December 2016 | Fetchprofits
[Video] Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Working?

[Video] Why Your Facebook Ads Aren’t Working?

It hurts to see money going out of the window on your Facebook campaigns. I see a recurring trend among clients and many other marketers and businesses I know: they do some basic mistakes that could be easily avoided.

Find out why your Facebook ads aren’t working as well as they should. See how to make your campaigns perform better.

Watch the video

 

Do comment below and tell us how your Facebook ads are working? I’d be glad to hear from you.

Digital Marketing Myths To Avoid If You Want To Succeed

Digital Marketing Myths To Avoid If You Want To Succeed

So, you launched your business.

Perhaps your business has been on for a while (the digital marketing myths, suprisingly, still apply).

Hopefully, you have a site that’s built for speed, designed for success, and looks fabulous to boot. You worried about every pixel, you spent every dime on making sure that your website is securely hosted, and you are dancing on your toes waiting for your first clients to show up.

I get it, and I am just like you.

Maybe, I am guilty of showing more enthusiasm than it’s due. In fact, I wouldn’t sleep well before launch, I’d worry about every visitor, click, ad, words on blog posts, comments, and every signup on my email list.

For businesses, startups, and bloggers, it’s hard to dance and show a happy puppy face when your credit card gets billed for Facebook ads or Google ads.

Soon, the excitement wears off.

If you aren’t constantly checking your Google Analytics stats, Mouseflow recordings, or GoSquared/Cyfe dashboard, I am pretty sure you are constantly doing something else:

Worrying.

Worrying that all that traffic is coming in but isn’t doing a thing — like signing up for your newsletter, eating up your free trial, or munching on your crunchy giveaways.

Worrying that you are draining your capital on ads relentlessly.

Worrying that you have nothing to show for all these months (or God forbid years) of work.

Worrying if your product is even worth the dollar tag it wraps around itself.

Worrying if you’ll ever make it.

Here’s the thing: You will make it. We’ll all make it. Only if we persist and if we follow a set path.

You don’t have to believe, like, or get enthusiastic about the “path” itself; just feel good about the journey, the ebbs and flows, and the destination.

But before you do anything, you owe it to yourself to avoid these digital marketing myths like plague:

 

I know what I am doing

 

Honestly, you don’t. I’ve been in business 16+ years and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. And how can it be? Everything changes every single day and when each aspect of digital marketing itself changes all the time.

Facebook ads — changes all the time.
Blogging — the tips, tricks, the strategy, the execution, the debates, and the changes (and did I mention Google’s Updates).
Social Media — SnapChat came up just when you wanted to wear your fancy pants and look good on Facebook.
PPC? Don’t even get me started as I might fall somewhere in the mess between landing pages, ads, tracking, and analytics. Hello? Did I mention Marketing Automation?

But that’s just about digital marketing.

Guess what’s a bigger problem since you asked that question? It’s you.

You are a huge problem with your digital marketing efforts because:

  • You might be cheap and hence not do justice to what you’d really need to.
  • You insist on doing digital marketing on a “whim”, or because your “competitor” does it, or because you think it’s cool instead of actually treating it as partly science and partly art.
  • You don’t have the right team.
  • Or you have the wrong people on your team.
  • Finally, because “you thought you knew what you were doing”.

 

I’ll blog and they’ll come

 

In the year 2006, 7, 8, or 9, this could have been true. Plenty of bloggers who started then now see upwards of 50,000 to 300,000+ page views each month and all they have is content out there. It was possible once upon a time. Just not anymore, as Brian Clark and Chris Brogan rightly talk about in their podcast.

Rand Fishkin of Moz, Neil Patel, and many others started early, did side hustles for as long as their blogs didn’t make them any money, and they did manage to succeed.

But this is not to say blogging won’t work. It can’t be because that’s a completely absurd thing to say:

  • Moz.com is what it is only because Rand’s relentless blogging while maintaining a military-grade level of quality.
  • Unbounce.com is successful because for blogging.
  • Neil Patel kills it with KissMetrics & QuickSprout only because he blogs like a machine.

