Today, marketing firms can use a wide array of tools to get their clients’ messages out:
Social media, blogs, email, PPC, mobile search, display advertising, search engine optimization and more.
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Straight North is an internet marketing agency near Chicago that specializes in:
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• Email, social media and mobile marketing
• Affiliate and content marketing
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“Whether your goal is to generate leads or sell products, your website should be designed to communicate with human beings and with search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
“You’ll likely have better success positioning your company as an authority and moving up in the search rankings by using a mix of search-engine marketing tools: Search-engine optimization, social media, blogs, email marketing, affiliate advertising and syndication of content are some tools that can make an impact.”
— David Duerr, CEO, Straight North
I’ve written other blog posts with step by step tips on getting your website or blog onto Google’s first page search results.
(That’s important because 90% of Google searchers don’t look past the first page of results!)
One of my other sites recently made it to the first page of Google for a particular search phrase with decent traffic and mid-level competition.
Here’s what I did:
This blog’s sister site is TwitterPowerTool. After doing some research about popular search keywords regarding Twitter, I noticed that one phrase was particularly promising.
According to the FREE Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the phrase “twitter ideas” gets about 4000 global monthly searches.
Then I went to Google to see how many websites are already competing for the phrase “twitter ideas.”
To do this, first I made sure I was “signed out” of Google, by looking at the top right hand side of the Google.com homepage. My browser is Firefox, so then I went under Tools/Clear Recent History and selected that.
Finally, I refreshed the Google.com page.
Doing all that gives you a closer approximation to the results a stranger would see when searching for a particular phrase on Google. If you don’t do that before you do your research on keyword competition, the results you get will reflect only your personal searches, and those won’t give you an accurate, universal picture of what’s being prioritized by Google.
After I did all that “cache clearing,” I typed “twitter ideas” into Google.com. (Note: I used quotation marks around the phrase, just like that — that’s important.)
Looking right under the Google search field, it said “About 37,200 results.”
Affiliate marketing programs has never been as popular before as it is today. Why? The most probable reason, however, could be the fact that the benefits of affiliate marketing have become clearer to a lot of people now than they were before.
The most basic affiliate marketing programs, however, fall under two categories: pay-per-click (PPC), and pay-per-performance (PPP).
* Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is the most popular type of affiliate marketing for affiliates with small websites, and probably the easiest way for them to earn money. In this affiliate marketing type, the merchant pays his affiliate whenever a visitor is referred to his site, that is whenever someone clicks through the merchant’s banner or text ads.
The affiliate gets paid a certain amount even if the visitor he referred does not purchase anything from the merchant’s site. However, typical fees for PPC affiliate programs are small, usually not exceeding a dollar for every click.
* Pay Per Performance (PPP)
PPP affiliate marketing is the most popular among merchant and is also the most lucrative type for the affiliates. In this type of affiliate program, the merchant only pays the affiliate whenever his referral translates into an action — that is whenever the visitor he has referred actually buys something from the merchant’s site or when the visitor becomes a lead. This means a lot of savings for the merchant.
On the other hand, it becomes the most lucrative type for the dedicated affiliate, for commissions in PPP affiliate marketing usually comes in the range of 15% to 20% of the actual product sales.
Pay-per-performance affiliate marketing can be further classified into two popular types: pay-per-sales (PPS) and pay-per-lead (PPL).
During that stretch between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I (finally) clean out my email inbox.
Some years, there have been hundreds of marketing newsletters I’d had every intention of reading some day, and long lost friends I’d meant to reply to. But every December, I face the fact that I’ll never get around to doing that stuff, and do a mass purge of the inbox. It feels good to start the new year that way.
You might think this was a good time to use Spring Cleaning Deluxe on your Mac, too. This age-old software from SmithMicro promises to clean out old data on your Mac, making it run faster.
Don’t believe it.
I ran Spring Cleaning a few years ago. It broke my computer. When I took it into the Apple store and told the guy I’d run Spring Cleaning on it, his face froze. We were standing right next to the software shelves, and sure enough, Spring Cleaning was prominently displayed.
The Apple guy looked around nervously and then said quietly, “See, that was your mistake.”
So I know I’m not the only person who’s wrecked their Mac by running Spring Cleaning on it. Just think of the poor saps who ended up going to apply for a payday loan so they could fix their computer, only to break it for good with this software. Don’t take the chance.
There are other ways to “spring clean” your Mac. They’ll take longer than running some automated software, but it will make a visible difference.
(NOTE: the only software they recommend that I’ve personally used is Monolingual, and it’s fantastic. It’s a little program that erases all those Swahili dictionaries and Cantonese keyboard thingies your Mac ships with, but that you likely won’t ever use.)
Every day brings a scary new story about online subscribers, commenters and shoppers getting their “secret” passwords stolen, and even exposed to the world.
In an embarrassing development, some users who consider themselves internet savvy were hardest hit in late 2010:
Readers of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and other Gawker Media sites may be among the savviest on the Web, but the most common password for logging into those sites is embarrassingly easy to guess: “123456.” So is the runner-up: “password.
Choosing and managing safe, secure passwords seems like a pain, but it is easier than you might think.
“For example, if the password you want to use is CheeseBurgers!, then create CheeseBurgers!Banking as a password for financial services, CheeseBurgers!Social for networks like Facebook and Twitter, CheeseBurgers!Email for mail services, etc. You’ll still mentally have “one” password but it won’t work for everything. (the added length is also a minor increase to security since longer passwords are harder to guess) If another Gawker media incident happens where millions of passwords and email addresses are stolen, perhaps only your CheeseBurgers!Blogging password will need to be changed.”
