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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Should You Sell Products, Use Ads, Or Be An Affiliate?

There are a lot of different ways to make money online, and it can be hard to know what methods to choose for your specific blog or website.
Some say products. Others say ads. Still others insist on affiliate marketing. Is there a right and a wrong, or do all of these models work? More importantly, what’s right for you?
At the end of the day, you can go about this in a number of different ways, so here are four different approaches that can help you choose your specific focus.
  1. The Viability Approach
If you’re a numbers kind of guy or gal, then you might want to consider what monetization models have worked best for others.
There’s an older article on Blog Marketing Academy called Top 10 Blog Monetization Strategies, Ranked In Order.
From it, we can see which of the three strategies have proven to be the most reliable for other bloggers out there. In order, they are:
  1. Products
  2. Affiliate programs
  3. Advertising
This may seem like a fairly sensible and even scientific approach to determining your monetization strategy, but we do have to keep in mind that what works for others may not always work for you.
If you sell your own products, you get to keep most of the money. With affiliate programs, you only get a percentage. With advertising, it largely depends on the model, but you usually make significantly less per click and/or impression. If you’re selling ad space to sponsors, that can change things up a bit.
But it shouldn’t come as a surprise that products are ranked high, since the $97 product deal is so pervasive across the web. Just remember that, unless you find a deal that converts, it doesn’t really matter how many products you have out there; you won’t make any money.
  1. The Case-By-Case Approach
Let’s say that you do something really well, and you have a lot of people asking you how you they can get the same results. All they really want to do is download information from your brain into theirs.
In that case, there’s already a demand for a product. You just need to spend some time talking to these people to figure out what their challenges are, and listen to the language they’re using. By incorporating those elements into your product, you can ensure that it will reach more people later.
Now let’s say that your website visitors really want to know what tools you’re using in your trade or online business. They’re interested in tapping the same resources you are.
If that’s what you’re finding, then affiliate marketing could be your cash cow. You could write reviews for individual products and show people how to use them. You could create a resource page where people go to learn about the various tools and click through to buy them. If you like writing reviews, this can be a really lucrative way to go.
Now imagine having a site that gets boatloads of traffic. The visitors aren’t always quality, but you consistently see a high number of people visiting your site. They don’t appear to be coming for anything besides your content.
This is where advertising can be a good fit. Even if you have a high bounce rate, that’s not a bad thing if your site is primarily monetized with ads. Of course, even within ads, you have a lot of different options, whether it’s clicks, impressions, or sponsors. Regardless, a large amount of traffic helps.
So that might be one way to figure out which way to go with your site.
  1. The Experts-Know-Best Approach
We can look at a post like 26 Expert Bloggers Share Their Favorite Blog Monetization Strategies to figure out what the experts out there are saying, and then determine what they think the best monetization methods are.
We have to be somewhat careful in doing that, because sometimes even what the experts say is just opinion, but for now we’ll give more weight to what they’re saying.
If you look at the previously mentioned post, you’ll see that most experts are actually talking about one of the three methods we’ve been talking about here: products, ads, and affiliate programs.
The good thing about this approach is this; if you resonate with a particular expert, and you find that you’re somewhat of a similar personality, then what works for them probably has a better chance of working for you.
It isn’t so much that their thoughts are always right, but it’s more that if you could see yourself doing what they did to get to where they are, and follow their advice, you’ll have a real chance at reproducing their results. If you’re teachable, then you can make a lot of things happen that other people might not even try.
  1. The Combined Approach
At the end of the day, there’s nothing saying you can’t explore all rabbit holes to find out which one holds the golden egg. Figuring out what works for you might be a matter of experimentation.
The tough part is that this makes it hard to keep your website focused. You could end up with a lot of different call to actions in different spots. If you’re too unfocused, you’ll have a hard time converting your visitors with any one offer.
Spreading out your income is not bad, and combining different monetization methods can be effective. It’s just that you’re going to have to give some thought to how you’re going to pull it off. It’ll take a bit of planning.
One thought might be to launch three different sites simultaneously to test different niches and monetization models. This would be pretty work-intensive though, so don’t do it unless you have the resources, a team, or the resources to hire a team.
Final Thoughts
What we can see from successful bloggers and marketers out there is that any monetization model can work. It really depends on the situation.
There might be those who are vehemently opposed to ads. Others might say affiliate marketing is a waste of time.
That stuff doesn’t really matter, because others can’t tell you “it doesn’t work” when you’re holding a big paycheck right in front of their face. Don’t be too swayed by what others say, because you as a website owner always have the best information to act on.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

