Sunday, January 21, 2018

Avoid These 10 Mistakes as an Expert Author – Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 of my series, where I’ll be discussing some more common mistakes made by “Expert Authors” that hurt their credibility. When writing content online, it’s important you have the required characteristics to attract visitors because only then can you profit from your online business. For example, without the author having credibility, it’s hard to resonate with your audience. If you can’t resonate with your audience, this will lower your bottom line and decrease conversions. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been writing about some of the common mistakes made by authors including factors like grammar, wrong audience, irrelevant content, not replying to feedback, etc.

Today, I’ll be wrapping up my series by looking at “3” more common mistakes made by authors. Let’s get started…

Lack Consistency

Once you build a reputation for providing value, it’s going to be something your readers want more of. They want to come back to your blog and find high value content relevant to your niche. However, if you lack consistency, you can destroy your bond with readers. I’m not saying you need to publish content every day but it’s important to have a regular posting schedule so your audience knows when they can expect an update. You’ve probably noticed many top bloggers will publish content every 3 days and have stuck to this schedule for several years. By doing this, they have consistently added value to their blog, which is great for their audience and search engines that are indexing your website.

I recommend having a regular posting schedule and if it’s hard to keep up on your own then you can always hire freelancers or encourage guest bloggers to join your team to write high quality content.

Post Format

You have to keep mixing up your blog content because different audiences will resonate with different types of content. Statistically, “list-posts” have been proven to increase engage 2 x because they’re right to the point and provide a lot of information quickly. However, as an “expert author”, you have to know what topic and/or keywords to focus on. List posts are only effective if you have them based around a popular topic. However, keep in mind, you have several different types of posts that’ll do very well with your audience, too. For example,

  • How-to
  • Video
  • Infographics
  • Interview
  • FAQ’s

These are all posts that can provide enormous value but it’s your duty as an “expert blogger” to know what type of content works well on your blog. This will happen through testing and tweaking while paying close attention to social shares.

Sharing Content

One of the best ways to build credibility is to keep your content in front of people relevant to your niche. What’s even more important is you utilize the avenues that have been proven to work. Social media is an awesome way to build momentum and engagement quickly because this is where a majority of people hang out and it’s been proven statistically. If you look at the growth of “3” major social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, in the last 10 years, you’ll noticed the jump is roughly 120%. That’s a staggering amount and is a clear picture of the success social media can bring when used correctly. However, here’s the tricky part…

Social media is only effective when you’ve researched, studied, and adopted the statistics into your campaign. For example, you need to know…

  • What time
  • What dates
  • What content
  • What #hashtags
  • What people

Having gathered all the right details and incorporating them into your campaign will help increase ROI. Don’t forget, social media engagement is FREE so this is a great way for beginners to increase growth on a very small monthly budget.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Avoid These 10 Mistakes as an Expert Author – Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my awesome series and we’ll be discussing some more common mistakes made by Expert Authors when trying to build their brand and credibility. I see many authors making these mistakes, which costs them enormously going forward. You have to remember, as a bloggers, it’s very important to build your reputation and if you fail to do so, you’ll lose loyalty quickly. The Internet is a huge resource of information and visitors have other options if you fail to do things right the first time. I’m actually being unfair by stating you can’t make mistakes, however, it’s true that there is very little room for error.

In Part 1 of the series, we looked at things like irrelevant content, self-doubt, and NOT tracking results. Now let’s look at “3” more common errors made by “expert authors”. Let’s jump right in…

Low Engagement

When writing content, it’s important you keep your audience engaged by providing them the information they’re looking for. I can’t count the number of times I’ve left a blog because I didn’t find the content and/or presentation engaging enough so it’s important you pay close attention to both. Here’s the problem,

You have to make sure your writing for every type of audience or you’ll have 50% engaging and the other NOT fully able to comprehend your content. Your audience might be from places where English is NOT their first language so take advantage of the tools available. For example, adding videos, infographics, and images is a great way to keep all your audience engaged. However, stick to your main topic idea and don’t go off track unless it’s necessary, which you’ll learn later on. Here are some tips…

  • Use images
  • Use Videos
  • Create infographics
  • Focus on structure
  • Ask them questions for feedback
  • Reply to feedback

Quick to Publish

Another common mistake made by expert authors is they are in a rush to publish. After the Google freshness update was introduced, many bloggers are under the impression more content means faster indexing and higher traffic. However, there is NO substitute for quality because in the end, that’s the bottom line for searchers. Google knows how important it is for quality content to be published so will always give preference to quality over quantity.

