Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Amazon Marketplace

We all remember years ago if we wanted a good book to read we simply headed to the library. But for several years now books at the world's most popular marketplace online - eBay aside - are not the only items being sold at Amazon. We have, for several years been able to buy beauty, cell phones, cameras, clothing, health care, jewellery, shoes, toys and video games, and that's only scratching the surface!

Digital Products Marketplace Thriving At Amazon

More and more people are now heading down to Amazon online to source digital products like cell phones, accessories for our mobiles, kindles, iPod Touch, and iPad and iPhone devices. So, let us look at some of the hottest sellers in the digital products range and see why they are just falling off the shelves at the Amazon warehouses across the country.

These are just three of the best sellers at Amazon

At $119 the Kindle 6" hi-resolution display with a built in light is the reader of choice for most Americans at the moment. Amazingly this kindle has Wi-Fi included allowing you download a book in under a minute. It has an eight week long battery life even when the light is being used and its book selection is simply too huge to even consider. There are no fewer than about 180,000 books to choose from and all the best selling authors are there too. This is my favourite kindle, especially when reading in bed, with the built in light, an added bonus.

One of the hottest digital products on Amazon at the current time is one you might not have heard of-

The Roku 3 Streaming Player is fast, powerful and has a digital video player built in for an opportunity to watch thousands of films and television shows, either in standard or high definition quality stream. There is a smart headphone adapter to allow you to watch those films in private late at night when the kids are asleep. Everything is supported from Netflix to Home Box Office Go and Major League Sports channels.

Faster and more powerful. With up to 1080p HD video, and extended-range, dual-band wireless performance for increased speed.

Amazing remote with headphone jack. Use the included in-ear headphones to crank up that late-night flick while the kids (or parents) sleep.

One-stop search. Find your favorite movies and TV shows all from one place, from top TV and Movie services like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Hulu Plus.

750+ channels and growing. The best selection of streaming out there. Everything from Netflix to Hulu Plus to HBO GO to Major League Baseball.

Free iOS and Android device app. Use it like a remote. Browse and add new channels. Even stream your music and photos from your phone or tablet to your player.

But one of the biggest selling and popular devices in 2013 is not the iPhone but the Samsung Galaxy cell phone and the tablet version.

The Galaxy Tab 2 has a 7" screen, 8GB of internal memory with an option to pump that right up to a stunning 32GB with an SD card, a 1GB dual core processor and super fast 1GB of RAM. This baby is fast and it sells on Amazon for just $179 and is one of the top selling digital devices on the marketplace at this moment in time.

This is definitely my next buy, can't wait to own it. Maybe someone will buy it for my birthday, coming up shortly!

Kay Collier enjoys her own digital products, like her kindle, camera and handycam.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tips to Finding Digital Marketplace to Sell Your Digital Work

As far as electronic commerce (e-commerce) is concerned, there is no denying that the digital marketplace is the only marketplace that matters. These days, sales not only involve tangible merchandise. Services are not only limited to tasks or jobs rendered by professionals now we see that work has become digital that even the products themselves have become intangible.

Digital goods or digital work are often used to refer to more in-demand, non-tangible products. These may include computer games, software, e-books, digital music, and images. Also included in the list are the currently popular Photoshop documents (PSDs), Photoshop templates, Photoshop files, WordPress themes, WordPress plugins, stock photos, and other applications.

It can be a real challenge to find the right and most effective online marketplace to sell digital work. There are many options available, which can be to the disadvantage as well as to the advantage of modern online entrepreneurs and software/program/content developers. Here are some ideas to get anyone started.

Partnering with a digital marketplace

It would be advantageous for anyone to have digital content that is intended to be sold. However, it could be very difficult to promote/market as well as sell it. A person who has digital content to sell should carefully select the venues where he would put up or market it. The decision should consider several important factors like demographics, demand, and competition.

It is always ideal to do ample research before finalizing any decision. One's chosen digital marketplace should be based not just on commissions but also on fees, consumer reach, and track record. It is always safe and ideal to go with the more popular marketplaces but there would certainly be setbacks in terms of any or all the factors mentioned.

Promoting the digital content

Whichever marketplace is chosen and employed, it is always ideal to effectively promote and market the content. It is not enough that the marketplaces help sell the content. The owner/developer of the digital good should still continue to do his share in promoting and marketing his content/goods.

One can always use his own Websites or blogs to further promote his digital content. This is important even if the digital goods are already posted in any digital marketplace. The more and the better the sales pitches are, the bigger the chance of actually selling gets. Social media or social networks can still be used to promote and market not just the digital content but also (partly) the marketplace.

Julius "Jules" Mariano is a freelance search engine & social media marketing specialist. He is the co-founder of VPRO Digital Marketing. He currently writes for Total Bounty a digital marketplace for buyers and sellers of HTML templates, WordPress themes and plugins, PSD files and graphics, ebooks, and more.

Should You Go To Freelance Marketplace With Your Software Project?

Freelance marketplaces are designed to cover many problems of outsourcing which sooner or later are faced by all business people who need to delegate certain activities to offshore teams. Where should you look for contractors? Which one should you choose? Which skills do you demand to get the job done? How can you carry out the hire and the project transparently? The answer may come from a freelance marketplace, such as Elance, Guru, or oDesk.

But why freelance marketplaces, when there are lots of more accessible options?

• You may Google for software companies and look at the top results; but the highest search results will show the best SEO level, not necessarily the best expertise in your field. You'll also lose lots of time jumping from link to link, from website to website - not the best way of comparing companies.

• You may visit specialized developers' events, exhibitions, and conferences, and look for a contractor there. The benefits are the eye-to-eye contact and direct conversations. But the downside is costs: no one can guarantee you a perfect contractor at the very first conference you attend.

• Social networks, forums, blogs - close to googling, but again, it's more about checking the company that appeals to you, than to search one by one.

• References - do you have fellows who had the experience of working with a company they would gladly recommend? Very good, but what if you don't have such fellows?

• Freelance marketplaces. Here we are with the most universal solution. Lots of players gathered in one place. The simplest way is posting your job and waiting until contractors find you. Or - you can start checking the rankings to find the company you need in the most convenient way.

Let's take a look at the Elance stats provided by their website: they are arguably the most popular marketplace with more than 1.7 million clients and 3.5 million contractors. The quantity of posted jobs reached the 3.5 million mark in 2013. Even your niche has a pretty huge competition; but anyway it's more efficient than googling for a contractor.

The Bad Can Be Overcome

The drawback of these marketplaces is that there are many freelancers who are relatively novice in their subject area; or they are there just for an additional source of income - so to say, a lower overall level of professionalism. If you need a 'serious' team for your middle or large project, or if you simply want to hire someone from the top, it will be a matter of thorough search. However, it's inevitable wherever you'd be looking for your contractor.

Top players of these marketplaces really stand out, so you may start with checking the rankings from the top.

The Good May Determine Your Choice
The main good trait - it's affordable because of the competition. Outsourcing earns its living by being affordable. The rest is quality delivered in time - and it isn't impossible to find these among the sea of contractors.

There are many other time-saving and convenient goodies provided by such marketplaces - some of them may prove crucial for you when making a choice. Let's take a look at some of them provided by Elance.

