Inbound marketing refers to the strategy of using content (such as blog posts, videos, eBooks and other valuable reference materials) and search engine optimization (SEO) to draw customers to your business, as opposed to outbound methods like cold calling and email marketing.
While outbound marketing is an effective way to find new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones, inbound marketing is quickly becoming the best way to reach people you do not know and who do not know you, but who are looking for the products and services you are offering.
The following five inbound marketing tips will help you grow your business using the power of the Internet.
Employ A Strong Website Design
One of the basics of inbound marketing is having a helpful, useful Web site that makes it easy for customers to find the information they are looking for. A site that is easy to use will bring customers back, and a good design is critical for this. You can use Web-based tools like WordPress to help build your site and manage the content.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Once your Web site is live, you need to make sure customers can find it. SEO will help with that. When you "optimize" your site for search engines, you are trying to control how well your site ranks when a potential customer searches for a product or service you sell, or asks a question related to your business or expertise.
There are many ways to optimize your Web site, including cross-linking and using keywords, but there are no shortcuts; never trust anyone who claims to be able to improve your site's ranking considerably without adding high-quality, relevant content to the site.
Start by maintaining a blog and posting to it often. If you don't know what to write about, look for other businesses that are creating content and see what they are doing. For instance, if you are a contractor, you can write about what customers should look for in high quality homes. Ask your vendors and suppliers to link to your site in exchange for you writing about their products and linking back to them. This combination of content and linking should improve your SEO quickly.
Promote Your Site and Content
You can create the nicest Web site and write the best blog post, but unless you promote them, they will stay hidden. Include a link to your Web site in the default signature field of your email and your social media profiles.
When you have created a new blog post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites you use, not to mention in your email marketing messages. Connect with others in your industry, and see if any of your peers will share your blog post with their networks.
Remember More Content Is King
Just as you want to expand your business, you want to expand your content offerings. Start looking through your blog for common themes you have written about. Can you put together a short eBook about what consumers need to know about home inspections using content you have already written? This has real value, and since you are using existing content, it will not take a lot of time. Better yet, it will give prospective customers more assurance that you are an expert in your field.
You can also create tools for customers, such as a mortgage calculator or a design template that they can use when decorating their home. Providing these items on a regular basis will give you a steady flow of Web site traffic.
Monitor and Measure
Do you know where your inbound traffic is coming from? Use a tool like Google Analytics to keep tabs on which sources are driving people to your Web site, and take advantage of that information.
With Google Analytics, you will get an in depth peek into just who is visiting your Web site, what kind of content they are looking for, how long they are staying on your site before going elsewhere, what they are clicking and, most important, whether they are converting into customers. This will help you refine your strategy, and will also help you experiment along the way.
For example, if you see that Facebook or Twitter are driving most of your traffic, you can devote more attention to engaging there. If Web searches are accounting for a good percentage, you can discover the specific words that people are using to find you, and then incorporate them into your content moving forward. You cannot act if you do not know, so take the steps necessary to learn more.
The End Results
Building your Web site and drawing traffic is the core of these inbound marketing tips. By creating interest in your Web content, you can bring in customers motivated to spend money on your product or service and then hook them with your expertise. Using these inbound marketing tips is a fantastic method to grow your business.
Developing a marketing strategy is vital for any business. Without one, your efforts to attract customers are likely to be haphazard and inefficient.
The focus of your strategy should be making sure that your products and services meet customer needs and developing long-term and profitable relationships with those customers. To achieve this, you will need to create a flexible strategy that can respond to changes in customer perceptions and demand. It may also help you identify whole new markets that you can successfully target.
The purpose of your marketing strategy should be to identify and then communicate the benefits of your business offering to your target market.
Once you have created and implemented your strategy, monitor its effectiveness and make any adjustments required to maintain its success.
This guide helps you identify which customers to focus on and your key objectives in reaching them. It explains what to include in your marketing strategy and how it can be used as the basis for effective action.
Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses
Developing your marketing strategy
Tips and pitfalls
Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
One of the key elements of a successful marketing strategy is the acknowledgement that your existing and potential customers will fall into particular groups or segments, characterised by their "needs". Identifying these groups and their needs through market research, and then addressing them more successfully than your competitors, should be the focus of your strategy.
You can then create a marketing strategy that makes the most of your strengths and matches them to the needs of the customers you want to target. For example, if a particular group of customers is looking for quality first and foremost, then any marketing activity aimed at them should draw attention to the high quality service you can provide.
Once this has been completed, decide on the best marketing activity that will ensure your target market know about the products or services you offer, and why they meet their needs.
This could be achieved through various forms of advertising, exhibitions, public relations initiatives, Internet activity and by creating an effective "point of sale" strategy if you rely on others to actually sell your products. Limit your activities to those methods you think will work best, avoiding spreading your budget too thinly.
A key element often overlooked is that of monitoring and evaluating how effective your strategy has been. This control element not only helps you see how the strategy is performing in practice, it can also help inform your future marketing strategy. A simple device is to ask each new customer how they heard about your business.