Expert Authors know when to publish content and know when it’s ready for viewing. They know the consequences of publishing content too quickly and it’s an easy way to lose readership, credibility, etc. Whenever you’re writing content, you want to ensure it’s completed before publishing and it doesn’t matter if it takes you a full month. I created an ultimate guide focusing on guest blogging. The guide is a combined 10,000+ words and required 2 months to complete. However, what’s awesome is the response afterwards. For example, it ranked on the 1st page for “3” main keywords within a month and continues to be the best guide online. How do I know?

Major players in my blogging niche continue to share and reference my guide with their audience.

Not Going Broader

Some niches are very tricky and over time, they start to broaden their reach online. For example, with link building and SEO, you always have new methods popping up everywhere, which is why it’s important to stay ahead of the trends. If you’re an expert blogger in SEO, then it’s important to keep researching and expanding your range so you can provide your readers the latest information. People are already in the notion that experts know the industry well so automatically expect to receive the latest news when available. However, if you fail to provide it to them, your audience will be very quick to jump over to another blog. Here are some things to keep in mind…

Always research your niche, especially when you know it’s rapidly changing, so you can provide your readers the latest information. If you’re NOT the one to provide the trends first, then it’s very easy for someone to leave and start following another blog. Ask yourself this question: Would you rather read a blog providing old methods or newer methods? This answer alone tells you the importance of broadening your reach. Always make sure when you broaden your reach, you stick within your niche. Sometimes, it’s very easy to fall off track, especially when many niches interconnect with each other. If you’re blogging about organic SEO, then stick to methods relevant to organic link building and don’t jump into paid, etc.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Friday, January 19, 2018

What It Really Takes To Make Money Online

On this episode of the Dot Com Lifestyle Vlog, I show you how to increase your affiliate commissions with cobranded sales and landing pages. I also show you what it really takes to make money online and live the Dot Com Lifestyle. Watch the video to see if you have what it takes.

How To Live The Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle

I have many internet products and services that makes me money while I’m sleeping. Continuity affiliate programs like Aweber, LeadPages, ClickFunnel, MOBE, and others ensure a steady flow of income no matter what I’m doing or where I am in the world. Of all the programs, MOBE has consistently been one of the highest earners. It’s the program I recommend for new and experienced Internet marketers.

The best way to start is by applying for the 21 Step System. This is a step by step system that I created with MOBE to help you make your first $1,250, $3,300, $5,500, and even $10,000 online. In addition to the steps, you’ll also be given a one-on-one coach who will help you get started on the right track. I can’t promise that you’ll make as much as me, but you will make money if you follow the steps and plug in with your coach.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

3 Attention-Grabbing Outreach Marketing Techniques

Everyone is doing email outreach these days. Social networks may come and go, but email will always be a top communication channel.

With this popularity comes much noise. Everyone is using email to reach people of interest. According to a study by Harris Interactive, most people struggle to manage more than 50 emails a day.

In this post, I’m going to show you how to defy those odds.

Outreach marketing techniques concept illustration

These outreach marketing techniques are designed to put the groundwork in place before you even think about sending an email. Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to broaden your horizons as an established professional, these tips will help you get your message out.

1. Maintain a Community Presence

Being known is the strongest foundation for successful outreach. If a recipient recognizes your name, they’re much more likely to respond.

The question is, how do you create this top-of-mind presence in the first place?

Online communities are full of influencers, organizational leaders, and other “important people” you might be trying to reach. These channels have so much potential because of how niche they are.

Here are a couple of examples of communities with highly engaged users:

  • Growth Hackers: a community of growth marketers, mainly from SaaS and ecommerce organizations
  • Inbound.org: B2B marketers interested in content and inbound marketing

These online communities have very active audiences. However, most people fail to leverage this activity because they’re only looking at the short-term benefits. Community marketing is a long-term effort and requires nurturing. Here are some of the best ways to get the most out of them:

Contribute to AMAs

Short for “ask me anything,” these threads involve an authoritative figure from the industry answering questions posted by the community. They’re popular because they allow users to pick the brains of successful or well-known influencers.

For example, a recent AMA on Inbound.org had Sujan Patel, a well-known agency leader and content marketer, answer questions from the community:

Advanced outreach marketing techniques AMAs

This conversation generated nearly 100 comments. Although there were a lot of questions, Sujan gave very thorough and comprehensive answers. For those wanting to engage with Sujan and start building a relationship with him, this would be a great first step.

Look for communities in your industry that run regular AMAs. Get on their email lists so you can stay updated on when they happen. Make sure to do your research and ask thoughtful, relevant questions to get their attention.

Join the conversation

As I mentioned earlier, community marketing is like farming. You need to nurture individuals and make a name for yourself. This helps you become more familiar with other members of the community over time.

