responsiblecommenting.com

21Mar/120

Get More Comments: Use Energy to Spark Reader Response

This guest post is by Jon Morrow of Boost Blog Traffic.

According to the legendary copywriter John Carlton, the best way to understand your reader is to visualize them as a giant somnambulant sloth lying on the couch as they watch television. Your job as a writer is to get them to move. You have to be interesting enough, inspiring enough, captivating enough to get them to turn off the TV, get up off the couch, and do something.

The reason why most bloggers don’t get many comments is they fail the “Sloth Test.” Sure, their posts are useful, maybe even mildly entertaining, but that’s the equivalent of giving the sloth another sitcom to watch on TV. If you want them to go through the trouble of responding, you have to do more. Much more.

You have to give them the energy necessary to respond. Not just ideas, not just stories, not just advice. Energy. If you read posts that get hundreds of comments, the conclusions are so passionate, so full of energy that you can’t help feeling a little bit charged up after reading it. Through the magic of the written word, the writer transfers their energy to you, and it lifts you up and gives you the power to take action.

It’s like charging a dead car battery. You take a car with a good battery, run some jumper cables from it to the car with the dead battery, and rev the engine. And then “VROOM,” the dead battery comes to life. Same thing with blogging. To get lots of comments, you have to electrify your readers, and that, of course, requires you to be electrified yourself.

So, find your passion. Cultivate positive energy. Use that energy to inspire people. Do those things, and you won’t just get more comments. You’ll turn readers into raving fans.

In addition to serving as Associate Editor of Copyblogger, Jon Morrow is on a mission to help good writers get traffic they deserve. If you’re one of them, check out his upcoming blog about (surprise!) blogging.

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

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Get More Comments: Use Energy to Spark Reader Response


@ProBlogger

21Mar/120

More than 3 million of the new Apple iPad sold since Friday

Apple has just announced to us that the company sold more than three million units of the new Apple iPad 2012 since it’s launch this past Friday. “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold―the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Customers are loving the incredible new features of iPad, including the stunning Retina display, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers around the world this Friday.” If you aren’t living in the U.S states, you can now looking for this new iPad because it’s already available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the US Virgin Islands. Moreover, Apple will bring this newest and hottest tablet into 24 more countries starting at 8:00 a.m. local time on Friday, March 23 through, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
TechDaring

4Mar/120

Local Will Matter More and More

Rooftops 1

Depending on who you ask, people would say that I’m an “Internet guy.” I’ll own that. I make my living on the Internet. I work primarily in the world of explaining to people how the digital world will change their lives. I’ll accept that to be true. But I must be really clear with you: understanding how the Internet makes Local work better is probably the most important part of what I’m studying and learning, and what I hope to help companies understand better.

This morning, I have a strange conundrum. I lost my car key at an airport a week ago. The thing is, I bought my car over the Internet, which was a great experience. Only, I have zero local support. I have no local relationship with any dealership or garage. It turns out that I need this, desperately, to solve this particular problem.

So, today, I called Anthony at a dealership local to the car. Anthony, not General Motors. I called one guy who is skillful, friendly, and able to help me solve my problem. On one side, I have the ease of use of buying my car off the net without the typical hassle. On the other side, I have a local guy who is going to fix my issue.

The Blend of Online and Local

In 2009, Julien Smith and I wrote Trust Agents to talk about the need for someone online to help build relationships. To be honest, back then, I’d say we were defining something akin to a WalMart greeter. In 2012, I believe that the trust agent is more like a high powered concierge. These people are still very vital for growth and business success. (Never read the book? Get it here.)

Today, however, I think it’s important for us to know both the online trust agent as well as the local hero. I think that’s a missing piece of many companies’ puzzles. But then, what will that entail?

Simply, a database is a good start. If I were to contact Scott Monty of Ford, and ask him who the trusted person for Ford would be in my neighborhood, he’d point me to Regan Ford, not far from my house. But there’s more to this, right? Scott might know where a dealership is, and that’s a good start, but then, how will he know who’s the real “trust agent” of that place or area? There’s a difference. You know the difference, right? There are people who have a job and people who live to serve. We want to connect with B, especially when we’re a bit frantic.