• First, if we talk about IT and software development, the aforementioned ranking list of over 47.5 thousand contractors. You may save time by checking the leaders, their professional expertise, clients' feedback, and other information. The ranking list is based on a point system and updated weekly by Elance.

The results are influenced by: delivering high-quality work on time and budget, level of client satisfaction, lasting client relationships, and performance indicators, which depend on the category of services.

• Time-tracking software counts the time spent by contractor on the project and takes screenshots of the work in progress. They are taken at random time (once per about several minutes) and delivered to the client. You can view the work process in real time, in order to provide the team with your comments. Rather convenient and transparent for both sides - you are confident paying for documented hours and contractors are guaranteed payment for hours worked.

• Freelance marketplaces take their share for providing the platform (usually 10%). They don't want to lose earnings, and they provide secure and efficient means of payment (which are also highlighted as a protection from any kinds of financial fraud). As for Elance, the system that's used is called Escrow. After the project is divided into milestones, the funds are placed into Escrow. Again, it's risk-proof for both sides - the payment will be conducted only after the completion and acceptance of the agreed amounts of work.

• Client feedback is an extremely important part of each contractor's profile. Once posted, it cannot be deleted or altered. This work history is provided by Elance members and is based on legitimate experience only - the work that clients and contractors did together on Elance. The rating is set by clients for each job done, and comprises the following indicators: quality, responsiveness, professionalism, subject matter expertise, adherence to schedule and cost.

• Many other benefits of working at such marketplaces usually show in the process of work. For example, Elance provides education and training resources, tips and best practices for both clients and contractors - all the links are conveniently stored on the dedicated page. Or the Referral Program, which allows Elance members to bring friends to the marketplace as new clients - thus earning money and Connects (you may also get acquainted with it in detail on the website).

• Each marketplace needs to ensure the security and openness, thus membership requires providing and updating true, accurate and complete information about each member: legal name, contact information, portfolio, etc. Individual accounts cannot be shared between users; team members cannot share or transfer log-in credentials; accounts cannot be transferred or sold to other users. There are also means of reporting infringements and suchlike.

This initial insight may be enough for you to decide whether you should bother considering such platforms as oDesk, Elance,, Guru, and others. If you are new to the world of outsourcing, this option may help you save time searching for the professional contractor capable of building and deploying your product on time and budget.

Are You Ignoring Your Marketplace?

There are thousands of words in the English language; but a few are particularly powerful, not because of how they sound but because of what they stand for. One of my favorites is "marketplace."

The marketplace is like an ocean: alive with productivity, creating waves of energy, different tomorrow than it is today. It is like a parade... always moving. And as exciting as this sounds, the marketplace, like an ocean, is rudely indifferent to your very existence, let alone whether we have a successful and safe passage. The marketplace is at once a place of opportunity and failure, and whichever we find depends more on us than anything or anyone else.

One basic strategic plan that I love is the concept of totally dominating your marketplace. The divining rod of total marketplace domination will always twitch in the direction of eing patient-centric focused.

So here's your first challenge: Identify your marketplace strategy for attracting and serving patients. You will want to take a look at population, demographics and psychographics... and of course, your competitive colleagues.

Here's a clue to get you started: A patient's attitude is beautifully simple... it's all about them. Any questions?

Unfortunately, because of the process you may use to acquire and develop new patients this rude truth can be counter-intuitive.

In this process, you're often the "patient" buying benefits from your practice.

But a benefit that excites you often morphs into a mere feature when presented to your patients. And as we know, patients desire a healthier and more active and pain-free lifestyle, not an adjustment. In fact, most people would option for one adjustment... delivered to their mail box.

You must make the conversion from what makes you excited to what makes your patients excited. Remember WIIFM, which stands for "What's In It For Me?"

Consciously or not, WIIFM is what your patients are asking every time they consider what your brand of chiropractic, and you must be able to provide the right answer. You must be broadcasting the right message.

Next essay question: How are you leveraging alliance relationships to serve your patients?

One of the keys to success in the 21st century is to develop strategic alliances, including those with other professional and businesses in your marketplace. These are relationships that go beyond merely referring or purchasing from people you trust and know in the marketplace.

Part of your competitive advantage strategy could come from activities such as co-op advertising, joint calls in front of Prospex to introduce a new product or service. If you need inventory but are short on capital, ask about vendor financing or even a consignment plan.

Your relationships with alliances and/or vendors must be more like partnerships than merely that of buyers and sellers. And if you have a vendor that doesn't have this attitude, find another vendor. Like buses, another one comes along every six minutes.

Select your marketing media that is limited to your defined marketplace. You are wasting money when your marketing overreaches outside your marketplace. Most people, about 90%, will opt for the provider that is within 15-minutes of their office or residence.

If your office is located in a marketplace filled with businesses... then you may need to offer office hours that enable your patients to come before work or during their lunch hour.

If your office is located in a mostly residential environment, then your focus may be on working families and children and their core interests.

Write this down and post it on your desk... Marketplace Rule #1: Focus on the patient. Marketplace Rule #2: See Rule #1.

Free Webmaster Marketplaces - Not For Gurus

If you are making millions of dollars on the internet, you most likely are not looking for free marketplaces to sell your domains, electronic products and webmaster services. On the other hand, if you were making millions you would probably not be reading this. There are some amazing free webmaster marketplaces that allow the average Joe to make some good money selling his own services like web design, freelance writing, ebooks, websites and even domain names. So, if you want to learn how to find free marketplaces that allow you to buy, sell and trade online keep reading.

Well, as it turns out you will find more guru's frequenting these type of marketplaces than you would expect. I have found most of the time, the big dogs use aliases and don't really let others know that this is one of there tricks. Penetrating a market can be hard, but what if you could preach to the choir with your sales copy? Most likely you would sell more right? We hope so, this is the way that free webmaster marketplaces work to us. Since you know everybody on these sites are webmasters, you know that they may be interested in and can find many products to promote.

You can find free webmaster marketplaces on many webmaster forums. A simple Google search should result in some of the biggest and best "Free Webmaster Marketplaces" out there. If you are looking for a place to spend money, you may be better off with eBay. If you want to work smarter and sell your web goods straight to the webmasters, you should check out all the free webmasters marketplaces out there.

Some are more active than others. If you want to get the most out of these free webmaster marketplaces, it is important that you become active in the webmaster forums attached to them. These are like small webmaster communities and can be a great place to build customer relations and trust as a seller. To become successful as seller in the free webmaster marketplaces, you will first need to be a successful community member.

Good luck to all sellers and have fun becoming a member of many webmaster forums. This also a great way to make business contact with others in the webmaster community that can last a lifetime. Building business relationships can be a great way to grow any business, especially your online business!

How to Successfully Trade Using an Online Marketplace - Trading Tips for New People

Online marketplace is a place of interaction or routine methods where associates establish trade deals in exchange for other products and services. In the event that business transactions are successfully generated, money already exists. Evaluating the space in an online marketplace is not easy. Others would say that the website itself is considered as a marketplace, since it offers services for traders and sellers. They dig for product information and deals in various ways during certain situations.

Because the world of "internet" has equipped extra interaction to persisting protocols, many marketplaces existing before are now accessible online. Examples of these currently online marketplaces are brokerage online that enables dealers to transact orders, online monetary exchange and electronic networks. Since they are actually qualified as online marketplace, the excess of various interactions and the unrevealing indirections makes them impure to become online marketplace.

