10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Online Business

At the beginning of a new year we tend to contemplate our lives and try to find a way to improve our situation. We set goals and make a promise to ourselves to achieve these goals.

The same should be done with our business. We need to take some time to look over the last year to see how we can improve our business performance. What goals can we set for our business that will result in growth and improved results?

Here are some New Year’s resolution ideas for your online business growth and success.

1. Refine Your Social Media – Social media is a very important marketing tactic for today’s online business but it can be very time consuming. You need to set a schedule for your social media participation. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and TweetDeck. They can help you free up time that is needed for other tasks. Allow so much time per day for your social media activity. These sites can become addictive and can cause us to neglect other areas of our marketing and business management.

2. Learn New Skills – The many areas and facets of owning and running an online business can be very overwhelming. The techniques, tools and formats are constantly evolving. We need to always be learning and never settle into a routine with our online business. There are tons of resources online that can help you keep up with the ever-changing internet business world. HubSpot Academy is a great place to start. You can also try Moz for search engine optimization, LearnVest to help you manage your business finds and countless quality blogs to help teach you the newest and most productive marketing trends.

3. Get a Grip on Your Finances – If you do your own money management and record keeping for your business, be sure to analyze and plan accordingly. There are some great software programs to help you keep meticulous records of your business funds. A good example would be Quickbooks or Quicken. You need to know where your funds are going and if you should keep them going in that direction. Go over your advertising budget. Are you getting the results needed? Should you go down other avenues with your advertising budget? What are your regular expenses and are all of these expenses necessary or productive to your business? You need to go over all these questions and more to see if you are delegating your funds for maximum results.

4. Analyze Your Marketing Tactics – As above with your finances, you need to analyze all aspects of your marketing plan. Are your methods yielding the results you expected or needed? What tactics are working and which ones are not? Some techniques might need to be upgraded or even terminated.

5. Revitalize Your Business Plan – With all the new trends and innovations you might need to update your business plan. Go over the plan in detail and reconnect with your goals and aspirations.

6. Commit to Superior Customer Service – Customers are the life blood of a business. You cannot survive without them so why would you neglect them. Make it a priority to streamline your customer service and give your customer’s the utmost attention and care. Focus on their needs and providing the solutions to their problems. It is a sad fact that customer service is dying. Let’s bring it back to life!

7. Diagnose and Resolve Website Problems – Go over your website from a visitor or customer’s point of view. Clean it up, tweak the landing pages or ordering process, or upgrade your call to action. Find any obstructions and take care of them. Make your website the best it can be.

8. Increase Productivity – Many of us deal with poor productivity or procrastination. These are real problems. Study your work schedule and methods. What changes can you make to increase your productivity? Can you delegate? Can you use programs or tools to get more results in less time? Can you hire help? Do what you can to work smarter, not harder!

9. Expand Your Networking – Join some new groups or business associations. Find new ways to expand your network and meet new business associates or potential customers. Does your community have any groups you can join? Get involved with your community, give back to your community, be it online or offline.

10. Reignite Your Passion – Do you remember the passion and excitement you felt when you first started your online business? Along the lines, your passion might be dwindling but you can get it back. Go back to the beginning. Write down why you started your business. Why did you choose the business you have? What has this business done for you? Dig down and remember the reasons for all you have done. Take a break and let yourself become reenergized. Don’t let your business takeover every part of your life. Your business should be a part of you but not the “whole” you. Learn some new things and feel that old excitement come back to life.

Taking all the above steps will help you and your business become alive again. As with personal relationships, your relationship with your business can become old and stale. Don’ allow this to happen.

The business world as is our personal world is always changing and evolving. Keeping up with these changes takes determination and persistence. But you can set those goals and attain them. Make that resolution and commit to keeping it. You and your business will be better for it.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

How to Expand Your Social Network for Business Success

In the last twenty years the growth of online social media has been phenomenal. New social sites are popping up left and right. This social media explosion can be a powerful tool for the growth of your business. But trying to gain control of your social media skills for business development can be a daunting task.

Below are some ideas on how you can zero in on your social media marketing campaign and use it to expand your online network and intensify your business.

1. Establish Identity

– Starting with your username, establishing the appropriate identity is very important. Define who you are and be clear on your purpose. Do not try to be too cutesy or trendy. Trends come and go but your username will be forever. Using a good photo of yourself for your avatar is usually best. This will help brand you as a person to connect with your company.

2. Build Relationships

– Establishing and building relationships is the cornerstone for all businesses. Taking the time to cement a relationship with your followers will be much more effective than being a collector of friends. Let them get to know you so trust and respect can be formed. From this will come more conversions and sales.

3. Share and Share Alike

– Don’t expect everyone to share your posts and information without ever sharing back. You will need to reciprocate these actions. Let people know you appreciate the sharing of your posts, videos or information. Do not take advantage of others just to get the share.

4. Value and Quality

– Do not watch conversations and then jump in when you feel your sales pitch fits. Participate in the conversation, offer sound advice and quality information. Become a regular contributor who is always willing to offer value. Don’t just copy and paste. Provide original ideas, information and resources. Take the extra time to establish your expertise and willingness to offer assistance. This will carry over into your business when the people you have helped need your services and/or products.