Contributing to conversations on a regular basis is key. Do this by providing thoughtful, in-depth responses and comments to discussions.

Advanced outreach marketing techniques get involved in online discussions

Put aside some time on a daily basis to go through discussions relevant to your expertise. Contribute to the conversation with comments. Ask questions and provide additional value to the topic. Comments such as “Great article!” contribute nothing, and will likely be ignored.

From here, it’s your job to reach out to authoritative targets within the community. Mention the discussions you’ve had and the connections you’ve made to add context to your outreach.

Your approach will depend on your objectives. For example, if you’re building influencer relationships, then this will be the first of many steps. For distribution, however, things will be more direct and simple.

2. Providing Genuine, Specific Value

Even influencers are trying to grow their business. They care about a multitude of things, from how well their content resonates with their audience to the contribution their product makes to their customers.

This presents an opportunity to cut through the noise. Where most people ask for something, you’re going to give instead.

Give them a testimonial

Co-marketing and business development opportunities can be closer than you think. Your suppliers, as well as the tools and software you use, likely have a similar audience to you.

Get the attention of organizational leaders from within target companies by giving them a testimonial. This is one of the easiest ways to give something valuable and get attention.

I often see testimonials from the most proficient sales and marketing experts in the industry. And I believe it’s strategic.

Advanced outreach marketing techniques offer expert testimonials

There are obvious SEO benefits here, as a testimonial in the right place can provide a high-value backlink. But from an outreach perspective, this is a great way to build a relationship.

Document your influencers

This next approach gets influencers and thought leaders to talk about you. It takes elements of a testimonial and extends it into long-form content.

It’s a true win-win solution. You get your name in front of the expanded audience created by your target influencer. And they get to create content that truly demonstrates that their product or service works.

Bryan Harris of VideoFruit did this to get his first 10,000 readers. His approach was as follows:

Advanced outreach marketing techniques poster boy infographic

  1. Identify your audience down to interests, desires, and particular traits
  2. Create an incentive – in Bryan’s case, a free course teaching how to create videos for small businesses
  3. List those who have access to your audience
  4. Filter based on specific criteria
  5. Choose one you feel you can generate a great case study for
  6. Reach out with the results their product, service or advice has got you

As a result, Bryan was featured in an email to 600,000 people and mentioned in Lifehacker. He became a “poster boy” for those he wanted to reach.

The objective here is to provide some real value upfront to those you’re trying to reach. Most people stop at blog comments and sharing articles on Twitter, expecting a response.

Instead, help your audience achieve their own goals or solve their problems. This is the best way to build long-term relationships.

3. Guest Blogging as a Foot in the Door

We’ve talked about providing value as a method of getting your foot in the door. But there’s something all business leaders love: exposure.

Guest blogging is a content strategy that many marketers use to generate new business opportunities, backlinks, and referral traffic. An often overlooked benefit if guest blogging is influencer engagement.

Expert roundups used to be popular in getting the attention of thought leaders. But now most see right through it, both from the influencer and reader’s perspective.

Get influencers involved in your guest blogging efforts. Not only are you adding third-party stories to your content, but you’re helping your target influencers get their message in front of a larger audience, too.

Here’s the best way to do it.

Step 1: Find a common theme

If you’re investing time in creating a great piece of content, you may as well engage with as many influencers at once as you can.

Therefore, you want to find a theme that connects several influencers together within your piece. This is what Tom Whatley did for a piece on side project marketing for Crazy Egg:

Advanced outreach marketing techniques side projects example

Step 2: Ask for relevant insights

This approach isn’t to create another “expert roundup.” The insights you gain from influencers should back up and reinforce the points you’re making in your content.

You need to find the sweet spot between your content’s topic and your target influencers’ experience. In the example above, the article listed seven different side projects that helped fuel growth. Tom researched each company to see how they did it, and asked the right questions:

Advanced outreach marketing techniques seek customer insights

Step 3: Distribution

Now you’ve established and nurtured those vital relationships, you can work together to distribute the content. Helping the publication with content promotion will form stronger relationships.

This approach is effective for business development and co-marketing opportunities. You’ve already proven there’s an overlap in interests, as well as your reliability to deliver on your promises.

Outreach Email Best Practices

Doing the preparation work is just the first step to successful outreach. What you write in your email may be the difference when your targets choose “reply” or “delete.”

To wrap up this post, let’s cover some best practices to keep in mind when crafting your outreach emails. There aren’t hacks or tactics, but rather philosophies you should bake into all stages of your approach.