Once you have decided on your marketing strategy, draw up a marketing plan to set out how you plan to execute and evaluate the success of that strategy. The plan should be constantly reviewed so it can respond quickly to changes in customer needs and attitudes in your industry, and in the broader economic climate.
Understanding your strengths and weaknesses
Your strategy must take account of how your business' strengths and weaknesses will affect your marketing.
Begin your marketing strategy document with an honest and rigorous SWOT analysis, looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is a good idea to conduct some market research on your existing customers at this point, as it will help you to build a more honest picture of your reputation in the marketplace.
Strengths could include:
personal and flexible customer service
special features or benefits that your product offers
specialist knowledge or skills
Weaknesses could include:
limited financial resources
lack of an established reputation
inefficient accounting systems
Opportunities could include:
increased demand from a particular market sector
using the Internet to reach new markets
new technologies that allow you to improve product quality
Threats could include:
the emergence of a new competitor
more sophisticated, attractive or cheaper versions of your product or service
new legislation increasing your costs
a downturn in the economy, reducing overall demand
Having done your analysis, you can then measure the potential effects each element may have on your marketing strategy.
For example, if new regulations will increase the cost of competing in a market where you're already weak, you might want to look for other opportunities. On the other hand, if you have a good reputation and your key competitor is struggling, the regulations might present the opportunity to push aggressively for new customers.
Developing your marketing strategy
With an understanding of your business' internal strengths and weaknesses and the external opportunities and threats, you can develop a strategy that plays to your own strengths and matches them to the emerging opportunities. You can also identify your weaknesses and try to minimise them.
The next step is to draw up a detailed marketing plan that sets out the specific actions to put that strategy into practice.
Questions to ask when developing your strategy
What changes are taking place in our business environment? Are these opportunities or threats?
What are our strengths and weaknesses?
What do I want to achieve? Set clear, realistic objectives.
What are customers looking for? What are their needs?
Which customers are the most profitable?
How will I target the right potential customers? Are there groups that I can target effectively?
What's the best way of communicating with them?
Could I improve my customer service? This can be a low-cost way of gaining a competitive advantage over rivals, keeping customers, boosting sales and building a good reputation.
Could changing my products or services increase sales and profitability? Most products need to be continuously updated to maintain competitiveness.
Could extending my product list or service provision meet existing customers' needs more effectively? Remember that selling to existing customers is generally more cost effective than continually trying to find new ones.
How will I price my product or service? Although prices need to be competitive, most businesses find that trying to compete on price alone is a poor strategy. What else are my customers interested in? Quality? Reliability? Efficiency? Value for money?
What is the best way of distributing and selling my products?
How can I best promote my products? Options might include advertising, direct marketing, exhibiting at trade fairs, PR or marketing on the web.
How can I tell if my marketing is effective? Check how your customers find out about your business. A small-scale trial can be a good way of testing a marketing strategy without committing to excessive costs.
Tips and pitfalls
Before looking at new markets, think about how you can get the most out of your existing customer base – it's usually more economical and quicker than finding new customers. Consider whether you can sell more to your existing customers or look at ways of improving the retention of key customers. Focus on the market
Your marketing strategy document should:
analyse the different needs of different groups of customers
focus on a market niche where you can be the best
aim to put most of your efforts into the 20% of customers who provide 80% of profits
Don't forget the follow-up
Approach the third party for feedback about your strategy – they may be able to spot any gaps or weaknesses that you can't see.
Put your marketing strategy into effect with a marketing plan that sets out the aims, actions, dates, costs, resources, and effective selling programmes.
Measure the effectiveness of what you do. Be prepared to change things that aren't working.
Pitfalls to avoid
Making assumptions about what customers want.
Ignoring the competition.
Trying to compete on price alone.
Relying on too few customers.
Trying to grow too quickly.
Becoming complacent about what you offer and failing to innovate.
Original document, Create your marketing strategy.
Source: Business Link.
Adapted for Entrepreneurs
This information is provided free of charge and is intended to be helpful to a large range of businesses. Because of its general nature, the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and should never be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice. We cannot guarantee that the information applies to the individual circumstances of your business. Despite our best efforts, it is possible that some information may be out of date.
At one point the decision or revelation became the foundation of the Markethive blogging system. Markethive would make WordPress better.
Let me explain. At one time we considered creating a blog software solution, (Blog Press) with templates that would compete with WordPress. I know, stupid. But at the time, there were many who thought it was a good idea.
The argument went like this, “Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, etc.” offer others options so we should too. OK, I said, but then the list of competitors grew from WordPress to a much larger list, and not only did it make us another “ME TOO” company instead of an innovative cutting edge customer centric juggernaut.
I made the decision to “not” jump in as yet another standalone (CMS) blog platform like Word Press, but rather to create a powerful system to make Word Press and other CMS far more manageable, with the goal to make them better. Particularly functioning on making the world heavy weight Word Press even better by enhancing the WP platform with a supporting blog platform so multiple content could be constructed with partner contributors, so we could build a Broadcasting system utilizing literaly millions of members social networks, so we could build massive WordPress sites by many members in collaboration producing powerful SEO campaigns.