5. Understand Your Customers

– Do your research and always be aware of your potential customers’ needs and wants. Periodically take surveys, stay on top of the marketing trends and information. There are tools that can help you compile consumer data which you can then analyze to see what is working and what is not. DataHero, NetVibes and Google Analytics are a few you can use for free to sharpen your analytical skills.

6. Analyze and Adjust

– As there are tools to help you compile and analyze consumer information, there are also tools to help you track and measure your marketing responses and effectiveness. Study your engagements, likes, shares, followers, etc. to see where you can improve. Klout, HowSociable and SimplyMeasured are just some of the tools you can utilize to sharpen your social skills.

7. Focus

– The number of social media sites is grown to staggering amounts. It is impossible to join them all and expect any usable results. You need to choose a few that you can excel at and spend the time and focus needed to make them work for you. My favorites are Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. I know if I attempted more, the effectiveness level would go way down. Focus your skills and concentrate them in a smaller area for more success.

8. Interactive Events

– Posting and providing helpful and valuable information is a great start but you also want engagement and interaction. Holding events, contests or other such promotions can be a great way to draw interest and get the interaction you need. Hold themed contests each month. Be creative with promotions or “parties”. Games and contests are always a big business booster. Use images and videos to bring your event to life. Make it fun and exciting to people will come back for more.

9. Consistency is Key

– When becoming a social pro you will need to be consistent. Stay active regularly and always respond to comments, whether positive or negative. “When you have time” unfortunately will not do the job. Social media is a full-time commitment so doing it “whenever” is a waste of time for you and your followers.

10. Separate and Distinguish

– One mistake people make is to plaster the same posts over all their social sites. This is a mistake. Separate your social accounts and give each one its own identity. Distinguish what is needed for each group of followers and satisfy that need.

It is hard to describe the impact that social media has had on all businesses, not just online. You may resist embracing this power because of the total feeling of being overwhelmed, but you cannot delay any longer. Get your feet wet, learn the ropes and hop on the social fast track. Getting involved in social media and expanding that network could mean a total about-face for your online business success.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

10 New Tactics to Electrify Your Content Marketing

Header photo credit by: 10ch: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10ch/3347658610

Content marketing involves the creating and sharing of relevant and useful content such as articles, videos, infographics and more for the purpose of gaining customers and making sales.

Content marketing has been around for a number of years and like all aspects of internet marketing, it is forever changing and evolving. Keeping up with these changes is crucial for your content marketing campaign. However, one thing that does not change is that “Content is King”.

Below are some new ideas for increasing the productivity of your content marketing efforts:

1. Engagement

Content marketing is no longer just submitting articles to some article directories. It has evolved into a much more detailed and powerful tool. You want to engage people, get a buzz going about your content. Be sure to participate with your readers to keep the interaction going. Show a real interest in your readers’ questions, comments or feedback. Providing useful relevant content is one sure way to create interest and involvement.

2. Upcycle Old Content

If you have some old content that has done well for you in the past, make it happen again. Revive that old content by updating the facts, adding visuals, making it appropriate for now. You have a new audience now with new information to present so upcycling can produce results.

3. Identify with Readers

When creating your content, be sure to put yourself in your readers’ place. Become one of your readers and identify with them on what information they need, how to present it and how you would interact with it. Read your content as if you were a visitor to your site and see how you would react to it. If you find your content informative and helpful, chances are your readers will too. Do not hold yourself above your readers because they will sense this and find other content providers.

4. Visual Matters

Visuals have quickly become a crucial part of content marketing. Our brains react to and process visual stimulation much more than mere text so using effective visuals is critical. There are many places to get free stock photos but you may want to rise above that. Find quality photos or create your own. Infographics and videos are also a very effective way to grab your readers and increase the chances of turning them into customers. People are more likely to watch a short video or scan an infographic then read a text-only article.

5. Use a CMS (Content Management System)

A CMS is a computer application that helps you create, edit, publish, and organize your content. Using such an application will increase your workflow and allow you to better manage your content for more successful marketing efforts. Examples of such tools are My Content Management System Plugin from WordPress, MojoPortal, MediaCore for videos and podcasts and many, many more.

6. Storytelling

Many companies will use storytelling as an effective means of drawing people in. Stories invoke emotions and people are very often led by their emotions. Make your stories real or realistic. The more people can identify with the story the better the outcome. Be sure the story is of value to your readers. Teach a lesson, provide helpful insight or provide some other information to the reader. A story without a purpose could miss the mark.

7. Take Advantage of Technology

As with a CMS, you need to take advantage of all the technology and tools available to you today. Do not shy away from it all. Technology can help you increase your productivity as well as your success.

8. Cross Promote Your Content

When presenting your content, add relevant links to some of your other content when the opportunity arises. Let people know you have much more information available to them then the post they are reading now. Share your content and links to other content with your social media followers and friends. Encourage them to share the content as well.

9. Multiple Sources

Provide numbers, statistics, and other pertinent data when applicable. There are many sources available for you to obtain information so do not be afraid to take advantage. Always give credit when necessary. Use the news, forums, social groups, and other outlets. Be informed and give your audience the information they want and need.

