Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review - ProBlogger Secrets for Blogging Your Way To A Six Figure Income

Ever since I came across Darren Rowse's blog Problogger.net I've always enjoyed reading it. That's why when I heard he had a book on blogging I was intrigued to see what just all that would be included. After finding a paperback copy on amazon I decided to give it a try.


What This Book Isn't

Before picking up this book it's important to have an understanding of what this book is not about. This book isn't about SEO. Other than some basic on page stuff SEO isn't mentioned much at all. It certainly isn't about building backilinks, diversified anchor text, blog networks or any of the latest trends. The book doesn't cover PPC, paid traffic or anything like that either. There are no secret methods of getting traffic or ranking in Google. So if that's what you're looking for then you have to look elsewhere.

What This Book Is

Some may read that first heading at decide that there is nothing of value in this book. That it is for "noobs" or that it is a "white hat" marketing book. Those people would be wrong. This book is an excellent guide to help you create a successful blog. Because it focuses on one thing that is how to create a blog that users will love and share with others. Without that all the linkbuilding and SEO will be of no use anyway.

It explains in great detail how to choose a niche (and what exactly a niche is in the first place). How to set up your blog, the structure your site should have for SEO. How to come up with a posting schedule that will work for you and your audience. Ways to start building a list around your blog, networking with other bloggers and engaging your audience.

While you may have heard much of the advice in this book online and from other sources chances are that you aren't following the advice. This book is great motivational tool to read as the importance of these principles is explained and it will motivate you to get back to what you need to be doing to successful. I like how it also shows simple ways that you can schedule all of the little tasks that go along with writing and promoting a blog. Once you have a schedule and system in place it's just a matter of following through. I would recommend this book to any blogger who feels they want improve the quality and readership of their blog. Pick up a copy here

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How To Leverage Your Content To Market Your Website Or Blog

What is content leveraging?

Content Marketing
Content Leveraging Diagram
In simple terms content leveraging means using your content to maximize the traffic and backlinks flowing back to your website or blog. I first heard about this idea through an interesting webinar hosted by Rich Schefren and Pete Williams. The main idea from the webcast was that your target audience is now scattered on the web. Some of your audience may prefer videos, others PDFs, still others may enjoyed audio podcast. Of course trying to create original content for each one would be nearly impossible for someone to consistently produce. With a streamlined system though one could easily take one unique piece of content and re-purpose it as videos, PDFs, podcast, PowerPoints and more. Now in the their system most of the work was done by outsourcing and using expensive video editing tools and other software. In this article I can show you exactly how you can do much of this work with completely free tools.

Watch The Original Video



Start With A Mind Map

Remember those brainstorming activities from High School with the little bubbles that you fill in? Turns out those are really useful for planning out blog posts, articles and PDFs. MindMaps  have now gone digital and can be shared on the web making them even more useful. If you start with a MindMap you will have the foundation to easily re-purpose your content. The software I recommend for this is called FreeMind it is a free Java based program that can create fold-able MindMaps that can be exported as HTML, JavaScript and JPEG images. Each Map will start with a root node, this is where you put your main idea or theme that you're working on. From there you can add child nodes which would act as the subtopics for your project. You can add as many nodes as you like and can even add graphics to show how the different points interact. Here is a small video showing how to use MindMaps:



Create A PowerPoint Presentation And PDF

As you can see in the video above, a finished MindMap is very similar to an outline. This makes it very easy to transfer a MindMap over to a PowerPoint presentation. I recommend using Open Office by Oracle it's open source, free, and can export files to many different file types including PDF and PPT. Open up the main application and choose Open Office Impress. Using your MindMap from earlier take each main node and turn it into a slide, each sub-node can be a bullet point in the presentation. When completed click File>Save As, in the dialog box choose MicroSoft Office PPT as the file type and click Save. You have also just created a PDF which you can share on document sharing websites. Go back to File>Export As PDF, you will be presented with some options most of which you can leave as the default. If you don't want others to be able to copy the PDF, then click the Security tab and set a permission password.

