Kikolani http://kikolani.com Blog Marketing Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:30:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 9 Productivity-Boosting Gmail Tools (That Are Actually Useful) http://kikolani.com/9-productivity-boosting-gmail-tools-actually-useful.html http://kikolani.com/9-productivity-boosting-gmail-tools-actually-useful.html#respond Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:00:42 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28829 Imagine you’re composing an email and you have to explain to someone what website to go to, what to click on, and what to look at before they can give you feedback. You also have to attach a file – but wait – the you get an error saying that the attachment exceeds the file […]

You're reading 9 Productivity-Boosting Gmail Tools (That Are Actually Useful), originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Imagine you’re composing an email and you have to explain to someone what website to go to, what to click on, and what to look at before they can give you feedback. You also have to attach a file – but wait – the you get an error saying that the attachment exceeds the file size limit.

Email takes up a lot of time and, to make it worse, there are a bunch of inefficiencies like the scenario above.

I’ve tried out dozens of email tools to save time but many of them took too much time to learn to be helpful. And while some were helpful, I didn’t use them that often.

But now I can say I’ve found my perfect toolkit (at least for now) that can make you more efficient in email. These tools help me send emails and documents quickly and even let me know exactly when to follow up on an email.

Here are 10 tools that will boost your email productivity.

Pocket

I’m subscribed to dozens of newsletters, but I’m not always in the mood to read 17+ articles in one sitting. So I use Pocket to save articles directly from my email.

first round review email

Take this email from First Round Review for instance. I’m interested in learning more, but I expect it to be a long article. I might be on the bus or taking a quick break from work and don’t have the time or mental energy to read and comprehend a full-length article so I’ll save it to my Pocket.

Now I can enjoy the article in my Pocket dashboard during the weekend.

I do this with almost all the newsletters I receive so I can empty out my inbox. This way important emails don’t get buried among the newsletters.

Which reminds me that I need to review what I’m subscribed to and use …

Unroll.me

Have you gotten emails that

  1. You don’t remember subscribing to or
  2. You don’t find interesting?

Me too. Plenty of them. So you have to scroll to the bottom of each email and click “Unsubscribe.”

Unroll.me gives you a birds-eye view of everything you’re subscribed to and gives you the option to easily unsubscribe from all of them.

unroll meThey also have a “Rollup” feature which puts batches all digests you would have received on a given day into one simple email. Instead of five email digests in one day, you’ll get one simple email. Inbox clutter problem fixed.

Skitch

I’ve often had to annotate images to show friends or teammates what I’m talking about without having to type out all my thoughts. In this case, using Skitch, a picture can replace a couple paragraphs.

For instance, this image I sent a friend the other day asking for feedback on my about page:

About___David_Ly_Khim

This saved my friend time from clicking on a link to my webpage, waiting for his browser to start, and waiting to see the slide-out form. All he had to say was “yep” or “nah” (the answer was yep).

Sidekick

Sidekick has two features that I use frequently: email scheduling and contact profiles.

Take for instance, I’m emailing my good friend in San Francisco. We live 3000 miles away from each other so we don’t get to talk as often. As I compose an email to him, I can see his Twitter updates and find out what he’s been up to. Now I can mention in the email that I want to ask him about those things the next time we talk.

This is useful if you’re networking and building new relationships. The social information makes it easy to have a point of reference whenever you touch base with someone.

david ly khim sidekick

The second feature shown in the image above is email tracking.

Most of the time, you send an email, and you never get a response. You don’t even know if the other person opened your email. Using email tracking, you’ll get notifications when someone opens your email and clicks any links you’ve included.

This lets you know that you can and should follow up with them. Email tracking allows us to be more effective in our email communications and has helped people close huge business deals.

Dropbox

Email clients generally have a maximum file size limit for attachments. Sometimes you need to send a monster file that’s 27mb (if it’s a PDF, you can use SmallPDF to compress it).

In these cases, you can avoid that file size limit using Dropbox. Even better, if the other person has Dropbox, they can save it to their Dropbox instead of downloading the file.

If you use Google Chrome and Gmail, you can download the Dropbox for Gmail plugin so you can attach Dropbox files while in Gmail.

Recordit

You see that GIF above? I made it using Recordit. You can also record video screencasts if you need to show someone how to do something.

If an image is worth a few paragraphs, a video is worth an essay.

Grammarly

If everyone used Grammarly, we’d have less grammar headaches. See the image below.

grammarly example

Grammarly catches small issues like the misuse of a commas and points out typos. We all make them – especially when we’re typing quickly to get through all our emails.

And it doesn’t hurt to learn a few new grammar rules.

Auto TextExpander

If you could type an entire paragraph with two keystrokes, would you?

I would.

If you find yourself using the same phrases over and over in email, I’d recommend using Auto TextExpander, a Chrome extension, to cut down on those valuable keystrokes.

The best part is you can customize your shorthands and add as many as you’d like. I have shorthands for my full name, my email, various types of “thank you” phrases.

Keyboard shortcuts

Gmail keyboard shortcuts have saved me hours over the course of a month. Instead of clicking around to archive or compose an email, it’s as simple as press “e” or “c” (respectively).

But Gmail keyboard shortcuts isn’t activated by default. You have to change some settings:

  1. Click the gear in the top-right corner of Gmail and select Settings.
  2. Under the “General” tab, find the “Keyboard shortcuts” section and select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  3. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
  4. Go back to Settings, click on the “Labs” tab, find “Custom keyboard shortcuts” and click Enable.
  5. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

While it isn’t alway easy to become more productive, these tools will quickly help you spend less time in email.

