Category Archives: newsletters

Why Article Marketing is Great for Generating Leads

article-marketingLong before the internet rose to its position of importance in marketing, the use of article marketing was considered a useful promotion tool in print media.  Today, the availability of online venues such as websites, ezines and newsletters via email have created an even greater need for well-written articles on a variety of topics.  As a result, article marketing has become a more powerful tool than ever before.

Article marketing is the practice of providing well-written content for distribution to websites and epublishers in exchange for a blurb about the author’s business and contact information.  These “bios” usually include a link to the business owner’s website.

When a business owner offers content for publication, it is equivalent to getting free ad space on countless websites worldwide.  The opportunity for exposure to the right market is significant, while the cost is virtually nil, making it a highly efficient means of business communication.

Unlike using email campaigns for lead generation, which net about a one percent response rate, article marketing targets a willing audience.  Readers either voluntarily visited the website on which the article is published, or have opted in to receive the newsletter or ezine.  This audience is inherently more open to the information contained in the article, and therefore more likely to follow the link to the author’s website to learn more.

Publishers who pick up the articles already have an audience of potential buyers in place.  Readers are interested in the content of the articles, suggesting they may be in the market to purchase products or services related to that content.  By comparison, the cost to purchase a list of such well-qualified leads would be formidable.  Providing an article costs no more than the investment of the time required to write it.

Business owners can further increase the conversion rate by including a link to a particular piece of information in the author’s bio.  Rather than linking to the home page, authors can include a link to an article on their own site that elaborates on the article topic.  Readers will be more likely to seek out additional specific information.

Conversion rates can be improved further by publishing an email address that readers can use to subscribe to the author’s newsletter or website.  Making the desired action as easy as possible increases the reader’s likelihood of doing so.  An auto-response can then be sent to new signa links to specific features of the author’s website.

Providing content to publishers in related fields can be a highly cost-effective means of increasing website traffic, generating qualified leads, and improving both brand awareness and ultimately, sales.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger, nature photographer and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Turning An Ordinary Experience Into An Article

experience2As you may already know, article marketing is one of the best ways to drive free traffic to your website.  When you write an article and distribute it to an article reprint directory, other website owners and bloggers can use it on their sites.

In exchange for the free content, they will also publish a bio box at the end of the article.  You can include information about your website and a link to it.  Your article, and the incoming link, can be published over and over by many different people on various websites.  All of these incoming links equal more traffic to your site.

In addition to article marketing, you should also be writing articles for your own site.  The more content you have, the more likely it is the search engines will find you and send you free traffic.  Plus, the more helpful information you have on your website, the more likely it is that your visitors will return to your site.  If you have nothing to offer them, they won’t come back.

You can use ordinary everyday type of experiences as inspiration for your articles.  Your readers are just like you – the types of things that are affecting your life are also affecting theirs’.

Take a look at the experience you would like to write about and find a way to spin it so that it fits your business.  For instance, if you sell cosmetics, what are some types of events that happen every day that relate to cosmetics?

Many women are very busy in the morning and do not have a lot of time to spend on make-up application.  Or perhaps your daughter has taken your lipstick and drawn all over the bedroom wall – this is a good opportunity to give tips on how to remove makeup.

You can also take events from your own daily life and use them as a base for your articles.  If you have a website with information about marketing a home-based business, create an article about your busy day and your time management tricks.

The fact that you are writing in a way that is relatable can get you published again and again.  People will appreciate your honesty.  If they are having issues with something, they will feel comforted to know that they are not alone.  This can also build trust between you and the reader.  Once they trust you, they are more likely to become one of your customers.  Writing in this format is a win-win situation and will help you increase your profits.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

How Information Products Can Increase Your Traffic

info product pic 2It is no secret that people seek out information on the internet. In fact, the internet has revolutionized the way people find information. Many people turn to the internet for their daily does of news, rather than television or newspapers. A decade ago, publishing companies published huge encyclopedia sets and hired sales people to go door to door in order to sell them. Today, people can turn on the computer and find what they are looking for.

Whether your goal is to sell tangible products, digital products, or increase affiliate commissions, creating information products is a great way to increase traffic to your site.

There are many types of information products to choose from: you can offer a special report, an e-course, audio or mix of all three. You can sell your information for profit or give it away for free and use it simply as a method for gaining traffic.

A special report is a smaller than an e-book, usually about 10 – 15 pages; these can be written rather quickly and work great as a marketing tool. Think about the things you have for sell, or the items you are an affiliate for. Pick a group of complimentary items and write a special report around them. For instance, if you sell cosmetics, create a special report about quick and easy summer beauty fixes. Advertise your own products within the report.