10. Take It to the Limit

Push the limits, be bold, stretch the boundaries. There are so many possibilities with content marketing now as opposed to a decade ago. Be creative, use your imagination and make your content the best it can be. No matter what you do, you cannot be all things to all people. So, go for it!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

10 Needed Tips for WordPress Beginners

For anyone wanting an ecommerce website, WordPress is an excellent tool with which to launch your new business. WordPress is an open source website building program using PHP. It is one of the easiest ways to produce a professional profit producing website or blog.

WordPress may have started out as a simple blogging platform but it has evolved into much more. With plugins and widgets the features you can add to your site are endless. There is no cost to use WordPress. You can install it and modify it however you choose and it is fairly easy to learn.

Hundreds of different themes provide a wide array of designs you can choose for your website. Some themes are free and some require a fee. Although WP is not extremely difficult to use there are some things a beginner should know to make the experience flow more smoothly.

1. WordPress Folder

– When you create your WP site you do not want to use a WordPress folder so it shows up in your url. I have seen sites that do this and end up with urls like mysite.com/Wordpress. Install the WP in your main directory or use a subdomain.

2. Plugin Overload

– Plugins are a wonderful thing. They have one for everything from changing your font size and color to sharing your posts to your social media accounts. Although they are a great tool to use, be careful not to use too many. When I first went to the plugin directory at wordpress.org I was like a kid at Christmas. I was downloading just about all of them. I have since learned to only use the plugins I actually need and to be sure they all get along. Sometimes you do get plugins that don’t play nice together. If you notice a problem on your site after installing a new plugin, just deactivate the plugin and see if it fixes the problem.

3. Posts and Pages

– Pages and posts are different and should be treated as such. A page is static which simply means it is fixed. The page displays the same to each visitor because the information is embedded in the HTML code. A post is dynamic which means visitors can interact with the content and it can consistently change. Your static pages should be like permanent webpages – About Us, Privacy Policy, i.e., any content that you want to remain constant.

4. Backup Your Site

– If you have ever experienced the loss of a website, you know it is not a pleasurable experience. To prevent this from happening be sure to backup your WP site regularly. Some hosts will provide a 24 hour backup of your site if anything happens but not all of them offer that extra feature. So, do not forget to backup your website regularly. There are services for this or plugins that do this for you as well. You can search the plugin directory at wordpress.org and find hundreds of options.

5. Use Images

– Using quality images in your posts and on your pages can increase your conversion rate dramatically. The brain processes images much better than text so they do much more for your products/services. Be sure you are using images legally and always add an alt text. This will help the search engine spiders “see” the image.

6. Remember Your Footer

– Unfortunately many people overlook the footer at the bottom of the page. This is where you want to add your copyright and/or business information or other pertinent information or links. Be sure to keep it up to date as well. Many people will make it a point to check the footer for information and to see if the site is up to date.

7. How to Choose a Theme

– Choosing a theme is an important part of building your website so do not take it lightly. The theme provides the design and layout of your site. Determine the purpose of your business and what you need your website to do for your business. Research each theme thoroughly to see if it will provide what you need. Be sure to see if the theme provides support. Try the theme and see if it “fits” with your site and content. Take the time needed to choose the right theme. If you do find out later the theme you chose does not work, don’t fret, they can easily be changed.

8. Customized Permalinks

– Permalinks are the urls given to your post by WordPress. The default permalink can be ugly or extremely long depending on your post titles. You can change the structure of the permalink by going into Settings>Permalinks. You can choose one of the options they have or you can customize your links.

9. Automate Social Sharing

– Social media must play an integral part of your website. There are many options for social sharing plugins so every time you post, it will be shared with your social media followers. There are also plugins that will allow your visitors to easily share your content on their social pages. Be sure to use these plugins to your advantage.

10. Update WordPress and Plugins

– WordPress and the plugins associated with it are constantly being changed and revised. You need to keep up with these updates and always check to see if an update is available. If you are not up to date the chances of your site being hacked could increase. It could also cause problems with interaction between old and new plugins and features. Updating is as simple as a click of the mouse. Check for an Update Available button next to your plugins or at the top of your admin dashboard.

WordPress, to me, is the best thing to come along since chocolate so if you have not yet considered using WP, look into it and see all the possibilities it can provide for your website. There is a ton of information available so take the time you need to research WP and see what it can do for you and your business.

About the Author:

Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

A 15 Point Checklist for More Profitable Product Pages

The product pages of your website are your showroom and they must be displayed properly to achieve maximum results. This does not mean that all product pages should look alike. There are many ways to be creative yet effective.

Many of us focus our attention on our homepage (which is also important) and then just paste up a cookie cutter product page. Taking the time to plan and strategize your product pages is also essential. Cart abandonment is a serious issue for online business owners but there are ways to decrease your abandonment stats.

As we go from website to website, we do not want to see clone product pages but there are aspects that should be included in all product pages. Below is a checklist for some of these important elements that will help your product page be more profitable.

1. Product Description

– Do not try to write a one size fits all product description. Focus on your targeted buyer and write to them personally. Be sure to include all the benefits the product provides. Try to avoid clone phrases such as best deal in town or superior quality. Your prospect will tend to blur over these types of statements.

