3 Ways to Improve How Your Personal Name or Brand Look Online

When someone wants to find information about anyone or anything, they head to Google. Without hesitation, whatever information Google provides the end user with, it’s usually trusted and accepted within a moments time. This is especially true when it comes to an individual’s or brand’s reputation. No matter what the real truth is about yourself or a brand, whatever the internet says about you can greatly influence the way others gain a first impression.

With all of this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure you not only have some control over what appears in Google for your name or brand, but also that you are continually monitoring online mentions for your personal name and brand mentions as well. After all, it’s not just Google where people are finding information, it’s also through social media, web forums, rating websites and much more.

Today I’m going to provide you with three solutions for how you can not online monitor and track name mentions online, but also how you can gain more control over your online reputation in the process.

Monitor, Track and Respond to Online Mentions

Google, social media, online review sites and user forums… when it comes to tracking online mentions for your brand or personal name, it can be quite overwhelming. While there are free tools out there like Google Alerts that are great for providing you with updates on any new content that contain your name or brand in web content, it’s really only providing you with a fraction of the picture. As online reputation management and brand monitoring services continue to get more advanced, it’s quickly becoming easier to track and monitor mentions across a wide range of platforms, while only needing to use one solution.

One such provider that is making this process a whole lot easier is Brand24. Through their online monitoring platform, individuals and brands can see new mentions in real-time, while also tracking how to respond, engage or reply/remove such content. It’s one thing if someone makes a mention of your personal name or brand on social media, but it’s another when bad reviews or defamation comes into play. While social media is one of the largest areas of focus when it comes to brand mentions and monitoring, Brand24 was actually built with all different types of content monitoring in mind. Outside of social media monitoring, the platform also offers alerts for name or brand mentions across websites, blogs, photo sharing sites, forums, news outlets and more — all of which are delivered through email notifications and can be compiled into daily or weekly reports. These are just a few of the reasons why the online monitoring of name and brand mentions are so important.

You can see an example of the Brand24 backend monitoring system below. As you can see, not only is it a solution for providing updates in real time, it also allows for full tracking and monitoring of social media reach, positive and negative mentions, and also the ability to set up a collaborative work setting that allows for multiple users or team members to access such information.

Build Your Own Platform and Rank #1 in Google

With Google being the first resource for information in the world today, they are also going to be your first impression to millions of people around the world. With this in mind, it’s extremely important to make sure that your website, brand or content is ranking number one in Google for your name or brand. If you aren’t currently ranking number one, you simply aren’t in control over how you look online.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to actually have a website or blog. This sounds easy enough, but in some cases, it might not be — especially if you share a name with a famous celebrity, artist or online marketer. In my case, I rank #1 in Google for “Zac Johnson” and pretty much own the whole main page for my name. However, there is also a famous golfer named “Zach Johnson” that ranks very well also. While the names are spelled differently, there are likely times when someone is searching for one or the other, then actually coming across the other person. This actually happens quite a bit whenever there is a big golf tournament going on. Since the names are so similar, Google will pre-populate “Zach Johnson’s” standings in the search results, then display my web site right below it. You can see a visual example of this below.

In short, if you want to rank at the top of Google for your name or brand, you need to have a powerful website (with a blog) that continually gains link juice and SEO power over time. This way, whenever someone searches for your name or brand online, they find your website first, and not another source of information that is potentially out of your control.

Use the Power of Social Media to Rank Multiple Times

With more than two billion users on Facebook and another few hundred million spread across the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others, it’s important to think about the sheer power and reach of social media. We already covered the importance of monitoring name and brand mentions on social media, but if that’s where you are stopping, you are missing out big time.

A perfect example of this would be the ranking power that lies within each of your personal and brand social profiles. Google loves social networking site and with so much link juice, authority and power behind each of these sites, it’s quite easy to rank them versus a new site of your own. While I highly recommend creating a website or brand and having it be your number one ranking in Google for your name, I also recommend using social media profiles to fill out these rest of your main page listings.

If you were to search for any big name celebrity, you will likely see their main website ranking number one, then all of the social profiles proceeding. That is of course unless they had a big scandal or negative news posted about them and might have to compete with even bigger news and media sites like TMZ ranking for their name. To see an example of a celebrity who is not doing this correctly, just take a look at Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s search results in the screenshot below. Not only does his main website not rank #1 for his name, he also has Wikipedia, IMDB and gossip/news websites ranking before his social profile pages!

The important thing to remember here is that it’s quite easy to rank your social profiles in Google for your name. To help and speed up the process, be sure to continually link back to your social profiles using your personal or brand name. The more you do this, and associate the links coming from your own sites, the more likely you are to see such profiles start ranking higher in Google for your name. Continue this process until you rank your main web site number one in Google for your name, then listings 2 through 10 with your social profile pages.

