How Internet Marketers Can Hit A Grand Slam With Guest Posting

Recently, content marketing has been all the rage. It isn’t that it’s only now that content marketing is starting to be effective, but more so that larger, more traditional media and advertising powerhouses are finally starting to take the trend seriously.

Content marketing, for several years now, has been the true language of the blogging community, and the businesses who were smart enough to narrow in on and take advantage of these networks.

Content marketing itself rests on one of the founding principles that most of you reading this will understand: providing value before asking for it.

Content marketing also has major crossover with “relationship marketing,” which is what we’re going to get into today. Specifically, those who have worked with content marketing have also found value in maintaining a blog or similar platform to regularly share content with and grow their audiences through.
Guest blogging is the act of posting on someone else’s blog, largely in the hopes of getting some attention and exposure for your own web property. The problem, however, lies in how to reframe that goal in a way that it becomes mutually beneficial.

If it’s your first time trying to land a guest blogging gig, you need to understand that these relationships are all about leverage: What can you offer someone else? What are you getting in return? In order for your offer to write a piece for another blog (even if it’s really good) to be tempting, you need to make sure you frame it in the right way. Here are a few steps you can take to massively boost your chances of successfully integrating guest blogging into your content marketing strategy.

Identify blogs in your weight class or just above it. Look for blogs in your market than have similar audiences and are getting some social engagement and shares on their posts, but who are not yet massive.

Make contact in a helpful way. Do not just blurt out that you want a guest post and try and pitch cold via email. Instead, leave insight comments over a few days and interact with the blog owner on twitter or another social platform. Share their content to show you like it.

Make a careful pitch by asking permission via one of these platforms to reach out via email. Once you have the greenlight, send an email with your idea, and highlight why it would be well-received by their audience and what you will do to help share the piece and grow their blog.

Write something truly amazing. If you get the honor of having a guest post pitch accepted, do it justice and get invited back by really creating something special. Whatever time you put into researching and creating your own posts, double it. Go above and beyond and make an infographic or embedded slideshare to help out – that kind of thing.

Promote like your life depends on it in order to get the blog you’re working with the biggest return possible and show that partnering up with you was worthwhile.

Simple, yep. Easy? Well, you’ll be putting in some work, but it’s nearly always worth your time.

What’s New for Internet Marketing in 2015?

So, right about now your newsfeed is probably littered with predictions for internet marketing in 2015, ringing in the New Year with “insider knowledge” in your pocket, blah, blah, baitclick. What a drastic change from each one of the past ten New Years blog trends, no? Do you want to know what is going to happen with internet marketing next year in no uncertain terms: the same thing that is happening right now.

The Most Exciting Prediction in the World

Here it is: trends are going to continue; they are not going to reverse. Things that are working right now are going to continue to work and slightly change as the weeks turn into months. Things that are not working any more will stop being used. If something new comes out that works, people will start to move towards that tool/technique.

Brilliant, no? Actually, what I’m really trying to get at here is that the current trends are only going to get more in-depth. And as for new trends, you’re going to have to keep your ear to the ground and your eyes to blogs to follow them. Don’t rely on a once a year prediction blog to set your internet marketing strategy for 2015, this is the age of real time pivoting and actionable metrics. If you aren’t plugged in 24/7, you’re run the risk of missing out on something big and falling behind.

If Marketing Trends Were Ponies Which Would I Bet On?

But if you are really dying to know what I think about the marketing trends that will be the hottest in this upcoming year, I guess I can put in some picks for you, but as I said, your best gauge for next year’s success is your own intuition and your own research. After all, isn’t it your money and livelihood on the line?

Mobile marketing will continue to be on the top of everyone’s “must” list but honestly, unless you’re running a huge website, I’m going to go ahead and tell the truth: every one has been predicting this trend for the past four or five years. When are we “there” and not “striving for there” already? If your site isn’t mobile-friendly by now, chances are you’re not in business.

SEO will continue to be blurred along with content creation and social media. What we have now is a digital marketing operation that is focused on driving traffic and sales. Or conversions. Or whatever you want to call them. The point is, the once finely delineated departments of internet marketing are all lumped together. Watch for this mixed cauldron to continue to be stirred until unrecognizable as separate entities.

Content will still be king. SEO will still be dead. Everybody will continue to say it and argue about it, but the fact remains that the more quality content you have that is written for your customers and not for search engines the better ranking and sales you will have.

– Metrics and analytics will continue to be super-important as well real-time pivoting, so if you aren’t paying attention to what customer behavior yet, your time is rapidly drawing near to being “too late.”