Which tool do you think will be most useful for you?

You're reading 9 Productivity-Boosting Gmail Tools (That Are Actually Useful), originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Why Blogging can be a Ridiculous Waste of Time http://kikolani.com/blogging-can-ridiculous-waste-time.html http://kikolani.com/blogging-can-ridiculous-waste-time.html#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 13:00:09 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28534 I often get asked, “Do you make money from blogging?” I always respond the same way, with a knowing smile and the line “Do have ten minutes to listen to my answer?” because, if truth be told, the answer to this question is not that simple. No one pays me for creating blog posts for […]

You're reading Why Blogging can be a Ridiculous Waste of Time, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Why Blogging can be a Ridiculous Waste of Time

I often get asked, “Do you make money from blogging?”

I always respond the same way, with a knowing smile and the line “Do have ten minutes to listen to my answer?” because, if truth be told, the answer to this question is not that simple.

No one pays me for creating blog posts for my own sites.

No one pays me for promoting them, either.

But, if I DIDN’T blog, no one would know who the heck I was.

They wouldn’t learn about my freelancing writing and editing services. Nor would they know I’m an independently published author who helps others become authors too.

Blogging is a way to get in front of the right people who are eager to read what you share.

~Adrienne Smith

Guest posting is another way of achieving is, too.

(A big thanks to Kristi for letting me be her guest today!)

Is Blogging A Complete Waste of Time?

Some people think blogging is a ridiculous waste of time.

The truth is: IT CAN BE.

Or, at least, it can feel that way… sometimes.

It’s no secret that there are many pros and cons to blogging. After we look a the benefits, we’ll look at some of the pitfalls.

Blogging Benefits

But blogging, if done properly, can be a wonderful way to:

  • get noticed by Google
  • add credibility to your brand or business
  • acquire more leads, clients, and/or sales
  • provide clips to others, if you’re a freelancer
  • increase your social media presence
  • network with others

Blogging Pitfalls

There are an equal amount of cons to blogging.

  • Blogging can be time-consuming.
  • Blogging requires a lot of promotion.
  • If no promotion is done, chances are your posts WON’T be read.
  • There is a small likelihood of going viral.
  • If your writing is not great or valuable, there is a small chance of impressing Google.
  • You might put forth a lot of effort for little or no return.

How to Become A Great Blogger: My Story

When I first started blogging, I did so on WordPress.com, which is a free platform open to everyone.

I called my blog Lorraine Reguly’s Life, because, at the time, I also thought that blogging was simply online journalling. Kind of old-school, I know.

After writing my fourth blog post EVER, something spectacular happened.

I got noticed by Google.

People began to read my posts, especially my fourth blog post. It kinda went viral. Seriously. It even ranked on the first page of Google Search.

VB toolbar post ranking proof

Why?

I provided a solution to a major problem people were having. Their computers were being infected with a toolbar that was malware, which was extremely annoying to deal with. I know this because it happened to me.

I shared the story of what happened to me and my laptop, and ultimately where I found the solution for removing it.

When people began searching for answers, Google sent them to my post.

Suddenly, my blog was on the map.

Blogging Evolution

Over time, my blog evolved. As a blogger, I evolved, too.

In my quest to be a better blogger, I started reading top blogs and taking the advices of pro bloggers. I learned about SEO. I learned about blog promotion. I learned “insider” secrets, tips, and tricks. In fact, I learned so much that it felt like my brain was going to explode!

I also began to experiment with my writing.

I decided to try writing for the search engines, to see how close I could come to landing in the first slot of Google Search.

Amazingly, out the dozen posts I wrote, I was able to land on the first page for all of them, and even managed to land in the first slot of Search for my post on the Liebster Award (an award for newbie bloggers)!

Then I wrote a post about my suide attempt, which also hit the number one slot.

Google started sending more and more people my way.

Because of this, I decided it was time to monetize my site.

This involved first making the move to WordPress.org.

The Birth of Wording Well

Eventually, my freelancing business was born.

Many factors were taken into consideration when I decided to move my site from a free-hosted site to a self-hosted one.

I also hired a designer to create my logo. I added the tagline myself.

Wording_Well_Logo_1

Then I installed AdSense on my website, which became yet another of my revenue streams. I had already been freelancing for a while.

(Read the complete tutorial for setting up AdSense HERE.)

I used the above image for about a year, until I decided to revamp my site.

During this part of my blog’s evolution, I hired another designer to create a new image I could use, and install a new theme on my site.

Wording_Well_Logo_2

Earning Through Multiple Revenue Streams

In addition to providing writing and editing services (from which I earn the majority of my income), I also added two more services to my income streams during my revamp: coaching/consulting, and helping others become authors.

Plus, I became an affiliate for a few people as well as my web hosting company. (I wrote a humongous guide on which companies are the best.)

I have no qualms promoting Adrienne’s course for learning how to grow your blog community.

This image shows the software box image for the e-course called Build a Blog Community.
Kick-start your blog’s growth with super-cool e-course Build a Blog Community! (Learn more about this course right here.)

I also have no problem promoting Gina Horkey’s course 30 Days or Less to Freelance Writing Success. (If you take this course, at the end of it Gina offers you the chance to become an affiliate of hers, too. And she pays well: 40%!)

30 Days to Freelancing Success

How to Become A Great Blogger: Some Tips

In addition to the five ways for how to develop yourself as a blogger, you should also do everything on the following list if you want to become a blogging superstar:

  • Study SEO.
  • Research your posts.
  • Write well, or hire someone to write for you.
  • Edit your posts, or hire someone to edit for you.
  • Promote your posts after they’re published.
  • Write and publish on a regular basis.
  • Network with others.
  • Offer value.
  • Tell a personal story that will make you memorable.
  • Use the tips and tricks the “big” bloggers use.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Don’t give up.

