The digital revolution has transformed the world of business and most of the traditional marketing’s rules. Along with the new possibilities and tools, the buying behaviour has changed too. So, nowadays, more often than not, you can see consumers that start their buyer’s journey online – and many times end it there as well.
The digital era has left businesses with two options: adopt digital marketing as the new marketing standard, or fail. Because, not being present on the online map, is the same as not existing at all.
That’s why it is essential that companies understand digital marketing and the available digital tools, and learn how they can make use of them in the quest for growing their customers’ base, and consequently – their business.
In today’s article, we will help you do just that: we’ll explain the types of online marketing and its stages, list the type of content suited for each stage, and give you a step-by-step plan to starting your own digital marketing journey.
So, read on!
ONLINE MARKETING: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT ARE ITS BENEFITS?
Before we get down to the details of digital marketing and introduce some of the tactics you can use to strengthen your position on the market, let’s first define what digital marketing is and go over some of its benefits.
Digital marketing, otherwise referred to as online marketing, is a way to market products, services, and the brands that offer them using digital channels.
The tools that digital marketing utilizes are many, and although learning how to use them all might seem confusing in the beginning, they ultimately make marketing much easier than it ever was.
Let’s take a quick look at the key benefits of online marketing.
TARGETED REACH AND PERSONALIZATION
With digital marketing, the word “distance” seizes to exist. Companies can reach hundreds of millions of customers, regardless of their location. Moreover, having all information about everyone with an online presence, the internet makes targeting a piece of cake.
Businesses can stop wasting their efforts on the wrong audiences, and spend more time and resources marketing to qualified leads. The availability of information also makes personalization possible, which means a greater value for the customers, and a higher chance of conversion for the businesses.
Can you imagine how much it would cost reaching such a vast audience using the traditional marketing channels?
The numbers would probably be so big, that it would be impossible to imagine.
Cost efficiency is one of the top advantages of online marketing – sometimes the only cost of advertising is your time.
As we already mentioned, the internet has all the information about everyone with an online presence stored. Including you, and your prospects.
Since all the interactions with your leads and prospects are recorded, you have an overview of the impact of your operations available at all times.
Of course, just gathering the data is not enough – you have to understand what this data means and use the conclusions you get to build more personalized relationships, optimize your strategies and always stay ahead of your competitors.
TYPES OF ONLINE MARKETING
Now that you know what online marketing is and why it is essentials that both online businesses and brick and mortar companies adopt it lets list and explain the main types of online marketing.
Note that all of these types should not be used in isolation – instead you should incorporate them all in an integrated marketing strategy.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search Engine Optimization, or shortly SEO, is a process of optimizing websites to rank well on search engines, and thus bring free, organic traffic to the site.
The problem is that the algorithms that search engines use to rank content continuously change, so if a business is to stay relevant in the digital economy, keeping up with the best search engine optimization practices is vital.
You’ve surely heard the phrase: “Content is king.”
There’s nothing untrue about that saying. Content is the single best way to provide value to your audience.
We know, we know – everyone talks about value.
Well, that’s because people only buy when they feel that they are getting something in return.
Moreover, content is the only way you can capture your prospects’ interest and nurture your leads, as usually, content marketing means delivering value without always selling.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
In a world where almost every person that has internet access is a social media user, passing up the opportunities that social media platforms create for businesses would be a huge mistake.
Reaching out to the audience present on social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Pinterest allows businesses to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to their website and generate leads. Moreover, social media empowers companies to engage in two way communication with their audience, and thus improve customer engagement and satisfaction.
Although working on your SEO is imperative in order to increase your organic traffic, you should not overlook the value of other types of traffic as well. Why? Because SEO takes a long time to yield results, while PPC ads allow your website to climb to the top of the search engine results page (SERP) almost immediately.
Affiliate marketing is marketing through different blogs and sites relevant to your industry. A blog site that reaches your target audience can promote your products and services, and for every lead that makes a purchase through that blog, you pay them a commission.
As it is a truth generally accepted that people hate ads, and avoid them as much as they can, marketers came up with a savvy way to hide adverts in plain sight – a tactic they called native advertising.
Native advertising is actually placing ads next to other editorial content – while making the ads look just like the content they are placed next to.