The whole idea has manifested as one of the most powerful blog collaboration Inbound Marketing systems ever devised, and that is Markethive.
Our roll being to fuse a powerful vertical targeted social network of Entrepreneurs, thereby making the Word Press and other CMS system powerful by the very spirit of the Rise of the Entrepreneur!
The following lists have become our goal to support the top contenders with plugins, widgets and collaborative power and function.
But the video tells it all.
Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.
There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:
Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.
What features you’ll need.
The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer-friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.
The size of the software’s community.
If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.
The age of the software.
The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.
If you are planning on extending the blog.
If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.
The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.
Here is the list of the top 10 blogging CMS solutions:
Alexa Rank (276)-45
WordPress is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.
The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.
WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.
If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.
Alexa Rank (2,497)-17
Drupal isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.
Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.
Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.
Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing, Spread Firefox, The Onion, and Ubuntu and others.
Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.
Alexa Rank (2,689)-570
Joomla is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here).
Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions.
Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.
Alexa Rank (12,422)-2,466
ExpressionEngine is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.
You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.
ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download the core version of EE.
Alexa Rank (26,959)+3,284
Liferay Portal is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java and distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It allows users to set up features common to websites. It is fundamentally constructed of functional units called portlets. Liferay is sometimes described as a content management framework or a web application framework. It comes with certain portlets preinstalled. These comprise the core functionality of the portal system.
The reasons to use Liferay Portal for your website are simple: it provides a robust platform to serve your site to all clients, be they desktop, mobile, or anything in between; it provides all the standard applications you need to run on your site; and it provides an easy to use development framework for new applications or customization. In addition to this, Liferay Portal is developed using an open source methodology, by people from around the world. The code base is solid, and has been proved to be reliable and stable in mission critical deployments in diverse industries.
Alexa Rank (32,058)-238
DotNetNuke is an open source platform for building web sites based on Microsoft .NET technology. It is written in VB.NET and distributed under both a Community Edition BSD-style license and a commercial proprietary license. The Community Edition is a popular web content management (WCM) system and application development framework for ASP.NET, with over 6 million downloads and 600,000 production web sites as of October 2010. More than 8,000 DotNetNuke apps are available for purchase on Snowcovered.com. DotNetNuke.com has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.
Distinguishes between community (common features) and enterprise (full set of features) editions.
Various modules, and data providers.
Provides language packs for about 60 languages.
Customizable through skins and templates.
Alexa Rank (32,333)+1482
As with Joomla, modx officially supports only MySQL database.
Not just CMS but a PHP framework for Web.
Supports PHP 4.3.11 and above.
Complete control of all metadata and URL structure for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Unlimited hierarchical page depth.
Can create custom fields and widgets for templates.
Role-based permissions for the Manager.
Ability to customize the Manager on a per-deployment basis.
Ecommerce integration via Foxy Cart.
Extensions: 622, also known as add-ons.
Alexa Rank (33,631)-292
Concrete5 is an open source CMS started in 2003 as a rapid-design approach to building the now-defunct LewisAndClark200.org, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Concrete5 is developed in PHP and is distributed under MIT software license.
Concrete5 features in-context editing (the ability to edit website content directly on the page, rather than in an administrative interface or using web editor software). Editable areas are defined in concrete5 templates which allow editors to insert 'blocks' of content. These can contain simple content (text and images) or have more complex functionality, for example image slideshows, comments systems, lists of files, maps etc. Further addons can be installed from the concrete5 Marketplace to extend the range of blocks available for insertion. Websites running concrete5 can be connected to the concrete5 website, allowing automatic upgrading of the core software and of any addons downloaded or purchased from the Marketplace.
Alexa Rank (36,110)-8,334
TYPO3 is a free and open source CMS released under the GNU General Public License oriented to small to mid size enterprise-class users. TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. A graphical mapping tool for creating templates is included, an alternative page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages than TYPO3's standard templating, while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.
Delivered with a base set of interfaces, functions and modules, TYPO3's functionality spectrum is implemented by extensions. More than 5000 extensions are currently available for TYPO3 for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.
Alexa Rank (36,854)+2,483
Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web apps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology. John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005.
Alexa Rank (80,628)-14,427
b2evolution is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).
The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.
While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.
The Irrelevant Others
Alexa Rank (102,395)+10,174
Alexa Rank (104,671)-32,048
Alexa Rank (116,439)-16,212
Alexa Rank (154,173)-43,687
Alexa Rank (174,802)-9,166
Alexa Rank (187,704)-45,048
Alexa Rank (8,419,219)-2,169,053
There is no other blogging platform, that integrates support for all Blog CMS systems, engages social networks so reaches heasd into the stratosphere, nor institute a learning environment so building competent content teams is easily achievedf.
All blog writers want their blog to be successful—this is the one thing they all have in common. For most blog writers, success is loyal followers.
Regardless of when or why you began your blog, a few modifications here and there to your blog and your mindset can transform things for the better. Here's a list of 7 tips to help you be successful as a blog writer.
