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How to Kick-Start Your Email List in Easy 4 Steps

by Daniel Scocco

Most bloggers and webmasters know that an email list is one of the most profitable online assets they can have, yet few actually build one. I wonder why that happens, as getting an email list going is not that hard. In this post I’ll give you 4 steps to kick-start your own email list.

1. Get an email marketing provider

While there are solutions and software around you can use to power your own email marketing server I wouldn’t recommend it. A key aspect of having an email list is making sure people will receive your emails, and specialized companies are much better equipped to do that.
Sure, you’ll need to spend some money, but what is $30 or so monthly compared to the money you could make by selling your products, services or affiliate products to your list?
If you don’t have an email marketing provider check out GetResponse.com. It is one of the leading email marketing providers, and they are now offering a 30-day free trial. The cool thing is that you don’t need to put a credit card, so there are no strings attached whatsoever.
GetResponse also integrates with over 20 CRM and email management systems, so you can import and existing contacts and get your list populated right away.
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10 Smartest Things You Can Do to Promote Your New Blog

This is a guest post by Christian Russell from Next Level Blogger.

The beginning phase of a new blog is the most fun, isn’t it? You’ve come up with a great idea. You’ve done your research, and you are confident that your new blog idea is going to rock. There’s a market, there are people spending money in that market, and you’ve found your niche. The possibilities are endless; the sky is the limit!
There is infinite appeal to the research phase of creating a new blog. Because as long as you’re laying the groundwork, as long as you’re researching and “finding your niche”, everything exists in a vacuum. But as soon as you launch this sucker, it’s going to get messy!
It’s like the old Chinese saying: “as long as you’re planning a journey, you own the journey. The minute you embark on that journey, the journey owns you.” Plan well, my friends! But don’t forget that in order to succeed, you have to get out there and work it! And that’s what this post is about.

The Importance of Doing it All

Some of us are great idea people. Some of us are great at executing. Some of us are great at design. Some of us are great writers, and some of us are more business-minded. If your ambition is to make your blog a success from a business perspective, it’s important to know that you’re going to have to wear all these hats at one time or another.
I say this because while I’m giving you a list of the 10 Smartest Things You Can Do to Promote Your New Blog, I know that most of you bloggers out there will do some of them…or most of them. But most of you will not do all of them. Reason being, you will find some of them fun and others plain drudgery. Still, I encourage you to do them all. Success comes out of hiding when you’re willing to do the things that others are NOT willing to do. The extra work is always what makes the difference!

Where Your Success has Been Hiding

We can complain about how success has eluded us, but of course complaining accomplishes nothing. It is simply a matter of digging it up, but to do so we simply have to be willing to roll our sleeves up and get our hands dirty. Basically what I’m saying is that if you want to make a lot of money from your blog, you’re going to have to work hard at it!
After 3 years of internet marketing full time and 9 years of sales experience and training over a thousand people to go out and increase their income, I can tell you one thing for sure. If you do the work, the results will come. I promise you! They may not come as quickly as you want, and there will be bumps in the road, and these are the reasons most of us fail. Not because we do not have what it takes. We just quit too soon, and it really is a shame.