Blog Your Way To Success

No one ever said blogging is easy. Making money while blogging can be difficult, too. In fact, some people think that it’s a complete waste of time, like Andrew Warner, who wrote Exactly Why Trying To Make Money Blogging Is The Biggest Waste Of Time.

However, if your writing is good (or even great!) and you promote your posts, others WILL read them. Google might even decide you’re worthy of a fine ranking.

And you won’t think your time has been wasted.

YOUR TURN:

Do you think blogging is a ridiculous waste of time? Why or why not?

Share in the comments, please!

You're reading Why Blogging can be a Ridiculous Waste of Time, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Writing for Effect: How to Create Exciting Blog Copy http://kikolani.com/writing-for-effect-how-to-create-exciting-blog-copy.html http://kikolani.com/writing-for-effect-how-to-create-exciting-blog-copy.html#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:38:05 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28900 At the heart of every great website you will find great content. An awesome design is convenient, but without awesome content to back it up, you won’t get the results that justify whatever you’re spending to host the site. Sometimes people get a little confused about what the word “content” actually means, so just to […]

You're reading Writing for Effect: How to Create Exciting Blog Copy, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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exciting blog copy

At the heart of every great website you will find great content. An awesome design is convenient, but without awesome content to back it up, you won’t get the results that justify whatever you’re spending to host the site.

Sometimes people get a little confused about what the word “content” actually means, so just to help out those folks, here is a quick definition. Content can be:

  • Text
  • Images
  • Graphics
  • Animations
  • Videos
  • Games

There is a reason why all those stupid web sites that offer nothing but funny pictures of cats are so successful. It is that some people actually like looking at pictures of funny cats. I don’t know why, but they do.

Anyway, the point is that the secret to creating successful content is simply to give people what they like! See, it really wasn’t that hard to work out, was it?

Now, dealing with all the issues surrounding images, graphics, animations, videos, and games is somewhat beyond the scope of this article. However, whatever the type of content, the measuring stick is exactly the same, which is that it must be something that people like or, in some cases, things they don’t like!

Yes, content that is shocking and bad can still pull a crowd. Making a career out of shocking and bad content is not easy, however, and it’s probably not good for your reputation either.

What I will cover in this article is how to make better text content (which, in the industry, we refer to as “copy”, though ironically it should never be copied). Good copy follows the same rules and it needs to provide something people like.

Ultimately speaking, your great copy should also be supported with great images or even video. Just remember that the text part should never be overlooked, because this plays a huge role in how people find your content. Search engines generally index pages based on text, even if it is just the “alt” text attached to an image.

What follows is a guide to writing killer copy that will draw traffic and get you noticed.

Eliminate Distractions

Turn off your phone. Close down your email. Close all those unnecessary browser tabs (yes, even Facebook… actually, especially Facebook).

You won’t write your best copy if you have distractions, or at least you won’t be able to write it in a timely manner. The funny cat pictures can wait until you’re done.

Get Comfortable

This is something you should not overlook. When you’re not comfortable, that’s a distraction, and we’re supposed to eliminate distractions.

That means making sure you have a comfortable place to work, appropriate lighting for your needs, and snacks and drinks close by so you don’t have to get up to go and get those. Writing takes a lot of brainpower, and brains burn a surprising amount of energy.

Know Your Audience

These guys are what it’s all about! Without an audience, you don’t have a show. Now, the reason why it is important to know them is because when you know them, then you know what they want. And you’re supposed to give them what they want, remember?

What does that mean? Well, if you are writing a scientific or technical report, you’ll want to stick to a more formal tone and avoid the temptation to inject your personality into the copy. For most types of text content, however, you’ll need to do exactly the opposite. Write to your readers like you’re sitting together and having a conversation, and base your content on the premise that they’ll read every word that you write.

Humor, if you know how to be funny and when, can be very useful. Whether you are writing about HR outsourcing by CIPHR or the latest line in noir doormats is irrelevant, there’s humor almost everywhere and humor can make a blog post sing.

Having said that, you do need to be sensible about using humor when writing, and this is something that a lot of people forget. For example, if you’re writing about a terrorist attack, it’s probably not a great idea to crack jokes. The same goes if you’re writing about really sensitive issues, unless somehow that humor will help reinforce a positive message.

Know Your Topic

If you don’t know what you’re talking about, the audience will pick up on that really quickly. That can really harm your success. There’s really no excuse, either, since the Internet is – once you get past all the pictures of funny cats – is the biggest information resource in the universe.

If you don’t know the first thing about blue-footed booby birds, then it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to find all the information you could ever possibly want to know about them, such as for example that they have blue feet.

It’s even better if you can write about topics you already are passionate about and have knowledge of. But in any case, the information is out there and you just need to spend a bit of time researching.

Whatever you do, don’t copy! Nothing will harm your success more than blatant unattributed copying. You’re a writer, not a Xerox machine!

Use Narrative Style if You Can

Not every topic is suitable for a narrative or first-person perspective, but it is always the best way when you can use it. Readers are far more interested in knowing your experience of traveling in the Amazon rain forest than simply a list of facts about the place, no matter what Wikipedia tells you.

When you make a story personal, you help the audience to connect with the topic and you lend some credibility to whatever tale you’re telling.

