Internet Marketing – What is the Difference Between Selling and Promoting

How would your mood change if you were out just taking a leisurely walk. Someone gets in your face and rudely shoves a flyer or brochure at you, pushing their agenda. You can’t really pass them without knocking them down. They force you to see or listen to their sales pitch. Are you feeling receptive yet? Hardly. This sounds completely unpleasant and ‘pressure’ like this is never recommended. It does not encourage someone to cooperate with you and quite the opposite they may become ‘resistant’.

stay on the right track
The other obviously totally obnoxious sales strategy is when you answer your phone and either a person or a robot starts shouting a long diatribe about whatever their agenda is – sales, charity, or survey. (who listens). They do not stop as they spill out their script. The only way to stop it is to either just hang up or you literally have to shout ‘Stop! Not interested’ after they ignore all your polite, ‘no thank you’s’. Have these folks put you in the mood to buy in this atmosphere? Closer to phone slamming time especially since more than likely you have gotten several ‘appeals’ of this nature several times every day.

On the other hand, Internet Marketing is very different from other more intrusive mediums for marketing and sales. It is still sales and marketing, but on a very different level. You have the ability to not listen or not read whatever it is without getting in an altercation. Professional Internet marketers actually use a strategy called ‘ethical, permission-based eMail marketing’. This is where you do not contact anyone unless they request it (“opt-in).

The difference between selling and promoting is selling is trying to convince someone they want or need something you have, whether or not they are interested. Promoting is sharing information and then allowing the prospect to make a decision. Approaching someone who has expressed an interest has people coming to you and not you chasing them down. See the different dynamic?

Internet Marketing strategy is to build trust and relationship, by for one thing giving away information for free. Then if the person wants to know more, they come to you because they trust you. They may even feel subliminally that they owe you the business if they are convinced they need or want what you are selling. They appreciate that you tried to help them without any obligation.

When people consider you a winner, they want to know more about what you are doing. It is not you pushing it to where you can cause them to resist just because you are exhausting them. Give them a chance to think even if it requires a call-back. If you insist it has to be right now, then it may be never. Try to conduct a friendly transaction. They say people are much more likely to do business with a friend or acquaintance than just someone out of the blue. Remember to create a friendly atmosphere of trust before you try to sell something.

Use the Power of Search Engines

Search engines (SE) can either make or break your Internet business. You want to do as much as you can to optimize your website and advertising to take advantage of the benefits that the search engines can provide. You also want to take care not to do anything to get on their bad side.

get on board
You have probably heard the saying that ‘content is king’. That means that it is not some technical mumbo-jumbo that you need to learn. You need to provide a steady stream of good, original content (information) for your website visitors. This is what search engines call ‘value’. If you want the SEs to send traffic to your site, be sure that your site has ‘value’.

Even more accurately the saying should be ‘fresh content is king’. When the SE robots ‘crawl’ your site they are looking for new information. Initially when your site was built it was indexed according to the content, keywords, etc. Then they will check back every 30 days or so. If the robots do not detect any new changes, they will just turn around and exit, leaving you at the same place in the index as you were originally.

You should strive to keep your link on the first few pages of their search results. When people go to a search engine and search for your keywords they will see your link, click it and visit your site. (this is what is referred to as ‘free, organic traffic’).

The easiest and most efficient way to make sure you always have fresh content, is to either build the website on a blog platform (like WordPress), add a blog to the website as a page, or even as remote as a ‘backlink’. (a blog on a separate site that you can link to). This is much more simple than to try to change the site code, ads, images, etc. each month to create ‘fresh’ content. Back in the day that is what people had to do to stay fresh! So there was no getting away with having some knowledge of HTML code which can get complicated especially if you are new, or expensive if you have to pay someone to do it for you.

If you are at a social network, business forum or article marketing site, use your domain name in your signature (and hyperlink it) to create a link from there, back to your site. In the SEO world (search engine optimization) your focus as part of promoting your business should be to build hundreds of back-links over time. This is indicative that you are actively engaged in your business, rather than just some website that sits on the Internet collecting dust.