1. Finding Your Niche
This little bit of advice has been jumping around the Internet since the beginning of the first effective blog. Still, a lot of beginning writers don’t take this advice, partly because a lot of new writers aren’t sure what to write about and partly because they don’t know what a niche is.
Niche is described as, “a specialized but profitable corner of the market.”
What we really mean when we say to “find your niche” is to slim down the focus of your blog. Referring to anything and everything that comes to mind is great if you’re composing for yourself, but visitors may discover it to be disorderly and challenging. What visitors really want is an assortment of relevant and beneficial content on the same subject to help fix an issue or query.
Examples of areas include:
Health & Wellness
While it’s correct that there are blogs on essentially every industry, the key to really succeeding and reaching your focus on industry is to filter your subject even further. Choose a gap in the marketplace and concentrate on that. This will decrease competitors while making you a go-to professional in your industry.
An example would be if you desired to start a blog about your travels. Instead of concentrating on travel in general, you might concentrate on an individual nation or town. That way, you are likely to become the number one go-to blog for people who will be visiting that area.
Promoting your own venture on public networking or within your team of buddies is overwhelming for a lot of people. You don’t want to appear to be boasting, and you definitely don’t want to come across looking like spam.
If you want to be successful, however, you have to tell others to get the word out, and who better to do that than you? It’s all part of the marketing procedure, and writers have to figure out how to use public networking and use feedback on blogs to promote themselves.
Many writers and public networking lovers recommend using 80% of your public feedback and shares to enhance other people’s works and 20% of it advertising your own services and products. Sometimes tooting your own horn isn’t all that bad. The key is to find balance between self-promotion and humbleness.
3. Build on What Works
Use your web page statistics and comments feature to see how visitors respond to these new concepts. If you’re not seeing any sign of a response in your statistics, study visitors to see what they think.
Experimenting is all an element of the procedure, so don’t be worried about trying something new. Start guest posting, a new weekly blogging series, and try placing ads.
Testing one thing here or there isn’t likely to harm your writing exercise. Some of these tests often lead to a surge in visitors. What's promising is that you can always dump the ones that don’t work.
4. Perform an “Above the Fold” Test
Above the fold includes the content you see when you first view your blog. It’s anything that you see without scrolling.
Since you only have a few moments to create an excellent first impression and help visitors determine what they’re looking for, you want the most essential info above the fold. For example, individuals should be able to tell who you are and what you do without scrolling. If it’s not obvious in your blog headline, there is value including a tag line. If you want to highlight your call-to-action, that should appear above the fold as well.
Test your own site by using the Clue App to set up a free 5-second test. Don’t like the results? It’s worth rethinking your website layout.
5. Make Your Blog Sticky
Sticky is a term that means you’re motivating individuals come back to or stay on your blog. For example, you might link to an appropriate article from your blog’s archives. You can do this within the material, or you can list additional sources at the end of each short article. The idea is that these hyperlinks point to your own material and offer visitors more in-depth information on the topic or a related topic.
As you do this, everyone is more likely to keep coming back and subscribe to your blog. You can also make your blog sticky by inviting visitors to subscribe to your blog or by making your RSS feed available with the click of a button.
6. Ways to Extend Your Blog
To get individuals to stay and keep returning, it’s worth increasing your reach outside of simple blog posts. This allows you reach more individuals who appreciate other types of content and contact, and it keeps your blog from getting boring.
Examples of ways to increase your reach include:
Starting a podcast series
Hanging around industry forums or social media
Sending out newsletters
7. Create Quality Content
People have been saying it for a long time, and the saying still applies. CONTENT IS KING!
Without well-written and interesting material, your blog isn’t going to go anywhere. Yes, your blog style and your promotion methods are essential, but they’re essentially ineffective if you don’t have quality material. Individuals may come because of the promotion, but they’ll remain when you provide material they need.
Pro tip: Developing material customers “need” can include anything from educating them on something to offering them entertainment. While writing a blog about yourself can have its advantages, you should always be concentrating on fixing the reader’s issues first (whether they are looking for advice or a good laugh.)
Fulfilling your visitors’ needs is what will generate visitors to sign up to your blog.
If you believe that my message is worth spreading, please use the share buttons if they show at the top of the page.
Now that blogging has become so popular among everyone from the novice writer to the most experienced journalist, businesses are starting to take notice. A well-written and frequently updated blog can help market almost any type of business. Blogging can help target readers who are interested in a company’s product or service and businesses can keep track of what their readers are looking for through blogging.
In addition, blogging can help link together companies that complement each other very easily.
There is a lot of talk about blogging. Some feel that blogging is just a passing fad, but others feel it is just the beginning. Some business analysts feel that blogging does not significantly help a business market the company. Many businesses feel that this is not so. Blogging can be a beneficial way to market a business, build an audience and help link other companies together.
Blogging can help almost any business expose their readers to their services and products. Sometimes with new products, a blog can create interest in something new. Blogging is helpful because it can talk in depth about the product, and it can also give step-by-step instructions on how a certain product can be used.
