Posts Tagged ‘Rahimah Sultan’

January 23rd, 2021

5 Tips for Starting a One-Person Business

by Rahimah Sultan







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.




Included in the abundance of business advice is the fact that you should delegate certain tasks so you can focus on your business rather than work in your business. This is sound advice, unless you happen to be the only person in your business or you’re just starting a business.

Can you run a small business on your own?

You can run a small business on your own, although it requires planning and lots of patience.

Following are 5 Tips for starting a one-person business from some entrepreneurs who have successfully done so. You can use your own plan, although this framework tends to lead to success.

1) Start as a Side Business

It’s going to take time to build your one-person business, and quitting your job will create financial challenges if you don’t have quite a bit of money saved.

For financial security, starting your one-person business on the side is often the way to go. If you develop a client base while working a full-time job over a year or so, you’ll be bringing in money and be set  to grow an already established brand once you take your venture full time.

Starting your business on the side allows you the time and opportunity to see what challenges may occur or whether you should change course and choose another type business.

Starting your business from home on the side affords flexibility to make mistakes and fail without losing your only source of income.

2) Determine the Right Structure for Your Business

The type of clients or audience you want and your branding play a part in structuring your business.

The simplest forms of business available are sole proprietorships which offer a lot of flexibility. You can be an independent contractor, operate a small more traditional business or do freelance work.

Although this seems like a logical choice, you are solely responsible for everything including any potential lawsuits that may occur and any applicable employment taxes.

The usual advice is to form an LLC or incorporate the business. In doing so you, as the owner, are provided with liability protection.

If you’re a one-person business and operate as a sole proprietorship you can change the structure when you become a multi-person organization.

Click here for more information on choosing a business structure.

3) Prioritize Tasks

Since you’re the only one working in your business, it’s critical not to procrastinate or waste time.  You need to prioritize your tasks.

Schedule your day and your tasks. You’re going to be pulled in many directions with phone calls and messages and such. You have to decide what needs immediate attention and what can wait.

Organize tasks with both a short- and long-term view. Block out times of the day to work on different tasks and long-term goals and projects. If your working only a few hours a day on your side business, there’s not a lot of time for tedious tasks and checking emails.

Help prioritize your tasks by setting long-term goals.

When working alone it’s easy to get off track and make little progress. Take a long-term goal setting approach, and hold yourself accountable to those goals. You can set long-term goals to accomplish in three-month increments.

Let’s say you’re just organizing a plan of action because you’ve not actually started your side business. Consider how you’ll get the word out about your business. Consider whether you’ll use a blog, social media or both. Then set target dates for having these in place. Set dates for when you want to begin posting to your blog. Decide how often you want to post and when you’ll write your posts. Setting goals helps you stay on track.

Although sticking to the grindstone and getting work done is great, you’ll need some help from other sources. Surround yourself with great people. That can be other small businesses and independent contractors who can provide a variety of services such as website development, graphic design, and video production. Working together and exchanging ideas and being flexible benefits you and your clients.

4) Community Supporters

Running a one-person business can be mentally tiring, so connect with like-minded people and build a community of supporters. Find activities that are not work related to get involved in like joining clubs and joint fitness groups for human interaction to allow time away the day-to-day office drama.

Connect with business peers for advice and to reduce business loneliness. Reach out to local business owners and entrepreneurs. Talk with experienced business people in your area and share advice and viewpoints with them. This builds connections and gives you a group of people to turn to for advice. LinkedIn is an easy way to connect with business people in your area and quickly build a network.

Attend SBA (Small Business Administration) events in your area that interest you and meet others who are experiencing what you’re going through.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, it’s not wise to run a one-person business alone.

5) Growth Limitations

Your growth limitations are determined by your definition of success. You can grow only so large without a team. If you find the limit that you can get to on your own and are able to maintain, you can certainly sustain that as long as you desire.

If you have no goals of building any level of empire, you might be completely content to stay on your own. But if your definition of success involves anything more than that, you’ll need to start considering having a team.

So, write your business plan, with these five tips for starting a one-person business in mind,  meet with a business advisor to discuss activating your plans, and be patient.


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January 10th, 2021

Email Marketing is One of the Most Used Digital Marketing Techniques






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.


Although email marketing is over 40 years old, it’s as strong as ever. It may be even stronger since brands have shifted to digital marketing channels due the ever-changing marketing landscape.


What is email marketing?

Email marketing is a method used to send emails to your customers and prospects to get more conversions. The aim is to convert one-time buyers into repeat customers and to get prospects to make their initial purchase.

An email is often the beginning of a customer’s journey with you.


Two reasons email marketing works:

You control who to focus on, and
You get more conversions


How do You Succeed With Email Marketing?

