How to offer value and create awareness in your online business to succeed
Who This Post Is For And Why
This blog post should serve as a roadmap especially for bloggers and affiliate marketers to offer value and create awareness in your online businesses. Whether you are already making it big online or just starting out, this piece will show you how to earn more on the internet. Its proven strategies and tips will enable you market yourself and your business, build your online platform, and create long-term success as an internet worker.
We’ll first look at Six Key Fundamentals for Marketing Success which will help you create value for your customers. And then take a look at nine marketing strategies which will create awareness of your products.
Let’s now examine the
6 Key Fundamentals for Creating An Online Value Proposition:
Part 1: Know What You Want
- So, you want to do more business online?
- Why exactly?
- To make more money?
- To become a successful online worker?
- To become famous?
- To talk about your business at summits?
- To be interviewed by top magazines?
- To share your vision with the world?
- To satisfy your desire to help others and the only way is to succeed yourself?
- What is it?
- Only you know. But don’t trust your head.
- Verba volant, scripta manent, so reach for a notebook and pen right now and jot down what it is you want.
Now, you need to figure out why you want what you want.
Everyone who comes to online work has set the same goal: to become successful. How come only a handful (the statistics say, 3%) makes it and the rest fails?
Determination is the answer.
Those who succeeded plodded on when all seemed lost, while the others gave up when hurdles came their way.
The other reason is motivation.
Human motivation comes from pleasure and pain. So we generally welcome things that give us pleasure and keep away from those that generate pain. Hence if your why for success isn’t strong enough to butt through the pain that your online journey will inevitably produce from time to time, then you too will go to swell the ranks of the multitude who quit before their dream could become a reality.
The beginning of almost all successful online workers we know today was very pitiful indeed. Many failed several times before making paltry sales. They kept on through what made many to give up and quit. But despite the meagre results from their hard work, they stuck to their dream because they had a bigger purpose to make it at all cost.
So, if you’re making only chicken change now or not enough to sustain your dreams but need to multiply your gains by 10, 20 or whatever, let this post be your blueprint.
Will using this guide bring success overnight? No, it won’t. This is not a get-rich-quick formula. But if you have a clear mission and a purpose and throw in steady work (meaning, blogging often and marketing more), it will let you witness exponential increase in your income with time.
But before that, you need plenty of reasons why you crave success online. These will be the fuel that will stoke your fire of desire and spur your inner strength to keep you going when things turn tough. And believe me, turbulent times you’ll surely come across.
So, pick up that notebook and pen and write down a MINIMUM of 100 reasons why you want to succeed as an online worker and materialize your dreams.
Why a good 100 reasons, you might ask.
A good question. And the answer is simple.
When you write down only a few reasons, they are likely to be superficial or not-really-too-important matters, like putting food on the table, paying your debts or making ends meet. But when you push it to 100 or even beyond, you’ll surely come up with some very profound reasons for wanting to be successful. These could be buying your own house and furnishing it to your taste, raising a family, helping your kids achieve higher education, pursuing some hobby or interest without any limitations like re-building classic cars, going to seminars, or getting involved in “lifelong learning”, that is, choosing a subject in your own career area principally, learning a lot about it, and then choosing another one and doing the same. That is when the real dreams, hopes and goals you had years ago and which vicissitudes of time have stowed away deep down in your subconscious mind will begin to surface.
So, go to work on the 100+ reasons right now.
Now that you know what you want and why, it’s time to focus on how to get it.
Do you know that the fastest way to achieving anything great in life is to focus?
Here are three examples why focus is powerful and therefore important for your success.
If you take a piece of paper and tend an edge towards the sun’s rays nothing happens. But grab a magnifying glass and concentrate the rays on an edge of the paper. It catches fire!
The elephant is far bigger and heavier than a woman but engineers say that the pressure per square inch from the average woman’s single spiked heel is greater than from an elephant’s foot. This is because while all the woman’s weight is heaped in that spike on her shoe, the elephant’s is spread out or diffused over a much broader surface.
If you place a metal rod with a flat end on your skin and press it nothing happens. But take a needle and do the same with its pointed end and it will puncture your skin. This is because all the needle’s piercing power is concentrated in that sharp point while the metal rod’s is diffused over a large surface.
In the same way you’ll be much more successful concentrating on managing and marketing in one online business niche at a time than you will embracing two or more.
Before you get me wrong, look at the words in italics again. True, two heads are better than one and lots of people are making money online with multiple income streams. But we also know that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If succeeding in one niche is a hassle, why on earth do you think it’s better to juggle two or more at once?
This is not recommended unless you’re a serious and a seasoned marketer; but even there you must be ready to spend a lot of time, effort and money marketing to all the different prospects you’re trying to woo.
If your effort isn’t focused at the beginning, you’ll be chasing different markets with divided efforts. Do you want to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none or a jack-of-one-trade and a master of it? Know that you can move on to another thing after mastering the previous one. In this case, even your earlier experience will serve you better in your latest endeavour.
