Top 3 Keyword Research Tools

You don’t have to tackle the big, bad, SEO monster all alone. There are a number of useful tools available to you when it comes to brainstorming what keywords to use, as well as how well your chosen keywords are performing for you. These tools allow you to research potential keywords, find additional keywords that may work for you, and finally, keep track of the keywords you choose to implement.

Let’s take a look at the three most popular keyword research tools available for you to use on the internet:

#3 Wordtracker
Wordtracker claims to “save you hundreds of hours on research” by allowing users to look up common keywords and keyword phrases and tracking their activity. While this is a useful service, it pales in comparison to the power of others.

#2 WordStream
WordStream not only offers a keyword research tool, but they offer additional services and complimentary tools that will help ramp up your SEO efforts. While much of their offerings are not free, they do provide helpful SEO services that many other keyword research tools do not.

#1 Google AdWords
Not only is Google AdWords free, but it is quite possibly the best and most powerful tool available to website owners and internet marketers. While every search engine is a force to be reckoned with, Google is the end all, be all of SEO. As a search engine, Google is smarter, faster and more reliable than any other search engine there is. And therefore, it’s keyword research tool is equally as powerful.

Market Your Blog with Social Networking

Social network marketing is becoming the way to market in this day and age of the Internet. With the Internet, businesses are able to reach people throughout the world with their products and services and social networking is the key to reaching more and more people.

If you are not familiar with social networking on the Internet, here is a little explanation. Social networking is basically interacting with other people on the Internet through various sites and platforms.

How to make social networking work for you consists of a few key elements. When you incorporate them into your business marketing plan your business traffic will increase and more traffic means more sales.

First of all, you need to know which social networks are popular and join them. Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon are all huge right now with millions of members each from all over the world. Obviously you don’t want to, and won’t be able to, reach all of them, so you will want to target specific groups or persons; basically you want to reach all of the people who are going to be interested in what you have to sell or offer. Which brings me to my next point.

Next you will need to know your target market. Is your target market work at home moms, men, women, single people, mother’s, dad’s, etc? Once you know your target market, begin connecting with them by adding them as a friend or follower. It helps to know one person in your target market who is already a member of the social network to introduce you to new people in your niche.

One thing you will find about social networks is there are millions of people. You will get people adding you that will never buy from you or become regular readers of yours, but they may be a friend or follower of someone else who will. But don’t add people simply to have a huge number of friends or followers. If that is your goal, then that is all you will have. The idea is to build relationships with these friends and followers so they get to know you and trust you and then perhaps they will become regular subscribers to your business blog.

Mobile Websites and Internet Drawbacks

With new technological modes of communication, there are bound to be glitches, problems and drawbacks. The mobile web is no exception.

For starters, its operating systems are not the same as those on PC’s, and they vary with each model and device. Oh, there are a standard handful – but if you want to conduct business on the web, you need to research each type of mobile device very carefully, to see what it’s internet-ready capacity is.

One good thing, however: Mobile phones and even palm-type devices have been around for over a decade. This does help cut down on buggy behavior, since some things, developers don’t have to worry about (unlike the virgin days of personal computing, when everything about them was new.)

And being able to stay connected is far more unstable than on a PC – coverage remains an issue, even if it’s not (properly speaking) an internet issue. (This holds especially true for rural areas in North America – but then again, many rural areas also can only connect to the net via PC by dial-up.)

There are far more weighty problems to consider, however, when switching over to conducting business on your mobile. And the foremost of these is:

Personal Safety – yours, and other people’s! I recently read a study which scientifically rated people talking on mobile phones while driving as legally impaired. Their reaction time was slowed, and their attention distracted. Road safety was not their priority – their conversation was. Bluetooth technology (hands-free) has helped somewhat – but surprisingly, the distraction and slowed reaction time was still a factor, when tested.

Issues of liability have been brought up already: If you cause or get into an accident while conducting company business on your mobile, is the company liable at all? Common sense might tell us “no” – but the law often looks at things differently; and there are very few existing precedents (in spite of a staggering number of accidents).

Legal issues and site security issues are still being ironed out – not so much how to keep sites secure, but who is liable for what. It’s up to you, if you’re planning to access the web via mobile for business purposes, to practice due diligence, and make sure you thoroughly understand liabilities and legalities before you engage with a site.

In spite of these drawbacks, however, one must look at things from the viewpoint of the end user: As in “your potential customer”. Mobile phones have become like a third arm to many people – and that number is growing every day!

The best thing you can do is make sure your websites are mobile ready (and secure!) Then “go with the flow” – after all, we’re living in adventurous times!