There are lots of examples. Blogging works. It’s just not as easy as you’d think. It won’t work if you just focus on contracting someone for $2 for every hundred words, and it won’t work if you don’t promote your own content well enough.

Today, it’ll take a lot more — more than the usual pillar content, consistent blogging, promote blogs cycle of advice — for every blogger or every small business to succeed with content marketing.

One piece of advice: don’t think for a moment that just you’d escape the grip of the hustle and avoid having to do kind of “marketing” just because you are blogging.

 

I Spend & Conversions will Roll

 

No, they won’t. Sorry to rain on your parade but just by making that statement, you are bypassing basics of business.

For conversions to happen, there are so many parameters that have to fall into place. Together, working to nudge customers towards that funnel (but I hope you don’t make it sound like a funnel funnel).

Because it’s digital marketing that we are talking about, there are hundreds of moving parts that you’d have to stitch together:

— Blogs, parallel content (like infographics, videos, podcasts), social media, and emails
— The offers, the ads, the landing page, autoresponders, more emails, shopping carts.
— The retargeting, those special ads, the matching landing pages, and then those custom autoresponders.
— All the tracking and analytics which’ll lead you to make little changes that will eventually roll into a huge change one day.

Even if a spectacular digital agency or a great team in place, you’d still not be able to crack it if your business, the products, and services are not positioned properly.

 

Traffic? Who the hell wants that?

 

There’s an Internet-wide obsession on traffic. Take a cursory look at Flippa and you’ll see some website being sold just on the “traffic” parameter alone. This obsession on traffic is crap.

Traffic means nothing for your business unless you need ego along with oxygen to live. As if this wasn’t enough, you already have meaningless, irrelevant, and fake traffic polluting your analytics.

All this focus on traffic could hurt your business. As Jake Baadsgaard of Optimizely points out,

“All traffic is not created equal”

In one of his experiments, his blog post 6 Killer PPC branding Tactics Even Freddy Krueger Loves got 50-200 clicks per day.

Good eh?
Zero conversions.

This obsession for traffic also spills into PPC territory. Jake also points to an observation he made auditing more than 2000 adwords accounts. He discovered that an average Ad Words account wastes 76% of its budget.

Over 800,000 people visiting your blog or website only massages your ego. It makes you feel good.

Meanwhile, your servers can crash.

Unless you were relying on Google Adsense or some other popular monetization tactic (which isn’t much to write home about either), none of this means a thing if that traffic doesn’t convert.

 

My Sales funnel Is a Piece of Art

 

Earlier, I wrote that you should never point an advertisement at a landing page with a “Buy Now” button on it.

Stop it. They won’t buy

I just want to be clear: you can point if you like to, or if you don’t care enough.

If you do care, here’s how the sequence or funnel or whatever you want to call it should be like:

Ads/Offer — Landing Pages That Match the ad/offer — Give something of value on that landing page — collect leads — nurture leads with care, love, and respect — make a pitch — upsell

People resist. They don’t like to be in you pipeline. Getting into your funnel is already a huge thing for them.

You either make it easy for them to buy from you or prepare to lose them forever.

Take it easy on those Upsells and big yellow buttons.

You can make it classy instead. Smooth autoresponders written with strong, persuasive, smooth, and trusty copy — that can do a better job and help sell more “tomorrow” than the measly $49 you were hoping for today.

Makes sense, right?

 

Technology is not the Point

 

Technology helps you run your business better. It levels the playground and gives you just as much rope that Amazon has.

If Amazon can send out smart emails, so can you.

If Shopify can do Facebook ads, you are just a few clicks away from launching your own campaign.

If the big daddy company with the big shiny glass building situated at CBD can do marketing automation, you are just a signup away from using it too.

Obsessing, worrying, and fussing over technology, the SaaS tools is meaningless.

The hundred odd options available for your Social media management, CRM, social brand monitoring, email marketing, membership plugins, and more — these will only distract you from running your business.

Pick one, run with it. You can always change later.

Fuss over technology too much and your competition with a free MailChimp account will kick your butt.

 

PPC & Retargeting: it’s not this or that

 

What’s the point in spending on clicks, getting visitors (potential customers), and then not spending on retargeting?