When it’s not possible or desirable to use a first-person perspective, you can still use a narrative in the third person. For example, if you are writing about somebody getting unjustly arrested, don’t just report that they got arrested, report how they got arrested.

Talk about how one moment John was walking down the street minding his own business, when all of a sudden he was shoved to the ground. Describe the pain and confusion as his face is pressed into the sidewalk, while a cop roughly cuffs his hands and makes inappropriate remarks.

That is the kind of thing that brings a story to life. Your audience wants to have a vicarious experience, not a play-by-play account by a disinterested observer.

Be Dramatic

Similar to the above, you need to write like you mean it. Don’t write passively unless you are writing something academic, and don’t write dry facts when you can add drama. So it is not:

Legislators decided that there will no longer be free school buses in Madison County. Many low income families could be disadvantaged by the changes, which were announced just two weeks before school resumes.

It should be more like:

Thousands of kids will have to start paying to go to school after a controversial decision by Madison County legislators. Parents are angry that they haven’t been given time to prepare for the changes.

Make it bite. Scare your audience. Shock them. Thrill them. Make them laugh. Never just report to them.

Make Your Headlines Scream

Every article will benefit from a headline that demands attention. Here’s an example of right and wrong:

New Fertilizer Plant to be Built in East Nashville

or

Big Stink on the Way! Get Out of East Nashville While You Still Can!

Which one are you more likely to read?

Go for an Original Angle

Always try to make your article as different from everyone else’s as you can. You want to stand out so that people will come back to read your content because you’re different. They get tired of reading the same regurgitated nonsense so add value to your content.

Use Appropriate Supporting Content

Nothing kills a good article faster than when people put photos and videos that distract from the article rather than supporting it. Your supporting content really does need to support what you have written, and it should also be the best quality you can manage. It is better to have no images than to use inappropriate ones.

Invite Participation

It doesn’t always work, but inviting people to discuss and comment can help to keep them engaged with the site. Just be aware that it can backfire sometimes, and be prepared for people to criticize what you have written.

On the other hand, comments help you to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t work, so you can give your audience more of what they want and less of what they don’t.

Don’t Agitate Over Detail

Perhaps the most annoying trend for writers is that many website owners and editors insist on perfect grammar, when in fact people don’t resonate well with perfect grammar. As writers, we know this. We know people want grit. The audience wants to feel like it’s a conversation, not a lecture. Yet still the demand is there for perfection.

Don’t use terrible grammar, of course. But it is acceptable to write things how you would say them, including starting a sentence with the word “but” (which in perfect grammar, you should never do).

Write in your own voice, not in the voice of a style manual, and you will make a better connection with your audience.

You're reading Writing for Effect: How to Create Exciting Blog Copy, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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How To Promote Your Content Through Social Ads Effectively http://kikolani.com/promote-content-social-ads-effectively.html http://kikolani.com/promote-content-social-ads-effectively.html#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:00:08 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28700 Nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to be “noticed” on Google. Your SEO efforts take ages to get you results. Even social organic traffic is not working so well anymore. No wonder a lot of folks are turning to paid social media advertising to boost their traffic. Paid social ads are no longer seen as […]

You're reading How To Promote Your Content Through Social Ads Effectively, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to be “noticed” on Google. Your SEO efforts take ages to get you results. Even social organic traffic is not working so well anymore.

No wonder a lot of folks are turning to paid social media advertising to boost their traffic. Paid social ads are no longer seen as something unnecessary or stupid. Things have really changed. Now, you have to pay to play or… forfeit the game.

Average Organic Reach On Facebook Pages

Average Organic Reach On Facebook Pages

But… «how do you promote your website or content using paid social ads the right way?» – you might ask.

That’s what I am going to show you on this post.

Follow these principles, apply them to any of the social advertising platforms you choose and you’ll be well on your way to get a flood of quality, targeted visitors and, hopefully, more leads, commissions and sales.

Here’s what you’ll learn from this post:

  1. What you should protect at all costs;
  2. Where you should be at all the times;
  3. Which are the main social advertising options;
  4. What you need before your campaign starts;
  5. What you need to run a successful ad campaign;
  6. What you should do while your campaign is running;
  7. What you need to do after your campaign ends.

1. Your Online Home Is Your Castle. Protect It At All Costs.

Your Online Home Is Your Castle

Your Online Home Is Your Castle

Your website or blog is the most important piece of the puzzle in online marketing. It’s your online home and you should treat it as such.

Stop putting all of your chips on your social networks. They aren’t really yours, they are just borrowed. You need to invest in creating great content on your website.

I’m not saying to stop your social activities. Keep them by all means. Try to get new followers as much as you can. But your main focus has to be your website. It is what you can control, improve and promote. (Not someone else’s website: like Facebook, Twitter or Google+.)

2. Be Where Your Customers Are

Be Where Your Customers Are

Be Where Your Customers Are

I told you your website comes first, but you also need to be everywhere.
It’s true that organic social traffic is decreasing as we speak, but it is always a good move to share your content on social networks.

The more places you have your content for your readers’ convenience the better.

That means to be present on all major social networks, but especially on the ones you’re planning to advertise on and where your prospects and customers usually are.

Besides that, and more importantly, you need to own a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn company page and a Pinterest business page in order for you to advertise on those social platforms.

Don’t forget: get your social presence ready for action.

3. Where To Advertise Socially

Social Media Advertising Platforms

Social Media Advertising Platforms

Almost all major social platforms have an advertising component.
You can launch your ad campaigns on:

Facebook: Using Facebook’s two advertising tools, Ads Manager or Facebook Power Editor (much more powerful). The targeting possibilities are almost limitless. Your ads need to be really catchy. Use short but click enticing titles with strong action words like “unexpected”, “amazing”, “surprising, “unbelievable”. You should promote posts that have already had lots of engagement and your own blog posts or articles.

