Do You Have a Mailing List for Blog?

The best kept secret to a successful blog is the mailing list. This is a list of people who have subscribed or registered to receive emails from you in the form of a newsletter or promotional emails.

When you set up your business blog, you should have a form on the front page for readers to subscribe to your mailing list. There are many form plug-ins to choose from for different types of blog platforms.

Your list is built one person, one email at a time. Even if you only have one subscriber to your newsletter, begin sending information to them that will benefit them, and that they will most likely respond to. You never want to send email to your readers simply for the sake of sending them something.

The purpose of the email is to keep in touch with your readers so they will continue to return to your site. Therefore, be sure you offer them something of value in your newsletter or promotion. You should also offer your readers something for free for signing up to your newsletter on your blog. Do you have a service you could offer an hour of for free or half an hour? Or how about a product you sell? If you can offer your readers a small token of appreciation, they will return the favor by subscribing to your email list.

There are several email management programs to choose from on the web so finding one that suits your needs won’t be difficult at all. They range from a simple email management program for up to 100 subscribers, to a full blown ecommerce system that supports everything from your email lists to a shopping cart and so on. Of course these come with a monthly fee, so if you’re just starting out with your business blog, you may not need a full ecommerce system yet.

If you already have a business blog established but don’t utilize an email management system, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to reach more people and retain the readers you already have. Don’t wait one minute longer! Boost your business instantly by setting up an email management program now.

Your Perfect Sales Funnel Plan Begins with a Solid Foundation

No matter what you desire the end result of your sales funnel plan to be, the truth of the matter is actually quite simple. You have to start at the beginning. For anyone who is experienced in sales, there is already an awareness concerning sales cycles and how they can, at times be quite slow going.

By starting off on the right foot with a quality product and high standards for customer service, you will gradually build a positive reputation for yourself. Any future opportunities you have to provide repeat business with your customers will have them expecting the same quality service they initially received. And you need to be willing to provide that, even with your lowest priced or free product.

By laying a positive foundation from the start, you’re building a solid path between you and your customer. We want this path to be used for quite a long time. Once they are satisfied and begin to have trust in you, it’s time to find other venues for your business dealings with your customer. Set the stage for the next level of products you have available which may be of interest to them, and which they could find useful.

You have established your reputation now, and can take this opportunity to offer an assortment of enhancements for your customer’s original or subsequent purchases. More upscale services may be in order to assist with some of these new enhancements, and you must be ready to assist in any way necessary to remain trustworthy to these people who have stayed with you to this point.

There will be many other opportunities surrounding this initial contact. They may have told their friends, and had them contact you for the same products and services. Or you may have found your own clients for the niche you’re supplying information on. The same process you used for your initial customer can and should be used over and over again, as often as possible. This is how you are going to grow your online business. This consistency will ensure all of your customers receive what they well deserve.

As time passes, you may create or discover a high-level service or product which could be quite useful to your client, creating a huge impact for them or their business. The rapport you have built with this customer from the very beginning will come in very handy here. They will trust you in regards to these types of products, simply because you have been their faithful provider of friendship, quality information, and in some cases even reassurance, which has helped them develop their business just as they have helped you.

The final word for the time being is this: in the end, all you really have to give is your word. Make sure it is worth giving, and deliver everything you have said you would in the agreed-upon timeframe. It is this powerful yet tiny thing which can make the difference between success and failure.

How Much to Charge for Membership to Your Site

Creating a paid membership site is perhaps the best move an online business can make in these tumultuous economic times. Paid membership sites offer a constant flow of income that can grow overnight in some instances.

When setting up a paid membership site you are doing the work once, and then
reap the monetary rewards over and over again for as long as you offer information to your members. The site can be set to be accessed monthly or by a yearly subscription. No matter what, money will be coming in all the time. Passive income possibly at it’s best.

Knowing how much to charge for your paid membership site is something that is as individual as your company is to the whole of the Internet. Only you can decide what the price should be. Since the start up of a site like this is relatively low, it’s safe to assume you can expect to make your initial outlay back rather quickly.
Although you may have ongoing expenses, for the most part, once you repay yourself for the start up costs, the remainder of what you make afterwards is profit.

