DON’T GET DESPERATE
There are a lot of blog site owners who are willing to pay out any amount of cash they can find in their budgets to pay to shady promotion sites that are all too happy to take their cash and deliver a link to a big player in the internet world like YouTube or Problogger. These desperate site owners really have not a clue as to what damage they’re doing to their financial budgets. There are at least five other really good reasons you should never pay to link your site to anybody else’s besides the financial risk, so let’s get right to the first and probably biggest reason:
YOU RISK GETTING PENALIZED BY THE MAJOR SEARCH ENGINES
You have read that correctly. If you need certifiable proof that this is not wrong information, just go visit Google’s guideline rules and read about the terms involved with their search ranking system. It specifies that they consider buying text links to be in violation of their said terms.
If your site is fairly new and you don’t think you have much of a shot of getting listed with the major search engines otherwise, you take a big risk in buying a link to a huge website like Microsoft.com, but is the gamble really worth it? And if you do have a business site or blog site that has been around for a while, you really risk a lot more because it has a direct negative impact on your bottom line in securing a really good search ranking to your two-year old or older website.
You cannot know if your rankings really will improve until you buy the links, which means you assume all the risk of the known penalty with no knowledge of the outcome or reward.You need to think of paid links as advertising to the readers of the site where the link will reside. Nothing more, nothing less.
Forget rankings. Is the site a logical place where the readers who encounter your link might be inclined to click on it? For example if your site sells video games should you link to a huge site like Monster.com if they don’t have anything to do with video games? The answer of course is no, so be sure you are linking to a site that pertains to you site’s content, or you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.
RECIPROCAL LINKS ARE THE #1 BEST WAY OF SITE PROMOTION
A good way to find a perfect site to link up to yours would be to always do a Google search on the product or service you are selling, or what your main blog’s topic usually is on any given week of the year. You can then search for that product/service/blog site topic, and locate the top ten listings that come up on the first Google page and research exactly what those sites have in store for your clients or subscribers to your site.
Does the site deal with the same subject matter that your site does? Does it bring a real value content to your subscribers? Are there too many pop-up ads on the main page that will annoy your subscribers if they go to this site to check it out? You must have real answers to these questions before linking up to them for free, much less having to pay for a link page that your site visitors will hate!
THE BEST SITES TO LINK YOUR SITE TO ARE FREE!
One of the best reasons to avoid paying for those links is the fact that most foundational links that you can build your web site on are free. What exactly are foundational links you ask? A good definition of a foundational link would be a directory site link that describes exactly what your web or blog site is in perfect detail, letting you build other links to sites that have to do with your specific subject matter in the future.
Some of the best directory sites for this purpose are: Ezilon, JoeAnt, Best of the Web and GoGuides. There are certain key elements that all of these directory sites have in common that are very beneficial to anybody looking to start building high volumes of traffic to their site. One of those key elements is that they are all human reviewed, meaning you don’t have to use tags or keywords to get a good link set up from these guys.
They rate your worthiness of being linked to their directory site based on your description of your site only. As long as you make the case that viewers to their directory will find something worthwhile on your site, you are basically in after they do the actual work and visit your site to see if you are describing your site correctly, that is.
DIRECTORY SITES ARE ALREADY INDEXED IN THE SEARCH ENGINES This ties everything up that we began discussing in the first paragraph. Since the main reason you were wanting to buy a great link in the first place was your desire to be included in search engines such as Google and Yahoo!, as long as you are linked to a really popular directory site, you are as good as there already!
These sites rank very high in all of the major search engines, along with the smaller ones like Lycos and Aol Search. So as long as your site is listed among the higher rankings in the individual site directories categories that are relevant to your site or blog, you will get a substantial number of new visitors to your site overnight.
Another great benefit in being directly linked to a directory site such as Ezilon or GoGuides is the fact that they always maintain quality listings. This works for you in two different ways. Firstly, because all their listings have the highest quality standards, all their visitors to their directory listings will bookmark your site into their favorites at a much higher rate than if they just stumbled on your site by accident. By being listed in a high-quality directory, it gives your site a high veneer of quality that otherwise would not be visible to those many people just surfing around the web.
The last great thing about these directory sites sustaining their quality listings is that they keep contextual advertising to a bare minimum so you don’t have to work about annoying your own visitors if they click on the link to one these directories.
So you can start to see how you should always look into every possible method of getting free site promotion whenever possible and never pay for anything if you have the chance if you can avoid it. Your web or blog business will always benefit more in the long run when you do abide by these strict rules.
10 Strategies to Ensure a Strong ROI on Your Email List in 2019
Even in today’s world of countless digital communication channels, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach current and potential customers. When done correctly, building and maintaining an email list can yield a high return on investment. Do it wrong, though, and you risk alienating subscribers and wasting your time, energy and resources.
