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Vanita Cyril

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SEO

Once you become a blogger, you see this bloody acronym everywhere.

What’s so important about it? Does it matter to me?

That depends. How important is website traffic to you? If you’re looking to gain exposure for your blog posts, having your blog found in search engines is a big plus. People searching for specific terms that relate to your posts will be able to find you.

Blog posts are naturally search engine friendly because

1.blogs are frequently updated with new pages

2.blog posts are text rich

3.blog posts have links to other pages that are related to the blog post

4. So if you’ve been writing posts consistently, that are of average length and include links to other posts on your site that

5. relate or other blogs that share the same niche, you’re already doing a great job at assisting the search engine spiders.

Spiders? Spiders my friend.

Ok, not real spiders.

It’s actually similar to a web browser. Search engine spiders crawl the www the same way you would surf the internet using safari or firefox.

It can start crawling anywhere and stop anywhere. It follows links to get from one site to another. When it’s done crawling, it takes what’s it learned and drops it into a database – a search engine’s database (Google’s, Yahoo’s, Bing’s, etc) where it’s indexed and saved. When a user enters a specific term into Google’s search box, the results are pulled from that database; ranking is based on relevance to the search term (and several other variables, to be explained in a more advanced post). The higher your post ranks in the search engine, the higher the possibility that your link will be clicked on.

So how do we optimize our blogs for search engines? Let’s start simple.

Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Your Blog Posts

Match your content to your title. Don’t name the post “thirty ways to barbeque foam cups” and then write about recycling for the environment.
Use your post topic’s keywords in the post’s title and headings tags. This is how the spider “decides” whether your content body is relevant to the post title. For example, if you want your post to be found by users searching for “after bedtime activities” then your post title and heading should have one or more of these words in them. Such as
Title/(h1)MainHeading: Bedtime Activities For Toddlers
(h2)Sub Heading: Toddler Bedtime Stories
(h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Games
(h2)Sub Heading: Bedtime Stories
(h2)Sub Heading: Tips For Putting Your Toddler Down at Bedtime
Quick Rule: Only one Main Heading per post
Use secondary keywords in the body of your post. These are words that relate to the topic. Bold and italicize these words when possible. This also helps your friendly spider. Don’t go crazy, your post will look like crap.
All images should have Alt Text that applies to your post. Spider can’t see images, but if there’s alternate text there, it counts for something.
All images need a description – this is great for search engine indexing and as an excerpt when sharing on many social media platforms.
Include links to other posts on your site and use actual anchor words. If you link to a post about barbeque sauces, be sure that the anchor words that are linked to the post is “barbeque sauces”, not the word “here” as we’ve all done. You want the anchor words to be relevant to the post you’re linking to.
Choose Categories and Tags that relate to your post.
Install an SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization plugins help you to plug a meta title, meta description and meta keywords into your post page’s coding. This info is shown in the search engine results page (SERP) when your post is listed as the answer to a searcher’s query.  The plugin offers you the ability to write an eye catching, alluring description of the post to be shown in the SERP, assiting in helping searchers choose a link to click.

Get Social For SEO

Install sharing plugins on your post.

Get active on social media platforms.

Build your network. You need a network of peers to help you spread your post across the WWW.

The most important tip to SEO?

Write unique, meaty posts. Show Google and readers alike that you’re an authority on the subject.

Photocredit:
macromagnon via photoxpress (desk and www)
Nicemonkey via photoxpress (spider)x