One of the biggest online marketplaces is eBay. This is the place where buyers and traders are gathered together to deal any products. Anything is accepted, nothing is disqualified as long as it is decent and significant. You may ask how eBay functions in bringing online marketplace effective to people. Several tips will help you.

o Traders or sellers would list their products on eBay online marketplace. Anything they want, from cars to antiquities and sports accessories to books. Traders prioritize to receive biddings related to the items listed on the site. This is known as the auction kind of product listing. But, sellers are provided with an option to offer the site visitors or the customers with the "Buy It Now" choice. This will give the buyers the opportunity to purchase the items immediately, based on the given price.

o Remember that in an online marketplace, auction commonly occurs. Opening of the bidding begins when the sellers specify a certain price and stayed on the website for several days. This is to determine the volume of buyers visiting the site and monitor the online auction. This is the time when the buyer started to place their bids, from the lower amount up to the higher price. When the bidding ends, auction is now closed and the seller will choose for the highest amount listed.

o In the case of "Buy It Now" method of product listing, the first one who could purchase the item on a given price will be the one to get the product or item.

Listing your products in an online marketplace like eBay is simple and fun. Above all, you'll be surprised with the result because trading will not inform you of the entire output and you will never know what you can find there. Trading and buying in online marketplace can be learned. This action is more rewarding because you will be able to know what the fundamentals in online marketplace searching, confident buying techniques and easy paying procedures.

If you are a new seller, online marketplace will require you to make your own account so you can sell your product, receive payments online and monitor all your selling conditions. What are you waiting for, get started with online marketplace!

Online Marketplace - Boosting the Global Business Community

B2B marketplace (Business to business marketplace), a platform where business oriented people like manufacturers, suppliers, exporters, importers, service providers, buyers from different industries conglomerate for mutual trade interests and perform various trading activities. It is a hub for business community, where traders can meet people with similar trade or business profile and crack new deals. B2B marketplace is an ideal platform where one can get the niche market players. One can find entrepreneurs from different segments accredited with the factor of trust and market reputation. B2B marketplace isn't just a platform but a hub for business community with opportunities at galore. The members of the marketplace themselves act as monitoring body, thus minimizing the probability of fraud.

Combination of Internet & B2B marketplace introduces global avenues to local traders and business oriented people. B2B marketplaces on internet, or what we can say online B2B marketplace, has redefined the global business. Now business is as easy as a click of button, and all the resources are easily at a common place. Small and medium enterprises get a great boost up. Now entrepreneurs can invest and thrive at global level with much lower investment. It has given businesses an opportunity to leap all the geographical bounds and create an identity in the competitive market. This again helps the economy of developing nations like India. As country's economy very much depends upon the growth of its micro, small and medium enterprises.

In last few years many online B2B marketplaces came into existence. The evolution of marketplace forced the other online peers to offer better online solutions to their users or members which ultimately helped the users to get best possible services. In China, we have Alibaba which attracts the buyers and suppliers not only from China but also from all across the globe. We also have other B2B marketplaces from China like Made In China and many others. The manufacturer's directory provides free listing to its users, which in turn reciprocates to business inquiries based on the individual requirement.

The role of B2B marketplaces on internet is incredible. It is credited to bring unbelievable business opportunities to local small and medium enterprises. Online B2B marketplaces enables small and medium enterprises to post their buy leads and receive respective trade responses from global traders.

B2B marketplaces on internet or what we can say online B2B marketplaces, is a revolutionary concept that has redefined the global business.

How a Marketplace Helps Businesses

What is a marketplace? If I said to explain it in a few words I bet you would say it's a place to go and buy stuff. That would be exactly right. It's a place where goods and services are exchanged. Going a little further, why do people go to a marketplace? Choice! They go because once they get there, there are choices to make, things to see, stuff to compare. As consumers of products and services we love choices. Go to the grocery store and take a peek at the cereal aisle. Do you see one kind of cereal? No. You see many types being offered and like it or not, we love those choices.

A marketplace offers choices and there are many types of marketplaces. The store is one type. There are also online marketplaces such as when you are shopping for car insurance. That is a type of marketplace because you can choose the various companies and compare services, prices, etc. Sites like eBay are yet another type of marketplace.

So how does a marketplace help a business? To answer this question, it's probably best to know that as a business you can either be the recipient of such a marketplace or you are the one going to the marketplace. In both cases there are advantages to marketplaces. Next I will explain how both scenarios help a business.

Let's take the example of how a marketplace helps a business that is looking for services/products. For one thing, the marketplace is full of various choices each with their own pros and cons. You get to decide which best fits your needs. Secondly, whether you are online or not, a marketplace offers you these choices in one place. You don't have to search all over to find any of your choices. Everything is right there for you. Convenience is the factor here. A third benefit of a marketplace is that you can learn a lot by seeing the various choices you have. You get to learn about pricing, services offered for various prices, connect with a brand, and make smarter choices.

Now let's take an example of being IN the marketplace. Suppose you are a business this is part of a market and you are therefore a part of a marketplace in one way or another. How does this help you? First, it helps you become a better brand. If you know that you are being compared with your competitors, side-by-side, then you tend to look at your brand with that much more clarity and importance. Secondly, you have to really think about what your market needs and wants in order to "stand out" and assist potential customers/clients in making their choice to engage with you. Lastly, being in the marketplace is a way to see what others are doing - and there is nothing wrong with noticing that. Just don't copy them - do something better.

Here is a real-life example of a marketplace for businesses looking for an IT Services provider. Gorilla-Force is a marketplace in which businesses get to choose an IT service provider to contact after seeing the various offerings from their search results. For the IT Services providers this offers them a great way to be seen, show off their brand, and see what others in their industry are doing without searching for long periods of time.

Selling on Online Marketplaces - ECommerce Strategies to Help You Find the Best Marketplaces For You

Ecommerce merchants face a wide variety of options for increasing product sales and where to sell products online. Whether you have your own eCommerce website for sales or not, selling through online marketplaces is a critical strategy for any retail seller to increase sales.

Online marketplaces provide an easy way to reach new customers and start selling more products almost instantly. There are literally hundreds of quality sales sites that give you instant access to a community of shoppers that are already buying, with some being for general merchandise and some catering to niche products.

What types of marketplaces can you sell on?

The general types of marketplaces for online selling can be broken down as:

Auction Websites
Classifieds Websites
Price Comparison Websites
Coupons and Deals Websites
Marketplace Storefronts
Which marketplaces will be most profitable for you?

This depends on many factors including the types of products that you sell, the quantity of products that you have, and how actively you market yourself online. If you have tried some of the major marketplaces already and found that you cannot make a profit, then you may want to explore alternatives where you can list your items for free. There are many free product listing sites for auctions, classifieds, and storefronts.

You should test a marketplace for your own products and continue selling on any that deliver you new customers. Successful eCommerce sales depends on reaching the largest channels of customers possible.

Which marketplaces will get you sales on your own website?

Many online marketplaces will let you create a seller profile to increase your exposure and build additional high quality links back to your website. This will help you both with search engine optimization for your eCommerce site as well as direct customer referrals.

Some online marketplaces will also let you create free product listings or some other way to list for free. These can also build links to your site and send direct customers your way, even if you do not make a sale on the marketplace directly.

