Outline of the 18th Highest Grossing Podcast

Outline of the Jul 14 Gweek 155 podcast episode:

Plug for Workshop

Music / Title & description of show

Intro host Dean & co-host Mark, guest Dan Shapiro; Plug for Dan’s projects

Plug for Robot Turtles; Plug for Kickstarter; Story on process

Plug for Dan’s new Book; Story on process

Advertisement Break – 24:48

Plug for Homestar Runner

Cont. process of Robot Turtles / Kickstarter / Dan’s book

Personal story-guest: Plug for RC Planes / GoPro / Drones

Thanks guest (Twitter handle) & audience

Music

The Best Website Advertising Tools

Your blog can make you money. How? I’m so glad you asked!

First, let’s define a few terms so we understand how monetizing your blog actually works.

So, what’s the difference between Marketing and Advertising?  Advertising is a form of marketing, whereas marketing is the process of delivering a message to potential consumers about a service or product. Branding is also a process, like marketing, but it focuses more on the uniqueness of the company and makes the consumer perceive the company (including products and services) as different from everything else. And lastly, sales are the desired outcome from branding, marketing and advertising; potential consumers exchange something you want for your products or services.

OK, so now that we have our definitions, let’s discuss how you can use this to make money.

Tip 1: Selling advertising space on your blog is one of the sure ways you’ll get paid via your blog since payment is dispersed upfront, often on a monthly basis.

Tip 2: If you have a lot of people already following your blog, opt for CPV (Cost per View) or CPM (Cost per Mile) advertising as these types generate money whenever the ad is viewed on your website.

Tip 3: CPA (Cost per Action) is a great way to make money from getting people to engage on your blog. By simply filling out a form or taking a survey, each action will bring in dollars.

Tip 4:  Advertising widgets are one of the easier types of advertising because you simply embed existing code into your website.

Tip 5: Images uploaded via advertising widgets can be manipulated to match your website. You can also use rotating ads and banners to offer a variety of ads.

Tip 6: Some advertising widgets include analytics for your website, so you can keep track of who is viewing and clicking the ads. (adsantityplugin.com)

Tip 7: However, before uploading an advertising widget onto your website, do your homework! Read reviews and find out if people are having issues with the app. A little research beforehand can save you hours of rebuilding your website.

Tip 8: Affiliate marketing isn’t as simple as copying and pasting code into your website. This type of marketing takes time due to the amount of competition and the slow payout. (forbes.com)

Tip 9: Affiliate marketing is a great way to build content as you are paid a commission for publishing articles that promote companies and products.

Tip 10: With affiliate marketing, remember industry drives sales, so be weary of smaller markets that may not generate the traffic you need to be successful. (forbes.com)

Tip 11: One way to get money for your site is to sell it! Yup, that’s right – flipping websites (just like flipping houses) has recently become a lucrative business, and you can get in on the action by auctioning off your website to the highest bidder. (womeninbusiness.about.com)

Tip 12: When selling your website, don’t make your websites’ traffic or income visible, and don’t give out your personal or employer phone number. Do respond to buyers who seem interested and consider hiring a reputable website broker to help with the sale. (womeninbusiness.about.com)

Tip 13: Don’t rule out using pop-ups! Pop-ups and lightboxes are definitely coming back and have proven to have a lot of success, especially with capturing emails of new blog followers.

Tip 14: Ads are all about getting people interested in the product or service being sold, but first you have to grab their attention! Audio advertising is a sure way to get someone’s attention as the ad will begin playing an audio file when visitors access your website.

Tip 15: Audio ads can also lead to two-way interaction as consumers interact with ads via polls or clicking through to surveys.  Online radio stations have increased use of this type of advertising, with more traffic going to affiliate websites. (xappmedia.com)

Now it’s your turn! Take a look at some of the advertising models listed above and pick one or two you would like to try. It is best to start today, so you can begin earning dollars tomorrow.

Which type of advertising would you most use on your website? Leave a comment!

Seven Secrets to SEO Success

Key tips to understanding your website’s ranking and how to improve it.

SEO is complex. Period. Where your website ranks on search engines not only depends on the relevancy and quality of your content, but on other influencers you may have little control over. It will take time to pinpoint those influencers that have the most impact on your ranking; yet continuous monitoring and hard work often leads to your website being found on page 1.

In a Whiteboard Friday video presented by Rand Fishkin on SEO fundamentals, Fishkin explains that it’s not enough for a website to be “Crawl Friendly”, have “Good Relevant Content” and use “Keyword Research & Targeting”.

Following are seven key takeaways from this video that I found most useful in understanding what influences SEO and how I can use that information to begin analyzing the reasons behind a website’s ranking.

Tip 1: SEO is considered a “competitive practice” because it forces you to stay ahead of the competition.