Now, before you say there was nothing of value there, remember what I said earlier. You are the only one who can bring value to your internet marketing and it’s not going to come from the predictions of a quick email on 2015 internet marketing trends. I don’t care who writes it, the fact of the matter is, you have to pay attention year round if you want to get to the heart of the matter.

How Do You Protect Your Blog From Hackers?

A Google user wandered into Matt Cutt’s personal blog and noticed that it uses WordPress. The visitor wonders how Matt is able to keep his site safe from hackers given the platform’s tendency to suffer from attacks. Matt shares three of his strategies:

 

Update Frequently

 

Hackers exploit known vulnerabilities in old versions of WordPress. The best way to prevent these attacks is to exercise diligence in installing the latest updates. These will contain fixes for old bugs and keep your blog shielded from attacks. Unfortunately, too many webmasters don’t bother to keep track of the newest updates. They are prime targets for hackers.

 

Customize the HT ACCESS File

 

The “.htaccess” file can be used to control admission to the WP administrator panel. It can be changed to allow only a very small number of IP address to have access to the admin directory. These may be explicitly listed so that those coming from unknown address will be automatically barred from entering the site. These people will get a 403 error code. On the other hand, those coming from your home IP and other listed addresses will be allowed in.

 

Use a Secure Password

 

Finally, Matt uses a fairly long and complicated password that’s difficult to crack for added security.

 

5 Reasons to Use Social Media for Your Business

5 Reasons to Use Social Media for Your Business

No matter if you love them or hate them, Social media sites are here to stay.

Combined, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, have more than 2 BILLION users. With the massive amount of people using social media sites, there hasn’t been a better time for businesses to join in.

Social media has opened up some new doors in terms of marketing to your local consumers. Most of them are using these social media platforms, so there’s no reason why your business should not put yourself right in front of them.

In case you are still waiting to get started, I have put together a list of 5 great reason why your local business needs to get started with Social Media.

* More and more people are searching for businesses on social media sites. In fact, approximately 1/3 of consumers say that they usually search for and check out a company’s Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page before considering a purchase. If the company is new and has no social media page, these consumers typically move on and look for a company with a social media presence. When a business has social media sites, it helps customers feel more at ease about purchases and in their mind, reinforces the company’s credibility.

* Customer service has never been easier and more convenient. Instead of customers having to wait days for a returned call or email, you can quickly resolve issues in real-time. You also have a simple way to engage with many customers all at once, which helps promote a sense of trust between you and your consumers. In addition, you’ll be able to give your business its own unique personality which will attract like-minded people.

* Social media helps your company get more online visibility. The more pages you have, the more likely your company will rank higher in the major search engines. Social media sites already rank strongly in Google and other essential search engines. If you have a presence in the popular social media sites, not only will your social media accounts rank higher in searches, but your company website can be pushed higher as well. If you’re in a high-competition industry, having your business presence show up on the first page of search engine results is imperative.

* The way consumers shop for products and services has dramatically changed. People are conducting more business via the Internet and social media sites than ever before. A good majority of consumers who shop online are regularly active on at least one social media site. Most of these consumers become social media fans of the businesses and companies they purchase from, and almost all would post positively on social media sites about their experiences with these companies.

* Social media is free. Aside from optional advertising costs that you can usually purchase for a nominal fee, creating and using social media doesn’t cost a penny. It’s free exposure for your business and a way to reach customers worldwide. Despite Internet hoaxes and rumors claiming that the top social media sites will start charging, all of the major sites have confirmed that the services will remain free. In addition, not only is social media here to stay, it’s expected to grow exponentially as users can now use their smartphones to check out their favorite sites.

‘Pin’ a Tweet to the Top of Your Twitter Profile to Attract More Traffic

Do you have a Tweet pinned to the top of your profile on Twitter? Wait, wrong social media network, right?

Not really. Twitter will actually let you “pin” a Tweet to the top of our Twitter stream so that people visiting your page will always see that particular Tweet first, as opposed to the default setup in which your most recent posting appears on top.

What are the benefits of this? Well, first you have more control over what visitors see when they land on our Twitter feed (uh, duh!). But that means that you can create whatever kind of image you want to project, something that can be extremely helpful if you use your Twitter feed primarily to support your other Internet marketing platforms or offers.

There’s also a social benefit. For example, if you want to attract members of the opposite sex or people with similar interests to yours, you can “pin” the most appropriate Tweet so that it’s always present at the top of your page – such as the photo where you appear most buff, or something related to your hobby or interests.

