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Do you often feel like God’s far away – take a look at this remarkable YouTube video.

Do you often feel like God’s far away – take a look at this remarkable YouTube video.

It was posted by 18-year-old Ben Breedlove. Ben Breedlove was an internet YouTube blogger who posted a variety of videos covering everything dating to relationships and advice.  He was also a young man who lived his entire life with a dangerous heart condition. Tragically, he died on Christmas Day after having a heart attack. Just days earlier he posted a video telling his life story… a video introducing himself and describing a near death experience he had as a result of the condition. At the end he tells the audience “Do you believe in Angels or God? I do.

I suspect that many of you have already seen bits and pieces of this on the news.  If not, you should check out Ben’s story on the links below.  He tells his story with simple note cards and the occasional smile, sitting close to the camera and stepping back just once to show the scar from when a pacemaker was implanted to help his troubled heart.

It is a remarkably hopeful video.

Ben created the OurAdvice4You channel on YouTube in November 2010 with his childhood friend Justin Miller and Megan Parken. His purpose was to give relationship advice to his viewers and interview family members and friends. In May of 2011, he launched his second channel, BreedloveTV, a companion channel to his first, where he would answer questions about dating, relationships and advice. According to family members, girls from all over the world would message him, asking him for advice. In his hometown of Austin, Texas, Ben became somewhat of a celebrity to many teenagers.

As of 7 January 2012, OurAdvice4You has a total of 38 videos, and more than 65,000 subscribers, and BreedloveTV has 17 videos and over 30,000 subscribers.

Ben created a third channel on December 18, 2011, entitled TotalRandomness512. This channel is the host of the two-part video, “This is my story“, which has since become viral. As of the middle of January 2012, both videos have a total of 10.5 million views.

On December 29, Breedlove’s funeral was held at the Gateway Church, in Austin, Texas. The memorial service was streamed live on the KXAN website, at his father’s request. More than 1,400 people attended the service, and another 11,000 watched online.

Most of the media outlets have edited out many of the religious elements, if you have not seen the full version, check it out here:

Part 1 and Part 2

There are numerous related videos, might I suggest his sister Ally’s comments at his funeral.  Ben’s sister.  Ally Breedlove said her brother told her, “God let me feel that peace before I came back so that I would know that heaven is worth it.”

At a very young age, Ben Breedlove planted a seed in people’s mind to begin thinking about things that really do matter in life.   From time to time it is a good idea to sit, reflect, and consider the hope we really do have.  Ben Breedlove was a normal kid who lived a normal life — if having a life-threatening heart condition can be considered normal — and left an extraordinary legacy for us on Christmas day.

Some people just seem to be really grounded and in control, ever wonder why?

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Are YOU Making These YouTube Marketing Mistakes? Then Do This…

I was the worst video marketer you could imagine…

Until I put my mistakes on paper, learned from them, avoided them in the future and made a tidy profit.

Below are several of the biggest mistakes I see people continually make on YouTube.  Let’s start with:

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

Poor Audio

Now, having substandard video quality is acceptable. Many top YouTube channels are built on mere webcams, however, having inferior audio will kill the likelihood of success. If they can’t hear what you’re saying, that is infinitely worse than having a fuzzy video.

Make sure your audio is not too loud and not too soft. Above all, make sure the audio is clear.

It is cheaper and more effective to get a better microphone before you get a better camera. You can also try sound editing software to remove any background noise.

Look at the Camera, Not the Screen

It’s very tempting to look at your computer screen when you’re recording a video. After all, that’s where the majority of your activity is located.  If you use Skype or Go-to-Meeting software on a laptop with a built-in camera, you have likely noticed that many participants appear to be looking down…or maybe asleep!

It is important to keep in mind that for the user, it appears like you’re looking down or off to the side when you’re looking at your screen. The only time it looks like you’re making eye contact is when you look directly into the camera.

Tell them where to find you and what to do!

Having an effective call to action is an essential part of any website. Every YouTube video you post should have an objective it wants users to complete such as filling in a contact form, signing up for a newsletter or registering for a free gift.

A call to action provides: Focus to your site; A way to measure your site’s success (Register or Subscribe); and Direction to your users.

Now that you can actually put links in your video, there is absolutely no excuse for not having a solid call to action in your video.

Even if you’re not using it as a primary marketing tool, you want to be linking to your website in order to build your brand and build your list.  Then you can send them more videos and additional content in the future.