How can you tell which marketplaces are worth your effort?

Researching online marketplaces and staying up to date with the constantly changing landscape can be time-consuming, but selling online is a critical aspect of business today.

Whichever online marketplaces you choose to sell on, you cannot go wrong by starting to sell your products in a variety of online places. Try them out and find out what works best for you.

Compiling a Marketplace Analysis

Before investing the couple of hours a month building your own marketplace analysis, check to see if your local board of Realtors or MLS compiles market trend reports. I have found that most do something on this order but are not as comprehensive in price ranges. They do mainly geography-based reports for all price points. You need price segmentation.

If the essential data isn't available, set a couple of hours aside and construct the analysis on your own. We need to use the following formula to gain accuracy of the trends in the marketplace.

1. Segment your marketplace geographically.

Our objective is to view the macro and micro of your marketplace. The macro would be the marketplace or whole and even broken down geographically. The micro is the price segmentation we need to do as well. You could also break your areas out via school boundaries. Many Buyers make their decisions on areas they will live based on school district or high school. The broader view works well to gain a flavor for the marketplace. The close-in view on specific market areas will be used heavily in showing properties to clients.

The easiest way to create segmented market areas is through using the existing MLS geographic regions. Most real estate statistics and data is already segmented in that format. Another option is using the areas as featured in your newspaper's real estate classified ads, as long as it works with what is considered standard marketplace knowledge.

2. Segment your marketplace into five price segments.

While most people, Real Estate Agents, and the media view the marketplace as one entity (or even a couple, based on geography), that is too narrow of an approach. Price plays a significant factor as well. Once we decide on a geographical area or segment, we need to segment via price point. We need to segment our marketplace into five key price segments: entry, low middle, middle, upper middle, and upper. Each one of these segments can be vastly different from the other.

Our Sellers and Buyers want to know the overall wealth of the marketplace. What they really want to know about is what's happening in the specific marketplace they are trying to buy or sell in; the only way to convey that to them is through price point comparison.

3. Know your available inventory levels.

All markets are influenced by inventory levels. The inventory levels in turn affect the percentage of homes that sell every month. The higher the inventory, the lower the percentage of homes that sell monthly. Another term used for the percentage of homes sold is listings sold versus listings taken ratio. In a normal or neutral market, the listings sold versus listings taken percentage will run 65% to 70%. In an inventory short, robust, high level Seller's market, the number will be well above 90%. We need to know the level of competition Sellers and Buyers will face based on the marketplace inventory levels.

4. Determine the number of sales in the last thirty days.

Now, realize I didn't say sold or closed properties. I said sales or pending sales. We want an accurate analysis for the previous thirty days. If we count closed transactions, we are really reflecting the marketplace inventory from thirty to sixty days ago, not one to thirty days ago. A property that closes, for example, on June 30 was really a pending sale in May or April, depending on the typical time in your market to complete the paperwork, inspections, appraisals, repairs, document writing, and all the other behind-the-scenes work for closing. We always want to reflect the activity from one to thirty days ago.

5. Calculate the absorption rate or the number of months of inventory.

This last calculation is the lynchpin of the whole analysis. It is where most people fall short in terms of marketplace knowledge. You need to take current inventory levels in each price point and divide that by the pending sales for the month. This will give you the number of months of inventory left if sales remain constant. We are also making an assumption with this calculation, which is that no new available homes will come on the market before the entire present inventory is sold. We all know that assumption is false. We do see the best-case situation of the market.

As an example, you have 100 homes for sale in the entry level price point. There are twenty that sell, on average, every month. You clearly have five months worth of inventory left. A Seller will need to be competitively price to be one that will sell next month. What you are doing with this calculation is providing a clear picture of the current supply and demand mix in the marketplace.

Let me share another example. If there are 300 homes for sale in a given geographic area with thirty of them pending this last month, divide 300 by thirty and end up with ten months.

In contrast, one of my clients in southern California sent her market stats from over year ago. They showed ninety-eight properties available with 176 pending on a monthly basis. That's quite a bit different and more robust marketplace than one with 300 actives and thirty pendings. One has ten months worth of inventory, and one has about two to three weeks. The strategy, tactics, and counseling of the clients would be very different for these two marketplaces. One is a "list at all costs" type of marketplace; the other is "you'd better secure the listing at the right price". The Seller has to be informed, or you are wasting your time.

- Which market allows the Seller greater control?

- Which market do you think is appreciating faster?

- Which marketplace inspires the greatest Seller greed?

- In which market will homes spend fewer days for sale?

- In which market do Buyers have the least control and the greatest need to meet Seller demands in order to make the purchase?

- In which marketplace do the Sellers put more pressure on Agents to cut their commission rate?

The marketplace with only two to three weeks of inventory is the correct answer to all these questions. The other marketplace is behind on all counts.

The trends of the marketplace are predetermined by the inventory of listings, pending sales, and number of months of inventory. Your marketplace will not magically go against the grain of the law of supply and demand. The key is knowing what the law is saying about it. Don't leave your office without your monthly analysis!

When you have a strong market trends report, you will be able to do a number of strategic things that add value to your prospects and clients. You will be able to send something that is truly an item of value to your past clients, sphere, and anyone else on your mailing list. This report should include at least the current numbers and should be sent out quarterly. You are giving your clients an update as to how their investment is doing. You're giving them a clear picture in case they want to sell or buy another home or make an investment purchase.

When you send this market trends report, underneath the numbers, write a couple paragraphs of analysis on what is happening in the marketplace. Then write a paragraph of call to action at the bottom of the page. The call to action could point out the opportunities in the marketplace. You might highlight a new property you just listed and ask if they know of a Buyer for it. There are unlimited calls to action.

You can also use the newfound knowledge to secure prospects over the phone and in person. With this knowledge, you can position yourself as the expert in the marketplace. Use your knowledge to inject urgency, reveal motivation, and convey your market knowledge. For example:

- Were you aware that we have only about 3 weeks of inventory in the price range you want to buy in?

- Did you know that we had 22% appreciation in the marketplace last year? This same home would have been almost $50,000 less a year ago. You could have bought it for $225,000 last year instead of the $275,000 now. I wouldn't want you to waste another $50,000 by waiting until next year! Would Wednesday or Thursday this week be better for us to meet?

- Have you been told that a well-priced, great condition, solid location house is only lasting three days on the market right now?

We are trying to use our knowledge to secure our appointment through building our credibility. We need to open the door through our knowledge and close for the appointment quickly.

Using key marketplace knowledge and statistics is really an easy way to build credibility and trust. It sets you apart from the other Agents. It increases the desire a prospect has of wanting to meet with you. Your clients will listen to your counsel more attentively, and more importantly, they will actually do what you counsel them to do.

Dirk Zeller is a sought out speaker, celebrated author and CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 350,000 Agents worldwide each year through live events, online training, self-study programs, and newsletters. The Real Estate community has embraced and praised his six best-selling books; Your First Year in Real Estate, Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies, The Champion Real Estate Agent, The Champion Real Estate Team, Telephone Sales for Dummies, Successful Time Management for Dummies, and over 300 articles in print.

Real Estate Champions is a premier coaching company. Training covers a wide spectrum from new agents, to seasoned, as well as those interested in real estate marketing or real estate investing.

