Internet Marketing

YouTube: The Forgotten Marketing Powerhouse

When you start learning about internet marketing, you’ll find that there are a lot of different subjects for you to tackle. These include the likes of SEO, of social media marketing, of writing press releases and more. You’ll have to learn about autoresponders and email marketing, about how affiliate marketing and about link building.

But something that often gets overlooked is video creation. This is strange, bearing in mind that video can have an incredibly profound impact on your brand’s visibility as well as your sales and is one of the most effective ways to stand out.

So why do people tend to ignore it? One possible answer is simply that it is too complicated and difficult for many people to understand – so they’d rather just overlook it!

Why Video is SO Important for Your Internet Marketing

But it’s this ‘difficulty’ that makes video production such a powerful marketing tool. Simply put, anyone can create a blog and anyone can create a sales page. When you build either of these things, you could still just be someone working from their Mum’s basement.

Video creation on the other hand requires expertise and expensive equipment. To make high quality videos, you will need a good camera, a great lighting set-up, a good microphone, editing software and know-how. All of this communicates that you are a serious business with serious money to invest and that professional sheen is what will inspire trust in your visitors.

What’s more, is that video allows you to talk directly to your audience and to use both your own voice and music to persuade them to make a purchase. Video is naturally more engaging and it makes people feel as though they know you, all of which is incredibly useful from a marketing perspective.

When creating video there are several ways you can use it as part of a marketing campaign. One is to add a video to your homepage or your sales page. Either of these things will help you to immediately grab attention and increase conversions. Another option is to create a YouTube channel. This makes it very easy to reach a big audience and can even be highly profitable on its own. A video getting 100,000 views a month can easily earn you in the region of $200!

How to Get Started

To get started, you will need to invest in a small amount of equipment. You need a camera with good autofocus and the ability to record in at least 1080p at 30fps (ideally better on both fronts). Even more important is good lighting, so invest in a soft box or another professional lighting solution.

Sound is also very important. A H1 pocket recorder paired with a lav mic will make a big difference at a low price point. You’ll then need to edit all this together in a piece of editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro.

It all sounds a lot but trust me, it is more than worth the investment in terms of what you’ll get back out of it!

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Internet Marketing

Why Your Internet Marketing Hinges on Having a Solid Brand

When it comes to internet marketing, a great number of people end up missing the forest for the trees. We’re repeatedly told how effective it is to run email marketing campaigns, to flood the net with content and to use PPC but what we’re not told nearly so often is just how important it is to have a strong brand and a real purpose for existing.

You’re not stupid. You know the difference between a spam site and a site that offers real value.

And you also know that the sites that offer real value are the ones that do the best on Google. Big sites like The Verge, IGN, Mashable, Buzzfeed, Forbes, The New York Times… these aren’t spam sites that flood the web with content and keywords. These are big brands that provide real value and that have real authority.

If you want to get to that point, then you need to create a brand of your own that is similarly high quality and that can gain the trust of your audience and of Google.

Where Do Brands Start?

This begins by understanding where a brand begins. A brand is not a logo and a brand is not a website. Your brand is your ‘mission statement’ and your ‘value proposition’. A brand is a commitment to a certain standard and a reason for existing.

Your brand needs to be unique and it needs to be exciting and cohesive. If you get this right, then it will make all the difference when it comes to your marketing.

Think about something like The Art of Manliness. This is a website with a very clear reason to exist that is communicated very loudly and effectively throughout the entire site. It’s not just there to make money, it’s there to preach a message and to help modern men to feel more manly and to become more capable.

This then informs every smaller decision across the site. Everything from the logo to the content is selling the same dream and this has a very profound effect on visitors.

Know Your Audience

What effect is that? Simple: it immediately communicates to the visitor whether they want to be there or not.

If you search for ‘How to Raise Testosterone’, ‘How to be More Alert’ or ‘How to Smoke a Pipe’ and you find The Art of Manliness, then you instantly know what the site is about and what kind of content you can expect from it. That single difference then means that you will be considerable more likely to sign up if it’s something that you’re interested in.

What’s more, is that you’ll know there aren’t that many sites exactly like this one out there. It’s a rare and interesting topic and for the right visitor, it will have an instant appeal.

The power of a strong brand goes well beyond that though. It will help you to be more recognizable across different social media platforms, it will make your visitors more loyal (they’ll feel like they’re joining a movement) and it will mean that potential partners take your brand more seriously.

