In the current marketing landscape, businesses can no longer promote like a used car salesperson and expect people to hoard their products and services. They need to develop a fully realized plan that allows them to identify their goals, target a specific audience, and deliver their message on different platforms online.
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The changes taking place in content marketing are also caused by the advent of user-generated content. Since consumer trust peer reviews more than content created in-house nowadays, it has become harder for business blogs to garner attention. However, this does not mean that blogging is passe. In fact, you as a business owner should not give up creating content on your blog as a way to increase sales and conversions.
If you are unable to find your footing with blogging, then take a cue from these businesses that use blogging to great effect.
When it comes to digital marketing and sales, HubSpot Blog trumps all. Hubspot, a popular inbound marketing software, shows why you should subscribe to their product as they publish content relevant to marketers and sales agents on a regular basis.
Their content is filled with the kind of value that its target readers will enjoy reading. Also, each post has a relevant call to action that encourages readers to download a free ebook, join a free course, and more.
Moreover, most of the content found on the Hubspot Blog ranks on the first page of Google results for their respective keywords. According to SEMrush, as of writing, the blog is ranking for a whopping 732,000 keywords that bring over 1.7 million worth of organic traffic. Below is a partial screenshot of keywords that the blog is ranking first for:
Lesson: Practice what you preach. As a digital marketing tool, it is important for Hubspot Blog not only to provide value to readers but also prove to them why they should subscribe to its software. Ranking on thousands of keywords within the first 100 results on Google is a feat that should encourage people to try out Hubspot for their business so they can achieve the same thing.
Entrepreneurs of Fire
John Lee Dumas is one of the most profitable entrepreneurs, and his blog Entrepreneur on Fire is a testament to his success. His online empire is built on transparency – he has been revealing his monthly income report since 2013. The idea of the report is to inform readers about the processes that John and his team did to achieve that amount so you can replicate the good and take away the bad.
However, the blog section of the site takes a new life of its own. Instead of churning out tips and how-to articles, John goes the extra mile to interview fellow entrepreneurs on their journey towards success. More importantly, you can expect new interviews from the blog on a regular basis.
Lesson: Interviews, interviews, interviews! Conducting interviews with people in your industry, whether it’s through podcasts or posts, allows you to connect and build relationships with them. At the same time, you can use the interviews as content to help educate your audience and provide unique insights about your niche like John does.
Wristbands cater to a very specific niche. In fact, most of its audience only purchase wristbands for specific reasons; namely, for raising awareness towards a particular cause.
Being fully aware of this, Amazing Wristbands built its blog by discussing upcoming events and causes to encourage people to make a sale. Their blog talks about sexual violence to National Donate Month and how readers can spread the good word about their respective causes through wristbands.
Lesson: Know your product and audience. As mentioned, the wristband market may not be very lucrative, and maybe you feel trapped in the same predicament. However, this should not dissuade you from thinking outside the box with your blog to make a sale. By understand what your product is all about and the kind of audience you have, you can develop a content strategy like Amazing Wristbands did to attract their attention in the hopes of making a sale.
Peter’s of Kensington
This site occupies another space in the already-crowded online shopping industry. So how do you market your site amidst the fierce and ruthless competition in the eCommerce market?
Taking advantage of their in-house events, Peter’s of Kensington taps into local chefs and bakers to showcase their best recipes and menus on their blog. The chefs also hold classes at their office to members who want to learn how to cook with the best of them. These events go in line with the products they sell like dinnerwares, kitchenwares, and more!
Lesson: Humanize your brand. By holding different events that mobilize your audience and engages them with your brand, you increase the chances of boosting your sales as well. More importantly, you can to connect with people on a more human level, which you can leverage to develop brand advocates and return customers. If you don’t have the luxury of holding an event at a physical location, you can hold webinars instead, which could lead to the same effects.
Business Insurance USA
Getting insurance for your business safeguards you from potential legal troubles that come your way. However, some small businesses and startup are not keen on getting an insurance soon. They prefer to roll the dice and deal with the issue once it happens.
Business Insurance USA takes a more visual approach to their blog. For example, instead of telling facts about the increase of cybercrime, they show it using compelling visuals in the form of infographics.
Lesson: Use visual cues. Your audience will most likely find it cumbersome to stare at a wall of text as your posts. Communicating your message to readers will be difficult if all they see on your posts are words. To break the monotony, include attractive images and infographic to help get your message across more effectively. Just like Business Insurance USA, you can create stunning infographics using Infogram, or you can simply find one on Pinterest to share on your post.
Blogging from Paradise
One of the most relentless bloggers out there and also a regular contributor at BloggingTips.com, Ryan Biddulph has built an empire with Blogging from Paradise. A quick look at his blog reveals not only the number of posts he’s published throughout the years but also the ebooks he’s written and is currently selling on Amazon.
I had a chance to interview Ryan on my blog, and he has a fascinating and inspiring story to boot. Looking back at his past and how he was able to achieve success through perseverance and hard work with his blog, it was simply a matter of doing it and making it work.
On each of his posts, he upsells his Amazon ebooks so readers can get more in-depth about the secrets to his success.
Lesson: Be passionate. If there’s one thing that separates Ryan from other bloggers, it’s his sheer passion. Not only does he publish content on multiple blogs, but he also has time to record podcasts to share his story. When blogging for your business, you can’t half-ass it. You need to go all the way in like Ryan does so you can tap deeper into your market and drive more sales.
How about you – are there any bloggers or business blogs out there not mentioned above that have a content strategy optimized for conversion and increased sales? Please share them by commenting below!
A Blogger’s Guide to Broken Link Building
The internet is broken (literally).
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Millions – if not billions – of links get broken daily due to expired hosting, incorrect site migrations, and typing errors.