If you don’t get them to your website, you’re wasting a lot of the trust and positive emotional associations you’ve created by showing them a great video.

Include your contact information and your website in your video. Better yet, link directly to it from within your video and in your description.

THE BIGGER BLUNDERS

You Put Up A Few Videos…Then Stop!

Most of the videos you put up will not be knockouts…and they don’t need to be. You’ll score a jab or two, get a few haymakers here and there, and then, without question, you’ll get a knockout win.

Sometimes the “KO” will happen in the first round, the third, or the last — but the law of averages state that it’s inevitable and you can’t help but win a few matches this way because the numbers are on your side.

Also, don’t be surprised if your best video doesn’t get many views, and your “ugliest” videos get the most views. It’s hard to predict how the market will react and what their taste is for the week.

To prevent yourself from getting discouraged, make 10 – 20 videos at a time and put them up simultaneously so you don’t have time to watch the response of each video. Out of 10 or 20 videos, you’re bound to get a few winners making you money.

Lazy Keyword Stuffing & Research

Aside from the mistake of putting up a handful of videos and expecting a 6-figure income, bad keyword research is the second culprit.

Few people know how to take a video with a paltry 500 or so views to 5,000 or more.  The secret is that it all comes down to “keyword targeting” and knowing how your target market thinks, acts, and feels for information.

If you can successfully get in the head of your audience, you struck a gold mine and all you need are a few pickup trucks to haul your profits away.

If you’re familiar with keyword research for getting on the front page of Google, you’ll be happy to know YouTube’s search works the “same exact way” and people use it the way they use Google’s search bar — except they are looking for a video representation of what they’re searching for.

Cool, eh?

So, if you’re using YouTube as a marketing tool, it’s crucial that you select good keywords to put into your title. That way, when people search for something related to what you’re targeting, your video will come up.

Of course, just having your keyword in your title doesn’t mean you’ll rank for the search. A number of dynamics, including views, comments and video responses all go into determining where you rank. That said, if you don’t have your keyword in the title, you almost certainly will not rank.

If you’re making those two mistakes, you’re just asking for trouble.

If you’re making those two mistakes, you’re just asking for trouble (can’t say I didn’t warn you).

Avoid these mistakes at all costs and avoid the temptation to put up any keyword term or to give up after only 2 or 3 video uploads. Understand that you need to saturate the market with quality content before you are taken seriously. The quicker you can burn this advice in your mind, the fewer video marketing mistakes you’ll make, the quicker you’ll turn a profit.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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What Is Content Marketing? Can it Help You Earn? Precisely.

What exactly is content marketing?

Content marketing is a term used to describe everything that involves direct human-to-human contact for the purpose of creating and sharing content to eventually encourage purchases by current or future client bases.

Content marketing aims to increase sales with a small budget by delivering quality and valuable information that drives profits. Its primary benefit is the ability to hold attention longer than a traditional advertisement and faster brand development.

Content marketing is an effective way to touch all the human senses and interact with people in a way that wasn’t heard of a few years ago.  Products and services can not only be read, but also seen, heard, and felt instantaneously.

However, the purpose is not to spam or scream about your offerings in the hopes of making the sale, but to educate and inform your target audience while “sometimes” including your products for discussion. The popular belief is that by giving valuable free information, brand recognition and industry expert status is obtained.

Media marketers use different social properties to reach various goals that don’t always involve money, such as leadership, fame, lead generation, or improved retention.

So what falls under content marketing?

Videos — creating and uploading videos on YouTube connects you with your target market using all senses to interact and “talk to” your prospect as if they were sitting with you in the living room or outside on the beach.

Articles — usually a part of writing blog posts for a blog, articles are a powerful way to communicate with your audience. Not as powerful as video and audio, but strong nonetheless.

Web 2.0 — Go to HubPages.Com, Squidoo.Com, or WordPress.Com and you’ll get an idea of what web 2.0 properties consist of. These are places where you connect the dots or send people directly to learn more about you or the subject of interest.

These websites are like your center control panels where you run the show and can control more of the information and the direction your visitors go. But when it’s all said and done…

You earn by DOING. Period.

You don’t need the most expensive social media training course. You don’t need to get all your ducks in a row before you fire your first shot. And you don’t need to study, study, and study to make progress in your online business.

When you go out to your local grocery store, do you stop yourself from leaving because you anticipate a few red lights along the way? I doubt it. Because ultimately you know you’re going to get to your destination.