2. Product Image

– Your product image will be what draws the customer in. You want to make sure the product details are clearly visible. The image needs to be clear and sharp. A good image will make the product come alive and bring out more of a reaction from your prospect. Using different angle shots of the product can be effective as well.

3. Call to Action

– Be sure your call to action button is vivid and clearly placed on the page. Once your image and description do their job, you want the buy button to be right there so the customer clicks it when they are in the buying mood. Be sure to make the button stand out from the rest of the page. Do not let it sink into the background or melt into the rest of the page.

4. Ordering Process

– Once your prospect decides to buy your product you want to give them an easy painless ordering process. The first step of the process is the key and it is also where many prospects abandon the purchase. You want to gather pertinent information from your customer but do not ask them for their life story. I have abandoned many purchases because of the long time-consuming forms to be filled out. You want your ordering process to be as few clicks as possible but you also want to assure your customer that the process is secure. Do not require your customer to register with you. About a third of the orders being processed are ended for just this reason.

5. Social Media

– By adding your social media buttons to your product pages you are allowing people to share your products with their friends and followers. This can substantially increase your conversions. Make sure your social buttons are not too intrusive. Make them highly visible but not obnoxious.

6. Shipping Information

– One of my pet peeves when ordering online is not finding any shipping information. Always provide clear information on the shipping terms and costs for your customers. Do not make them wait until the end of the ordering process to find out what they will be paying for shipping. Be upfront and concise on all shipping fees. Shipping fees are the number one cause of cart abandonment so being upfront and letting your prospect know exactly what they will be paying will bring this number down.

7. Size Chart

– If you are selling products that require sizes be as descriptive as possible about what the sizes are and how they fit. Size charts are a great way to do this. Clothes of the same size can fit differently so let your prospects know how your sizes run.

8. No Distractions

– Keep your product page as free of clutter as you can. You want the page to showcase the product and call to action, not a bunch of ads from other websites or companies. Do not have flashing banners or distracting images or videos (unless it is a video of the product).

9. Customer Reviews

– When I go shopping online I now expect to see reviews. This has become a staple part of the online shopping experience. Be sure to add customer reviews to your product page. Do not leave out negative reviews. Adding the negative reviews will add to the trust your prospect feels for your company.

10. Subscription Option

– Adding a subscription form or box to your product page is an excellent choice. If people decide to buy from you, chances are they will sign up for your mailings. Or, if they are not sure on the purchase, they may subscribe and then purchase down the road a bit. Either way it is a win!

11. Needed Instructions

– If the product needs special instructions or information on how to use or its purpose, be sure to provide all the details needed in a clear, easy to understand way. If people are confused about a product, they will not purchase it so make sure they have all the information needed to make the decision to buy.

12. Simplicity

– Keep your product pages simple yet professional. The page must focus on the product. Do not add any distracting backgrounds or textures. You want the customer’s eye to go directly to the product and the information. Keep the design consistent. Use an easy to read font. Fancy fonts have their place but not on a product page. Make the product page and entire ordering process simple. You do not want your customers think they need to be a rocket scientist to order from you.

13. Additional Product Options

– Many sites have a feature where they showcase similar products. If you do not exactly like the one you are viewing, other options show up for you to look at. This is a wonderful feature that can help keep your prospect shopping on your site instead of going to another.

14. Problem Solution

– Let the customer know how your product will solve their problem. Convince the prospect that they need your product to be their solution. If a person does not understand what your product can do for them it will not result in a sale.

15. A Little Humor

– Most people will appreciate a little fun humor. But be careful to keep it appropriate. Adding a little humor makes the experience more human and this develops trust. Subtle humor can do wonders but beware of using too much humor or offensive humor.

*Bonus Tip: Always have your contact information available. If the customer has a question or concern and has to hunt for your email or phone number, they will go somewhere else.

Take the time needed to produce the most mind-blowing and stand-out product pages possible. The time and effort will not be in vain and you will become more successful.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

10 Business Faux Pas to Avoid When Using Pinterest

Since 2004 social media has been booming and there is no indication of any lapse in its strength. If for some reason you are not yet taking advantage of the intense growth and popularity of social media for your business, now is the time to get started.

Over 72 million people use Pinterest and many of them can become your customers. Businesses make money from Pinterest users and you can too. But learning and building an effective social media network takes time and a lot of work. As much as you should learn what to do, you need to learn what NOT to do. Below are 12 mistakes you might be making on Pinterest.

1. Dead or Broken Links

– Be sure to check all of your posts to make sure the links are working and actually lead to the intended information. Sending your followers to dead or non-existent pages is a good way to lose them.

2. Ineffective Images

– Images are everything on Pinterest. Images without human faces get liked and repined much more than images with faces. You also want to have multiple colors in your images. Images with red, orange and brown get repined many more times than blue. You do not want a lot of background or whitespace in your image. The less background, the more repins. Less than 30% will get the most repins. Smooth texture gets repinned much more often than a rough texture. Medium lightness does the best as opposed to very light or very dark images. Details matter and paying attention to your image details could make all the difference.

3. Unorganized Boards

– Pinterest has a very good format for organizing your pins and information. Take advantage of that. Separate your pins into categories and create more boards for easier navigation. But do try to keep the number of boards you have under control. If your boards are too specific and only have a few posts, consider merging them with similar categories to make fewer user-friendly boards. Place your most interesting sand intriguing boards on top to get more followers. You need to get their attention immediately especially if you have a lot of boards to scroll through.

