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The ABC’s of Duplicate Content and Press Releases

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To anyone that’s been writing on the Internet for any length of time, it’s no surprise that Matt Cutts needs to be constantly supplying information about what is and isn’t considered duplicate content. Of course, if you copy and paste whole sections from other websites, you’re lighting a fuse. However, there are some other less incendiary areas that legitimate online marketers and bloggers run into that need some kind of clarification and using press releases is one of them.

Here’s a clarification to muddy the waters right off. What this post is dealing with is press releases that are used on websites to keep readers current with newsworthy events in their particular market. Here’s a link to one of my more recent efforts for Big4.com where I am the content manager. Cutts recently posted a video on the subject of websites that search out relevant press releases like the ones on Big4.com and warned against searching out keywords and then auto generating the text. By auto generating, I think he meant copying and pasting.

Duplicate content and Intent

One of the points of interest in his post dealt with intent. Unless I’m reading him wrong, Cutts seems to be saying that it’s evident to Google when a content manager or writer is trying to scam the system. How? Simply a large amount of content that rings the bells on Copyscape. Still, therein lies the problem for websites that use press release material in a relevant way. Big4.com, for instance, is a site that deals with the Alumni of the Big Four firms like Accenture, PwC, Deloitte and Ernst &Young, and as such a constant flow of press release information is necessary to build followers whether keywords and SEO are used or not.

With the large volume that passes through, it’s inevitable that there’s going to be some duplicate content when you consider these press releases are put out for the consumption of the media both print and online. From a journalism standpoint, for example, quotes can’t be altered but good ones on hot topics in the financial arena will get used by hordes of online and other publications.

Google updates and duplicate content

That’s why I think it all comes back to the original intent of the Google updates in that they wanted to cut down on the rampant Black Hat seo that was turning the web into a wasteland of half intelligible babble. In other words, getting penalized for duplicate content doesn’t seem as ominous as it once did. In fact, it looks like as they sort out the boundaries, it will be more clear who has the Black hats on and who is wearing the White ones.

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Making Money

How to Monetize Your Blog Using Finteza

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Monetizing a blog has always been too overwhelming for an average person to figure out. Too many options, platforms and networks. Too many percentages, numbers and terms to qualify.

Whether you are a new or an experienced blogger, it is always that question “Am I doing enough”?

My dream has always been to set up own independent program without any middleman. After all, if we want to own our content, why wouldn’t we want to own its monetization? I would be willing to select who I advertise and how as well as how much I want to charge.

But how to report to advertisers? What kind of click-through to promise them? How to sell your own ads and own the reports and click fraud protection?

This question had been haunting me for ages until I came across a platform called Finteza and it looked like it was going to solve all my problems.

Finteza allows you to create advertising spaces on your site which will serve your created banners based on your created schedule.

How To Set Up a Campaign

1. Add Finteza Tracking Code

The first step would be adding Finteza analytics to your site which works exactly the same for any analytics suite you are installing: You just need to grab your unique tracking code and paste it to your site the way it appears on all pages.

Here’s an easy way to add code to header or footer of your blog in case you were lost.

Note: Finteza claims it won’t slow down your site as it is using a distributed network of servers. I haven’t had any issues with my page load time with Finteza running in the background.

2. Create Your Ad Zones

Ad zones are actual spots on your site where your ads will be served.

To add a new zones, go Websites – Settings -> Ad Zones and click “Create Ad Zone”.

Finteza ad add zone

Give your ad zone some recognizable name (e.g. footer, right sidebar, etc.) and select “Use banner width” and “Use banner height” for its dimensions.

You’ll be given a code to install exactly where you want the ad to appear. I simply used WordPress widgets to put the code and then dragged the widget to where I wanted the ad to be served.

Create as many ad zones as you want / can. You may want to test many ad placements on your site to create your price list and know what to promise to your advertisers.

3. Create Your Campaign

Now, proceed to “Campaigns” tab to set up your campaign:

Finteza campaigns

Next give:

  • The campaign name (This could be your advertiser or project name you are promoting),
  • Time period you want it to run. This is very helpful if your advertiser only paid for a certain period of time versus a recurring payment. You can even set up time of the day this ad will be activated (which frankly I am not sure when one may need to do but this option still seems impressive).
  • User agents (I simply add all available, as a rule)

Finteza campaign set-up

There are also some advanced settings which I find very nice to have (especially if you run your own project ads and want to serve to a certain type of audience):

Finteza segments

Now you will need to select the ad zones to serve the ads in. Again, for testing purposes select as many zones as you have: You will be able to use Finteza’s analytics to compare how your zones perform.

Mind that if you add several websites to your Finteza account, you’ll be able to manage multiple campaigns across multiple sites of yours from one location which is very neat.