So just focus on one key niche and create great experience for that one custom. That will be your fastest route to online success.
When you have multiple businesses in one niche, your chances are great to convert a happy patron from one of them to another or others.
You surely have heard the expressions “influencers in blogging” and “influencers in affiliate marketing”. That’s the power of association which has come from focus.
So focus your marketing efforts on a single niche to maximize your sales, income and authority.
Your business name is your brand. And like any brand, it only makes you rich if people associate it with something worthwhile. So make your business name mean something to your customers by giving them what they want over and over again.
To conclude, your business name should be synonymous with what you do (sell) online. Do whatever you want if you want short-term success or no success at all. However, for long-term success, choose one niche and concentrate on mastering it.
To succeed online, you’ve got to find out what your customers want. This is common sense. People only buy what they need. Tell me, when did you spend money on what didn’t appeal to you? So, once you know what your customers want, you can look for it or create it, then offer it to them, and they will buy. What can be so simple?
For someone just starting out, you could at best sort of guess what your audience wants. You’ll have to combine your own personal experience with some research. You can refine this guess a little bit more as you publish more blog posts and/or sell more affiliate products and get more feedback from readers and reviews from customers. With time you can pinpoint what your audience wants with some degree of accuracy. And the closer you get to offering your audience what they want, the more they’ll buy from you.
So it’s crucial to listen to and take stock of what your customers are saying about your business and products.
It’s in your interest to read all the comments on your blog posts and the reviews on your products. You can agree or disagree with the opinions expressed, but read them all the same.
If some reviews make you feel like changing your offers, redesigning your products or changing the way or what you write, go ahead and do it. But don’t go arguing with people about their views. Especially don’t make a great issue of it. That will only destroy your reputation. However if your audience feel that you’re all ears to what they’re saying, they’ll gladly tell you more of what they want. In sweet words, they’ll make you rich.
You must also read reviews for the best blogs and affiliate products in your niche. Note both the positive and the negative reviews. They’re two sides of the same coin.
What are readers and buyers saying about the blog posts and the products?
Such comments on influencers’ blogs in your market can be a goldmine to exploit to create new, unique and even better articles and/or products than the competition.
For a blog, you may write a longer piece on a topic many people want more details about. You may also write a shorter, more actionable piece from which readers can learn the key steps without boring them stiff with a longer piece. You may also use your blog to answer questions that people are asking on authority blogs, on social media or in forums. People will hungrily devour them, happily share them and spread your fame far and wide.
For a product, create one designed to solve only one problem for your target audience. Many info-products are created to answer every possible question anyone in your market could ever have. They are often long and tedious to read so many readers avoid them. Instead, you could write a series of e-books, each focused on solving only one problem for your audience.
So, instead of writing an e-book on 100 ways to make money online at home free, you could write one on ways of making money online at home free through writing; then another on means of making money online at home free through marketing; yet another on methods of making money online at home free through getting paid for accomplishing certain tasks; a fourth on procedures of making money online at home free through (buying and) selling; a fifth on steps of making money online at home free through renting out things; and a final one on moves of making money online at home free through using your skills.
Segmenting your market this way is a great strategy because not everybody may be interested in all the ways to make money from home. So you can market all your books to the same niche audience (how to make money from home) and then they will pick the book that solves their urgent problem, and then, if they like that book, they’ll likely buy your other books.
As you get to know your audience better, you’ll inevitably begin to serve them exactly what they want.
You may be creating new gifts for them. These can be books and/or other products and services.
What’s sure is that the more you write, the better you’ll become at creating gifts and products. And the better you’re at creating gifts and products, the more you can give to your audience and the more they will buy from you.
Like the snowball effect, you’ll find one effort improving the other. For example, the more video courses you create for your fans, the better writer you will become. And the more books you write for your readers, the better you will be at blogging and at creating videos. And the more you create valuable gifts for your audience, the better you’ll become at giving them what they want. And the better you are at giving them what they want, the more sales and income you will make.
In the beginning, as you’re just starting to build your audience, naturally your first few products will not sell so well. But as you get better at your craft and learn more about your market, your next books, products or services will gradually bring exponential sales.
To conclude, success will be yours if you stop focusing on how your customers can make you money but on what you can do to help your audience solve their problems even more.
Many people think asking themselves: “How can I sell more products?” is the best route to success online, but it isn’t. A better question will be: “How can I add more value to my customers?”
People don’t buy products, or anything for that matter. Rather, they buy benefits or value.
Let’s use cars to illustrate this point.
The practical value of all cars is that, among others, they take you from one point to the other faster than your feet can. But how come a high-end spectrum car like the BMW 750 LI for example costs about 300% less than a Rolls Royce-Ghost that it’s not really too different from?