Alex Eylar via Compfight

What do super-successful coaches and small business owners all have in common?
It’s not experience.
It’s not extraordinary skills.
It’s not even a powerful drive.
Although all of these things can definitely help your business grow, they’re not a prerequisite for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive.
The one thing that does make a difference, though, is your “why.”
Why did you decide to become a coach?
Why do you spend too many hours in front of your computer every week?
Why do you stay up too late and get up too early, just so you can work on growing your business?
The “why” is what ultimately drives us to success, but here’s the thing: it’s different for everyone. Your why is not my why, and my why is not her why. It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.
For example, a survivor of domestic abuse might happily spend 60 or 70 hours each and every week mentoring other victims of abuse, or counseling couples on how to break the cycle. Her big why is a strong desire to prevent other women from suffering in the same way she did.
A mother of small children may be saddened at the thought of sending her kids to daycare just so she can go to work to (barely) pay for it. Her big why is a drive to spend as much time with her kids as she can, while still supporting her family.
A young, fresh out of school entrepreneur might resist taking the same path her parents took, working for a corporation for 40 years, only to retire and find themselves with barely enough to live on. Instead, she dreams of having the income (and the time) to see the world while she’s still young enough to enjoy it.
So what’s your big “why”? It might be the freedom to travel, the option to spend time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for a sick family member, or even to earn enough money to support a charity that’s close to your heart.
Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take. When you’re deciding whether or not to take on a new client, ask yourself if it’s aligned with your “why.” When you’re setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why. Thinking of branching out into a new business venture? Make sure it’s in alignment with your big why, and success is suddenly much more attainable.

How well do you know your potential clients?
Chances are you’ve developed at least a simple client avatar. You know her business, her age, her income and education levels. You know where she lives and how many kids she has and what her biggest dreams are.
But do you really know what drives her?
We’re not talking about just what she wants (we all want more money and free time) but more importantly, you need to know what her biggest pain points are. Figure this out, and you’ll not only be able to better create programs to help her, but your sales copy will dramatically improve as well.
Think about it—if you’re uncomfortable with technology, and once in a DIY mood you destroyed your website during a simple update, then website management becomes a huge pain point for you. Now imagine you find a VA who not only works with WordPress, but who calmly shares examples of how she’s rescued client websites after such disasters.
She’s clearly addressed your biggest pain point, and you’re sold!
The same is true for your potential clients. Show them you can help them avoid those pain points—or better yet, eliminate them completely—and you’ll forge an instant bond.
Now you may already have a good idea what causes your clients pain, but if not, you have plenty of ways to find out.
• Talk to them. What do they most often ask or complain about?
• Listen in on forums, on social media, and other places your audience hangs out. What are they struggling with?
• Reader surveys. These can be a rich source of information in any market. Pay special attention to the words and phrases your readers use to describe their troubles.
• Keep an eye on your competition. What pain points are they addressing?
Once you’ve uncovered your ideal clients’ biggest pain points, you’ll have a powerful tool that you can use not only in your sales copy, but it will also help define your programs and service offerings. If you can help your clients overcome the most painful issues they face—whether it’s a lack of self-confidence or a fear of public speaking—you’ll instantly become a more valuable resource in your niche.
And when you incorporate those same pain points in your sales copy, your conversions will dramatically increase as well.

If there’s one thing that confuses and frustrates new (and even seasoned) copywriters it’s the not-always-obvious features and benefits.
We want to share all the great things about our new coaching program, so we say things like:
• 6-week self-study course
• Includes workbooks and live training
• Members’ only discounts
While these are all good points, they’re pretty bland. That’s because they’re features, not benefits. They tell us about the program but not why we should buy it.
Benefits, on the other hand, tell us the “so what” of features.
“6-week self-study course.” So what? Why should your reader care?
• Because she’s busy and needs to work on her own schedule, not yours.
• Because she’s already studied shorter, less comprehensive courses and needs more in-depth information.
• Because she prefers to learn on her own, not in a group.
“Includes workbooks and live training.” So what? What are the benefits of workbooks and live training?
• Your student can put what she learns into action with workbooks.
• She can get her specific questions answered during live training.
• She can work through complex issues with the help of the group.
As you can see, benefits go much further than simple attributes, such as length and format. They show your prospective client not only what’s in the program, but why the product is exactly right for her, at this specific moment in her life and career.
Features and benefits work together in sales copy as two halves of a statement, like this:
“6-week self-study course so you can learn at your own pace, when it’s convenient for you.”
In fact, this powerful feature/benefit combo is often the basis for the bullet points you see in sales copy, and the format of them makes them easy to write, too.
Simply list all the features of your product, then for each one, ask yourself “Why?” Why should the reader care? But don’t stop there. Dig deeper to uncover “the why behind the why” and you’ll soon be crafting truly irresistible sales pages that convert far better than you expect. In the above example, the why behind the why might be, “so you don’t have to spend family time on webinars that have been scheduled to benefit someone else.”
Now not only is your prospective client working at her own pace, but she’s also freeing up time to spend with her family. That’s a great benefit she won’t find with most courses.
It’s easy to list all the features of your product or coaching program, but far more difficult to uncover the benefits that will drive sales. When you truly understand the difference though, it will become easier, and your sales will reflect the change in your copy.