A reader, who is interested in the product after reading about it on a blog, will be more inclined to research similar products on the Internet. This can lead to a more informed consumer and can save a consumer time when shopping or researching a new product. In turn, a company may save time because customers who have read the blog are already informed about the product. These customers can also read reviews on these products and services, which can be very helpful in the buying process.
Another great thing about companies using a blog for their products and services is that a blog enables the company and the customer to communicate effectively. A customer can read the blog and comment on it right away. This provides good feedback to the company and they can know what the customers want. Usually blogs will provide places for readers to leave their comments or send emails to the writer. This is a good marketing tool for businesses. People enjoy communicating about products and services that they have had good or bad experiences with and blogging provided the opportunity to do so.
Blogs can also help market a business because it will be included in search engines. When people enter certain keywords, blogs that contain those words will show up. When blogs are updated frequently, search engines can provide your company with a lot of hits. This can lead to many people looking at the company’s blog who might not otherwise have done so.
When companies use blogs, it also has the ability to create a sensation around a product and influence public opinion. This is an excellent tool for companies to use. Because of the huge popularity of blogging, this can be a more effective tool than some forms of advertising. Readers are more likely to share interesting blogs with their friends and this can help companies get the word out about their product.
Another way blogging can help market a business is that blogs often help a company position itself as a leader in a certain field. This means that those who blog can show their expertise about certain subjects and then update this information on a regular basis.
Blogging can help generate leads and send a positive message about your company without spending a lot of money for advertising. Readers can look at these blogs and know that they are dealing with a quality company.
Companies also use blogs to help network with other companies that complement their business. This is beneficial because they can easily share their links and readers will see all of the blogs that relate to what they are searching for on the Internet. Link swapping is often used in blogging, especially with businesses.
Blogging is proving to be a beneficial marketing tool for businesses all over the world. While it’s a fairly new way for companies and customers to communicate with each other, blogging provides an immediate and unique form of advertising for the company. Customers are able to read and research products and services through blogging and companies can better understand what their customers want.
"I love huntin’ through data to find the weird little trends; it’s how you learn how things actually work. I also really, really dig the concept of crowdfunding. Put the two together, and you’ve got my attention.
During a chat with John Biggs today at Disrupt Europe, Indiegogo CEO Slava Rubin dropped a rapid fire stream of knowledge. If you’re considering doing any sort of crowdsourcing campaign, this is probably stuff you should know.
The tips Slava gave were almost entirely pulled straight from the data that Indiegogo has gathered over the past few years, rather than random guess work. “I used to have a lot of opinions. Now, luckily, I don’t have to have opinions. We can talk on data.”
While these pointers are based on Indiegogo’s data, the overall concepts likely apply to pretty much any crowdfunding platform.
Slava broke his advice down into three categories: pitching, being proactive, and finding an audience.
If you have a video, you’ll raise 114% more money on average than if you don’t.
Wondering how many perks to offer? The magic number seems to be somewhere between 3-8.
On average, successful campaigns will cross their target fundraising goal on Day 36.
Average contribution size on successful campaigns comes in at around $70.
If you have 4 or more people on your team, you’ll raise 70% more money than if you only have one person.
On being proactive:
Update your backers (and potential backers) regularly. ”If you do an update every 5 days or less, you’ll raise 4x more than if you do an update every 20 days or more”.
Need to reach potential backers? Indiegogo sees most contributions coming from email campaigns. Facebook is second, then Twitter.
Momentum matters: you’re 5x more likely to hit your target if you can reach at least 25% of your overall goal within the first week
Finding an audience:
“We like to think about it as 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. Indiegogo multiplies whatever you can accomplish. If you’re only able to raise $0, Indiegogo can only multiply [by zero]. You need to start by finding the first 1/3 of the money for your campaign [through your network], often the next third comes from friends of your network, and Indiegogo will, on average, get you that last third.”
Have your family and friends help to get the ball rolling: “No one wants to fund your empty campaign”
On whether your project should be as polished as possible “I don’t think it’s about [that]. It’s about being authentic. […] Some campaigns should be more polished, because that’s what they’re trying to sell. Some campaigns can just use flipcams and iPhones. It varies, and the data really doesn’t prove yet that it’s important to be polished.”
On how important it is that your campaign is in english: “There’s a debate on that. To get as many international dollars as possible, you definitely will want english as part of your campaign. But, obviously, if you want to focus first on your local community, [use that local language].”
Dr. Raymond Jewell is a leading Economist and Home Based Business Consultant. Dr. Jewell is an Alpha Founder with Markethive and manages several blogs in the hive. Markethive is a revolutionary new marketing tool that is a game changer in marketing on the web. Sign up for a FREE Markethive systemand see for yourself.
Millionaire Mindset: The Way You Think, Wealth or Poverty.
“Today, you have the opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living. Today is a new day that has been handed to you for shaping. You have the tools, now get out there and create a masterpiece.”