Many people believe that when social media became the new online marketing standard, emails lost their significance. However, emails have always been, and probably will always be one of the most effective marketing tools.
Email marketing allows you to communicate any kind of news, updates, or promotions to your customers, nurture leads and build powerful sales funnels that convert in a matter of minutes.
Whenever brands build relationships with influencers, key content writers, or online journalists, you can say that they are engaging in online PR. Online PR focuses on getting high-quality backlinks and driving referral traffic.
Wow. So many things to consider, right?
And here we are, telling you that you should implement everything that we discussed so far in your marketing strategy. How is that possible?
Well, thankfully, you do not have to do all of these things manually. Instead you can automate them, using marketing automation software, created to help you prioritize and execute repetitive marketing tasks like social media or emails.
Do not confuse marketing automation with sending general messages to your following. When you use it right, marketing automation software helps you narrow your target audience down, create high-converting funnels and share more focused messages that are in line with your goals, without requiring your constant, undivided attention.
Don’t mistake the term “conversion” with a particular event, such as a sale.
Conversion means nothing until you give it a meaning. In other words, you have to set your goals and what you want to accomplish, to be able to define what conversion means for you.
You conversion optimization strategy should help you state things clearer: people will not know what kind of action you want them to take unless you tell them. In other words, to optimize your conversion rates, you have to find a way to create a clear, inviting call to actions and clearly articulate your intentions.
Data means nothing until you make sense of it. Just gathering data, without using it as a basis for making wiser, more informed decisions does not help you in any way.
Data analysis allows you to understand what data means and improve your performance according to those insights.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you are analyzing data:
- Measure the results at every stage of the funnel, instead of looking at just the ending numbers
- Use hypothesis testing to put the data into action, and use it to make decisions
- Don’t forget the importance of context, as data itself does not always give you all the information you need
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN B2B AND B2C ONLINE MARKETING
Usually, people associate online marketing with individual customers, although it can be used even in B2B relationships just as successfully.
However, there are a couple of key differences between the B2C and B2B marketing landscape that you should be aware of.
The Length of the Customer Journey
When you are marketing to businesses, you should expect slow and calculated decisions, unlike B2C decisions, which can be made even in just a few moments. That’s why when it comes to B2B marketing, nurturing your leads is essential – as your customers are in the evaluation stage for so long, you need to provide them with all the support they need to move to the next stage.
The reason that B2B journeys take so long is that when making a decision, businesses have to make sure that it is the right thing to do for the whole corporation – and not just for one sector. This means that usually, before making the final call, a series of pitches are made at different levels of the hierarchy.
When it comes to B2C relationships, on the other hand, they start and continue solely because of the interest of an individual.
Another point of difference between marketing to B2B and B2C is the focus of the marketing message. When marketing to individual customers you should focus on the attributes of the product and how they can bring value, and when marketing to businesses you should focus on building a strong relationship.
THE STAGES OF ONLINE MARKETING
Ever since the beginning of marketing, marketers have used sales funnels to gain the interest of their prospects and convert them into leads. With the digital revolution, building sales funnels have become as easy as it can be.
Each sales funnel goes through three stages:
Interest and Awareness
When the prospects first discover your brand, they are at the top of the funnel. Each stage has its own challenges, and the biggest challenge in the awareness stage is standing out in the sea of online content, and grabbing your customers’ attention.
Customers in the middle of the funnel are considering your products and services and evaluating whether making a purchase will bring them the expected value. This is the part where you have to convince your prospects that your products are superior to your competitors’ and that you are their best choice.
If you successfully push your prospects through the middle of the funnel, you will have them at its bottom, where they move from the phase of making a decision – to taking action.
HOW TO GET STARTED
So far, we went over two imperative marketing truths:
- People consider buying from you, only when you convince them that your business and products bring them value
- Content is the best possible way to deliver value
We also went through the customer journey and its three stages and explained how your prospects’ awareness of your brand and their interest differ in each stage.
So, now it is time that we combine all this knowledge together and explain how to create your online marketing strategies.
#1. DEVELOPING A CONTENT STRATEGY
By now, you should understand that the prospects at the start of their customer journey are not interested in the same information as those at the middle – or the bottom. A content strategy is merely choosing the right kind of information to present to your customers at the right stage of their journey.