Retargeting is not an option; it’s a mandate.

More than 80% of your traffic leaves your landing pages or website (are you still pointing ads to your website?Stop that too).

Retargeting is almost always profitable. You don’t even need any extra budget for retargeting.

Just split your regular budget depending on how you plan your campaigns, your business, and your target audience.

Assuming that you’d want to focus on both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads, split your budget as you need to between all the three.

Or maybe just Facebook ads and retargeting. Or Adwords + retargeting.

Or Adwords + retargeting.

 

Organic Digital Marketing Is not Easy

 

I hear this from clients all the time: Blogging is easy, right? Just write on SEO keywords, publish, and we get to dig gold.

You’ll only dig your grave.

It’s only getting harder to do high-quality content marketing.

Content marketing efforts do start with your blog but it won’t end there.

You’d then need to promote your blogs relentlessly. So, you’ll go social.

Social isn’t limited to sharing updates on social networks; you’d want a presence on Medium, Quora, and LinkedIn Publishing.

You’ll want to focus on SEO as a part of your blogging and content marketing efforts. You’ll want to do Guest posting too, all though I personally think that Guest posting it sucks.

All of the above, relentlessly, over and over again.

Plus, did I mention that the writing has to be top-notch?

Shit won’t do.

 

Digital Marketing Is Inexpensive

 

With all that work that goes in (above), did you honestly think it’d be inexpensive?

A single blog post worth 600 words might cost you anywhere from $15 to $250 — depending on who you hire.

To make an impact, you’d need to publish on schedule.

Social media management (organic) is about sharing updates, sharing others’ updates, networking, connecting, and being real. Not easy, is it?

What about managing email marketing, managing PPC & retargeting campaigns, building landing pages, and doing marketing automation?

Please do yourself a favor: don’t insult the good people who put in all this for you by making a $50 per month offer. Ok?

Which of these digital marketing myths are killing your business? Did I miss any that you’d like me to add?

Facebook Ads That Work: 10 Flawless Steps To Profits

Facebook Ads That Work: 10 Flawless Steps To Profits

How do Facebook ads work? Do Facebook ads make sense for your small business?

Facebook ads can work great for your business. Only, if you do it right.

Craig Smith of Expanded Ramblings thankfully curated some Facebook Advertising Stats.

There are 4 million advertisers on Facebook, at the time of this writing.

70% of the total number of advertisers come from outside of United States. The number of Facebook Advertisers have grown by 50% between 2015-2016.

With the average clickthrough rate of 0.9% and the average cost per click of $0.64, the social media behemoth still makes for a fantastic platform for marketing.

That was easy enough.

The hard part is to figure out how to do Facebook advertising right. We believe that Facebook advertising is never a “set it and forget it” case.

There are 10 specific, mandated steps you’d need to take for your business to be profitable. Your ROI and Facebook advertising success will depend on it.

Even if you don’t believe, like, or care, do follow these steps:

 

Don’t drive Traffic To a Pay Wall

 

Over the last several weeks, plenty of people approached us for help with Facebook advertising.

I see a trend.

Ads point to landing pages or website pages with a pay wall of some sort. The offer is a direct “purchase” proposition.

I guarantee that if you put up a landing page “without” the need for your incoming traffic to commit to something as “final” as a purchase, you’d do better.

Never drive traffic to a shopping cart page, a product page, or a landing page with a “Buy Now” button on it.

This is not how Facebook Ads work. I am not saying sales won’t happen. They just might. It’s just that you are sacrificing short-term gains for long-term, perpetual gains.

 

Drive Traffic to a Value Offering

 

If you build, they won’t come. Facebook ads can reach a lot of people very quickly across the geographic area you target.

The best way to capitalize the incoming traffic from Facebook ads is to give away something of value to your visitors.

You can give any of the following away for free (this isn’t an exhaustive list), depending on your business:

1. Checklists
2. Cheat sheets
3. Worksheets
4. Templates of some sort
5. A curated guide
6. Ebooks, reports, and Whitepapers
7. Consultation calls
8. Auditing Offer
9. Exclusive videos, podcasts, or private infographics
10. Lesson samples
11. Chapter samples (for books)
12. Free trials
13. Free access to a membership area
14. Others

If what you give away is valuable enough, this is a low-commitment point of entry for your potential customers to get into the funnel.

As Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot puts it nicely,

“No one wakes up one fine morning hoping to be in your pipeline”

This is the big wide mouth of your funnel.

Make ingress easy.

Keep it that way.

 

Send Strategic Drip emails, Followed By Offers

 

As visitors sign up for one of your value offerings, free trials, or whatever it is that you give away, they are now a part of your funnel.

Prepare to nurture your leads. Segment visitors according to their they activity, source of signups, age, date of signup, etc. — this helps you to fine tune your email messages later giving you enough data to personalise and target your customers.

Out of the entire set of emails and autoresponders you plan to send, only 1 out of 5 emails should contain a pitch for making actual sale offers.

For instance, if you had a single list and a single offer to make (and we assume that your transaction is complete for that customer, for life):

This is how it’d look:

email auto responders

Targeting: Customer persona, Geo, who? Preferences?

 

Facebook’s audience targeting features are extraordinary.

No one else in the industry has got that wealth of information, down to detail. At least, not to the extent that Facebook does.

Your first step, even before you think of campaigns, is to think of your ideal customer ( note that it’s “ideal” and not “absolutely anyone will do”).

Here’s an example of a customer persona we could use for our own Facebook ad campaigns:

John — a male entrepreneur 34 to 48 years old is the founder of a startup in New York, United States. He primary goal is to help grow his bootstrapped startup, to enhance his branding, and to grow his business. He is a devout Christian, attends Sunday church, takes his family out to dine in downtown NY on the weekends.

When John isn’t working, he consumes books by the dozen, travels the world backpacking, and is a self-declared foodie, with a special liking for Southeast Asian street food.

When you get down to business on the campaigns set up front, Facebook allows you to target exactly who you want to — down to the detail about John being a foodie who trips over himself for Southeast Asian food.

Miss this crucial aspect of Facebook ad campaign and you’ll shoot in the big blue of Facebook’s audiences (as against dark).

 

Build Facebook Retargeting Audiences, In Advance

 

Ideally, you should start building your Facebook Audiences and Retargeting audiences even before you actually think of Facebook advertising and/or retargeting.

Since 80% of your visitors visit your landing pages or websites or both and leave, never to return again, you’d need to retarget.

When you do it right, retargeting ROI is almost always positive. Reportedly, even cases of 1,284% and even 7,425% ROI is possible.

At this point, it’s not about whether or not you want to do retargeting.

Building a targeted audience “primed up” for your retargeting campaigns (when you are ready, of course) is a no-brainer though.

 

Budget for Campaigns & Duration

 

“I can do $2500 per month for Facebook, what do I get?”
“We can easily start with $5500 per month”

I’ve seen some businesses pegging their ad budgets with their “ego”.

Facts:

  • There’s no minimum spend on Facebook (or Google Adwords)
  • You should always, always start small
  • Starting small is critical because it allows you to run for longer durations, which you need
  • Small budgets also help you do A/B testing — there are a million things to test, even if we just settle or 10-15 things to do A/B testing on.
  • Run campaigns long enough for you get enough sample size to make decisions based on the data you acquire.

Start small, play out the campaign for a reasonable period of time, and continue test everything while the campaign is on.

Ads & landing pages

 

Work hard to create simple, great looking ads. More importantly, build relevant ads. Focus on making an offer (Point 1 above) and that’s about it.

Each ad must point to a message matching landing page.

Ad Copy: Get 30% off
Landing page Copy: Get 30% off

Like this:

Landing Page

The message on your ad must match what you promise on the landing page. It’s the rule of congruency.

For this reason, you’d need a tool that helps you build as many landing pages as you like, and in the shortest time possible.

That’s why I always recommend Unbounce (This is the landing page builder we use). You can also work with:

Wishpond
LeadPages
Clickfunnels

No HTML landing pages, ever. I don’t care what you think.