It’s one metric we consistently watch and try to improve: email open rates. There’s good reason for it, too. If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, then they can’t read about:
• Your newest coaching program
• Your latest must-have tool discovery
• That epic blog post you just wrote
The trouble is, you only have about two seconds to entice a reader to open your email. Even worse, you have to do it in ten words or less.
Yikes! That’s a pretty tall order, even for seasoned copywriters. But there are some tricks you can use.
Be Ambiguous
If you’ve been on Facebook lately you’ve no doubt seen those “click bait” headlines that say things like, “She adds this to a box of Wheat Thins and I’m drooling!” The reason headlines like that work is because we can’t help but want to know what “this” is that she’s adding to her Wheat Thins. Is it sugar? Salt? Peanut butter? We imagine the possibilities, but in the end we have to find out, so we click.
You can employ the same technique in your email subject lines. Just substitute the word “this” for the actual thing you’re writing about, and you’ve got instant enticement.
Use Numbers
Here’s another strategy for creating must-read content: numbers.
“7 Hidden Benefits of Waking Up at 5am”
“3 Unlikely Ways to Close the Sale”
“5 Social Media Platforms You Shouldn’t Be Ignoring”
The reason numbers work so well in subject lines is because we are ego-centric and curious. We simply must know if we already use those three ways to close the sale. We will either walk away feeling good for being a marketing maven, or we will have learned something. Both are compelling reasons to open an email.
Use Power Words
Just as with all writing, choosing power words is far more effective than settling for their weaker counterparts. Imagine these two subject lines appear in your inbox. Which are you more likely to open:
“WordPress Makes Better Looking Websites for Non-Designers”
or
“Create a Gorgeous Website—Even if You’re Not a Designer”
While both subjects offer the same information, the first is weak, while the second is far more compelling.
When it comes to email subjects, there are a few more tips to keep in mind if you want to up your open rates:
• Keep it short – no more than 10 words at the very most, and fewer if you can.
• Test everything. Use your autoresponder’s split-testing functionality to see which subject line styles perform best in your market.
• Use personalization, but sparingly. Occasional use of your reader’s first name can be a powerful technique.
Here’s the bottom line: If your subscribers aren’t opening your email, they’re not buying. Paying closer attention to your subject lines is the single most important thing you can do for your email marketing campaigns.

We’ve all seen those old-style sales pages filled with yellow highlights and screaming red text and lots of “BUY NOW” buttons, and when we think of copywriting, that’s often what comes to mind. While that style of sales page can be effective, it’s not the only way to make sales.
In fact, by taking a more subtle approach, you might even find that you generate more interest—and potentially more sales.
Stories Sell
One effective way to entice readers to click through to your sales page is with stories. These can be your stories or those of other people, with the goal of helping your readers to see themselves in the same situation.
Did you help a client turn her chaotic household into a calm oasis with better organizational skills? Her story on your sales page will get more clicks than all the yellow highlight you can buy.
What about that time you trashed your entire business plan and started over because you simply weren’t passionate about your work? Your potential business coaching clients will be anxious to learn more, and will click through without you even asking.
That’s the power of stories, and you can use them everywhere: in your blog posts, in your emails, on your sales pages, and even in videos and on social media.
Be Genuinely Helpful
Want to build a reputation as the go-to person in your niche? All it takes is to help people. Answer questions on social media, volunteer to speak to groups who need your advice, write blog posts that address the most common issues your readers face.
By volunteering your time and knowledge, you’ll attract a wide audience of potential customers who may need your services in the future. Who will they turn to? That very helpful person who went out of her way to offer assistance in the past.
Now we’re not saying you have to give away all your time, but if you really want to show off your expertise, you can’t do better than a little volunteer work. Not only will you make an impression with the person you help. But chances are good she’ll share with her friends as well, further expanding your audience.
Of course this doesn’t mean that there is no place in your business for a strong call to action. “Click here to buy” and “Learn more right now” are still useful (and even necessary) on sales and opt-in pages. The key is to know when to make a subtle offer, and when to offer a bit more hand holding.