â Steve Maraboli, The Power of One
Being a successful entrepreneur is one of your goals; however, before it can be achieved belief in your success begins 6-inches between your ears; otherwise, a few defeats will yield a self-defeating mentality and confirm your inevitable arrival in the MLM Cemetery. In essence, “The Way You Think” is critical to your ability to generate consistent, predictable and long-term residual income. More Importantly, your mindset is core to the life you ultimately build and this means no excuses because the outcome is put squarely in your hands so, what do you do now?
Now, winners who think positively and achieve their goals, possess or develop what is commonly known as a Champion or Millionaire Mindset. Now what role does a Millionaire Mindset play in entrepreneurship, business, home business or life? Millionaire Mindset is “a way of thinking and acting that invites and maintains an overflow of abundance; a special way of relating to money in a way that attracts it to you”. I highly recommend the book, Money Is My Friend by Phil Laut. Yes, people obsess about money but, it’s only a tool and it’s about thought. So, how does one develop a Millionaire Mindset? SOLUTION is quite simple and that involves
being trained by a multi-millionaire, who believes in success development. Okay, don’t have access to your local multi-millionaire then, follow a skill-model who has proven or demonstrated daily habits he/she are on the road to prosperity. When you think like a winner and execute habits that ensure future success then, the outcome is predictable because you think the way you feel. So, it’s safe to say, that entrepreneurs and/or successful businessmen like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and countless others don’t embrace self-limiting belief practices nor engage in conduct that would reinforce a destructive mindset that is repeated by the working poor and middle-class on a daily basis (consistently having more bills at the end of the month than money or living pay cheque to pay cheque). When you set limits to your potential then, “you’re just another ham and egger”…..Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Millionaire Mindset is critical not just to the average Joe and Jane but, especially to business as indicated by the 50% failure rate within the first 5-years of existence. Believe it or not many CEO’s contribute to the failure of their company due to their resistance to better innovation processes that would enhance the production, efficiency and quality, while driving down costs of a product or service. Seems anti-capitalist but, this is certainly true in technology/Internet based companies. Unfortunately, political correctness or just plain FEAR has negatively impacted the greater society and businesses/entrepreneurs are not exempt. It seems Economic Darwinism will identify the winners and losers in the greatest sport in the World known as business. Those who make the necessary adjustment in relations to changing market conditions (Inbound Marketing) and more importantly, satisfying their customers increase their odds of success, while those entrenched in old methods of production (Outbound Marketing) despite a changing market and fail to listen will eventually, become another stat. Keep an open mind or suffer the consequences.
As consumers become more sophisticated business owners have become or forced to recognise they must cater to the interests of their target market. This is why Inbound Marketing is rapidly becoming the norm because it’s about connecting with the internal needs of the customer by bringing value and earning the right to occupy their time. So, are you embracing and internalising inbound marketing in your daily interactions or you more the outbound marketer where it’s more superficial and no real work on the inside? This question is critical because it circle backs to the way wealthy people think versus those who are working-poor or middle class. Want real success in anything then, it starts working on the internal you and this is why Inbound Marketing must become your standard method of thinking and execution in business. Below, I have provided a few examples of how the wealthy are Inbound Thinkers and the related benefits.
The Millionaire Mindset: 6 Mistakes The Rich Never Make:
It’s a Matter of Control, "The primary difference between the wealthy and the rest of us is that they're in control of their money — they don't let money control them," says Jaime Tardy, a business coach and author of "The Eventual Millionaire," who has interviewed more than 150 millionaires on how they accumulated their wealth. “If you approach your finances from a place of fear or ignorance, you'll be like a boat floating around the ocean without a motor."
You Refuse to Face Facts, in the immortal words of Foghorn-Leghorn, “figures, don’t lie” and the wealthy know this as gospel, which explains why they invest the time in learning and scrutinizing their financial portfolio. The attitude is that every financial transaction needs to be recorded and determined by its financial implication.
You Overspend, credit card debt epitomizes the bad habit of over spending on products/services you cannot afford. "Millionaires aren't out there buying Lamborghinis," Tardy says. "They make purchasing decisions based on their current financial status and their goals. They're rich because they're good at keeping money – not spending it.
You Neglect to Adjust Your Finances Following a Big Life Event, when you tie the noose (get married) or suffer the death of a parent then, your finances will be impacted. "Successful people understand that every transition you go through has a financial implication – and they make sure to build a plan for those turning points," says Pete Bush, a certified financial planner with Horizon Wealth Management in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
You Waste Cash on Fees, late fees, service fees and miscellaneous costs that can be avoided if, you are diligent in maintaining yourbills.
You Focus on Saving More — But Not Earning More, Millionaires aren't in the business of wasting money, but they also recognize the greater importance of earning additional income as a way to attain financial goals faster. "[Wealthy people] understand that while there is a limit on how much you can save, there is no limit to how much you can make," Tardy says.
You Obsess Over Price- — and Sacrifice Value, "Wealthy people understand that the cheapest route isn't always the most valuable," Bush says. "They are able to take the long view and consider how what they pay today compares with the worth over time."
I invite you to examine our information. After all, true Economic Independence begins with a MINDSET that embraces and most importantly, believes in Personal Development and avoids Governmental Dependence because it OFTEN limits Growth.