If you use Twitter a lot, not everything you post is going to be something you want to represent who you are to other Twitter users. For example, you may Share something you found funny but that other people might find offensive. Or you could Tweet something off the cuff that could be taken out of context later.

This is something that happens to sports starts and celebrities all the time. Who’s to say you are immune to it, especially if you are prone to “Tweeting under the influence”.

Setting It Up

Setting up the Tweet you want to pin to the top of your Twitter feed is super easy. All you go to the Tweet you want pinned, then click on the “…” icon at the bottom right hand corner. (You probably never noticed this before, did you?) Then all you have to do is simply click on the “Pin to your profile page” option and there you go.

Make sure you pick a Tweet that truly represents the image you want to project. In other words, don’t just arbitrarily pick some Tweet you think is pretty funny or an okay picture of you. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good impression. Twitter is worldwide and your profile could potentially be visited by thousands of different people, so you want to make sure you get it right the first time.

And if you don’t, well, you can always change it later anytime you want!

The Downside

The biggest drawback to this is the pinned Tweets on your profile can’t be seen by people who access the social media site from their smart phones. And, let’s face it, Twitter and mobile phones were made for each other. When was the last time you accessed Twitter from your PC or laptop? It was probably at least a couple of years ago.

So will posting your best Tweet to the top of your Twitter profile actually make a difference? Let’s put it this way: It couldn’t hurt. You can’t control how people what kind of devices people use to access your Twitter profile. If someone does happen to stumble upon (oops! Wrong site again) your Twitter feed from their laptop or PC and they do happen to like your great Tweet enough to re-Tweet it, well, then that’s bonus!

The bottom line is that if you want to increase your popularity on Twitter and do a better job of managing your reputation, why not pin the best Tweet possible to the top of your profile?

Are You Retargeting Your Visitors?

Did you know that only about 20% of all first-time visitors to a website will become a conversion on that visit? That means 80% of your site’s visitors are leaving without converting, even if they want to. With shopping cart abandonment making major waves in the eCommerce industry because of how recoverable these consumers are (studies show that about 68% of all abandoned shopping carts can be recovered), it only makes sense that the people who bounce off your site are recoverable as well, even if you don’t run an eCommerce site.

What is Retargeting?

If you don’t know what retargeting is, it’s a simple concept. You place a code in your site’s footer (typically JavaScript) and that code compiles a list of all your site’s visitors. When someone comes to your website, the code implants a cookie into their browser that acts like an “on” switch for advertisements.

Then, as your visitor browses other sites on the internet, as they come to sites that have ads on them, the cookie you left in their browser activates your site’s ad. This helps do a number of things, including keeping you fresh in their minds, reminding them that they might have wanted to make a purchase with you or simply creates another avenue to your website.

The point here is that you are getting advertised across the web to an extremely targeted audience: people that have already expressed interest in your website. Whether they left to look for better offers, they left the stove on or had to run into a business meeting, you get another crack at them by simply adding some code to your website and running a few ads.

But Won’t People Find this Intrusive?

Of course, some places people absolutely hate targeted ads, such as ads that hit on keywords from people’s emails. This is intrusive and likely to backfire unless you’re a fairly large brand. Nobody wants to think that a penis enlargement cream site is filtering through their emails and placing ads on their Gmail account!

But with retargeting, your ads will actually provide people with a better, more individualized browsing experience since the ads will be tailored to their interests. It’s always important to think about how your ads will be perceived by your audience. There’s a fine line between being intrusive and being customized and the best websites walk this line perfectly.

Retargeted Emails

Of course, not every internet marketer’s site lends itself to retargeting code and ads. Some marketers will do better to retarget their visitors through email campaigns. It’s important that you re-contact people who fell out of your sales funnel so you can bring them back in.

As with the shopping cart abandonment, there’s no telling why the person fell out. They could have simply been distracted by a football score and forgot to go back. The power could have went out, any number of things could have happened so assuming that everyone who bounced from your site did so because they didn’t like what they saw is faulty thinking that leads to zero sales.

What do you have to lose by sending out some emails saying, “Hey, we’ve been thinking about you and we want you to come back! Here’s 10% off your next order” or “Did you forget about us because we didn’t forget about you! We figured you might have some questions so let’s set up a time to chat so I can answer them for you!”

The point is, you miss all of the sales that you don’t reach out and grasp, so retargeting visitors can only result in sales, what’s the worse that can happen, they ignore you? Well, right now if you aren’t retargeting, you’re the one ignoring them!