August 8th, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 2)






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 1



Now that you’ve intrigued your readers and drawn them in with a great headline, you have to keep their attention. As a blogger and copywriter you have to write in a way that keeps readers from taking a quick glance and moving on.



Following are rules for creating an introduction that draws in your readers.



1. Don’t try to sound overly academic

Up to 90% of people that lose weight end up gaining most or all of it back within


Research is valuable, but not in this context unless you’re a healthcare professional. As a blogger you don’t want to bore your readers with statistics.


You want to put yourself in their shoes by showing empathy. Let them know you understand what they’re going through.


You’re sharing the tools you used to overcome a problem.



Example:

Do you hear that?

That little voice speaking to you?

That little voice whispering to you that there’s something else you really want to do. Telling you to go ahead and make the change.

But you’re afraid.

You’re afraid to quit your job and do what your heart is pulling you to do.

You’re afraid of not having what you need to survive; a place to live, food on the table, a car and on and on.

But, mostly you’re afraid of making a mistake. You doubt yourself. You’re afraid of being wrong.




You don’t need to start every post with the empathy aspect. You can choose something else, maybe a story.



2. Get Into the Role

Trigger your readers’ emotions. Think about the range of emotions you want them to feel then get into that role as you write. Is there fear, doubt, anger, sadness, happiness, love, hope, and so on.


As you feel the emotions yourself they will come through in your writing and will be authentic.


So, decide on the emotional journey you want your readers to experience and put that in your writing and your audience will feel that.


Although this rule applies throughout your post, it is of utmost importance for your introduction.
When we write our words reveal our feelings.



3. Entice Readers down the Page


A) Open with Question a Short Sentence

This is a proven technique to draw in your audience.

If you start your post with a long paragraph readers will feel overwhelmed just looking at it.


B) Use Fewer Words

Use as few words as possible.

Write efficiently to give your words power. Whatever the number of words you use in your first draft, cut that in half.

The more you apply this technique the more proficient your blog writing becomes.


C) Set the Tempo

All writing has a pace and rhythm.

The pace of your introduction should be a little fast. Later, you can slow things down by:

Using short sentences or even sentence fragments
Keeping paragraphs to a maximum of three sentences long
Using delayed transitions to weave sentences together
Making each sentence a paragraph that leads into the next one
Reading the post out loud to be sure it flows properly and is moving forward smoothly


You want your readers’ journey to be fast and slow. To ebb and flow. To keep their attention.


That gives your words pace and rhythm.


Example:

“You’re not stupid.

You know what writing is truly about.

It’s a never-ending battle for your readers’ attention.

Every sentence is a link in a taut chain that connects your headline to your conclusion.

And you are just one weak sentence away from losing your reader forever.” — Shane Arthur


He then slows things down in the section that follows with longer sentences.



4. Make Them Beg

Have readers begging for your solutions by adding some fear to your opening.

What are readers’ concerns? What will happen if they don’t solve the problem you’re addressing?

When you expose those fears readers feel your empathy and are more eager for your solution.

Let them know we all have fears and don’t need to hide them.


Example:

Maybe the skeptics are right. Maybe you’re foolish to think you could earn an income doing something you love, instead of tolerating what you’re doing. Who knows?


The fear of failure is painful. Giving a voice to that fear is validating and makes your audience excited for the solutions that will set that fear free.


The fear of failure is painful, yes. But giving voice to it is validating and makes readers eager for the solutions that will set that fear free.




5. Hint at the Solution to Come

As you wrap up your introduction, hint at the solution to come.

The promised purpose of your post. What readers will gain when they follow your methods.

Don’t give it all away. Just a hint to keep readers engaged, because they bore easily.

An introduction is for setting the stage for all the sincere advice your post will provide, not to give answers.



Example:

You’re thinking about setting up a blog to advertise your side gig. You know nothing about blogging. Where do you begin?

A post for beginning bloggers, 4 Blogging Tips



I didn’t know much about blogging, but started anyway.

I used it for an affiliate program I signed up for online.

The program owner offered




Of course you’ll keep reading.


When devising an introduction, try writing two entirely different versions approached from different angles and sparking different emotions. Doing so will highlight the techniques and emotions that work best for both your audience and the content of your post.


Your introduction must satisfy search intent or readers will click the “back” button and you lose them forever.


Search Intent is the reason for the Google search.


It is a large part of SEO (search engine optimization) which would be another article by itself.


