Author Archive

November 10th, 2020

How to Create a Responsive Email List

By Rahimah Sultan







How do you create a responsive email list?

Although creating and growing your subscriber list is not easy it’s not rocket science, and it’s absolutely necessary if you want to run successful email marketing campaigns that reach people who are truly interested in your business.


What Are Email List Used For?

Email marketing is still an extremely useful way of reaching customers, despite the popularity of social media channels.

Email marketing offers many ways for a business to generate leads in the sales process. You can use email to generate brand awareness and fans through regularly emailed newsletters announcing sales, recommending products and services or sending cart abandonment reminders.


Where do Businesses Get Email Lists?

There are two main ways to get email lists:

1. Buy from a third-party source
2. Build your own from scratch


Buying an Email List

We’ve all received unsolicited emails promising $1 million to our bank account if we give them our account number. We should all know by now they’re not to be trusted.

Well, the same goes for people trying to sell you ready-made email lists. So, now you think you can get started immediately without spending time to build your own lists. Sometimes you’re offered free lists.

Remember, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”

You could be breaking the law, but most likely violating the CAN-SPAM act in the U.S. and GDPR in the EU for not getting expressed consent from the recipient before sending them email. And, you probably won’t get the results you’re looking for.

Put yourself in the other person’s place. What would you do if you receive an email from a company you’ve never heard of? You would probably delete it or mark it as spam. Either way, it’s a bad idea to send emails to someone who hasn’t requested to receive them from you.


Building Your Own List

To generate better leads and increase your conversion rate, you need to build and grow a list of people who have opted in to receive emails because they want to hear from you and have a genuine interest in your brand or offers.

You can also get more relevant information such as the products they like, their communication preferences, and demographic information other than name and location.


Now, how to create a responsive email list.


How do You Grow an Organic List?

To successfully grow an organic email list you need to:

1. Take Advantage of Your Own Network

You can take advantage of your own network by thinking of at least 10 people who would be interested in receiving your newsletters. Send an email to these contacts asking permission to add them to your list. For compliance, you need to retain records of securing their permission.

You can optimize the homepage of your website, to make it easier for people to join, by adding an opt-in form. Be sure the form is simple and quick to fill out.

2. Optimize Subscription Forms

Create subscription forms to capture your signups’ details. This could be a popup, a static web form, or a landing page. If you want a good signup rate the design, copywriting, and position of these forms are crucial.

Initially, only ask for what you need. You can get information for segmentation later based on the user’s action and what they read or view on your website.

3. Incentivize Signup


People don’t give up their contact details for free. So, you need to offer them an incentive and provide value. For example, this could be an e-book, a webinar or a competition.

4. Add Share Buttons

Recommendation by others is a great way to grow your list. By putting share buttons at the bottom of your emails, people can easily send them to anyone they think would be interested, or share them on social media.

5. Use Paid Ads and Social Media


Your newsletters should only be one part of your marketing strategy. Use paid ads as well as social media channels to tie your business together to drive people to a signup form or landing page where you can get more customer details.

These people are highly valuable leads and subscribers, as they have already shown an interest in your company or offer.


How do You Manage and Use Your New Email List?

The point of building a list is not to collect as many email addresses as you can. You need to keep a clean list by deleting subscribers who are not opening your emails or clicking any links.

Do this about every six months or so. Doing so will decrease your email marketing service bill, and you’ll get better click-through and open rates.

Most email marketing software provides the necessary reporting and analytics functionality, so you don’t have to manually prune your list. The software helps you understand who is opening emails and engaging and who is inactive.

Once you have that information, you can try to re-engage these recipients by setting up a win-back campaign. If that doesn’t work, remove them from your list.

As you grow your list, you can start to create segments based on past interactions and demographic information. This allows you to send more relevant, personalized emails to help boost click and conversion rates.

Building an email list from scratch takes time and patience. There are no shortcuts. It’s all about quality over quantity. Having an email list of a few people who are interested in what you have to offer is better than a list of 1,000 who don’t care.

