This post is sponsored by Visa Business and all content is the opinion of the writer.
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On the internet nothing stays the same. This applies to the way the average person uses the internet for everyday surfing and how businesses need to conduct their day to day operations. What worked last year, month or week… may not work today. The internet is always changing and if your business isn’t adapting to these changes, you are putting yourself in a potential disaster zone.
When building a blog or business that will stand the test of time, you will need to start looking at three different core principles for your business. These areas are your Goals, Vision and Priorities for the business. Without these measures in place, you won’t have a path or guidance on the direction you want to take. Without direction there really is no business model at all.
The Core Principles of Your Business
With 2013 coming to a close and a new year just around the corner, now is the best time to step back and look at your business in whole and see what direction you want to go in the new year. We’ve broken down examples of quality goals, visions and priorities for you below.
The goals of your business are what you want to accomplish. If you are an ecommerce web site, then your end goal would likely be to increase your customer base and overall sales. In order to reach your goals you must have a business plan in place. How are you going to increase sales, exposure to your site and making customers repeat buyers.
The vision for your business is where you want to be and what your business should represent. Using ecommerce again as an example, your vision should be to have a quality service that offers products that your customers love. Instead of just being another “online store” you would love for your customers to talk about your brand with their friends and eventually become a household name.
The priorities of your business are key when moving in the right direction. Again, using ecommerce as an example, you may want to create a new logo for your site and that investment might be a few hundred dollars, but instead of going for a new logo, you should be spending that money on better shopping cart monetization to increase conversions and sales numbers. Knowing the difference in your “priorities” versus “wants” is a huge factor when scaling a business to a new level.
Growing Your Business in the New Year
As mentioned earlier, the internet is changing all of the time and the best way to find success is to make sure that your web site and business model is always changing with the times. If you had a basic HTML web site from a decade ago, it would be hard for you to compete in the world of social media, blogs and shopping carts built into online stores today.
Build a plan for your business to find success, but also be ready to make changes over time to increase your goals, vision and priorities with changes in your environment.
For more inspiration on how to build a better blog and business during the holidays, be sure to check out the infographic below.
I am blogging on behalf of Visa Business and received compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. Visithttp://facebook.com/
How Can You Start Blogging for Free?
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- financial investment; domain and hosting at a minimum
- time investment
- energy investment
You cannot start blogging for free because without financial investment you are not really blogging.
Imagine starting a blog on a free platform.
How can you ever impress people if you fear investing $7 a month on hosting and $14 on a domain?
People see the free platform, believe you to be an amateur, you lose your credibility as potential readers do not trust you, and folks exit your blog.
Investing Money to Make Money
Observe my blog:
I invested thousands of dollars in my blog over the years and made a lot more money than thousands of dollars.
I bought my domain and hosting 10 years ago as an investment in freedom and greater profits.
Fast forward a decade; I have circled the globe for 8 years, living in places like Fiji, Bali and Costa Rica. The thousands of dollars I invested allowed me to:
- gain reader trust
- convey a professional brand image
- be seen as one of the top bloggers on earth
- increase blog traffic
- increase eBook sales, course sales and audio book sales
- be featured on world famous sites
- move higher in blogging circles
Imagine if I began blogging for free. Would Fox News want to interview a blogger using a free blogging platform? No. Of course Fox News seeks out renowned leaders and every blogging leader invests money in blogging to do blogging right.
Free Platforms Look Cheap and Unprofessional
Free blogging platforms look terrible.
Can you ever gain reader trust if your blog looks terrible?
Observe the long, wordy, non-branded domain name, including the free hosting company. Imagine if cnn.com was cnn.blogspot.com? Would you trust CNN if the corporation used a free blogging platform? No.
This is from my trip to Turkey.
Imagine if espn.com was espn.typepad.com. Would you trust the content? No.
Even if you intend to never profit through your blog you better buy your domain and hosting because few if any readers trust bloggers on free platforms.
How to Begin a Blog the Right Way
Invest money in:
Invest money in your success.
Begin blogging the right way to cut years off of:
- your learning curve
- your success curve
Money circulates; invest money today and it flows back to you multiplied exponentially.
Losing or spending money is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Develop this prosperity consciousness to begin blogging from an abundant, successful, positive energy.
Develop a Money Consciousness to Make Money with Your Blog
The old saying goes; it takes money to make money.
I take it one step further; it takes a money consciousness to make money.
A high number of bloggers invest money in their blog but struggle to make money. Said bloggers believe they spent or lost money on their blog, which is not true.
Develop a money consciousness. It takes a money consciousness to make money with your blog, meaning you need believe money circulates, as you release money and it returns to you multiplied in awesome fashion.
I discovered 2 unknown, unexpected income streams recently, both online. Why? I circulate money. I see any investment in my blog, in bills or in anything, flowing back to me multiplied.
Develop this positive, abundant mindset.
Invest money in your blog from day 1.
Begin blogging the right way.
How to Build Brand Authenticity Using Customer Generated Content
Creating quality content is the best thing someone can ever do for their company. When done right, it generates a lot of traffic towards the website thus giving a high likelihood of converting the followers into leads. Unfortunately, quality content is expensive and can use up a lot of money, time, and very exhaustive.
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Fortunately for us, there is another way to get quality content without having to go through all this hustle. When you make use of this strategy, it will turn out to be more powerful and accurate than other cumbersome methods. This solution is known as User Generated Content (UGC) since it is one of the simplest way to get results without getting tired.
What is the significance of UGC?
The moment you make use of content generated by customers, you automatically create trust with other customers. This is because more than 80% of consumers find content generated by their fellow customers to be convincing and true than what the brands can write about themselves. The assumption is that no one will ever write negatives about themselves unless third parties take over.