The answer is in the intrinsic value: Rolls Royce is positioned as the better of the two cars.
In the same vein, when you create a $6.99 book that your customers see as worth ten times more to them, they will buy it without any qualms.
That being so, how do you go about achieving that?
It all boils down to combining the two magic ingredients to marketing: value and awareness.
Value is the perception or ideas, thoughts, beliefs or image customers have of your product. It isn’t real or tangible but it’s there all the same, in their heads.
Awareness is letting people know that you have a certain product.
Both are important for your success.
Thus if you offer all the value on earth but no awareness, no one will know about your product and of course cannot buy. And if you drum up lots of awareness but give no value, no one will also buy because your buyers are not dunces to throw their money down the drain.
People recognize value when they see it. It’s therefore in your interest to continue adding more and more value to your offers. For example, when selling some product, throw in some bonus videos or offer three for the price of two.
The marketplace will patronize your offers because they see that you’re offering them value and they believe that they will get that value for their money.
This decision comes from information and ideas they have of you and your product. And how were they formed? From marketing: the title of your writings, product covers, pertinent videos, social media posts, and what buyers and readers are saying about you.
Your marketing goal should therefore be to make the message you’re beaming to your marketplace create a buzz so that people will be talking about them. And don’t forget that people love to talk about value! And when they do this, Word-of-mouth, considered as the most effective form of advertising, will be the #1 reason why people buy your products.
That being so, what should your marketing goal be?
To build so much momentum with your promotions that your custom can’t help but share them with others and create a snowball effect of positive sales growth, and why not, let it go viral.
One thing to remember though is that adding value isn’t just about having a great product. It’s about everything else you do too, it’s all marketing, like how you respond to emails, to comments on your website, to your social media posts and more.
Strategies outlined here will help you add more value and gain more awareness through using multiple marketing strategies. For resounding success, adding more value and creating more awareness must be done at the same time.
Although it’s believed that 50% of your advertising budget goes waste and no one knows which 50%, why do you think businesses still continue to advertise? Because advertising simply works! And to keep on keeping on must be your motto too because no one abandons a winning horse, even if it loses sometimes!
The strategies outlined in this post are tried, tested, and proven. Will they work for you? That will largely be due to how consistent you are. For there’s nothing like consistency to achieve success!
For example, if you create one blog post and wait till months before adding another one, chances are slim that your readership will grow.
In the same way, if you post one video to YouTube, and do not add more, you don’t have a dog’s chance that your video marketing will bring you views which will translate into sales.
If you also create one info-product and forget about coming up with more, you will lose your custom.
But if, on the contrary, you consistently publish one blog post a day, or a number of times a week; post one video a day or even one video a week; or if you create one info-product a week, or even once a month, some serious success will be yours if you do that over months and surely years.
The secret to success is to relentlessly market yourself and your business. It’s those who keep going who get the great results. For, success doesn’t happen overnight.
Work consistently for a few years and you’ll become an internet success.
That said, let’s now examine the
9 Marketing Strategies To Create Awareness For Your Online Business:
1. Build Your Email List
This marketing strategy is so important that we’re going to spend a little more time on it.
Why You Need An Email List
You’ve no doubt heard that the money is in the list. This truism alone is enough for you to start building an email list.
Email marketing can help you connect with hundreds or thousands of people to send them your blog post newsletter, educational course, industry and blog news, survey, info-product, or promote events and sales at the click of a button. It therefore allows you to build relationships and brand recognition, and to further educate your email subscribers.
This can grow your audience, increase your reputation and convert prospects into loyal customers to skyrocket your sales. All this, at a fraction of the cost of most other marketing channels.
An email service provider estimates that for every $1 you put into email marketing your ROI (Return On Investment) is $44!
Besides, it’s easy to align your email content with social media and benefit from their huge marketing potential.
An email marketer declared that a large percentage of their earnings have come from their email marketing efforts. That’s why, as an online worker, your email list could be your biggest asset.
Yet the mere idea of building a list might scare many as it did me. But building an email list can be quick and easy if you learn how to do it. And you can achieve all of the above if you choose a company which will offer you the right tools and support. No design or coding experience is necessary!
Know that even a small email list is better than no email list! So start building your list today.
How To Build An Email List
First, you will need a website with your own domain for which you pay for hosting.
You must avoid free websites.
The problem with having your blog on third party free websites like Blogger.com, Wix.com, WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, is that you have no control over it. And that means that either you can’t build your email list at all or not be able to do so effectively. Worse, your site can be deleted at somebody’s whim.
I had free personal and business sites on voila.fr but one day they informed me that they were discontinuing the service and soon I lost everything! Although Tumblr.com allows you to build your email list, they offer you very limited customization. As for WordPress.com, it won’t let you even host an opt-in form which is required for people to give you their details (name and email, generally) to become your subscriber.
To have your own domain isn’t a big deal. A year’s worth of domain could cost you as little as $12 and web hosting between $3 and $6 a month.
