Posts Tagged ‘content’

Is There a Membership Site In Your Future?

Sunday, January 30th, 2011
"Members Only" jacket tag
Image via Wikipedia

One of the most enduring and profitable business models in Internet marketing has to be the membership site. These can be created in nearly every market, and are usually good for quite some time, unless they’re built about technology that becomes obsolete, and even then they may still keep on truckin’! In general, it’s a good idea to make your membership sites about something you either have a great interest or expertise in, so that you don’t lose interest. This is not a commitment you can just bail on easily, so understand you’re in for the long haul!

Also, think about  your market when considering how you’ll make money from the site in ways other than the membership fees. Is it a good topic for Adsense or other contextual ad platforms? Can you sell independent ads there? Affiliate products? Your own products?

You can set up membership sites with relative ease, even using WordPress plugins and PayPal for the ultimate in simplicity. There are many other options as well that you can purchase that can create great a looking and fully functional membership site sometimes in less than an hour! You’ll also need to decide how you want members to pay. Is this a one-time fee or a monthly model? Most membership site packages help facilitate this.

Once you’ve got the necessaries out of the way, you’re left with the hardest part: the content. It’s not that your subject is all that demanding (though it may be!), but rather that you’re expected to deliver new and fresh content on a regular basis. Don’t deliver, and you’ll find people leaving in droves. Take the time to plan out your content strategy and then either do it yourself, or outsource this task. If you do the latter, make sure you give your outsourcer as much information as possible to come up with great content for your members. Also, be  sure to give them enough lead time as well, in case anything needs to be reworked.

Finally, when you’re all set, be sure to allow some time to promote the launch of your site. Send out a press release (or several!), announce it to any lists you may have, any forums you frequent, and perhaps buy some paid ads. Consider a JV partner if you are comfortable with the payout or you don’t have a list to market to.

A membership site can be a great vehicle to not only make some really good, semi-passive monthly income, but also a terrific tool for branding yourself as an authority in your niche market. Sounds like a plan to me!

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How to Write Headlines That Gets Results

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
One of the paper's most famous headlines from ...
Image via Wikipedia

The art of headline writing is often overlooked, but can be safely given the lion’s share of the credit when a piece of content succeeds or fails. While the main content of the article or piece in question matters greatly too, the hard truth is that without a compelling, emotional headline to get the readers onto the page in the first place, your content is likely doomed before it ever gets read. It’s been found that around 8 out of 10 will read headline copy, but a mere 2 out  of 10 actually read the body. We all need audiences, and a killer headline is a great way to go about getting one! Let’s look at some of the ways to create great headlines!

  • Utilize emotion in your  headline. If you can reach your reader where  they live, you are far more likely to get them to read on. Don’t be superfluous: but instead, tap the genuine emotion that one may feel while reading the content you are trying to convey.
  • Use benefits, not features, when creating your headlines. “This Diet Has a Great Carb Counter” is not nearly as impactful as “Finally, A Diet That Helps You Cut The Carbs and Melt The Pounds Away!”
  • Use superlatives; but not too much! If something is truly amazing, say so! (If it’s not, you might want to say so too! I’m just sayin…) When something is said to stand out above and beyond the rest, usually a further look is what is called for. Anyway, that’s what we’re hoping!
  • Use the word “and” in your headline to give you more bang for your  headline buck. “How To Eat More and Lose Weight!” conveys multiple benefits and will get someone excited about their eventual weight loss program.
  • Use controversy when called for. Don’t make it up and strive to never go after people in print unless you really need to. Frivolous use of this can lead to all sorts of bad places.

There are a great number of ways to encourage people past the headline and into the body of your content. Take the time to learn the craft of headline writing to get your words read!

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Weebly – A Web 2.0 Property With Versatility

Saturday, December 18th, 2010
Image representing Weebly as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

One of the more easy to use and very useful Web 2.0 sites out there  today is one called Weebly. Weebly is a self-publishing platform that lets you use their software and web space to create a site or blog of your choosing. Weebly is also very search engine friendly, and Google seems to like it, giving it a page rank of 8 at this writing. They also seem to pay a lot of attention to the content posted there, with the GoogleBot visiting several times a day, swallowing up new content to rank. Let’s examine what you can do with Weebly and the best ways to use it!

Publishing a site or blog on Weebly is drop dead easy. You simply head over to Weebly.com and sign up to create your new site. You can use a subdomain on Weebly, which will read something like yoursite.weebly.com, or you can register a new domain to use there — your choice. Then you make the determination if you’d like this to be an html site or a blog. Either way, creating content on them is as easy as dragging and dropping page elements into place and making it all make sense. No coding required!

However, Weebly is somewhat unique in that they let you play around with the source codes and CSS stylesheets if you are so inclined, but it’s truly not necessary. You can create a great looking site right out of the box! Add text block, photo galleries, videos, RSS feeds, maps, and images. You can even make a few bucks using Google Adsense and you won’t have any annoying ads belonging to anyone else, as is common with many Web 2.0 sites. You can create a great look for your site using any of the 70 terrific looking templates that you simply plug in and use.

Not only are Weebly sites easy to make and look at, they can be very useful to your marketing efforts. You can post links to your money sites here, and create unique content that will rank on it’s own, sending even  more visitors to your offers or eventual destinations. Using Weebly sites as a feeder site alone is missing some of the potential benefits they can deliver. The standard caution applies, however, to using Web 2.0 sites or any site you don’t own for that matter, as your money site. They can make you a few bucks, but if you don’t control whether they live or die, it’s simply not worth it!