4 Action Steps To Take Your Blog To The Next Level

blog tips
You’ve built a website, have a blog and now you’re wondering the question everyone asks: how do you get people to read it and share it? Having a blog is step one, writing irresistible content that gets shared is step two–so just how do you do that? Here are four tips that will help you take your blog to the next level.
1. Write headlines that people can’t resist. This is the dealer breaker most people over look. If you have a great post, but no one clicks on it, what’s the point? Work on writing clickable headlines. Think in terms of templates such as lists posts like “5 Reasons Traveling Changes Your Life,” or how-to posts such as, “How to Find out What Social Media Channel You Should Be On“ or round-up posts that interviews several experts in your field such as “Expert Social Media Tips to Consider as You Build Your Startup Brand.” Need ideas for inspiration? Check out Buzzfeed they are masters of writing a headline that gets read and shared.
2. Only write content that solves problems or answers questions. Why? Because this guarantees you are adding value. And when you add value, you become valuable and so do your posts. (Click to Tweet!That doesn’t mean they should be boring. The ideal post combines solving problems while being entertaining. Think of your blog posts as a forum to share all your wisdom and knowledge you would with a mentee. Give them the good stuff, the high value advice and tips that have changed the game for your business or career. Bonus points if you can cover a topic from a new angle that has not been written about yet.
3. Be genuine, transparent and honest. People can spot a fake a mile away, so just be yourself. Own your voice, your style, your mission and company’s values. You will stand out from the crowd when you can craft a message and people can tell it’s from you or your company. Do you have personal or business mistakes or lessons you’ve learned that you can share that will help others? Those insightful blog posts have huge value especially if you can guide people from making the same mistakes.
4. Tell stories. People remember stories much easier than straight up facts. So if you can incorporate a storytelling component into your posts whether personally or professionally, you will have created a post that resonates with people and that they can connect with while adding value.
Remember to be an authority by providing content on new trends in your industry and offering insights and perspectives outside of the norm.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

50 Inspirational Quotes to Motivate You

Great quotes can be inspirational and motivational. Here are 50 of the best inspirational quotes to motivate you:
  1. Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m possible”! —Audrey Hepburn
  2. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou
  3. Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. —Henry Ford
  4. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. —Vince Lombardi
  5. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. —Charles Swindoll
  6. If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. —Oprah Winfrey
  7. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. —Eleanor Roosevelt
  8. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination. —Jimmy Dean
  9. Believe you can and you’re halfway there. —Theodore Roosevelt
  10. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. —Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. —Les Brown
  12. Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda
  13. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. —Napoleon Hill
  14. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. —Mark Twain
  15. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. —Michael Jordan
  16. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value. —Albert Einstein
  17. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
  18. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. —Henry Ford
  19. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. —Alice Walker
  20. The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. —Amelia Earhart
  21. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. —Aristotle Onassis
  22. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis Stevenson
  23. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. —Steve Jobs
  24. Change your thoughts and you change your world. —Norman Vincent Peale
  25. The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. —Ayn Rand
  26. If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. —Vincent Van Gogh
  27. Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. —Farrah Gray
  28. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. —Dalai Lama
  29. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. —Maya Angelou
  30. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. —Rosa Parks
  31. I would rather die of passion than of boredom. —Vincent van Gogh
  32. A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. —Unknown
  33. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.——Albert Einstein
  34. What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do. —Bob Dylan
  35. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. —Leonardo da Vinci
  36. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. —Booker T. Washington
  37. Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. —Jamie Paolinetti
  38. If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on. —Sheryl Sandberg
  39. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. —Ancient Indian Proverb
  40. When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. —Helen Keller
  41. Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. —Confucius
  42. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. —Anne Frank
  43. When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. —John Lennon
  44. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  45. We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. —Ronald Reagan
  46. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George Addair
  47. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. —Plato
  48. Nothing will work unless you do. —Maya Angelou
  49. I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. —Mother Teresa
  50. What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. —Plutarch

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Blog

10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Blog
Bringing in new readers is an integral part of blog marketing: It’s not enough to create awesome content – You need to spread the word for more people to discover your site.
However attracting new readers is not enough: You need to bring your current readers back too. In our era of information overload, no matter how awesome you are, your readers are most likely to forget about your blog unless you keep reminding them that you exist.
Your existing readership is what powers up your blog: Repeat users are more likely to interact (because they already know you) by sharing your articles and leaving comments. Therefore, you must never let your readers forget about you!
Here are 10 ways I am keeping with my readers in touch:

