. Make your header credible. Don’t claim to be the world’s foremost leading authority on space travel unless you really are. Credibility is everything online.

7. Consider including a simple animation in your video. We’re not talking about those horrible neon flashing things here. But something subtle with a bit of movement will catch the eye and add interest.

Want some inspiration to get you started? Here are 55 Awesome Website Headers. Mind you, some of these are totally out-of-the-box different, and maybe more than you need…

http://www.topdesignmag.com/55-awesome-website-headers-for-your-inspiration/

Here’s another 30+ Cool and Creative Header Designs…

http://www.tutorialchip.com/inspiration/website-header-designs/

Getting Those Lovely Little Links To Come To You (Link Baiting)

How do you get other websites to want to link to yours? By providing what we call “bait;” content of various forms on your websites that is so enticing or interesting that other website owners just have to link to you.

Getting Those Lovely Little Links To Come To You (Link Baiting)

Here’s a list of link baits that work consistently well…

Run Contests – The key here is to make your contest vote-based. For example, you ask entrants to submit their best answer to a question, and then you allow readers to do the voting. Not only can this become viral – those who enter are also likely to blog about it to their readers, thus providing links to your website.

Egobait – Appealing to the ego of others is a dynamite way to get links. Consider making a list of top movers and shakers in your industry, much like the Forbes 500 (only perhaps not quite that long.) Then contact each person on the list to let them know they made the cut. Odds are every person on your list will then link back to you.

Interviews – Again we’re appealing to the ego, only this time it’s on a one to one basis. Ask for and publish interviews from the influential people in your niche and you can be almost certain you’ll get not just a link from them, but from other websites as well.

Business Links – Join places like the Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau because they will link to you. Then get your business partners and other non-competing businesses to link to you as well. Anyone you do business with as well as any association that you’re a part of will likely place your link on their website.

Infographics – A good infographic will pay for itself in links back to your website. The key is to make your infographic timely, relevant and above all interesting. Check the resources section of this newsletter for 20 different infographic resources – everything from building your own periodic table (perhaps the periodic table of online marketing?) to creating typography infographics (such as word clouds, only better.)

Stories – Who doesn’t like a great story? Whether it’s written or on video, keep it tight, succinct and above all, interesting.

Drawings, Cartoons, Artwork, Amazing Photography, Etc. – Anything that visually pops can be a backlink magnet.

Videos – Okay, this one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it. But what makes people want to link to a video? The number one thing is humor. After that, great info conveyed in less than 5 minutes can work well, as can anything strange and unusual. Also, if you employ the element of surprise, so much the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you show a tranquil scene and then have a scary screaming zombie-like face flash in front of the screen – just do the unexpected and you’ll increase the odds of getting backlinks.

Example: If you’ve got 10 dynamite tips on how to do something, deliver those tips in 60 seconds while standing on your head. Or deliver the tips with a timer running, and if you don’t get the tips covered in the time allotted, something surprising happens.

Use Social Media – The more tweets you can get on your content, the more Google Love you’re likely to get. And the more likes you get on Facebook, the more Bing will appreciate you. What’s the best way to get tweets and likes? First, create great content. Second, ASK your readers to like and tweet it.

Compile Content – There are several ways to do this. The oldest and perhaps easiest is to make a list of the best blog posts and articles you read this week. Another method is to aggregate content on a specific niche. You’ll want to be timely and comprehensive in doing this because it will make you the “go-to” site for that topic and you’ll get backlinks like crazy.

Cosmo-type Quizzes – Ladies, you know what we’re talking about. Guys, inside Cosmopolitan magazine you’ll find a quiz. It’s maybe 3 to 10 questions long, it’s fun to take, and the answers reveal something about the person taking the quiz. If you can make it interesting enough, people will want to share their answers (and the quiz) with others.

Submit Your Site to CSS Galleries – If your website has a great CSS design (or if you’re ready to get one) then you might want to submit your website to CSS Galleries. http://thecssgallerylist.com/ will submit your website to 100 galleries for $20, and those galleries that accept your site will of course provide you with a quality backlink.

Were any of these a surprise to you? Link baiting isn’t hard, it’s simply a matter of keeping your eyes open to the possibilities. Always be thinking, “How can I get great links?” Or when you see a site you want your link on, ask yourself the best way to go about it. Sometimes it really is as easy as ASKING for the link.

What’s Pinterest and How Can It Help Me?

Pinterest is a social media website, best described as a visual version of Delicious and other link saving services. It’s grown like gangbusters since its launch in March of 2010, with 200+ million monthly active users.

What's Pinterest and How Can It Help Me?

Why is Pinterest so popular? It’s fun, it’s easy, and it’s about discovering the unexpected. It’s all about interests, not friends, and unlike Facebook and Twitter that is continuously streaming content, the pinboards stay put. Perhaps best of all, it can be about anything – any pinboard you create can be about any topic, and you can create as many pinboards as you like.

“Pinning,” as they call it, is adding photos (images) to a “pinboard.” You can either add images from websites using the “Pin It” button, or you can upload images from your computer. Now here’s the good part: Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from.