The hard work begins when someone subscribes to your list. This is why you need to send relevant content, personalize your emails, spend time perfecting the copywriting and design, and be useful and helpful.

You can use these tips on How to Create a Responsive Email List and get started now.


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October 20th, 2020

7 Business Ideas for Working From Home

by Rahimah Sultan






When you start an online business you’re probably selling one of three things:

Your time (coaching or consulting)
Your products (ecommerce)
Someone else’s products (affiliate marketing)

In this article, written several years ago, I discussed several things to consider before starting a home business that are still applicable.

With a blog you can sell all these. Blogging is the ultimate low-risk, high-reward business idea. You can set your plan in motion by starting a blog. You can test the waters by using it as a hobby or you can set yourself up as a scalable full time business with a business structure such as an LLC, which requires filing certain paper work for a fee.

You can use your blog to advertise whichever of these Seven Business Ideas for Working from Home that you choose or others.

Now, what are these seven business ideas for working from home?


1. Start a Profitable Blog

You need to be clear on your reason for starting a blog. For example:

To increase retirement nest egg
For the ability to quit your 9-5 job
To be able to spend more time with your family
To take more vacations

When you’re clear about your goals move forward with setting up your blog.

Install WordPress as your blogging platform if your eventual goal is to make money. A WordPress blog can be monetized.


2. Web Development

Front-end web development is a valued skill to cater to the rising demand for starting new websites.

Although there are a lot of tools to help small businesses create their own websites, developers are needed for more custom jobs. New businesses are always looking for efficient coders at cost-effective prices.

You can start by building websites for relatives and friends to improve your skills and then slowly transform your career into a more lucrative business plan.

Developers must have basic coding skills in computer languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. There are several cheap or free online courses that can help you learn and get started with web development.


3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is a branch of Internet marketing where the advertisement publisher gets paid for every customer or sale provided by him, i.e. publishers and bloggers.

This is not a new concept. It’s essentially, getting a commission on a sale. Affiliate marketing is a quick way to offer products and services without having to create your own.

For more information read my in-depth article on affiliate marketing.


4. WordPress Web Consultant

Small businesses and bloggers use WordPress to start their own website.

If you are experienced at setting up WordPress websites, use your skill to build a business.

Along with your consulting, you can offer digital marketing services to your clients as an additional income stream.

Once you build a successful business as a WordPress website consultant, you can change your business into a digital marketing agency.


5. Freelance Content Writing

There is a huge demand for content writers. If you can create engaging stories and write articles, you can turn those skills into a profitable freelance writing business.

You can write content for a variety of purposes from website copy and sales pages to blog posts and email newsletters. You can also edit and proofread work.

Grammarly is the most popular grammar checker. It enables you to develop your writing by using proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and better word choices.

As a freelance copywriter you have the opportunity to work from any location. You need to build your portfolio, and then you can launch your own inbound lead-generating website. You can connect with potential clients on social media platforms like LinkedIn and offer everything from content writing to SEO writing.


6. Computer Repair

Due to the high cost of computer repair at authorized service locations, you have an excellent opportunity to earn money by offering cost-effective repair services. You can approach small businesses and neighborhood homes to get repair projects. Then you and your team can steadily expand and take bigger orders from medium to larger organizations.

The opportunities in this field are immense and include learning to fix networking issues and replacing crashed hard drives.


7. Pet Grooming

Pet grooming is a booming business idea where wealthy pet owners live. People are spoiling their pets with spa and foot massages, haircuts, and massage therapists.

It takes about $2,000 to set up a pet grooming business. You can find clients in your neighborhood or check on Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

For a better understanding of the job, you can take a dog grooming course. If grooming is not for you, you can set up a pet sitting business which requires small startup fee.

Of course there are many more options including but not limited to:

Baking
Child Care
Computer Repair
Crafts
Dog Walking
Home Services
Self-Publishing

You can access many courses here(skillshare.com) to get started with your business idea. This is just a suggestion. I receive no compensation for this recommendation.

Working at home in your own business requires the same discipline as working in an office for someone else. If you treat your business like a hobby it will be difficult to make progress. You must have a plan, a proper set up and keep good records.

