Wanting to start your own internet business is a smart move for a lot of reasons. But the biggest mental hurdle most of you face right now is figuring out what the best online businesses to start are. Maybe you’ve heard about affiliate marketing, but somebody mentioned Shopify during lunch. Plus…you’ve always wanted to write a book, and you’ve read stories about indie authors earning millions.
I'll give you an example. For Single Grain, my digital marketing agency, we have a 1.26% click-through rate on the homepage. The homepage is fairly general and we wanted to figure out how we could drive a higher click-through rate, thereby driving more traffic for the website. We decided to write the headline and the meta description for it – and wound up increasing that 1.26% CTR to 1.76% and, ultimately, driving more traffic (and thus leads, and thus revenue) to the homepage.
The internet changes so fast that one year online equals about five years in the real world. But the principles of how to start and grow a successful online business haven't changed at all. If you're just starting a small business online, stick to this sequence. If you've been online awhile, do a quick review and see if there's a step you're neglecting, or never got around to doing in the first place. You can't go wrong with the basics.
In the world of lead nurturing, the tools and techniques used are constantly involving. While some aspects of nurturing remain the same, like using email to nurture contacts down your funnel, for example, the content and positioning you use is ever-changing. It would be easy for us to introduce a set of standard workflow and automation tools (like HubSpot's, for example) you can use to nurture your contacts down the funnel. But if you're looking for something a little more innovative for actually creating nurturing content, we have a new tool for you to try.
I know what you're thinking. How do you start a webinar business? Well, webinars are quite possibly one of the best ways that you can sell anything online. The best part? You don't even need your own product. Webinar guru, Jason Fladlien, co-founder of Rapid Crush, has grossed well north of $100 million in sales via webinars, which goes to show you the sheer power of this medium for selling.
The proxy for content marketing in the following charts is "Attract", since content marketing is the top-of-the-funnel activity that attracts people to your business. "Convert" and "Close" refer to middle-of-the-funnel and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activities, like email marketing, nurturing, sales enablement, marketing ops, conversion rate optimization, etc.
Your social media manager should also invest in growing your presence on social networks so that the content you share reaches an ever-growing audience. Consider the amplification of a piece of content shared on a Facebook page with 100,000 fans, versus 1,000 fans. The fans' networks work to help your content spread -- so the larger their networks, the better your content's distribution.
SEMRush is very similar to Ahrefs in terms of finding the top rated pages and finding those keyword rankings or finding what a site ranks for. But the icing on the cake is that it can see the search words that a specific website is running – search ads, display ads and it's also starting to show video ads as well. So when you combine SEMRush with Ahrefs, you can kind of cross reference the data because both of them have benefits that the other one might not have.
If that approach doesn’t interest you then head over to Google Trends and look for a trending topic. Ideally this will be something you find interesting, but that’s not an absolute requirement here. Then create a piece of content on that same topic, sign up for a free WordPress account and post it there. Voila – you now have one “clip” for your writing portfolio.
Traditionally, marketers have had to “rent attention” from other people’s media through display ads on websites, booths at trade shows, or emails sent to third-party lists. For example, when a brand pays out millions of dollars for a Super Bowl ad, they are renting the attention that the TV networks have built. Content marketing, on the other hand, allows marketers to become publishers by building their own audiences and attracting their own attention. By creating and distributing content that buyers find useful, marketers increase their brand awareness and preference by establishing a relationship of trust with consumers as they move through the sales funnel. Additionally, content marketing is considered a less costly strategy than some others. It can have a bit of a slower start while your content library grows and reaches a larger audience.
One last thing I want to add about Google Search Console. I have my team log in, go to the search analysis section, and they tick mark the box that says “impressions,” they tick mark the one that says “clicks” and they tick mark the one that says “positioning.”(This is Google allowing you to see your data in many different ways.) And what they're looking for is the biggest disparity: the keywords that get a shitload of impressions, very few clicks and aren't ranking high enough. High enough means below the number five. Of course you want to go after keywords that are also above the ranking of 20 or 30.
Videos. Gary Vaynerchuk is a master of content marketing using online video, just take a look at his YouTube channel. He got his start creating videos to promote his family’s wine store and through those videos and other online marketing he eventually grew it to a $45M empire. Videos and podcasts are a largely untapped form of content marketing because people think it’s expensive and hard. But with the falling cost of professional grade equipment creating high quality video and audio content is easier than ever. Amateur video content marketing has been used to sell blenders, launch new dental products, and market Hong Kong visa consulting services. What video could you throw together for your company that might change your fortunes overnight? It might be easier than you think.
How to Get It: You'll need to create a YouTube account and then shoot video either with your phone or a video camera, then upload it to your account. To enroll in the partner program, click on YouTube settings, check the circle next to "Allow Advertisements," then click on "View Additional Features." On the YouTube monetization page, opt in. Generally, you must earn a minimum before you get paid, and YouTube pays monthly — if you don't earn enough in one month, the balance rolls over.
When the marketing team starts to grow, who leads content marketing gets more interesting. With a team of three marketers, you can approach content marketing a couple ways. Either one person can own content marketing activities, while the other two own activities that align more with the middle- and bottom-of the funnel. Or, two people can own content marketing activities, while the third owns the rest.
How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search "surveys" on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment. There are many survey services out there that are fraudulent.
I don’t know why more people don’t talk about Google Scholar, but I love this tool for researching science-heavy articles and digging into emerging studies. It limits your search to articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Pair it with a Google Alert to get amazing research on your topics of interest delivered right to your inbox.
Content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.
Another one of my favorite tools was actually created by Neil and it's called Crazy Egg. Years ago, Neil used to have an agency. They worked with big companies like General Motors and a lot of Fortune 500s, like Viacom and HP. Neil would get them more traffic and then they would be like, “Neil, we're getting all these extra visitors, but none of them are converting. What's wrong? Is the traffic not relevant?”
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), it's been estimated that retail business will stay on par with a 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent growth rate. However, the NRF expects non-store sales to be anywhere from three to four times that rate of growth. However, even though brick-and-mortar sales still comprise the majority of consumer's spending, it's only expected to grow at roughly 2.8%. Clearly, what's driving much of our present ecommerce growth is the smartphone market.