Twitter: Use the “Promoted Tweets” option. Pick an already successful tweet, reach the right audience (you can set your targeting by geography, device, interests, etc) and only pay when someone follows your account, retweets, clicks, favorites or replies to your promoted tweet.

Pinterest: Here you have the “Promoted Pins” feature. Choose a successful pin you posted before, select your audience, see how well it is doing and measure the final results on the stats page.

LinkedIn: This is geared for a more business audience. You’re able to target by Job Function, Age, Gender, Geography, Seniority and Industry. LinkedIn suggests that you include special offers, free demos or trials and unique benefits because these kind of ads are the best-performing ones here.

StumbleUpon: “Paid Discovery” is the advertising model of this social network. Here you pay per visitor. Your site will be a part of StumbleUpon’s suggested sites to its users. You need to make sure you grab your visitors attention so it pays off.

Reddit: Your ad is really a “Sponsored Link” that will appear on Reddit’s front page or on chosen sub-reddits main pages. Make sure you follow what it takes to create a successful submission to Reddit, meaning a very compelling title because that’s all there is for your ad. If your ad gets comments, you should answer them to create a conversation and get curious users to see what is going on in there as well.

4. What You Need Beforehand

What You Need Beforehand

What You Need Beforehand

Before starting your ad campaign, you need something to promote.
As obvious as this may seem, not few people tend to forget this important step.

Whether your goal is to promote your site, a specific piece of content on your blog, affiliate products, your own products or your email list, you need to have something in place that will make your visitors stay (instead of leaving as fast as they came).

Your landing page does not represent the finish line to your campaign, It is just one more step to get there. Be sure to have something ready that is compelling and interesting.

If you’re promoting:

  • Your website/blog, present your visitors with a clear introduction to what the site is about.
  • A blog post, have an appellative title and description to keep your visitors reading.
  • An affiliate product / Your own product, be sure to have an awesome sales letter or sales video to convince your visitors.
  • Your list, explain what people will benefit from if they subscribe to it and bribe them with some awesome goodies :) .

In short…
You got your audience’s attention when they clicked your ad, so make the best use of it.

5. What You Must Keep In Mind When Setting Up Your Campaign

Target Audience

Target Audience

#1. Target Audience

When setting up your campaign the most important aspect to take into account is your targeted audience. It must be the more precise it can be and it ought to be closely related to what you’re promoting.

Use your social network ad tools — like Facebook Power Editor, for example — to narrow down into the set of people you want to reach.

Please note, it’s better to have a more focused group of individuals even if they are fewer in numbers than to be targeting a massive audience loosely connected to your topic.

#2. Target Your Audience On The Right Channels

Recall what I said about being where your customers are concerning free social traffic. That also applies to paid social traffic.

There’s no point in advertising on a social platform that your prospects don’t like or do not frequent.

Your campaigns should be set on the social hangouts your targeted audiences are.

#3. Your Ad

The importance of your ad(s) goes hand in hand with how well you target your audience.

It needs to be consistent with the page you are sending traffic to. People don’t like to be fooled. Be honest, be true.

Explain them what they will find if they click your ad in a convincing manner, but don’t tell them everything. (Remember: they know they’ll have leave the social network if they click the ad, so it be better for a very good reason.)

Tell people a story: social users aren’t that much attracted to stuff that looks too promotional.

#4. Use Compelling Graphics, Headlines And Description

You are trying to get people’s attention with your ad. They need something that will distract them from whatever they are doing on their favorite social networks.

It has to be something that turns their eyes, makes them read and take action. Use compelling graphics — with the right dimensions and with lots of quality –, a great headline and a good description.

These are the top priority factors for a successful ad (one that drives): attention, interest, desire and action.

#5. Bet On Posts That Performed Well

If you’re advertising on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, betting on posts that already proved to be successful is a very smart strategy.

If you got tons of social organic traffic with them, there’s a pretty good chance they will work as well with paid social ads. If they’ve gone viral then promoting them will prove to be a huge success as well.

If you decide to do so, I would advice against using the “Boost Post” feature on Facebook. Always use Facebook Power Editor or, at a bare minimum, Facebook Ads Manager to do your campaigns. Even if it is only a post you want to promote.

The amount of options are nowhere compared to what the “Boost Post” feature has to offer.

#6. Ad Spent

Always be careful when deciding how much you want to spend on your campaigns.

You don’t want to go overboard on this, but you also need to have enough budget available to compete against other players. (See how much does it cost to advertise on Facebook here.)

Essentially, you should calculate how much each click (visitor) is worth to you or your business.

If with 1,000 visitors you earn $10, your ad cost should allow you to have a good profit margin. Or else… it’s no use to be spending time and money on advertising. Unless you’re just trying and experimenting how all of this really works.

#7. Scheduling

Setting the right schedule is important too. You should take advantage of your preferred ad tool’s scheduling features to set start and end dates and to define at what times will your ad(s) be running.

If the largest part of audience usually is online at a set time of the day, that’s when your ad should be running.

#8. Ensure You Gain Free Traffic For Later

You should (ought to, really) take every opportunity you have to get your visitors back for free. That means collecting their email addresses (or getting them to follow you on the social networks) even if they don’t actually purchase anything from you.

That way you’ll be able to do your promotions through your email list for free.