Treat social media marketing as if you’re looking for food, and your food is “taking action”. If you don’t take action, you’re business starves to death. Want your business to survive? Take massive action, adjust, and take more action until you get results.

Here are 15 quick content strategy ideas….

  1. Write a special report or white paper that addresses a tricky problem in an interesting way.
  2. Build a Facebook page (separate from your personal profile) that gives you another platform for interaction with your customers.
  3. Take a topic that’s subject to information overload (maybe it’s “the coolest apps for your iPhone”) and make it manageable. Create a “10 Best” post that is straightforward, user-friendly and gets the reader out of information fog.
  4. Most of us know that Twitter is an exceptional tool for building relationships with prospects and customers. To use Twitter most effectively, make your tweets entertaining, funny, and/or personal. The right balance on Twitter is generally 95% relationship-building, 5% selling.
  5. Create a buyer’s guide. Use it to frame purchasing questions on your terms. Let buyers know what to look for and what to watch out for. Tell them what questions they should be asking.
  6. Review everything. Books, blogs, newsletters, tools, physical products, information products, new technology.
  7. Create a useful utility tool (a checklist, spreadsheet-based calculator, cheat sheet, planning worksheet, etc.) that can be distributed to your blog subscribers or email list. These make great “thank you(s)” for subscribing to your site or autoresponder.
  8. Create a free course delivered by email autoresponder. I’ve used this quite a bit in my own business and for clients.  It’s a great way to build trust and rapport.
  9. Write a series or a regular column “authored” by your three-year-old, your dog, your cat, your horse, or your reptile. Think it’s too cutesy to work with your audience? Try it and see.
  10. Your comments on other people’s blogs are content. Treat them that way. Be original, relevant and interesting.  Make sure this content reflects well on you.
  11. Take your most popular blog post, add some really good images and convert it into PowerPoint, then record it with Camtasia for a YouTube video.
  12. Compile your best 100 blog posts into a physical book. It has worked for others, and it can work for you! (Use 25 and make it an eBook!)
  13. Build a membership web site that is a really profitable business in and of itself. Create a monthly paid newsletter, delivered electronically or by physical mail, in addition to your free content. Include more detailed how-to and reference information than you would on your free site. You don’t have to sell many subscriptions and they don’t have to be very pricy to add up to significant income.
  14. You don’t have to call it a blog just because you created it in WordPress. Maybe it’s Julie’s Online Coffee Shop, Excel’s Web-Based Self-Coaching Site, Manifesto’s Virtual Concierge…it could be a Tutorial, an E-School, a Directory or a Dictionary. Use a brand that resonates with your readers.
  15. Put together one or more Squidoo lenses to attract and focus Google traffic.  You could build a collection of Squidoo lenses that are optimized to sell goods around a particular holiday, like Easter outfits or Christmas lights.  Find an under-served niche within those broader subjects.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list on the subject—it’s really just the beginning. If you don’t see your favorite method on this list, let us know!

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Put the Brakes on Eight Mistakes

As many of you know, I spent a number of years in senior roles at both public and private companies and subsequently formed a consulting firm.  The majority of my articles now focus on marketing, specifically social internet marketing, with an occasional Christian marketplace perspective.  Nevertheless, I even now continue to do work for a select number of clients.  Appropriately,  I have had a number of conversations about some essential “what to look out for(s)” in an entrepreneurial business as we begin a new year.   These are common threads that show up again and again.   I will exclude the current economic conditions and environments that we can’t control and purposefully not get into thorny accounting or technology and systems issues.

So here’s the interesting notion:  Do you realize that there are fundamental mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth that can be slowly killing it for months or even years if you don’t watch for them?

Well, these mistakes do exist and they are not just reserved for the rookie companies.  Many working businesses, including those you might think are “successful” because they’ve been around for 10+ years, are often still making them… and are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.
Although some of these big and sneaky mistakes seem aimed more at service type companies, they really do fit the bill for almost any type of industry.  I’ve done my best with the listings below to give examples to prove it.

Underestimating Project/Service Time– This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as companies that sell a product. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your repertoire, you will get burned and there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it.  The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task and then throw in a little fudge factor on top of it. For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so be aware!

Not Knowing YOUR Company Numbers/Incorrectly Setting Prices– Notice I emphasized the word “your”. It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers.  Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling. What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money?!?!  What if your costs are more than theirs?!?!  You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.

Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go and you need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing.  What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when you are pricing products.  How much your labor and materials cost for a service is only a piece of an hourly rate.  Employees cost more than just salary and not every employee is part of your labor cost. Every company has insurance to pay for. There are tons of overhead expenditures that need to be part of your price. Oh, by the way, the big one that many people forget about in their price is the quality factor. What you include as “standard services” or “standard product features” as well as job site etiquette or in store service or warranties all need to go into your pricing. I’ll get to more on why in the next segment.

Not Charging for All of Your Time & Costs– This seems like a stupid statement to some but I bet most business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much of the farm at times. Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care. But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here. What concerns me are those that put a lot of quality into their work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it. As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do. You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront. Stores undermine themselves, for example, when they put more people on the floor for customer service but don’t charge for it. These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money.  Put out better service and then under price them, and your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.

As a business owner you need to believe that you are providing your clients worthwhile wares that deserve to be paid for. If you get the chance to explain why your prices are higher, then take that opportunity and do it.  If they don’t like the fact that you include things that others charge extra for later or that you treat them better, then they are most likely completely price shoppers.  You don’t want them as regular customers anyway.  Trust me.

Not Getting Paid Fast Enough– That’s right, the old cash flow issue.  As long as you are actually making enough money to pay the bills, this problem can be solved, prevented or at least made to be not as bad as it could be.  Here’s the deal:

First of all, bill customers very promptly. It is very common for a small business to not have the procedures or systems in place to get invoices generated and out the door in a timely fashion (see the next segment for more). Again, this would seem unlikely since that’s the reason why we are doing the work- to get paid. But it is very easy for the people responsible for getting this info to the billing people to be too busy to get it there or not have enough organization to give it to them the right way.

The second part to slowing down or stopping a regular cash flow crunch is to make the quickest payment deals possible with customers and the slowest possible with vendors and employees.  If there is any way not to pay employees any more than twice a month, you better do it.  Contractors always have an issue with this. If you must pay weekly, then tell them before they are hired that they will be getting the first week held back, essentially buying you a week. It will help, I promise.

Part three involves credit. If your company can get a credit card, then get it. This allows for certain important things to be bought (that you can afford) that might come up during a cash flow crunch.  Better yet, especially if you have no choice but to deal with 45+ day customer payments, do your best to get a company line of credit.  This is a must if you plan on selling to the government or doing commercial service work. These clients often have 60 to 90 day wait periods.

Failure to Have Solid Systems and Procedures in Place– Too many procedures (known as “red tape”) is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place. Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative. Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a happy medium or chaos and the unknown will ensue. Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, payroll, hr (interviewing, hiring, vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, etc.), manufacturing, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales calls/visits and logistics to name a few.

Even a one-person show needs to have some admin procedures in place.  This will make it easier to hire temps and subcontractors and control what they are doing for you.  Without at least a watered down version of a system or procedure to do everyday work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows. I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees. I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big proponent of having an employee handbook even for one employee. It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because they allow you to pay them.

Spending Advertising Money Just to Say You Advertise–  I would almost rather see my clients not advertise then to spend without regard to tracking the results. There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working.  The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns.  Why some people think that just because a $400 dollar a month advertisement worked once very well for one busy season, that it will automatically work every year after that is beyond me.

Spreading Yourself Too Thin– This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur. The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help.  The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills. If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about.  Think about this to help you figure out if you are spread too thin: Did you really go into business for yourself to work 80+ hours a week?

Not Getting Help Soon Enough– Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill a company. Most people who start a business do it because they are good at the technical end or the sales end.  If you know the best way to make a widget, then your strength is in production and that is where your time should be spent. Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time.  Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.

The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues.  The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible.  It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.

Although looking for these problems at any time is a good idea, the end of a year or season is an excellent business interval to make sure you are not making these errors.  Take the time, or make the time, to fix these problems. If you don’t know how to reverse the problems, then get some help.  If you really don’t have enough time to either figure out if you have these issues or know they are there and can’t break away long enough to do it right, then get some help.
Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Look….a Playbook to Write Your eBook

I have received numerous questions on how I put together all the eBooks that I provide.  It seems like a daunting task, but let’s unpack the process and start…. well, at the beginning.

The hardest part of writing is the first sentence.  When you look at the whole project, it seems like an impossible task. That’s why you have to break it down into manageable tasks. Think of climbing a mountain.  You are standing at the foot of it and looking up at its summit vanishing into the clouds. How can you possibly scale such an immense and dangerous mountain?