Make Money While Social Networking - New Facebook Marketplace Guide

Facebook first introduced the Marketplace application in mid 2007 as a way for people to post classified listings on the site. Now Facebook has launched its new, updated Marketplace. This time the Marketplace is powered by a company with a funny name, Oodle. Despite the name they are a big online classifieds company founded by former Excite and eBay executives. Oodle has built a completely new version of the Marketplace focused on giving people a place to buy, sell or give things away to the people they know.

This Facebook Marketplace Guide is a practical Step-By-Step Guide for all of you who want to learn how to sell your items effectively on the new Facebook Marketplace. Using the Facebook Marketplace you can sell, give away, buy, ask or search for anything you want. You can also use the Marketplace to support your favourite charities by selling your unwanted goods for a good cause. Additionally, you can see what your friends are buying and/or selling.

Facebook users can post their Marketplace listings free of charge. Your listings will be viewable to millions of Facebook Marketplace users worldwide. If you have previously used the old Facebook Marketplace, you should see it bookmarked in the lower left hand corner of your monitor. And, if you had active listings in the old Marketplace, you should be given the option to transfer them to the new Facebook Marketplace. If you have not used the Facebook Marketplace application before, you can find it here:

Ok, let's get down to business. As I mentioned, this is a

Step-By-Step Guide how to sell in the Facebook Marketplace effectively

So, here we go:

Step 1 - Take a Photo

Grab your digital camera and take a nice close-up picture of the item that you wish to sell. It is best to shoot against a light, solid background. Transfer your photo to your computer as a JPG-file. If your item is something that can't be presented with a photo, don't worry, you can still get it listed.

Step 2 - Log On

Log on to your Facebook account and fire up the Marketplace application. Just click the Applications menu in the lower left hand corner of your screen and choose Marketplace. You are greeted with the Marketplace welcome screen.

You have four main options at your disposal:

Sell It
Sell for a Cause
Give It Away and
Ask for It
In this guide we are concentrating on the Selling-for-Money side of things, so you may leave the screen as it is and write a short description of your item in the box where it says "Sell something to make extra cash." When you click the box it will change into "Yourname" is selling. Write your main headline for the listing here. After writing your headline description, click the blue Post-button.

Step 3 - Write Your Advertisement

After you have written your headline for the listing you are presented with a new screen with more options related to your listing. Write a punch line type of a description in the box "Why are you selling it". You could write "I need money to buy more stuff." but, even though it might be the case, I don't think it would get your listing noticed. Consider this space as your sub headline for the ad. Write this description like you were working in an advertising company. Or, if you feel more conservative, just describe your item as funky as possible. You have two lines to hit the point.

Next, state your asking price in the Price-box. You know what its worth.

Write your location. This is a must. Just write in your city.

Choose a category for your item. At the time of writing this book, there are only the following 13 categories available:

  1. Baby & Kid Stuff
  2. Books & Magazines
  3. Cars & Vehicles
  4. Clothes & Accessories
  5. Collectibles
  6. Computers & Accessories
  7. Electronics
  8. Furniture
  9. Home and Garden
  10. Musical Instruments
  11. Sporting Goods, Bicycles & Equipment
  12. Tickets
  13. Everything Else

If you can't find a suitable category for your item, you can always choose Everything Else, however it is not a very good category to be listed under.

In the next box you can provide a wider description of your item. Here you have more room than just two lines. Describe your item with as much detail as you can. You know, size, colour, condition,.. those sort of things. But, don't stress yourself too much with this; you can always change it later. Once you have created the best advertising text ever, hit the Browse-button to locate your photo from your computer, USB stick or where ever you think you saved it in Step 1. Yes, I know, I can never find my images either. Don't panic though, you have time to locate it; the screen isn't going anywhere.

You found it? Good! Actually, you can upload two photos if you wish. For instance if you are selling a book, it is a good idea to upload both front and back covers. You can upload even more images later on, but for the sake of this exercise, one is enough.

Tick the Terms of Use-box and click the Submit-button.

Step 4 - Rather Unnecessary Step

The next screen has your details on it and your only option is to click the Continue-button. I really don't know why this screen exists, but since it does all we can do is click the button.

Step 5 - Publishing

Next you will get a screen asking if you want to publish this listing in your own Facebook profile. This is a good idea. You will get a choice for a Full, Short or a One Line description. I would recommend you'd choose the Short-option. You may tick the Always do this for Marketplace-box if you wish to use this same option every time you list something. So, if you wish to publish this listing on your profile, click the Publish-button, but if you only want it to appear in the Facebook Marketplace, choose the No, Thanks-button.

Step 6 - Promotion

This step is your first chance to advertise your new listing. This is also a good idea. You can Recruit Friends to Promote your Listing in their News Feed. You can add up to 5 of your friends by clicking on their pictures. You can also choose them by writing their names in the Find Friends-box. Once you have chosen your friends who might be interested in promoting your listing, click the Send Request-button; or if you don't want to bother your friends this time, choose Skip.

Step 7 - Personal Marketing Message

You will be presented a confirmation screen with your details. You can add a personal message to this post by clicking the blue Add Personal Message-hotlink. If you don't want to add your personal message, just click the Send-button. You also can cancel this message altogether by clicking Cancel.

Step 8 - Done!

Congratulations! You have listed your first item on the Facebook Marketplace. Listings take approximately 30 minutes to be included in the search index.

You will be presented with the screen titled "Manage My Listing: Active". Here you can review your listing and, if you wish to make any changes click the Edit Details-hotlink in the light green bar. You can also delete your listing as well as promote your listing with a Facebook Ad. I will not get into details how to produce Facebook Ads in this book. That topic, among many other good ones, will be fully covered in my Facebook Advertising Guide.

That's it, you've done it! Good work! Thank you for reading so far.

Additional, Good to Know Stuff:

Editing Your Listing

You can easily edit your listings after you have published them. Just click the Edit Details-hotlink on the screen mentioned in the Manage My Listing -page, and you will get pretty much the same screen as when you were writing the listing in the first place. You can change every detail of your listing here as well as upload more images if you wish. It is a good idea to show as many images as you can.

After you have made your changes in this panel click the Submit-button to get your listing updated. You will again be presented with a useless confirmation screen as seen. Just ignore it, and click the Continue-button.

Next, you will be asked if you wish to publish this updated listing on your Facebook profile as in Step 6. You may choose to publish again, or you may just click the No, Thanks-button.

Finally, you will see your updated listing on the "Manage My Listing"- screen.

Managing Your Facebook Marketplace Listings

You can easily manage all of your Facebook Marketplace listings in one convenient location. If you click the My Listings-hotlink in the Marketplace menu, you will see your current listings. This is your place to manage all your listings. You can add more listings, edit them and after you have sold your items you can delete them.

As I mentioned earlier, you can also sell your items for a cause or you can give them away for free (don't know why, but you can). You can also find something you need for yourself. These functions are not covered in this book, but I'm sure you'll manage them with the principles covered here.

Ok, I hope you enjoyed this Facebook Marketplace Guide. I wish you luck in selling your stuff through Facebook. I sold my first item, an awesome Jimi Hendrix Wah-Wah guitar pedal in just 3 days.

Best regards,

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers

Question: What do writers, holistic professionals and social entrepreneurs all have in common?

Answer: They tend to be right-brain dominant.