That’s not good news for the respective site owners.
For link builders, however, the broken links present huge opportunities.
In this article, you will learn how to leverage these opportunities in the form of broken link building.
I will show you the exact process of scouring the web for broken links that you can turn into a backlink to your site!
Why do broken link building?
Before we begin, you need to understand why broken link building is one of the best ways to build a formidable link profile for your site.
And here’s the answer:
It’s all about reciprocation.
If you do something nice for the site owner, there’s a good chance that s/he will return the favor in kind.
In this case, if you point out broken links on a site owner’s page, s/he could be more willing to link back to one of your pages as a way of thanking you.
This principle is well above other link building tactics where people demand links from sites without giving something in return.
Let’s put it this way:
If I don’t scratch your back, will you scratch mine?
(Answer: probably not)
And that’s the thing with broken link building. Both parties benefit from this tactic.
The site owner points to pages within the content that work. You gain a backlink for your effort.
It’s a win-win!
Now that we’ve discussed the why, let’s hop onto how you can proceed with your broken link building campaign.
Below are the exact steps that you should follow to properly pull off this tactic for your blog:
Find resource pages
Have you heard of resource pages?
You know, pages with lots of outbound links related to a specific topic?
Here’s an example of one:
This page is a treasure trove for broken links!
The goal of resource pages is to provide visitors with information from third-party pages about a topic.
However, as the years go by, some of the sites no longer operate, which render their links broken.
And site owners don’t have the time to check each link on the page one by one and see if they work.
Therefore, consider this your job of helping them out.
By identifying the broken links, you can request to get one of your blog posts included in the page!
More importantly, site owners are more willing to link back to you on their resource pages. This is only assuming that the blog post you want a link from is relevant to the topic.
But first, we need to find resource pages related to your blog’s niche.
Hop on to Google and use the following search query:
[Niche] resource page
Replace [niche] with your actual niche.
From here, Google will return results of resource pages that you comb through. Click on each of the pages and keep the best ones in a spreadsheet.
Find broken links from pages
Here’s an example of a broken page.
It’s a page on a blog or site informing you that the link you visited no longer exists.
Your goal, therefore, is to find 404 pages or broken links from resource pages!
Using the Chrome extension, Check My Links, helps find broken links.
It’s what you need for quickly checking pages for broken links.
Install it and it’ll appear as a small checked icon alongside your address bar. Clicking it automatically scans links in the page.
It gets highlighted in red if there’s a broken link, together with an error report at the text’s right side.
Using the same spreadsheet, keep the pages with broken links and remove the ones without.
Find the email of the site owner
The next step is to inform site owners about the broken link.
However, you can only do this if there is a contact page or an email address available on the site.
But what if they don’t have either?
Not to worry – there’s FindThatLead to the rescue!
It’s another Chrome extension that lets you find email addresses of people who own or work on the site.
By installing and clicking on its icon, you will see the different emails of people who are part of the organization.
To help verify their emails, you must click on the check icon. It shows if it’s either GUESS or VALID. Filter out the guesses and keep the valid ones.
Inform site owner about the broken link
Once you have their emails, you need to craft a message informing them about the broken links.
Since you’ll be sending to as many site owners as possible, the process even becomes tedious and repetitive.
However, there’s a way you can automate the process to make the job easier for you.
Gmail’s Canned Response allows you to create an email template you can use for your broken link building campaign.
Therefore, instead of crafting new emails talking about the same thing, you can pull out the template and fill in the blanks for each new site owner!
In the email template, address the site owner by their first name. It’s the first step of personalizing your campaign.
Next, talk about how you came across their page. You were probably looking for resource pages to help you write a post about the topic they’re covering.
After that, point out the broken link on the page. It’s the very purpose of the email, after all.
Now, here’s the most important part:
Mention that your blog has a similar page that can replace the broken one.
In this part, don’t make it sound like you’re forcing your link to be included in the page. Just suggest your link to the site owner.
Give them the choice to either include your link or not. You have to trust them to make the best decision for their page.
Here are other tips on help you write the template:
- Make your email short and sweet. Your recipient is more likely to read the entire email. It’ll also be easier for them to understand and follow your requests.
- Be professional by maintaining the proper grammar and punctuation.
- Follow up with another email once or twice if they don’t respond. But more than that, and you end up spamming someone.
- Be polite and know that you’re just asking a favor. If they ignore your emails after multiple times of reaching out to them, move on to the next site.
Finally, review the results of the campaign with the template you’re using. If the response rate is low, maybe you need to tweak your template to generate better responses.
As you can see, broken link building is more about building relationships more than everything else.
Once you click “Send,” there’s nothing much you can do about it.
They may link to your site on their resource page. They may not.
However, as mentioned earlier, you need to trust people to do the right thing.
If you pull off your broken link building campaign flawless, they will link to your blog posts 100% of the time!
If you’re not confident in developing and implementing this campaign, you can ask agencies like SEOExplode that offers SEO services with years of experience in link building.
They will help guide you in the process of broken link building. This way, you can develop a link profile that will bolster your blog’s SEO performance.
Beware Who You Trust for Advice
Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.
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I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.
Peep 2 answers.
I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.
This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.
Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.
Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:
- radiate happiness?
- radiate compassion?
- exude success?
- inspire you to succeed?
- uplift bloggers?
If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.
But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.
If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.
Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.
Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.
One Such Example
Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.
Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?
The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?
Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.
Follow heart-centered bloggers.
Live your dreams.
Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?
Some people love attention.
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I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.
I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.
If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:
- small talk
- general BS
people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.
100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.
How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries
Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.
I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.
If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.
You Are Walking into a Word Office
Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.
What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?
I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.
I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.
I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.
People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.
Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.
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