There is only one way to climb a mountain? Step by step.

Now think of writing your eBook in the same light. You must create it step by step, and one day, you will take that last step and find yourself standing on the summit with your head in the clouds.

The first thing you have to do, as if you actually were a mountain climber, is to get organized. Instead of climbing gear, however, you must organize your thoughts. There are some steps you should take before you begin. Once you’ve gone through the following list, you will be ready to actually begin writing your eBook.

Beginning Steps to Writing an eBook.

First, figure out your eBook’s working title. Jot down a few different titles, and eventually, you’ll find that one that will grow on you. Titles help you to focus your writing on your topic; they guide you in anticipating and answering your reader’s queries. Many non-fiction books also have subtitles. Aim for clarity in your titles, but cleverness always helps to sell books, as long as it’s not too cute. For example,

Remedies for Insomnia: Twenty different ways to count sheep. Or: Get off that couch: Fifteen exercise plans to whip you into shape.

Next, write out a thesis statement. Your thesis is a sentence or two stating exactly what problem you are addressing and how your book will solve that problem.

All chapters spring forth from your thesis statement. Once you’ve got your thesis statement fine-tuned, you’ve built your foundation. From that foundation, your book will grow, chapter by chapter.

Your thesis will keep you focused while you write your eBook. Remember: all chapters must support your thesis statement. If they don’t, they don’t belong in your book. For example, your thesis statement could read: We’ve all experienced insomnia at times in our lives, but there are twenty proven techniques and methods to give you back a good night’s sleep.

Once you have your thesis, before you start to write, make sure there is a good reason to write your book.

Ask yourself some questions:

  • Does your book present useful information and is that information currently relevant?
  • Will you book positively affect the lives of your readers?
  • Is your book dynamic and will it keep the reader’s attention?
  • Does you book answer questions that are meaningful and significant?

If you can answer yes to these questions, you can feel confident about the potential of your eBook.

Another important step is to figure out who your target audience is. It is this group of people you will be writing to, and this group will dictate many elements of your book, such as style, tone, diction, and even length. Figure out the age range of your readers, their general gender, what they are most interested in, and even the socio-economic group they primarily come from. Are they people who read fashion magazines or book reviews? Do they write letters in longhand or spend hours every day online. The more you can pin down your target audience, the easier it will be to write your book for them.

Next, make a list of the reasons you are writing your eBook. Do you want to promote your business? Do you want to bring quality traffic to your website? Do you want to enhance your reputation?

Then write down your goals in terms of publishing. Do you want to sell it as a product on your website, or do you want to offer it as a free gift for filling out a survey or for ordering a product? Do you want to use the chapters to create an e-course, or use your eBook to attract affiliates around the world? The more you know upfront, the easier the actual writing will be.

Decide on the format of your chapters. In non-fiction, keep the format from chapter to chapter fairly consistent. Perhaps you plan to use an introduction to your chapter topic, and then divide it into four subhead topics. Or you may plan to divide it into five parts, each one beginning with a relevant anecdote.

How to make your eBook “user friendly”.   You must figure out how to keep your writing engaging. Often anecdotes, testimonials, little stories, photos, graphs, advice, and tips will keep the reader turning the pages. Sidebars are useful for quick, accessible information, and they break up the density of the page.

Write with a casual, conversational tone rather than a formal tone such as textbook diction. Readers respond to the feeling that you are having a conversation with them. Break up the length and structure of your sentences so you don’t hypnotize your readers into sleep. Sentences that are all the same length and structure tend to be a good aid for insomnia!

Good writing takes practice. It takes lots and lots of practice. Make a schedule to write at least a page a day. Read books and magazines about the process of writing, and jot down tips that jump out at you. The art of writing is a lifetime process; the more you write (and read), the better your writing will become. The better your writing becomes, the bigger your sales figures.

In an eBook that is read on the screen, be aware that you must give your reader’s eye a break. You can do this by utilizing white space. In art classes, white space is usually referred to as “negative space.”  Reader’s eyes need to rest in the cool white oasis’s you create on your page. If your page is too dense, your reader will quit out of it as soon as their eyes begin to tear.

Make use of lists, both bulleted and numbered. This makes your information easy to absorb, and gives the reader a mental break from dissecting your paragraphs one after the other.