Google and Social Media are Your First Impression

As you can see, there are many factors that come into play when trying to look your best online. If you aren’t actively monitoring when, where and how your personal and brand names are being mentioned online, you simply aren’t in control over how others may see your brand and getting that first impression.

Online reputation management and building a brand for yourself isn’t something that happens overnight. This is especially true for anyone just starting out. However, when done correctly, your efforts will continue to compound and grow stronger and stronger with each day.

Follow each of the recommended tips and solutions above to make sure your personal name or brand always look best at all times.

4 Ways to Use Persuasive Video to Increase Conversions

We all know the power of reach of online video, but are you still sitting on the sidelines when it comes to actually using it for your brand or business? Today I wanted to show you three difference examples of how you can be using online video within your business, not only to promote it and reach new audiences but to also increase conversions and revenue in the process.

While scanning through each of the video types below, also keep in mind how the internet has quickly changed over the past few years and is now serving online video more than anything else. This can be seen through the likes of social networks like Facebook, and also mobile usage in a massive uphill growth climb over that of traditional desktop computers and tablets. In short… online video is the best way to reach your audience, even if it’s a quick 30-second clip. Now let’s look through a few examples of how other brands are successfully accomplishing this.

Whiteboard Explainer Videos

Explainer videos have gained a lot of traction over the past few years. Not only are they interesting to watch, they are extremely addictive and make you want to keep sticking around for more. With the combination of a whiteboard style drawing design and a quality voice over, such videos make the concept of learning about something much easier and more engaging. This is why explainer videos are often used on landing pages and to sell higher ticket items, as the video relates with an audience in ways a traditional person-to-person video might not.

When it comes to creating a whiteboard video, you have a few different options. One is to hire a design team, which can add up in costs. The other is to use a drag and drop solution like mysimpleshow. Be sure to check out the whiteboard video below that was created by a student for their class project, which was also used to help further increase value and engagement within their latest blog post as well.

Customer Testimonials

Personal recommendations are priceless. When a friend or family member recommends something, you are going to take their word for it. At the same time, when someone looks online for a recommendation, rating or review, they also place the same value on such information — even if they don’t directly know the source. With that in mind, video testimonials can increase sales and trust for you a brand like nothing else — especially when it’s so easy to post video content right to your site, while also sharing it on social media or other outlets.

When it comes to testimonials and customer feedback, they are pretty much all over the place. Even when you turn on the TV, you are seeing paid ads, customer stories and testimonials all over the place. The same is true online. To give you an example of a popular blogger giving their endorsement for a product or service, check out the one below from Matthew Woodward for mythemeshop.

Video Infographics

Infographics are still one of the best ways to turn boring text content and data into real visual art that is easy to consume. However, infographics are usually static in design, along with often being a JPG or PNG format. With video in mind, it shouldn’t be tough to convert your best infographic data into an animated video that can reach millions of new users through YouTube, social media and even being embed into your site content.

You can see a perfect example of this in the animated video infographic below from Infographic Design Team. Watch the video below, then see the original infographic here and how they were able to bring it to live through animation.

Person to Person Videos

We all know text content and blog articles are great, but with video and mobile usage on the rise, you always need to step up your game. A great way to take advantage of all of these mediums is to mix things up whenever you can, while also combing the best of both worlds at the same time. I have an upcoming webinar next week, and in addition to writing a blog post to let everyone know about it I also did a short video intro as well. The video has done very well through Facebook and social media. Be sure to add these same content creation and video marketing methods to your own promotions.

How Can You Start Using Online Video?

As you can see, when it comes to online video you have plenty of options to choose. You also don’t need to focus on being salesy or always converting your audience into a lead at all times. Branding also comes into play with online video and the ability to have your content continually getting shared through social media is a huge plus.

Skim through each of the video methods above and see which might be a great solution for your brand or business.

5 Proven SEO Tactics to Boost Your Search Traffic In 2018

Search engine traffic is the lifeblood for any profitable website.

Without website traffic, you can’t drive more sales. It’s as simple as that.

Did you know that 90% of bloggers struggle to get more traffic to their sites? I know how frustrating it is to spending time on writing quality posts but not generating any website traffic.

So this post is a treat for you where you’ll find 5 proven methods to quickly increase your overall website traffic from search engines like Google.

Are you ready to find them out? Let’s get started.

 

#1. Spy on your competitor’s keywords

Want to quickly increase your search traffic? Start finding the keywords that your competitors are using.