When you hear the word “copywriting” do you immediately think of long sales pages, squeeze pages, and unwanted bulk mail?
You’re not alone in that thinking, but the fact is, copywriting is more than just sales messages. In fact, as an online business owner, most of the content you produce could be called copywriting at least in some sense. After all, if you’re creating content with the ultimate goal of selling something, that is by definition copywriting.

Facebook

Sure we all like to hang out on Facebook and chat with friends, catch up on the latest funny videos, and enjoy a mindless “quiz” or two. But for coaches, Facebook is much more than that. It’s a place to connect with potential clients, and that means that when you’re sharing your latest blog post or program with your business friends, you have to keep good copywriting in mind.

LinkedIn Profile

What makes you stand out from the other coaches in your niche? Your LinkedIn profile is where you share what makes you the best person to solve your ideal client’s problems. It’s where you shout about your credentials and let your ego run the show. Think of your LinkedIn profile like a resume, and be sure to list your most impressive credentials.

About Page

Here’s your chance to have some fun while blowing your own horn. It’s important to know that the about page is often the most visited page on a website, so it’s a critical piece of your overall brand and message. The purpose of your about page is to entice people to want to learn more about your services, so be sure to include a call to action on the page.

Blog Posts

All blog posts have a job to do. Maybe they’re meant to lead your reader to a sales page. Perhaps you’re asking for readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Maybe your blog post is designed to start a conversation. Or maybe it’s just sharing great content and inviting readers to learn more by clicking on related posts. Whatever the job, it’s copywriting that entices your reader to take that next action.

Twitter

One hundred and forty characters is precious little space for creating compelling content, yet that’s exactly what you must-do if you hope to use Twitter as part of your overall marketing strategy. Think of tweets like email subject lines, and craft them to convey as much information as possible while still enticing readers to take action.

Email

Whether you’re sending an email about a new product or service or simply letting readers know you have a new blog post up, your email definitely qualifies as copywriting. In fact, even the personal emails you send to prospective clients contain what we would call copywriting.

Ads

Even if your ad is only one sentence long, it needs to be a sentence that influencers the reader to take the next step and click on it. No point shelling out big bucks for impressions.

The fact is, copywriting is everywhere in your business, from your sales pages to your invoices. Whenever you ask a reader to take some action, you’re writing copy, and the more comfortable with the idea of it, the better (and more natural) you’ll become.

If you’ve ever looked at another entrepreneur and wondered how she manages to get it all done, the answer might surprise you.
She’s got good systems.
It’s true. The most productive people all have one thing in common: they don’t reinvent the wheel every day. Instead, they’ve figured out the best, most efficient way to do every task, and they create a system to do just that.

No matter what business you’re in and what projects you find yourself tackling, a systemized approach will help you:
• Work faster and produce more
• Produce higher quality results with fewer mistakes
• Easily outsource the tasks you don’t like to do

The Magic of Templates

How many times do you answer email from potential clients? What about responding to customer complaints? Or mailing your JV partners about an upcoming launch?
All of these tasks and more become effortless when you create fill-in-the-blank templates that can be repurposed for specific cases/people. Templates can be as simple as a “canned response” in your email client or help desk, or you can use software such as Text Expander (for Mac) or Phrase Express (for Windows). You might even create a template document in Dropbox or Google Drive to house all your templates for easier access.
While templates will undoubtedly save you time, the real beauty is that once they’re created, you can easily outsource things like email and even sales. Simply instruct your assistant on the proper use of your templates, and you’ll be free to do other, more important things.