Let’s go over the funnel stages again and list the content that works best with each one of them.
Awareness and Interest Stage: EBooks, Blog Posts, Infographics, Short Videos
The awareness stage is all about free information, packed in different forms. Regardless of what kind of content you decide to create – be it an EBook, a video, a webinar, or a blog post, what you need to do is to spark the interest of your prospects by sharing free knowledge that helps them solve some dilemma or problem.
Evaluation Stage: Testimonials, Case Studies
Let’s say you successfully got people’s interest. Great!
But that does not mean that your job is done. If you don’t push them through to the bottom of the funnel, chances are many of them will remain stuck in the middle.
The best way to convince people that they need your product is through peer pressure and social proof.
People do not believe brands and advertisements as much as they believe other people.
Action Stage: Promotions, Discounts, Limited Time Offers
Leading your customers to the bottom part of the funnel does not mean that they will become your customers. Some of them will buy your product on their own, but others need the extra push. That is when introducing a ticking clock offers such as discounts and promotions can come in handy.
#2. DEVELOPING A SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION STRATEGY
Long gone are the days when you could stuff your content with keywords and any kind of backlinks and see your website appear on the first search engine results page. Now, if you want to stand out, you have to design an SEO strategy.
This strategy is closely related to your content strategy, since, in order for your content to be relevant, you don’t only have to provide quality, but also build it using the SEO best practices.
Every successful SEO strategy is a puzzle consisting of four pieces:
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your website, so it is compatible with search engine guidelines, and providing the best environment so search engines can crawl, index and rank your page effortlessly. The purpose of technical SEO is to solve any technical problems your page might have, to make the site mobile friendly, create an intuitive structure of your content, and increase the loading speed.
In other words, technical SEO focuses on improving your page so your visitors can have a satisfactory customer journey.
After making sure you have a good content structure on your site, you can apply on-site SEO which consists of keyword research, keyword dense page titles, clear, descriptive URLs, keyword dense content and precise call to actions.
Let us give you a piece of mind: On-site SEO is much harder to implement if you first don’t optimize your technical SEO.
Off-Site SEO is built through online PR, and its purpose is establishing your brand’s authority. However, when it comes to link building you should not focus on the quantity, but on the quality. In other words, what you want are links coming from relevant sources, and the best way to get such links is to first create high-quality, valuable content.
You might have noticed that we mention content in each section of this article. It seems that content is king after all. Content is not only blog posts like many people assume. Generally speaking, there are three types of information you should give through your webpage’s content:
- What’s your business and where it is located
- What makes you better than your competition, and why a visitor should engage with your business
- Relevant information that positions you as an authority on the market
#3. DEVELOPING A SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING STRATEGY
Developing your SEO marketing strategy has a few stages.
First, you have to find out what the “what” and the “why”: what people are looking for and why they need to find their information.
Then, it is time that you satisfy those needs by building relevant content that will answer their questions and pick a channel to optimize for.
And finally, once you have all of this down, it is time that you optimize the content. To do this, you have to imagine the customer journey and decide when and where to place a call to action. Make sure that you don’t limit yourself and optimize only for your search traffic – instead, the goal of your optimization should be making a conversion.
#4. DEVELOPING A SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
The biggest mistake you can make is underestimating social media marketing. And, you’d be surprised to know how many marketers do.
Many people think that being present on social media is enough. They’ll post an image or a short tweet and cross their fingers waiting for engagement.
However, it’s not as easy as it might seem.
When you are developing a social media strategy, there are four stages you have to go through if you are expecting any success:
- Social listening is the activity of monitoring your customers and responding to all customer concerns you might find on the web.
- Social influencing is quite self-explanatory. Becoming an influencer means establishing authority on the web, usually through sharing appealing and valuable content.
- Social networking is the same as networking in real life – it consists of associating with influencers and authorities brands present on the platforms.
- Social selling is the act of driving sales from existing customers and turning prospects into leads
Although each one of these stages is a puzzle part without which social media success cannot be guaranteed, the first stage, social listening, is the most significant, as it is the source of all data that allows you to perform every other step well.