Use these Seven Business Ideas for Working from Home to help you start brainstorming your next entrepreneurial venture.



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September 20th, 2020

4 Main Types of Email Marketing

by Rahimah Sultan







What is email marketing?

It’s basically self-explanatory. The Wikipedia definition is:

Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email. In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current customer could be considered email marketing. It involves using email to send advertisements, request business, or solicit sales or donations. Wikipedia


Email is one of the most trusted communication channels available to marketers. You have to have an email address to perform many things online that include online banking and opening a Facebook account, so just about everyone with internet access has a valid email address.


The most successful email marketing campaigns begin with a targeted email list of qualified leads who are interested in what you’re offering.


What are the types of email marketing?

There are many. In this article I shall discuss four main types of email marketing:

Welcome
Email Newsletters
Transactional Emails
Behavioral Emails


1. WELCOME EMAILS


Welcome emails are the first communication you’ll have with prospective customers. You need to nurture your contacts and give them a chance to get to know, like and trust you.


Welcome emails should offer a personal touch and introduce you without a sales pitch. You need to build a relationship, work on giving a good first impression. They should illustrate your knowledge and expertise and pave the way for future contact.


2. EMAIL NEWSLETTERS

An email newsletter works well for B2B (Business to Business) communication. You can use it as a method to educate customers and prospects about your products, as well as showcase employee profiles, company projects, and relevant graphics. Hubspot is a good marketing CRM (customer relations management) tool that’s free and you can upgrade  later to grow your business. (I get no fee for this. It’s just a suggestion.)


When creating an email newsletter You should consider a variety of factors including:

Content length
Type of information
Placement of images and text
Design
CTA (Call to Action)


As you work on your newsletter layout and content creation, remember your goal and be sure you’re working toward it by prioritizing the design and positioning of calls-to-action.


The advantages of email newsletters are:

Creating Brand Awareness: A newsletter, like a newspaper, creates a certain anticipation in readers. They get into the habit of receiving it, so make sure you’re sending it at regular intervals, be it daily or weekly, thus building a habit in your email subscribers which allows them to recognize your brand and associate it with a positive experience.


Repurposing Content: A newsletter usually contains already published information. You can do quick summaries of your most popular blog posts and link to the articles from your newsletter. This will bring your subscribers back to the company website and connect them with more company content.


Diversification of Content: You can use an email newsletter to include different kinds of content important to your business or organization. That can be popular blog posts, new offers, upcoming events, discounts, etc.


3.
TRANSACTIONAL EMAILS

Transactional emails are usually initiated by a prospect or customer interaction with a website or an app. For example, password resets delivery information and receipts, email receipts, invoices, billing statements, and order confirmations.


Transactional emails are used to enable a transaction already agreed upon by a customer and shouldn’t market or promote any product or service or generate additional revenue.


Usually, transactional emails don’t require permission, whereas you MUST get customer consent to send marketing emails. And, with marketing emails, there must always be an unsubscribe option for the customer.


Be sure you’re compliant with email sending laws in all the countries in which you do business.


4. BEHAVIORAL EMAILS

Behavioral emails are automated emails sent to people who have given their permission to have emails sent to them that may contain advertising materials, offers, company digests, invitations to events, video reviews, and other content.


These emails are sent after a user interacts with a business on social media, the company’s website, email, and other channels. They help increase customer engagement and sales. With behavioral email, site visitors receive different types of emails, depending on their specific actions.


Email marketing principles are the same for anyone, not just big businesses.

Almost everyone who has Internet access has at least one active email address.

Email marketing gives you the opportunity to build personal relationships with your audience.

Email makes it easy to combine all your marketing campaigns.


Email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers.


Although there are more, these four main types of email marketing will help you with your marketing strategy.


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September 7th, 2020

4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing







What is affiliate marketing?


Affiliate marketing is the process of promoting products or services of another person or company in exchange for a commission on the resulting sale. Affiliate marketers join the affiliate programs, find trustworthy affiliate products or services to promote, and share them with their audiences.