If you want to grow your search traffic, make sure to focus on doing keyword research. Although there are a ton of keyword research tools out there, SEMrush tops the list.

One of the greatest offerings from SEMRush is competitor data. Competitive keyword research can be a very time-consuming process if you do not have an effective process in place. Manually analyzing a number of your competitors waste a lot of time.

SEMrush saves you time and effort that you can then use to increase the content and value on your own website. Here is how you can find your competitor’s keywords:

#1. Access Organic Keyword Data: Go to SEMrush, enter your competitor domain into the search field. Click on “Top Organic Keywords” section and it will give all your competitor’s organic keyword data.

Once you have identified your competitors top performing keywords, make sure to identify long tail keywords. These are long-tail keywords that have less search volume than foundational keywords.

These keywords often represent a customer’s interest in getting more information about a product or service to either help them make a purchase decision, validate an already made purchase or get other sorts of information about a product or service. Here are some tips to find strategic keywords:

  • Filter the “Keyword” column to only show keywords like what, when, where, why, how.
  • Filter the “Keyword” column to only show keywords with qualifier keywords such as: best, most, cheap, etc.

Once you have identified enough foundational and strategic keyword topics, prioritize by opportunity like search volume, competition and start using it in your content. Again, these are some of the most basics steps of SEO, but they are going to prove useful and act as the foundation for your link building and search ranking success.

#2. Start filtering the profitable keywords: Have a look at the “Top Organic Keywords” section. Click on “Main Organic Competitors” section. There, click on the “View Full Report” button to list all competitors. Once you clicked the button, you will be taken to a new page where you see a section like this.

#3. Identify seed keywords: Foundational keywords are the “head” terms that are typically targeted on category or service pages. It consists of one to three words and have higher search volume.

For example, SEO training, car insurance etc.. However, foundational keywords can also come in the form of long-tail keywords. You will typically find foundational keywords toward the top half of your worksheet. However, here are some tips to find foundational keywords that has less competition.

  • If you have eCommerce blog, then filter the “Keyword” column to only show keywords with eCommerce qualifier keywords, such as: sale, discount, free, online, shop, store, reviews, etc.
  • If your blog offer services, then filter the “Keyword” column to only show keywords with service qualifier keywords, such as services, professional, agency, company, case studies, testimonials, reviews, etc.

So, based on what kind of blog you have, filter the keyword column.

#2. Backlinks are golden

No SEO campaign successful without building links. Backlinks will remain a vital Google ranking factor. But, effective link building is now about trust and popularity. When you apply strategic link building technique to your site, your rankings will improve.

Backlinks not only help you get more traffic but also help to promote and earn more from your products.

You will even improve your conversion rate because you are working as the high authority on the topic to search engines. A “backlink” is created when an external website links to yours and this is also termed as “external backlinks”.

Have a look at the image below to their importance.

Before you start building a website link to your web page, make sure that you can answer to these questions.

  • Do I produce well-organized content?
  • Does my site provide useful information to the sites that will link to mine?

Google uses around 200 ranking factors to rank websites and out of those 200 ranking factors in Google’s ranking algorithm, here are the three most essential encompass links.

  1. The number of external links you receive is important.
  2. Links with SEO focused anchor text needs to be relevant to the target page.
  3. Your links need to be from a reputable news source.

Many SEO agencies focus on building relevant links to get first-page search results on Google. Building links have always been a valuable aspect of an SEOs strategy. Make sure you follow these 3 rules to get quality backlinks.

#1. Keep it relevant: Relevancy is king in link building. If you want to create the best response from Google, then the Linking to sites relevant to your niche and getting backlinks from them in return is essential. Trust is an extremely strong factor for Google. Backlinks from reliable sites in your niche show that your content is trustworthy and relevant on the given topic.

Google will start considering you as an authority on the subject once you gain enough backlinks from reputable sites in your niche. Getting links from strong sites that have no relevance for your business might help you initially, but will create problems down the road. So make sure to create amazing content that other people will naturally want to link to.

#2. Create authority with deep links: If you want to build an authoritative website in search engines, one which ranks high across multiple pages, then you need to create strong relationships among your pages.

#3. Use your anchor text carefully: Anchor text is the visible and clickable text in a link. An aggressive anchor text can land you a penalty. Building links is certainly an essential SEO practice. To see the best results, incorporate relevance and trustworthiness into your link building strategy.

#3. Improve your rankings with proper on-page SEO

Every blogger who ever starts his blogging career hears about on-page SEO. If you are looking for some strategies that will help in improving your traffic and rankings then make sure you follow these.