#5. DEVELOPING AN EMAIL MARKETING STRATEGY
Email marketing is everyone’s favorite for a reason: you can use it for branding, customer retention, sales, getting referrals, driving traffic and many other purposes. In other words, you can use it for communicating any kind of information, in any stage of the customer journey.
Generally speaking, there are three types of emails:
- Transactional emails are usually sent by automated systems as a response to a trigger event such as signing up.
- Relational emails are sent out in order to nurture leads and retain your current customers.
- Promotional emails are used for generating sales.
These types of emails are not excluding one another: you should use each one, depending on the funnel stage your customers are in. However, no matter what type of email you send, there’s one thing you should keep in mind.
Although your email marketing efforts usually bring you profit, that is not its purpose.
Instead, when you are thinking about the way you should develop your email marketing strategy, you should be thinking about the way you can most efficiently and effectively make your leads move from one stage of their customer journey to the next one.
#6. DEVELOPING A CONVERSION OPTIMIZATION STRATEGY
When we’re talking about a conversion optimization strategy, we’re not talking about driving new traffic to your page, but about optimizing what you already have.
As with every other strategy, this one too is developed in a couple of stages:
- Decide what you’ll optimize and set your goals, both short-term, and long-term
- Gather and analyze the data
- Create a hypothesis and different variations that you are planning to test
- Run the tests
- … Analyze. Again.
Note that these stages are not linear – instead, think of optimization as a circle: after the final stage ends, the first one begins again. The process of optimization should not be a one-time thing, but a usual thing you do all the time.
THE IMPORTANCE OF MOBILE FOR ONLINE MARKETING
Although creating mobile-friendly content is part of technical SEO, we decided to create a separate section to accentuate its importance.
Nowadays, people gravitate toward using smartphones for many of the tasks they used to do on other internet-enabled devices: communication, online research (price comparisons, product reviews), and even online shopping.
With smartphones becoming a necessity rather than an accessory, if you don’t have a mobile website, you’re not only missing out on the opportunity to be better ranked on search engines, but you’re also risking your customer satisfaction levels.
WHEN TO EXPECT RESULTS
Now that we have explained the basics of online marketing, its types, and strategies, you must be wondering how long it’ll take for each of the online marketing strategies to yield results.
Although it depends from case to case, there are a few general rules that’ll probably be true for you too.
With PPC for example – what you pay is what you get. So, the results are more or less immediate.
SEO, on the other hand, takes a little longer. With SEO, you should expect to get similar results as you get with PPC around a year after you’ve collected enough long-tail keywords.
Finally, content marketing takes a long time to yield results, but it also requires your continuous attention and activity.
So, stay focused, and be patient. The time that you need to wait to see the results will be long forgotten once the traffic and leads start flowing in.
SETTING YOUR ONLINE MARKETING BUDGET
The time has come to answer the burning question: how much does it all cost?
Well, it all depends.
It can cost nothing… and it can cost a fortune.
First, you should decide is whether you will outsource your online marketing or you prefer to do it yourself. Naturally, outsourcing costs more.
If you do it yourself, the next thing you should consider are the available online marketing tools.
If you are a small business, then free tools will do, but as you grow, you’ll notice that you need more data, options, and better support – so chances are you’ll have to switch to some of the paid versions.
The question whether you should build and implement a digital marketing strategy, is the wrong one to ask. How you can go about implementing it, should instead be your focus.
Whether you’re a startup, or a company with a loyal following, online marketing can only open more opportunities for your business. The good thing about it marketing is that you can everyone can afford it, regardless of their business’ level of development.
However, there is one cost that cannot be avoided, and you should be prepared to bare. And that cost, is your time.
7 Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
With SEO changing faster than the wind, what should your primary focus be for the coming years? It may seem daunting for a small business without an army of specialist staff to take direction. Still, by making a few changes to your digital marketing strategies, you can make a difference to your online position.
The seven digital marketing strategies for small businesses
Take a look at our seven focus areas that you should be considering when marketing your website online.
1. Knowledge Graph: Build your online entity.
You may have noticed that Google search now returns a selection of results from different sources for your query, including images, websites, maps and videos etc. This is part of Google’s new semantic search offering customers more choice for their query so that they do not need to leave Google and search elsewhere.
