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

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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

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10 Event Ideas to Boost Your Blog Traffic

In the business world, an event is a public gathering for the purpose of networking and/or marketing. Holding events on your blog or website can help give your traffic a substantial boost. By holding different events, you bring more life and interaction to your blog which in turn will bring more traffic.

Contests and giveaways are effective events to stir up some interest and excitement. If you are not sure which type of event to consider, below are ten ideas to help you to get started.

1. Charity Week

– Offer to pay a percentage of all orders to charity. Have your visitors post information about their favorite charities and donate to them. Present prizes, discounts, gift cards, etc., for your visitors. Hold auctions with your products to raise money for various charities. Ask people to help you raise money by making others aware of your charity event. NOTE: Please be sincere in your efforts to raise money for charity. Do not just use it as a marketing ploy!

2. Meet & Greet Event

– Hold a meet and greet event for other bloggers. Invite bloggers to come to your event to meet, network, and brainstorm with fellow bloggers. You could have a couple of games for prizes such as trivia or other quick and easy games. Have a question and answer forum to offer advice, experience and expertise. Present guest speakers to share their knowledge and expertise as well.

3. Comment Contest

– Let your readers know that if they post a comment, (with substance, not just thank you for the info or anything on that order) they will have a chance at winning a prize. You can do a random drawing for the prize or you could have a secret word (which directly relates to your content) and anyone who uses that secret word in their comment gets a shot at the prize. Make it fun and use different tactics each time.

4. Holiday Events – For Halloween, hold a costume contest

. Have people post pictures of themselves in their costumes and then have all posters vote for their favorites. The one with the most votes wins. For Christmas, you could have a “Find Santa” contest. Put a pic of Santa somewhere on your site and the first to find it wins. For Easter, you could have an Easter egg hunt. The possibilities are endless!

5. Guess the Location Contest

– Post a picture of a semi-famous location (don’t make it too easy) and see who can guess it by vague clues given to them by you. Offer a new clue each day until someone discovers the location in the photo.

6. Photo Contest

– Ask your visitors to post a photo they took along with their comment and let everyone vote on which one is best. People love to vote on things and to win prizes so it is a win-win contest!

7. Parade of Blogs

– Does your community ever hold a Parade of Homes? You could do something similar with blogs. Contact other blog owners and see if they would be interested in participating. You again could let people vote on the blogs they liked best for certain categories such as products, content, user-friendliness, etc. This would be a great way for blog owners to learn how to make their blogs more successful as well as being a good opportunity for networking.

8. Group Discussions

– Hold monthly group discussions similar to a book club only you could discuss ways to increase sales, traffic or build your business in general.

9. Trivia Parties

– There aren’t too many people who don’t enjoy a good trivia challenge so why not hold periodical trivia parties.

10. Scavenger Hunt

– Have a list of objects for people to find on the internet. Give them clues as to where they can find them. Each person has so much time to see how many of the objects they can find. Have them give you the url from the site where they found the object so you know it is the right one. Just doing a Google search for each object and going to any site is not allowed! Make it a specific object on a specific site.

Proper planning will be a big part of your event, so don’t try to schedule these events on the spur of the moment. Be precise and effective in your planning so all goes well.

I hope these ideas help to inspire you to organize your own successful event. Hold events and contests recurrently to help keep your blog active, alive and profitable!
My next article will highlight different ways you can promote your various events and entice more visitors to your blog.

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: ==> http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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The Key To Real SEO Success: A Varied And Natural Approach

Despite countless articles on the subject, a lot of ‘gurus’ and ‘experts’ still don’t get SEO. It took most of them a long time to realise that the way forward wasn’t to continue building as many useless links as possible and filling their site with tons of spun content, but even now that they’ve started to accept the changes brought on by Panda and Penguin, they still continue to miss the big picture and the real message that Google is trying to put across.

How can you tell? Because they have often simply swapped one dodgy technique for another. We all know now that posting lots of links on link directories and article repositories is no longer a good strategy and that Google has started to penalise people for using such obvious manipulation techniques. So what’s the best way to move forward with SEO? To post hundreds of guest posts?Or to post hundreds of links on social media?

No.