But if all you want is only to have a place to build your email list without worrying about the hassle of managing a blog or website, leadpages.com is indicated. It enables you to build your email list effectively without paying for your own domain and hosting. The standard Leadpages product costs $25/month paid annually. Almost every major online marketer uses it because of its cutting edge technology, analytics, ease and rapidity of use.
Collecting email subscribers begins with creating a sign up or opt-in form. Web form generators make creating this as easy as breeze.
Your form can be a pop up or lightbox (it displays over the content on your page) or a form that slides in from the side of the screen on each of your blog posts.
Then you install the form on the header or sidebar of your website.
Concerning what you should write in your sign up form, tell your blog readers what they’ll get on signing up to receive your emails (this could be affiliate marketing training materials and blog posts), ask them to submit only their name and email address (since nobody likes furnishing too many details just to join a list), and offer them a valuable incentive such as an e-book to get them to sign up to your email list.
Continue learning from your email services provider to advance.
It takes time and technique to build an email list.
Guest blogging is one of them. It would expand your blogger network and make you have new audiences.
Another is social marketing where you include social share buttons at the end of your emails to enable subscribers to share your email content on social platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, or forward it to their contacts.
You can also give a link to a web-hosted version of your sign up form at the end of posts to reach out to your social followers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Also connect your email list to your Facebook account and use Twitter cards to entice people to sign up to your email list.
Download a mobile email sign up form to your mobile device to help you easily collect new email subscribers at events like conferences or local meetups.
You must use comprehensive email contents by carefully crafting your message and adapting it slightly for email just as you had done it for your blog and readers.
Send autoresponder emails to your email lists alright but do follow up with broadcast emails, and others like sending a blog post newsletter which could make your audience come back to your blog to engage with the content.
And at the end of every week or month, you could send out an email with a roundup of your most recent or most popular blog posts. This way, subscribers who haven’t checked your site for a time would also get your latest posts.
You could also use educational course through autoresponder email series to educate and engage your old and new fans. Even a 101-level crash course on earning online through blogging and affiliate marketing could also expand your blog’s audience.
Also send your subscribers news related to your niche that you could curate from other sources to keep your readers up-to-date about matters dear to them.
Don’t also forget to send out updates and announcements from your blog, informing your list about a milestone in subscribers or readers that you had achieved. Do let your subscribers know when you do things like co-hosting a webinar with another blog or company or swapping blog posts with them. Release free eBooks and invite your subscribers to sign up for them.
From time to time send your subscribers a survey in a broadcast email asking them to give you more information. This kind of insight is vital to the success of your blog and business.
You must also run an A/B split test by creating two different emails (one with your original content and changing it in the other) to see which one would appeal to your subscribers. Or, even check one small content tweak at a time such as testing the subject line of one email and using video content in another.
To successfully use email marketing requires some key email practices violation of which could make one be marked as spam, and this could harm one’s reputation and affect deliverability.
The first is to set clear expectations for subscribers in your sign up forms as to what they will receive and also deliver on that promise. Otherwise you would have high unsubscribe rate.
The second is to send valuable information that they expected to receive from you.
Don’t send emails from email@example.com. Use a company-based email address but not firstname.lastname@example.org but your email@example.com to have a higher chance of getting your messages delivered. Also a person’s name is preferable to a company’s because it adds a more personalized touch and creates a better experience for subscribers.
The last key email practice is to maintain a healthy list. You do this by removing inactive subscribers from your subscriber list so that you send emails only to people who really want to hear from you and who are more likely to do business with you in the future. Cleaning your email list will also ensure that you get really accurate analytics reports of how your emails are performing since it will not be inflated by inactive subscribers which will distort your data.
Thinking that it takes too much time to connect with readers via email discourages newbies. But since the money (or the value?) is in the list, this should be a form of motivation to keep you going on. Therefore devote at least 30 minutes a day to nurturing your email list.
To build your email list, you’re going to need traffic. The very BEST source of traffic will come from your blog posts!
So at the end of your posts, you should always include a link to your squeeze page to enable readers to opt-in to your email list. You can just write a simple note similar to this at the end of your post:
Hey, if you’ve read up to this point, then you’ve certainly loved this post. To get more information like this, subscribe to the newsletter for free at: [link to your squeeze page].
Hey, if you enjoyed this post, I guess you’ll love my other posts too. Sign up for the free newsletter to get news of our events and learn of all my newest posts. You can get on the list here: [link to your squeeze page].
Following just those two simple steps above will put you far ahead of the competition.
But that’s not enough. Start applying some more advanced marketing strategies to build your list. Many of the strategies are here for selling affiliate products and for building your email list.
Now, let’s move on to the second great marketing strategy.2. Create A Facebook Group
This strategy is probably the most powerful yet the least-costly marketing technique that also has the advantage of paying you very well although it doesn’t demand much effort on your part.