Getting Started on the Right Foot

Here’s the deal: start off with an idea of what you want to achieve. Don’t go into your blogging endeavor blind, hoping to be “successful”. Because what the heck does that mean? Perhaps you want to simply share your ideas with the world. Perhaps you want 100k unique visitors every month to feel you’ve accomplished that. Perhaps you prefer to concentrate on income, and your main concern is making $100k next year. OK. This is doable. The point is to be specific.
I want to tell you with as much conviction as I can muster, that you CAN and WILL achieve your blogging goals if you’re willing to do the work to make them happen! Success in this or any field is not a mystical process. It is a predictable and manageable thing that happens as a result of doing what needs to be done over a period of time.
I cannot tell you you’ll make a million dollars within 18 months or give you any specific time frames. It doesn’t work like that. What I can tell you unequivocally, without a doubt, is that if you do the work that needs to be done on a daily basis over time, you will be amazed and delighted with your success, and you will see how un-magical it is. Perhaps money doesn’t grow on trees, but it IS out there for the picking.
I’m so excited about the opportunities that blogging presents us as business owners, and I hope that you follow this list and let me know how it goes!
  1. Write a daily action plan: Every promotion plan requires daily action. Now, the size of your goals and how quickly you want to achieve them will weigh heavily on what daily activities you want to write into your plan. But it’s very important to have this written up and have it be something you commit to doing daily. Daily action is key. And your daily action plan has to contain tasks that produce results that will grow your business. Checking your Adsense revenues and reviewing your analytics, for example, while important, do not count. These are administrative tasks that do not directly produce growth. The point of your daily action plan is to write up a specific plan to perform specific actions every day…actions that will bring visitors to your site and grow your business. For example, I make 100 personal contacts daily and write 3 pages of content. I do this every day. Simple. Sometimes very difficult, and I sometimes fail. But it is the gauge I use to measure success on a day-to-day basis. It gives you something to shoot for that you can achieve every day. It should be difficult but doable, and it should contain actions that cause your business to grow.
  2. Go 60 days without tweaking your site: After you get your first design complete, and your site is up, you will be constantly tempted to tweak it. And tweak it. And tweak it. Resist the urge. Make a commitment to launch your blog, and then do nothing but promote the crap out of it for 60 days. Don’t get me wrong. Design is important. But constantly tweaking your site is a distraction. At the beginning you have no community. You’re maybe getting 10, 20, 30 visitors a day. Get out there, network and talk to people. Brand yourself. These things are infinitely more important than making sure your logo looks just right. The ultimate design will come. It will happen, trust me! But if you’ve failed to build your readership, no one is going to care. Likewise, I can point out a lot of very popular blogs with designs that have much to be desired. Do you want to look hot, or do you want to BE hot? I think you see where I’m going with this!
  3. Refuse to place ads: Here’s the thing. Advertising revenue is cool. But when you’re first launching your blog, you have a lot of work to do. Tweaking out different ad modules and trying to optimize your ads for a blog that is going to be making you $10 a month at best is a waste of your time. We’re talking about creating a winning business blog, no? So just skip the advertising business for now. Yes, you can make a few bucks, but the most valuable asset you have right now is your time. Don’t waste it on something that is only going to make you a few bucks. Instead, focus on building a real business and attracting a lot of people. Then, put up ads later if you want; when you’ll actually be able to make enough to make it worth your while!
  4. Pillar content: The concept of pillar content is something I learned from David Risley. When you launch your blog, have an inventory of 20-30 killer article ideas ready to go. Fill your blog up with great content that truly drives home the focus of your blog, attracts targeted visitors and shows your true expertise. You’re laying down the foundation of your business here. Take some real time creating your pillar content. It will attract readers for a long time to come, and it will show your new readers what you’re all about. Put your best foot forward!
  5. Schmooze: In other words, networking is a key business activity. Always has been, always will be. Internet business is a people business, believe it or not. Find the top 20-30 blogs in your space, and get acquainted with them. Read them. Get to know the authors of those blogs. Build relationships with them. Yeah, it takes time. Yeah, it takes persistence. It’s also very much worth it. One word of caution: I’m not talking about just blasting these people with spam, asking them to help you out. I’m saying get to know them a bit. You can learn a lot by hanging with people who are already successful in your field.
  6. Link building: Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans over at SEOBook wrote a fantastic article about how to build links. I recommend reading their article several times and implementing these link building tactics into your daily routine. The art and science of link building of course is beyond the scope of this post, but link building HAS to be mentioned, because it’s a fundamental activity for anyone who hopes to build a successful business blog.
  7. Blog and forum commenting: Anyone familiar with blogs is familiar with the activity of leaving comments on blogs. This is an essential activity for anyone building a presence online. Blogs and forums offer you a tremendous opportunity to become part of the conversation. Don’t wreck it by being over-promotional, leaving keywords instead of your actual name or any other spam-type activities. Just use your real name, leave insightful and helpful comments and genuinely participate.
  8. Respond to your readers: I’m consistently surprised by how many internet business owners do not respond to messages or personally respond to comments. If it’s not your priority, OK. I just don’t know why it wouldn’t be. There’s a lot to be said about following the basics. In other words, check your email! And be responsive and appreciative to your audience. Every minute you spend interacting on a personal level with your readers is well-spent.
  9. Immediately begin building an email list: From day one, make sure you have an opt-in box and encourage your visitors to sign up for an email list. There is an argument for waiting until you have more traffic, but I say that an email list of 10 people is way more exciting than you might realize. Think about how cool this is…people are finding value in what you do! Seriously, open the door to communication by email right out of the gate. Don’t wait. The sooner you begin conversing with people this way, the sooner you’ll see that it’s a great way to maintain a dialog with your readers. You will get comments, criticism and helpful insights that you wouldn’t otherwise get. Email is old school I suppose, but it’s here to stay, and it’s still the way most users prefer to subscribe.
  10. Use the Power of 100 Rule: Coming originally from direct sales, I learned a rule from other top performers that has always served me well. I’ve gotten away from it over the last couple years, but I’ve recently gotten back into the habit of practicing this rule, and it works like a charm. It’s very simple. Make 100 personal contacts a day. Sending a personal email (not bulk email), responding to a message, a phone call, leaving a thoughtful blog comment, etc. Personal contacts…100 of them…every day. It often forces you to not watch TV, because you still have 35 more contacts to make before you go to bed. It’s a mechanism that gets your priorities straightened out without you even having to think about it. Practiced over time, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much business comes your way as a result of practicing the Power of 100. Bottom line: be social. The internet business really is a people business.
Bonus: Invest in your business. If you want big results, you need to take big action. One of the biggest things I’ve done that has expanded my network and enabled me to truly get my business off the ground is something that many internet marketers and bloggers do not consider. Travel. Conferences. Meeting people in person. Getting to know people and shaking hands with other successful business owners is a very valuable activity.
One trip I took to New York led to several relationships I still have today as well as an exciting affiliate program I’m still running today, three years later. Yes, the trip cost some money, and I came back with an immense hangover, but it has paid for itself many times over and continues to do so.
I do not recall a single networking trip I’ve taken that has not ultimately paid for itself many times over by bringing more business my way. It is this type of investment and commitment to your business that will make it “real” for you. I included it as a bonus, because I honestly feel it may be the most powerful of all. Internet business is real business! It’s not this nebulous process, involving “traffic” and “clicks”. These are peopleyou’re working with and people you’re selling to. In many fundamental respects, business has not changed all that much.
These business basics will serve you well. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that business is simple, and the simple stuff works!
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30 Tips for Marketing Your Blog