The problem with either of these strategies is that they still aren’t natural and they still aren’t varied. Google doesn’t hate article directories – that was not the purpose of their algorithm updates. Likewise they don’t have a problem with content farms when the content is good quality. Where their issue actually lies, is with anyone who tries to workout how the algorithms work and then purposefully manipulate them. What they want people to do is to create genuinely great content, such that it will be shared naturally and their SERPs will be filled only with content that is genuinely offering good value and useful information. If you start posting your links solely on PR3 blogs by writing guest posts, then you are still manipulating the system in a way that Google can spot. There’s a pattern here and a consistency that looks unnatural and this will affect your ranking. If it doesn’t already, then pretty soon Google will work out what we’re doing and make another change.

The Answer

So what’s the answer? The answer is to do what Google wants you to do – which is to write great content and market your site in a genuine way so that lots of people find it and then want to share it with others.

Sometimes though, you’re still going to want to give your pages a little push to help them on their way, and that’s where more conventional forms of SEO come in. So how do you really go about improving your site’s ranking?

The answer is to make it look like your site has been shared naturally, and the simple way to do that is to make your links as varied and natural looking as possible. Even to include some low quality links.

Think about it, if you had a huge site that was viewed by millions of people, it wouldn’t only ever get linked to by the top blogs. Sometimes it would be on useless blogs with weird anchor text. Sometimes it would be on forums and sometimes it would be on high quality blogs. If you want a fool proof links profile that will stand the test of time it needs to look natural so that Google can’t find your fingerprints on it.

Varied and natural links are the answer to your post-penguin woes.

This post was written by Vadim Kirichenko; he works as an internet marketing consultant to help clients to get on the first page of Google. He indulges in sports and blogging in his free time.

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How Much Is Too Much? How To Plan Your Online Writing Strategy Without Overwhelming Your Readership

When you write for the web, it’s important that you gain dedicated readers to not only become informed or entertained by your work, but to also increase your exposure and heighten your image.

Whether you’re writing blog posts or simply posting content to social media, it’s important that you have a schedule and writing strategy in place. Not only will having these items keep you from suffering from a lack of content or experiencing writer’s block, but they will also ensure that your posts are consistent, which is important to your readers.

Some people believe that their online content should be posted and published multiple times per day, but this can be extremely overwhelming (and often times annoying) to your readers. Instead of becoming that obnoxious poster, use the following tips to plan your online writing strategy more efficiently.

Listen to your audience.

Pay attention to what your audience is saying online. Listen to the questions they’re asking, and pay attention to the comments they’re posting on your blog. You can then use this information to find out more about your audience as well as the topics they’re most interested in. When you know this information, you can then tailor your posts to the topics that will be most enjoyed by your audience. When you give them information they want, they’ll be more likely to come back consistently.

Choose a schedule that works best.

Think about what type of schedule would be easiest for you to follow. Should you post one post every day, or are you better suited to post one or two times per week? It’s always best to know what type of schedule you can keep without driving yourself crazy. If it becomes a chore for you to continue posting every day, then maybe you should cut it back to a few times per week.

Know which days work best for your audience.

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you learn more about the traffic that comes to your site and the exposure your posts are getting. Google Analytics can help tell you where your traffic is coming from, how they got to your site and what they did while there. You can use this information to determine what days of the week and what times seem to generate the most traffic to your site. Then, be sure that you are generating new posts on these days and at these times. You want to captivate your readers when they’re online.

If you post to Facebook, you can use the internal tracking tools to see what type of exposure your posts received. Pay attention to the days and times (and topics) of your biggest posts, and use that as knowledge of when to best reach your audience.

 

Be consistent.

Once you have figured out the best topics and the best days/times to reach your audience, it’s important that you create the schedule and stick to it. After a while, your audience will soon recognize what schedule you’re using, and they’ll use this information to know when to come back to your site. For example, if you constantly update your blog posts every Tuesday, your audience will soon learn that they can find new content on your site every Tuesday. This way, your audience will know when to come back, which will keep traffic coming to your site consistently without overwhelming.

Lauren Williams is a school teacher and dedicated mother who enjoys blogging in her spare time.  She always uses a grammar checker to proof her work and encourages her students to do the same.

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10 Tips for More Resource Box Clicks

For article marketers it’s all about providing helpful quality information so people will want to visit our sites for more of the same. But, if we don’t also produce an effective resource box, we could lose a lot of those clicks.

The resource box, which can also be called About the Author or Author’s Bio, is the snippet of information at the end of the article. Unfortunately, many times the resource box is not given the attention it needs. To get the traffic you are seeking, your resource box needs to be as powerful as the article itself.