The potential profits are unlimited once you set your price. Let’s say you want to start out by charging $19.99 a month to let people have access to your membership site. You have 100 people who have signed up. This will give you a guaranteed $1,999.00 a month. Now imagine if you charged more?

You are in control of how much your site makes. You control the cost of the membership as well as the content inside. Speaking of the content, you need to make sure the content is actually worth the money you expect to charge to have access to it. This is a common mistake most newcomers make, they charge way too much for way too little content.

People want to be sure they are getting more than their money’s worth for anything they purchase or subscribe too. If you do not offer content that is informative, updated and current, you have made a crucial mistake and subscribers will catch on fast. A great site will include quality content more than worth the price you charge for it. In turn you lead yourself to people spreading the word and business growing over and over again.

Why You Should Launch Your Own Affiliate Program

What if there was a way to reach more potential customers in a shorter amount of time?
And what if you could spend more time focusing on your actual business rather than
trying to market it? What if you could make more money by spending less? Well, there is
a way, you can and you will!

By launching your own affiliate marketing program you will have the opportunity to
reach a greater audience and grow your customer base through a well-equipped team of
affiliate marketers. You can’t possibly reach your entire market on your own, but you can
certainly reach a greater percentage through the help of affiliate marketers who work for
you. Their goal is to sell your business and your product while you focus your efforts on
what’s really important like creating your product, maintaining client relationships and
building relationships with industry peers.

An affiliate marketing program is a cost-effective, reliable way for your business to
achieve exponential growth that can only occur when you have a dedicated team working
for you. And the best part is, it requires little to no investment at all. You will need to
purchase a quality affiliate management program, but other than initial start-up costs
(which are minimal) you only stand to make money. A well managed, well executed
affiliate marketing program is not only a great business tool, it is a great way to bring in
additional revenue and grow your business beyond what you have ever imagined.

Three Tips to Optimize Your Content for the Search Engines

Content is the most powerful tool you have in your search engine optimization strategy. Relevant content, optimized for keywords, and published frequently can shoot your website to the top of the search engine results. That being said, there are a few strategies it helps to know when writing and optimizing your content.

#1 One page, one keyword.

Keep it simple and optimize each webpage for one primary keyword. You could include a couple of secondary keywords that might be extensions of the primary keyword. However, trying to incorporate too many keywords into one page diffuses the results.

#3 Use your keyword strategically.

There are a few prominent places to position your keyword so they’re recognized by the search engines. These locations include:

* Your headline,

* Any headings or subheadings in your content,

* And the first and last paragraph of your content.

#4 Let your words flow naturally.

Many beginners are tempted to place their keywords in every single sentence. That generally creates an article or page that’s extremely difficult to read. Instead, write your content and then go back and position your keywords using the strategy we just outlined. Make sure to sprinkle other relevant words throughout your content as well.

For example, if you’re writing about puppy housebreaking, you can also use the words potty training, or housetraining.

Having a keyword strategy for each piece of content you write and following the tips we’ve outlined will go a long way toward helping you reach the search engine results you desire. The bottom line, write quality and well focused content for your audience first and the search engines second. Because, after all, your audience is the key to profits and a successful website.

3 Tips To Avoid Duplicate Content

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, there are some definite mistakes to avoid. One of the most common mistakes website owners make is to publish what’s called “duplicate content.”

What is Duplicate Content?

Google defines duplicate content as, “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Most of the time when we see this, it’s unintentional or at least not malicious in origin: forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages, store items shown (and — worse yet — linked) via multiple distinct URLs, and so on. In some cases, content is duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or garner more traffic via popular or long-tail queries.”

What’s The Penalty For Duplicate Content?

Typically, a loss of page ranking or having that particular piece of content ignored. If you’re trying to improve your page ranking in the search results, duplicate content isn’t going to help you accomplish it.

The Simple Solution?

1. Avoid duplicate content easily by writing and publishing original content.

2. When using PLR, Private Label Rights, make sure you’re purchasing it from a reputable company and that the content is limited to a specific number of users. Always take a few minutes to make the article unique. That may mean altering keywords, changing headlines, adding a few quotes or tidbits of data. You can even add a personal touch and share a story related to the article topic.

3. Learn how to repurpose your own content. For example, if you have a 60-page eBook you give away, that content can be segmented into smaller articles or blog posts and repurposed with a little fine-tuning.