Got Writer’s Block? Blogging for Internet Marketing

Writer’s block is probably more about a lack of ideas to write about than the actual inability to write. When someone is new and they can’t really determine how successful they have been yet, some people will feel they have nothing to say or that they could swear is true since they haven’t had the experience. These are just temporary obstacles if a person really wants to write.

write ON!
Marketers NEED to be able to write – no matter what. No excuses unless you can afford to pay for Ghostwriters, Blogging is the primary FREE way to promote a domain, website or business. This is not just a ‘file and forget’ fact. To do so would be to waste a valuable strategy that would create an opportunity to have your site(s) indexed by the search engines and get free traffic.

We must force ourselves to write, and it is not only blogging, but writing ads, communicating with our prospects, customers, and peers; trying to convey an issue to a technical or customer service agent when we have a problem or question, and participating in social networks and forums.

Most people starting out in Internet Marketing don’t have a lot of money to spend at first, maybe even for the first several months when you are not yet generating a substantial income. This is one of the reasons that you need to just do it! Sit down and start writing. Write anything.

Pretend you are writing a letter to a friend if that helps.
You do want to write as if you are open and relaxed as you would with a friend. Nobody needs to create a text book or technical specifications here, just be able to clearly convey an idea or concept – even an opinion works. Of course in some cases especially on the technical side, being able to quote statistics and citing specifications is more powerful than just your opinion.

Try to be conscientious of correct spelling and grammar, which only requires proofreading and being as accurate as possible. Very quick and easy to look up a few words on a search engine if you are not sure how it is spelled or what it means.

Most Wordprocessors have spell check so that should help too. (however they are not advanced enough to recognize some things such as words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context – for example – ‘Right me a letter’ should be ‘Write me a letter). Just take a few minutes to browse through what you have written before you publish it. Doesn’t need to be perfect, just close!

You can write about what you are learning, and/or your opinion of things that you read. Reading is an excellent way to get ideas for what to write about. Never copy word for word, but you can just rewrite anything in your own words.

Be honest if you have not yet experienced something first-hand or earned a substantial amount of money from it – There is nothing wrong with quoting people who have, as long as you are truthful and give credit to the author. Use “quote” marks to indicate you are quoting, not composing, to make this acceptable. There are tools that people use to check if their writing is being copied by someone else without their permission or not giving credit to the original author, so beware. Write ON!

How to Create Compelling Content for your Home Business Blog

Your content should have useful information, you don’t want to create a text bookish atmosphere that will bore people. Without sounding academic, there are many ways you can present value — information that people need or at least will enjoy. Just imagine you are writing to a friend so that you can project a warm atmosphere.

write on!

Experts on writing teach that if you don’t catch someone’s attention right off that you will lose them – they won’t stick around to read the rest of the article. Hence, you should use exciting words, especially in your subject or title to grab the reader’s attention. You want to attract the reader and then hold their attention. This is sometimes referred to as ’emotional writing’.

Emotional writing can be seen as dramatic or compelling. It is a good idea to do some keyword research and make a ‘swipe file’ with words that are both key to your articles subjects and exciting. In advertising and sales, there are many ways in which this works — using time constraints: ‘this is your last chance’, ‘don’t miss out’. Scarcity: ‘last 5 in stock’ the ‘next 8 callers only’; Excitement: ‘must have’, ‘secret tips’, ‘top of the line’, ‘unbeatable’, ‘latest discovery’, ‘truly great’, ‘the best’, ‘fantastic’, ‘wonderful’, and ‘awesome’.

Especially if you are promoting something technical, but effective in any case, is giving proof of what you say. This would work very effectively for instance if you can quote a study or survey that has been done that will back up your claim, (give them a link); or income testimonials. Quoting statistics is not really very effective unless you provide the source of your statistics or claims. They can help you to create an interesting article.

You shouldn’t necessarily focus your writing on selling unless you are creating a sales page. For the purposes of ‘content’ you always want to keep it purely conversational and interesting. Try to present the information without pushing it.

One last example of how to keep it exciting: describe some condition that needs to be fixed, or a substance that can do something factually. Discreetly at the end add a paragraph describing how your product or service is what they need and include your link. This is easier to use if you are selling a product. For example an article about some human condition like dry skin or dandruff. Then you provide the remedy or solution.