Below are ten tips on how you can get more clicks from your article resource box:

1. Keep It Short – According to some research, your resource box should be no more than 15% of the length of your article. For example: If your article is 800 words, then your resource box should be no more than 120 words. Another recommendation is to keep it at about 1-3 sentences. Lengthy resource boxes will not produce traffic because after reading your article they don’t want to spend a lot of time reading a long, boring bio. Short, commanding and to the point will get the reader’s attention.

2. Too Many Links – Do not load your resource box with links. This will only confuse the reader and more than likely drive them away. Give them one clear link to click on and you will get more results. Most article submission sites allow a maximum of one or two links.

3. Third Person – Write your article in third person, not as yourself. This will make it sound more like a recommendation and it will carry more weight and influence.

For example: I am an expert in internet marketing with years of experience.
Or John Doe is a marketing expert with many years of experience.

4. Clickable Links – Be sure to hyperlink your links so people can just click and go. If they have to take the time to copy and paste, even though it is just seconds, your click rate will drop substantially.

5. Keywords – Be sure to use relevant keywords in your resource box. Use targeted keywords that are relevant to your article body and title. If your article is about dog grooming, be sure to use dog grooming in your resource box and in your link, if possible. If your url does not contain the relevant keywords, use anchor text to add them in. Anchor text is when you link your url to a certain word or phrase. You might not always be able to do this but take advantage of the opportunity when you can.

6. Making the Sale – Do not try to make a direct sale with your resource box. What you are trying to accomplish is getting people to your site to sign up for your mailing list, newsletter, etc. This will enable you to build a relationship and get more sales in the long run. Get the traffic, get them signed up and then work on the sales.

7. Click for Free – Always try to offer a freebie in your resource box. Free ebooks, free subscriptions, free reports are good incentives for clicking.

8. Solution to Problems – You want to let people know you can provide a solution to their problem.

For example: Jane Doe can help you increase your productivity with her free online class at: wherever.com.

By offering a solution, you will get more people to click on your link.

9. Your Name – Be sure to put your name in your resource box. It is surprising how many people forget to add their name. Lead in with your name and give a brief summary of your qualifications.

Jane Doe is a seasoned veteran of productivity and organization solutions. She can help you increase your success by becoming more productive. Sign up for her free online class here.

10. Call to Action – As always, you want to get people to respond. You can do this more effectively with a call to action. Tell them to click here or sign up now or find out how. Just adding a link is not enough. Give them the extra push they need with a clear call to action.

Article marketing is a very powerful way to build your reputation and your business but do not neglect your resource box. Try using multiple boxes and test the results. Make your resource box as powerful as the article itself so people will want to click your link and visit your site.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has many years of article marketing experience and has helped many people make money with their online business. Click to find out how she can help you increase your traffic and sales for FREE at: http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Proven Ways to Go Viral

Social Analytics and Social Media Strategy

Although there is a debate as to when the term viral marketing really originated, it did rise in popularity in the mid to late 90’s. Viral marketing works just like a virus. One person reads a marketing message, gets infected by it and passes it on to another person. The better the message, the more it spreads. And the term viral marketing is born!

There are many methods and techniques for spreading your viral marketing message. The explosion of social media marketing has brought viral marketing to new heights. But along with social media there are also more traditional ways to spread your marketing virus. Below are ten totally doable ways to launch and propel your viral marketing campaign.

1. Free eBook – eBooks have been a very popular and effective means of viral marketing for quite some time. Compile a free PDF ebook using articles you have written, useful information, resources, etc., and start spreading that virus. Offer the ebook to your visitors for free. Write a message inside encouraging them to give the ebook to their visitors and so on and so on. Submit the ebook to free ebook sites and directories. Add a link to the ebook in your email sigtag. The better the content of the ebook the more the “virus” will spread.

If you feel that you cannot write your own ebook, there are a lot of PLR and rebrandable ebooks you could use to achieve the same results.

2. Newsletters – If you publish a newsletter, you can use that to increase your viral marketing. Make it easy for people to share it with others. Encourage your subscribers to forward a copy to their friends so they can subscribe. Offer a free gift to the subscribers who can get the most people to subscribe.

3. Articles – Writing and submitting articles can be one of the most powerful viral marketing techniques. This will be most likely happen only if your article is well-written and contains helpful, useful information. Do not try to pass off a long sales pitch as an article. Submit your article to quality sites that allow visitors to reprint the article with your resource box. Add a Send to a Friend link in your resource box. When possible, thank the person for reprinting your article and let them know of any other articles you might have. Compile a list of newsletter publishers who accept article submissions. There are countless ways to spread your quality articles and infect many people.