4. Not Commenting on Other People’s Posts

– Look for popular posts and share your thoughts, opinions or ideas. Get involved. Don’t just say “Nice pin” or “Love it”. Also, mention others in your comments, when it is appropriate. Be on guard on how much you comment, however, as Pinterest strict spam rules. Keep your commenting down to a few times a day.

5. Not Using Buttons

– Pinterest has all kinds of buttons and widgets you can use to help get people to your boards. Use a Pin It button on your website to make it easy for people to share your pages. Use widgets that show your pins to get people to follow you. Sprinkle these tools all over your website and if you use WordPress, look over all the best widgets available to you. Show off your pins and get more followers.

6. Incomplete Profile

– Make sure you have a completed profile with all needed information available. Be sure to add your business info as well. An incomplete profile might give people the impression you are trying to hide something, making you untrustworthy.

7. Not Customizing the Description

–Although the image does most of the talking, you need a good description included with your post as well. Add searchable terms and keywords. Add your call to action. Like, share, comment, repin – what do you want them to do. Be clear, straightforward and appealing to the senses. You could also use quotes from testimonials or reviews you have. Adding prices when appropriate could increase the response to the pin. Link back to your website when possible. Be sure to use Rich Pins which will include extra information on the pin itself. Find out more about Rich Pins at Pinterest for Business.

8. Not Pinning Original Content

– While cruising through your home feed and repinning all the useful pins can get you followers, you do need to pin original content as well. Use Pinterest’s Pin It button while you are surfing the net and be sure to pin information, content, resources and other helpful things you find. Visit Pinterest to find out how to install the Pin It button on your browser and make pinning original content easy.

9. Not Using Pinterest Analytics

– Pinterest provides you with detailed information about your activity sot be sure to take advantage.

Their analytics can tell you:
Your most popular pin
Which of your pins were repined and how many times
Monthly viewers
People who engaged
Average daily views
Profile views
Most popular boards
Pin impressions, clicks, repins, etc
And more….

The information seems endless. As a business, you need to use that information to help improve your Pinterest marketing efforts.

10. Over Pinning

– Once you start pinning and repining it can just take over and before you know it, you have pinned hundreds of pins and you don’t even know what you pinned. Control your pinning and make the pins more effective. Turning into a robot and pinning everything from recipes to how to paint your house will not do you much good. Think of your followers and how this might affect them. Were all those pins helpful in any way to them? What would you do if you got bombarded with 100 pins in less than an hour? For me, Pinterest is the one social media site I tend to get a little addicted to, so watching myself can be a challenge. Try to keep the number down to about 5 to 10 posts per day. As little as a few times a week can also be effective for business growth.

Extra Faux Pas:

Not connecting to your other social accounts. Create a social web by connecting all your social accounts to enable people to easily find them all and hopefully follow all. Be sure to post different information to different accounts. If you post all the same stuff, people will have no reason to follow your additional accounts.
There are many facets of Pinterest that are not covered in this article so head on over there and start learning about all the tools and features they offer to help you build and expand your business.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Using #Hashtags

Hashtags are simply words or phrases with a hash tag or pound sign (#) in front of them to highlight or emphasize the specifics of the message. For example: If you are posting a message about a product you offer, you might do something like #newproduct #diamondbracelet or #affordable.

The hashtag promptly increases the chances of your post being found when someone uses those terms in a search. They can be a bit annoying but are important if you want your posts to be found.

As with any tool or technique, it must be used properly to work effectively. Below are some ways to effectively and not so effectively use hashtags.

1. Do Not Use Spaces

– The words or phrase you want included in the hashtag cannot have any spaces. You do not want your hashtag to look like this: #vegetable gardening. You need to keep the space out. #vegetablegardening As with a url if you want to separate the words, use upper case letters. #VegetableGardening

2. Do not Use Punctuation Marks of Any Kind

– Adding punctuation marks or special characters will render your hashtag ineffective. You also do not want to use all capital letters. You can use numbers as they will be effective within your hashtag.

3. Do Not Overstuff

– I have seen messages or posts that were nothing but a jumble of hashtags. This is a definite no-no. Try not to use more than two or three hashtags per message. Using too many might give people the impression that you are a spammer. Use them as a tool, not as your entire message.

4. Do Not Make Them Too Long

– For example: #bigsaleonallfurnituresavemoneywitheverypurchase. As you can see this is just a big confusing mess. Try not to use more than two or three words for your hashtag. #FurnitureSale You want your hashtag to be easy to understand.

5. Do Not Use Irrelevant Hashtags

– Make sure your hashtag is related to your post content. If you continually post hashtags that are not relevant to your content, you will just alienate your readers and followers.

6. Do Use Hashtags in All Social Media

-–Although hashtags saw their beginning on Twitter, they are now readily used on most social media sites. Do a little research to see the most effective way to use them for each particular social site. Each site may have different guidelines for how to use them properly for the best results.

7. Do Create Your Own Hashtags

– Create a relevant hashtag that has not yet been used to promote an event or special promotional campaign. Include the hashtag in all your promotional materials and marketing.