THIS should be your priority as an internet marketer.

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Reviews

Why Trying to ‘Please Everyone’ is the Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Your Internet Marketing

There are countless websites, blogs and brands doing the rounds on the web but only a select few that ever really make a big splash and fulfil their potential. Why is this?

Simply put, it’s because a lot of brands are really somewhat dry and wet. How many times have you seen articles on ‘How to Lose Weight’ or ‘How to Make Money Online’ that don’t have anything exciting or new to say? The question these marketers should ask themselves is why anyone would be interested in subscribing to that kind of content!

The posts that do well on social media meanwhile, are the ones that are highly unique, that are very niche, or that are even quite controversial.

The posts that try to please everyone will end up not making much of an impact for anyone. While those that have something very clear to say to a very specific type of person will do well. And there’s a very good reason for that…

The Psychology of Sharing

A post will do well on social media when it gets shared. If you can create an article or a blog post that gets shared by all your followers and all their followers, then you will have a chance of going viral – which essentially means breaking one-million readers and potentially exploding as a result.

So why do we share? Here, it’s useful to remember what social media actually is on a fundamental level. Social media is a communication tool and that means that people use it either to express themselves, or to communicate something with someone else.

This is true of sharing too. People tend to share content for one of two reasons:

A) It says something about them. They like it so that other people will see it on their wall and know what’s on their mind.
B) It says something about a friend. They share it with a friend to show they’re thinking of them, or perhaps as a joke.

An Example

So let’s take an example. If you write a post on ‘How Working From Home Turns Your Brain to Mush’, then this will instantly appeal to people who work from home and who want to learn more about what impact that might be having on them.

If they agree with your post, if they find it interesting, or if they find it funny, then they may go on to share it on their wall. In doing so, they are reminding their friends that they work from home and maybe trying to help them understand a bit more about who they are.

Meanwhile though, your post might also get shared by people who have friends that work from home. These people will share your content because they’ll want to demonstrate that they understand their friends’ plights, as a way of poking fun, or just as a way to show that they’re thinking of them.

But this only works because your content appeals to a specific type of person. Don’t be afraid to narrow down and to potentially exclude others as a result. That’s how you become a brand with something useful to say.

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Reviews

Why This Kind of Influencer Marketing is the Very Best Growth Hack Around

If you’re looking to give your website the biggest boost possible in the shortest amount of time, then you’re looking for a growth hack. A growth hack is any technique that can be used to give a website an instant boost in terms of its visibility and traffic and the best of these can help you to ‘skip’ a lot of the grinding that’s normally necessary for good SEO.

And what is by far one of the best growth hacks is influencer marketing. When done right, influencer marketing can help you to go from 0 weekly views to hundreds of thousands. Here’s how…

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing essentially means that you are working with big ‘influencers’. An influencer is anyone who has a large audience and very often that will mean someone on YouTube or on Instagram that has managed to amass a large following. These people don’t only have an audience, they also have the trust of that audience and the ability to sway opinion.

Thus, if you can get them to recommend your website or to link to it, then you can find that a large proportion of their audience heads over to your channel and gives you an instant and impressive hike in readership and sales.

Imagine if you could get a link from Tim Ferriss. Just one link from his website, along with his recommendation, would bring you hundreds of thousands of visitors a day, many of whom would probably subscribe on the spot. The SEO benefit would be huge but that would pale in comparison to the gigantic surge in direct traffic and the shares that that traffic would create.

How to Find and Work With Influencers

So how do you find these influencers and how do you get them to post your links for you?
The answer is not to start too big. If you email Tim Ferriss, then chances are that you’re not going to get a response. Likewise, you probably won’t get much of a response if you email someone with a million subscribers, or even 500,000 subscribers.

Instead, aim for someone who is just starting out but who has built something of an audience already. These people will be more flattered by your interest and more likely to respond to you. When they share your link, you’ll then see your own subscribers go up by a few thousand, which puts you in a position to reach a slightly bigger influencer next time.

Better yet though, you should think about creating relationships with people first. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the people you want to work with and if you can, meet in person. This is one reason why networking events are so useful for internet marketers. Another tip is to think about your existing contacts, are any of them influencers who can get you started?

Finally, consider hiring the services of influencers – even just for consultation. Once you do that, you’ll be sure to get an audience with them, which will make them more likely to read your subsequent emails!