This is not a new concept. It’s essentially, getting a commission on a sale. Affiliate marketing is a quick way to offer products and services without having to create your own.


An affiliate, also known as the publisher, can be a single individual or a company.

So, what are the 4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing?


First, let’s cover a few of the technical aspects that run in the background with the merchant’s affiliate program software.


When an affiliate joins the merchant’s program, s/he is given a unique ID and a specific URL to use to promote the product. The affiliate then includes this link in blog posts or other marketing efforts and invites readers to click it for more information.


When someone clicks the link to visit the affiliate partner’s site, a cookie identifying the affiliate is placed on their computer. This cookie confirms the publisher is credited with the referral sale even if it happens days or weeks later.


Whenever a buyer completes the sale process, the merchant checks the sales record for a cookie identifying the source of the referral. If the merchant finds a cookie with an affiliate ID, the affiliate is credited with the sale.


The merchant makes reports available so that the affiliates can see their referrals (clicks) and sales. Then, at the end of each payment period the merchant pays the affiliate commission (i.e. revenue sharing).


This flow works the same for any kind of product you’re promoting and for any affiliate marketer.


Now, the 4 Steps to get Started in Affiliate Marketing.

The number one thing to remember is that you’re getting paid a commission in exchange for offering readers information on products / services they’re already thinking about buying.


By using your blog and the Internet in a systematic process, you are providing valuable advice to thousands of people to help them make a smarter decision.


Following are four steps to help you get started:


Step 1. Choose a Product to Promote as an Affiliate

As a principled blogger you will always face two constraints
when choosing products you want to promote:


a) You’re either limited to products you’ve used and like that have an affiliate program and are a good fit for your audience, or


b) You’re limited to products you can get access to for evaluation by buying them or getting a free sample or free trial.


Of these two options the first one is the most common way to get started with affiliate offers.


Option #1: Promote Products You already Use and Love


You become an affiliate for a product or service you’ve used and tested and feel good about recommending. It could be a course or an ebook or something else.


Make a list of courses, products, and services you have experience with and choose the one you would be excited to promote. Cross off any that are not a good fit.


Then, check to see if the merchant has an affiliate program. Some will not, although many do.


You can do an online search using a search engine such as Google for:


“affiliate program” + [product name], (i.e. “affiliate program” + Pinterest Marketing Course, or other product)


or email the merchant and ask.


Use a check list for your other products that includes the following:


>> You’ve previewed the product so you know its quality.
>> They have a solid refund policy that you trust they’ll honor.
>> They provide good customer support (and you’ve tested it).
>> You have a good story to share about your experience with the product.
>> The offer fits your audience’s needs and won’t abuse the trust you’ve built with them.


The affiliate products that meet all these requirements are your best income opportunities. You can add as many of these products as you like in the future.


Now, you’ve found your first product! Apply using the merchant’s process and start promoting.


This option may be enough to get you started if you’re new to affiliate marketing channels.


However, as a blogger you’ll also want to try option #2.


If you don’t already have a product that you love and is a good fit for your audience and that offers an affiliate program, you’ll have to explore this second option.


Option #2: Find Products through an Affiliate Network


This option requires investing time into research and money into buying products to try, even more than the first option. So, be very careful.


That’s because you have no prior knowledge so there’s less trust. Do your due diligence, to protect your reputation and the trust you’ve built with your readers.


When you work through a network, your business relationship is with that network, and you normally won’t know the merchant ahead of time and won’t build a relationship with them.


Popular and reliable networks include Clickbank, CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction), the eBay Partner Network (EPN), ShareASale, and the Amazon Associates program.


Some networks will assign you an affiliate manager to show you the ropes.


Many new marketers begin by becoming an Amazon affiliate and then scaling to other types of more profitable affiliate offers.


Step 2. Get Set Up as an Affiliate


Whether you work through a network or directly with a merchant you have to apply, be approved, and provide specific information in order to be paid.


At the very least, you’ll need to furnish your personal/business contact information for tax and reporting purposes as well as your bank account where commissions will be deposited.


The merchant will provide you with a trackable affiliate link that you’ll use whenever you post about the product. It will have a long tag at the end with your affiliate ID.