If you are not already using the data highlighter tool in Google Search Central, now may be a good time? Do you run events, have book reviews or articles, etc.? Mark up a page telling Google all about the event and improve its visibility in Google’s knowledge graph. Google provides a rich snippet of this markup data in search results.
It is easy to do with no coding experience necessary.
- Log on to Google Search Central.
- Click on ‘Search Appearance’, and you will see the data highlighter tool.
- Add the page URL you want to mark up and then highlight the words on the page to match each category Google asks for.
- When finished, publish your changes.
You can use Google’s structured data to optimize website pages and build authorship. By marking up content, you can help Google understand your content, build up author credibility and work towards becoming an online entity.
2. Keyword themes: Focus on a keyword group.
You may be optimizing your blogs and website copy with a focus keyword – but is your work focusing on a core set of keywords and phrases?
Google is currently focusing on better understanding content across the web. Quality content is becoming increasingly important. By quality, we mean over 1500 characters for a web page that is full of exciting information in your niche area for your readers. If you are an authority in your subject area, that should be easy.
If you or your employees are writing articles, think about other words that naturally link to your keyword. For example, if your focus keyword is ‘Gap Year’, your page should probably contain other words such as travel, adventure, volunteering, work, abroad, experience etc. When Google reads your site, its algorithm knows what other words tend to appear alongside your focus keyword in your title.
Take a look at the top websites for your focus keyword and get ideas from there. Download the Chrome browser extension called SEO Quake. Then go to the page with the search terms you want to rank for, click the SEO Quake button and select ‘Page info’. You will find a list of the keyword densities on this page. After analyzing this page, you can work out other words that generally are used around your focus keyword and make sure you have them included in your content.
3. Brand build: Don’t link build.
To grow a website online, you need lots of links. However, Google does not want you to build links nowadays! Are you confused? There has been a significant overhaul in SEO, and Google has cracked down on web admins spamming websites to gain page rank. You still need links to rank, but they should be organic natural links. You should never buy links or use a generator to create your loads. If Google thinks you are spamming your site, they will impose a penalty, and they can take down your website. This process could potentially take months to rectify.
To gain links:
- Treat online relationships as you would offline.
- Outreach and make contacts and ask if they want to link with you online.
- Keep any links relevant to your business.
For example, if you are a cycling tour operator, a natural link may be to link with your local store that sells cycles or cycling clothes. Google understands the nature of websites you link to and who links back.
The best online marketing is to build up your brand. In the future, Google may understand a brand mention, and links may become redundant. In the meantime, spend time working on outreach and designing great content to share that will naturally develop people linking to you.
If you build links out to other companies, try not to focus on a keyword in your link. Instead, focus on the page URL you are linking to or the title of the page or article. This should help you steer clear of penalties.
If you are writing content, it makes sense to use someone that is an expert in the industry or if outsourcing, choose agents that market to your industry as their niche. Many outsourced companies write blogs re-hashed from sources elsewhere; we call this ‘scraped content’. It makes sense that if your copy is light on the word count, knowledge and optimized with just your main keyword, rather than a collective keyword group, this may look spammy to Google.
4. Narrowcasting: Engage with a smaller audience.
Content marketing continues to be a crucial tactic in search engine optimization. We will see a more significant focus on ‘narrowcasting’ in the coming years. Companies will identify a smaller audience and engage with them through offline and online conversations, choosing narrower, specialist keywords.
You can achieve narrowcasting with keyword analysis. To do this, you must search for narrow keywords that may only get, say, 50 hits per month. Placing your narrow keywords into a tool such as Wordstream will group keywords together, giving you a keyword campaign to focus on.
5. Local marketing: Optimize for local results.
A small business needs to market its website locally. If you have not yet opened a Google Business Page, it is time to do so. Google allows you to display your business information in the search pages below. There have been a few recent changes in this area. For those trying to grow your Google Plus page, including the reviews, you will notice that these features are no longer supported. Customers will now instead interact with your business in the knowledge box located on the search page.
This change may present a problem to those who have spent time building reviews on the Google plus page, as chances are, those particular links may now not work anymore.