Facebook Ads A/B testing, explained

 

“We don’t need A/B testing”
“A/B testing? We don’t have budget for that”

Ever heard this? I did. More than my share.

No one cares whether you “like”, “believe”, or even “understand” what A/B testing is.

You’ll, for sure, care about thousands of dollars being spent and you don’t even know if you are making a profit out of it.

A/B testing is about splitting websites, ads, landing pages, email subject lines, email copy, buttons, calls to action, and other elements to see which variant wins over another.

A wins over B
Remove B, Focus on A and add another variant C
Repeat

 

Launch Retargeting: No the same as regular campaigns

 

Hopefully, you’ve built up a sizeable audience before (point 3) and you are ready and primed enough to launch campaigns specifically targeted to visitors who visit (or visited) your landing pages or websites or both.

People who visited but didn’t convert.

Visitors who just left without signing up for your offer.

You spent money to get those visitors in the first place. You ought to get them back.

Plus, they were interested. Maybe they weren’t ready yet.

Retargeting campaigns, however, aren’t the same as regular campaigns.

You’d need to put a little more into your retargeting campaigns than you’d normally do for regular campaigns.

Entice them with strong, relevant, and timely offers.

Your “Get 10% OFF” offer (regular campaign) didn’t cut it; so do retargeting with a 20% OFF offer.

“7-day free trial” didn’t surface enough sign ups? Try a “14-day free trial”

What works and what doesn’t?

The answer to that question lies in how well you test out offers.

 

Conversions, Tracking, Analytics

 

To make sense of all that effort you are putting into your Facebook ad campaigns and retargeting campaigns, you’d need a thorough setup for conversions, tracking, and analytics.

— Create your Facebook Pixel

— Launch campaigns making sure your setup is complete (you can easily test the setup by signing up for yourself — go through your own funnel).

— Facebook’s Pixel tracks events like visits, unique visitors, etc.

Fb base Code

— The “event” element of the code tracks conversions (this is a separate piece of JavaScript code that goes on your “thank you page” or any page your leads see “after” they signup.

FB Event Code

In the example above, I picked “lead signup” as the event that counts as one conversion.

Tracking and conversion pixels must go on every page that’s set up in your campaign.

Main landing page:

Facebook Pixel (base code)

Unbounce Facebook Pixel Code

 

The Thank You page

Or any page that shows up after visitors sign up will have the conversion pixel or the event pixel (the complete code that Facebook provides)

Event Code On Thank You Page

Following these steps in sequence makes sure you are positioned correctly for your Facebook ad campaigns and retargeting campaigns.

Your Facebook campaigns ROI is in your hands.

How are your Facebook campaigns going?

Offer: Fill up this form, tell us a little about your business, and get 2 hours of consulting worth $60 for free.

Let’s talk business

Guest Posting Sucks: No ROI, Timesuck, & Darned Hard

Guest Posting Sucks: No ROI, Timesuck, & Darned Hard

Have you been checking the web for guest posting opportunities? Did you honestly think that guest posting — for SEO, traffic, branding, or whatever it was that had you convinced — is the best strategy for your business?

Think again.

Clearly, SEO is too hard to deal with and guest posting has no apparent ROI to show for it.

Imagine this: you spend hours and hours just trying to come up with relevant titles only to write in what most people already know. You’d then want to publish only on authority blogs and publications and most of them don’t even allow guest posting anymore.

Assuming they do, the ROI isn’t that great.

But why does everyone, including my neighbor’s cat “Pummy” want to do guest posting? Why, oh Why?

 

The Power of Transference: Why Guest Posting Is Popular?

 

Apart from well-known influencers who became well-known partly because of guest posting (those were the days), most others fail miserably after marathon sprints writing themselves to death.

But why? Because of what is known as “Transference”.

Sigmund Freud “Transference” was one of the greatest discoveries in human psychology.

It’s a concept that’s not well-understood outside of clinical psychoanalysis. But this the finding that explains why:

* We choose spouses who are just like our parents.
* People behave the way they do in organizations.
* We are influenced by others in so many ways
* bosses sometimes choose to promote other people instead of someone else (while this “someone” almost thought he or she was the best fit for the new role).