Here’s what some typical affiliate text links look like:


LINK THAT DIRECT’S TO THE MERCHANT’S HOME PAGE


https://merchantsite.com/dap/a/?a=1199



LINK TO ANOTHER PAGE ON THE MERCHANT’S SITE


https://merchantsite.com/dap/a/?a=1199&p=merchantsite.com/page.html


You’ll usually get some tips and useful marketing resources that could include:


a) An affiliate guide as well as instructions on how to use the platform and summary of policies such as payouts.

b) Online marketing tools like banners and sidebar graphics.

c) Sample email/webpage swipe copy.

d) Ongoing communications from the merchant about promotions, new products, etc.


You’ll get a link for each product you promote, if you use a network like Amazon.


Do check your specific network’s help and support pages for more information.


For your global audience you can check out geniuslink for tracking overseas sales through Amazon, iTunes, and Microsoft Store.


No matter which method you use, expect to invest money and time into researching the best products for your audience.


Step 3. Start Promoting Your Affiliate Offers


In the end, your hard work of finding and evaluating products only pays off when someone takes your advice and makes a purchase.


So, you need to place your recommendation in front of your audience in a trustworthy manner.


Don’t make the affiliate-marketer mistake of haphazardly slapping some banners on your blog that link to affiliate products and think that’s all you have to do.


Your recommendations should line up with your blog categories and topics, not some random products that are probably of no use to your readers.


Example:


If your blog’s focus is travel related, don’t use affiliate links advertising educational products or some other unrelated merchandise.


Here are a couple of options:


Option #1: Create a Resource Page on Your Blog


You can create your own resource page on which you can promote lots of different products, and they’ll all be organized in one place for easy reference for different readers according to their needs. It can also contain explanations regarding the usefulness of the products.


The page is not just a sales pitch but educational, with quality content. It should be well optimized for SEO so it will also rank well in Google search results and get organic traffic that also leads to good conversion rates.


Option #2: Create and Promote Custom Content


The following strategies are for those who are already sending traffic to your latest content by emailing your list regularly (at least two to four times per month) about what’s new.


A) Write Reviews


You can write in depth reviews of products, books, courses, or software products you promote as an affiliate.


Your reviews can focus on one product or comparisons between two products side by side.


Comparing two products in this way builds more trust, but is distracting due to multiple recommendations.


For multiple product reviews you can set up a “one-stop shop” for your niche by creating a site containing only reviews and affiliate offers.


B) Write Authoritative Content on a Related Topic


Write an authoritative comprehensive post that educates your audience and do a “soft sell” for your products.


For example, set up a guide for writing blog posts and include your affiliate links to your hosting providers.


Make sure your topic, whatever it is, is evergreen content – information that will be useful for years.


Create blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. Just do not create a sales page. You want to focus on building trust and authority.


Pay particular attention to SEO. Be sure to optimize for the right keywords and build links to your content to get a constant flow of traffic from Google.


C) Create Valuable Bonus Content


Check your affiliate agreement to see if you’re allowed to create bonus content. If so, create content, especially for your readers, to help them get even more value from the affiliate product.


People love bonuses! Creating them is fairly quick and easy, and they will help you stand out from other bloggers promoting the same product.


Some example bonuses are:


Step-by-step checklists.
Quick-start guides.
Video overviews or demos.
Complementary or discounted services (e.g., coaching calls).


Step 4. Follow Legal Requirements and Best Practice


In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that you let people know you’ll earn a commission.


But even if it isn’t required by law where you’re located, it is recommended. It’s just good business.


People will appreciate your transparency and honesty and want to support you and help you for improving their lives.


So, wherever you share a link – in blog posts, on web pages or in emails – let readers know you may make a small commission if they make a purchase through you.


Also, create a disclaimer page on your website.


There, you have it, the bottom line on affiliate marketing.


Your dream of making passive income is a completely achievable reality, although it’s not as simple as pushing a magic button. With a little knowledge and persistence you can do it and eventually turn it into an online business.