This is an Unfinished Thought

This post is more of a proto-post, a thought in action, the start of some thinking. I’m putting it out here because I invite you to think about it too. To consider it with me, if you would.

How will we blend the online and offline even more? How will we help people understand what you offer?

What will this all mean?




chrisbrogan.com

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9Feb/120

One Simple Process to Take for More SEO Traffic



data miningSEO can be very difficult if you’re just starting and have little to no experience or authority to start with. Of course, there are tons of tutorials online about SEO and link building, but most of them can be sometimes complicated and long-term that it seems you’re not getting as much results for the efforts you put in. In this article I will be sharing a process I use to increase traffic to my blog from the search engines; using this process alone I have been able to increase SEO traffic to one of the pages on my blog from around 400 to 3,000+ visitors monthly. This technique isn’t automatic, it takes some time and effort but I can assure you that the results will be worth it at the end.

The Process is Called “Data Mining”

The idea is simple, take a look at the top 25 – 50 keywords sending traffic to your blog, try to look for common variations of keywords relevant to your blog, try to see if you’re not yet ranking #1 for those keywords and work on getting to #1. We rank around page 2 – 5 for most of those long-tail keywords that send us trickles of visitors every day, now imagine how much more traffic you will be able to get if you are able to be ranked #1 for that keyword on page 1. Of course, it will take some efforts but you will find it much easier to rank compared to if you were to start optimizing from scratch, simply because you’re already ranking for that keyword and only need to improve your rankings.

The good thing about this is that you can do it over and over again and there will always be new keywords to rank for; the great thing is that it takes little to no effort to rank and the traffic is completely relevant to you, and over time you will find yourself automatically ranking for most of the keyword variations.

In other words, no need to write new content, no need to do any keyword research, just look for those keywords and take necessary steps to start ranking.

You Need BACKLINKS, though

Even though the process is still relatively easy you still need backlinks so you should do your best to get as much of them as you can. My favorite approach for gaining backlinks at the moment is guest blogging, simply because it helps you gain authoritative backlinks while still giving you control over the links you’re able to gain. If you’re new to the idea of guest blogging you might want to check out this article on my blog about it.

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Blogging Tips

26Dec/110

Canadians Trust Museums More Than The Web



Canadians are a cautious bunch. Their frugal natures in financial matters have left their economy in exemplary shape after the recession of 2008, and that’s a good thing. However, there’s seems to be a downside to that much vigilance.

The Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies has just released the findings of a new study whereby 2000 Canucks were polled and 84% expressed strong elements of trust in the way museums presented the history of their country. At the very bottom of the list, below even direct witnesses to historical events, was the Internet.

So what’s the problem, you might ask? Why not just leave the people who like museums to their own ways and the Internet followers to their preferred choice? According to the article, the problem lies with the museums themselves. They’re the ones that are interested in creating online content.

It seems that many Canadian museums are looking to the web to get the word out on the collections they have in their halls and the other things they’re interested in having people see.  Jack Jedwab is the ACS executive director and he sees the whole thing as a question of people questioning the investigative process.

“There’s a big challenge, here, no question about it,” he says. “Because on the other hand, the Internet is also the source where people can access historical information quickly and at the lowest possible cost.”

 

In another web based story that doesn’t present the Internet in the best possible light, a new scam has reared it’s ugly head and at least one overseas family who thought they were on their way to a dream vacation found out they’d been taken. Steve Chase owns a million dollar South Florida home and he was shocked recently when families started to show up there with rental agreements. Turns out, as you might have guessed by now, that the agreements were nothing more than Internet based scams.

 

Unfortunately, this scam is becoming more prevalent on the web. People actually looking to list vacation properties often use the Internet and get a deposit and some of the money from would-be customers, but more and more the crooks are getting involved and asking for the money to be sent upfront. Unfortunately, there’s not much chance of getting the money back or catching these crooks since the crime often crosses international borders.

The lesson here? A family vacation to a Canadian museum is a safe bet.


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Blogging Tips

2Nov/110

Why natural backlinks are more important than artificial backlinks?