Transference, according to Michael Maccoby of HBR, is the underlying essence of leadership. It explains why people stay glued to their leaders (among many other behavioral repercussions).

It probably also explains why Donald Trump was elected.

But my reason to bring up transference is specifically to do with prevailing SEO practices and Guest Posting.

You do guest posting — and you think, believe, and feel — because people like Danny Iny, Neil patel and anyone else who’d have got to fame with guest posting.

They are leaders. They practice what they preach. They became famous for what they did and it’s very inspirational.

For every blogger who just launched, these are the stalwarts they look up to.

Guess what? They’d just follow.

That’s bad because the results aren’t pretty. You’d just need to read Tim Soulo’s beast of a post that shows you what happened to the show after 273 posts on sites like Inc, HubSpot, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider.

If Guest Posting Is a Numbers’ Game, What’s The Point?

 

Neil Patel explains that Guest posting is a numbers game. Look into the guest posting story behind every entrepreneur or blogger, and the fact that it’s a numbers game becomes evident.

If it is indeed a numbers game, then it doesn’t make sense anymore; not from an ROI standpoint. Do guest posting for branding, exposure, credibility, and for riding on all those elephants’ backs.

Just not from an ROI standpoint.

Here’s a screenshot from Neil Patel’s blog post on guest posting and the lessons he learned from it.

neil-patel-guest-posting-lessons

Here’s another snapshot of results That Ryan Robinson got for his part of the hustle:

ryans-guest-posting-results

If that’s the kind of referrals and traffic you are looking for, well, you don’t need to do guest posting at all.

Even Native Advertising beats results you get from guest posting, and that’s before you get to compare regular PPC Advertising with guest posting.

 

PPC, When Done Right, Gets You More Than Guest Posting

 

I ran a short experiment with native advertising with Outbrain a few months ago, and here’s what we got:

Native Advertising Examples

That certainly beats my efforts with guest posting.

Consider this, native advertising proves to be a winner.

In 2014, Taco Bell’s Native Advertising campaign for the Live Mas Campaign with the Cantina Bell menu was targeted at millennials, and it just rocked.

Taco Bell managed to get 18% life in purchase intend than banner ads.

Also,

Carly Stec of HubSpot thankfully curated a list of stats for native ads, banner ads, and paid advertising.

1. Native ads are viewed 53% more than banner ads. (Source: Dedicated Media)
2. A retargeting campaign from Magoosh Online Test prep generated $58,608 in attributable revenue. At a total cost of $11,000 the campaign resulted in an ROI of 486%. (Source: Retargeter)
3. Users who are retargeted to are 70% more likely to convert. (Source: Digital Information World)
4. Heineken Light reached 54% of audience — 35 million people — in just three days using video ads on Facebook. (Source: Facebook)
5. Airbnb achieved an engagement rate of over 4% for one of their Promoted Tweets. (Source: Twitter)
6. 32% of consumers said they would share a native ad with friends and family, versus 19% for banner ads. (Source: ShareThrough)
7. Native ads that include rich media boost conversion rates by up to 60%. (Source: Social Times)
8. Julian Bakery saw a 35% increase in conversions and a 330% increase in impressions on the Google Display Network. (Source: Google)
9. 71% of publishers received no major complaints from readers for featuring native ads, while 29% received minor backlash. (Source: Digital Content Next)
10. After one year of leveraging Targeted Status Updates on LinkedIn, ADP’s Company Page followers doubled to 85,000. (Source: LinkedIn)

And we aren’t even getting close to the real power of PPC:

Here’s some data from live campaigns we are working on right now (last 30 days data)

Client 1: Spent $1,342 in 30 days. A total of 4010 clicks and 57 conversions (sales).
Client 2: Spent #207.23 in 30 days (low search volume business) and got 8 leads. 75% of them converted (since this business is more like search and rescue thing).

Client 1, for example, has an ROI of 108%. The client’s campaigns run even without them ever having to bother with writing a single blog post or guest post. The client, in fact, has zero SEO strategy.