Affiliate marketing is one of the best business models for making an income from home, once you’ve gained a respectable following.


It’s very easy to get started. Just follow the steps covered in this post.


Find the one big thing everyone in your audience needs to reach their goals and start there.


Choose a great product you believe in. Share your success with it.


Deliver plenty of valuable content to educate your audience, without being too salesy.


Nurture the trust your audience places in you.


Be upfront, honest, transparent, and most of all, patient.



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Advertising Disclosure: Marketing Success Review may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. There is no expense to you.







August 23rd, 2020

Writing Great Blog Posts (Part 3)

by Rahimah Sultan






In my last article I covered writing great blog post headlines. If you missed it Click here to read Part 2



You got your readers to click the headline, enticed them down the page with your introduction, and now it’s time to give them what you promised.



Now the rules for delivering valuable and easy-to-consume content.


CONTENT RULE #1. Add Stopping Points

Use subheadings as stopping points.

Readers are scanners, because there is so much content to be had.

Subheadings are a way to prove your content is valuable. To keep enticing them back into your post when they want to leave.



Four Tips for Writing Your Subheadings:


1. Add a Subheading Every few Paragraphs

Add a few subheadings throughout your post to lead readers down the path your post is heading, making their experience feel clear, easy and enjoyable.

Remember, your blog posts are all about the readers’ experience.

When readers are scanning and see too much text, they feel overwhelmed.

Example:

A short post with subheadings.


2. Avoid Subheading Mistakes That Make Readers Disappear

Subheadings serve the same purpose as headlines; to make readers curious so they keep reading.

Avoid the following mistakes:

The Plain Label Subheading
Again, don’t bore your readers. Treat your subheadings like mini-headlines and be sure they arouse curiosity.

The Spoiler Subheading
Hold back information in your subheading so readers feel compelled to continue reading.

The Cryptic Subheading
Readers don’t like to play guessing games, so don’t try to be witty. Adding curiosity shouldn’t come at the expense of clarity.

Example:

If you’re talking about the effects of diet for good health, your subheadings might be:

The Importance of a Good Diet
Eating the Right Food Will Improve Your Overall Health
Skip the Junk and Feel Better


The first subheading is rather generic, the second doesn’t encourage you to keep reading, and the third doesn’t say much of anything.

The following subheadings will do a better job of getting readers’ attention:

Diet is Important for Good Health
Eating Right for Your Overall Health
Foods to Avoid to Maintain Good Health


3. Compare Each Subheading to Your Main Headline

Each subheading must be related to the overall headline of your post.

Your subheadings must all lead to what you promised in your main headline.

If the subheadings get off track and don’t deliver on the overall headline, readers will feel lost and confused.

If that happens, you’ll have to change your subheadings or your main headline.

Example:

If you’re writing a post titled “Benefits of Meditation in Daily Life” and you include the following subheadings:

1. Using Meditation in Everyday Life
2. Reducing Stress and Anxiety with Meditation
3. Using Meditation to Maintain Focus in Spite of Distractions
4. How to Gain Mental Strength, Resilience and Emotional Intelligence Through Meditation

The fourth subheading is a little long and disrupts the flow. It’s also differently structured by beginning with “How.” The first three subheadings are fine and relatively short.

This inconsistency is distracting to readers.


4. Follow a Format

When you’re listing different “tips,” “steps,” “ways,” “methods,” “signs,” etc., to attain what the headline of the post promises, keep the format consistent.

Let’s say your post is “13 Ways to Invest in Yourself,” and you have a subheading for each of the ways.

If you take your subheadings from the post and list them, you can see if any stray from the pattern.

Example:

So, your first few subheadings are:

Try to Meditate
Make a Gratitude List
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Get Plenty Sleep

There is Nothing Like a Morning Walk to Clear Your Mind

Something in the last one seems a little off.

The first four are about the same in length and start with a verb.

The fifth subheading suddenly changes the format and interrupts the flow. It doesn’t start with a verb and it’s much longer than the others.

This may seem like a small detail, but it distracts readers.