With so many blogs being created every day, it’s a mystery to many bloggers how to make their blog stand out. There are many types of blogs or purposes for blogs and a certain number of tactics are applicable to just about all of them.Some companies choose to hire a blog consultant, but others like to try things internally. For those “DIY” companies and individuals interested in practical tips for marketing and optimizing a business blog, try out the following list of blog marketing and optimization tips:
  1. Decide on a stand alone domain name www.myblog.com or directory of existing site www.mysite.com/blog. Sub domain is also an option blog.mysite.com. Avoid hosted services that do not allow you to use your own domain name!
  2. Obtain and install customizable blog software – WordPress and Moveable Type are my favorites.
  3. Customize blog look and feel templates – aka design.
  4. Research keywords and develop a glossary – Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, SitePoint, SEOBook Keyword Research.
  5. Optimize the blog:
    • Template optimization – RSS subscription options, social bookmark links, HTML code, Unique title tags, URLs, Sitemap
    • Add helper plugins specific to WordPress or MT
    • Create keyword rich categories (reference your keyword glossary)
  6. Enable automatic trackback and ping functionality.
  7. Create Feedburner Pro account and enable feed tracking.
  8. Setup a Google account for Sitemap, validate and prep for future submission.
  9. Identify authoritative blogs, web sites and hubs for outbound resource links and blogroll.
  10. Format archived posts, related posts.
  11. Enable statistics for tracking – Google Analytics, ClickTracks.
  12. Submit RSS feed and Blog URL to prominent RSS and Blog directories / search engines.
  13. Engage in an ongoing link building campaign.
  14. If podcast or video content are available, submit to Podcast and Vlog directories.
  15. Submit blog url to paid directories with categories for blogs – Yahoo, BOTW, bCentral, WOW, JoeAnt.
  16. Optimize and distribute a press release announcing blog.
  17. Request feedback or reviews of your blog in relevant forums, discussion threads. If you have a resourceful post that will help others, point to it.
  18. Research and comment on relevant industry related blogs and blogs with significant centers of influence.
  19. Post regularly. If it’s a news oriented blog, 3-5 times per day. If it’s an authoritative blog, 3-5 times per week, but each post must be unique and high value.
  20. Monitor inbound links, traffic, comments and mentions of your blog – Google Alerts, Technorati, Blogpulse, Yahoo News, Ask Blogs and Feeds.
  21. Always respond to comments on your blog and when you detect a mention of your blog on another blog, thank that blogger in the comments of the post.
  22. Make contact with related bloggers on AND offline if possible.
  23. When making blog posts always cite the source with a link and don’t be afraid to mention popular bloggers by name. Use keywords in the blog post title, in the body of the post and use anchor text when you link to previous posts you’ve made.
  24. Use social networking services, forums and discussion threads to connect with other bloggers. If they like your stuff, they will link to you.
  25. Remember when web sites were a new concept and the sage advice to print your web address everywhere you print your phone number? The same advice applies for your blog.
  26. If your blog’s goal is to promote you as an authority, interview other prominent bloggers in your industry. Your own credibility will improve by association.
  27. Build out your online networks through services such as MyBlogLog, Twitter and Facebook and leverage them to promote particularly useful content on your blog.
  28. Once your blog has 1000 or more subscribers, show your Feedburner badge
  29. Host images with Flickr making sure to include an anchor text link in the image description back to the post where the image is used.
  30. Use your blog to gain press/media credentials at relevant industry conferences and use the event to create content, connections and increase your knowledge.
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10 Techniques for Finding Blog Readers