Scientists tell us that the left side of our brain is used for sequential thinking, speech, analysis and organised thought. The right side of the brain is used for creative thinking, global perspectives, imagination and innovation. After working for more than four decades within the creative industries, an additional seven years as a coach and consultant for holistic practitioners, and more recent work with social entrepreneurs, it is my observation that all of these people tend to think in abstract ideas -- typically associated with right-brain thinking. They are concept-driven people. They have a vision, usually driven by an emotion, and they work passionately -- often tirelessly -- to bring that vision down to earth.

The problem with this is that visions don't always translate well when a right-brained person is trying to communicate them to others. Making their visions understandable to others can be a major challenge for people who see and experience the world through the lens of abstractions, ideals and values. And making our visions understandable to others is what marketing is all about. This is one of the reasons (there are many others) why visionaries often find marketing to be a daunting task.

Why Blogging is Part of the New Marketing Paradigm

One of the most powerful forms of new paradigm marketing is blogging. Some people might wonder why I consider blogging to be a form of marketing, so let me explain my reasoning. I believe marketing is simply 'the act of communicating the message that we have something of value to share'. It's not about 'selling'; it's about communicating. Blogging is, in my opinion, the way new paradigm marketers 'sell without selling'. It is the way to express ideas, share information, give advice, establish trust AND engage in a dialogue with our audience.

It's my observation that many new bloggers mistakenly think blogging is an 'anything goes' activity. That might be fine if your only aim in blogging is to use it for personal creative expression, but if you want to use blogging as a marketing tool, you cannot use an 'anything goes' approach. Here are the three most common mistakes I see right-brained people make when they blog:

Blogging 'whenever they feel like it' rather than consistently and regularly
Blogging without an over-arching message or purpose
Blogging in a stream-of-consciousness manner (similar to the way they think)
Below, I'm going to look at each of these mistakes, and offer my own 'concrete' advice on how to turn them around, so your blogging can become an effective marketing tool.

The Value of Having a Regular Routine

In my experience, right-brained people tend to be driven by 'feelings'. This means they tend to eschew routines, preferring to engage in creative activity when 'they feel like it'. When they're not in the right mood for something, they simply don't do it. While they might think this practice brings authenticity to their work, it's my observation that it can often hinder them from getting projects done and from putting systems in place that can help build their enterprise.

The other common trait amongst creative, right-brained people is they tend to have a lot of plates spinning in the air at once. They seem to need a lot of stimulation to be happy, and thus say 'yes' to lots of projects. The end result is that they are spread too thin, and often forget to leave the 'me time' they need to do things like writing content for their blog. And because they don't have a commitment to a system of regular blogging, they don't bother to create time to do it.

If you wish to use blogging as a means of marketing you MUST build it into your regular business routine by assigning specific days on which you will WRITE and PUBLISH your articles. Make a schedule and commit to it. Don't overwhelm yourself with too much commitment. Commit to two blog posts a month to start and build up to one or two posts a week after you've gotten used to the regular practice.

Having a regular blogging routine helps grow your AUDIENCE. When people know your writing patterns, they will look for your posts and subscribe to your blog. If you don't show any consistency, your readers will feel no incentive to stay in touch with you. I have seen it personally in my own blogging. I recently changed my own blogging schedule to ensure I blog twice a week, and my readership has TRIPLED within the last 60 days. This has not only impacted my subscriber list, but it has also increased my book sales and my ReTweets on Twitter. Creating a routine is one small change that can make a huge difference.

The Value of Having a Message and Purpose

Many right-brained business owners will blog on somewhat aimless topics. Others think blogging is just about talking about their business. NEITHER is true. Your blog needs to have a clear, definable, over-arching purpose and message. For instance:

The over-arching purpose of one of my blogs is to provide insight and help in ethical marketing practice for social entrepreneurs.

The over-arching message of that same blog is that 'we can heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell'.
As such, EVERY article written either by me or guest contributors on my own blogs must address its over-arching purpose or the message (or both). Being consistent about your purpose and message helps grow your BRAND. You might think you are 'repeating' yourself but you won't be. Engage your right-brain thinking and look at all the creative ways you can send the same message using different words and different ideas.

For example, one of my clients is a poet with her first poetry book coming out next month. She's been struggling to figure out what to write about in her blogs, and how they can help build a reading audience for her books. So I suggested that she go through each of the poems in her book and identify the over-arching message in each one. Then, she can break that over-arching message into two or three different points. Each of these points can become a blog topic. If she does this for even just 10 poems, she'll have 20-30 topics. If she writes one blog post a week, this list will take her through the next six months of blogging. Imagine how combining this plan with a regular blogging practice will build both her audience and her brand (and over-arching) message. This will eventually pay out in book sales, especially as she brings more poetry books out over this coming year.

The Importance of Structure

This point has to do with the WAY many right-brained people write. Unfortunately, I have found that many people with the most beautiful vision cannot present their ideas in a structured way, either in conversation or in writing. This is very frustrating for them, because they cannot understand why other people cannot see what they are seeing. This is a BIG issue, and requires a lot more advice than I can put into a single blog article, but here are a few small tips that can help right-brained thinkers communicate their ideas more effectively in their blog articles:

STRUCTURE POINT 1: Identify Your Message

Before you start writing, identity ONE major message or point you intend to communicate in the article. Too many right-brained bloggers write in a free-spirited fashion, using lots of colourful or poetic language, but not really leading the reader anywhere. Unfortunately, this does nothing to help grow your audience, your brand or your business. It also doesn't give anything of value to your readers.

STRUCTURE POINT 2: Put Your Message in Your Title

Many right-brained bloggers write really colourful titles for their blog posts that don't tell the reader what the article is about. This renders your blog post completely ineffective as a marketing tool. If people cannot get a clear idea of what your article is about when they see it on Google, Twitter or Facebook, they won't click the link. And if no one clicks, no one is reading.

Whittle down your message into a title for your blog. Try to make it no longer than 60 characters long (because that's all that many search engines can accommodate).

STRUCTURE POINT 3: Stick to the Message

Right-brained people are FULL of ideas. The problem with this is that they tend to express these ideas whenever they come to them. While this is a vital part of the creative mind, it can come across as meandering and aimless if it is in a blog article. Just because an idea comes to you does NOT mean it needs to be in your article unless it adds something substantial to the point you're trying to make. Also, if you randomly toss in a new idea without developing it (a common thing I see in right-brained articles) it should be taken out of the article as it weakens the message. If you feel you have 'lots of other things' you want to say, write those ideas down for future articles.

STRUCTURE POINT 4: Use a 3-Part Structure

The 'rule' for writing an effective blog post is really no different from writing a good essay or delivering a good presentation:

Start by saying what you're going to say (and why you're going to say it)
Say what you're going to say
Summarise what you just said (and why it is important)
Using this structure can help you gain focus as you write your article. It also helps your readers decide, from the very start, whether or not they wish to continue reading. At the end of the article, they will be able to evaluate whether or not they got what you promised to deliver. If they decide they got something valuable from reading your article, they are likely to return to your blog another day. If people cannot evaluate what they got from reading your article, it means you have not expressed that value clearly enough in your structure.

The Future Will Be Full of Right-Brained Marketers

I believe we have entered an era where more and more right-brained thinkers are entering the entrepreneurial world, and especially the realm of social enterprise. It's my desire to support these value-driven business owners to become powerful communicators through new paradigm marketing platforms, such as blogging and social media.