Personalization beyond form fields

I’m not the first person to talk about personalization, and I certainly won’t be the last. The problem is, many people start and end at the “first name” and “company name” fields.

personalized outreach email techniques

Depending on the nature of your outreach, this is fine. The right segmentation of audience and email copy can lead to successful mass outreach. When reaching out to high-demand individuals, however, you need to go deeper.

There are several ways you can do this:

  • Drop them a note about something they’ve created or written about, citing what you found valuable and even posing a question.
  • Make a call-back to discussions you’ve both taken part in at various online communities.
  • Mention a mutual friend/associate. This should not to be confused with an introduction, so make sure the burden of the connection is taken on by you.

The idea is to open up a conversation and demonstrate you know who they are. More than that, though, influencers and senior decision makers can smell scripts a mile away.

Follow-up

According to Marketing Donut, 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow-up. Couple this with the fact 80% of sales require five, and you can see why results are often sub-par.

Get sophisticated with your follow-up processes. Set regular reminders to reach out to influencers and organizational leaders you’re trying to connect with. This is why it’s crucial to have your CRM constantly updated.

If you struggle to generate a response, go back up the funnel. Use one of the techniques above. It’s imperative you remain persistent!

Show off your credibility

When reaching out to organizational leaders and influencers, it’s important to give them a reason to care. They want to work with people with a proven (and consistent) track record. Therefore, there’s nothing wrong with talking about your accomplishments. Even if they haven’t heard of you before, they may be familiar with the work that you’ve done.

At the same time, treat them as equals and express interest in their work. Again, this is a form of personalization. But if you can link your work and theirs, they’re more likely to respond.

How are you currently performing outreach? Which tools and techniques do you find work best?

About the author

Timo Rein is the co-founder and president of Pipedrive, a provider of sales CRM software that gives sales teams control over their selling processes. He has more than 15 years of experience as a salesman, sales manager and software entrepreneur. Before co-founding Pipedrive, Rein helped build a leading sales and management training house in the Baltics. Prior to that, he was among the top one percent door-to-door salesmen with Southwestern Company.

Jack of All Trades, Master of None

A very common phrase that has been tossed around for as long as I can remember is “jack of all trades, master of none.” Everyone has heard of it and most people assume that it contains a fundamental truth about what it takes to be successful.

Taken at face value, this old adage presumably asserts that it is not in your best interest to dabble in a whole bunch of different things. It doesn’t make sense nor is it all that possible for you to figure out how to be a world class photographer, a classically trained theater actor, a great auto mechanic, a genius Internet marketer, an astute mathematician, an accomplished author, a talented carpenter, and an expert in traditional Chinese medicine, all rolled into one. If you try to divide your time, attention, effort and resources into all of those areas of interest, you will indeed become a master of none.

You’ve spread yourself too thin, they’ll say. This is another example of the Pareto principle in action, they’ll tell you. By stretching yourself across so many disciplines, you effectively become not very useful in any one of them. At this point, many people have taken this observation for granted and assumed it to be obvious.

Except it isn’t. Nor is it completely true. That’s because there’s more to that old line that what is most commonly passed around as this assumed sage truism. And the part that gets dropped off completely changes the way you interpret the part that you know.

“Jack of all trades, master of none is oftentimes better than master of one.”

Think about that for a minute.

I think the take-home lesson of the extended line is perhaps even more applicable today than ever before. According to some of the most recent statistics on the matter, the average person will change jobs somewhere between ten and fifteen times over the course of his or her career. Many people spend five years or less at each position and, what’s more, many of these jobs may not even be in the same industry or tap into the same disciplines or skills.

This is in stark contrast to what the world of work looked like for a lot of people not even that long ago. I remember when I worked with United Way on one of their fundraising campaigns, I had the opportunity to talk with someone who was on the verge of retirement with CP Rail. He told me that he started working at that exact same rail yard as a part-time job back in high school, transitioning to full-time after graduation, and he worked fundamentally the same job for the next 40+ years of his life. He moved up the ladder to become a supervisor, but the actual tasks didn’t change all that much.

A story like that would be absolutely outlandish today, in a world where people change their jobs more often than they change their wardrobes and almost as often as they change their smartphones.

It is absolutely true that you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. There are only so many hours in the day and you can only dedicate so much mind share to each thing that you want to do. It is also true that the overwhelming majority of your income, in the case of making money online by running your own Internet business, will also come from a relatively small percentage of your exploits and endeavors. The Pareto principle will prevail much of the time.