6. Mobile apps: Upgrade your online technology.
Google rolled out its algorithm affecting mobile searches in April 2015. Websites that are not user-friendly on mobile will see a drop in rank when customers search online using a mobile search. If you are unsure whether your site is mobile-friendly, take the Google Mobile-Friendly test. This is one of the most essential digital marketing strategies you should consider for your site.
Consider investing in a mobile app. Statistics show that the conversion rate offers twice the engagement if using an app compared to mobile. People engage with apps more than browsing the mobile web. If you think about it, it makes sense. Apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, news, utilities and gaming dominate the home screen on phones. People tend to flick between apps rather than browse the web. If a customer downloads your app, your brand also benefits from the exposure of constant brand reinforcement each time the phone is open.
If your business has not got the budget to build an app, consider integrating your business with apps already available. The takeaway here is that you do not have to develop your apps; instead, look at ways to update your communication and customer service channels that engage with the new modern customer.
7. Multi-Channel Strategy: Streamline your business.
Our last trend has already worked well for companies like John Lewis. This strategy interacts with customers via a combination of direct and indirect marketing methods. Customers now have more control over the buying process with so much information available to them at hand. Successful brands are those who have integrated their functions. Customers now expect consistent experiences across all channels, whether they order a product online, visit the store or make a query using their mobile. Because your customer will interact with you in different ways, it is also essential to build up a central picture of their buying habits, understand how they behave at other points of the buying process, and their value to your business.
If your customer can currently interact with you differently, determine whether they receive the same experience in whichever way they choose to communicate. Also, consider whether the technology in place can deal with each channel whilst providing central data of the user experience.
These are the seven areas your digital marketing strategies must focus on for growing your small business.
How to Generate Endless Blog Post Ideas for Your Site
You know how important it is to have tens of blog post ideas so you can consistently bring more traffic to your website, but your creativity is at a critical level, and you need new topics to keep your momentum going.
So, you sit there thinking of new strategies to produce original topics, but you feel like everything had already been written on the web.
I’ve been writing web content since 2011, which is one of the challenges that I needed to figure out. After all, part of the job is to keep my employers and clients’ content interesting, helpful, and original.
I would constantly look for new ways to come up with blog topics that will bring value and new insights to my target readers.
And here’s what I learned – you just need a list of effective strategies to fall back on whenever you run out of blog ideas.
In this post, I’m sharing three of the top research strategies that I’ve picked up in generating blog post ideas.
Let’s dive in!
1. Use a blog idea generator.
The easiest and fastest way to come up with new blog post ideas without using much brain power is to use a blog idea generator.
If you’ve been writing on the web for some time now, you’ve probably come across one. But, just if you haven’t given it a try, HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator is my favourite.
For this example, I want to see suggestions around the topic of content marketing, and my nouns are ‘content marketing’, ‘writing’, and ‘secrets’.
You’ll notice that not all generated ideas are usable. Some of them are nonsense, which you can expect if you’re using automated tools like such, but with a little bit of creativity, you can turn the suggestions into really good ones.
With a little bit of editing, I was able to come up with the following headlines:
- How to Solve Weak Website Traffic With Content Marketing
- 5 Apps Everyone in the Writing Industry Should Be Using
- 15 Best Blogs to Follow About Content Marketing
- 14 Common Misconceptions About Content Marketing
- 10 Signs You Should Invest in Content Marketing
Other blog topic generators that I also recommend:
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator
- Build Your Own Blog’s Idea Generator
- Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator
- Content Row’s Link Bait Title Generator
2. Break down a published book.
Books are a great source of killer blog post ideas if you know where and how to look. I mean, there are millions of published books out there. It’s overwhelming.
But, if you follow my simple guideline, you’ll be amazed that there are many interesting topics out there waiting to be noticed and written.
Step 1: Niche down.
Trust me when I say that many good topics are hidden in niche Kindle books.
And for the purpose of this guide, let’s say I want to create a month’s worth of blog ideas around the topic of content marketing.
Now, ‘content marketing is a broad topic by itself. The exact term yields over 1,000 results in Kindle Store. So, what I did is I chose a smaller topic that will still fall under it. In my case, I want to create minor content for blogging newbies, so I went with ‘blogging for beginners.
Step 2: Search on Kindle Store.