Duplicate content troubles are easy to avoid. Spend time planning your content strategy including choosing your niche keywords and keyword phrases, and create fresh content. Your duplicate content worries will be a thing of the past.

Why Membership Cards Work

If you are familiar with membership marketing, then you probably already know what membership cards are. Membership cards are a great tool to reinforce your membership marketing program and here’s why:

1. Value. Membership cards offer value to the customer; value through your business, value through savings and possibly even value with participating partners. While the true value of a membership card is in the eye of the beholder, it often also carries a tangible value, such as discounts, exclusive membership rights and more.

2. Visibility. This may seem obvious, but because membership cards are tangible objects, they are a constant reminder to your customers of who you are and what you do. Consider your membership cards to be like your picture in your customers’ wallets. Every time they open that wallet, there you are! This ever-present marketing tool will keep you at the forefront of your customers’ minds and your business in the black!

3. Sales. Think about it. Are you more likely to shop at a store where you are a member over one where you are not? Or consider this, are you more likely to fly on an airline where you accumulate frequent flyer miles, or change carriers every time you book a flight? The obvious answer would be to shop where you are a member and fly with the airline that offers you the most rewards. The same idea goes for membership cards. Your customers will be more likely to make purchases… and your sales will increase… when they are committed to you.

So there you have it! The top three reasons membership cards work. If you aren’t convinced, take a look in your own wallet and I bet you will find at least one (if not more!) membership cards that you use yourself. Why? Because they really do work!

Seven Recurring Revenue Ideas The Ultimate Monetization Solution

Monetization is the keyword of the times when it comes to blogs, websites, and other online real-estate. Whether you’re an online magazine, newspaper, or mommy blog earning revenue, especially recurring revenues is what makes the Interwebs go ’round. While some people do start blogs for the sheer love of writing, most people really do hope to make money online. The great thing is, the Internet is so wide open in terms of how you can make money but the best kind of money to make is through recurring revenue streams.

Any website or blog that has visitors can earn recurring revenue from a variety of means such as:

Advertising — The space above, below and around your website content can be space that earns money every month. The best way to do it is to just have a set monthly fee for various spots on your site, and size of the advertisement. (tip: You can make extra money designing the ads!) At some point you can even join an advertising network which will enable you to outsource most of the work involved with having advertising on your site.

eBook Sales — Either write an eBook within your expertise, compile old blog posts into an eBook, or sell someone else’s eBook. If you write your own eBook you can sell it on Amazon via Kindle or Barnes & Noble via the Nook. The options for eBook sales are truly unlimited. People love getting information instantly and if you have knowledge to share, you can offer an eBook.

eCourses — Depending upon your niche you can create an eCourse to help others learn to do something. Whether it is weight loss, natural parenting, or how to start a website for profit, you can do it via an eCourse. In fact, you can start accepting members to your eCourse before the entire course is developed. Just get an outline, do the introductions, the first week of the course, and start selling it. Sales well motivate you to keep going. Once you’re done with the writing part, it’s all profit from there.

Job Board — Charge people to either post openings to your job board, or access your job board. Either way, you can make a nice profit depending on if the niche is right. This is really great for work at home sites, local community shopping sites, and career sites.

Affiliate Sales — An affiliate earns a percentage of money for a product sold, but this can go both ways. You can both be an affiliate for someone else, and you can offer your own affiliate program for your products and services.

Paid Message Board / Community — If you have a good number of visitors to your website or blog, as well as comments, it might be a good indication that a paid membership site or community would be appreciated. It is a lot of work to have a message board and community so be prepared by asking for volunteers to help monitor the community in exchange for free membership to put it on autopilot.

Fee Based Blog — There are some really popular writers who are now charging for access to read an entire blog post. This model seems to be working for some but you must have a good following before trying this. It works for Tax Mama, and many professionals who have information to share that would normally cost thousands but they can give it for dollars due to the amount of people who sign up.

Explode Traffic, Get Exposure & Generate More Sales with Pinterest

So you already have a Pinterest, and you know the basics of how to create boards and add pins to your various boards, but you want to really leverage Pinterest — and all it has to offer — to drive traffic to your website, increasing your business’ exposure and ultimately acquire more sales. If that’s the case it’s time to go to the next level and prepare a winning Pinterest marketing strategy.

