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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Mar
28

10 Ways to Generate Leads from Facebook

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Facebook logoExactly what is a lead and what does it mean for your business?  A lead is a person or organization that has, in some way, expressed an interest in your product or service.  Leads, if handled properly, can be turned into customers which means more sales and success for your business.

There are many ways to find leads including social media.  Social media lead generation is cost-effective and can considerably elevate your sales success.

Facebook has over one billion users and is the continued powerhouse of social media.  Below are ten ideas you can utilize to help increase your lead generation using Facebook.

1. Use Calls-to-Action in Your Cover Photo – With Facebook changing their policies and allowing calls-to-action in your cover photo, all kinds of possibilities open up for lead generation.  You can link to special offers, contests, events, giveaways, etc.  By displaying a lead capturing call to action your conversion numbers could grow substantially.

2. Use Links in Your Posts – Posting with photos will get you more than 50% more likes than text posts.  Be sure to add a link back to your website to capture that lead.

3. Host Events and Contests – The possibilities are endless for holding all types of events to get those leads.  Some ideas are webinars, contests, competitions, giveaways, Facebook chat, etc.  You can easily create an event page.  Use Facebook’s event app to create your page and then send out your invites.

4. Design an Effective Cover Photo – Be sure to follow Facebook’s cover photo guidelines.  Draw attention to your call-to-action buttons with some text directly above them or an arrow or other similar tactic.  Keep it fresh by changing your photo periodically.  There are many sites that offer free cover images for you to use.  ProfileRehab.com, TrendyCovers.com, and FreeFacebookCovers.net just to name a few.

5. Avoid Direct Selling – Avoid using obvious advertising in your posts.  If people see nothing but an ad, they will more than likely avoid it.  Provide quality, informative content to get a higher number of leads and conversions. Read More→

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Mar
14

10 SEO Mistakes You Should Not Be Making

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Top view of young lady sitting on floor with a laptop and lookinSEO or search engine optimization is the process in which you make your site more easily read by the search engine spiders. Thus giving it more visibility and higher search engine rankings.

The higher your rankings, the more searches your site will be included in and this in turn will get you more traffic.

There are a lot of factors involved when optimizing your site for the search engines. They range from keywords to image tags to social media.

Many of us make the following common SEO mistakes that can easily be rectified.

1. Not Enough Content – Content is very important for your site. The search engines want to display the best sites for people who are searching for specific information. If your site contains quality information and content, they will consider your site to be one of these sites. Make sure your content is relevant to your site, has proper spelling and grammar, includes not only text but videos, links, images and other content.

2. No ALT Tags – Alt tags, also referred to as alt text, describe images on your site. The search engines cannot read images so adding an alternative text tag gives the search engine a readable description of the image to help the search engine spiders place your site within the search results of that text. For example: If you have a picture of a sunset with vibrant colors you may give it the alt tag description orange red summer sunset. Don’t use words that do not describe the image in hopes of getting better SEO results. This can do more harm than good by lowering your rankings.

3. Keyword Stuffing – Back in the day when search engines relied mostly on keywords it was a popular practice to stuff them in as much as possible. Now, keyword stuffing can get you penalized or even banned. Focus on one or two keywords or keyword phrases and sprinkle them lightly throughout your text. Keep your keyword density in the 1% – 3% range. So that would mean for every 100 words, use your keyword 1-3 times. This will give you a high optimization value.

4. Too Much Flash – Flash is a software used to build colorful, animated, flashy websites with a lot of graphics and light. They may look beautiful but unfortunately they are not user-friendly or SEO friendly. Flash has been widely phased out for the above reasons and more. Search engines find it difficult to read Flash. Flash can also cause your site’s performance to become substantially lower resulting in an increased bounce rate and lower rankings. Flash is not totally worthless but can cause you many difficulties. Read More→

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Feb
07

10 Strong Benefits of Blog Commenting

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You might feel that taking the time to visit other blogs and posting comments takes too much time from your “more important” tasks. There are millions of blogs out there and trying to find the ones that would be suitable on which to comment could seem overwhelming. But start slow and make a commenting schedule. Start with one or two a day and try to work yourself up to more.

You will discover that all the benefits of accomplishing this will put blog commenting in your “more important” category of tasks.