3 Small but Important StumbleUpon Video Secrets

Are you neglecting StumbleUpon video strategies? If so, perhaps it’s time you gave using video to maximize your Stumble visibility and power a better look.

It can be as simple as creating a video for your site or on YouTube, and submitting it to StumbleUpon. But there are definitely 3 tips you should pay attention to, as well as other tactics you need to be aware of, to get the most impact for time invested.

1. Don’t just stumble videos: Make one yourself – after stumbling enough that you know what works for you as a searcher (and what doesn’t).

2. Make sure you have a “Stumble” button on your video page! It allows stumblers who come to it organically through search engines to instantly stumble it, putting it StumbleUpon’s database.

3. Don’t set your videos to “autorun” when people open your page. Give them the option of clicking “play”. People are more likely to “thumbs down” videos that autorun. When fellow stumblers were polled, sample given reactions went along these lines:

“It feels like a pop-up when they start playing before I can think and decide”
“I don’t like being hi-jacked”
“It didn’t say how long it was going to run, and I have to watch my bandwidth”
“I like to choose what I click on”

Using Videos As A Strategy on Your Profile

When you click on your “Favorites” page in StumbleUpon, notice there’s another horizontal menu bar underneath your 3 “Discover”, “Favorites” and “Stumblers” tag. As well as “All”, this menu bar includes:

– photos
– videos
– discoveries
– your tags.

Is your video tab empty?

If so, give your potential subscribers one more facet of your online personality to feel enthusiastic about. Be sure to include a few videos of your own.

And start stumbling your videos – and others’ – today!

Establish Credibility in Your Niche with Pinterest

Being credible is a very important goal for any business. If your audience views you as credible then they not only see you as an expert in your niche, they also trust what you say as the truth. In order to gain this designation as credible it’s important to demonstrate your knowledge, and be able to back up what you say in a demonstrable way.

When you consider that according to research over 50 percent of online consumers have purchased based on Pinterest recommendations, that’s pretty powerful stuff. What’s more using Pinterest is a fun and effective way to help you establish credibility, so why not add it to your marketing mix.

Here are some ways to get started establishing your credibility on Pinterest:

Effective use of profile bio — Put simply, fill out your entire profile and include a good professional picture. Nothing can increase your credibility as much as a great photograph. Pinterest profiles are indexed by Google and other search engines so the more completely and keyword rich your profile is, the better.
Links to Case Studies — Prove how effective you are by creating a board of case studies. A case study is an entire overview of a business or client. Essentially a before and after. For instance, if you’re a business coach you can go in depth about how your suggestions made huge improvements.
Clever Presentation of Testimonials — Seeing pictures and the words of happy customers and clients can make all the difference in how people perceive you. Ensure that you get your clients’ and / or customers’ permission to show their image and their words, and when potential clients see the real people you’ve helped your credibility factor will go up exponentially.
Strategic use of Graphics — Almost anything can be made into a graphical representation. Create colorful flow charts. Have a professional logo made. Get a professional headshot. Ensure that all images that you use are legal and that they are also very well done.
Use of Audio & Video — If people can hear someone sing your praises they’ll love you even more. If they can hear you talking, in addition to seeing your photograph, the trust quotient explodes most barriers. Create a board that is all about linking to your audios and if you have them video.
Show infographics that prove your numbers — People love to see the numbers in action. Infographics are a terrific way to show the statistics behind your work, and as an added bonus they work great on Pinterest. Don’t make it too busy, use color, scale and as few words as possible to get your point across.

Establishing credibility is about building relationships with your niche audience. Strategic use of Pinterest to help you establish credibility is a pleasurable way to educate your target audience. You’ll be able to educate, entertain, amuse and even, if you dare, rouse your audience wide awake with your Pinterest boards and pins. Let your imagination go, but do it in a focused strategic way, and before you know it you’ll be well established as an expert in your niche that is well trusted.

How To Attract more Viewers for your Videos

One of the simplest ways to attract more viewers lies in not ignoring a small but larger-than-you-likely-realize segment of your potential market: Namely, those who are still on dial-up. While admittedly a small segment of the global population, their business can boost your sales more than you might think possible.

One of the strongest reasons? You’ll be providing a service 98% of all other video marketers ignore – making your videos much easier to load and view for those to whom a 5-minute video load can often equal over an hour of waiting time.

“Get over it. Get high speed”, is something you hear on forums, if those on dial-up dare to complain about load in times. But the simple truth is, there are those in rural areas all across North America for whom dial-up is still the only available service. Perhaps a tower has not yet been built, or geographic conditions just don’t facilitate signal.

It’s not always about these viewers being “stubborn” or “cheap” – most of them would kill for high speed!

How can you make your videos accessible to those on dial-up?

