May 082011
 

Are you Winning? Is tiger blood flowing through your veins? Or, are you a “troll?”

Regardless of your answer, the reality is, most people will read this know exactly what and who I am referencing. That my friend, is what matters.

I am going to title this marketing strategy as: “Hot Topic Marketing”

Over the past few month it is undeniable Charlie Sheen’s situation has been a train wreck hundreds of millions of people can’t help but watch. Now, how does this translate into a marketing idea?

Well, the title of this post is one example and just a week or so after all the media a new energy drink was released called “Tiger’s Blood.” The point of the matter is, in marketing, whether online or offline, traffic and exposure are driven by popular topics. That is why we write about what we write about, it is why we have chosen the industry we work in, it is what drives consumerism.

So is it easier to create the hot topic, or piggy back off current trends? I think you would agree that there are enough “breaking” news stories and celebrity train wrecks every week that there is no shortage of material to work with so unless you prefer to work hard instead of smart the piggy back method will do just fine.

This is a strategy that has been going on forever, but I think it goes unrecognized in the majority of marketing. It requires a little creativity, and time budgeting to stay on top of current events, but when you can be early to the market with something that can be relevant or comical to a situation that is going to go viral your marketing message has a great opportunity to take off with it.

For your next marketing piece, blog post, article, video, or anything you are attempting to get some exposure from check out some trending topics and see if you can find a way to connect that topic to your message.

Now if you will excuse me I am going to go back to Winning!

Jan 252011
 

Have you ever thought to yourself “I am delivering great content and consistently at that, where is all the traffic?”

Well, as the saying goes “It takes a village to raise a child,” it takes a following to grow web traffic. But Joe, don’t I need traffic to build a following? Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

Here are three strategies that I have seen work for myself in the past, and will be reinstating in my own site for the foreseeable future.

1. Guests Posts- This is an easy and effective way to leverage other peoples following. Find other sites with a similar message to your own, begin commenting in order to build a relationship with the author, then request if you can do a guest post for them. You want to make sure the site you are building a relationship with has a decent Google page rank of 2 or more.

This strategy is going to work on two levels:

  • You are building backlinks on relative and credible sites
  • You are creating a relationship where you can get guest posts to post on your own site (which is the primary objective.)

2. Interviews- This is a fun, slightly more time intensive, but powerful credibility enhancer. You can use some of the same strategies of getting guest posts so you can build solid relationships before asking for the interview. I encourage you to identify the best in your industry locally, nationally, and internationally and set yourself some targeted people to interview.

Much like having guest posts this allows people to share, with their network, how they have this awesome interview on your website.

3. Create a promotion strategy with friends- Write yourself an amazing post then find a few friends that have a little bit of a following then get one person to start a discussion or make a statement in the form of a status update. Once that is complete have everyone else standing by to participate in the communication sharing and validating how your post is the most useful and relevant answer to the discussion.

These are 3 very powerful techniques you can put into place immediately. What has been the most successful strategy you have used that you noticed a significant grow in traffic?

May 222010
 

I come to you, my BNL family, to hopefully shed some light on something that I recently feel forced to address. My objective with this post is to help you evaluate the people you pay to “design” your website. I am going to be super blunt because I am so passionate about empowering my followers and I am getting tired of seeing people get taken advantage of by those who have no idea what they are doing.

After hosting internet marketing trainings and consultations for the last few years I have come across numerous “web designers” and I feel this is the only quote to express my feelings adequately…

I knew it. I’m surrounded by A$$#*!&$. Keep firing, A$$#*!&$!” –Dark Helmet, Spaceballs

I am by no means a website designer or a development expert nor do I want or claim to be, but there just seems to be too many companies out there toting their web design expertise and have no business doing so. I want to give you a few things to look for when choosing someone, and more importantly paying someone to develop an online marketing campaign, particularly your website.

These are 5 of the most important things you must evaluate when hiring someone to put together a website for you:

  1. What platform are you going to set up my site on? (Content Management Systems (CMS) is a MUST, WordPress or Joomla are the best and the only competent options. If they don’t mention these, RUN!)
  2. How are you going to design my site? If they say anything about “writing it,” “coding,” “custom style sheets” or anything other than creating a custom theme for you they are more than likely not operating efficiently and are going to set up something that will cost you more in the long run.
  3. Look at other sites they have created and try to highlight the text in a few areas. If the text doesn’t highlight and you are able to drag it like an image, RUN! That site is TOTAL CRAP and they have no idea what internet marketing or SEO is.
  4. How are we going to capture information? You must, must, must have a call to action on your site. Your list is your businesses equity. If you are not growing that list your business isn’t growing as fast as it could be and you have a stagnant, useless site with the hopes to sell to random people that may stumble upon it. Auto-responders like Aweber, Constant Contact, and iContact are the some of the best.
  5. Your costs should be between $400-$10,000, depending on the desired functions of your site. I know that is a pretty big gap, but there many degrees of the complexity when designing a custom web presence. If you just need a simple site with a few pages, some custom images, a contact area, and the training to update it yourself $400-$1,200 is a fair price.

Again, I am not a website designer, but it costs significantly more to duplicate a site that was done by people who really have no business promoting themselves as a website developers. Sorry for the touch of negativity today, but 3 students of mine in the last week have been swindled out of a quality site that they deserved and paid for.

This post is a little bit of an over simplification, but if you get anything from it please just evaluate the people you pay to do web design for you. Just because a site “looks good” does not mean so!

I value and appreciate all of you. Have a spectacular day and I look forward to seeing you at the top!

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