If someone searches for “5 Tips for Business Success,” and the post begins with an anecdote people will click away without ever reading the rest of the wisdom-filled post.


Figuring out a keyword’s intent is one of the first things to do. It forms your headline, meta description, introduction, word count, and more.


Take time to analyze results in Google so you know why people enter the particular query your blog post will be targeting.


Figure out the intent, and then make sure your introduction matches it.



Part Three will be covered in my next article.



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July 24th, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 1)

by Rahimah Sultan







Although there are many tutorials that can teach you the mechanics of blogging, there is more to writing fantastic blog posts.

Here are some rules to follow when creating your headlines.


1.You Need a Great Topic


Decide on your post headline (title) prior to beginning to write the article. This is your map to follow in order to stay on topic and not confuse readers. You want your readers to reach the intended objective as easily and efficiently as possible.


If you want your blog post to get opened your headline must promise readers the answer to their concerns, what they’re looking for.


To find out what your readers want research:

Review comments on your posts and on posts of other sites in your niche.

Send your subscribers surveys asking them what their greatest struggles are.

Use tools like BuzzSumo to find out what the most popular posts in your niche are (which gives insight into your target readers’ needs).

Read the reviews of books in your niche on Amazon (you’ll find a gold mine of feedback to explore.)



Now you’ve decided on a topic.


Example:

You make jewelry at home. Your headline reads:


How to Make Jewelry


This title is so broad it’s unlikely to draw in many readers.


Tools and Materials Needed to Get Started in Jewelry Making


This is a narrow specific headline that makes your readers feel you have the answers they’re looking for.



2. Take Your Cue from the Pros

“How to” headlines and list post headlines are the easiest templates with which to start. They are classics and proven to work.


“How to” headlines:

 How to start a blog in 2020
 How to make money blogging
 How to make money writing


List Post Headlines:

5 Blogging Ideas
25 Tips for Content Marketing
5 Tips for Business Success
15 One-Sentence Chunks of Online Marketing Advice You Can Use Today



3. Engage Your Senses:

Add sensory details to your headlines. Place yourself in your readers’ shoes. Imagine what they see, feel, taste, smell or hear.


Example:

How to Start a Baking Blog


This is a good headline.


How to Start a Baking Blog on Breads and Delicious French Pastries


This is a better headline. It makes an enticing statement that encourages people to want to know more.


Questions are also a great way to construct headlines that get clicked.

For example:

Are You Making Any of These 7 Common Blogging Mistakes?



4. Give a Tease not the Answer

You want to draw people in to see what you have to offer. Don’t give a solution.


Example:

How to Build a List of Subscribers Using an Autoresponder


You’ve given the answer to a problem; use an autoresponder to build a list.


How to Build a List Faster and Easier


This headline is more interesting and piques curiosity and interest.



5. Don’t be Deceptive

For instance…


5 Steps to a Healthy Life Style


is fine until the 5th step ends up with no advice and leads to a sales page.



6. Streamline Text

Don’t fill your headline with unnecessary words that add no real value:


If You Want to Stay Slim and Trim Here are 5 Things You Must Avoid


Instead use:


5 Things You Must Avoid to Prevent Weight Gain



7. Don’t Use the “I’m intelligent” Aspect


The purpose is not to appear clever or educated.


Your headline should make sense to all readers. They shouldn’t have to guess what the benefit is.


When writing your headline, don’t use metaphors, jargon, rhymes, made-up terms, or anything that tries to be too clever or complicated.


How to be Happy on Life’s Highway


People want specifics related to their needs, not a metaphor.


And this:


How to Maintain Your Beauty as Life is a Fading Flower


What beneficial information can anyone gather from that to make them want to read more? You need to deliver clear benefits in your headlines.


You may be able to make a connection in your post and use it as an analogy, but readers are scanning headlines for things that apply to their particular circumstance. They have no clue as to why they should stop to read further so they probably won’t.



8. Stick to Your Style


Your audience already knows and trusts you, so don’t make any drastic changes.


As you continue to write your style will emerge. Once you decide your style stick with it, although you can gradually change it. Don’t make any drastic changes so your audience will still know, like and trust it’s you.


Create several (5-10) versions of the same headline. The more you practice the better you will become at writing clear, concise and curiosity-invoking headlines that readers can’t resist.


Keep your headlines to 60 characters or less so they don’t get truncated in the SERPs (search engine results pages).