1. You’ll speed up dial-up viewers’ load in times considerably, if you provide a simple “low fidelity” option. And your high speed viewers can still access your high fidelity version

2. Keep your video segments short. It’s much easier to load in a 3-minute video than an 8.27 minute one. In fact, 3.46 minutes seems to be the cut-off time at which video views drop by half (as you’ll quickly discover, if you spend a day browsing view rates and marketing video lengths on YouTube)

3. Allow purchasers to download video series you are selling in individual zip files, rather than one huge one. It can easily take 6 hours to download a 78 mb zipped video file containing 12 “lessons” for someone on dial-up… and chances are, they’ll sit through that (on the rare occasions they’re dedicated – or foolish – enough to try, only to find that their rural phone line couldn’t sustain the download… leaving them with a corrupt, inaccessible file to show for all that effort. (Nothing is more frustrating!)

4. Let them know your video files are “dial-up friendly”. Mention it in your sales pitch; on your web page; in your blog… or even in your signature! (What’s the use of creating short, low fidelity videos – if nobody knows you have them?)

Believe me, the sort of gratitude you’ll get may not propel you towards a six-figure income, but these dial-up viewers will get high speed eventually – and you’ll have earned their loyalty and dedication for life!

The Difference Between Spam and Marketing on Twitter

When we begin speaking in terms of marketing, invariably the question comes up, are my marketing efforts true marketing efforts or are some viewing them as spam?

Spam is about taking the choice away from someone and delivering them information about products and services without their permission. Spam comes in the way of unsolicited emails, junk mail and telemarketing. Spam leaves a bad taste in our mouths and for good reason. We have not asked to be inundated with the information that we find floods our inboxes these days.

Marketing when done responsibly can be fun and witty. Commercials that reach us emotionally are effective marketing tools. People who care about their audience take the time to consider their message and how it will reach others.

On Twitter we each have an option as to who we will follow. And one might suggest it is that choice that gives others the right to “spam”. Wrong. Spam is irresponsible and annoying. More will tune out than tune in.

Take time to consider your message and how it will connect with your followers. Are you sharing a valuable service, product or resource? Do you take the time to share on a personal level as well as sharing on a business level? Have you established a relationship with your followers? Is the information you are providing timely and appropriate?

If you can answer these questions with a yes answer then your message can effectively be considered marketing rather than spam. Your followers will welcome your post rather than turn away from it. Share your tweet with others and in turn respond in kind to their own messages and tweets. After all, marketing is all about the relationship and spam is about nothing more than the bottom line.

Use Blog Posts to Inform Customers of Your Products & Services

Sometimes bloggers claim they have nothing to blog about, but the truth is you have a lot to write about. If you are promoting a product of your own, or someone else’s, or offering any type of service you have dozens apron dozens of blog posts you could be writing right now. You should be using your blog to inform your customers about your products and services whether they are yours only or you’re promoting them via an affiliate program.

Always be Marketing

Marketing is a process that is ongoing. You should always be marketing, even when you’re telling your audience a funny story about yourself and your kids. It’s a fine line for sure, but if you don’t blog about your products, services and ideas, who will? How will your audience know that these things exist to help them solve their problems? The single most effective form of marketing today is your blog.

Blog to Inform

On your blog you will attract your audience and encourage them to sign up for your email list. On your blog you will introduce your audience to the movers and shakers that you surround yourself with. On your blog you will inform your audience of solutions for their problems. On your blog you will promote your own and other people’s products and services because they are needed by your audience. You are doing a service for your audience, and because you’ve spent time developing trust, your audience will believe you when you explain why any particular product or service will help them.

Make it Easy

You don’t want your readers to have too many questions about how to buy. As soon as they want to buy you should ensure that they can buy. The link should say something like Buy Now. Don’t put something that doesn’t suggest that they are making a purchase because they won’t understand that this is how to buy if you say something that doesn’t mean buy. Purchase Now, Buy Now, Add to Cart. These are words that make sense. Plus, you don’t want to force the people who want to buy to give too much information. They want to buy right now, not in 20 minutes after filling out a long form.

Tell a Story

If you want to get your audience to buy your products, you need to talk about your products in your blog posts. Use personal stories, examples, and real life examples of how someone like them has used the product and service. You can write 10 reasons this product is perfect for you. 3 examples of how this product worked for so-and-so. You can even phrase it as a warning to your audience such as: Warning: Read this before you xyz.

You have to find a way to connect with your audience in a personal way in order to earn attention, build trust and make a profit. Tell the story of how and why you want to promote the product. Why this product is is good for your audience? How is your product different from someone else’s? Use your blog to explain and differentiate your products, services and ideas from your competition, and be clear in your calls to action.