To be simple website's Search engine ranking works based on quality content and backlinks. The ultimate point we need to think about is to write fresh and informative content for users and not to write rephrasing content for Google and other major search engines. Your readers will love to give a link to your web page content only when it is found unique. This natural backlink has more weight age than your artificial backlinks such as directories submission, web page posting and so.

Content that attracts readers are given more importance by Google and other search engines. Readers who link to your webpage would be high and with right anchor text your web page will be boosted link anything.

Artificial backlinks needs more time and effort and to find the right sites for submission is not so easy. As per Google guidelines, paid links submission without “nofollow” attribute will be a big cause for penalty. Even if you pay for links with “nofollow” attribute, the link juice flow doesn't work like before. Instead if you put more efforts for writing quality content then over night you will have a high chance of getting more natural backlinks from your readers.

Writing quality content is a onetime effort. It automatically works for you round the clock but link submission is a repeated process. It is not that you need not get links from quality human edited directory; it is as simple as that you need to give more importance to write quality content to get natural backlinks and it grows as it reaches mass audience. Through researches it is found that natural backlinks brings more relevant users and conversion level is high.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Articles, Tips, Tricks, Help Blog - Jagadeesh Mohan

8Oct/110

Experience is the Mother of More Affiliate Commissions



This is a guest post by Peter Lawlor. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Have you ever had to sit through a friend or family member showing you a 2 foot high stack of vacation photos?

To make matters worse, you get to listen to a play-by-play of the entire vacation and hear about all the “really cool” people in the photos.

Don’t you just want to say “hand ‘em to me” so you can rifle through them quickly.

Okay, I’m being a little harsh. I actually do like seeing SOME photos, especially the scenery, but when we hit the 100th photo mark, it’s tough to maintain enthusiasm.

You see, the vacation wasn’t my experience, so I simply can’t muster the same excitement as the person who enjoyed the tropical beaches or sipped fancy coffees on the streets of Paris.

You might think I’m a curmudgeon, but there simply is no substitute for not being there yourself.

Experience can improve affiliate commissions … at least for me

Just as I can`t enjoy a vacation through photos, the same is true with your pre-selling as an affiliate marketer or selling your services. You simply can`t impart the details as a bystander rather than a user.

This is why hiring writers can be so difficult. You want them to impart intimate knowledge of your products or services, but they don’t have the direct experience.

Whether you’re promoting a product as an affiliate or your own products, there simply is no substitute for having firsthand knowledge, use, and experience of the products or services you’re selling.

Buy it and use it

Seriously, if you think a product or service is so great that you want to tell people about it, buy it and use it. I’ve done this many times. Sure, it costs me some money, but in my humble blogging experience, there is no substitute for getting my hands or keyboard on it to give it a test-drive.

The best part is most products I’ve gone out and purchased for a review paid off within weeks. Affiliate commissions going forward are pure profit.

It also takes more time to buy it, use it and then write about it versus looking at the sales page and cranking out what you hope the search engines will believe is unique content.

It’s the intimate details that sell

When you use something you come to understand how it works in a way that merely reading the sales page will not provide you. You understand how it works, discover quirks and problems as well as cool features that aren’t disclosed on the sales page.

Even one additional detail you can provide in a review or blog post about the product you promote can improve your conversion rate. Why? Because you offered something not found anywhere else.

Okay, I’m guilty of not using every product to which I stick an affiliate link

Yes, it’s true. I’ve applied affiliate links to products I haven’t used. I’ve even earned some money from them. That’s cool, BUT, I’ve earned by far the most commissions from products and services I personally used, continue to use, and love. Period. In fact, the amount I earn in commissions from the products I use and like by far exceed those I haven’t used.

I can only surmise the difference stems from the details; the details I’m able to write about as a user rather than a bystander.

Don’t expect to get it free or at a discount just because you’ll promote it

I only buy a product with my affiliate link if it’s expressly permitted. I don’t ask for a free copy or test-drive unless it’s offered. If I want it and happen to promote it, I pay for it. That’s only fair. Most of the time I seek out products and services I actually need and will use.

What if you hate the product?