That said, go out and experiment with Weebly! I think you’ll like it!

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5 Steps To Make Your Content Work Better For You!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
defeat
Image by katiew via Flickr

It’s one thing to write some content, publish it, and wait for the hordes of adoring fans and customers to come streaming to your door. Okay, when you’ve awoke from that dream, let’s talk about what it really takes to make your content do the tireless and backbreaking work of an army of men. Here are 5 steps we take when creating content, and they will work for you too!

  1. Pick The Right Keywords – If you start out with the right keywords at the outset, half of your work is done for you! Think about what you want this content to do for you, and then go about finding the one primary and several secondary keywords you will use in the piece. Make sure you are using them in the title, near the beginning, and toward the end, and perhaps once of twice more. Don’t stuff!
  2. Have  A Goal For Every Piece of Content – Know not only what you are purposing this content for, such as for your blog, an article directory, Web 2.0 site or other, but also what you hope to accomplish with  this piece of content. Is it designed to presell, gain subscribers, be a “persona” piece, or perhaps merely to deliver great value to your readers? Have a goal,  and stick to it!
  3. Employ Proper SEO – Make sure your article is optimized well for SEO, so that you stand a good shot at ranking it in the search engines. This also goes for any other place you put it, especially self-publishing sites like Squidoo and HubPages where you can control the on-page SEO somewhat.
  4. Get Social – Make sure you let those who follow or are friendly with you on your social networks know that you have published your next opus. Remember: if they re-tweet, or otherwise acknowledge your content, it also goes out to all their followers, and who knows what can happen with that!  (Hint, Hint)
  5. Promote It ! – Lastly, make sure to promote your content, wherever it is. This even means dropping links to other sites that you may have guest posted on! If it has links to your site, you want it to become popular! Remember to social bookmark, drop links, and cross promote your content!

There you have it, 5 easy ways to help your content work harder for you. Don’t make the mistake 99% of marketers do, who think the job is done when the writing is finished!

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What Exactly Should You Outsource?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Writers hand with pen
Image via Wikipedia

These days you can outsource almost anything. We know, as we do a heck of a lot of it for people! However, one of the most persistent questions we get is what should people outsource and what should they attempt to take on themselves for the best results in their business. This is a concern as Internet marketing has become a many headed hydra, and if you don’t farm out some of the work, you either find yourself overwhelmed, or your progress and momentum is reduced to a snail’s pace! Let’s look at some of the major considerations.

What Do You Intensely Dislike Doing?

If there are tasks in your day-to-day marketing plan that you just can’t stand the thought of, these may be your first candidates. Some are either too boring, too time consuming, too technical, or  otherwise simply distasteful. Perhaps you don’t like to write or just aren’t very skilled at it. This, of course, is the number one outsourced activity we come across. Not only will your outsourced writer deliver well-written content, but in all likelhood they will do it faster and possibly better than you could have. Plus, it’s not all that costly to outsource this, even for good writers.

Outsourcing technical aspects like building blogs and sites, link building,  installing scripts, databases, and more is best left to those who can do it accurately and quickly. This too is done more reasonably than you might  imagine.

In short, if there are tasks you don’t want to do, you should look to these first as you will not have the requisite enthusiasm for the task to do it well, and it can keep you from doing other, more important tasks for your business.

So What Tasks Should I Outsource?

You can outsource content creation, site building, link building, commenting, press releases, ebooks and reports, blogging, keyword research, niche market research, social bookmarking, and social media. In fact, we do all of the above here! You can also find people to do technical coding on your site, install scripts and shopping carts, and much more by looking at some of the more technical job boards, like elance.com. You will definitely be surprised how economical this is!

Don’t let the many tasks associated with Internet marketing deter you from making progress! Outsource the tasks that you can to get where you want to be that much faster!

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Make Value Your Mission!

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
giant value
Image by Jason Schlachet via Flickr

You’ve heard the term “adding value” bandied about a great deal, and if you’re new to the marketing scene, you can be forgiven if at first you are a tad unsure just what value you can add to the conversation. This is understandable. However, it should become an overarching goal of yours to add value wherever you hang your hat online, and to become known for just that. Let’s examine why this is so important.

The first, and most obvious reason why, is that whatever you’re posting will likely have your name on it.  If this is an article, your blog, or a website, then people will be judging the quality of your whole business based on what they see there. If it’s less than stellar content, you can be fairly certain that most of your visitors will be of the one-time variety. This is also easy enough to discern from your site’s stats as well. Are you getting repeat visits? Is your site or blog being bookmarked, commented on, trackbacked to, ReTweeted, or otherwise noted? If not, then either your content isn’t all that memorable or your site marketing needs some help! If no one knows it’s there, does it really help you?

Moreover, lame content in no way helps you to snag any lucrative activities like guest blogging, ad swaps, and high content syndication opportuntities. You won’t be able to convince anyone to give you a shot if you have nothing of value to add. This isn’t limited to articles and blog posts: you can add value through videos, podcasts, consultations, ebooks and courses; but whatever you put out there, it needs to make a value statement about you and your business. Crappy content only takes you so far, about to next month, before you are found out and then summarily ignored!

Valuable content, on the other hand, can do wonders for you! It can land you accounts and gigs you never would have thought you had a shot at: guest blogging appearances, enhanced relationships with others who may be of great use to you in the future, and more and more popularity in the form of natural links to your work, which pays off in direct traffic as well as doing wonders for your SEO! All of a sudden, you’re ranking better — imagine that!

Make adding value your number one priority when it comes to any thing you do online. It will pay off in ways you can’t yet imagine!

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