I have an even better idea: check out 1Password.
1Password generates new, secure passwords for you in seconds. If you want to be extra safe, choose a password over 13 characters long that contains not only letters and numbers but symbols too, like *, #, and $
I don’t have to remember these complicated passwords. 1Password does it for me.
Then 1Password saves that password along with all your other ones. When you need to log in again, you just click the 1Password bookmarklet on your browser tab, and it fills in your log in information. It even hits the “Enter” button!
* Is “pinging” dead? It used to be one of the top tips on blogging: always use “pinging” services to tell important sites, like Technorati, that you’ve just updated your blog. Pinging helped your blog get more traffic and backlinks. Today, however, one blogger says pinging is no longer necessary. What do you think?
* Like this blogger, I too have just discovered the free and easy note-taking took called Evernote. I now keep Evernote open all day long, and copy & paste juicy stuff from around the web there. It’s a great way to permanently store urls, thoughts (mine and other people’s), post ideas and more.
* In the Christmas spirit, check out “12 Days of Blogging”:
“…every day, you’ll get a post filled to the brim with links to tips from some of the best bloggers around the world. Some of these names you may recognize. Others will probably be brand new to you. Either way, there will be over 75 bloggers featured as part of this series!
“Every day, you’re invited to leave links to any post you have that is relevant to the topic of the day – and I’m hoping you’ll take full advantage of this opportunity to promote your own work!”
* Is it possible to “Learn SEO in 30 Seconds”?
* Speaking of SEO, here are “9 SEO Insights You Must Follow” — for instance, here’s what you need to know about your blog’s page title:
“The page title needs to be under 70 characters and no more than 3 long tail keywords in the page title. Your most important keyword should be first and each keyword should be separated by pipes (|).”
This blog uses the Socrates WordPress theme. I like it so much I use this theme on many of my other blogs.
As you can see from features such as the rotating top banner, the social media “slider” and the built-in ClickBank widget, the Socrates theme for WordPress is optimized for those who want to make money blogging.
Socrates is also the easiest WordPress theme I ever installed. When I had a question about how to customize the look of my blog, their support staff answered immediately.
There’s even a 30-day free trial.
So I’m very impressed by this WordPress theme.
Today I received this email:
Hi Socrates Customer,
It’s hard to believe it only been eight months since the Socrates Premium WordPress Theme was released. The theme has become more popular than we ever imagined.
In fact, today we just hit our 7,000th customer.
So to celebrate I thought it would be a great idea to hold an exclusive webinar for our customers.
Whether you’re an active Socrates user or a trial customer I invite you to join me on Wednesday, December 29 at 7PM EST for a Socrates overview and Q&A webinar.
For Trial users I’ll show you how to fully setup and install Socrates in under 10 minutes, and then I’ll take any and all questions from customers for the next 50 minutes
Space is Limited…
Date: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
I hope to see you there.
To Your Socrates Success! Dan Nickerson
This webinar would be a great way to get a walk through of all the Socrates features.
* First, here’s one of the best articles I’ve ever read about how to choose the keywords you should optimize your posts and blogs for. It’s called “Beginner WordPress SEO: Optimize Your Blog Posts.” This brief article is an easy to understand, step by step guide to the methods that work. (I’ve used them with great success.)
* “Dealing with a DDOS attack”: if you blog about anything controversial — or you just happen to get on somebody’s bad side — you might be subject to a Denial of Service (Dos) or Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack one day. This means someone is malevolently flooding your server with hits, to “break” your site. (The same thing happens — but for good reasons — during an “Instalanche,” when one of your posts becomes so popular that thousands of people are trying to get to your blog right away.) Either way, your blog will suddenly crash, and you (or whoever is in charge of your servers) will have to go to some trouble to get it back up. mThink has a very short, pretty technical but helpful guide to reducing your chances of being the victim of a DOS attack.
* ProBlogger’s Darren Rowse asks fellow bloggers: “What do you do with posts when you change your opinion?”
* “Why aren’t you hosting your own blog yet?” asks Kiesha Easley:
“I have nothing against Blogspot or WordPress.com. In fact, if it wasn’t for Blogger, I might have never gotten my start. But it only took a few months of struggling to build search engine traffic before I started asking myself, how could I honestly say that I’m taking my blogging seriously if I wasn’t willing to invest in my own domain name and host my own blog? (…)
In Part One, I told you how to use free blog and website creation services to build pages that link back to your blog. (Remember: Google loves backlinks.)
In Part Two, we looked at using Twitter and social bookmarking sites like Digg to let the world know about your blog (and get even more backlinks.)
Finally, in Part Three, let’s see the results of doing all that:
Let about 24 to 48 hours go by (if you can wait that long — I’m not very good at that).
* Go to Google.com. If you have a Google account, look at the upper right hand side of the page. If you are “Signed In,” be sure to sign out.
* Then refresh the page, and clear your browser cache. (In Firefox, this is under Tools/Clear Recent History.)
NOTE: Unless you do all this clearing and refreshing, you’ll get search results back that reflect what YOU’VE been looking for on your computer.
And you want, as much as possible, to see what a total stranger would see if they typed “discount electronic widget adaptors” (WITHOUT the quotation marks!) into Google.
Another way to replicate searching from a total stranger’s computer is to use a program like HideMyIP.
* So do just that: TYPE YOUR KEYWORD PHRASE into your Google search field and see what comes up.
It may take a few more days to see more of your sites showing up on page one, but if you have followed these instructions, you should see results.
Doing all this costs you nothing but time, energy and patience. But believe me, it is worth it.