I’ve bought many duds in the past. I don’t recommend duds. I may write about them, but do explain why it’s not for me. My readers are too important to hoodwink with a stinker product.

That said, I don’t take vengeful approach and slam the product either. If it’s truly horrible, I’ll simply not write anything about it. Maybe I’m a bit of a softie here, but that’s my style.

Are you having trouble pre-selling and earning affiliate commissions? You can do 1 of 2 things:

1. Think about a product or service with an affiliate program you use and love.

Write some detailed and informative posts about that product. Don’t restrict yourself to a 500 word review and call it a day. Dig in deep. Cover the product from every angle. If you write 10 posts on it, that’s great. Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes and think about what they need to know to truly understand the product without having used it.

If you like it, recommend it. Back up your recommendation with supporting details and facts based on your experience.

2. Think of a product or service you need, buy it and use it.

Once you’ve used it and know it well, write about as set out in in number 1 above.

Is it unethical to place affiliate links to products you haven’t used?

No. Not in my view. It’s a matter of sales, frankly. A genuine recommendation based on your direct experience demonstrated in the post will simply convert more readers to buyers.

Peter Lawlor is a contributing author of the free Definitive Guide to Affiliate Review Websites. Check out his site for more information on this topic.


Original Post: Experience is the Mother of More Affiliate Commissions

Daily Blog Tips

22May/110

How To Do More With Your Blog’s Homepage

Your blog’s homepage is really, really important. Although the homepage may not be the first thing a visitor sees (think of someone clicking a link to your latest post, for instance), they may go to your homepage soon afterwards if they want to read more of your stuff.

The homepage should be a snapshot of your blog, with fresh content and links directly to some of the most interesting posts. Here are some things you should try doing with your homepage to grab the attention of your visitors.

1. Choose a Magazine-style Layout.

Don’t just display a list of your latest posts. Too boring. Try displaying your latest post, your author profile, a list of recent comments, your latest tweets, or a link to your ebook (if you have one). Keep things fresh by rotating things every so often.

I highly recommend the Genesis framework (aff) – there are plenty of great themes that include a magazine-style homepage.

I’m not using the most adventurous layout on the Quick Blog Tips homepage – but if you look at how the homepage is structured, you should be able to tell that it’s not simply a list of my latest posts. Well, it mostly is, but is has a couple of bits that I’ve slotted in manually.

2. Show Your Popular Posts.

Displaying a list of your most viewed or most commented posts is a great way to help new or casual readers find your best content. I’ve just installed “WordPress Popular Posts” on my blog, but it hasn’t collected any data yet. I’ll report back on this plugin once I’ve given it a proper try.

Do let me know if you can recommend a good “popular posts” plugin for WordPress.

3. Put a Good Post in Clear View.

If the first post on your homepage is not worth reading, you’re selling yourself short. Put a decent post at the top (or very close by) to get people interested – and don’t forget to rotate it from time to time.

In an ideal world, I’d say you should make every post worthy of the top spot on your homepage – but let’s face it, we can’t write “best ever posts” all the time. We can try, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.

Over to You

How do you grab people’s attention on your homepage?


Quick Blog Tips - Learn How to Blog

1May/110

7 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts More Readable

This is a guest post by Eugene. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

You might have a lot of ideas for your blog posts and you might know many tricks on how to successfully promote your blog. However, the content on a blog is as important as your marketing tools. The reason is simple: you want readers to come back. If you get readers to come to your page, but they don’t enjoy reading your blog posts, they won’t be back.

You might have a great interesting idea for a blog post. But if the blog post you come up with is not readable, your idea just goes to waste. Writing good blog posts takes practice and there are a few things which you can do to make your articles more readable and enjoyable to your audience.

1. Structure your blog posts. When you write an article, make sure you have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Your introduction should state the main idea that you’re going to discuss. The body will develop your argument, in one or several paragraphs, and can contain lists and bullet points if applicable. The conclusion should be a short summary of the whole article and a restatement of the idea from the introduction. A structured text is easy to go through, and your readers will be able to get your points only by skimming it.

2. Use sub-headers. Online readers are not very patient. A long block of text will bore them and they’ll be gone in seconds. Sub-headers are a great way to make blog posts more readable. They allow readers to get a quick idea on what issues you’re tackling in your article and to skip to the topics they’re interested in.