When you create a Facebook group that you invite only your visitors and customers to join and connect with each other, you rise above a mere blogger or affiliate marketer. You are now a leader in your field and a channel for people to meet and engage with each other.
When you have thousands of members in your group who interact with each other, ask questions, get answers and solutions to their problems, get feedback on blogging and affiliate marketing ideas, and others, needless to say that you might start changing lives.
Now you might ask why add this headache of managing all those numbers of people to the one of running your business.
No, be assured that it won’t be too much work. The group takes care of itself!
Let’s see how a Facebook group functions.
You set up the group and invite people to join. In the beginning you may spend some time promoting it. The few who join invite their friends to join too. Eventually, the group gets large enough and you’d find many members inviting others to join and the group starts growing exponentially on its own.
All you have to do is moderate the group. This usually consists of deleting spam posts and banning spammers from the group.
What about the numerous queries and other matters group members post and to which you have to answer? Wouldn’t these take you hours to answer them all?
A Facebook group isn’t about the moderator alone. Its functioning concerns the community. And you will find community members taking care of each other’s problems.
Better still, you will find many members volunteer to be moderators of the group. So eventually you will have people help you delete spam posts and ban users who violate the group’s rules.
So effective use of Facebook groups brings you popularity and makes you money because it will enable you to have a network for your blog and customers for your affiliate products. Just take care to be a selfless leader and not the one who plasters their products or services all over the group pages. Your dedication to duty will make them reward you with their custom.
How To Create A Facebook Group
First, head to www.facebook.com/groups/
Next, click “+Create Group” at the top right hand corner.
Now, name your group and you’re all set to invite your friends to join.
The best way to get people to join is to add a link at the end of your blog posts. This could be something like:
Want to take your blogging and affiliate marketing to the next level? Then come join our Facebook group created just for bloggers and affiliate marketers like you. In this group we’ll be sharing blogging and affiliate marketing tips and strategies to help members grow their businesses. It’s also a great place to get any blogging and affiliate marketing questions answered. Join us here:www.facebook.com/groups/GroupName
You can also promote your Facebook group to your email list, on other social media, and in your email signature.
Types Of Facebook Groups You Can Create
Facebook offers you the opportunity to create three types of groups: Open, Closed and Secret.
In an Open group, anyone can join and anyone can see what members post.
In a Closed group, people can join only on the approval by a moderator. Only members can see each other’s posts.
In a Secret group, membership is by invitation only by existing members of the group, and approval is granted only by a moderator. Only then can one know who the other members of the group are and see what they post.
For bloggers and affiliate marketers, a closed group is recommended. This is because such a group helps limit spam, provide some privacy and protection for members, and makes it easy for new members to find the group and join.
The advantage of such a group for yourself and the members is that you can connect and collaborate with each other in a friendly, almost “family atmosphere” without it costing anybody that any money or too much time.
Sometimes it is necessary to promote yourself to your growing number of fans in a place where they can leave comments, and like and share your posts.
A Facebook Fan Page is indicated for this purpose.
It is similar to a Facebook group, the difference being that while the former is a many-to-many communication platform the Fan Page is more of a one-to-many communication one. Which means that there won’t be as much communication between your fans as in a group, but the advantage is that it enables you to get your message out to more people.
Twitter is a great social media platform that enables you to connect with lots of people, start up conversations, and send lots of short messages and tweets.
A great marketing resource, there are three main ways to use it for effective marketing:
Marketing to the masses
Connecting with influencers
Marketing To The Masses
To market to the masses, Twitter enables you to showcase your best work in 140 characters or less. To use awesome, funny, creative tweets and become the go-to person on Twitter, one way is to take the very best lines from your blog posts and post them as Tweets. Whenever you write something truly original, creative and awesome, post it on Twitter. The great stuff you write is what make people follow you.
If you love creating new content and chatting with lots of people every day, you might love marketing to the masses on Twitter. This is what will enable you to create an indelible brand on Twitter.
When you log in to your Twitter account, at the bottom left of the front page you’ll see a list labelled “Worldwide Trends.”
These are trending topics. They are words or phrases that are going viral at the moment.
One of the trending conversations on Twitter now is #Copyright proposal did not pass in the plenary session at the European parliament.
If the trend relates to your blog post, you can use it to promote yourself. Let’s say your blog is about copyright, you could write a Tweet like this to promote your post:
My heart goes out to all those hurt by the rejection by the European parliament. If only the parliamentarians in Europe read [link to your book] #Copyright
Tweeting in a trending topic like this can make hundreds of thousands of people see your Tweet. This can bring a lot of traffic to your website or new customers for your affiliate offer.
For people involved in local marketing, you can change the setting to trends in the city or country near you.
Connecting With Online Influencers
An influencer is a celebrity or a high profile person. They are people who have acquired the power to produce effects on others in their fields of activity. Connecting with such people on Twitter is another super-powerful marketing strategy not to overlook since it enables you to have access to people who are normally off-limits to you.