6. Pay Close Attention While Your Campaign Is Running

Pay Close Attention While Your Campaign Is Running

Pay Close Attention While Your Campaign Is Running

This is one of my favorite parts of the campaign process: controlling how it is doing while it’s running. :)

It allows you to check and see if everything is going fine so you won’t have any bad surprises (going over budget, getting no conversions, etc).
You’re also able to fine tune it.

You can bet more on what it is working (for example, setting your ad to only show up to people located on regions where you already got conversions from) or you can stop what is not working (e.g., remove all mobile placements if that is getting no results for your campaign).

Essentiality, being there while your campaign is rolling gives you the opportunity to tweak around to make it better so you can get the best possible outcome from it.

7. Measuring Your Campaign Stats After It’s Finished

After your campaign is over you still have a lot of work to do.

Check your campaign reports to see what happened in more detail.
Try to figure what went wrong and what worked well.

What you learn here will prevent you from making the same mistakes and will give you a deeper understanding of what to better target in future campaigns.

Conclusion

When it comes to Social Advertising you have to understand how each of the social networks and its users work and behave. Being part of it is important to understand what people like and don’t like and what makes something successful and viral and what does not.

Your social presence is mandatory and you also need to focus in getting new followers and sharing your content socially so you can be where your customers or prospects are.

Your website or whatever you need to promote should be seen as your top priority. This is what you should be doing more carefully and spending more time developing and nurturing. Create great content on your website and build your campaigns around it.

Creating successful ad campaigns it’s all a matter of making wise decisions, selecting a very well targeted audience, offering great content or products to the ones who are going to want them, tweaking around so you can optimize them even better and measuring its results when it’s over so you can learn what worked and what did not.

As free organic search and social traffic is getting harder to get, I think it’s a great choice to bet on paid social ads while you wait for your SEO efforts to work.

Your Thoughts

I would really like to hear from you.

Have you tried paid social advertising before? How did it go? What’s your experience? Are you going to give it a chance?
Tell me all about it on the comment section below.

Do you need more information?
Ask me anything. I’ll be glad to help you out.
:)

Thank you so much for reading this through.
I hope it has helped you in any manner.

Your Promotion Friend,
Louie

You're reading How To Promote Your Content Through Social Ads Effectively, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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10 Facebook Hacks to Make Your Small Business Look Colossal http://kikolani.com/10-facebook-hacks-make-small-business-look-colossal.html http://kikolani.com/10-facebook-hacks-make-small-business-look-colossal.html#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 13:00:31 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28543 When a social networking site (read Facebook) has over 1.39 billion active users it’s wise to have a good brand establishment over there. Whether you are a blogger, artist or a small business, marketing on Facebook could surely get you tons of exposure and leads for your business. If you are a small business owner […]

You're reading 10 Facebook Hacks to Make Your Small Business Look Colossal, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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When a social networking site (read Facebook) has over 1.39 billion active users it’s wise to have a good brand establishment over there. Whether you are a blogger, artist or a small business, marketing on Facebook could surely get you tons of exposure and leads for your business.

If you are a small business owner and want increased exposure on Facebook, then read on. This post will walk you through ten Facebook marketing strategies that will multiply and maximize your business presence on the platform.

1. Get a fully optimized business page.

There is nothing worse than having your business page not optimized properly. If you are to create an impression, start from what you have in hands. Optimizing a business page shows how seriously you take your business and brand. On the other hand an un-optimized page would depict your careless nature and drive away prospects.

Make sure your about section is compelling and creating trust in the mind of your fan.

Setting up a full-fledged business page is no difficult task. Andrea Vahl has written a beginners’ guide to starting a business page.

2. Start attracting your potential fans.

In order to get your potential prospects you need to get into their radar. Get your Facebook page at every potential place your fans hangout at.

First, try to add a like button ion your website. This is the first place people related to your brand visit. If you are on WordPress, here are some of the best plugins to do that.

You could also act as your page (instead of your profile) and interact with pages similar to you. For that you have to click on the dropdown (or inverted triangle) at the extreme right of the top bar of your Facebook account. This gives you the option to use Facebook as your page (you can choose if you have many).

Now start liking pages related to your niche and interact with them. If you provide value both the page owners and their followers would notice you and start liking your page.  This is called follower hijacking.

 3. Don’t cross promote, please!

Okay, I know I have sparked a controversy on whether we should cross-promote our social accounts or not, but I have a compelling reason for what I say.

I personally don’t like cross promotion because it in a way disrespects your fans’ choices. If you have a follower on twitter, he is there because he loves to be there. Why on earth would you tell him to like your Facebook page when you know he would never hangout on Facebook.

Don’t miss follow Fridays.

Instead, you should focus on finding fans that are already in your sweet spot, i.e., Facebook. For this you can participate in follow Friday posts where everyone comments on a post and interested people like each other’s page.

One such post is this one:

Ready for FACEBOOK FRIDAY?! If you would like to meet some new peeps, get some new fans and build some…

Posted by Boom Social with Kim Garst on Friday, June 5, 2015

Participate in exchange shout-outs.

Here you have to update your fellow brand’s page and ask your followers to like it and in return they do the same with your page on their profile. This way your fans get a related brand to know more about and you get an increased audience base to showcase your page.

4. Use your cover photo as your branded billboard.

Facebook cover picture comes with a huge size of 851*315 pixels. Don’t leave this huge estate in vain. Instead, use it to showcase your upcoming event, a product launch and simply offer your lead magnet.

Colossal pages like Mari Smith’s and John Haydon’s use there cover image real estate to promote their upcoming events and courses respectively.

see-how-mari-smith-uses-her-coer-pic-to-promote-her-event

5. Offer free incentives to your Facebook subscribers.

Before proceeding let me clear out that, Facebook is very strict regarding its usage policies and could ban you if found guilty of bribing your likers.