  • The title tag is the #1 on-page SEO factor. So, always start title tag with your primary keyword.
  • Use SEO-friendly URLs. Make sure your page URLs are short and keyword-rich. Avoid ugly URLs as it harms your site traffic.
  • Always wrap your title in <h1> tag and for subheading use <h2> tag. Include your target keyword in at least one subheading.
  • Your keyword should appear in the first 100 words of the article.
  • Images speak louder than plain text. Use images, infographics, videos, podcasts to increase user time on your site.
  • Site design is the new king. These days, everyone uses their smartphone more than laptops. If your site is not mobile-friendly Google will penalize your site. So, choose the theme for your site that works better in mobile too.
  • Optimize all the image files (not just crushing them into small files). You can do this by inserting target keyword in image Alt text.
  • Short content is dead. Google ranks those on its first page that which has longer content with typically over 2000 words.
  • Well, who doesn’t like if their content goes viral? For that, you need to provide the option to the users to share it on social media. So, add social sharing buttons and use appealing images.
  • Use LSI keywords in every post. These are the synonyms that Google uses to determine a page’s relevancy.
  • Add modifiers to your title like “best”, “review”, “guide” etc. This will help you to rank for long tail versions of your target keywords.

#4. Get access to the right SEO tools

To work smarter and faster with SEO, you need to have the right tools. From ranking higher on search engine results to maximizing advertising campaigns, SEO can help you to build your brand, and ultimately increase revenue.

Here are the 6 SEO tools that will help you to understand and improve SEO for your small business:

#1. Google Pagespeed Insights: With this tool, you can check the speed and usability of your site on multiple devices. Go to webpage and enter a URL. This tool will help you in testing the loading time and performance for desktop and for mobile.

It also identifies opportunities and areas where you can improve. The mobile results also come with a user experience score, grading areas like tap targets and font sizes.

#2. Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool: It is a website crawler that can quickly audit all of your webpages for SEO-friendliness. It aims to identify what’s working against your website’s SEO, such as broken links, server errors, duplicate content and URLs that are blocked by robots.

You can also analyze page titles and meta descriptions to see if any of your content is missing necessary elements. It also integrates with Google Analytics for additional data, as well as generate error reports and sitemaps for easy reference.

#3. Keywordtool.io: If you want to obtain a ton of keyword ideas, then this tool is for you.  Keywordtool.io is especially useful for long-tail keywords that won’t show up in the Google Keyword Planner, because of the low search volume. Just enter a keyword and this tool provides a huge handful of long-tail keyword opportunities, organized alphabetically.

#4. SERPs Rank Checker: With this tool, you can see where your site ranks for certain terms. Input your keyword and your website and see where you land, or leave the website field blank to view the top-to-bottom list of results for a keyword.

#5. Google Analytics: If you are serious about SEO, you need to use Google Analytics. Go to “Acquisition”, under that click on ”Search Console” and then “Landing Pages”. It will bring up the pages on your site that get the most impressions and clicks from Google

#6. Moz pro: Moz toolbar shows you SEO insights from within Google search results pages and at any particular website. It is a suite of user-friendly inbound marketing tools that it lets you track SEO, social efforts, links, brand awareness and content marketing using a single platform. Moz’s Keyword Explorer is one of the best keyword research tools on the market.

#5. Find your keyword positions on Google

What’s the point in writing new blog posts day in and day out without tracking your current rankings for certain keywords?

If you want to get more search traffic, start tracking your keywords. Without targeting any keywords and without knowing your keyword position in Google, even if you write and publish amazing content, it is of no use and you’re wasting a lot of time and money!

There are plenty of keyword research tools that will help you to find which keywords to use. So, if you are looking for a tool that can check the position of keywords in search engines, then SEMrush is for you.

Yes, SEMrush offers a complete solution for keyword checking. Just enter your website URL and it will show you which keywords you are currently ranking for. You can further click on any resulting keyword to check keyword competition and other details.

Or if you’re looking for free tools, you can use SERPs free keyword rank checker for tracking all your keyword rankings on Google.

Over to you

SEO is not a rocket science. If done right, it can bring a ton of website visitors and sales to your sites. The ONLY key to SEO success is to find and implement few strategies that work like a charm.

So what are your thoughts about this post? Did you find the SEO tactics mentioned here useful? Share your views in the comments below.

Free Webinar on How to Drive Affiliate Sales with Webinars

Webinars are one of the greatest ways to not only sell to a live audience, they also a great for list building and gaining the trust of your audience. Nothing provides a better connection to your audience than through the use of live audio and video, which is the basis for many webinars today. At the same time, not only are you engaging with a live audience, you are showing off your expertise and usually walking them through a process at the same time — which is where the real value for your audience comes into play.