While some of these tips I've offered today might present a learning curve for many a right-brained thinker, be assured that we are all in a social learning curve as we collectively create the new business and marketing paradigm. Work to learn how to bring your left-brain into play but never, ever abandon your creative vision, your global perception and your values.

All those beautiful right-brain qualities you have are the VERY things that will bring us into the new paradigm in the coming decades -- where both right and left brain thinkers become 'whole brain marketers' able to communicate ideas that express a richer, deeper vision of the world in which we live.

LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically.

She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal in Business and Sales.

Lynn's eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors

Blogging and SEO Working for You

Google's freshness update has created a surge in business website blogging. The update has affected a large percentage of search results, giving companies a real reason to integrate their blog page into their main website. The update has meant that the first few pages of search results are usually populated with blogs and articles that relate to that specific term; more so than business websites (not including long-tail keyword or local searches).

As an example, if you were interested in buying an iPhone and searched for an exact term 'iPhone' (short-term keyword), the first page of results will be filled with blogs, reviews, news articles and message forum posts relating to that topic. Conversely, if a search is made for 'buying an iPhone' (long-tail keyword) or 'mobile phone shops in London' (local keyword), the result pages will be populated with business websites.

This article will cover two related topics: how to improve your website's SEO with blogging and how to improve your blog's SEO.

Your business website's SEO can be improved by a blog in the following ways:

Fresh Content

A blog page will provide your site with fresh content. When search engines crawl your website they will notice the frequent updates and new URLs and recognise that this is updated content. The freshness update mentioned earlier will be taken in to consideration when ranking is determined.

New Keywords Targeted

Blogs are a great way of adding additional keywords to your website. When another website links to your blog using these keywords, link juice is passed along with it. This helps your site rank for these keywords and adds to the list of keywords you were already targeting.

Enhancing Niche Authority

Blogging about your particular niche builds authority. A blog that gives useful tips and instructions to visitors helps acquire expert status. If a potential customer has a choice between two businesses, they are more likely to choose the one that demonstrates in-depth knowledge through their blog than the one that doesn't.

Going Social

Blog posts are easily shared on social media. This brings in social signals that assist your website's search engine rankings. Sharing your own content on social networking platforms increases interaction with users and enhances word-of-mouth marketing.

Internal Linking

Blogs allow you to build internal links into your main website and this passes link authority to your homepage and inner pages. Links can be made from your products/services pages to any relevant blog post and posts can be linked to one another if the subject matter is related. If you have downloadable PDFs or a subscription form on your site, a call-to-action on a blog post that links to these landing pages will not only encourage interaction and increase conversions, but also pass on link juice. Your blog posts could also receive links from other authoritative pages, which would pass authority with them. Internal linking also allows you to use anchor text associated with your chosen keywords. External websites are likely to link to your page with generic anchor text such as 'click here' or 'read more', but having internal anchor text that you control allows you to use targeted anchor text when linking your pages.

SEO and Images

It is important to SEO any images on your blog. This can be done by the use of the image alt text attribute and correct file naming conventions. The images will then be found via the Google image search and can drive an increased volume of traffic to your website.

Natural Linking

Well written and informative blog posts will generate links naturally. Asking other websites to link to your blog might seem a little pushy, but if people, groups or businesses find your blogs insightful and helpful they are likely to create links under their own steam.

Trust Building

Some visitors to your website will know exactly what they want and will immediately engage with your services or products. This means you will require a website that is simple to navigate and quick to convert. Most visitors, on the other hand, may be a little sceptical about your expertise and will want to be convinced before they do business with you. Having a blog on your website is an excellent way to build up trust. By sharing professional experiences or case studies and offering information on your niche topics you can become more personal and instil a degree of confidence. As the content on your blog grows, trust will be established with your visitors, which will increase traffic, popularity and enhance your websites SEO.

Below I have listed some points that should be considered in order to ensure that your blog is targeting the right users on the web:

Blog Hosted as a Sub Domain

By hosting your blog as a sub domain of your main site and not as a separate domain or subdirectory ensures you will reap the best SEO benefits. It is best practise to host your blog with a web address similar to ''. This will mean that you have only one site to maintain and the link juice that your blog attracts will benefit the main website as well.

Trending Keywords

Research trending keywords with Google Trends or any other keyword research tool available on the internet and write a blog about the latest trending subjects in your particular niche.

Insert Keywords

Insert keywords into your blog article in a manner that makes sense and reads correctly. Ensure that you have used correct spelling and grammar. Search engines are very clever determining user-experience and reward blogs that are written with the human user in mind rather than for search engine ranking.

Blog titles should contain the target keyword and be no longer than 70 characters. The title is usually incorporated into the blogs URL and is good for the blog's SEO.

Integrating Social Media

Visitors to your blog are more likely to share your post if social share buttons are clearly visible. Providing social share buttons not only improves usability, but also helps to strengthen the social signals from your site. This in turn, as mentioned earlier, improves your blog's SEO and result page rankings.

Interaction on your Blog

Interaction on your blog can be enhanced by asking questions and inviting opinion at the end. Examples of this could include; What do you think? or Have you experienced this? If your blog is comparing two different items or strategies, ask your visitors which one they prefer. When you are sharing your post on a social media site, ask a question that is related to your blog. Answer any comments that left on your blog and encourage debate. Seek out blogs and forums in your niche and post comments saying that you have blogged on similar subjects. All this will encourage interaction with visitors to your site and signal frequent use to the search engine crawlers.

Driving traffic to your website by using a blog is the most natural form of search engine optimisation. All major search engines will reward a website that has an informative and interactive blog page and you'll soon see your website rise up through the rankings. Schedule a little time each week to write good quality blog pages and post frequently, about two or three times a week if time allows. Make the blog consistent and relevant to your niche market and watch your fan base and rankings grow.

How Do I Blog? Tips For Creating And Maintaining A Powerful Money-Making Company Or Personal Blog

Creating and maintaining a blog is one of the best ways to market yourself or your company on the internet. Blogging provides a wealth of opportunities for both yourself and your readers.

Few internet marketing strategies afford you with the flexibility of your own blog. In this article, we'll explore exactly what a blog is, how to create one, promote one, and manage a blog so that it drives traffic to your website and helps promote your business and make you money online.

What is a blog?

In reality, a blog or "web log" is nothing more than a very simple website dedicated to a topic or closely related set of topics. A blog can stand alone as an independent URL, such as, or it can be hosted by a blogging website such as Google's or you might embed a blog directly on your own website.

A blog generally consists of a few basic parts. The main blog title, which describes what the blog is about and tells viewers the general topics they'll find there. The blog will also have multiple posts or small articles that are dated and feature the bi-line of the author. Finally, the blog will feature a comments section where readers can post comments on a blog entry and interact with each other as well. Additionally, most blogs will have social sharing mechanisms where readers can share the information on their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networking accounts.

A blog can be more complex than this, but in essence, what has been described above is the core of every online web log you will come across. Blogs should be informative and interesting, as well as optimized for search engine traffic.

How do you create a blog?

As stated above, a blog is a website, or a part of a website. If you are a programmer, you can easily write your own blogging scripts. However, there are generally two types of blog creation and maintenance options for the average internet user.