Always Look for More Ways to Build up Your Email List

Building up your list is the most efficient way to keep in touch with your readers: For example, you can auto-distribute your articles to that list driving them back to your site again and again.
We’ve talked about generating leadsa lot but it’s never enough. The thing is, there’s no single recipe for how to generate more subscribers: It all comes down to lots of experimenting, tweaking, and creative brainstorming.
Here are few ingenious ways to experiment with to gain more subscribers:
1. Build up your list using your email signature.
People who are emailing back and forth with you are very much used to hearing from you. They become perfect subscribers who’ll feel more like interacting with your emails.
Besides, emailing is the least monetized effort: For example, I send replies to about 50 emails a day (responding to pitches, giving free advice, helping people connect, etc). None of that effort is in any way marketed (The only benefit is building my connections). So why not try to get more out of that since I am already spending my time emailing daily. I use WiseStampto create those calls-to-action in my signature.
Wisestamp - 10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
2. Set up a giveaway
A giveaway is another absolutely awesome way to generate some new subscribers: Who doesn’t love free staff?
If you don’t have a product of your own to give away, partner with some brand (There’s a monetization opportunity out there too!)
Tomosonis one of the most legit and valuable sites when it comes to finding brands to partner with on giveaways and list building. Just search it for [giveaway] and then filter by category:
Set up a giveaway - 10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
3. Host free webinars.
This is one of the most efficient ways to build up leads. Apart from building great content, developing informative webinars is an excellent way to keep your audience coming back. You can deliver value by sharing your expertise through live and recorded webinars with ClickWebinar, which provides a venue for online video conferences and webinars across any platform.
Webinars let people register (so they can opt in to hearing more from you when registering). Plus people who come to your webinar get to know you well, so they are more likely to recognize your emails and react positively to all of them. Hosting a webinar is one of the most effective site monetization methodstoo. So you can build up your list and make money as well once you get a bit comfortable with the process.
4. Use Leadshare.
The free service by Slideshare lets you overlay your slides with a lead generation form. I love the fact that it’s so well integrated: The forms are preserved when the Slideshare content is embedded (so you can basically bring those forms whenever you cover the topic again), when you add that Slideshare to your Linkedin account, when you add that Slideshare presentation to your long-form Linkedin article…
Bringing your form into Slideshare is a great way to cater for more marketing channels and generate leads from outside of your blog.
Leadshare - 10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site

Optimize Your Blog Comments (WordPress)

With all the different comment management options out there, I still prefer WordPress built-in functionality. The reasons are plenty… To name just a couple of more important ones:
  • I like owning and hosting that content (For example, Disqus works great for notifying people of new replies, but with the new dashboard, you don’t really need to go to the actual article as you can like and reply to comments from any page where Disqus is running comments. It looks a bit like traffic stealing to me).
  • I love the flexibility the multitude of WordPress plugins are offering me.
Speaking of WordPress plugins… Here are those two that help me build my blog community:
5. Give your commenters the option to opt in: I am using GetResponsebecause they have a great WordPress integrationbut I guess other email platforms have their solutions as well
6. Notify your commenters of newer comments: I use this simple pluginto send an email to every previous participant in the discussion notifying of newer comments. It’s an old one, but it’s still working for me! There seems to be a newer version, but I haven’t tried it.

Use Social Media Hashtags, Content & Tagging

It takes just a few minutes of your time to make your article more shareable and let your readers bring other people (back) in (through the use of hashtags and social media tagging). Here are the 4 tips that worked well for me:
7. Let your readers tweet quotes from your page.
This works especially well when you do an expert group interview: Let your readers tweet any participating expert’s quote and tag that expert in the tweet: That will bring that person back!
Here’s a goodexample of what I am talking about: Notice if you click any “Tweet this” box, the resulting tweet will have a person who said that already tagged in the tweet:
Tweet quotes - 10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
8. Use embedded content.
Embedded content is highly engaging: It adds social media proof to your content and lets more readers spread the word. You can’t overdo with it (not to slow your page down) but it may often be a good idea to engage more readers. For example, you may embed a Google Plus update and ask your readers to tag their friends if they think they might be interested in contributing.
I also find that Sitegeek.comdoes an awesome job engaging users into tweeting their opinions on the listed hosting company and then using those tweets as reviews:
Tweet reviews - 10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
9. Tag most important people when adding a project in Viral Content Buzz
Viral Content Buzzis the free platform allowing you to bring your content in front of social media influencers.
Sometimes, when I post an interview with an influencer for example, I’ll add their Twitter handle in the title or “retweet me” box and thus this person will be tagged in every Tweet VCB users create. This will prompt that influencer come back to my article again and again (to participate in the discussion or promote it again!)
Here’s the project:
10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
Here are the resulting tweets tagging the interviewee:
10 Ways to Bring More Readers BACK to Your Site
10. Add the most relevant hashtag in the title of the article.
The thing is, in most cases, the page title is what gets tweeted, so if I use my hashtag there, the hashtag will make it to the tweet as well. I am using this trick for our Twitter chatsfor example: I use the official hashtag in the title of the article promoting the Twitter chat, so each tweet gets into the room where it has more chances to get retweeted. This results in more engagement and more repeat visits!
How do you bring your readers back to your site?Please share your tips in the comments!