So if your visitors are pinning your photos, two things are happening. First, you’re getting backlinks. Second, you could potentially receive traffic. When someone clicks on one of your photos inside of Pinterest, they are first taken to the pin page, and a second click takes them to your website. Imagine if you have intriguing, eye-popping photos that make people want to know more – you could receive free traffic and potentially newsletter sign-ups and perhaps even sales if you play this right.

And videos can be pinned as well. If a video link is pinned, Pinterest embeds the video inside the pin. Then there are repins and likes, potentially making your images and videos go viral and enter the conversations on Twitter and Facebook.

A repin adds an image someone finds while browsing Pinterest to their own board. No matter how many times an image is repinned, the source-link of the image is maintained.

If for any reason you don’t want images your website to be pinned, simply add the following code snippet to the head of any page on your site:

<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />

When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message: “This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”

Once you’ve joined Pinterest you’ll want to create your Pinterest profile and get the “follow” button for your website. Give your readers a reason to follow you on Pinterest by offering them useful content beyond whatever you’re marketing. You might pin images that inspire you and your company, images of your customers enjoying your products, etc.

Create daily pins to promote your brand, create contests to engage your audience and get them to your website, create a “See who pinned our products this week” section on your newsletter, etc. There are many ways to use Pinterest to spread the word about your products. Just think – a single photo can get pinned hundreds of times, making it just as viral as a great Tweet.

One of my favorite ideas is the “Pin it to Win It” contest theme, where you reward your customers for adding your products to their pinboards. But remember that it’s not all about you or your products – make sure you’re providing useful content such as “Insider Tips” and “Latest News” for your niche.

Explore Pinterest, and have fun with it. It can be a create source for new ideas, and new connections in growing your business and brand online.

4 Reasons To Seriously Consider Using Guest Bloggers

If you have a blog you might want to consider allowing others to post on it. Here’s why:

4 Reasons To Seriously Consider Using Guest Bloggers

1. Guest bloggers create content for you, meaning you either a) don’t have to create as much content or b) you can have even more content on your blog without the extra work.

2. Guest bloggers know things you don’t. You’ve got your expertise and they’ve got theirs, and while you could take the time to master what they already know, it’s far easier to simply let them write about it.

Bonus: You look just as smart whether you write it yourself or get a guest blogger to do it for you.

3. Guest bloggers see things differently. Let’s face it, reading everything from the same perspective can get tiresome. Allow your readers to see different perspectives and it will keep your blog relevant and interesting.

4. Guest bloggers bring friends. They tell their followers about their guest posts, bringing fresh traffic to your blog.

Diversity is a big key to success in every field. Don’t always “go it alone”. Invite others into your fold. Then sit back and watch in appreciation as your business and influence grows.

5 Steps to Add Power to Your Content

Have no doubt, email marketing is still a huge powerhouse and offers perhaps the very best return on your time. So how can your emails have an even greater impact with your readers? Here are 5 tips for strengthening and adding power to content you create.

5 Steps to Add Power to Your Content

Shorter is better. But not too short. Shorter sentences are more likely to be read than longer ones. And shorter emails are more likely to be read all the way through than 3,000 word behemoths.

But there’s also such as thing as TOO short. You know those emails that have one sentence designed to make you curious enough to click the link? Don’t be clever and copy those emails, because testing shows they don’t convert as well on the backend as emails that prep the reader for what they’re about to see. By that we mean, you may get just as many clicks as you would if you took the time to explain where your reader is going and why they should go there, but because you did not prepare them, you won’t get as many sales once they land on the page you sent them to.

The trick is to tell them, or in fact EDUCATE them just enough to make them want very much to go to the page you’re sending them to. This way they’re primed to learn more about the topic and quite possibly make the purchase. Think of it as warming up your prospect before sending them off to the sales page.

Being timely is key. Open your email with the latest news in your niche and then tie it into your offer and you’ve got a winner. Can’t find a way to tie the two together? Then don’t. There’s no reason why you can’t update them on both the latest news and your latest offer. Just be sure you lead with the news – keeping them informed is more important than making a sale, or at least that’s they way you should come across if you want your readers to continue opening your newsletters.

Be a problem solver. Regardless of whether or not you’re making an offer in your email, if you can show them how to solve a problem, you’re golden. Tell them about the solution you use and how they can use the same idea to fix their own problem. If you are promoting a product, begin with the problem it solves, and then explain why this particular solution holds an edge over the others.

Get them hooked, then link them over. A wonderful use of newsletters is to get your reader hooked into a story, and then at a key moment continue the story on your blog. This will get a vast majority of your readers clicking that link to find out what happens next in the story. (Be sure you put the entire story on your blog for those that land there without reading your newsletter.)

Be funny, or at the very least have fun. You receive two emails: One from your very serious uncle, the other from your cousin the comedien. Which do you open first? Obviously we all enjoy having fun, and if the writer had fun writing the newsletter to us, you know it’s going to be enjoyable to read. That’s why if you’re able to use humor, it’s like icing on the cake.

Keep these tips in mind the next time you prepare to write a newsletter or blog post, and you are sure to create more engaging content that draws your readers in.

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