8. Do Be Specific With Your Hashtags

– Just as with keywords you want to really narrow in on your topic by being very specific as opposed to a generic hashtag. Hashtags that are too generic will not generate many results. For example: If you sell cosmetics do not use cosmetics as your hashtag. Zero in with hashtags like #AllNaturalPerfume, #24HourLipstick or other precise terms.

9. Do Test Your Hashtag

– When you come up with a hashtag do a search for it to see if it is already in use. The possibility exists that is could already be in use for an entirely different topic. It could be a touchy and embarrassing situation if you used a hashtag that was already in use for something negative or a tragic event of some kind.

10. Do Make It Memorable and Unique

– Use hashtags that are very memorable, unique and will develop some interest. Even adding a little humor or quirkiness can make the difference between a good hashtag and a great hashtag. Using hashtags for contests and other events is a good way to create a buzz about your business. By making your hashtags interesting the chances of people retweeting or sharing them will be much greater.

Always make it a point to follow hashtag etiquette. Along with the above mentioned tips, #do #not #use #a #hashtag #with #every #word. Do not hijack a hashtag that is already being used for an unrelated topic. Use proper spelling. Do not get over descriptive with too many words. Use simple but relevant hashtags. Don’t let your hashtag be the extent of the message. Be sure to add content to your hashtag message.

It seems like there are a lot of do’s and don’ts to remember but do not let that deter you from learning to use hashtags. As with any marketing tool, it must be used properly to be effective. Hashtags could and should be a very important part of your social media marketing. So, start slow and build up to becoming a #hashtagexpert.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

Read More

15 Ways to Bring the Feeling of Spring to Your Website

Spring is in the air! With it comes a feeling of revival and revitalization. Wouldn’t it be great if we could breathe new life into our websites so people could get that same sense of renewal when they visit? Spring is a time of high emotion and high energy. Bringing some of that feeling of rediscovery to your website could pump up your conversion rate.

Below are some ideas you can utilize to help your site come alive and give people a sense of rejuvenation and vitality.

1. Remove Dead Links

– Go through your website and be sure you do not have broken or dead links. Not only does this deter your visitors but the search engines as well. You can find a quick and easy free service at brokenlinkcheck.

2. Resuscitate Old Content

– Look over your older posts and content and see how you can add new info, images or resources to it to bring it back to life. Things are always changing so change with them and revitalize your content.

3. Add Visuals

– One of the best ways to bring a website alive is by adding videos, striking images, memes and other visual concepts. Post a new video each week telling about your products, services or specials. Provide helpful tips and ideas that people can utilize. Make people want to come back each week to rediscover your website.

4. Top Ten Lists

– People love reading lists such as top ten or ten worst lists. Compile some interesting lists and post them to your site. Keep track of how many people visit your list pages and see how much new life it brings to your site.

5. Predictions

– Research information about your industry and post predictions on what will happen in that field. Take note of trends and innovations and predict what will happen with them. Make the predictions wild and entertaining or be more serious and informative.

6. Become a Community

– Turn your site into an active community. Get your visitors involved and ask for their opinions, views and beliefs on various subjects. Invite other people to comment on or contradict those views. Ask other people for their ideas, tips and other resources. People like getting involved and offering what they know.

7. Add Inspiration to Your Site

– Renew your website with inspiring stories, music, movies, etc. to give people an uplifting feeling. People will come back regularly to find more inspiration and motivating stories. We love to read how people overcome the obstacles they face. It gives us hope and inspires us to attain our goals as well.

8. 10 Years Ago Today

– Have a section on your website that lets people know what happened 10 years ago today – or one year, or whatever length of time you choose. These tidbits of information can be very interesting and keep people coming back for more.

9. Start a Lively Discussion

– Read up on current events and choose a topic that is controversial and start up a lively debate on the subject. Let people air their views, whether good or bad. People sometimes just want to be heard on particular subjects and this can be a good way to encourage engagement. Be sure to watch for offensive language or flaming. Do not allow people to lose control.

10. Start an Audio Series

– Interview successful people in your field of business and make an audio series of posts. Post audio stories, tips, ideas, current events, etc. Have a different subject for each day of the week. Monday is interview day, Tuesday tutorial day, etc. You could even post a survey on your site asking your visitors in what they would be most interested.

11. Quote of the Day

– Post a fresh quote on your site every day or several times a week. Inspirational, funny, romantic, motivational – there are so many different types of quotes, you would never run out of interesting subject matter.

12. Update and Refresh Your Story

– Take a look at your About Us page. How long has that same story been there? Revitalize it by updating the information and adding some new information. Post a new photo or photos. Instead of your story being in text, make a video of you and how you see your business and what the purpose is of your business. Add a little humor and fun to the video but keep it professional.

13. Add New Features

– With all the great website platforms these days, you can easily add new features to your site in the form of widgets, plugins, etc. Do some research and see what the best tools and features are and add some of them to your site. Visit some other sites and see what they entail. And again, you could do a survey asking your visitors what features they would like to see on your site.

14. Customer of the Month

– Have a customer of the month appreciation page. Offer a small prize or token of thanks to that customer. Let him/her know why they are so appreciated. Publicly showing individual customers how much you are grateful to them could boost up your website interest and success. Be sure not to post the customer’s personal information or anything they would not want made public.