Finally, decide on an easy-to-read design. Find a font that’s easy on the eyes, and stick to that font family. Using dozens of fonts will only tire your readers out before they’ve gotten past your introduction. Use at least one and a half line spacing, and text large enough to be read easily on the screen, but small enough so that the whole page can be seen on a computer screen. You will have to experiment with this to find the right combination.

Of course, don’t forget to run a spell and grammar check. You are judged by something as minor as correct punctuation, so don’t mess up a great book by tossing out semicolons randomly, or stringing sentences together with commas. (By the way, that’s called a “comma splice.”)

Last of all; create an index and a bibliography. That’s it! You’ve written a book! Now all you have to do is publish your eBook online, and wait for download request from your website visitors.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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3 Heavily Guarded Secrets To Choosing A Topic For Your Blog

Today, I’m going to open the Fort Knox fault to choosing a topic for your blog that gets read, gets famous, and makes you money. But before I get into that, first you have to ask yourself these questions:

What is my blog really about, and how do I choose the topic for my blog?

These questions are best answered by digging deep into what you’re personally interested in. When picking your topic or theme, never pick it based on popularity or financial reasons alone. This can cripple you, because you will have little to no desire in keeping up with the demands of blogging consistently.

Therefore, it’s important you write down a list of your favorite subjects and interests you would enjoy sharing with others. For example, if you’re a real estate investor — a blog on making money in real estate will suite you.

Let’s dive right in to choosing a blog topic secret #1:

1. Creativity Drives Blogging Success

Few people can hit the right note the first time they sit down to play a new instrument, and the same philosophy goes for blogging. If you want to hit a lot of right notes in perfect harmony, sometimes you have to try and test a few different ways to make your blog stand out.

One way is to have a interview like blog that interviews some of the top professionals and experts in your industry of choice. Another is to have more than one blogger contribute to the overall experience.

When you find something, stick with it, add it to your line-up of great creative ideas, and go for more to stay ahead of the curve.

2. Stick To Popular Idea’s That WORK!

Lose Weight. Make Money. Personal Development. All these topics are BIG markets that make for great topics to talk about. I don’t know many who aren’t interested in at least one of the three, so starting a blog about it gives you the best odds of success.

Stay clear of obscure topics if you ever have plans of becoming a major player in the blogging world.

3. Keep Your Blog Updated Regularly

When people visit your blog, they “expect” to see at least 1 or 2 new blog posts than did last time. Your readers check back once or twice a week to see if their’s anything new. Make sure you update your blog at least twice a week (especially if you’re new)

Choosing a blog topic and “sticking” with it isn’t difficult if you apply all three secrets above before making a decision because you make up your mind, you have to stay with your decision.

Blogging is a mentally stimulating activity — like a journal or diary online where others read your thoughts, ideas, embarrassments, pains, and accomplishments with your permission.

If you want to discover how to get the most from your blog so you’re earning far more than you currently are now, check out this FREE Report 5 Quick Ways to Monetize Your Blog.

With that said, I wish you the best of luck choosing your blogs topic. Don’t rush into it. Let it come to you and help you decide what move to make next before you make it and you’ll be satisfied with your decision for a very long time.

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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Fundamental Fighting…. the Panda Principles

Google is always changing the rules. Webmasters and bloggers, who adapt regularly, can get a lot of free traffic from them. Let’s take a quick look.

After the Panda update in 2011, Amit Singhal of Google published new content guidelines for webmasters and bloggers, at Google’s Official Webmaster Central Blog. While Panda affected many sites adversely, it also helped many rank better.

While that list is extensive, 10 essential points stand out in my opinion. Try to keep these in mind when adding content to the web…

1. Is the information presented trustworthy?

There’s a reason this number one on the list. Trust is the key online. You can earn trust with great content and a respected platform such as WordPress. You can earn trust with the way you write, with proper grammar, lots of details, relevant facts, sharing both sides of an argument and more. Strive for believability in every bit of content you write and you’ll earn trust instantly.

2. Is the author an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more superficial?

I never agreed with experts who said that when monetizing a site with AdSense, you should be general and not give too many details. Their logic was that if you shared content that was “too good” your visitors would not click your ads. I would submit that the stronger the info the better and the more details the better. Knowing a topic well and sharing your knowledge without holding back gets you more traffic from search engines via more long-tail searches and better overall ranking!

3. Does the site/blog have replica, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with just slightly different keyword variations?