Instead, you can use an email app to collect leads from Facebook and give them something in return. This way you get double benefits.

  1. Your page fans will get a chance to enjoy premium gifts without having to leave Facebook or visiting your website.
  2. You get an additional landing page opportunity to collect leads.

Here are some of the apps that allow you to set up a quick landing page that collects leads in return of a free incentive on Facebook.

Want inspiration? Check out Jon Loomer’s landing page where he gives away his guide on Facebook power editor in exchange for emails.

Below are some more tips that “work” on Facebook.

6. Change your posting style.

Posting on Facebook is all about experimentation. Despite of tons of guides on what to post, it’s you who should decide what and how to post. The reason being, every page is different and so are its audiences. If you want to know what works, try all that you think could work and the result will dawn on you.

Buffer for example, saw huge response when they used links instead of images. Images recently have seen a dip in performances. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Pages like Kim Garst’s have the whole strategy around beautiful and eye catching graphics and it works for them.

Similarly, using non-peak hours, i.e., just before and after work hours is said to increase your Facebook post’s organic reach as well as engagement.

post timings

Here is a beautiful graphic which shows what type of content performs the best on Facebook.

Here is how to use user generated content for getting colossal authority:

 7. Provide your fans the best of industry news.

One of the best ways to establish your authority is to curate content that is relative to your industry. This way you would show up as a brand that understands its field.

Sharing insider news from other authority blogs and bigger brands could eventually bring you to the focus of both your fans and followers. As a result your fans will stick to your Facebook page as they get all the latest news there.

When this goes on for a time you will be seen as a thought leader on the social media platform and people will take your words seriously.

If you are wondering how to curate content, let me say it isn’t an easy task at all. The paradox is it isn’t that difficult a task either (once you know how to do it).

For starters, you could create a list of blogs to follow on feedly and track their latest blog posts. You could also visit alltop to collect the best and trending articles from your industry. Twitter lists are a great way to curate content from the influencers and later post them to Facebook.

For this, you could save the desired posts to your pocket account and then blast them to Facebook page at suitable times.

content-curation

TIP: Do not start posting articles from uber-popular sites like mashable or Huffington Post. Not that their content is uncool but because everyone reads those sites and why someone would stick to your page for stale news.

8. Frame each update for a specific group of fans.

Every successful business laser targets its audience. If you are speaking to everyone no one will listen to you. That’s why you should also target your audience on Facebook to serve them with what they need.

Facebook organic targeting lets you control who sees your posts on their news feed. While all posts are still visible at your page timeline, you could target them to selectively appear in the news feed of certain groups of fans to get maximum engagement.

For example, if you post something about “Facebook marketing” you might want it to be visible to people who have liked Mari Smith or Jon Loomer’s Facebook page. Since these two pages are mostly about “Facebook”, your targeted audience might find your update relatable.

Similarly you can target your custom audiences based on their gender, relationship status, educational status, age, location, language, interest etc. Here is a guide to get started with organic targeting.

9. Use tools and apps to assist you.

Facebook marketing is quite a hefty task if done manually. You cannot manually sit round the clock to post updates targeting fans of different time zones. Similarly, you cannot run a contest without a tool to assist you. Showing your social media tabs like Pinterest, Instagram, twitter etc. would be impossible without apps like woobox.

Here are a set of 15 tools every smart marketer on Facebook should use.

10. Provide customer service.

If you want to be loved by your fans, listen to them. Most Facebook pages either don’t respond or take way too much time to respond to the audiences. This is where bigger brands take the ball to their court.

Brands like Post Planner and Shareaholic are too quick to respond to customer queries (usually from a few minutes to a couple of hours) and that’s why they are loved by their fans.

In order to provide true customer service:

  1. Monitor your Facebook page at regular intervals.
  2. Be the first to update a flaw or disruption in your product and tell your fans to stay calm.
  3. Ask for any queries that your fans have. Even better organize a “Ask your doubt session” every couple of days.

Over to you:

Not getting eyeballs on your business page is not because Facebook is limiting your reach, it’s because you are not experimenting your fans. The best way to make your small business appear colossal on Facebook is to interact with your fans, provide them with value and serve them till their satisfaction. This is what will boost your engagement and eventually organic reach on Facebook.

What do you do differently on Facebook? Or what problems you are facing in making your page colossal on Facebook? Comment below and we will figure a way out.

You're reading 10 Facebook Hacks to Make Your Small Business Look Colossal, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Fetching Friday – 30 Posts on Marketing and Productivity http://kikolani.com/fetching-friday-04102015.html http://kikolani.com/fetching-friday-04102015.html#comments Fri, 10 Apr 2015 19:46:03 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28330 Fetching Friday is back for week fifteen of 2015! Each week, I’ll share with you the top posts on online marketing and productivity. Without further ado, here are the top posts this week! Content Marketing Ways Content Marketing is Going to Change in 2015 by John Rampton Social Sharing: How to Get More People to […]

You're reading Fetching Friday – 30 Posts on Marketing and Productivity, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Fetching Friday is back for week fifteen of 2015! Each week, I’ll share with you the top posts on online marketing and productivity. Without further ado, here are the top posts this week!

Content Marketing

Search Engine Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Productivity

Reader Submissions

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s roundup! If you’ve got a favorite post for the week, please share in the comments! If you’d like to share one of your posts for the Reader Submissions section, please do using this form.