CONTENT RULE #2. Add a Little Surprise

Your post needs to be unique, bold and eye-opening; not the same old boring advice.

You can list your main points and add a unique perspective or something unexpected to them.

Do you know something that most people don’t? Is there some system that you challenge? Do you use methods that others won’t know about?

Example:

Seth Godin puts a unique spin on serious topics.

Don’t overdo it just for the sake of shock value. Your information needs to be genuine and useful. You want to challenge yourself as a writer and educate your readers.



CONTENT RULE #3. Follow a Format

This post has a very consistent format.

Each section is quite similar in length. All the subheadings follow a pattern. Each section ends with an example.

Consistency in your posts makes for a better experience for readers.

So you write a list post about seven steps to accomplish something. If the first step is 300 words, the second and third steps are 500 words, the fourth step is 200 words, the fifth and sixth steps are 400 words, and the seventh step is 100 words, it doesn’t look very neat.

You want your readers to have a great experience. Be attentive to small details.

To look even more professional, you can look at the beginning, middle, and end of each section and create a guiding format. You can start each section with a story or a daring statement. Use the middle section for your advice. You might want to add a graphic. Then end each section with a call to action.

Adding formats to your posts makes for easier writing, and they look more polished.

Example:

Here’s a bare-bones example of a blog post format that can be used as a starting template.



CONTENT RULE #4. Be Outrageously Giving

Don’t worry about giving away too much in your posts. After all, your goal is to have people sign up for your paid products or services.

If you’re not giving with your readers in your posts, they’ll have a negative impression of your paid products.

Carefully go through the problem with your readers. Give them thorough solutions and compelling advice. Be outrageously giving and they will become loyal readers and customers.

Example:

This 3,000-word plus post by R. L. Adams is extremely generous. I’ve read longer ones, up to 10,000 words.

Never fear. You can wow your readers with your generosity and thoughtfulness, just the same, with a 1,000-word post.



CONTENT RULE #5. Begin and End Strong

Not only should your introduction and conclusion grab your readers, but you want the main body of your post to also begin and end strong.

Every section should have great content, but if you’re presenting seven ways to achieve something, save your very best tips for the first and seventh. The first will get your readers’ attention while the seventh will leave them totally pleased.

Example:

Nathan Thompson gives you 7 Proven Tips to Create Blog Posts That Convert Like Crazy.

Make an outline containing your main points before writing the main sections of your post.

Make it clear and simple so your post will have clarity and conviction.

Now, it’s conclusion time.


Rules for your inspiring conclusion:


CONCLUSION RULE #1. Motivate Your Readers

Give them a pep talk. Show them what they’re capable of, how far they’ve come, and how things will look once they’ve applied your instructions.

Motivate your readers by showing you expect more of them. Encourage them to immediately take action.

Make them see that no matter what they’ve struggled with in the past, they should believe in themselves. They can achieve the goal you promised in your headline.  They can do this.

Example:

Read the encouraging conclusion in this post.



CONCLUSION RULE #2. Include Nothing New

A common blogging mistake.

Don’t all of a sudden include new information or tips in your conclusions.

It really throws your readers off and leaves them befuddled as to why you didn’t just include it in the body of the post.

Example:

In this post Alex Nerney lists nine blog ideas and topics.

His conclusion begins with, “Okay, that’s it…”

It would be jarring if he added another idea or topic after that.

When writing the conclusion, imagine how your readers are feeling or what they are thinking. How will things change for them if they use your advice?

Put more thought into your closings.

Most readers just skim. Reward those who trust you enough to read to the end. Take the opportunity to tell them the next step to take.

Now that you’ve written your post, carefully edit it. One way to do this is to read it out loud to check the flow, unnecessary wording, and sentence structure.

There are so many things to learn. Blogging platforms. Social media. Content marketing techniques.

So, before you start down the blogging trail, you need to know how to write professional blog posts above all else. The rest doesn’t matter if you don’t.

Good news!

Writing good blog posts is a skill you can and must learn.

Inside you are compelling words and ideas waiting to be released. To transform readers’ lives.

When you’re ready, use this information as a guide.

Your audience is waiting.


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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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