Readers usually don’t click these links.


Example:


How To Start a Blog in 2020 – Easy to Follow Guide for …

www.bloggingbasics101.com › how-do-i-start-a-blogLearn to blog. Step-by-step guide to learn how to start a blog, choose the
best blogging platform and avoid the common
blogging mistakes made by newbies.



Part two will be covered in my next article.



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July 9th, 2020

SEO Best Practices



by Rahimah Sultan






If you want to rank in the top ten results for your target keywords on Google you have to get the basics right.


You will be laying the groundwork for your site to increase its visibility in search by following SEO (search engine optimization) best practices.


This SEMrush article lays out the 9 SEO best practices that you should follow which include:

Aligning your content with search intent
Optimizing your images
Using internal linking and more



Read the article here



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June 25th, 2020

Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing in 2020



by Rahimah Sultan








For a webmaster a traffic source is a platform (place) through which people find your website.

A media buyer’s platform is a place where you can purchase traffic.

There are certain aspects you should consider before selecting a traffic source.

You must first become familiar with each traffic source and look at the pros and cons. It is essential to understand the features and statistics of the source and which ones you’ll need to scrutinize the most.

The most important aspects to consider in a traffic source are:

The Niche or Target Audience
The Overall Quality Offered by the Traffic Source
Rules, Regulations, and Restrictions
The Cost of the Traffic Source
The Amount of Traffic Available from the Traffic Source
The Targeting Options that are Available


Read the article here



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June 11th, 2020

A Sales Funnel for Your Online Marketing


by Rahimah Sultan








Online marketing is any form of advertising done on the internet. It takes on many shapes and forms and can be done organically for free or it can be paid. Either approach features a number of effective strategies and methods to gain the desired outcome.


One of the primary concepts in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel.


A sales funnel is a marketing concept that maps out the journey a customer goes through when making any kind of purchase. This model uses a funnel as an analogy because a large number of potential prospects may be available at the beginning of the sales process, but only a portion actually become paying customers.


Your prospects pass through different stages of your sales funnel from the first time they hear about your product or service until the moment they make a purchase.


You must have a clear business vision, develop a marketing strategy and define your target audience before you start building your sales funnel.


You can design your sales funnel with as many stages as you want, although there are generally four main ones that include awareness, interest, decision and action.



4 stages of the sales process. Stages of a Sales Funnel



Awareness

As your prospects become aware of you through various means such as email newsletter signups, online quizzes, ebooks, social media, Google and more, they enter your sales funnel.


Your overall goal with this entire funnel and platform is to solve customer problems. When you know the problem, and build content to draw them in and then offer a product or service to solve their problem, things begin to happen. Getting to that stage takes work and you must first make them aware of you.


You’ve secured your prospects awareness once they’re in your funnel. That’s the first stage.



Interest

As a marketer, your goal is to move your prospects through the multiple stages that will take them from prospect to buyer. Now that they’re aware of you, build interest by establishing a relationship with them. Although you can use a lead magnet (a great offer) to get their email address, you must create a strong bond by being relatable, honest and transparent in your follow up process which is an email sequence.


Email marketing works as well as ever to drive quality traffic to your funnel. Emails are still as profitable as ever and when used correctly, along with your social media platforms, will always be a secret sales weapon.


Your funnel strategy should include sending traffic via organic blog posts SEO and podcasts which are also among the highest-converting forms of content marketing.



Decision

In the third stage you want prospects to make a decision, and that’s not easy. You’ve done your story telling and copywriting and have gotten them to click on your links, by using free methods.  If you’re using paid advertising, you can use re-targeting which gets you more exposure.


Now you need to present prospects with a great opportunity. For this you can use an ongoing exchange of emails in which you offer something of value for free or show how much authority your products or services have or show scarcity as in an offer for a limited time.



Action

The final stage of your sales funnel is getting prospects to take action. You must continue to follow up with more copy, by tracking, and using more email sequences. You’ve only just begun once your funnel is built. The work has only just begun and there is no shortcut.


You can automate your outreach strategy with various programs. The technical aspects of setting up an internet sales funnel include a lead capture page, a sales page, and an autoresponder.


In summary, a sales funnel is a multi-step, multi-modality process that moves prospective browsers into buyers. You’ll need to put in the time if you’re looking to eventually reap the benefits and results. Don’t limit your funnel traffic to one source unless you want your sales to be completely reliant on one platform. These are a few basic steps for setting up A Sales Funnel for Your Online Marketing.