1. Build Relationships – Sharing information and offering your expertise on various subjects is a great way to start building relationships and forming trust. These relationships can be vital to your online business.

2. More Backlinks – A backlink is simply a link to your website coming from another website. Building an arsenal of quality backlinks can get you more targeted traffic and improve your search engine ranking. By getting involved with other blogs and posting helpful comments, you are well on your way.

3. Expand Your Network – Along with building relationships comes expanding your network. Meet more business owners, possible clients, and bloggers. Not only will this help you to possibly increase your sales but it could help you get more involved with joint ventures and cross promotions. Those techniques can help your business tremendously.

4. Build Your Reputation – Build your reputation as an active member of the internet marketing community. Show people you know your stuff and are not afraid to use it to help others. This will help brand you as the go to person for information and resources as well as your services and/or products.

5. Increase Your Traffic – Participating in other blogs can help increase your traffic in many ways. Along with all the above mentioned reasons, you will also get more clicks from people who, because you offer helpful advice and information, may just want to check out your site or blog to see what you have.

6. Improves Your SEO – Another benefit that goes hand in hand with the previous benefits is maximized SEO for higher search engine rankings. More quality backlinks means more attention from the search engines. More traffic produces the same result. Read More→

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Dec
10

How to Expand Your Social Network for Business Success

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Social Media MarketingIn the last twenty years the growth of online social media has been phenomenal. New social sites are popping up left and right. This social media explosion can be a powerful tool for the growth of your business. But trying to gain control of your social media skills for business development can be a daunting task.

Below are some ideas on how you can zero in on your social media marketing campaign and use it to expand your online network and intensify your business.

1. Establish Identity – Starting with your username, establishing the appropriate identity is very important. Define who you are and be clear on your purpose. Do not try to be too cutesy or trendy. Trends come and go but your username will be forever. Using a good photo of yourself for your avatar is usually best. This will help brand you as a person to connect with your company.

2. Build Relationships – Establishing and building relationships is the cornerstone for all businesses. Taking the time to cement a relationship with your followers will be much more effective than being a collector of friends. Let them get to know you so trust and respect can be formed. From this will come more conversions and sales.

3. Share and Share Alike – Don’t expect everyone to share your posts and information without ever sharing back. You will need to reciprocate these actions. Let people know you appreciate the sharing of your posts, videos or information. Do not take advantage of others just to get the share.

4. Value and Quality – Do not watch conversations and then jump in when you feel your sales pitch fits. Participate in the conversation, offer sound advice and quality information. Become a regular contributor who is always willing to offer value. Don’t just copy and paste. Provide original ideas, information and resources. Take the extra time to establish your expertise and willingness to offer assistance. This will carry over into your business when the people you have helped need your services and/or products.

5. Understand Your Customers – Do your research and always be aware of your potential customers’ needs and wants. Periodically take surveys, stay on top of the marketing trends and information. There are tools that can help you compile consumer data which you can then analyze to see what is working and what is not. DataHero, NetVibes and Google Analytics are a few you can use for free to sharpen your analytical skills. Read More→

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Nov
19

10 Primary Pages of a Profitable Website

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nicoleMaking a good living online can be a daunting task but certainly not impossible. To accomplish this goal you need a strong foundation, which in this case would be a well-structured, productive website. A website should be designed to suit your business purpose and to draw in and capture your target market. There are many elements to consider when planning your website.

One favorable factor in building websites is that you can change any part of your website for greater effectiveness. As websites evolve and change, you can fairly easily adapt your website to those changes.

Below is a list of some of the most important pages your website should include for maximum results and prosperity:

1. Home – Your homepage, also called the landing page, is most often where your potential customer will land when coming to your website. You have just seconds to grab and retain that person before they decide to leave. Your homepage needs an attention grabbing headline and compelling copy. You want to pull-in and lead your visitor through the rest of your site. Be clear, concise and simple. Explain what you can  do for the customer and why they should buy from you. Be sure to include benefits.

The brain retains visual images more than text so use images and/or a video. Make sure the customer knows exactly what to do next and show them a clear path through the buying process. Navigation is key to reduce your bounce rate. Never load up your homepage with banners, flash ads, and other distracting features.