So how can you ensure that your email marketing efforts pay off? To find out, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following:
Email lists can be quite a potent tool, but they’re not always worth the investment. What step is crucial for making sure the email list you’re preparing to build will generate a strong return on investment?
Here’s what they advise:
1. Give Subscribers What They Want
Email software programs can be very expensive, especially when you hit 10,000 monthly subscribers. The best way to generate a decent return on investment is by giving subscribers what they want and providing value, whether it’s an exclusive promotion or a great piece of tip-driven content.
2. Build a Funnel
You can get immediate ROI from an email list if you build it with a sales funnel designed to pay for the cost to acquire the email. This funnel walks people through a series of offers that are very valuable to them and allows them to purchase immediately. Then create promotional calendar to give them more value and offers, so they stay on your list and continue to give ROI. – Monica Snyder, Birdsong
3. Use Gated Content
High-quality gated content attracts the right subscribers. You want subscribers who are interested in what you sell, and publishing content valuable to that niche is an excellent way to qualify leads. It can be expensive — good content costs money to create and promote — but you’re far more likely to attract subscribers who convert than with less focused methods of building a list.
4. Use Triggered Emails
To boost the ROI of your email marketing, use triggered emails. Triggered emails are automatically sent to subscribers when they take a certain action. So, if a customer abandons their shopping cart you can send a triggered email right away to convince them to return to buy. Triggered emails will allow you to message subscribers at the perfect time so they’ll be more likely to take action.
5. Hire a Talented Copy Writer
An email list is only valuable if it generates sales either directly or indirectly for your business. The most effective tool for consistently generating sales via email lists is good copy writing and a deep understanding of the psychology of your subscriber base. A good copy writer will be an expert at this and help you to squeeze every dollar out of your list by keeping open rates high.
6. Make It Easy to Sign Up
Have a simple to use, easy to find page where people can sign up for your list on your website. Don’t hide it or make it difficult to find; it should be rather obvious.
7. Segment Your List
Email marketing can generate up to $44 for every $1 spent, which is among the highest ROI you can find in marketing. It’s the one channel where you retain complete control of your brand and core message. So it’s critical that you have a healthy email list, which is organically sourced (no purchased lists!), and segmented so you can send relevant content to specific groups of subscribers.
8. Maintain It
Building an email list is imperative, but it can get out of hand very quickly. Many people have more than one email, which might be hard to keep track of. You want to make sure your email list is updated with the most current email of your leads and customers. Also, be sure to remove any duplicates. This can skew your estimates and reports, which can affect your conversions and business strategy.
9. Keep It Small and Niche
We create small email list of very targeted audience, generally based upon the industry, geolocation and job title. This allows us to target them with very specific messages. These email list works out better than larger lists. We have been doing it for the last four years and we have learned that smaller lists have better ROI than larger ones.
10. Build High-Quality Lead Lists
Having the best email drip campaign will not get you the results you need when the messaging does not resonate with your leads. If the lead lists are also low quality, then that will be an issue. Always build highly targeted lead lists based on your ideal customer profile and have them verified by your sales development rep or outsourced SDR team before sending your emails. Once verified, you won’t waste money.
f you enjoyed this expert round-up article, I recommend you also take a look at our latest how to start a blog article, with advice and tips from over 82 different experts around the world.
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing: Which is Better in 2019?
Out of all businesses, 83% claim digital marketing works for them. When it comes to traditional marketing vs digital marketing, which is better?
People think traditional marketing works better than online marketing. It’s still easier to determine your ROI (return on investment) with digital marketing.
Here’s what you should know about digital marketing vs traditional marketing:
Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing 101
What is traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing uses offline advertising and promotions. This includes television, billboards, telephone calls, and radio. Print ads, direct mail, promotional gifts, and brochures are also popular methods.
Digital marketing happens online. It uses images, videos, and custom content. SEO marketing makes this content easy to find on search engines.
Don’t forget about social media marketing. You control who sees your ads with digital marketing. Digital ads then appear on social media feeds and websites.
Pros of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing connects with consumers. It exposes your product/service to new audiences.
Traditional advertisements make strong brand impressions.
Consumers remember print ads better. The same goes for commercials.
Brochures are easy. Use free flyer templates to make custom flyers.
Cons of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing costs more money. After all, you make advertisements using materials.
There’s no interaction with consumers. You also can’t measure engagement.
It’s hard to determine an ROI with traditional vs digital marketing.
Traditional marketing has limited reach. It’s good for reaching local consumers. Digital ads reach people all over the world.
Measuring engagement is easier online. So is reaching target demographics. You can also connect with consumers easier.
Digital Marketing Madness
Digital marketing is taking the world by storm. You reach more people with digital marketing than with traditional market tactics.