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May 29th, 2020

Affiliate Marketing Programs of 2020

by Rahimah Sultan







I’m sure that when you join affiliate programs your primary goal is to make lots of commissions by recommending products.


There are affiliate programs in many categories like web hosting, website builders, fitness, sports, music and many more.


If you don’t have a website, you can set up one with WordPress.


In his article, 105 Best Affiliate Programs of 2020, Adam Enfroy covers the best high-paying affiliate programs of 2020 for beginners.



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May 14th, 2020

MLM: Is It Legitimate?



by Rahimah Sultan









Multi-level marketing is called many things: network marketing (most common), direct sales, affiliate marketing, referral marketing, dual-level marketing, consumer-direct marketing, home-based business franchising, home-based business opportunity, and inline marketing.

But, using one of these terms to define a business DOES NOT automatically make it an MLM.

Multi-level marketing companies basically promise a chance to leave your 9-5 job, be your own boss, make lots of money and to make new friends in the process. The ongoing debate is whether these companies and programs are legitimate business opportunities.

According to Wikipedia Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation. Most commonly, the salespeople are expected to sell products directly to consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing. Some people use direct selling as a synonym for MLM, although MLM is only one type of direct selling.

So, due diligence is required before joining any of these programs.

Here is a great article on MLM.

This post includes an updated 2020 list of the top MLM companies in the US and international ones.


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April 30th, 2020

Affiliate Marketing Partnership

by Rahimah Sultan







Affiliate marketing is a type of marketing partnership as are influencer and affinity marketing.

The world of commerce is competitive. As a business owner, you often find yourself competing against other business owners — for exposure, for customers, and for money.

While competition will always be a part of business, you can partner with others to promote your product or service. With partnerships you can grow your audience and boost sales.

In this article, Affiliate, Influencer, and Affinity Marketing: Your Full Guide to Partnership Types, you’ll find an in-depth discussion of partnerships.




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April 16th, 2020

Article Marketing With New Strategies

by Rahimah Sultan






Google and other search engines changed their algorithms which affected how article marketing works. Algorithms have developed over time and are now rewarding relevance and context.  This forces article directory sites like EzineArticles.com to enforce stricter editorial guidelines.

Google wants quality and so do your readers. Your focus can’t be just SEO so you must start placing your content on targeted websites, ezines, blogs and forums that your audience is going to every day.

There was a time when poorly written articles could be published and perform well in the SERPs, if they were stuffed with keywords, even if they were grammatically incorrect. Now you have to perform article marketing with new strategies.


You need to:

Have original content

As article marketing has changed, you can no longer use keyword stuffing or mass produce low-quality content. Your content has to be original.


Write longer articles

In the past you could get away with a blog article of 350 to 500 words, but now longer articles seem to be the trend. Readers want more in-depth information to satisfy their interest. Search engines are designed to weed out short, promotional, and low-value content. So you need to write longer, well-researched informative articles. There is no real rule regarding article length so aim for between 300 to 1000 words of good quality content.


Have originality

Create original content intended for just one website. If you’re considering SEO strategy, article marketing is a valid digital advertising technique that has moved on from its earlier ranking roots. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free tool you can use whenever you need to do SEO research or revamp a site.


Use the power of guest posts

In addition to submitting to article directories, find bloggers who focus on similar subjects and work within similar industries and offer them high-quality articles as guest posts.


Be resourceful


Since article directories are no longer the hottest thing going, consider approaching ezine and newsletter owners with custom content. This won’t generate useful backlinks, but it will get your articles seen by potential customers or clients. Do incorporate links to reputable websites and provide valuable content to guests rather than trying to beat search engine algorithms.

If you want to succeed you can no longer submit an article to thousands of article directories and expect the traffic to come pouring in. You need to do article marketing with new strategies if you want to succeed.




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March 31st, 2020

Online Marketing: More Tips for 2020


by Rahimah Sultan








Although we are at the end of the first quarter of 2020, there are more marketing tactics that you need. You can still use the basics, as they always apply in marketing, along with some changes.

“In 2020, a lot of familiar best practices will get a facelift, and underutilized tactics and software will become more vital for data-driven decision making.”

Brandon Andersen discusses these in his article titled 18 Marketing Tactics You Need In 2020 which you can click here to read.



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