4. Create Your Banners

Next you will be able to create your “Advertising group”, i.e. specify your target link and add your banners.

Creating banners is a fun process: You upload your creative, add your promo message and select your CTA. The resulting banner will be generated and it will fit all kinds of dimensions and screens. This is done for responsiveness: These auto-generated banners will scale depending on the size of the screen and still look nice.

Create banner

You can edit your banners later at any point if you choose so.

Again, there will be performance stats available for all your existing creatives, so the earlier you start the more data you will collect, in terms what seems to engage your audience better.

Once you follow all the steps, simply activate your campaign from “Campaigns” tab and you are done! If you scheduled your campaign to start immediately, it will run right away. Simply open your site and double check everything looks ok.

Collect the Performance Stats

Now, before you have willing advertisers to invest in your site, do run your own campaigns. This will allow you to collect all sorts of data on best ad placement, demographics of your audience, your click-through, etc. This will make your call for advertisers much more effective.

top performing

Once your advertising campaigns start running, you will be able to collect all sorts of data including:

  • Your audience demographics
  • Articles from where ads were clicked from to
  • Your ad engagement based on the traffic source
  • Your click-through depending on the ad location and CTA

All the reports are real-time, you can see current performance stats on any of your campaigns the moment you set them up.

Again the tool is free, so there’s nothing really preventing you from giving it a try.

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Making Money

How to Sell Your Content and Create a Separate Source of Income

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Bloggers produce tons of content on a weekly or even daily basis.

Is there any way to monetize that effort and create an additional source of income?

There are many ways to sell your content online, and I am listing some options here.

Implementation can still be tricky even if you have a strong vision of your requirements.

One-Time Downloads

Offering your audience an ability to buy a premium content download for a one-time fee is the most common way to monetize your site. It is easy to set up and requires no development budget. You can simply use PayPal buttons to collect payments and offer a download link.

You will have to expand your content for it to be indepth enough to justify the fee. Text Optimizer is a great way to do that. It uses semantic analysis to extract related concepts from Google to prompt you to cover them in your content to achieve a higher score:

Text Optimizer

Use Text Optimizer to expand your article to turn it into a downloadable eBook or whitepaper.

Text Optimizer should be used for both private and public content development as it does a great job helping you optimize for searcher’s intent and driving your content research.

Metered Paywall

With this model, users have free access to content until they reach a certain limit. This could be the amount of time spent on the site, or the number of articles or videos viewed. Newspapers have been trying this model for a while and it seems to be working well for them.

This is actually a good strategy as users have free access to low volumes, allowing them to consume some of your content before having to decide whether they want to pay for more or not.

Do keep in mind that if you try this method, Google will only be able to access and index part of your content, so your SEO may be at stake here. Plus, you really want to produce high-quality content for this method to work.

Leaky Paywall is a nice freemium plugin that helps you monetize your content creation efforts with the metered paywall method.

Leaky Paywall

Set your meter to allow X number of free articles before requiring a subscription. Leaky Paywall can be customized to allow multiple subscription options. Subscribers can pay (or register for free) for access to your content by category, tag, custom post type, and even pay a premium for your archive content.

Paywalls can be presented at a certain part of an article, after a free trial, or may be metered and only appear after a specific number of pages have been browsed. Most newspapers use a metered paywall, allowing them to generate more revenue from ads, rather than preventing visitors from consuming their content.

Subscription Membership

This model allows users to subscribe to a membership site for a fee, typically billed monthly or annually. This gives them access to all content for the subscription period.

Suppliers using this model generally don’t use advertising. When members have paid their subscription fee, they’ll have full access to all content that falls within the membership level.

This model also allows for upselling repeat customers by for example offering VIP membership levels. The payment of a big, one-time fee could provide lifetime access to all content, past and future.

Using the subscription model to sell content is getting more difficult for newspapers, and publishers have to counter disruption from news aggregator apps like Flipboard, Zite and Pulse. Curated news is getting more popular, but it threatens individual publications’ subscription appeal while potentially drawing in new customers at the same time.

Memberful is a nice platform that allows publishers to set up subscription-based membership plans. It also has an easy integration through WordPress plugin.

Memberful

Create a paywall and restrict access to content based on membership level. Protect any posts or pages right from your WordPress edit screen.

Micro Transactions

This model was actually used before the Internet was commonly used, with examples being arcade and sports games, and pay-per-view movies.

The micro transaction model is being used by iTunes. Besides, books by the chapter have been offered by O’Reilly publishing for years. A more recent example is the micro-payments option for Wallet users recently launched by Google.

This model may not work for magazine articles and news as these are typically single reads, while music and video tracks can be used repeatedly. Here’s an easy way to set up a pay-per-view site with WordPress.

pay-per-view site

For this tutorial, we will be using the MemberPress plugin. It is the best WordPress membership plugin in the market because it allows you to create robust membership websites with subscription plans and multiple ways to accept payments.