Duplicate content is tricky subject. Many people think Google punishes sites for duplicate content. Instead, pages with duplicate content simply do not rank as well, especially post panda. With this statement Google is basically telling webmasters and bloggers not to try and game the system by rehashing content, and to instead publish fresh, unique content on a variety of subjects related to the core topic. That takes more work but enhances the experience of searchers.

4. Are there spelling, stylistic, or factual errors in the article?

This is easy enough. Verify everything before you publish it. Write in a tone that is easy to follow. Edit everything before you publish it. If you take time to do this your pages will usually outrank poorly written content on the same topic.

5. Does the author provide original content and information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?

This one is a little trickier. Original content should be no problem, but the sources where you get your ideas, i.e. other websites and blogs, can pose a threat to true originality. Analysis is often closer to opinion however, and it seems Google does want webmaster and bloggers to share their opinions in addition to simply reporting facts. Think of some of the top blogs you read and you may find that it is really the style the writer uses. This can be challenging to adapt but over time it gets easier.

6. Does the page provide significant value when compared to other pages in search results?

This is an easy one. If you’re slapping up short blog posts that are vague and general in nature, you’ll likely get outranked by others who go into more detail on the same topic. People visit sites and blogs for information on a subject of interest. If they have to search through 5 pages at 5 different sites to get their answers, those pages can easily be outranked by a site that shares all that same info on a single page.

7. Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of authors, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?

This one really irritated a lot of webmasters who share large amounts of useful content created by multiple users. Personally, I do not feel they should be penalized for outsourcing their content, however I do understand that Google is trying to make the search experience better by giving preference to webmasters and bloggers who are passionate about their subject and give every page personal attention. While outsourcing content is certainly OK, personal attention to each web page or post needs to be a priority.

8. Was the article written and prepare for publication well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

It seems as though Google is finally cracking down on spun content that is sometimes impossible to read. That’s good news. Every piece of content you place on the web should be edited so that anyone can read it easily. If you’re spinning your articles to get more use from them, take time to manually rewrite sentences and paragraphs to add more content, and you’ll stand a better chance at getting more mileage from your content.

9. Would you want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend the page?

For bloggers in particularly, I think Amit left something out of this sentence. I think it should have read… Is this the sort of page you’d want to leave a comment on, bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend? In my experience, posts at my blogs that have user comments tend to move up in ranking and do better than posts with no comments. It could be because of the added length of content on the page when users comment, but one thing is for sure… content that people want to share does better, especially lately. With that in mind, try to make it easy for users to share your comments by offering a share link with all the common social networks. If you’re on WordPress, a free plug-in like Sociable will do the trick.

10. Are the articles short, trivial, or lacking in helpful information?

It seems to me that blog pages and posts with more than 700 words do better than blog posts with 400 words or less. Bear in mind, this is one person’s interpretation based on my own experience. Yours could differ.

Oh yes, in addition to these 10 points, Google has since revealed a few new insights into recent algorithm changes. One of the most significant in my opinion is the fact that they now factor in the “freshness” of content. That means that sites and blogs who regularly add fresh, original content stand a better chance at outranking sites that do not update regularly. So, if you’re experiencing some trouble with your Google rankings, it could likely more due to another recent algorithm change. As you may know, Google makes nearly 500 changes a year – sometimes more than one in a day. Most don’t have as big of an impact as Panda, but there is always the possibility that one will impact your site.

This week, Google revealed 21 previously unannounced changes that were made in December. Take a look at those if you haven’t yet.

If you want to discover how to get the most from your blog so you’re earning far more than you currently are now, check out this FREE Report 5 Quick Ways to Monetize Your Blog, which reveals:

  • How you can be paid every time one of your site visitors clicks an ad on your site (and it’s not just AdSense either!).
  • Two effective ways to promote other people’s products from your site to earn more affiliate commissions than ever.
  • Two popular marketplaces that you can search for high paying products to promote from your sites.
  • Five niche-related examples of how to market your own products successfully through your site to make more sales.
  • How to create a portfolio to showcase your skills, and dress up your site to make it eye-catching to your visitors.
  • How to include popular forms of media on your site to attract attention in the right places, and get your message out to more prospects.
  • The five key items buyers are looking for, and the secret methods of making money quickly and easily.
  • And much more?

Precisely.

Jerry Duling is a Marketing and Business Consultant, Professional Speaker, and Social Media advisor. Jerry shows businesses how to use Social Media to build their brand, generate leads and close sales. Jerry also provides individual resources for the Internet Entrepreneur. Connect with

 

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