Luckily Twitter makes it easy to contact influencers, unlike Facebook. Facebook’s privacy settings makes it almost impossible to contact a celebrity or CEO of a Fortune 500 company on the platform. On Twitter, however, you can send a Tweet to a celebrity, and they are sure to see it unless they don’t manage their Twitter account themselves. Luckily many do so.
Sunday morning around 9 a.m. is usually the best time to get an influencer’s attention on Twitter. Many of them aren’t saddled with work then, and they will see a notification about your Tweet as they check their smart phone. However, you’ve got just a few seconds to grab their attention!
How do you do that?
By sending a Tweet like:
Hey @username, I’d love to interview you for [a blog post, podcast, etc.] on [topic that would interest that person: e.g.: What influencers regret most about being successful.]
Offering to interview high profile individuals is a great way to connect with them. We all like being talked about.
In the beginning many high level individuals in the blogging and affiliate marketing niche may not return your emails. But as you persist and get some interviews, word will spread about you and it will become easier and easier to get interview requests granted by high profile individuals to the extent that they may soon be contacting you themselves for interviews!
When you contact an influencer, offer them something valuable and don’t just think of getting value from them.
Requesting to interview an influencer and promote them to your audience is valuable for them and will help you build a good relationship that might eventually lead to them promoting you to their audience.
If you want to attract more visitors to your website and sell more affiliate products, fewer high profile relationships can be better. So, focus on building fewer relationships with influencers who have bigger networks, than with the multitudes whose networks wouldn’t serve you.
Finally, if you want to have more visitors to your blog and sell more affiliate products and make money on Twitter, focussing on just one of the three main marketing strategies outlined here can be worthwhile.
Pinterest’s specificity as a social network is the sharing of photos. Thus the site is ideal for blogs or affiliate products that handle intrinsically photogenic topics to connect with your audience. Some are blogs or affiliate products about cooking, recipes, travel, or lose weight, dieting, etc.
The second thing to note about Pinterest is that most of the users are women with kids and who earn $100,000 or more a year. If your target audience is naturally such people, then Pinterest is probably a great place for you to build your audience and get more visits to your blog or sell more affiliate products.
To use Pinterest to get more visits to your blog or sell more affiliate products, you need to create boards.
How To Create And Use A Board On Pinterest
Log in to Pinterest. Look for the + button at the top right corner. Click the + button and “Create a Board.”
Concerning a blog, you may design a single board for all your posts. But since variety is the spice of life, a different board for each blog category wouldn’t be a bad idea. For affiliate products, you could have a board for each category (like email marketing, affiliate training, work from home, SEO, etc.).
It’s now time to start uploading relevant photos to your boards. In the text description, think Twitter and write a powerful teaser and add a link back to your site or affiliate product for those who might want to check you out.
Those who pin gorgeous photos tend to get a lot of viral traffic and shares on Pinterest. So if you share great pictures and visual content on Pinterest, it can make you get a lot of traffic or sell a lot of affiliate products. And don’t forget: a pin without a link won’t get you any traffic or make sales.
This is another great social media network for your blog and affiliate marketing. Unlike the others, LinkedIN’s users, the average of whom earns more than $100,000 a year, are business and career focused.
LinkedIN can be a dream place for you to build your audience if you write about or offer affiliate products on business, making money, careers, or other business or money-focused topics.
Just as we saw for Twitter, there are three main strategies for effective marketing on LinkedIN:
Marketing to the masses
Displaying your expertise
Connecting with influencers
On LinkedIN, to market to the masses and connect with influencers, you must join industry and professional groups.
The groups can be browsed at www.linkedin.com/myGroups
Another way is to type your keyword (e.g.: bloggers or affiliate marketers) into the LinkedIN search bar on the groups page. The site will return results of bloggers or affiliate marketers who share ideas and support each other. When you join and connect with like-minded people, you might find some great promotional partners or some good information that can help you take your business to the next level.
With just a few minutes of work, you could connect with tens of thousands of people interested in your field on LinkedIN.
This is yet another great social media network for you to connect with influencers and join communities where you can interact with your peers to create awareness in your business.
Google+ has groups called communities which are smaller but more active and more closely knit than groups on Facebook and LinkedIN.
Browse Google+ communities here: plus.google.com/communities
If you type blogging and affiliate marketing into the search window at the communities page, you would find dozens of groups dedicated to the niche(s) that you can join.
Google+ offers you many other great features for connecting with your customers and marketing to them. One of them is Google Hangouts with which you can create live online video events like webinars for your readers to learn from you and even ask you questions and get answers. What is great about Google Hangouts is that it will automatically record the events if you want and publish them on YouTube, just at the click of a button.
If you are only promoting affiliate products without a blog, then you have to think of creating one.