With digital marketing, you’re placing your brand into a consumer’s daily life. The majority of people spend time online. Television viewership and magazine readership are declining.
It’s a better option for a smaller budget. Unlike traditional marketing, you pay as you go along with your campaign. There’s less financial risk involved with digital marketing.
It’s easier to attract, identify, and generate leads on social media. Social media campaign metrics tell you exactly how many people engage with your ads. These metrics tell you which ads are most effective and which ones aren’t.
It’s also easier to customize digital ads for specific demographics. Digital ads usually don’t need physical materials. You only need visual content and quality copy to make effective digital ads.
Online marketing lets you engage with consumers easier. You can respond to tweets and other social media posts. This makes consumers feel a more personal connection with your brand.
Consumers can also give you direct feedback about your service/product/ads online.
Embrace The Digital Marketing Trend
Out of all marketers, only 61% believe their marketing strategy works best. In the battle between traditional marketing vs digital marketing, digital marketing is winning.
Only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. It’s true: traditional marketing also generates leads and conversions. Still, leads and conversions are easier to track with digital marketing.
Boost your business by learning more about social media. Your brand will thank you for it.
The Top 3 Promotional Items Your Business Should Be Using
When it comes to promoting your blog or brand, handing out promotional items is one of the most effective ways to do it. People love free stuff. If you give them something useful for free, they’ll love you, too. This also works well for branding yourself as an expert, or showing off your best content and expertise through your blog.
And each time they use your useful product, they see your brand name. This repetition will leave your brand imprinted in their memory.
While there are many ways to purchase company schwag and bags with your brand name on them, some products will have better success than others. For example, if you’ve ever been to an affiliate or marketing conference, just take a look at the tables that are getting all the attention, and people are flocking to for the free gifts.
Making sure you have a great exhibit it also key. Imagine having one like the Avengers Infinity War showcase below?! This would really wow your audience and leave a lasting impression.
So what are the top promo items to give out at the next trade show? Read on to find out.
Runners Up: Pens and Flash Drives
Before we get to the top 3, promo pens and flash drives deserve honorable mention. Both are cheap and extremely useful. And both can be customized in really cool ways.
Though they’ve been around a long time, flash drives have many benefits that are still relevant today. But as useful and appreciated as flash drives are, their use has declined since the introduction of cloud storage technology.
Promo pens are the most common promotional item. There are many creative ways to distribute them even outside the trade show setting. Entire volumes can be written about using promo pens to market your business.
But let’s face it: no one at the trade show will be excited about pens. And even the coolest pen won’t last longer than a year.
Still, promo pens and flash drives (and flash drive pens!) are a decent cheap option. But they’re not the best.
The following items, however, are sure to wow trade show attendees and get lots of use for a long, long time.
1. Mobile Device Chargers With Power Banks
Device chargers are super useful items that your attendees will use every day. These will be very much appreciated. BUT, if you’re not careful, handing out chargers can backfire for a couple reasons.
For one, you can buy these for a dollar. That means your attendees may already have 3 of them. For two, your trade show may have 3 other booths handing out chargers.
If you’re handing out chargers alone, be competitive. Make sure they are the high-quality ones and not the super-cheap kind.
Better yet, one-up everyone at the trade show by handing out fully-charged, portable power banks with your chargers. These babies make your promo chargers immediately useful.
Anyone at the trade show with a dead phone battery can connect to one of your power banks on the spot and get a few more hours of use.
These will be very appreciated. And it’s doubtful anyone has “too many” power banks.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Why not be super helpful and environmentally-friendly? Thirsty trade show attendees need to stay hydrated. With reusable water bottles, you’re filling a need and reducing plastic waste.
It will do well for your conscience and your image to do good to the environment. And you can set up refill stations so people keep coming back to your booth. Besides, these are a really great item to hand out anywhere, not just at trade shows.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve never turned down a free shirt. Even if it’s not your favorite, you can still use it as pajamas, workout clothes, even drying your car after a wash.
Plus, we apparently don’t throw them out. A study by the Advertising Specialty Institute found that T-shirts are the most-owned promotional item in the U.S.
But if you really want to steal the show, be awesome. That is, get creative and funny and pump out a variety of fun, branded shirts people will actually enjoy.
You can even set up a laptop with a camera and a printer to make personalized photo shirts. You can also allow attendees to use photos from their phone.
These fun shirts will cost the same as the lame ones you were planning to make, anyway. And, as we said, they will be used regardless.
Steal the Trade Show With These Promotional Items
Do you want to waste time and money pushing unpopular promo items nobody wants? Or do you want to show up with the best promotional items at the trade show and wow attendees and competitors alike? The choice is yours, but we really suggest you choose the latter.
Use these top promo products at your next trade show for the win!
Now check out 11 Brand Building Basics For Entrepreneurs.
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