Click to Read More http://denisewakeman.com/business-blogging-2/10-ways-to-bring-more-readers-back-to-your-blog/

Sunday, 7 June 2015

7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Bruce Lee’s Quotes

7 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Bruce Lee's Quotes
Bruce Lee was a legend. He was a martial artist, philosopher, an actor and a filmmaker who inspired millions of people in their lives.
He was one of the most influential martial artists of all time and remains a pop culture icon to this very day. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people of the 20th century.
Bruce Lee’s quotes are not only inspiring, they are also thoughtful and impressive.  Within these quotes, there are several life lessons we can all learn from.
Here are the 7 life lessons you can learn from the quotes of the dragon:

1. Focus is the key to success

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus.” – Bruce Lee
If you want to succeed, focus on the tasks you should do. Set up a distraction free environment when you’re working. If you know that you will most likely get distracted by your smartphone, keep it in another room when you are working. Or disconnect it from the internet.
We can’t deny the fact that most of us have short attention spans, but, we can do something about it. Find a way to help yourself concentrate. Set a schedule for yourself to disconnect from the world and focus on the most important tasks at hand.

2. Make good use of your time

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee
Reflect on your life so far, how did you spend your time in the past? Doing things that are meaningful to you, things which add value to people around you or did you just procrastinate most of the time?
I bet every single one of us is clear that we only live once, but how many of us really make use of our precious time wisely? Think about it, you don’t want to waste the rest of your life doing meaningless tasks right? Starting from today, make good use of the time you have. Live everyday like it is the last day of your life. It might sound cliché, but it is true.

3. Character is as important as knowledge

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” – Bruce Lee
We all know about the power of knowledge, as a wise man once said: “Knowledge is power.”  But, often we forget that character, in some ways are more important than knowledge.
Do you like people who are arrogant or do you prefer people who are kind-hearted? The answer is obvious. No matter how intelligent you are, it doesn’t matter that much when it comes to earning respect from others. It is your character which counts!

4. Set a goal and aim for it

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
A goal is our target to aim at. It is our source of motivation. Having a goal gives us a clear direction in our lives. We aim for it and work towards it. It gives us a clear destination in our lives.
But the main point here is that goals aren’t always meant to be reached. So, it’s okay not to hit your goals within a timeframe. It’s okay to fail, but never give up. Sometimes, you just have to believe. Aim for it and work towards it until you achieve it. Clement Stone once said that: “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
Even if you fail to hit your goals after all the hard work, it is okay, because you will still have achieved something. If you never try, then the chances of you achieving something will be zero.
Bruce Lee

5. Have the courage to admit your mistakes

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee
A teacher once asked his students, is admitting our mistakes shameful? 8 out of 10 said ‘No’. The other two students who were siblings thought that admitting mistakes is something shameful.
It’s the environment we grow up in that shapes the way we think. Some may perceive mistakes as something bad. They think that it’s shameful to admit their mistakes. This could not be further from the truth.
There is nothing wrong with making mistakes in our lives. The most important part is how we respond to it. Do we admit and acknowledge our mistakes, eventually learning from it? Or do we avoid talking about it and pretend nothing happened? The worst mistake you can make is, not admitting your own mistakes.

6. Don’t think too much, just do it

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
Let’s face it, before we start doing something new, something out of our comfort zone, we think about it for a long time. In the end, we did nothing other than thinking.
This is especially true for those who are thinking of starting their own business or those who have crazy and unconventional ideas. They tend to think carefully of the plan and the risks involved in it. A lot of “what-if” questions will came across their minds. “What if this idea won’t work out? What if the business fails?”
“I’m not going to make it…” you tell yourself and finally you decided to give up. You gave up before you might have even taken a single step.
Remember Nike’s slogan? Just do it! That’s what you need to do – take action. Yes, it is okay to think thoroughly before doing anything. But the more time you spend on thinking, the more likely you won’t do it. Think, but don’t overthink. Don’t get stuck in analysis-paralysis!

7. Learn to control your temper

“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” – Bruce Lee
How many times have you lost your temper in the past? Countless times I suppose? And what happened next? Did the things you were angry about become better, or did it get worse? Admit it, your quick temper worsens the situation almost every time.
Everyone experienced it before. We all know that letting our anger loose is harmful to us. We want to change that, but it is not easy to take control of our temper. We are only humans after all.
So, what can you do to control your temper? Well, there are many things you can do, but the best advice I can give is to take a deep breath and think it through. You still need oxygen when you’re angry after all. Remember, always control your temper before it controls you!

I hope you enjoyed my insight on Bruce Lee’s quotes. What quotes would you add to this list that has made a difference in your life? Comment Below!