This post has been submitted by Yaro Starak from two of my daily reads – Entrepreneur’s Journey and Small Business Branding. He’s also working on a new site at Blog Traffic King. I’ve asked Yaro to write an introduction to finding readers for a blog – something which I’ll write more on also in the days ahead.
In every bloggers life comes a special day – the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else’s blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader – you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best mate about your new blog but that’s about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.
Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.
It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called “traction”, which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.
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How To Grow Your Readership When You Have A Niche Blog

Niche Blogging Made Easy

We’re all used to seeing post after post on how to grow your blogs readership. And while all these points are well and good if you blog about marketing, SEO, or design; are they really relevant to the niche bloggers amongst us?

A quick Google search will show you that there is a blog for pretty much everything. Whatever your weird, wonderful, or downright bizarre hobbies, there’s someone out there blogging about it. And these highly niche blogs all have a readership. So why are you finding it so difficult?

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21 Ways to Get More Subscribers to Your Blog

by Bamidele

21 ways to increase blog subscribersOne of the major mistakes I made when starting out as a new blogger was not focusing my efforts on getting blog subscribers, most newbies still make this mistake and when they are ready to increase their subscribers they don’t know how to do it.
Your subscribers are your most important asset and even if you lose your blog you will still be able to get to them. Getting blog subscribers can be a challenge, especially if you are a new blogger, and this post gives 21 tips on how to get more subscribers to your blog.
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The Real, #1, Most Obvious Reason No One’s Reading Your Blog

I’ve come across possibly hundreds of articles from prominent sites around the web that tackle the 10, 15, or 101 reasons your blog isn’t getting the traffic it deserves. But the interesting thing is that none of the ones I’ve found mention the real reason, the core reason, as to why no one is reading your blog.
This isn’t a stretch, in fact, we all know it. It’s not even something that we’re oblivious to. In fact, it’s obvious but we tend to forget it often.
The simple reason is entitlement. Let me explain.


Your mom is the only one reading your posts

That’s great. I’m glad she thinks you’re awesome. I mean, my mom reads mine and she thinks I’m awesome. At least, I think so. But that’s a problem.
It would be perfectly okay with me if it were her plus, say, 400 other people every day. But that’s not the case. So how do we fix it?
It’s a mindset thing.
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