4. Social Media – Social media has the capabilities of expanding your viral marketing to new heights. Try to regularly participate in at least the top three social sites which are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. A newcomer that is rising in popularity very fast is Pinterest so I would recommend starting with that one as well. When used effectively, these social media sites allow you to spread your virus in ways that were not before possible.

5. Blogging – Blogging is a form of social media marketing and can do wonders for your viral marketing. A quality blog will pull in many readers on a regular basis. Make it easy for your readers to interact with comments and opinions. Update your content consistently and always respond to reader comments for more success.

6. Tell-A-Friend – A free tell-a-friend script is a handy thing to have on your site or blog. It allows people to send your webpage to anyone they think would be interested thus launching your viral marketing. The easier it is for people to share your message the more your virus will spread.

7. Social Media Share Buttons – These highly effective buttons allow your visitors to easily share your blog, site or information with all their social media followers and friends. You can find many options for free that have these buttons for many of the social media sites. The first site to come up for some of these options is ShareThis.

8. Videos – Over two million people watch YouTube videos each day so getting your marketing video visible to this massive audience will pump up your viral marketing. You can also post video clips on your site with a well-spoken marketing message or demonstration. Make it easy for people to pass on your video to their friends and followers.

9. Word-of-Mouth – Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of viral marketing. It’s been around long before the internet was ever dreamed of. It is also one of the most effective because people are passing on your message to people they know and their opinion is probably taken with more approval and consideration. It can also be more difficult because it requires people to take a more involved action than clicking a button. Make your customers feel happy and satisfied and they will spread the word (or virus).

10. Email – Email is one of the more traditional online viral marketing methods. How many times have you received emails that have been forwarded to you by people you don’t even know? That is the power of viral. Don’t be afraid to ask people to forward your emails to everyone they know. Sending out emails of value, quality and usefulness just might cause a widespread infection!

The power of viral marketing is unlimited but your marketing “virus” needs to be unique, useful, entertaining and powerful. People will not spread something that is not worth spreading. Study marketing tactics of other companies but try to develop your own unique idea or twist of an old idea, that no one else has used before. Develop a new virus for which there is no cure!

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Steps to Effective Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is a much more effective method of building a business than the typical pushy salesman approach. Making the sale should not be your immediate goal. Connecting with your prospect and building a relationship is what should be foremost in your marketing strategy. You want to accomplish a long-term relationship with your customer not just a quick sale.

A customer needs to find a business they can feel comfortable with and trust to provide what they need. Building relationships is a crucial step in this process. It may take several interactions, whether by email, phone or in person, with a customer to make a sale. Do not make your customer feel pushed or intimidated into buying. There are many things you can do to show your potential customer you are interested in more than just “making the sale”.

1. Focus on Customer Needs – Don’t make your customer feel that all you want is their money. Take the time to find out what they really need and let them know how you can fulfill those needs. You have to put your customer’s need for problem solution above your need to make the sale.

2. Really Listen to Your Prospects – Listening to your prospect is common sense to us but unfortunately in our need to make a sale, we might overlook this. Don’t let outside distractions take away any of your attention. Reserve 100% for your customer and really listen to what they are saying to you and the message they are trying to send. Do not let your feelings or your ego stand in the way of listening to what your customer is saying. Don’t go by the book. Every customer and situation is different and you have to follow the current conversation not a script!

3. Be Available – Always, always have your contact information such as email address, phone number, etc. readily available to your prospects and customers. They need to be comfortable in the fact that they can reach you anytime they need you.

4. Offer Information and Resources – Offer free information, reports, resources, etc. on your website, blog, or newsletter. Let your customer know you want to help them with all their needs. Provide a weekly mailing with helpful tips, hints and information. Show them you are willing to go the extra mile to help.

5. Personalized Greetings – Don’t just take the money and vanish. Stay in touch with your customers to help build that lasting long-term relationship. Send out personalized holiday greetings, well wishes etc. with greeting cards, postcards or email. Even just sending a hand-written thank you note will go a long way in forming that lasting relationship.

6. Provide Ongoing Support – Many times after a person purchases something, they may have questions or concerns about that purchase. Make sure to provide ongoing support by email or phone so their questions can be addressed and their concerns put at ease. Unfortunately too many times companies seem to disappear once you make a purchase. Don’t let that be you and your company!