You're reading Fetching Friday – 30 Posts on Marketing and Productivity, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Fetching Friday – 23 Posts on Marketing and Productivity http://kikolani.com/fetching-friday-04032015.html http://kikolani.com/fetching-friday-04032015.html#comments Fri, 03 Apr 2015 17:00:53 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28320 Fetching Friday is back for week fourteen of 2015! Each week, I’ll share with you the top posts on online marketing and productivity. Without further ado, here are the top posts this week! Content Marketing 5 Ways Blogging Changed My Professional Life by Jordan Fried A Simple Formula for Writing Kick-Ass Blog Titles by Corey […]

You're reading Fetching Friday – 23 Posts on Marketing and Productivity, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Fetching Friday is back for week fourteen of 2015! Each week, I’ll share with you the top posts on online marketing and productivity. Without further ado, here are the top posts this week!

Content Marketing

Search Engine Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Productivity

Reader Submissions

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s roundup! If you’ve got a favorite post for the week, please share in the comments! If you’d like to share one of your posts for the Reader Submissions section, please do using this form.

You're reading Fetching Friday – 23 Posts on Marketing and Productivity, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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Conference Spotlight: Build Grow Scale LIVE http://kikolani.com/conference-spotlight-build-grow-scale-live.html http://kikolani.com/conference-spotlight-build-grow-scale-live.html#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:11:54 +0000 http://kikolani.com/?p=28313 If you’ve seen my extensive list of over 120 business, online marketing, and and tech conferences for 2015, you know there are a LOT of events out there to choose from. Today, I would like to highlight one of the events from that list to give you some more insight into up and coming events. […]

You're reading Conference Spotlight: Build Grow Scale LIVE, originally posted on Kikolani and copyrighted by Kristi Hines, freelance writer and professional blogger. Be sure to stop by and grab a copy of my free 8,000+ word guide to guest blogging and become a fan on Facebook.

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If you’ve seen my extensive list of over 120 business, online marketing, and and tech conferences for 2015, you know there are a LOT of events out there to choose from. Today, I would like to highlight one of the events from that list to give you some more insight into up and coming events.

Build Grow Scale LIVE in a Nutshell

Build Grow Scale LIVE is a conference for anyone who wants to earn their income online. Topics covered at this conference include the following.

  • Funnel Building – Learn about funnel design, psychology, and building methods.
  • Ecommerce Strategy – Private labeling, product sourcing, and supplier relations.
  • Marketing Automation – Scaling, taking yourself out of the equation, and growth.
  • Lead Generation – Build larger lists, spend no more than $0.50 per opt-in, and triple your leads.
  • Paid Advertising – Utilize youtube, podcasts, and content marketing.
  • Retargeting and Remarketing – Lessons from $10M spent on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and various retargeting networks.
  • Traffic and Media Buying – Get unlimited traffic from perfect prospects on networks you’ve never heard of.

When and Where

Build Grow Scale LIVE 2015 will be held at The Hilton Orlando from May 22nd – 23rd. Normal rates for the hotel are $300 per night, but attendees will save $200 per night for up to three nights during the event.

Who Attends

Last year, 17% of attendees were already making over one million dollars in annual revenue. Over half were earning six figures on the mid to high end of the scale. Unlike other well-known industry conferences, this caters to a smaller audience for a mastermind-like feel. It gives attendees the opportunity to experience a high-energy coaching environment so that they will be able to take what they’ve learned and get better results in their business.

Who You Will Learn From

Here are some of the key people you will want to glean insights from during this conference.

  • Los Silva – Los Silva is a top direct response sales funnel designer and has consulted on funnels for entrepreneurs, startups, and companies including Disney, Driftrock, Ryan Deiss, Kent Clothier, and many others.
  • Tanner Larsson – Tanner is uniquely skilled at turning a complex business process into simple, actionable steps. Companies give him up to 30% equity in their firm just to help them grow revenue, maximize profits, and implement a hybrid business system.
  • Drew Sanocki – Drew’s marketing automation and customer segmentation rules have driven over $100 million in transactions. At Build Grow Scale LIVE, Drew plans to share the secrets he’s learned from his own retail business and time consulting with e-commerce retailers.
  • Vincent Fisher – At one point, Vincent had 150 employees, a combined revenue of over $100,000,000, and didn’t work a single day for any one of his companies. At Build Grow Scale LIVE he plans to give you his best secrets on building, growing, and scaling your business to nine figures and beyond.
  • Ed O’Keefe – Ed has taken multiple businesses to 7 and 8 figures. At Build Grow Scale LIVE, Ed will teach you his art of Time Collapsing. Ed will demonstrate how to create the lifestyle you’ve always wanted, faster than you dreamed possible, by using his secrets of performing at optimal levels year-round.
  • Neil Patel – Neil helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world.
  • Tommie Powers – Tommie has specialized in conversion optimization by evaluating mountains of data over 15 years. At Build Grow Scale LIVE, he will give you his proprietary process of profiting from paid traffic. His process is tested and backed by $10,000,000 (yes, $10 million) Tommie has spent on paid traffic from Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and various retargeting networks.
  • Damien Rufus – Damien has developed brands not only for himself, but also for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses too. He plans to give you his Behavior Matrix at the event, and he says you may never lose a client again once you understand “funnel psychology” and how to use “behavior dynamic” advertising campaigns to double your lead flow.

Event Sponsors

Chances are, you are going to be very familiar with the event sponsors at Build Grow Sale LIVE. They include Clickbank, Shopify, Fully Accountable, Thread Me Up, and 10 Minute Funnels.

Your Investment

You can choose from two passes to attend Build Grow Scale LIVE.