In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives. Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.
For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them. Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.
As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies. When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter. These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do.
More specifically, we should consider:
*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online
*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).
*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face
*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current
* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)
In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible. Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.
They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare.
Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.” This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.
Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it.
Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:
positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).
I have long been of the opinion that the lack of transparency on the web is one of its growing and impending problems. It has become clear to observant consumers that it is very easy to create a false and misleading impression on the internet if one has the skill and desire to do so (for financial benefit).
It hasn't taken long for advertising to become just as big on the internet as it always has been in more traditonal commerce. While the majority of online advertising purveyors are legitimate businesses or solopreneurs, it has recently been revealed that, in the aggregate, there is a tremendous about of money lost, by advertisers, to advertising schemes and scams.
In fact, no less prestigious authority than Advertising Age’s online magazine recently stated that 1 out of 3 advertising dollars spent are siphoned off by fraud. They estimated the total lost was $18.5B. That’s a lot of money.
But, like anything else, this subject has already gotten obscured, to most people, by terminology and a lack of understanding of the basics involved. That’s what this article is about.
Another commonly used name for ‘online advertising fraud’ is ‘Click Fraud’.
Click fraud is especially common in something you've probably at least have heard about…PPC (pay per click) advertising. It occurs when a person, automated script or computer program imitates a legitimate user of a web browser clicking on an ad, for the purpose of generating a charge per click without having actual interest in the target of the ad's link.
Click fraud is the subject of some controversy and increasing litigation due to the advertising networks being a key beneficiary of the fraud.
PPC advertising is an arrangement in which webmasters (operators of websites), acting as publishers, display clickable links from advertisers in exchange for a charge per click. As this industry evolved, a number of advertising networks developed, which acted as middlemen between these two groups (publishers and advertisers).
And of course, any time there’s big money involved, some people succumb to the temptation of scamming consumers.
Each time a (believed to be) valid Web user clicks on an ad, the advertiser pays the advertising network, which in turn pays the publisher a share of this money. This revenue-sharing system is seen as an incentive for click fraud.
According to critics, this complex relationship may create a conflict of interest. This is because these companies lose money to undetected click fraud when paying out to the publisher but make more money when collecting fees from the advertiser. Because of the spread between what they collect and pay out, unfettered click fraud would create short-term profits for these companies.
A secondary source of click fraud is non-contracting parties, who are not part of any pay-per-click agreement. This type of fraud is even harder to police because perpetrators generally cannot be sued for breach of contract or charged criminally with fraud. Here are some examples:
Competitors of advertisers: These parties may wish to harm a competitor who advertises in the same market by clicking on their ads. The perpetrators do not profit directly but force the advertiser to pay for irrelevant clicks, thus weakening or eliminating a source of competition.
Competitors of publishers: These persons may wish to frame a publisher. It is made to look as if the publisher is clicking on its own ads. The advertising network may then terminate the relationship. Many publishers rely exclusively on revenue from advertising and could be put out of business by such an attack.
Other malicious intent: As with vandalism, there are many motives for wishing to cause harm to either an advertiser or a publisher, even by people who have nothing to gain financially. Motives include political and personal vendettas. These cases are often the hardest to deal with, since it is difficult to track down the culprit, and if found, there is little legal action that can be taken against them.
Friends of the publisher: Sometimes upon learning a publisher profits from ads being clicked, a supporter of the publisher (like a fan, family member, political party supporter, charity patron or personal friend) will click on the ads to help. This can be considered patronage. However, this can backfire when the publisher (not the friend) is accused of click fraud.
Advertising networks may try to stop fraud by all parties but often do not know which clicks are legitimate. Unlike fraud committed by the publisher, it is difficult to know who should pay when past click fraud is found. Publishers resent having to pay refunds for something that is not their fault. However, advertisers are adamant that they should not have to pay for phony clicks.
Click fraud can be as simple as one person starting a small Web site, becoming a publisher of ads, and clicking on those ads to generate revenue. Often the number of clicks and their value is so small that the fraud goes undetected. Publishers may claim that small amounts of such clicking is an accident, which is often the case.
However, this technique can be scaled up considerably. Those engaged in large-scale fraud will often run scripts which simulate human clicking on ads in Web pages. However, huge numbers of clicks appearing to come from just one, or a small number of computers, or a single geographic area, obviously look highly suspicious to the advertising network and advertisers.
Clicks coming from a computer known to be that of a publisher (which can be and usually is tracked) also look suspicious to those watching for click fraud. For that basic reason, a person attempting large-scale fraud from one computer stands a good chance of being caught.
They could also be camouflaged from monitors (advertisers and portals) by ensuring that so-called "reverse spiders" are presented with a legitimate page, while human visitors are presented with a page that commits click fraud.
The use of 0-size iframes and other techniques involving human visitors may also be combined with the use of incentivized traffic where members of "Paid to Read" (PTR) sites (often in developing countries) are paid small amounts of money to visit a website and/or click on keywords and search results, sometimes hundreds or thousands of times every day.