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Internet Marketing

Why it Doesn’t Pay to Try and Trick Google

The best SEO practices as we know them are very different today to what they have been traditionally. Once upon a time, it is assumed that the best way to get ahead in the search engine rankings was to post as much content as humanly possible and to get as many links as possible too. It was all about volume, all about quantity over quantity. Today all that has changed the precise opposite approach is the only viable option. In this post, we’ll take a look at the very best SEO strategies and why they are what they are…

SEO Then And Now

When Google first became the number one search engine, everyone clamoured to try and work out what the best way to get to the top was. Google was relatively simplistic back then fortunately though and that meant it didn’t take long to decipher precisely what Google’s algorithm involved. Back then, Google used two basic methods in order to try and index content.

The first was to look for inbound links. Google’s spiders would follow links in order to find new pages on the web and would also see them as testimonials. The more links a site had, the more popular it was deemed to be and the assumption was that this would be a reflection of quality.

In order to discern the subject matter of the site meanwhile, Google would look for exact keyword matches. If a certain phrase was repeated often enough in the text, then it would stand to reason that that phrase must be highly relevant and it would make sense to show the site when people searched for that term.

But the problem with this system was that it was too simplistic and too easy to manipulate. It was only a matter of time before people began flooding there websites with repetitive uses of the same keywords and with lots of low-quality (often paid) links. In short, Google’s search results pages began to fill up with spam.

The New Order

Thus Google had to update its algorithms and today we see something a lot more sophisticated. Today, Google uses advanced algorithms that take into account the time that visitors spend on each web page, the quality of the inbound links and the use of synonyms and related terms.

Any attempt to try and play the system will risk having your site penalized or even de-indexed and the result is that Google is now much more relevant in terms of the results it brings up.

So what do search engine optimizers do now? Should they try and work out the new algorithm? Of course that’s what everyone is clamouring to do, but it somewhat misses the point. The whole point is that Google doesn’t want us to work out how to manipulate its results. If we ever find a reliable system that we can exploit to get to the top of the SERPs, then Google will just change its workings again.

The only futureproof strategy in SEO then, is to make a very high-quality website that is particularly relevant to your audience. If you do that, then your goals will be aligned with Google and any future updates will only help your site to perform even better!

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The Best Strategies for Link Building

When you first start internet marketing, you might decide to check out some of the big marketing forums like BHW (Black Hat World) and Warrior Forum. These are sites where internet marketers can hang out, share tips and buy and sell services.

The problem, is that the quality of these services on offer varies greatly. And in particular, you need to be very careful when choosing ‘link building services’.

The Problem With ‘Traditional Link Building’

That’s because an awful lot of these services will involve a PBN and spun content. So what does this mean? A PBN is a ‘Private Blog Network’. That means that a single owner is in charge of all the different blogs and they have linked them to each other in order to create artificial authority. The content on these blogs meanwhile is not original but is rather reused content that has been ‘spun’ (meaning that the words have been swapped out for synonyms) in order to trick Google into thinking that it’s brand new.

As you may have guessed already, both of these practices are very much frowned upon by Google and if you get caught doing either, then you’ll be penalized. Moreover, if you get caught associating with either, then you’ll get penalized.

Best case scenario, no one gets caught but the links still aren’t anywhere near as effective as ‘real links’.

How to Build Links the Right Way

What Google really wants to see when it comes to link building is that your site has the trust of other existing big brands. If you can show that, then Google will assume that your site must be high quality and trustworthy in its own right.

Certain blogs and websites are already highly trusted by Google. These include blogs with .edu domains and .gov domains. Google also likes blogs and sites that are run by large, well-recognized brands.

Some other blogs and brands have earned Google’s trust over time and you can tell these ones by the fact that they’ll often show up in Google’s ‘News’ section.

Your job is to become as trusted and as authoritative in the eyes of Google as those sites. How do you do that? Simple: by getting links from those sites!

The only problem is that this can be hard work. Getting a link from such a well-established brand is hard work and you’ll often find that your emails just don’t get answered.

So an easier strategy is to look at SEO like a game of ‘degrees of separation’. If you can’t get a link from a top resource, then try and get a link from a site that has a link from a top resource, or a link from a site that has a link from a site that has a link from a top resource… you get the idea.

Right now, there are some websites and blogs in your niche no doubt that are considered the biggest and most important authorities. Your aim is to become one of them and so the best and most obvious way to do that is to associate yourself with them by getting links from them. It’s simple really, just don’t try and beat the system!