This can apply to home business opportunities, as well. For instance the condition being ‘paycheck is insufficient’, or ‘hate your job?’ Starting a home business can be the solution to either one or both conditions and with just a little creativity you can turn that into a good article!

How to Write an Article for Your Home Business Blog

Believe it or not even if you don’t think you have any writing skills – can you hold a conversation? Yes you mostly can. Writing is just like having a one-way conversation. Nobody there to answer but you can. It is pretty sure you can write an email as well. So you take these avenues and consider that YOU CAN write.


Say it Right
Just think of any issue you may have had, positive or negative with your business. Use that as an idea to start and then just keep the conversation going. What happened? Did it work well? What didn’t work about it? What did you learn from it? You may want to provide the solution you found either way.

Another excellent thing to remember is ‘writer’s block’ is usually idea block – you just need to find an idea and write something. You will keep flowing the longer you add information. Although whatever is on your mind and in your daily life is probably a great place to find ideas to write about, using keywords is also automatically going to get you started.

Keywords are words or phrases that are relevant to your niche or business industry. In the case of “Home Business” for example you can create “long-tail keywords” like ‘home business online” or ‘home business ideas” – also in this family are ‘working at home’, ‘making money at home’ and many more.

You should create a swipe file so you can just open it up each day and pick a topic to write about. Use the keyword or keyword phrase in your subject or topic and use it a few times in your content. Do not use it more than a few times in each article, as it will have the opposite effect you are hoping for.

Use it only within the natural flow of your content. If the search engines consider you to be a ‘keyword spammer’ they will not index your site as they would if you had content with value.

Here is an example of keyword spam: ‘My home business is a home business that will succeed. I work my home business every day, If you want your home business to work out you need to work your home business every day’, Horrible right?

This same information provided by someone who is not a spammer: ‘My home business is an online business that will succeed. I try to make sure at the very least every day that all my links are working properly’. Not so bad. Keyword used in title and one time in content. You can also consider ‘online business’ to be a keyword phrase that may rank from this article.

The Ever-Evolving Definition of Blogging

Originally the word ‘blog’ was short for ‘web log’. Literally it is/was something akin to an online diary where people just recorded their daily activities. However, the definition of blogging is very much in flux, as always unfolding new technologies evolve that may redefine what a blog can do for a business.

blogging

For many years, blogs were assumed to be text-based messages on websites. They always were an invaluable way to advertise your business discreetly because they are a permanent record. As long as you keep the blog going, your business will be promoted online. This is versus most advertising that has parameters such as how many times it will be displayed or for what period of time.

Now the applications that can be promoted by blogging are just endless. Many businesses, even offline businesses, have blogs and use them for a variety of things such as the latest technical news, or to have a question and answer facility. Millions can see the answer to one person asking a common question and it being answered by an acknowledged expert. This keeps down the need for an intense customer service response as well as it may help to promote sales when people have any reservations they may have dispelled by the Q&A format.

Of course there are still just fun blogs where people can discuss anything they want to from relationships to hobbies and interests. As well people with various agendas such as politics, religion, etc. have made good use of blogging. Even these can represent income if done properly. The more bloggers began to explore all the ways that they can use a blog for their own purposes, whatever they are, the more the boundaries of what could be called a “blog” can be expanded and ‘monetized’.

As blogging has evolved, plain text has expanded into text with graphics or photos and then to videos. Now mobile blogging devices will add to the many ways blogging can be purposed. It seems like the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the scope of the audience is world-wide and there are many ways to generate traffic to a blog so that people will see it.

So the only surprise is there are still people who want to believe they don’t know how to blog and refuse to accept the fact that it is nearly idiot-proof once it is set up. Ok so this can be a little technical to get started. Certainly though almost anyone who knows how to log on to the Internet can find a way to sign up for a blogging service and set up the account. Then it is menu driven – something really not difficult like following prompts to ‘Post’ and “Add new’ (write something) or ‘Edit’ (fix something) and then ‘Publish’. Boom. You are broadcasting to gazillions!

As they say, ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and in this case there is an easy way. For all of the value that blogging can add to any business, it seems like people at all levels will make it a priority to figure out how to use this medium for their own benefit. It’s easy and it’s free – what more can you ask!