On the other hand, if you are an affiliate for several items related to babies, create a special report that new parents would find interesting. Plan your content so you can input your affiliate links inside the report. For instance, if you are an affiliate for a company that sells cribs, include a section in your report on how to find the best cribs, and insert your affiliate link in that area.

Simply offer one of these reports as a free gift for subscribing to your newsletter or other mailing list. Your subscribers will love the fact that they are getting something for free, and you will love the fact that your mailing list is growing.

You can also charge a fee for the information you are using to drive traffic to your site. For instance, if you have a website that focuses on helping other people start a home business, you may choose to have a subscription-based newsletter. You can fill this newsletter with affiliate links for various products; endorse your own information products, and various joint ventures.

Another idea is to offer a special report and audio on a subscription basis. Using the example above, if you have a website that focuses on helping others start a home business, you can feature information on time management one month, advertising the next month, hiring a virtual assistant the month following that and so forth. You can interview other home business owners and have a transcript made from your audio file.

People are definitely hungry for information and if you can provide them quality information that answers their questions, you will notice an increase in your traffic (and profits).

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Using E-mail to Get Publicity

email picWhen you think of publicity, you may think of paid ads, press releases, and the like. When you think of email, you probably think of it as a communication tool; They may seem very different, but you can blend the two and use email as a publicity tool.

Most email programs have a signature line option. You can create a unique signature that includes your name, phone number, slogan, website address – or anything else that comes to mind. When you choose to have the signature line option on, your email program will automatically include your signature line into outgoing messages.

If your message is going to someone who doesn’t know about your business, your signature line will give them a brief overview. And if anyone forwards your emails to other people, your signature line will be included as well.

Creating a mailing list and using an autoresponder to stay in touch with them is a great way to use email as a publicity tool. An example of this would be to create an e-course on a subject that goes along with something you are promoting. For instance, if your target market is new mothers that are interested in health topics, you can create an e-course on the health benefits of making your own organic baby food.

There are many autoresponder services to choose from, so do a little research and find one that fits your needs and budget. When you sign up with one, you will be able to create forms to gain subscribers. When you create a form, you will be given a small amount of HTML that you can install on your website or blog. An opt-in box will appear on your page, and when people fill out their name and email, they will be added to your list of subscribers.

You can write emails ahead of time and load them into your autoresponder, and as you gain subscribers your emails will automatically be sent to them. You can specify how many days apart you want the emails to be sent. Sending one email or “lesson” per day is very common with e-courses. On day 1 you can send your subscribers a welcome email, on day 2 they will receive lesson 1 of the e-course, on day 3 they will receive lesson 2 and so forth.

In each email you send, include a call to action. Using the example above, if you are creating an e-course about organic baby food, include links to other products you are promoting or selling. An example would be your affiliate link to an e-book.

People turn to the internet to gain information. Email is a great way to deliver information to them and promote your products and services at the same time.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Free and Easy Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Site

Don’t be fooled by the websites that promise to bring traffic to your website for a costly fee. Gaining website traffic doesn’t have to be expensive. It may take a little time and effort, but there are many ways to increase your traffic for free.

Having fresh, relative and timely content on your site will bring in search engine traffic to your website. Make it a goal to add new articles regularly. Do some keyword research and try to figure out what your potential visitors are searching for, and use those keywords throughout your articles. Each page should have its own keywords relevant to the content on that specific page.

Adding articles to reprint directories with incoming links to your site is another way that articles can help increase traffic to your site. Other website owners and bloggers visit reprint articles in search of content for their sites, and may choose to put your articles on their sites. If they do, they will also include the links you put at the bottom of your article, which point directly to your site.

Blogs are a great way to increase traffic to your site. They allow your customers to build a relationship with you. As you post on your blog, include links to information on your website that you think your readers would find helpful or interesting. For instance, if you added a new article to your site, add a post to your blog letting your readers know the article is there, and include a link to it.

Many websites have message boards or forums that will allow you to establish online relationships. The contacts that you make online are not only potential customers; they can also bring you many referrals. Not only do forums allow you to create relationships, they allow limitless advertising opportunities in the form of your signature line. A signature line appears at the bottom of each post, and you can include links to your website in that spot.

Having a newsletter or e-zine that you send to your mailing list on a weekly or monthly basis will also help you increase traffic. You can include information on any updates you have made to your site as well as links to articles and other pages your readers will find helpful.

Promoting an e-book, special report, or e-course can also bring you a steady flow of traffic. People turn to the Internet for information. By offering, and promoting, the type of information they are looking for, you are giving them a reason to visit your site.