7. Be Honest – Unfortunately in our eagerness to make the sale, we sometimes stretch the truth or completely abandon it. Be sure to never make promises you cannot fulfill or claims you cannot live up to. If the customer needs something you cannot provide, discuss possible options or alternatives or refer them to someone who can take care of their needs. Never make false claims even if you do have good intentions.

8. Treat with Respect – This goes without saying but unfortunately it is sometimes a lost rule. There are customers that can certainly try our patience but you must never lose patience or your temper with your customer. Talk to them calmly and let them know you will do what you can to take care of the problem. Show them that you can work through their crisis and get things taken care of properly. Your calmness and confidence will help calm them down and reassure them that all will be well again.

9. Customer Appreciation – Offer your customers discounts, incentives, prizes, rewards anytime you can to show them you appreciate them. There are customers that have incentives for new customers but nothing for existing customers. This is definitely not right. You need to show your existing customers you appreciate them as well. Send periodical coupons, free gifts, etc. These things could mean a lot to your customer and your business.

10. Connect with Your Customer – Make the effort to actually connect with your customer as a person, not just a way to make a sale. Gone are the old school ways of making sales with pushy sales pitches, intimidation, scare tactics, etc. We now know relationship marketing and mutual respect and trust sets the tone for long lasting buyer/seller associations.

Even though you are in business for yourself, think of your customer as your boss. You work for your customer. You are there for your customer. You need your customer more than he needs you. Always value your customer and show them they can value you!

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Helpful Tips for Using Google Plus

Google Plus is a social networking site launched by Google in 2011. It now has approximately 250 million users and is growing in popularity. Google Plus is similar to Facebook but yet different in several ways. One major difference is that you can organize your friends and followers into separate “Circles” so you can post appropriate messages to the right people. It is not just one mass posting.

With its many features and differences, Google Plus can seem a bit complicated and confusing so below are ten tips to help you use Google Plus to its maximum efficiency.

1. Profile – As always, take advantage of your profile area. You want to establish your personal identity but also connect your personal profile with your business. Instead of using your company logo for your avatar, use a picture of yourself. This will establish you as an actual person and give you a head start for building the relationships needed for your online business. Showcase what your business can do for people in the “About” section. Highlight your business but keep your personal identity evident as well.

2. Hangouts – This is one feature that separates Google Plus from Facebook and other social networking sites. The Hangouts feature allows you to connect, by video, with up to ten people at one time. This is great for meetings, training, demonstrations, webinars, e-classes, etc. Use this tool with creativity and grow your business.

3. Categorize with Circles – Another advantage of using Google Plus is their “Circles” feature. This allows you to categorize your followers, which in turn allows you to send the appropriate messages to the appropriate groups of people. No more mass posting and sending irrelevant messages to people. You can separate your followers into customers, family, trainees, etc. This is another way that Google Plus has come out ahead for networking.

4. Sparks – Yet another great feature of Google Plus is Sparks. This handy tool lets you enter a keyword and an alert will be sent to you whenever any content on this subject is posted. This is a great way to search for and find relevant and interesting content to share.

5. Shorten Your URL – Be sure to shorten your URL as you probably won’t want to use the default link Google assigns to you. To do this, you can go to gplus.to and choose the nickname for your URL. I would use my company name but some people prefer to use their actual name.

6. Invite People to Your Circles – In your account you will see a suggestion list, provided by Google, of people to invite to your circles. Make a habit of going through these suggestions and inviting different people to the appropriate circle. More people than not will accept your invitation and it helps in building an effective network.

7. Drag and Drop – You can easily drag and drop photos, links, videos, etc. from your desktop to your Google Plus comment box. This allows you much creativity to create memorable and unique posts.

8. Google Notifications Window – This feature is helpful because it allows you to comment right in the window. You do not have to click over to a website to share a comment. You can also scroll through to see older and/or newer notifications. This can be a great timesaver.

9. Check Your Google Plus Settings – There are many notification options available to you. You can opt to get notified when someone mentions you or adds you to their circle. There are several options available to you so be sure to check all the ones that apply.

10. Use Mashable – Mashable is a news source that will keep you abreast of all Google’s features, updates, and other digital social media news as well. This will allow you to make the most of your Google Plus and social media tactics.

Although Google Plus is not yet the powerhouse that Facebook is, it has many outstanding features and uses that could make it a very effective component in your social networking agenda.

About the Author:
Don’t be one of the 95% of people who fail at their online business. Terri Seymour can help you make money online. Find out how to increase your traffic and sales with her popular “How to Build Your Online Business” ebook for FREE at: http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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