Blogging to Promote Your Business

Blogging should not be overlooked as a very productive and free way to communicate with consumers about your product or service. You can take charge of this yourself if you are a one-person home business. That means if you need to save money, you can post a blog yourself with just a little bit of creativity. Actually if you can talk you can write. If you can write then you know how to blog. It is work-intensive as far as it might take you 15 minutes to 30 minutes to produce a document that is interesting.

keep on blogging

If you have some money to work with and you really have an issue with writing, there are a number of things you can do to produce a blog. You can pay a ghostwriter to create short articles (usually one page or about 350-400 words). You should insist on ‘one-of-a-kind’ or ‘unique’ articles that have not been duplicated or scraped from anywhere. If this is not stipulated, then plan on doing your own ‘spinning’ to make them unique.

You can get writers with various levels of expertise that will charge you correspondingly. That is you can go ‘el-cheapo’ at $5 or less and get articles by a writer who does not speak English as their first language. The articles will likely have frequent grammatical errors as well as some spelling errors, but you can take a little time and clean them up if you need to save money.

For $10 or so you can get someone who has a better command of the language and will be more conscientious. The articles will not only need less work but they will be far more interesting in that the writer is able to express their ideas better. You can often get volume discounts either way, for example $10 each or 5 for $40 (one free) etc.

There are also various gimmicks where you can save a little money by ‘spinning’ the articles you pay for (or write yourself) so that they are not exact duplicates and then you can use them multiple times. These tools work ok but are really not as good as when you edit them yourself to make them unique. (Or best yet, write them yourself).

An important thing to remember about blogging is that your articles have valuable information and/or at least are interesting. While it is just fine to ‘review’ a product or service and even to post the links to same, just posting blatant advertising is not interesting and not of value to most people. There are many ways you can ‘monetize’ your blog so that you accomplish promoting your business other than to be obnoxious.

The Evolution of Blogging

The original acronym ‘Blog’ stood for ‘Web Log’ and ‘personal ‘ or ‘documentary ‘ style blogging would suffice to define that genre as they are primarily catalogues of the life experiences of their author. There are many blogs today however that serve other functions. Although there are quite a few ‘artistic’ and ‘creative’ blogs that focus on collecting poetry and other forms of creative writing, the vast majority of personal blogs are in some sense documentaries.

blogging

What has evolved from a ‘documentary’ style, which usually would just mean an objective ‘reporting’ of current events or in some way an honest ‘review’, seems to be a definite movement towards using the blog platform to voice one’s opinions about the various life events that are no longer just ‘chronicled’. They can be scathing reviews! It seems the public loves drama and the more a writer can emphasize what he is saying whether positive or negative, it seems the more attention he will get – which is the whole idea!

There was a time when for Internet marketing, the blog was formatted or designed solely for the delight of search engine robots – oh and a vague nod to a few human readers. Although SEO (search engine optimization) has always preached ‘content is king’ and you have to assume they want readable and enjoyable for humans, the real focus seemed to be on the robots – the back-links, the keywords, various elements that only a robot could appreciate.

So marketing bloggers were instructed to pick meaningful keywords (relevant to their business and content) and build their articles/ blog posts around those themes. This it was/is said will make it easier for the search engines to index the site and know exactly what is there and which search terms would trigger them displaying your link to someone so that you might generate ‘targeted’ traffic. This still seems quite logical if you look at it that way. Particularly if your blog is apart from your business website you might want to stick with these concepts.

However if you had the insight to build your website on a blog platform like WordPress, then it doesn’t really matter what your blog post is about – people and robots are still going to be directed to your domain when you post ‘fresh content’ and it is re-indexing time. Hence there appears to be a trend going back to the documentary or personal journal style of blogging where people are talking about any number of interests that do not include their business. (remember this is ok if you are on the business’ website). Otherwise unless you are trying to grow a following as a writer, commentator or journalist, you probably want to stay focused on why you are blogging in the first place = TRAFFIC for your business.