However, you should avoid falling into the trap of pigeon-holing yourself and becoming a simple “master of one.” You may be very good at that one thing, but it won’t be enough. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great photographer if you don’t know how to market yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re a great marketer if you don’t have a good handle on how to track all the stats, metrics and analytics. It doesn’t matter if you’re great with organizing numbers if you can’t think strategically about what to do next.

In a constantly changing environment, the greatest asset you can have is versatility. Be a master of none. And be prepared to master something new over and over again.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Look Inside The 21 Step System

On this episode of the Dot Com lifestyle, I give you an exclusive look inside my Ultimate Dot Com Lifestyle 21 Step System. This is a step by step system that I created with MOBE to help you make your first $1,250, $3,300, $5,500, and even $10,000 online. In addition to the steps, you’ll also be given a one-on-one coach who will help you get started on the right track.

In addition to the inside look, you’ll get to see Sally’s three guinea pigs and watch me make over $16K before lunch. Enjoy the vlog and remember to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!

How Did Google’s Recent Budget Changes Actually Impact Advertisers? [Data]

Last year, every marketer spending budget in AdWords held their breath at the beginning of October. Why?

That’s the day Google decided to drop what, upon first glance, appeared to be a bomb:

“Starting October 4, 2017, campaigns will be able to spend up to twice the average daily budget to help you reach your advertising goals.”

We took a deep dive into our MCC to see exactly how this change played out in Q4. Before we get to that, though, a quick refresher on exactly what changed…

What Changed with Your AdWords Budget (Recap)

Simply put, Google made a big change to what they call “overdelivery.”

Overdelivery is a term that references Google’s ability to exceed your stated daily budget in an effort to put your ads in front of more eyeballs (and, you know, make a little extra bread). The policy has been in place for some time now, though earlier instances only allowed Google to exceed your daily budget by 20%.

The change, which sent many SEMs into a tizzy, allowed the search giant to exceed your budget by 100%, theoretically doubling your ad spend on a daily basis.

adwords change to daily budget

Now, this did not mean that Google was going to put you out of business by doubling your desired budget every day. At all.

It simply meant that, on days where traffic was high, you could see your costs increase up to 100% per campaign. This change, however, is counteracted on slower days, when ad spend can be substantially lower. Google’s goal is to get you to hit your “monthly charge limit,” which it defines as the average number of days in a month—30.4—multiplied by your average daily budget; that's hit, not exceed.  

Some people freaked out. We told you not to panic. Here’s what we’ve seen so far.

Our Findings

We noticed that in September (before the overdelivery change occurred), 3.39% of the campaigns in our MCC exceeded their daily budgets at least once over the course of the month. That’s our baseline.

adwords budget overdelivery changes followup 

Interestingly enough, after the change we actually saw fewer campaigns exceed their stated budgets on any given day:

  • October – 3.20% of campaigns spent over budget at least once
  • November – 3.42% of campaigns spent over budget at least once
  • December – 2.73% of campaigns spent over budget at least once

Even if one of your campaigns happened to fall into the sliver that did exceed budget at some point in Q4 (our aggregate for the three-month period was a mere 3.12%), it could not have possibly done so with enough frequency that your advertising performance or bottom line was impacted.

Safe to say, at least as far as our clients go, that this change has had a limited impact. In fact, it’s proven to be less impactful than Google’s old overdelivery policy.

Observations from Other PPC Practitioners

Search Engine Land conducted a phenomenal roundup at the beginning of January, in which Ginny Marvin noted that the majority of the overdelivery problems reported occurred in new and/or automated campaigns. She also spoke with a number of SEMs about their experiences with Google’s shift in budget distribution.

Results varied.

Four of the consultants who provided feedback stated that they hadn’t seen many issues or had avoided them entirely by using budget monitoring AdWords scripts. One noted that the change has brought a renewed focus to budget pacing (a time suck for small agencies), while another mentioned the impactful inconvenience the new overdelivery system places on complex ecommerce accounts.

Among the tales, one horror story was reported, in which a new campaign blew through a whole month’s budget in a single day! Thankfully, it quickly normalized.

In Conclusion

Crisis averted (for most of us, at least)!

In the event you’re in the minority of advertisers struggling with budget overdelivery issues, try using scripts to keep a firm grip on your budgets and bids.

(Shout out to Patrick Henry, marketing analyst extraordinaire, for his help in pulling and making sense of the data for this post.)

Data Sources

Data is based on a sample size of between 420 and 440 AdWords accounts (WordStream clients) advertising on the Search Network between September and December of 2017. Only accounts advertising in the United States were included.

About the Author

Allen Finn is a content marketing specialist and the reigning fantasy football champion at WordStream. He enjoys couth menswear, dank eats, and the dulcet tones of the Wu-Tang Clan.