Blogging can help you sell a lot of affiliate products over time if done properly and consistently.
As said above, it is only when you have your own website that you can begin to build a list which is your greatest asset as an affiliate marketer.
However, if you are blogging already, here are a few strategies to getting the best out of it.
Blogging comes naturally to many writers who therefore churn out a blog post every month or every week. Others have to struggle with it.
Whatever your case, know that consistency is the key to blogging success. One blog post every month, every week or every day will produce remarkable results if sustained over a long period of time, say a minimum of 1 year.
This is because blogging for a few months and then falling back won’t get you out of what is called the “Google Sandbox”. And of course, you can’t achieve success if you don’t come out of that box.
What then is the Google Sandbox?
It is the term for how Google treats new websites.
When you start a blog or website, Google keeps it in the Sandbox. This is because Google does not trust new sites. This “not trustworthy status” for a new website lasts roughly from four to six months. During this period, your site will not start appearing in search results and therefore people can’t find it in search engines.
As you write more and more consistently, Google starts to trust your site more and more. Your site breaks out of the Google Sandbox and will start appearing in more search results and more people will find your site in search engines. Then your traffic from search engines will start to grow naturally and consistently over time.
Like everything else, it takes time, effort and commitment to turn your blog into a valuable business asset.
Getting into contact with an influencer to create a relationship which will enable you benefit from their audience, often through guest blogging (which gets a link back to your site from theirs) is what blogger outreach is about.
You can form relationships with three types of influencers:
Micro-influencers: They have a smaller but highly engaged following consisting of an average of less than 100k
Macro-influencers: They have a large following of 100k-500k with some engagement
Mega-influencers: They have high follower numbers in the range of 500k-1 million+ and high engagement rates
So, how can you find the right bloggers to offer them your post?
First determine your needs.
Next decide which influencers to contact and reach out to those in your niche who aren’t competing with you directly.
If your brand is relatively unknown, micro-influencers might be the best for you.
Macro-influencers might be harder to pitch. But should you manage to gain their attention they can explode your outreach.
Mega-influencers of course are the hardest to pitch. Generally they collaborate with other macro-influencers who have built a relationship with them.
If you’re just beginning, your best option is to pitch to micro and maybe macro-influencers. This doesn’t mean you should stick with these types of influencers to the end. Success with them could make you win a mega-influencer.
However if you’re intent on landing a mega influencer, you must play the numbers game by drawing up a list of 100 influencers you’d like to build a business relationship with.
By marketing to these 100 mega influencers over time, you increase your odds of winning some of them. Imagine the impact on your business if just one or two mega influencers accept to promote you!
Begin by learning a bit about the influencer you’re trying to land. At best, this should be people that you already follow. This will enable you send them a much more individualized message and above all, create content that will give value to their audience which will also translate into promotion for you.
Start the outreach process by creating a spreadsheet of their names, their blog, and their social profiles.
Now, before sending them a cold email, warm up to them. This you can do by commenting on their blog posts, following them on social media, sharing or retweeting content they’ve tweeted, tagging them in your social posts, replying to updates and shared content, and targeting them with brand awareness campaigns
Then you can send your cold email.
If you don’t know the influencer’s email address, tools like hunter (https://hunter.io) installed as a Chrome extension and Clearbit Connect (https://chrome.google.com/) that integrates with your Gmail account will help you find it.
Keep in mind that in addition to their businesses keeping them very busy, influencers receive a large amount of outreach emails, so yours need to stand out from the crowd to be noticed and given attention.
Personalizing your mail by using the influencer’s name, telling them why you’re contacting them, letting them know you’ve interacted with them in the past and why your content matters will set you apart.
Further, in your guest post proposal, the subject line should be relevant. So suggest a couple of headlines for them to have a feel for the angle of your piece; try to introduce yourself in the first sentence or the next; showing you’re familiar with their work lets the blogger know you’re serious and sincere and not just someone just out for a link; let them know how your piece will impact their brand so they know the benefit you’re bringing to them; compliment them for their work because everyone loves some praise and that could make them like you; mentioning that they might not want to share your content shows that you respect their authority; double check for grammar, spelling and other errors like punctuation because first impression counts and lasts so you might not have another opportunity to pitch them; add social proof (other people who have linked to you, etc.) and make sure all of your links are working correctly.
Doing all of the above is not an assurance the influencer will acknowledge your request. But don’t take the lack of a reply for a refusal to collaborate with you.
Should your correspondent not respond within a reasonable amount of time, seize other opportunities to follow up. You could for instance friend them on Facebook and message them there.
Although you must not pester influencers, you should still send a follow-up email (or two) to double check that they received your first message.
Close.io suggests sending your initial follow-up after one day (of no reply), your second two days after the first, and then your third follow-up four or five days after the second.