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Internet Marketing

The Best Desktop Setup for New Internet Marketers: All Gear and Productivity Tools

Looking to get into internet marketing in a big way? Want to start making money from home so that you can pack in the day job?

Then it pays to invest a little into a great home office that will enhance your productivity, provide you with all the tools you need and also encourage you to enjoy spending more time writing, filming, posting and researching.

Let’s take a look at what you need…

Your Computer

Of course an internet marketer needs a great computer. While you’re probably not going to need anything insanely powerful, what will help is to have a computer that you actually enjoy working on and that you look forward to using. To that end, getting something a big newer with a nice 4K resolution can make a big difference to your workflow.

In terms of specs, you’ll want at least a newer i5 processor (2GHz+), 4-8GB of RAM for multitasking, a fair amount of storage space, an SSD for quick booting and perhaps a basic graphics card for futureproofing. If you plan on editing video, then you can upgrade that graphics card to a ‘must have’. It’s also worth getting something with a touchscreen.

In terms of form factor, you have two options: going with something portable and mobile like a Surface Pro or a Surface Book, or getting a home desktop with a big screen. A portable machine will allow you to work on the move and in cafes, whereas as a desktop will give you more computing power for your money. It’s also worth noting that getting more screen real-estate, such as an ultra-wide monitor, has been shown to increase productivity by up to 30%.

The Keyboard

Along with the monitor, a great keyboard can also make all the difference to your productivity. As a marketer, you will be typing a lot and so it pays to have a keyboard that will make the experience pleasant.

When it comes to typing, the best keyboards are generally agreed to be the ones with mechanical switches. The best mechanical switches are the cherry MX switches and the ‘MX blues’ are considered to be the quintessential typing experience. Of course this comes down to personal preference though, so it’s worth typing on a few before you invest any serious cash into one!

Other Accessories

There are a few other accessories that can help you to be more productive too. For one, it is a good idea to get a smartwatch that will show you new messages. This can prevent you from reaching for your phone every time you hear a buzz and means you won’t be so distracted by spam.

Another useful utility is a voice assistant like Alexa. I find it very useful being able to check facts without having to look up from my computer.

Ofcourse a comfortable chair will make a big difference too and is very important for your general health and well-being.

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Internet Marketing

How to Write an Article to be SEO-Friendly

What does an SEO-friendly article look like these days?

Ask 100 people and you will probably get 100 different answers. The problem is that a lot of marketing ‘experts’ are still stuck in the past when it comes to the best strategies for getting a post to the top of Google and this results in a lot of low quality content and a lot of wasted time.

The best way to make an article SEO-friendly is actually quite simple, so read on and let’s dive into what you need to know…

Provide Value

To understand how to write the best SEO-friendly article, it pays to get inside the mindset of Google a little. What is Google trying to achieve?

The answer is simple: it wants to serve its users by linking them to the very highest quality and most relevant content that it can find.

Thus, any signals that you can send to Google to show that your content is high quality and relevant, will ultimately results in a boost to your SEO. The question is just how you go about doing that.

One example is to include outward bound links to other useful resources, relevant to the content of your site. This shows Google that you’re interested in providing as much information as possible to your readers, it aligns you with high quality sites and it provides references to back up your claims (suggesting accuracy).

But what this shouldn’t mean is that ‘every article needs at least two outward bound links’. This is entirely missing the point as it will create a predictable pattern on your site that will look like manipulation. Link out when it is relevant and useful and don’t be cynical about it.

It’s also for this reason that Google likes to see long content – of around 800 words+. While reports vary, it is generally thought that the ideal content length for SEO is approximately 1,800 words – and this will improve your chances of being features as News.

Keywords

It’s painful to see, but some SEO companies still think that a good SEO article is one that has the same keywords repeated over and over, to the detriment of the reading experience. This is one of the fastest ways to have your content flagged as spam, if not by Google, then by the human readers on your site.

Instead then, keywords should be used very sparingly. A density of around 1-2% is recommended but only when that is appropriate and when it fits with the content naturally. This is one reason to write longer-form content though, as longer posts are going to have more space for repetitive keyword use.

It’s also important to recognize that synonyms and related terms are just as important, if not more so. Try to write around the subject and let related terms enter your content naturally. This is something you can expect to play a bigger and bigger role in future.