15. Refresh Your Design

– Go over your site as a whole. Does it need revamping? Maybe the color needs to be changed. The color of a website has a big impact on its success. Maybe you need to clean it up a little – take out unnecessary ads and flash. Make it more streamlined and more efficient. Do not overload with clutter. You want your website to be clean, simple and have a definite purpose which your visitors can see immediately.

The above ideas are some ways you can update your website or blog to attract new attention and bring more life to your business. The internet and the online marketing world are forever changing and evolving so we must evolve along with it. Never let your site get too outdated or stale. Like spring, you want your site to make people feel alive and energized!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

15 Ways to Optimize Your Blog Posts for SEO and Reader Response

The basic simple act of posting on your blog or other blogs can do powerful things for your business. But your action might not be so effective if you don’t utilize certain ideas. There are many things to consider when writing content but the tips below will give you a good start to getting the maximum response from your post.

1. Visual Content

– Statistics say that if your post contains visual content, it will grab 94% more visits and engagement than those without. That is reason enough to start including videos and other visual content in your posts. The brain is automatically drawn more to images than to text.

2. Short Paragraphs

– The amount of videos and other visuals used in marketing today is one of the reasons you need to keep your paragraphs short. You need plenty of white space to avoid long drawn out paragraphs. Large blocks of text will not draw much attention to your post.

3. Keywords

– One of the most responsive ways to use keywords is adding them to your post title. Do not go crazy with the keywords. Use just a couple of keyword phrases throughout your post without sacrificing readability. Use the phrases in the very beginning, a couple of times throughout and then again at the end. Be sure to read up on keyword stuffing to prevent being penalized.

4. Subscription Forms Available

– Having a subscription form available after every post will increase the chances of a person taking that action and subscribing to your list. Once you capture that person’s email, the chances of retaining them as a customer is greatly increased.

5. Headings and Bulleted Lists

– People tend to scan over posts looking for pertinent information. Using headings and bulleted or numbered lists will draw a person’s eye to that information. Headings are also important for SEO as you can utilize your keyword phrases in the headings. With the ability to scan and find the pertinent information quickly, a person will more likely keep reading the article and respond to it.

6. Link to Previous or Similar Content

– By doing this, not only will you provide your reader with more helpful information, you will have a linking structure which would probably get Google’s attention and raise your ranking. WordPress also has related content plugins available so you do not have to do this manually.

7. Write to a Friend

– Do not write your post like a college dissertation. Make it friendly and easy to understand. Write as if you are having a conversation with a friend. This manner of writing will be more appealing to most people and encourage interaction.

8. Avoid Clutter

– Keep your site clean and sharp. As with the large blocks of text, if there is too much “stuff” to wade through, it will discourage people from staying at your site or taking the time to read your posts. Do not overdo on the ads. Don’t fill your site with banners, lights and flash. Keep it simple and to the point.

9. Ask Questions

– A good way to get people to participate in your post is by asking questions or asking for opinions and thoughts. Most people enjoy offering their views and beliefs on most matters. Whether they agree with you or not, you want people to engage in your post.

10. Social Media

– Always provide buttons to your social media sites. Give people the call to action to follow you via social media. Getting social (don’t forget Google+) can get your site indexed much quicker.

11. Fast Loading Time

– I know with a WordPress blog and all the cool widgets and plugins they offer, it can be easy to get your site bogged down. Be sure to just use what you need so your pages will load quickly. Too many widgets and plugins can have the opposite effect for which you are looking. There are some plugins available which can help maximize your loading time. A few examples are: Advanced Lazy Load, Super Cache, and WP Optimize.

12. Tell Stories

– People love a good story. We relate to the people in that story and what happens to them. Using them in your post can certainly raise the chances of people not only reading the post but participating as well.

13. Linking Structure

– A good linking structure could improve your search engine ranking dramatically. It can also decrease your bounce rate substantially. Within your blog posts link to similar relevant information but do not use the ever famous, click here. If you are writing about collectible dolls, rather than using, “Click here for more information”, you would use something like, “collectible dolls,” and link to that keyword phrase. Using anchor text, as it is called is much more effective than using click here.

14. SEO Plugin

– Although you do not want to get bogged down with too many plugins and widgets, there are some that do provide essential functions. Be sure to get a good SEO plugin to add to your site to increase your site efficiency. One of the best WP plugins for SEO efficiency is All in One SEO Pack.

15. Polls, Surveys & Contests

– Oh my! If you want to get your blog readers to engage and participate on your site, then polls, surveys and contests are three good ways to accomplish this. People love winning so holding regular weekly or monthly contests is a great way to get response. As I mentioned before, people love to give their opinions on things so surveys and polls can inspire a lot of interaction as well. Offer a gift as incentive for even more contributions.

Start integrating the above ideas into your blog posts and you will be on your way to a higher search engine ranking and more interaction on your blog. There are many more things you can do to expand on these ideas, so be sure to study up on the subject for more helpful optimization tips.

About the Author:

Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

Read More

The Top 10 Don’ts of Digital Marketing

The Top 10 Don’ts of Digital Marketing
©Terri Seymour

Digital marketing is the method of marketing in which we use various electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. It also entails the usage of software programs, apps and technological platforms such as email, websites, social media, etc. The world of digital marketing is a vast one in which we can easily get lost.