Some owners of PTR sites are members of PPC engines and may send many email ads to users who do search, while sending few ads to those who do not. They do this mainly because the charge @ click on search results is often the only source of revenue to the site. This is known as forced searching, a practice that is frowned upon in the Get Paid To industry.
Organized crime or wealthy solopreneur scammers can handle this by having many computers with their own Internet connections in different geographic locations. Because the scripts they use often fail to mimic true human behavior, these operators use Trojan code to turn the average person's machines into zombie computers and use sporadic redirects or DNS cache poisoning to turn the oblivious user's actions into actions generating revenue for the scammer.
These are pretty smart people, i.e. smart at their craft. Thus not only are they good at covering their trails technically but it is usually very difficult for advertisers, advertising networks, and authorities to pursue cases against networks of people spread around multiple developing countries.
Impression fraud is when falsely generated ad impressions affect an advertiser's account. In the case of click-through rate based auction models, the advertiser may be penalized for having an unacceptably low click-through for a given keyword. This involves making numerous searches for a keyword without clicking of the ad. Such ads are disabled
Hit inflation attack
A hit inflation attack is a kind of fraudulent method used by some advertisement publishers to earn unjustified revenue on the traffic they drive to the advertisers’ Web sites. It is more sophisticated and harder to detect than a simple inflation attack.
This process involves the collaboration of two counterparts, a dishonest publisher, P, and a dishonest Web site, S. Web pages on S contain a script that redirects the customer to P's Web site, and this process is hidden from the customer. So, when user U retrieves a page on S, it would simulate a click or request to a page on P's site.
P's site has two kinds of web pages: a manipulated version, and an original version. The manipulated version simulates a click or request to the advertisement, causing P to be credited for the click-through. P selectively determines whether to load the manipulated (and thus fraudulent) script to U's browser by checking if it was from S. This can be done through the Referrer field, which specifies the site from which the link to P was obtained. All requests from S will be loaded with the manipulated script, and thus the automatic and hidden request will be sent.
This attack will silently convert every innocent visit to S to a click on the advertisement on P's page. Even worse, P can be in collaboration with several dishonest Web sites, each of which can be in collaboration with several dishonest publishers.
If the advertisement commissioner visits the Web site of P, the non-fraudulent page will be displayed, and thus P cannot be accused of being fraudulent. Without a reason for suspecting that such collaboration exists, the advertisement commissioner has to inspect all the Internet sites to detect such attacks, which is infeasible. Another proposed method for detection of this type of fraud is through use of site parameters specified by the respective advertising association.
Online advertising fraud isn't anything that's going to be stamped out overnight. The internet is a jungle where the fight for survival is constant. Perhaps the good thing to recognize here is that online advertising fraud has only recently being recognized as a serious problem. That being the case, it might even spawn a new, entrepreneurial, industry of ad-revenue protection.
Losing a mobile phone is not an uncommon thing for anyone in this world. You must have heard that your friend or any other person forget his or her phone in a hotel, car, garden, restaurant, etc. And when he or she goes back to pick up their mobile phone, the mobile phone is not where he or she left it. Now what to do if your mobile phone is stolen.
In many countries like UK, there is a mobile phone database, which can prevent lost or stolen mobile phones from being used on any mobile network, thus these stolen mobile phones are worthless to anyone.
This system exactly works like a stolen credit card, whenever you lose your credit card, you simply make a phone call to your bank to deactivate your credit card. Similar is the case with mobile phones, you call your service provider and give them a specific number to deactivate your stolen mobile phone. This system applies to both prepay and postpaid packages.
Every mobile phone in this world has a unique code called as International mobile equipment identity (IMEI Number). This is a unique serial number that every mobile phone have. If you provide this serial number to your network operator, they will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. No one can use your mobile phone even if the person who has stolen your mobile phone, insert a new sim card into the mobile phone. This mobile phone will be useless on all networks or service providers. All mobile network operators will deactivate or disable the phone by referencing the unique IMEI number of the mobile phone.
Now question is how to get this IMEI number? This number can normally be found under the battery of mobile phone (looking something like 004400/01/123456/7). You can also get this number from the phone software, by entering the following code. Simply dial * # 0 6 # on your mobile phone.
A 15 digit code will appear on the screen after pressing the send button, or in some phones it comes automatically just by entering * # 0 6 #. So whenever you buy a mobile phone, get this code from the battery or by simply dialing the above code on your phone to get IMEI number.
After this record this 15 digit IMEI number and your phone number on your personal note book, place this book at a safe place and that’s it.
Now suppose you misplaced your phone, make a call to your service provider and give them your phone number and this particular key i.e. IMEI number. They will deactivate your stolen mobile phone. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones
Remember your mobile phone is very valuable for you. You may have very important data stored in it. So take care of your mobile phones. Don't use your mobile in crowded areas or where you might feel unsafe. Government is trying to encourage mobile phone companies to give more options for improving mobile phone security.
So remember this simple code * # 0 6 #. Tell all your friends and colleagues to get the IMEI number with the help of this code. If all of us simply follow this tip of making mobile secure, believe me no one will try to steal anyone's mobile phone.