Create Informative Infographics — Your infographic doesn’t have to be super intricate. It can be a simple meme that gets your point across. Creating visual content that educates, engages and even provokes your audience can be very useful to getting more traffic. Infographics are shared a lot and can become viral if you give it thought as you create it.

Freebies Work With Pinterest Too — Link your pin to something free. It could be a free report, an informative video, an app, a free sample of a more in-depth tutorial, or whatever you desire that your target audience would find valuable. Don’t forget to require a sign in to get the free item.

Brains Over Beauty — Even if your pins aren’t the most graphically pleasing to the eye, if they are educational and resourceful people will re-pin it and share it with others. Tutorials are the most shared and clicked pins on Pinterest. Yes, a lot of what you see on Pinterest is beautiful, but don’t overlook the value of sharing your intelligence.

Pins are Bread Crumbs — Remember that all the information you want to impart does not need to be on the pin. The pin is the breadcrumb trail you’re leaving to others to entice them to click-through to see the rest of what you’re offering. Provide them the “tease” so that they click through, not the entire show.

Keywords Still Rock — Even on Pinterest, what’s current within your niche and keywords still matter. It’s really not much different from any other type of content you use to promote your business. Ensure that you are using keywords in your captions, descriptions, and in your website link. You should also use hashtags. Educate yourself about your target audience so that you know what keywords and current events will attract them.

Engage With Others — Pinterest is social media, therefore it’s important to be social. Comment on other pins, like other people’s pins, and follow people who follow you. Promote your Pinterest on your other social media accounts too and make it easy for other to pin your content by adding a “pin it” button to your websites, blogs, and even your sales pages.

Edit Your Pins — After you upload a new pin from your computer, be sure to go back and edit it to add a link to the rest of the content that you want to promote. If you don’t do this, then if people click on your pin they will go nowhere. Another option is to use the “pin it” buttons on your own website to pin an item to various boards on your Pinterest account.

If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be certain to explode your traffic, get more exposure, and ultimately generate more sales.

The Committed Twitter Marketer: How Often Should You Tweet?

Do you tweet once a day? Once an hour? Every few minutes? Or maybe your posts are so infrequent that you have almost forgotten you have a Twitter account.

But you have decided to use Twitter as a marketing tool for your business. So the question then becomes how often should you tweet? How many tweets does it take to make you a committed Twitter Marketer?

But the true question is not about how often, but rather about the quality of the tweets you offer. Twitter is for social networking, a place to build relationships. While it is completely appropriate to market your sales and services on Twitter, you must remember the most important aspect of any relationship is building report and trust. And the way to do that is by sharing yourself as well as sharing resources outside of those you offer to your followers.

Utilizing Twitter as a marketing tool allows for interactive marketing. Interactive marketing is critical to building a business relationship. Since Twitter is a tool through which its users can reach their audiences, real-time, you have the opportunity to build relationships with your followers in real time. If someone sends you a reply to one of your tweets, try to respond right away. Building conversations is one way to make friends. If you have a lot of followers, don’t ignore them; reply to their tweets as well.

We are all consumers. And we all buy from those we know and trust. Granted most of us have never met Walt Disney or will ever get the chance to meet Bill Gates or Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. But we think we know something about them. We trust them and have become brand loyal. The same is true for social media marketing. What names stand out among the crowd for you as names you trust and would buy from?

Take time to get to know your audience and give them a chance to get to know you. Once you have begun to build that ever important relationship with your followers, you will then have the opportunity to work into your marketing efforts. They will be much better received that way. By then they will know your personality, they will know about your business and all that you have been up to. They will trust you and your tweets will translate into sales.

Tweet often enough that your name stays in front of your audience. Take into consideration that your followers are probably following hundreds, if not thousands, of others. Many of those people are tweeting at the same time you are and giving you audience a distraction from your tweets. Don’t get lost in the shuffle. Tweet often yes, but tweet quality when you do.

We have all seen the same boring tweets about someone’s day or mealtime events. What about your day is particularly special? What about your business is unique? What new service or product that you offer will set the world on fire? Put some thought behind your tweets and watch as the conversation begins. Then you can sit back and enjoy the growth in your own business.