First, you can use blogging or website creation software to make your blogs. These systems include WordPress, Joomla, and other CMS type systems. These allow a great deal of flexibility and give you the ability to create entire websites around your blogs.

The second most common method is to use a pre-existing blogging application like the afore-mentioned This website will allow you to build and maintain your own blog with only a very few clicks of your mouse. They provide themes, editing tools and social interaction that is very simple and very effective.

As mentioned earlier, a blog should be focused on a specific topic or category of topics to be effective. For example, our blog is about internet marketing, business development and website design. Very inter-related topics. It allows users and other entrepreneurs to share their thoughts, ask questions and gives them an ongoing resource.

A blog should not ramble and cover multiple unrelated topics. Stay focused on what your blog is about. If you want to blog about several unrelated topics, create more than one blog. You can even network and cross-link them. Just try to keep each blog focused on its intended purpose. You'll find it is a lot more effective at capturing and keeping interest.

How do I manage my blog?

Probably the most important thing about a blog is the way you manage it. Blogging is unlike all other forms of marketing and content creation due to several factors. First, blog readers come to expect and will respond to consistent postings. You can't treat your blog as a once in a while activity.

Second, because of the interactive nature of a blog, you will have to monitor and interact with those of your readers who comment. You may even get requests for guest bloggers. You must be attentive and responsive.

Write at least once per week, if not more. If and when your blog begins to grow in popularity, you'll find that you will have to be on top of it on a daily basis. There will be a constant desire for new information as well as many comments to be addressed. Of course, if you get to a point where your blog requires more than an hour a day of your attention, you will be glad to do the work.

How to promote your blog and use it to promote you

Many people wonder how you promote a blog. How do you get readers? Keep in mind what we've already mentioned. A blog is nothing more than a small website. It's going to be indexed by Google, yahoo and Bing like any other website. Further, it will get indexed by some special blogging search engines as well. So the first thing to think about with your blog and all the posts you write is SEO.

Second, just like a website, begin to build back links to your blogs. You can do this by actively pursuing link exchanges as well as writing good quality content that others will want to syndicate to their own blogs and websites.

Another great way to promote your blog is to comment on others' blogs. It's like that old saying about writing letters, "You've got to write them to get them." Become a contributor to other people's blogs and they in turn may contribute to yours, thus allowing you all to exchange active links.

Finally, use social networks. Let people know about your new blogs and about posts they may find interesting. Ask them to comment or even write a guest post about a topic on which they're knowledgeable. Just keep in mind, you want to provide this network with real valuable information, not just a constant stream of self-promotion.

If you do all this, and some other internet marketing strategies too numerous for this article, you will not only see your blog visits and comments increase, but this will almost automatically do the same for a website you want to promote via this blog. You can even embed the latest one or two blog posts on your site to keep its content growing and send visitors back and forth. Provide your blog readers with quality valuable content and they'll not only keep coming back, link to you and comment, they'll tell others about you. So go out there and create a place for sharing your thoughts and information. And if you want, let us know about it!

Advice to Consider Before Starting a Blog

The planet we reside in today is fully various as opposed to ten years ago, right now people are always on the internet, which makes having a presence on the web that far more appealing for business to possess. Should you wish to develop a web-based presence by means of blogging then the information from this article must aid.

If you'd like to become a great writer, it is critical that you are an excellent reader. Take the time to really read what you write about, and enjoy it. Once you can read it from a visitor's point of view, you'll have the ability to get a better understanding of any modifications which you need to make for your writing style.

Be sure to employ tags in your blog posts inside a cautious manner. A misplaced tag on your internet site might be as damaging for the readership as a good tag is valuable. You have to do your investigation and place tags in an intelligent and thoughtful approach to boost your blogging endeavors.

Try writing out of your personal experiences. Write openly about items you understand about and write your feelings about them without fearing getting wrong. It tends to be a big mistake to copy from specialists than to discover from your personal errors. Your personal experience is the most valuable blogging asset that you just have.

Steer clear of losing handle of the blog by obtaining your personal domain name as well as your personal hosting account. Whenever you use free hosting, you will have trouble getting excellent search engine rankings, and also you will need to abide from the rules of the host. Should you have your personal domain name as well as your personal hosting account, you will possess a lot more freedom in regards for the content you'll be able to post, and also you won't run the danger that your data will all disappear in the event the host goes under!

When you're attempting to select a subject which will be the basis of the blog, you ought to make certain that you're thinking about your topic. You can't expect to keep a blog whose subject doesn't interest you in anyway. Choosing a topic that you really like increases the opportunity that you'll stick with continually updating your blog, which will generate new readers.

Use videos to expand the content of one's blog. Some hosting internet sites will let you to location them inside your blog. If that's not an alternative for you personally, create links to videos that you have posted on YouTube, or an additional, related site. Numerous people respond well to this type of visual stimulation.

Make your writing along with the subjects that you write about tempt your reader. You always want to leave them wanting far more, and hunting forward for your next post. Should you are able to accomplish this 90% of the time, you'll have numerous people coming back to check your blog typically.

Take time to read over your blog. This step tends to be ignored rather usually. You might have to be the first reader. Whenever you've some free time, attempt reading a few of your older posts. It can genuinely assist you to see what you'll be able to do to increase with your posts in the future.

In order to effectively run a blog, you'll need ideas. That will help you get these ideas you must visit forums other forums and blogs. Also, plenty of the time the people who comment in your blog are great at producing new info that you just may possibly never have believed about prior to. To be relevant in today's blogging globe, you have to continually come up with fresh material that people want.

Whenever you decide to begin a blog, be particular that the topic is something which you uncover engaging and that ignites your want to share with others. Writing the content of your blog will take several hours every week. You need to become certain that you just have a passion for the subject.

When setting up a blog the most crucial element is identifying the purpose from the blog. Do you need to post your inventive writing? Or, maybe you want to blog as a method of speaking out about a subject that interests you. Promotion of a business is an additional typical reason to blog. Being aware of your purpose can help you determine what type of blog to set up and will reveal the audience you happen to be hoping to capture. Both, are vital components of an excellent blog.

Aim to make use of a photo gallery inside your blog. People enjoy to have a look at images. Due to this fact, a photo gallery is a fantastic addition that you can make on your blog. If you're a Flickr user, then think about downloading the Flickr Photo Album plug-in that is certainly used in WordPress.

Try and link to other related blog posts across the internet to enhance your viewership. The much more interconnected your blog site becomes the higher opportunity there's that an individual surfing the web will stumble across your blog. Therefore, it's vitally essential that you just link your blog to related blogs.

Try and get rid of white spaces among the components of your blog. This will preserve your blog searching concise and qualified. Similarly, your blog will likely be less difficult to read once you format it within this manner. This can be a easy step which will make your blog much more accessible for your readers.

Your blog updates must incorporate links to other sections of the site and previous blog posts when relevant. These links can help readers to better understand your blog updates, while introducing them towards the wealth of content accessible on your website. Moreover, interlinking your internet site in this way is an effective search engine optimization approach that may enhance your search rank.

Hopefully you now possess a much better grasp of blogging and just how it can help you on the planet we live in nowadays. Just bear in mind to usually be on the look out for new details about blogging as this world is modifying at a fast pace which makes maintaining up together with the most recent trends and pieces of details beneficial.