Because of all the advances and changes in technology, it can be hard to keep up on all the latest trends and methods encompassed by digital marketing. Digital marketing strategies include visual marketing, mobile marketing, and online marketing techniques of various kinds so it can all get very confusing and overwhelming.

We not only need to know what to do in the digital marketing world, we have to know what not to do. Below is a list of ten of the don’ts to hopefully help you trek through the massive digital marketing universe.

1. Closing Your Eyes on Mobile Marketing

– The number of people who spend more time on the web with mobile devices is growing at a astounding rate. If you own an online business, you can no longer resist mobile devices as part of your digital marketing arsenal. The first step would be to make your website mobile device friendly. Many site builder programs such as WordPress have plugins and automatic features to do that for you. You can also add a line of code to your site that will format your site to the device being used. Be sure to try your website on your mobile devices to find out exactly how people are seeing it. Go through the mobile shopping experience yourself so you have a full understanding of what you need to do.

2. Too Much Social Media

– Social media is so much a part of the internet these days it is impossible to expect to build a presence on all of the social sites. You need to pick 2 or 3 of the top sites and start building your brand and setting up your social presence. The most used social sites as of now are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. I get most of my social traffic from Facebook and Pinterest. Next in line is Google+, Tumblr and Instagram. If you can understand your target market you can become a part of the social sites in which they would most likely participate.

3. Information Overload

– The digital marketing world is so vast we can easily become lost in the information. I, as well as many others, get caught in the trap of spending too much time gathering information from countless sources on various aspects of building an online business. We need to narrow our focus and learn only what we need to learn to successfully build our business. Find a few good sources for this information and stick with them to learn the ins and outs.

4. Not Having a User-Friendly Website

– Many of us are tempted to create the biggest, brightest, flashiest website possible but this is a big mistake. You want your site design to be simple, easy to navigate and very user-friendly. Add only what is needed to inform your customers. You do want to add some extra content to provide information to your visitors but make sure it directly pertains to what your site is about. Do not clutter up your site with countless ads, irrelevant information or extra steps to get to your call to action. Fancy features and flashy extras will just confuse your customer and possibly drive them to another site.

5. Not Keeping Up with SEO Changes

– SEO is very pertinent to your website but the rules and regulations are always changing. Find a good source of SEO information and follow it regularly to keep up with the changes so you can make any necessary revisions to your business website.

6. Not Utilizing Visual Marketing

– By using visual marketing, you could increase your conversion rate by as much as 86%. This is a phenomenal statistic. Place a video on your landing and/or homepage. Strategically place quality graphics in your blog posts and content. Use visuals as much as possible in your social media marketing. Create and use your own infographics for your blog and social media. There are free tools for making infographics. Use a compelling photo or graphic in your articles. It could mean the difference between your article being read or rejected. Look over articles with photos. Does the photo pull you into the article and make you want to read it or does it leave you flat. Take note of the type of image used and what emotion or action it brings out in you. Placing a well-made video on your homepage or landing page will make a substantial difference as well. People will get the message much quicker than by reading and could be the deciding factor as to whether they stay or go. Be entertaining in the video but be sure to deliver your message. Your image and voice will also help your potential customer bond with you. You also want to get started in a fairly new visual marketing technique called meme marketing. This combines humor and real life situations with amusing and/or heartwarming images.

7. Not Testing and Tracking

– Take advantage of Google’s free tools to study your stats and track your visitors. Google Analytics can help you tweak your site to its performance peak. Test ads, web pages, article resource boxes, etc. Find out what brings the best results and most response and stick with it.

8. Not Establishing the Relationship

– Doing business with people digitally is much different than being able to talk with them face to face. It is harder for people to trust a webpage than an actual person so be sure to do all you can to build that relationship of trust and respect. Answer all email inquiries quickly and appropriately. Be reliable – if you say you are going to do something, be sure to do it. Be consistent – if you are sending out a weekly newsletter do not get lax and start missing weeks. Update your blog and product information regularly. Do not let your site go stale. Be consistent in your social media. Respond to all questions and comments in a timely manner. Let people know you are available for them and can be trusted.

9. Focusing too Much on Traffic and Not Enough on Conversions

– Traffic is the lifeblood of an online business but you also need to focus on quality and targeted traffic. Getting 1000 visitors to your site doesn’t do much good if they are not interested in what you offer. Participate in groups and forums where people who are interested in your services might be. If you offer B2B products and services, join groups and forums of home business owners. We all want more traffic but we need to aim for the traffic to whom we can actually sell.

10. Charging Blindly Into the Marketing Abyss

– Starting an online business and charging headfirst into the digital marketing world is not a good idea. You need to do some planning ahead and research what you are getting into. Know who your customers will be and where to find them. Make sure you are offering a sellable product or service. Be somewhat prepared for your dive into the digital marketing world.

These mistakes are very common but need to be addressed. If you are attempting to build an online business you need to be informed and constantly be adapting and learning. Digital marketing has come a long way since the early 90s and we need to grow and develop with it. It will be overwhelming at times but you can work to overcome and build a successful online business.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

Read More