Online Contest Apps to Build your Lists and Create Buzz

When you’ve decided on a contest to help build your list and create buzz in your business, it is helpful to know about different apps that can help you make it a breeze. Today, with cloud based computing, and easy Internet access it’s simple to find and use applications that make online contests simple for the most technically challenged.

Blazon Social — This is an online suite that gives a business tools to perform professional looking and professional acting online contests. You can do anything from photo contests to video contests to essay contests. It’s up to you. You can also create a free account in order to see if you like it.

Wizehive — This contest manager allows you to run photo contests, video contests and essay contests just like the others. You can also integrate with social media, collect leads and more. The set up makes it easy for your entrant and for voters too. The pricing is based on a per day price, and they also have a pro account with additional services including handling your email and branding. Can get a little pricy, but if you have the right target audience you can also make money from your contests by charging an entry fee.

Strutta — Use this application to run promotional contests, that also can be photos, videos, audio or text via your social media accounts. You can also, where legal run sweepstakes contests. They offer an abundance of cool apps for your Facebook page such as a custom welcome page, a media gallery and even a coupon generator. Voting is simple, and collecting a lot of leads is professional. The pricing starts at $99.00 a month and they do have a free trial option. — This online platform lets you create contests fast, you can sign up free without a credit card to try it out. It offers awesome features like incentivized sharing, free templates, even ready to go layouts for contests. You can, of course use your custom URL for your contests as well as see all your analytics easily.

ContestFactory — Huge clients use this online application to create fabulous contests that get results. They’re a full service company so this is for a serious company that wants a lot of leads. They handle all the legal stuff, and even help you get prizes for your contest via sponsorships. If you want to run contests for others they have a white label option so that you can use their system to do what they do for others.

shoutlet — This online cloud based system enables you to conduct contests that aren’t just on social media like Facebook. It also allows for all analytics, lets you collaborate with others, and so much more that I don’t have room to list. Pricing is not listed, and you must request a demo to find out more.

Don’t let this list become a block or daunting thing. This is just a few of the literally hundreds of online contest promotion tools you can use. You can also use your normal website, along with, and your own Facebook page to conduct a perfectly legitimate and prosperous online contest to build your email list and create a lot of buzz for your business. The important thing is to get started today.

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

If you want to succeed in affiliate marketing there are things you should do and things you should avoid. Like any endeavor that you embark upon on your own you will need to have a self-starting attitude, the ability to make a commitment, and perseverance. Since you’ve endeavored to start a business I am pretty sure that you’re a self-starter, but are you able to make a commitment persevere and avoid making these mistakes?

Don’t reinvent the wheel – You’ve probably heard that one before, but you’d be surprised at how many people believe they can succeed in affiliate marketing by not doing what successful people before them are doing. Instead, they insist on making the same mistakes the people who have succeed made and failed at before they succeeded. Winning strategies and tactics already exist in affiliate marketing, follow them and you too will succeed.

Don’t invest in content – Aside from products, content is your next most important aspect of marketing your affiliate products. Without investing in content via your time to write the content, or via dollars to buy original, unique and well written content, then you may as well not even bother trying to be an affiliate marketer. Content is and will always be king, whether it is written, audio or video or a combination of the three.

Don’t promote products you’ve used – This is one of the hardest aspects of affiliate marketing but you should have used the products in order to honestly promote them. If you haven’t seen a free preview copy, or you haven’t used it, then you shouldn’t promote it. How can you know the product is good if you’ve never seen it? If you promote a line of products such as children’s clothing it is okay to purchase or get some free samples and then promote the entire line, but if you’re promoting a specific program and you’ve not bought it, you really can’t expect others to spend money you’re not willing to spend.

Don’t understand SEO – Search engine optimization is your friend and it encompasses, all content on all your sites, sales pages, and article marketing articles, as well a the code on your site such as the meta tags, title tags, and alt tags on photographs. Every aspect of your marketing efforts should consider SEO which also involves keyword research and even social media marketing.

Don’t stick to a niche – If you try to work in too many areas you’ll get lost. Pick a narrow niche, and a few products that fill needs of your targeted niche and you’ll do a lot better in affiliate marketing. Casting a wide marketing net does not work in Internet marketing or any type of marketing. In a university marketing class one of the first things learned is about getting to know the target market intimately to the point you know exactly what they need, what they want, and how you can give it to them.

Don’t stay the course – Many people who get involved in affiliate marketing get distracted easily by new programs, new products, and new information. Instead, it is important that you stay the course and stick to one product at a time within your niche until you are making money, then move on to the next and at the most promote about four or five products or product lines at a time.