 

Guest Posting Is a Timesuck, Without ROI

 

Most entrepreneurs and bloggers don’t even take “time” into the equation.

All those snapshots of results you saw — of Neil and Ryan — just take into account a few blog posts published elsewhere, and the resulting traffic out of that effort.

They then measure how many email subscribers they got (but no one tells you how many of those subscribers actually converted into sales).

All that is fine and dandy, but what about the time it takes to publish, say 273 blogs like Tim of BloggerJet did?

A typical Guest blogging process:

  • Identify host blogs with good DA
  •  Reach out to bloggers with topic ideas and pitches
  • Follow-up with bloggers who don’t respond.
  • Write up “Epic Shit”.
  • Edit, proof-read, and Edit again.
  • Send the post to the host blog.
  • Wait for the blogger to publish.

If a typical blog post itself takes hours, days, weeks, or even months (as in Tim’s case when we wrote his 6000-word beast of a post that examines Guest posting ROI), how much time did you really spend in total?

Assuming this is an ongoing exercise for your business:

  • Identify host blogs with good DA: Everyday, 1 hour.
  • Reach out to bloggers with topic ideas and pitches: Everyday, 2 hours.
  • Follow-up with bloggers who don’t respond: 30 minutes per day.
  • Write up “Epic Shit”: 5 hours per post.
  • Edit, proofread, and Edit again: 1 hour per post
  • Send the post to the host blog: 10 minutes
  • Wait for the blogger to publish: Unknown (but we can leave this out of the equation and presume that the blog will be published eventually).

The actual cost (in hours) for a single blog post: 9 hours 40 minutes.

Round it off to 10 hours.

If your hourly price was even $30 per hour, you spent $300 for a guest post?

The Cost of 50 guest posts would then be $15,000 in total.

You better be selling a couple of Boeing Business Jet 2 A.K.A “the Flying Hotel” to make this work for you.

I am not throwing guest posting out with the bath towel. All I am saying is that you should stop obsessing about Guest posting in particular, SEO in general.

Anyway, it’s never a good idea to put all your eggs (and time, and hope, and your business) around one, super-hyped marketing channel

I hope you have a better way to spend your marketing dollars.

What do you think?

Blogging for Business: What Businesses Can Learn From Bloggers?

Blogging for Business: What Businesses Can Learn From Bloggers?

“We founded our startup last year. We are developing the prototype”

“We are trying to get into YCombinator”

“We have a website. A cool looking one we spent 6 years developing on Ruby”

If you’ve been anywhere near a startup founder a regular business owner or most entrepreneurs, they are usually fixated on “products”, “prototypes”, and what have you.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on products because that’s what you’ll finally sell and make a mark in this world.

The trouble is that with the “product first” approach is this: you don’t focus enough on marketing.

You can do what you want: slog away for hours, go on hackathons, drown yourself in code, or spend millions on setting up plants and factories.

None of that is going to move that product off the shelf.

All this is going to do is to make you feel busy, proud, and give you something to talk about in your next startup meet up.

Start with marketing even before you build products because it’s going to take an awful amount of time (and that too assuming you are doing it just right)

To get digital marketing right, there are a million things you’d need to do. Chances are that you won’t be able to, especially “after” your product is launched.

Because by then, you’d have a hungry pool of team members that you have to feed, fancy offices you have to pay for, and even regular pizza and beer parties that you’d have to pay for.

All this while, there’s no revenue. Granted that you’d want to raise funds, but you really have nothing to show, do you?

That’s why you ought to pick a few lessons from everyday bloggers:

Network from Day # [- 365]

Question for you; What’s common between these bloggers?

They network. They go out their way to comment on other blogs, create a little community of their own, and help each other with their blogging efforts.

Some of them have nothing to sell. They have no fancy A, B, C round funding, and they certainly have no million dollars lying around to pay for offices, teams, and meaningless parties.

They are just doing what they can.

From a relationship standpoint, they are digging for gold. It’s another thing that they get trickling traffic and quite a name among the community.

When was the last time you went out and left a comment somewhere? Who do you know?