3. Make your blog posts coherent. Organize your ideas into paragraphs and don’t suddenly skip from one topic to another. All the arguments and ideas in your blog posts should flow in a logical manner. You might know what your point is, but if you jump around from one idea to another, your readers will get tired and confused and will simply quit trying to understand.

4. Use pictures. Not all blog posts can be illustrated with pictures, but many of them can. Depending on the length of your blog post, you can use one or multiple pictures. Images attract reader’s attention and make texts look friendlier.

5. Avoid using numbers and technical details. Unless you’re writing for a limited number of highly specialized readers, avoid using a lot of numbers, technical names and specifications. Scatter them through the article, and try to use a conversational language.

6. Don’t overestimate or underestimate your readers. You probably shouldn’t explain what Facebook is, but do explain things that your readers might not understand. If your not sure how to make the difference between what you should detail and what you shouldn’t, think whether your friends would understand it. If they would, it’s probably common knowledge. If they wouldn’t, explain it or provide a link where your readers can get some information.

7. Don’t use too many keywords and don’t include irrelevant links. It’s understandable why you want to fill your blog posts with keywords and why you want to link both to your blog and to other websites. But remember that blog readers can easily make the difference between a text written with the audience in mind, and a text written only for SEO purposes. Place keywords strategically, only where they fit naturally into the text, and only include relevant links. Your readers will get mad if they click on a link and get to an irrelevant page.

In time, you will be able to write excellent blog posts without thinking to much about it. But, in the beginning, you have to establish a step by step routine and follow it every time you want to publish something. And checking if your blog posts are readable should definitely be part of that routine if you want to build a solid returning audience.

About the Author: Eugene is in search of reality creation through use of tools readily available on the internet. You can find out more by following him at Reality Burst where he writes about optimizing lifestyle design on RealityBurst.com.


Original Post: 7 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts More Readable



Daily Blog Tips

26Apr/110

5 Quick Tips for Making More Sales



I’ve recently talked about selling yourself first and things that keep you from making money but there comes a time that you do need to start selling more products. These quick tips have been taken from lessons on writing better sales copy for your product pages. If your sales copy doesn’t grab their attention, chances are they won’t buy. What can you do so that you see more conversions from your sales page?

1. Describe the reader’s pain. Let them know you understand how they feel, that you can relate to them and help them ease or get rid of that pain with your product. Most people buy for emotional reasons so your sales copy needs emotion.

2. Describe what’s in it for them. Go a bit deeper and let them know how they can use your product to overcome whatever it is that’s causing them pain, distress or frustration. These things are not always in a physical sense, but also in a business sense. They feel pain from not getting enough traffic, not having enough subscribers. Explain to them how your product (methods) can help them.

3. Detail the features. Tell the reader how they can benefit from your product. Make it stand out above the rest with high value benefits.

4. Up the value. Tell them how and why they need your product and the value it will give them if they purchase from you.

5. Stand behind your product. Offer a 100% money-back guarantee. If the customer isn’t happy they need to know they can get a refund or cancel if it’s a membership program. Make this process easy and painless. Many people offer a great guarantee but make it so difficult that customers give up and decide to just keep paying or pay the balance if they had an introductory price. They will never buy from you again and will not promote your product in the future. If you make it easy for them to get a refund then they are more likely to promote you even though the product didn’t fit their needs. They often have friends who could benefit from your product, so make getting a refund an easy process.

6. Add relevant, value-packed bonuses. People love free gifts, give them some great bonuses for buying your product or service. I gave 6 tips instead of 5. It’s not a grand bonus, but you get the idea.

Also, make sure the bonuses are relevant to the product you’re selling, but do give them something extra to make them feel special. You can even throw in a surprise bonus that isn’t mentioned on the sales page. This gives a ton of unexpected value.

Remember, most customers buy for emotional reasons. Give them what they are looking for, describe the benefits and make the process as easy as possible.

What are you doing in your business that brings in more sales? Do you have any tried and true tips that have helped grow your business? We’d love to hear from you.


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