In March 2018, there are over six million titles available in the U.S. alone. It’s crazy how fast Kindle publishing had grown since it launched in 2007!
Fortunately, we already picked a niche and a key phrase that will hopefully give us better results. True enough, ‘blogging for beginners’ generated a small number of results – 751 books.
Step 3: Create a list and keep it short.
The next step is to vet the results and create a shortlist.
You want to be as efficient as possible in sifting through these books. Five high-quality niche books are ideal to start with. To do this, look for authors you are familiar with or focus on books that have 4-5 stars rating, and choose the most relevant titles.
Start with your top choice and vet the author’s legitimacy by doing a quick google search. If the author maintains a website and active social media accounts, there’s a high chance that you’re reading the words of a real person.
A word of caution: not all self-publishers on Kindle are legit. Do your research.
Step 4: Analyze the chapters.
Next, click the thumbnail of your first eBook. Kindle Store allows you to read the first couple of pages to get a feel of the content.
I chose to preview a book called ‘My Blogging Secrets: A guide to becoming a pro-blogger. It’s written by Amber MacNaught, a popular U.K. blogger.
Here are the chapters of the eBook:
Step 5: Draw out blog post ideas.
From the Table of Contents or Chapters, extract feasible ideas and make them your own.
From these chapters, I was able to come up with the following headlines:
- 5 Free Tools to Create Images for Your Blog
- The Only Blogging Guide You’ll Ever Need
- The Main Reason Why You Need to Blog for Your Business
- 8 Ways to Get People to Read Your Blog
- 22 Ideas on How to Monetize Your Blog
I’ve come up with five blog post titles that are good enough for one month if I blog once a week in less than three minutes. But, if you’re an enterprise that posts more than once a week or a daily blog that publishes once a day, you just need to repeat step 3 and 4 a few times more.
Note: Steal ideas but don’t copy. That’s plagiarism, and copyright infringement has serious consequences.
3. Address customer pain points
A pain point is basically a problem. Plain and simple.
Businesses are built to address their customers’ pain points if you think about it. And I’m willing to bet that your products and services were developed because you identified a customer pain point and shaped your offerings to solve it.
For me, the most effective blog posts I’ve read on the internet are the ones that aim to solve customer pain points. If you’ve been running your business for a while, you probably have an idea of what your customers struggle with. If not, here are two ways to help you uncover these.
Tip #1: Ask your existing customers
It’s the easiest way to know where your customers are hurting.
For example, if you offer social media marketing services for book authors, you might ask your existing customers:
- What problems do you face in terms of increasing book sales?
- How do you establish authority online as a subject matter expert?
- What is your biggest challenge when promoting the launch of your book?
Tip #2: What pain points do your competitors focus on?
Customer problems are diverse, and they can evolve over time. One way to check is to look at your competitor website and see which problems they are most focused on. What benefits are they selling? What problems do they promise to solve?
Create a list and use your best judgement to filter out pain points that are not relevant to your business and use these to create useful content.
How to write headlines based on customer pain points
Now that you have a list, you’re ready to craft catchy headlines.
SMM, a company that offers social media marketing services for book authors, found out that their customers are struggling the most on how to drive website traffic to their sales pages. Your key phrase is ‘website traffic’ for this specific pain point, and you can create dozens of headline base on this term alone.
- 5 Social Media Tips to Drive Traffic to Your Book’s Sales Page
- How to Use Facebook Ads to 10x Your Website Traffic
- 5 Website Traffic Boosting Tips Using Pinterest
Transforming pain into content is one of the best blog writing strategies out there because it speaks directly to your customer about a pressing problem that may be costing them precious time and money.
How to Monetize Blog With CPA Marketing
CPA marketing is one of the finest ways to make money online. CPA or Cost Per Action/Acquisition marketing is a part of affiliate marketing based solely on qualifying actions such as registrations or sales.
While in traditional affiliate marketing, you get paid when a lead buys something you are promoting, in CPA marketing, you get paid for any action.
Most CPA offers include actions like:
- Filling out a form
- Email submits
- Getting an estimate or quote
- Signing up for a free trial
You could get paid from as little as $0.27 to up to $70, depending on the offer and action. Some actions involve a single step to get paid. That is, your lead only needs to complete the action on the first page, and then you qualify for the commissions. Some actions involve three-page steps. Your lead will have to complete the three steps for you to get paid.