It’s about passion; not chasing cash

 

Most bloggers might start with the intent of making money, just like small businesses do. Blogging has been around and that only a few people ever managed to make a full-time income off their blogs.

Every blogger knows this. Yet, they start blogs on topics they are passionate about. Often, for them, money follows that passion. Look at Jon Morrow’s blog, for instance. There’s not a single ad.

But it’s not just passion for topics; they are also passionate about the act of blogging itself.

Small businesses — most of them — don’t have passion. They just want ROI.

For businesses, it’s always about “show me the cash, honey.”

Bloggers Invest Where Needed

It’s a shame that small businesses don’t half the things bloggers do when it comes to investing in the right stuff for a sustainable and thriving presence on the web.

Bloggers who are blogging for business (theirs) invest in all kinds of things like:

Worldclass hosting
— Blazing fast speeds for their blogs and/or websites
— A couple of premium themes and plugins.
— They often reach out for help for website customization, redesign, and for website security.
— They invest time, resources, money, and tremendous effort to make their blogs work for their own goals

I’ll challenge you to this: go ahead, type in for “some local service provider” and check out a few websites of small businesses.

Websites don’t load or don’t exist. There’s just “me me me “ written about on every page (if you can read it), and many businesses don’t even think beyond a website.

Blogging For Business: Built for purpose

Look at Carrie at Carriedils.com: She is a WordPress expert and now she’s positioning herself to train, coach, and educate other business owners or developers to make their WordPress websites work for them.

You’ll know why her blog exists and what she intends to do.

Every serious blogger has a sidebar with a giveaway, in-line calls to action, and many opt-in forms strategically placed to get visitors signup and become a part of their own funnel.

Many small business websites, meanwhile, just harp about themselves with corporate gobbledegook.

No calls to actions. No smart opt-in forms. No exit-intent. No pop-ups. No in-line content upgrades.

Absolutely nothing.

Bloggers get Serious Relevant Traffic

Because bloggers “blog”, organic marketing is already on.

Traffic comes naturally.

Since their blogs are purpose-built, they are on their way to collect subscribers (who all signup intentionally).

Bloggers setup persistent, dedicated, and often punishing schedules to make sure they blog consistently. They are, although they don’t seem like it, blogging for business.

Plus, they work on security, optimizing site speed, and a ton of things (including nerdy stuff like fixing Crawl errors).

Slowly, over time, their blogs grow in audience size and they pull in all the relevant traffic that comes in from search or social inbound links or both.

On top of all this, they often get linked to by other bloggers (remember the community thing?). This forces Google to deem them as authorities in their own niches.

Most regular businesses meanwhile stalk in the halls of Fiverr, Up work, and other places trying to drive cheap traffic from Vanuatu and Tuvalu.

Blogging: One-person with a team’s worth of work

Most blogs are one-person entities.

Only a few are multi-author blogs (and this usually happens after people like Rand Fishkin of Moz , Oil Gardner of Unbounce blog to death bringing their respective companies to fame).

Bloggers end up doing:

— Blogging at an established frequency (1 to 3 to 5 blog posts per week or more).
— Amplifying their content on social media and promoting their content, along with others’ content
— Planning, managing and deploying email campaigns (including RSS to email feeds) for their subscribers
— Networking with others
— Managing their blogs
— Dealing with web hosts
— Trying to come up with more ways to make their blog better, bring in more traffic, etc.
— Creating products of their own (eBooks, webinars, reports, paid digital products, podcasts, videos, and membership libraries).

Maybe you forgot, but it’s just one person doing all this. At best, they’ll hire a VA to help them out. Or maybe a WordPress expert.

No full-time staff and No offices (only kitchen tables).

Go figure.

It’s sad to see so many businesses losing out on the opportunity to make the web work for their benefit and give a serious thought to blogging for business, for content marketing, and for digital marketing.

Don’t get stuck in your own ways.

With entrepreneurs with ego the size of a Brachiosaurus altithorax weighing at 62 tons and is the largest ever dinosaur known, businesses are forever at risk.

Dinosaur

Image Credit: Seeker.com [http://www.seeker.com/top-10-largest-dinosaurs-1769041759.html]

What do you learn from bloggers?