To succeed with email marketing you must first build your list.

Use your website or blog to get people to sign up for your emails. Place a form on your site with a CTA (call-to-action) asking for your visitors’ name and email address. Add a sign-up form on your “about us” page.

Another way to get signups is by using a lead magnet. This offers something free in exchange for their contact details. This can be a resource guide, an ebook or something else. It must be relevant to your target audience.

Make sure your sign-up forms are not too long or complicated. People might just skip over them and move on. Limit the requested information to one field, an email address, or two maximum that includes a name.


Designing and Sending Your Emails

Designing and sending emails to your subscribers is probably the most important part of the total email marketing process. You can create them yourself, which can be very time consuming and expensive or you can use templates from third-party websites.

A lot of sites provide free email templates that you can customize and use. As a business, there are different kinds of emails that you might want to send to your subscribers.

You’ll certainly want to send a transactional (confirmation) email that goes out immediately after someone takes action on your site. You can also use these to sell, upsell, and boost engagement.

Then there will be follow-up emails with relevant and timely information regarding what you’re offering.

Here are some things you’ll want to do:

— Use attention-grabbing catchy subject lines
— Use action words and verbs that encourage people to take action
— Add a stat or number to subject lines to add credibility and create curiosity
— Keep subject lines light and creative by adding an emoji
— If possible, personalize your email subject lines with their names to grab the target’s attention
— Remember your mobile readers and keep your email subject lines short and simple

One important thing you should NOT do is use words like “free” or “deal” that may trigger filters to send your email to spam folders.

Give your customers a good experience by putting them first throughout their journey with you. Email is often the beginning of their venture with you.

When you use a human-centered approach and put your customers and their needs first, you’ll be rewarded with their loyalty.

Email marketing continues to be a mainstay in the marketing world, and email marketing is the perfect marketing channel for relationship-building.

It’s a simple, direct and cost-effective way of connecting with your leads, and is still one of the most used digital marketing techniques.


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December 24th, 2020

Insurance for Your Home-Based Business






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.



If you’re an entrepreneur with a home-based business, you may have considered getting business insurance. Well, hesitate no longer. The question is not whether or not to get insurance, but what type of insurance to get.

You definitely need insurance for your home-based business.

Just because you can run your business in your pajamas doesn’t mean it’s not a real business. So, it needs to be insured just like any brick and mortar establishment.

Your homeowner’s policy carries little or no coverage for a business and some insurance companies may even invalidate your policy if you file a business-related claim.

As a result you’ll have no coverage for:

Buildings used for business purposes
Loss or damage to business records or data
Loss of income that results from a business shutdown caused by physical loss to business property.


Why Do You Need Insurance for Your Home-Based Business?

Consider the following:

1) You run a consulting business from home, as an IT professional. If your home is robbed and all your expensive computer equipment is stolen, you may find that it’s not fully covered under your homeowners’ insurance because it is considered business property.

2) A business delivery person is leaving your home-based architect office and slips on some wet steps and sustains injuries. Your policy might not pay for these injuries because your insurance doesn’t cover business deliveries or any third-party injury claims.

3) If you run a landscaping business out of a building adjacent to your home and it catches fire and burns your equipment, you’re mistaken to think your homeowner’s policy covers such an incident.

4) As an accountant, you advise a client on a financial matter that ends up costing her money. As a result, she files a lawsuit. A homeowner’s policy won’t come close to touching that.

These are only a few reasons to purchase home-based business insurance.

Neither homeowners’ nor renters’ insurance policies cover home-based businesses.


The many types of business insurance include:

Business property insurance which covers any kind of equipment used to operate your business including your computer, printer, fax machine, furniture, etc.

Liability insurance that protects you and your business from being liable for damages caused to another person or property.

Product liability coverage to protect your business from damages to property or a person caused by a product you supplied, manufactured or designed.

Business automobile coverage which will provide coverage if you are in an accident while making pickups or deliveries, visiting clients or performing other business-related tasks. Your personal auto policy does not cover using your vehicle for business.


Here I have covered only a few types of insurance for your home-based business. There are many more for you to consider, depending on your particular business.

It is wise to work with an insurance professional who can furnish the details you need for the particular type of home-based business insurance that’s available for your business.

Based on the many potential business liabilities, you’re probably better off having at least a combination of a few policies, depending on your business needs. And that could be one less thing to keep you awake at night.


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December 13th, 2020

Blog Article Marketing for Your Business






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.




Blog article marketing for your business is a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your website or blog. It’s also a way of acquiring potential customers, a way to get your website indexed on search engines, and a way to promote your site and to get backlinks.