Most CPA offers are available in countries like the US, UK, France, Australia and Canada. That means that only leads from these countries will make you money. To be successful with CPA marketing, the traffic from these countries is what you will target. But most of them accept affiliates from most countries of the world, including Nigeria.
How to Find Good Offer to Promote
Finding reasonable offers to promote is essential, and there are online tools for this. Good websites to go to to find good offers include oDigger.com and OfferVault.com. These sites list most of the offers available on many CPA networks. It’s like the consolidation of all networks and offers in many categories.
One site I love to visit is offervault.com. The site is much easier to navigate, and they list offers from different categories right on the front page. You can search offers using the search areas on the top part of the home page.
You can sort the offers by average EPC and other metrics that can give you insights into what offers are doing the best. You can sort by offer name, category, payout, type, network, or the last time promotion was updated. You can further search desktop or mobile offers, types of promotions, country, the newest offers, and their featured offers.
Look through the offers and click on one, and that will lead you to the page where you will see the offer, network name, category, type of offer and a link to see the landing page of this offer. The conversion of most offers depend on the landing page, so you have to check out this landing page to see if it’s something that will convert.
First, you need a website before you apply. You just set up a WordPress site and add contents to it. Write a couple of posts on your blog. You can add links to these offers directly. This is to make sure that you have something going on this site.
You will need the site when you are applying. Of course, when you finally get approved, you can change the links on your blog to your affiliate links. That’s the way it’s done.
Top CPA offers
The top CPA offers are offers in the top niches like diet, dating, weight loss and self-help. What I do is look for free offers to promote. Most offers involving just submitting an email or email/zip code and its a one-step process are easy to make money from.
These offers pay the least, but it’s much easier, and the conversion is the highest. Most offers involving three steps or involves sales and filling forms convert less, but they pay more.
How to Join CPA networks
Joining CPA networks is easy if you know the process and what to do. You have to realize that most of these CPA networks are looking for affiliates with experience. They don’t want newbies or someone that does not know what to do.
All you have to do is go to the site and click to sign up as a publisher to join a network. You have to go through 2-4 approval processes for most networks. You will have to add your contact information like address, email and upload your ID. It’s best you add accurate details, or else your application will be denied.
Make sure your email is a custom one, like email@example.com. Create an email that goes with your website URL. This makes you look like a professional. This means that you need to have a website before you apply. CPA networks are different from traditional affiliate sites that will accept you even without a website.
At the end of the registration process, some will even call your phone to confirm if you are real or not. They will ask you questions on what you filled out and your experience with CPA marketing, but most networks don’t.
One crucial step is where you will be asked about your marketing strategy. This step is crucial, and this step is where they lookout for someone with experience or someone new. Make sure you state clearly your marketing strategies how you will promote your offers.
One secret is this, always mention using Facebook ads, Google Adwords and email marketing as your marketing strategies. Those are the marketing methods with the best conversions, and it’s what most advertisers want. Don’t ever mention using Facebook pages or forums or any free promotional methods. Although you can take advantage of that in your marketing, they should not be discussed here.
You can explain a little further how you do some of your promotions and the results you have had so far with the networks you are a part of now. The approvals process takes within 3-4 days for Peerfly, for example. For some, it takes just a day. You can speed up the approval by contacting them directly by phone and discuss with the approval department.
Note that at times you will be rejected. Anybody can be rejected, but you have a chance of contacting their approval team to discuss with them.
How to Promote your Offers
Once you have a site and are accepted, you can promote your offers with promotional methods like Facebook ads and email marketing. You can join forums and add your links to your signature. You can also create a Facebook page but do not directly link offers from your page. Link from your Facebook page to your own website, and then your traffic can click on your offer.
Most CPA networks pay with PayPal and some with Payoneer. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can opt for direct deposit via Payoneer. Top CPA networks that accept Payoneer include adwork media, peerfly, maxbounty, cpalead, ad2ads, and affiliaXe.com.
Some networks pay monthly, while some pay weekly after the first month. A network like maxbounty pays weekly after the first month.
CPA marketing is an easy way to get paid for referrals online, and you should join and start earning too.
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