UGC is the most authentic type of content as 98% of it is true since customers have no interests in the customers creating profits. If something is bad, they will write it as it is. The reverse is also true. It is therefore recommendable to spend more time curating on the content written by consumers rather than the company itself. You can also use a tool like keyword.com to better create content for your audience and to also rank higher in Google for multiple keywords and search phrases.
The other advantage of UGC is the ability to track all the conversations and mentions. This mostly helps by finding out what the customers think about your services and products. In case of any problem, you can address the same issue. You are allowed to comment on the same wall towards their plights.
The other advantage is to help a company in saving time meant to write content. This time can be allocated to other issues that help in accumulating profits for the business.
Ways to Build an Effective UCG Marketing Strategy
1 – Choose your platform wisely
You do not just create a CGC in any area. The first thing is to ensure that you have a good number of active followers in online platforms. In addition to this, remember that each platform works differently; Facebook users are known for sharing content whereas Instagram is more of visuals. When you ask people for content, remember to be specific with what you want since a lot of us are ready to talk about anything we wish.
2 – Collect independent customer reviews
Customers’ reviews are very vital to any business as they act as personal recommendations to other people who are yet to try your brand. In fact, a lot of people prefer to read a number of reviews before making a conclusion on whether to buy or not. If someone comes across two or more negative comments, a good number will pull away from your page. Remember that savvy customers will always spot fake reviews hence the more reason to stick to authentic customers. The only way to win their hearts is by offering what you promised in the first place.
3 – Offer rewards
There is nothing as encouraging as being rewarded for doing something. Offering rewards attracts a lot of people towards your page as everyone is eager to get something. Don’t try too hard by getting expensive gifts. You can promise that a winner will have their tweets retweeted or you feature their article or business on your page. Not only will they feel happy that they are part of your success but will also attract new users to subscribe.
Neil Patel is often preaching about the process of offering rewards and getting users to submit an email address on your site — which you can then follow up with afterwards. You can read more on Neil and his most recent resources in this article from webdesignteam.com.
4 – Support a charity event
You need to remind your customers that your brand is not after making profits but rather in helping the community in different events such as acts of charity. Let people know that you have a greater vision for them too.
Online platforms can either break or boost your business. This is because a lot of people have turned to recommendation on social media by strangers or friends. If you want better reviews, ensure that your products are quality and services are up to standard.
User Generation Content is the Way to Go!
With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, content overload is happening daily. The same is true for brands and bloggers that are struggling to create original content on their own.
The better option is to build a platform or content creation and marketing plan that relies on content being created from other users. After all, how much content has Facebook or Instagram ever made… and look at how huge and massive their brands are!
Be Careful Who You Ask for Blogging Advice
I retired to a life of travel through blogging.
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Do you want to travel the world through blogging?
My eBook lays out simple, step by step tips to follow for you to travel the world through blogging.
I know how to do it. I teach you how to do it. Easy. Simple. Smart, too; you ask a blogger who lives their dreams for blogging advice on how to live your dreams.
Imagine if you asked people from a blogging tips themed Facebook Group about how to travel the world through blogging? Who are these people? Do these bloggers know specifically how to retire to a life of travel through blogging? Have these bloggers written eBooks and created courses on the topic? Have they lived their dreams?
What ensures said bloggers offer good advice?
Do many of these bloggers offer terrible advice?
Are many of these bloggers experienced, skilled, knowledgeable bloggers, being tops in their niche, like me?
Most bloggers mean well. Some bloggers offer solid advice.
But many bloggers offer terrible advice to struggling new bloggers who follow terrible advice and all of them struggle horribly, following bad advice from bloggers who only know how to fail, versus knowing how to succeed.
Be careful who you trust.
How to Get the Best Blogging Advice on Earth
Follow the top blogging tips bloggers.
Hire them to coach you.
The best blogging advice on earth flows through premium blogging products and services created by the top bloggers on earth.
100% of the time, following this advice leads to success. Fool proof way to get only good advice because pros teach folks how to be pros.
The only reason why you’d get bad blogging advice is if you follow anybody other than the top blogging tips bloggers on earth.
Beware Free Advice Because it is Often Cheap
Free advice sites like Quora and Facebook Groups require no vetting.
Any blogger can offer terrible advice.
This was from my trip to Fiji.
Beware trusting advice from these spots; well-meaning bloggers often guarantee your struggles by offering failing, inexperienced, terrible advice.
Vet Bloggers Who Offer Advice
Gaurav Kumar offered excellent advice via a comment responding to my live Facebook Broadcast.
If you wanted to vet his advice, checking his Facebook profile and clicking on his eAskme blog link immediately proves he is a top blogger who offers sensational advice for succeeding.
Following blogs, investing in eBooks and hiring bloggers by scanning their blogs is the easiest way to:
- vet advice
- trust advice
- get awesome advice
- accelerate your blogging success
Research bloggers who offer advice on free forums. Some genuinely offer success-promoting advice through their blogs. Trust said bloggers.
If you click through to see no blog, or a blog hosted on a free platform, or thin, weak content, beware these red flags.
Follow advice only from top bloggers who put their advice in action and succeed from an abundant, generous, calm, confident vibe.
Go to the Top
Follow only the top blogging tips bloggers on earth to get the best blogging tips and to accelerate your blogging success.
Matthew Loomis at Build Your Own Blog offers success-promoting advice. Follow him. Hire him. Succeed.
Why spend hours asking for advice from folks who may or may not have any idea what they are talking about?
Go to the top.
Google popular search terms, vet guest posters on Blogging Tips, follow the best, get the best advice on earth, use the advice, succeed.
Blogging gets easier and easier when you only follow the top bloggers on earth and invest in their premium offerings because getting the best advice from the best bloggers positions you to be the best.
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