2. About – The about page is where your customer will learn all about you and your business. This is how your potential clients will get to know you. Consumers want to buy from people they know. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Let people know the person behind the website. Adding a picture of yourself will go a long way in making people feel they can trust you. Share your experience and expertise. Explain what they can expect from and how they can benefit from your business. What makes your company better than the rest? What will the experience be like when doing business with you? Add a link to your mailing list so they can get to know you and your business even better. Some people will say that the customer only wants to know about your business and how it can solve their problems but in my experience they also want to know the person behind the business.

3. FAQ – A frequently asked question or FAQ page is important to your website because it can give people the information they are seeking in order to do business with you. A well-written FAQ page can be an effective marketing tool. Most people do not want to take the time to email and then wait for the answers. Providing the answers now is much more effective. Place most commonly asked questions on top and keep them flowing. Organizing and grouping questions by category works very well. Adding images or screenshots can add value and usability to your page. Be sure to answer the questions from the consumer’s point of view. Do not try to impress people with technical or difficult to understand words. Read More→

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Nov
12

10 New Tactics to Electrify Your Content Marketing

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Content marketing involves the creating and sharing of relevant and useful content such as articles, videos, infographics and more for the purpose of gaining customers and making sales.sky

Content marketing has been around for a number of years and like all aspects of internet marketing, it is forever changing and evolving. Keeping up with these changes is crucial for your content marketing campaign. However, one thing that does not change is that “Content is King”.

Below are some new ideas for increasing the productivity of your content marketing efforts:

1. Engagement – Content marketing is no longer just submitting articles to some article directories. It has evolved into a much more detailed and powerful tool. You want to engage people, get a buzz going about your content. Be sure to participate with your readers to keep the interaction going. Show a real interest in your readers’ questions, comments or feedback. Providing useful relevant content is one sure way to create interest and involvement.

2. Upcycle Old Content – If you have some old content that has done well for you in the past, make it happen again. Revive that old content by updating the facts, adding visuals, making it appropriate for now. You have a new audience now with new information to present so upcycling can produce results.

3. Identify with Readers – When creating your content, be sure to put yourself in your readers’ place. Become one of your readers and identify with them on what information they need, how to present it and how you would interact with it. Read your content as if you were a visitor to your site and see how you would react to it. If you find your content informative and helpful, chances are your readers will too. Do not hold yourself above your readers because they will sense this and find other content providers.

4. Visual Matters – Visuals have quickly become a crucial part of content marketing. Our brains react to and process visual stimulation much more than mere text so using effective visuals is critical. There are many places to get free stock photos but you may want to rise above that. Find quality photos or create your own. Infographics and videos are also a very effective way to grab your readers and increase the chances of turning them into customers. People are more likely to watch a short video or scan an infographic then read a text-only article.

5. Use a CMS (Content Management System) – A CMS is a computer application that helps you create, edit, publish, and organize your content. Using such an application will increase your workflow and allow you to better manage your content for more successful marketing efforts. Examples of such tools are My Content Management System Plugin from WordPress, MojoPortal, MediaCore for videos and podcasts and many, many more. Read More→

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Sep
24

30 Quick Tips for Online Success

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TiStock_000002807197XSmallhe internet allows many of us an opportunity at success that we may otherwise never have had. There are countless ways to make money online but there is a lot to learn as well. Unfortunately many of us will fail because we just get lost in all the information and aspects of running an online business. Below are some quick tips to give you a head start on your way to success!

Build Relationships – Take the time to establish a connection with your potential customers. People need to know and trust you before they will buy from you.

Get More Involved with Social Media – Using social media is a great way to connect with people and start building the relationship. Choose a few good social sites and start participating and sharing information, resources, etc. Don’t spread yourself too thin.

Write Guest Posts and Articles – Content is very important for your marketing campaign. Write blog posts and submit them to various blogs that target your business idea. For instance, if you sell furniture you don’t want to post on blogs that teach people how to paint. You want targeted traffic so go where people looking for furniture would go.

Build Backlinks – Backlinks can help get you a higher ranking in the search engines as well as getting you more direct traffic. Be sure to watch where you get your link posted. The search engines go by the rule, “guilty by association,” so stick with quality sites with no “questionable” content.

Publish a Newsletter – Newsletters are a good way to form relationships with people so they will buy from you. Offer quality information, interaction and be consistent. Try adding a little fun as well. A trivia game or something similar with a prize for the winner can work well.