If the blogger replies to you, foster the relationship by thanking them for their response and help. Next, try to cement the relationship by asking them if they could review content on your blog, or give you any piece of advice. Finally, ask them if there’s anything you can help them with. For some influencers might want to get paid for their outreach, even if they don’t expressly say so.
If after doing all these the blogger still doesn’t reply, then it’s probably time to move on. For now, because you can still re-engage this person later or with a different message.
Whether you’re dealing with a handful of influencers or many, it is necessary to keep track of your efforts and measure the results to see if you’re meeting your goals (getting your content shared) and seeing the results you want (increased traffic, conversions, etc.).
First track your outreach efforts in the initial spreadsheet you created when doing influencer research by noting that you’ve contacted them, and, if possible, how many emails you sent.
Now is the time to look at your metrics to see whether or not your efforts at blogger outreach are producing the desired results.
Google Analytics (https://www.google.com/analytics/) will enable you track your site traffic, influencers, and bounce rates. Keyhole (https://try.keyhole.co/) is handy for tracking hashtags, mentions of your brand, and other social metrics. Salesmate (https://www.salesmate.io/), a CRM pipeline tool, will help you track and measure all of your campaigns over time.
But if you’re looking for an all-in-one tool, Pitchbox (https://pitchbox.com/) does it all, from finding influencers to sending emails and tracking your outreach campaign.
In addition to gaining valuable links for your blog, use blogger outreach as a chance to start to build a true, lasting relationship with an influencer.
One useful relationship is Partnerships or Joint Ventures. Now that you know each other and your businesses, seize the opportunity to propose how a partnership could benefit all, the customer included.
You might also start a conversation with an influencer and let them know that you’re interested in buying their business, or selling yours to them.
If you feel that you could start an interesting conversation with an influencer over your shared interest or industry, please go ahead and do it. For rare are the people who don’t want more friends. Don’t forget that friends could eventually go on to help each other out in their businesses. A friendship like this could lead to consistent links and mentions.
People are too busy these days and need all the help they can get. So if you can analyze an influencer’s business or website and suggest some improvement that you could handle, I don’t know a business owner who will not jump at this opportunity and offer you the job.
Write Content For Article Publishing Sites
Creating content or articles for free article publishing sites is a great way to create awareness in your business.
Articles you post on your blogs are great but those you submit to other website will help you build useful external links. Besides, when you post articles in a website with high PR, it is most likely that your post will be viewed by many people and build your reputation and trust.
High PR websites have already established good readership and followers and this will translate into increased traffic to your website when readers check the resource box at the end of the article to come to your blog to read more.
But with so many free article submission sites out there, which one could you submit to for effective marketing strategy?
From a blog featuring the top 50 in 2018, here are the top 10 for you (but you may also do some Google search yourself):
Do you know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine after Google? That should tell you something about the importance of using videos to create awareness about your company.
Video creation used to be the preserve of professionals or businesses with huge budgets. No more. If you have a smartphone, tablet, laptop or a digital camera, you can easily make videos from home.
Video is not only a great marketing tool but also a very helpful medium for your blog visitors and affiliate products customers.
Finding topics for your videos is also simple. Take the top 10 FAQ’s from your blog visitors or your target audience and answer them in a video recording. Then mention your blog or your business at the end of your video and link to it in the description section.
Another way to find topics for your videos is to browse through the posts on online forums, Google+ Communities and groups on Facebook and LinkedIN. There you would find what kinds of questions your audience is asking, problems they are having, and frustrations they are facing, and then offer solutions in your videos.
Bloggers can also read excerpts from your blog posts or share your personal story of why you became a blogger, your daily schedule or how you go about writing your blog posts. You can also share and teach what you learn about writing blog posts, and the marketing of affiliate products.
Many people have difficulties with aspects of blogging and affiliate marketing and you could create an educational video that they could learn from.
Many people are also looking for ways to earn money online or from home and a video teaching them how to do so could help you expand the reach of your blog and attract new loyal readers and help you sell more affiliate products.
Each of the affiliate products you’re promoting are designed to solve a particular problem and people on YouTube are looking for such answers. If you can upload videos with such solutions, they will happily reward you with their custom.
Video is one of the ways and maybe the most powerful for your audience to connect with you. So if you create helpful, fun or entertaining videos for your target market, they will love you for it and end up patronizing your blog posts and affiliate products.
You may be wondering how a simple video that took you only 5 minutes to record with a simple device and upload to YouTube could bring immense benefits into the life of your audience and a big change into your business. Remember, every little thing counts and it is little drops of water that make a mighty ocean. So go on uploading videos on to YouTube and see it change lives and take your business to the next level.
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A special thanks to Tom Corson-Knowles, the #1 Amazon best-selling author of The Kindle Publishing Bible and Secrets of the Six-Figure Author whose teachings inspired me to write this piece. Tom, who loves educating and inspiring other entrepreneurs to succeed and live their dreams, uses these same strategies to market his books to high sales.