Checklists Prevent Mistakes

It might seem counterintuitive, but when you perform the same tasks over and over again, it’s easy to miss a critical step. You might think you paid your affiliates this month—you might even remember doing it—only to look back and see it was never completed.
But when you implement checklists, it’s suddenly much more difficult to miss an important task.
You can easily create checklists for all your common tasks and projects using nothing more than a text document. If you’re managing a team, checklists in your project management system allow you to see exactly what tasks are complete, and which are still outstanding.

Templates and checklists turn smart business owners into productivity superstars, and it’s easy to get started. The next time you answer an email you’ve answered before, save your response. The next time you set up a new product in your shopping cart or create a new opt-in page, take the time to record the steps. These documents will make future projects easier and faster to complete, and best of all, you can hand them off to your assistant to do instead.

As any smart business owner knows, the key to passive income is a well-established (and full) funnel.
So of course you’ve optimized your opt-in pages and monetized your download pages and encourage more buyers through well-placed upsells and downsells.
But what about the follow-up? Do you contact customers about the products or services they didn’t buy? Do you encourage them to use the products they have purchased? Are you making sure they know about all your other wonderful programs?
If not, you’re missing the boat. But the good news is, this can be easily managed with just a bit of simple automation, and when done right, it will smoothly lead your customers from one purchase to the next, at the exact right time for them to take advantage of your best offers.
Segment Your Audience
Many autoresponder services allow you to target emails based on reader action. Want to sent a follow up email to those who clicked a specific link? Create a segment and mail away. Want to re-engage with those who haven’t opened your emails in a while? Easy to do, and you can potentially recover subscribers who have gone missing.
In more sophisticated systems, such as Infusionsoft or Ontraport, you can dig even deeper, and move people from one series to another based on their buying habits. That way you’ll never promote a product a reader already owns. Not only that, but you’ll always be able to offer the very best next thing, no matter where a subscriber is in your funnel.
Still another way to segment your list is according to what they do not buy. If a subscriber has been on a list where you’re promoting your top-level coaching program, and she has not yet purchased, it may simply be too expensive for her at this time. Consider moving these readers to an autoresponder series promoting a lower cost option instead.
All of these tactics require that you know your audience and your products exceptionally well. Study your stats. Know your open and click rates. Pay attention to the promotions that work, as well as those that fall flat. With information in hand, you’ll be better able to effectively segment your lists and make the most of all the parts of your funnel.

JV partners and affiliates are a huge asset for any coach or product seller. They’re the ones who are out there singing your praises, spreading the word about your services, and helping you reach a larger audience than you could on your own. Not only that, but they generously lend their good name and reputation to your business, so it makes sense that you want to treat them as well as possible.
But there are some mistakes that product sellers make over and over again that will frustrate and even turn your potential affiliates away. Here’s how to fix them.
No Promotional Calendar
Busy entrepreneurs are obsessive planners. They know they need to produce content, mail their lists, create products, speak at events, and all the other marketing tasks that go with owning a business. They very likely maintain a calendar that helps them stay focused and on track. If you want them to promote you, it’s a good idea to publish your own promotional calendar so they know what’s coming up.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, and it doesn’t have to stretch for weeks or months ahead, but it should give them a bit of notice about upcoming launches so they can work your products into their schedule.
Launching Without Them
Got a big product launch coming up? Excellent! But don’t even think about launching without your affiliates on board. Your lists most likely have some overlap, and promoting to your list before you allow affiliates to mail will result in lost sales for them—and angry JVs who won’t be anxious to promote you again.
Stealing Their Sales
This should go without saying, but if you’re considering creating your own affiliate link for your products, stop. Mailing your list or posting on Facebook with your own affiliate link will—in most systems—result in your promotions overriding those of your affiliates. In short, you’ll be stealing their sales, and no JV partner will want to promote you after that.
If you need a tracking link, there are far better ways to go about it than to create an affiliate link in your own system.
Slow Pay
No excuse is ever good enough for failing to pay your affiliates on time. If you promise to pay monthly, then you must make that a priority. It’s never okay to “borrow” from your affiliate payments to cover an unexpected bill or take advantage of an opportunity. To do so is bad form, bad karma, and will give you a reputation for unreliability.
Your JV partners and affiliates are some of your most precious assets. Treat them as such, and they will return the favor with increased sales, more leads, and plenty of social love.