Using blog article marketing for your business makes good sense. Since blogging doesn’t cost anything on most websites, you can choose a popular blogging platform and connect your blog with your other marketing campaigns. This lets you connect and have conversations with the people that visit your site and it’s a great way to engage customers.

Starting your own blog doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is an article that was written some time ago, but the information it contains is still current.

Once your blog is set up and you consistently write informative articles, your reputation within your niche will improve and this offers you a good way to improve your income.

A blog is an indispensable tool for your business.


Build Your Following

To build your following offer your readers important information that is helpful. Share useful and interesting content on a regular basis.

Use a warm, friendly casual style even when writing on technical subjects. You don’t want to be boring and drive away readers.


Get Found by Search Engines

To help your article get found by search engines, use your main keyword or keyword phrase in the title, header, sub-headings, and in the URL, which leads to more traffic and sales.

The first paragraphs of your article should be the best and very powerful. Include the best information here to grab the attention of both readers and search engines.

You want your audience to read the entire article so don’t give away too much at the beginning, just enough to grab their attention. Lead them down the page using your sub-headings under which you feed them even more interesting information.


Do Not Duplicate Content

For the best quality content, write your own articles. They should be original and fresh. Put forth your own spin and offer a unique outlook or suggestion to impress your readers. If search engines detect duplicate content you will be flagged and penalized, and your marketing becomes ineffective as search engines will not “pick up” your article.

Even though it’s true that the more people you have viewing your writing the better your chance of success, you don’t have to target large audiences with your article. You want the people that do read your articles to be those who are truly interested in what you have to say.

Never ignore your dedicated readers.

Blog article marketing for your business can be extremely lucrative. One of the most exciting parts about it is you’re building interest in you and your company and offers through unique and interesting articles.

Nothing is more important than drawing in readers and giving valuable information that will keep them coming back time and time again. The key to building long-term business relationships with your visitors and potential customers and clients is in providing them with valuable, quality information.



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November 26th, 2020

How Does MLM Compare to Pyramid Schemes?


by Rahimah Sultan








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.


If you’re considering a multilevel marketing (MLM) opportunity, be very cautious. MLM and pyramid schemes can be very similar.

How does MLM compare to pyramid schemes?


What is MLM?

Some people like the MLM business model. You have the opportunity to become involved in a system for supplying products to consumers. MLM associates have the support of a direct sales company so they don’t have to start a business from scratch. Some of the companies train you.

When you become a MLM distributor, associate, consultant or whatever term the company uses, you make money, by selling products to other MLM participants who are not already a member, when you sign them up.

You earn money on your sales as well as a percentage of the sales of the new distributors you bring in. The people you bring in are your downline. Sometimes you get bonuses after reaching certain milestones like bringing in a certain number of new people or selling a certain amount of product. You can also win cash, trips and automobiles.

MLM can be a legitimate business opportunity, but not always. MLM is legal in Canada and most of the United States, whereas pyramid schemes are not.


What is a pyramid scheme?

If you’re looking for a legitimate business opportunity, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between an MLM opportunity and a pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme also offers the opportunity to make money by signing up others and achieving certain levels.

Unlike MLM, a pyramid scheme exists solely to get your money and then use you to recruit other distributors.


Ask yourself the following questions before signing on:

Do you have to invest a large amount of money up front to become a distributor? MLMs do not require large startup costs.

If you have to pay for inventory will the company buy back unsold product? Legitimate MLM companies offer 80% buy back.

Does the company offer actual products or services? MLM companies depend on an actual market for products and services. Don’t sign up if the company doesn’t seem to have any interest in consumer demand for its products.

Is the focus more on recruitment or products and services? Pyramid schemes focus on fast profits from signing up people and getting their money. If this seems to be the case, run.

How to Determine the focus.

The pyramid scheme focuses on fast profits from signing people up and getting their money.
If the emphasis is on recruitment rather than on selling the product or service do not sign up.

Another trademark of the pyramid scheme is the offer of commissions for recruiting new members. This is what matters in a
pyramid scheme, not the products or services being offered.


When you’re deciding on a business opportunity thoroughly check out the company. Get all the information you can on its products and operations.

Check out the business or marketing plan. Talk to others who have experience with the MLM company and its products. Determine if there are real products being sold and the quality of these products or services.

Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the company.

When attending recruitment meetings, listen very carefully for claims of you being able to make amazing amounts of money. That should set off the alarm bells for you.

Although being part of a successful multilevel marketing company can be both profitable and fun, unfortunately, some supposed MLM opportunities are just cons designed to flatten your wallet and trash your dream of running a business.

So, How Does MLM Compare to Pyramid Schemes? MLM is a legitimate business opportunity, whereas pyramid schemes are scams to take your money.


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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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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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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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