Readability

Finally, space out your content and use lots of headings. Use large fonts and a narrative, user-friendly structure. This will help to keep people on your pages for longer and that’s one of the other things that Google looks for when ranking content.

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How to Use Incentives the Right Way to Build a Killer Mailing List

If you want to grow your audience, then it is crucial to add a mailing list to your marketing practices. Mailing lists allow you to collect emails and that in turn means that you can more easily reach your audience with new products or offers. This is a great way to turn cold leads into warm leads and that’s imperative if you plan on selling something.

The only slight problem is that people, on the whole, don’t tend to like giving out their contact details. They know that this is going to mean they receive marketing messages and very often, that will be considered to be spam. So how can you persuade your visitors to change their mind and ease up?

What is an Incentive?

One common practice is to get around this problem by offering an incentive. That means providing some kind of free download in exchange for joining the mailing list in many cases – but you need to be careful how you go about this.

For example, let’s say that you have a fitness brand and you’re trying to collect emails. Very often you might then do this by offering a free ‘report’ or even a free ebook for every new person who signs up. People love getting free things and if you tell them how your product can help them to lose weight, build muscle or feel more energetic for free, then they’ll often make the decision that it is worth parting with their email address.

But there’s a problem with this strategy, which is that it can end up attracting the wrong kind of subscriber – the kind of subscriber who is just looking for something free and who won’t be interested in buying from you in future. Often people will take the ebook and then never read another email from you! They may even unsubscribe immediately after…

How to Attract the Right Kind of Subscriber

Your job is to try and avoid letting that happen so that you’re attracting only the right kind of subscriber. How do you do that?

One option is to make the emails themselves into the incentive. You can do this for instance by creating an ezine or a newsletter than provides real value. Talk about how your messages will be made to the highest standard with high quality images and with lots of unique information and this can be enough to encourage people to subscribe and to then keep looking out for your messages.

Another similar method is to enter your subscribers into a prize draw. By saying that a winner will be announced each week, you have created an incentive to sign up to your emails and to keep reading them!

You can even include special offers and discounts in your emails. That way, people are signing up with the prior knowledge that you will be selling to them!

Ofcourse it’s also important that you actually keep up your end of the bargain and that means making sure that your emails really are engaging and high quality so that your visitors want to keep reading them.

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Internet Marketing

How to Make Articles That People Will Actually Read

When you first start running a blog, it can be a very painful experience putting lots of time and effort into your blog posts and articles and knowing that no-one is really reading them. You can slave away over an article but unless you already have a dedicated audience, there’s a good chance that only a couple of people will read it.

But if you want to make sure that people start reading as quickly as possible, then it’s not enough to simply keep posting the same old stuff – you need to think about the type of content that people actually want to read and the kind of content that will hold attention for long enough to make an impact.

Let’s take a look at how you do that…

The Title

The first thing that will help you to get more readers is your title. Of course, if your title isn’t interesting, then people aren’t going to feel motivated to click on your link or to read past the first line.

This is something that sites like Buzzfeed know all-too well. And this is also what has given rise to ‘clickbait’. It’s important not to create clickbait yourself (which famously doesn’t provide any real value) but you can learn from the way that these posts structure their titles. Try to make your articles stand out by writing about something that people haven’t already read a thousand times, or at least providing a fresh spin. Find an emotional hook and try to introduce a little curiosity.

In short, the best way to make your articles naturally engaging is to write about something different that hasn’t already been covered a hundred times before by every other blog in your niche. Always ask yourself: would you read it?

Presentation

Presentation is so important when it comes to getting your content to be read. This is something that is often overlooked but if you use the right font, the right headings and the right spacing – then add in some nice high definition images – you’ll see your visitor retention go up a large amount. People hate being greeted by a massive wall of text and this is one of the fastest ways to get them to turn around and go back.

Tell a Story

I read somewhere that ‘storytelling is SEO for the human brain’. This is true to a big extent. People love hearing stories. They like to hear how the techniques you’re recommending helped you. They like to hear about how you discovered the strange underground parkour movement in the early 2000s. Stories engage people because the human brain is wired to read stories. This allows you to create suspense, cliff-hangers and emotional engagement.

So if you’re looking at your content right now and it feels a little dull or a little dry, think about how you can perhaps make it into more of a story.

Do all this well and you’ll find that your content becomes much more engaging and that people stay on your site that much longer!

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