Conclusion

Content creation is incredibly time-consuming, so finding a way to monetize that effort makes total sense. You don’t have to choose a single method to sell your content and stick to it. You can experiment with and combine multiple ways. Good luck!

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

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Making Money

Landing Page Basics: Everything You Need to Know

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A brief introduction about landing page basics

A landing page helps in converting the website visitors into buying customers. Its primary goal is to persuade your target audience to buy your products or services.

These pages are also ideal for promoting new offers and discounts to help prepare potential customers to make the purchase when they reach the page.

To be clear, a homepage is not a landing page. The homepage of your website provides only brief information about your site whereas landing pages exist for a specific campaign.

Also, landing pages do not have any other internal links that can take the visitors to other pages. They are rather more focused on encouraging the visitors to call for action.

In general, these pages are free from obstructions that distract customers from making your desired decision.

By removing sitelinks are other elements that take the attention away from the CTA, you can bring visitors down your sales funnel more effectively.

While I advocate the use of landing pages on your site, this does not mean that your homepage is ineffective. It is in fact the best way to showcase your brand and mention all the services or products you sell.

However, those pages do not call for action, which is why the users will have to go to landing pages to take the actions like, making a purchase, or subscribing for newsletters.

landing page example

Above is an example of a landing page. It’s a landing page template from Landingi that you can customize to match the theme and design of your site. The template is one of over 200+ you can choose from their site.

The landing page above features a signup form. The goal is to get visitors to register and become members of the website.

To help achieve this goal, there are elements such as text and images to help persuade users to sign up.

The page’s ability to convert users into members depends on how you set up the elements to convince visitors to your call to action.

Types of landing pages

Landing pages are of different types, and you can design each one for different situations. If you know the details of each type, it becomes easier to know which one suits your needs.

Below are the most popular and effective pages you can use or your site:

  • Lead capture – One of the most well-known and used landing pages across different sites, lead capture forms help you generate more leads and subscribers to your business. By filling out the form, they get access to your exclusive content and drip emails
  • Viral pages – If you’re running a content or giveaway, viral pages are your ticket to increased online visibility. Since the goal is to get more people to join your sweepstakes, viral pages encourage people to share the page with others to increase their entries
  • Infomercials – This type of landing pages are comprehensive, conversion-focused copy about a product or services. These pages span thousands of words complete with a walkthrough of the product/service, testimonials, features, and more
  • Product pages – If you’re into the e-commerce game, then you should be aware of product pages. They not only describe the product, but also share everything users need to know about it to help them make an informed decision
  • Coming soon – If you are planning to launch your business, then it’s best to create intrigue and interest about it before it even starts. A coming soon or a pre-launch page allows you to attract early adopters and generate buzz about your service or product

Landing page tips

Creating landing pages are easy in principle but difficult in practice. It’s not enough to build beautiful pages – you should know how to turn fairweather visitors into rabid followers of your brand.

Below are tips that will aid your journey of creating high-converting landing pages.

Write easy-to-read copy

As mentioned, beautiful landing pages are not enough to increase your revenue.

You need words to not only communicate how great your product is but to also show why they need it in their lives.

This means you need to have a firm grasp of who your buyer persona is and know how to appeal to their sensibilities.

Incorporate video

basics of video editing

At the same time, you need to spruce up your landing pages with dynamic content. Text is a great way to make your audience care about your business.

But to get there, you need to attract their attention first.

That’s where videos come into play.

If you are featured in the video, this content type helps put a face to your business. If not, explainer videos allow you to explain your business is a visual and striking way.

Display social proof

If you’re selling a product by yourself on your landing page, then you have your work cut out for you. It will be extremely difficult to convince people that your product is great because you are technically biased to it.

Therefore, you need words of an unbiased and objective third person to share their thoughts about your brand.

Social proof comes in different forms like testimonials, customer reviews, endorsements from influencers, Facebook/Instagram likes, and more.

So, if you have these lying around, make sure to integrate them into the page to help increase your conversions.

Monitor results and keep testing

Once you finished your landing page, the real fun’s just started!

At this point, you need to know how well your page is converting according to your goal. The first few weeks of your landing page set the benchmark of your entire campaign.

From here, you need to determine why the page is converting the way it does and how you can improve it.

Therefore, you need to tweak the elements – edit some, remove others, and add more. The goal is to keep improving your conversion rates to maximize your results!

Have you mastered the landing page basics?

This is a rhetorical question because you can’t really tame the process of landing pages.

It’s an ongoing struggle for achieving the highest conversions and continuously improving its performance.

Therefore, if you want to generate sales using landing pages, understand that they require commitment on your end. From there, growth is possible!

 

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