Making A Simple Video Presentation

One of the best ways to share content on the web is through simple videos. Contrary to popular belief a video doesn't need to be flashy or professional to get views on YouTube. It just needs to answer the problem the user is searching for online. This is where your PPT is going to be used again. All you need to do is record yourself talking about your PowerPoint presentation. This can easily be accomplished using free screen recording software like Hypercam 2 or CamStudio. Simply open up your PowerPoint and begin recording (you'll need a mic for your PC). If you know your subject well then it should not be too hard to explain the points from your presentation to your audience.

Your Final Blog Post

Now you have a MindMap, PowerPoint, PDF and a video. Using these as the basis it should be easy to write a blog post. After all you have an outline and you can use the audio from your video to fill in the gaps. You can also export the MindMap as a JPEG and feature it in your blog post. Or you can embed the video in the post with the article underneath for those who prefer video.

Maximizing Your Exposure On The Web

With all this content comes the power to build links and exposure for your main site or money page. Make sure you do the following to get more traffic out of this technique:
  1. Share Your MindMap As Picture On Social Networks. Nothing is shared more on social media than informative graphics and pictures so make sure to share your's whenever possible.
  2. Share Your PowerPoint On Presentation Sites. Sites like www.slideshare.com allow you to share your PowerPoint presentations online so take advantage of them. Make sure your slides also reference your website.
  3. Share Your PDF On Document Sites. Document sites like www.scribd.com are growing popularity upload your PDFs so other can download and read them.
  4. Upload Your Videos With A Link. Videos are a great way to build links, in the description place the your link to your main and or squeeze page. Upload your video to more than one site using www.oneload.com.



 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Affiliate Marketing - How Negative Thinking Creates Failure

Surfing the web you come across a great new method for promoting an affiliate offer. You follow them step-by-step but in the end see very little results for all your hard work. Sound familiar? If you're like most new affiliate marketers (myself included) the problem could be that negativity is interfering with your work and throwing off all the results.

How Negativity Affects Your Work

The problem with negative thinking is that it will eventually infiltrate everything that you do online. Many times it arises at the very beginning of the process as you are deciding on a method or tactic for promoting an advertiser. You may have done plenty of research on the method and seen others using it with good success. You want to try it yet there is still a voice in the back of your head saying "Maybe this won't work for me" or "I've never really been good at that type of promotion". As soon as these thoughts take over you will most likely fail even if you take action. Why? Because those actions will not be taken with confidence. Each action taken will be half-hearted because people don't put 100% into something that they don't really think will work. Invariably you will start thinking "I'll make it perfect once it starts showing that it will earn me some money". That's the wrong way to think about things, in affiliate marketing one detail being off or not looking professional can obliterate your chance of making sales.

How To Correct Your Thinking

The way to change your thinking and your results is to build confidence in your plan. First only focus on plans that apply to your level of expertise. If a plan relies on email marketing for example and you don't have list or have a very small one, you will have zero chance of success. Also, try to look for something that you know is already working in your niche. Search for the most popular sites in your niche try to discover what strategies they are using to promote offers.If it's working for them then it should similarly work for you as well. You also need to have a realistic view of the method you have chosen. SEO for example is a long term strategy that builds on itself over time. PPC on the other hand should start bringing more immediate results (when executed properly). In almost every plan there will be some unexpected obstacle that pops up. It may be a software glitch, a PPC ad that gets rejected, SEO links that don't seem to be building traffic. Try to learn to expect there to be obstacles to your success and push through them.

Once you've found a method or tactic you want to use you need to schedule it into your routine. Many people use online calendars but I prefer another method. Using MindMaps I assign each type of task to a different day of the week. Under the types I put a node for each specific thing that needs to be done. If a task is large then you can break it into smaller nodes. For example if the task is writing an eBook to give away to build your list then you can break it up by chapters and go from there. The software I use for this is called FreeMind it is open sourced, java based and absolutely free.

Another common problem is that during the promotion a step will inevitably come up that either requires sophisticated software or technical know how. Trying to learn everything yourself can eat up your time and leave you with a sub-par results. Buying software tools for every job can get rather expensive and you still must take the time to learn all the ins and outs of each. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is hire someone else who has already learned how to do what you need done quickly and pay them to do it. Fiverr.com is great place to find people to do design work, landing pages, photos and videos.

Whatever you do don't get a stuck in a cycle of negative thinking and poorly executed  affiliate campaigns. Break free with a well researched plan that you're confident in, expect there to obstacles and push through them until the plan is completed.