Finding More Things to Blog About

As you probably know blogging is one of the primary ways to promote the links for your business for free, as well as to generate free, targeted traffic from the search engines. If you are someone without much money to work with then you really should be making good use of your blog if nothing else. There is no way around it, if you want a business you need to promote it online. Sure you can do other free things that have little or no effect, like traffic exchanges, and a few other things that are a waste of time for the most part. Why not spend the time to do it right in a professional way?

latest news

If you are using your blog consistently to write business articles, posting ghostwritten or PLR articles, or featuring articles by various authors, sometimes you might wonder what else you can do to create some variety. Blogging about news stories is one of the most exciting and controversial applications that bloggers have discovered. Everyone is interested in the news or they should be. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the fact that it is possible to update a blog instantly as there are updates to the story – unlike a newspaper story.

Although currently this kind of real time reporting seems to be in the social network world, blogs are not going away anytime soon. There are a number of very famous, very much read professional blogs that focus on current events. The news on blogs tends to be more current than the newspaper that only gets published once per day. Besides, the fun part is being able to give your own opinion or react to various comments, etc. for all the world to see. (be careful about hate speech, etc ., though). As well, apart from the law, if your blog is usually used for your business then you don’t want to alienate anybody.

With that said there is no greater threat to freedom of speech than the chronically politically correct police who will find a reason to hate you for whatever you say that doesn’t agree with their agenda or bias. So you have to find a balance. ‘To thine own self be true’, but if you have super radical feelings then maybe you should have another blog that is not linked to your business where you can express yourself.

Of course with the advent of phone cameras your news blog can really be dramatic either if you are there yourself or you can use documents and images from the public domain. Again protect yourself from possible lawsuits by not using anything that is copyrighted. With a little creativity, with or without your opinion, you might really pick up some traffic and even followers. The best way to go is to quote directly and document the link you are quoting from to protect yourself as well as to give credence to what is being said.

Creating Valuable Content for your Home Business Blog

One of the most intelligent ways to promote your business website and/or your business opportunities, services and products, is using your blog. It’s intelligent because it is free; it’s intelligent because it is permanent advertising that will still be working for the life of your domain or blog address; intelligent because it can utilize the power of search engines if done correctly; and intelligent because it will bring you free, ‘targeted’ traffic, which is the most advantageous kind of traffic.

create value

One of the most long-standing precepts in Internet marketing is that ‘content is king’. It has a twin and that is ‘provide value’. Content as king would provide valuable information which may help others and attract people to your business. If you write or otherwise provide good, valuable content, you may begin to be regarded as an ‘expert’. Your valuable content is a good way to build relationships of trust. There is a belief that you may cause someone to feel subliminally that they owe you because your information has helped and inspired them. Ideally this could translate into their wanting to give you their business when they are ready to take action.

Pushing or selling is not really providing value unless it is done discreetly. It can actually have the opposite effect. If you just use the approach of providing valuable information, or to share your opinion initially, you should just be laying the groundwork or planting the seeds for a beneficial relationship. Let the person breathe a little and have some time to consider what you have given them.

Your home business blog will represent more value if you are mindful of these points. If your posts are nothing more than ‘spammy’ advertisements, that is just how they will be received, rather than as having any real ‘value’. They say ‘it’s not what you say but how you say it’. Of course it is fine to promote your business by pointing out the best features, or to discuss your success with it. It helps others to know what you are learning and gives them confidence to know you love your team, mentor or etc. (and why). All of these things encourage someone to follow you.

With the purpose of maximizing your potential to get traffic from the search engines, you should do some keyword research and find meaningful phrases that apply to your website content. You should use the keyword phrase in the title and a few times in the text – but do not over-do it (keyword spam).

Make a real attempt to be consistent in posting to your blog frequently – daily or weekly if possible. If your blog is at a different address than your website/domain, be sure to sign each post with your name and the URL of your business. Be sure to hyperlink the URL so that the person has a convenient and instant way to ‘click’ over to see what you have to offer there.

Your articles do not need to be expert or prize-winning writing, but you should make a reasonable attempt to check spelling and grammar. There are people who will judge you and your business ‘sense’ by the impression they get from your writing. At the same time with so many that have English as a second language, the rules are a little more understanding of ‘imperfect English’ these days.

Remember to always be honest. If you say that you ‘guarantee’ something then you must be willing and able to honor that promise. There are people who will hold you to it. You should never guarantee how much money someone will earn or by when. If they don’t earn that much money in that particular timeframe, you may be called upon to make good on your promise. Always be completely truthful in your claims.