Optimize Your SEO – Research keywords, write good headlines and titles, read up on SEO and optimize your site for those search engine spiders.

Use Google Analytics – Using Google Analytics is a good way to study your traffic.  Learn where they come from, when they come, how long they stay, which pages make them leave, etc. All this information will help you maximize your site’s effectiveness.

Call-to-Action – Order Now, Sign-Up Here, Click Here, Call Now… these are all calls to action. Be sure yours is prominent and really urges your visitor to take action. Colorful well-designed buttons can make your call-to-action much more effective.

Exit Ads – Exit ads or floating ads or ads with other similar names can grab your visitor at the last minute. Make sure the offer in the ad will compel them to sign-up or follow the call-to-action. In that last second as they are leaving your site, you have one last chance to capture them.

Offer Incentives – Sometimes people just need a reason to get them to take action.  Offering a free gift or valuable information can get them to sign-up or take the next step. Read More→

Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerFor anyone wanting an e-commerce website, WordPress is an excellent tool with which to launch your new business. WordPress is an open source website building program using PHP. It is one of the easiest ways to produce a professional profit producing website or blog.

10 Needed Tips for WordPress Beginners, by Terri SeymourWordPress may have started out as a simple blogging platform but it has evolved into much more. With plugins and widgets the features you can add to your site are endless. There is no cost to use WordPress. You can install it and modify it however you choose and it is fairly easy to learn.

Hundreds of different themes provide a wide array of designs you can choose for your website. Some themes are free and some require a fee. Although WP is not extremely difficult to use there are some things a beginner should know to make the experience flow more smoothly.

1. WordPress Folder – When you create your WP site you do not want to use a WordPress folder so it shows up in your url. I have seen sites that do this and end up with urls like mysite.com/WordPress. Install the WP in your main directory or use a subdomain.

2. Plugin Overload – Plugins are a wonderful thing. They have one for everything from changing your font size and color to sharing your posts to your social media accounts. Although they are a great tool to use, be careful not to use too many. When I first went to the plugin directory at wordpress.org I was like a kid at Christmas. I was downloading just about all of them. I have since learned to only use the plugins I actually need and to be sure they all get along. Sometimes you do get plugins that don’t play nice together. If you notice a problem on your site after installing a new plugin, just deactivate the plugin and see if it fixes the problem. Read More→

Sep
01

Explode Your Traffic with Blogging Communities

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Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerBlogging communities are a type of social media site where you join up with other online business owners to share content, information and ideas. These communities can help you build massive traffic to your site and increase your business success.

Explode Your Traffic with Blogging Communities, by Terri SeymourYou can benefit from these communities in the following ways:

1. Get High Quality Backlinks – By sharing your articles and blog posts with the community you are also getting quality backlinks to your site which in turn will raise your ranking and standing in the search engines.

2. Expand Your Network – Joining and participating in social communities such as blogging communities will enable you to meet a lot of people and expand your networking circles.

3. Substantially Increase Your Traffic – Everything you do amongst these communities will help increase your traffic. The more you share, contribute and engage with others, the more traffic you will receive.

4. Build a Following – By sharing your knowledge and expertise on particular subjects, you can increase your following and help build a more substantial email list from which your business and your potential customers will benefit. Read More→

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Aug
11

A 15-Point Checklist for More Profitable Product Pages

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Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerThe product pages of your website are your showroom and they must be displayed properly to achieve maximum results. This does not mean that all product pages should look alike. There are many ways to be creative yet effective.

A 15-Point Checklist to More Profitable Product Pages, by Terri SeymourMany of us focus our attention on our homepage (which is also important) and then just paste up a cookie cutter product page. Taking the time to plan and strategize your product pages is also essential. Cart abandonment is a serious issue for online business owners but there are ways to decrease your abandonment stats.

As we go from website to website, we do not want to see clone product pages but there are aspects that should be included in all product pages. Below is a checklist for some of these important elements that will help your product page be more profitable.

1. Product Description – Do not try to write a one size fits all product description. Focus on your targeted buyer and write to them personally. Be sure to include all the benefits the product provides. Try to avoid clone phrases such as best deal in town or superior quality. Your prospect will tend to blur over these types of statements. Read More→

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