Tip 2: A website that is “Crawl Friendly” doesn’t help you rank competitively among other websites.

Tip 3: “Good Relevant Content” is important, but it also must be something that people want to engage in and share.

Tip 4: Link growth is critical for SEO Success because it increases the number of people seeing your page as others share links that promote your content.

Tip 5: Know the search terms that are driving traffic to your website and the new terms people are using to find you and your competition.

Tip 6: “Keyword Research & Targeting” requires constant maintenance and ongoing tracking; it is not a “fire and forget strategy”.

Tip 7: Anything that influences input, either directly or indirectly, impacts SEO including but not limited to Social Media, branding, and advertising.

My ultimate takeaway from this video is the following quote from Fishkin:

“Any input that engines use to rank pages… and anything that people or technology does to influence those ranking elements is what the practice of SEO is about.”

How do you plan to improve your website’s SEO? Please share in the comments!

5 Easy Tips for Creating a Marketing Persona

Creating a marketing persona is the first step toward improving how you market to your customers

Your business is unique, and so are your customers. By creating unique personas exemplifying the customers you serve, you can better understand the different problems they may face. With this information in hand, your business will be able to offer solutions that resolve their problems, keeping your customers coming back.

The process may seem complex at first, but it can easily be harnessed by following these five simple tips, adapted from a blueprint offered at bufferapp.com.

Tip 1: Create enough personas to manage specificity, but encompass a majority of your customers

Typically, the number of personas needed to be effective is between 3 and 5. These profiles include all the basic demographic information often used when performing target marketing, such as age, gender, location, and education. Other areas to include are Goals and Challenges: What are your customers’ primary and secondary goals? How can they achieve these goals?; Value and Fears: What are their values? Is there an issue you may encounter during the sales process with them?

You can always add other categories to your personas.  Remember, your business is unique; therefore categories that may not be important to one company may be critical to yours. Other areas include customer’s quotes, what they do on their free time, and where they prefer to get their information.

These concepts can then help you to form your Marketing message, as well as your Elevator Pitch (a sales pitch short enough you can get your message across in the amount of time it takes to ride an elevator).

Tip 2: Don’t limit yourself on where you look for customer information.

Much of the demographic information for your target audience can be found on your website analytics. By studying these analytics, your personas can begin to take shape in that you will uncover where your existing/potential customers are geographically from, how they are searching for your business (i.e. Keywords), and the amount of time they spend on each page. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau American FactFinder website offers great insight into the demographics of the surrounding areas, which you can then use to expand your target market.

Social Media is another key source to helping you discover common problems faced by potential customers, either through questions they ask or comments they post. Facebook and Twitter are great tools to find out what products and services your potential customers are seeking. And don’t forget about Pinterest, which can offer information on retail trends across a variety of industries.

Tip 3: The simplest way to find out about your customers is to ask them.

The goal of your business is to provide a solution to your customer’s problem. Yet, you may not know exactly what problems your customers face on a daily basis. So ask them. Surveys, interviews, and comment cards are fantastic ways to gain valuable insight about your customers as they offer an avenue for your customers to expand on their answers.

When collecting information on goals, values and fears, ask questions that revolve around “change”. Change is important to everyone, including your customers. Develop questions that focus on what problems they are encountering and the changes they need to make to resolve the issue. This will help you to establish goals and challenges your customers face, as well as the values and fear your customers have regarding change. As a follow-up, while reviewing the data from the interviews, ask yourself “How can my business help in this situation?” and then take the time to brainstorm solutions.

Tip 4: Make the persona “real”

By assigning a name, job, role, and company to the persona, you’re making it easier to relate to, as you would a person. You can begin developing the perspectives they have, including how they feel about your business, flaws as well as benefits. Again, use surveys and interviews to find out who your customers are.  A business-to-business company operates much differently than a business-to-consumer, and this is critical to know and understand for the success of your business.

Persona Example
Persona Example – Courtesy of bufferapp.com

You can also bring your team in to help create the personas. People have different experiences and may have had different interactions with customers. These differences make their insight very valuable especially when figuring out how to effectively connect with your customers.

Tip 5: Personalize your marketing message by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes.

After creating the marketing persona, you can use this information to establish the needs of each of your customers, and how your business can meet these needs. Take this opportunity to develop sales pitches for each of these individual personas; how do they differ? How are they the same? How might you describe your products of services to one person, and how does this change for the others? You can then use these ideas to customize your elevator pitch to close the deal every time.

There are a number of websites that offer marketing persona templates for you to use as examples. The Buyer Persona Institute provides examples of how adding categories can create a more detailed marketing persona, and ThunderActive offers a simpler persona example for target marketing in a specific industry.

Have another great tip for creating a marketing persona? Please share in the comments.

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