If you have an informational or tangible product for sale, you may want to consider establishing an affiliate program. The more affiliates that you have promoting your product, the more traffic that will come to your site.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Quick Tips to Help You Produce More Content

If you’re a content producer, sooner or later you’re going to come to the point where you have to ask yourself: “What am I going to write about?” Sooner or later, we all have trouble coming up with ideas. Don’t worry though – If you follow these quick tips, you’ll be on your way to producing great content in no time at all.
Tip #1 – Explain an Expert’s Concept
One great way to produce some killer content is to take some of your favorite quotes and expert ideas and use them as fodder for your content.  For example, if you’re running a business blog, you might take an idea like Donald Trump’s “it takes as much effort to think small as it does to think big, so you might as well think big” quote and turn that into a blog post about goals and planning.

Tip #2 – Mistakes to Avoid
Another great way to write articles is to teach people what not to do. What mistakes have you personally made in this niche? What are common mistakes other people make?
You can either list several mistakes in one article, or go in depth on one common mistake that they should pay attention to and spend the whole article on that.

Tip #3 – Share a Personal Experience and a Lesson
Is there a personal story you can tell that will help teach your readers a lesson? If you can tell your story in an entertaining and informative way, that will definitely be a great article.
For example, Zappos’ CEO Tony Hseih often shares the story of how he learned business lessons from playing poker. The lessons he learned later helped him sell his company for $1.2 billion dollars. The story is both entertaining and highly educational.

Tip #4 – Browse Related Websites
If you’re really having trouble coming up with ideas, go take a look around other websites in your industry. As you browse through what other people are putting in their content, a great idea for your site will likely hit you like a thunderbolt.  If it doesn’t, then go browse some niche forums. Specifically pay attention to questions people seem to be asking again and again and see if you can answer some of those questions in your content.

Tip #5 – Tell it Differently
If you feel like you’ve really exhausted everything you have to say, then take a concept you’ve already touched on and go deeply into it. Expand on it in depth.
In the spirituality industry, there’s one primary teaching that’s repeated over and over: “Be present.” This one concept is expanded upon again and again, filling up thousands of pages of content.  This concept doesn’t get boring because every time it’s told it’s from a different angle, with a different story or a different emphasis. You can do the same with your content. What’s one important concept you can expand on?

These are just some ideas of how to quickly produce more content. Use these tips to help stimulate your mind, then use your creativity to create some knockout content.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Newsletter and Ezine Marketing Crash Course

Having a great newsletter can increase your business by as much as 5 fold – Or more, if you do it right! In fact, a newsletter is one of the most crucial tools in business, yet many beginning marketers miss out on it. Why is a newsletter so crucial and how can you start your own newsletter? Here’s the inside scoop.
Why a Newsletter is So Important
A newsletter is crucial because most people aren’t willing to pull out their credit card the first time they hear about someone.  Instead, they prefer to get to know you and your content bit by bit over time. As they get to know you and realize you’re the real deal and that you can help them, then that’s when they’ll be willing to pull out their credit cards and make a purchase.  To build this trust, you need to build a connection over time. A newsletter allows you to stay in touch with people even after they’ve left your site.

Getting Started With a Newsletter
The first step is to get an autoresponder service. There are many services, such as Aweber, GetResponse or iContact to choose from. If you have a shopping card system, that may have a built in autoresponder as well.  Once you have your autoresponder setup, the next step is to get people to sign up for your newsletter.
The best way to do that is to have your newsletter on the front page of your website. Clearly tell your readers what they’ll get by signing up to your newsletter. Then ask them firmly and powerfully to join your newsletter.

Consistency
It’s important that you have a set consistency at which you send your emails. In general, anywhere from once a week to once a month is a good consistency.
If you send your emails more than once a week, people may start to think its spam. If you send your emails less than once a month, people will forget about you.  Once you pick a consistency, stick with it so that people know what to expect from your website.

Building a Relationship
A lot of newsletter writers spend a lot of time on their headline. Because, that’s what gets emails opened after all. Right?  Wrong. Your real headline is in the “from” column. People look at who the email is from more than the subject when they’re deciding whether or not to open an email.  Your goal is to build a relationship with your readers, so that they know when they get an email from you that they’re in for a treat. It’s going to be interesting, informative and useful. You’re not going to spam them.  If you build a relationship with them like that, then your emails will get opened – Almost every time.

Again, having a good newsletter can increase your business by many fold. Start by creating your autoresponder and getting signups. Then, pick a mailing consistency and start to build a relationship of trust with your readers.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.