Next week I will be holding a free webinar of my own, alongside the team over at ClickMeeting, to show everyone how top bloggers, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and brands are increasing their sales and revenue like crazy through the user of webinars — and yes, even affiliate marketing sales as well. Millions of dollars are generated through the use of affiliate marketing every day, and webinars are helping to increase those numbers even further.

Best of all… this one time webinar comes with a hefty price tag of 100% free! As always, I will be delivering the best content and value possible, while offering it to you at no cost. In short, you’ll basically be getting a 1-on-1 session with my that includes 60 minutes of content, Q&A, polls, surveys and much more.

Click here to register for the event right now.

How to Increase Sales and Revenue with Online Webinars

We all want to increase sales, leads and bottom line profits for our brands and businesses. However, as more heavily funded companies and brands continue to pour big money into online marketing and search advertising, it’s continually getting harder for smaller and individual marketers to compete. That is of course unless you are always staying ahead of the curve and using better methods than the competition. One such method that is working extremely well, is webinars!

Discover what it takes to grow a real business online while also building a solid community and following around your personal brand, expertise or brand in the process. In my upcoming webinar, I will cover many of the best marketing methods used today, while also focusing on why webinars are one of the best ways to convert your site visitors and audience into high-value leads and customers.

WEBINAR SCHEDULE

1. Zac’s background and how he built his online business
2. What affiliate marketing is and how it works
3. How affiliate marketers are becoming their own brands/products
4. Why webinars are a great way to sell products
5. Webinar listing building and advertising methods
6. How to structure a webinar for value and monetization
7. Examples of best products to sell through webinars
8. Live Q&A

DATE: May 10th at 12 pm EST

Hope to see you there!

Click here to RSVP.

4 Unexpected Challenges that can Come When Working with Freelancers

Running an online business has it’s pros and cons. One of the many benefits however, is having the ability to hire freelance workers and virtual assistants around the world to complete tasks for you. Such tasks usually outsourced to freelancers include content creation, social media management, design work or anything else that you might be able to teach and automate. No matter what it is you are using freelancers for, they are a vital part of the entrepreneur and business process.

At the same time, while more entrepreneurs, businesses and brands are looking to outsource and hire freelancers over in-house staff or employees, millions of jobs are being automated and outsourced in the process. A new report from The Register shows just how far the global economy has come and how jobs are quickly changing around the world. IBM, which is one of the largest employers in North America, has a growing number of employees contracted from both India and Bangladesh… and they aren’t alone.

Entrepreneurs are finding the process of locating, hiring and retaining talent from outside their home country easier than ever before thanks to new platforms designed to put these groups in touch. As wonderful and amazing the concept of hiring and using freelance workers might be, there are always going to be some unexpected issues and problems that arise in the process. Here are four unexpected, but still fairly common problems that new and established businesses run into when they work with employees outside of their home country.

Payment

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to payment, but we’ll start with wages themselves. How much do you offer, and what is a fair rate to be charged? These are some of the first questions you’ll face as an entrepreneur, and you’re not alone. The truth is somewhere between “you get what you pay for” and “offer a living wage”. Payment also varies depending on where your freelancer is from, and what the actual work is they are going to be completing. Currency exchange rates, value of service and a host of other variables mean that what you pay for in one country might get you quite a bit more in another. A good example of this can be seen in India right now and how they are seeing an extra level of taxation on all payments leaving the country — which can hurt both the freelancer and client.

The best advice to offer is to gather some data on what the going wage is for what you’re asking. Look at sites that offer the kind of content or service you want and see what they charge. Also be sure to review existing job postings and query candidates that interest you about their salary levels. Often, you’ll find freelancers want work and can be flexible with rates if you agree to certain conditions. Many freelance writing jobs sites and marketplaces will have all of these options in place and readily accessible.

Location

The primary method you’ll use to pay freelancers is what’s known as a digital wallet (like Paypal or Payoneer), and most allow for an international money transfer to many but not all countries. If your freelancer works in a country that isn’t serviced by that provider, then you might have a hard time retaining his or her services. Not every wallet and payment processor can do currency conversions to any country, and some will outright refuse working within a particular country. You don’t have to look very far to find horror stories of what can happen if you don’t pay your freelancer, but you shouldn’t have a problem with this if you ask questions ahead of time.

This is something we’ve all too commonly see in the world of affiliate marketing and e-commerce when trying to sell or promote products out of the US. Sure, there is going to be demand for your product or service, but if you don’t accept the right payment methods, all of your efforts will be in vain.

When working with a freelancer, see if they have a preferred method of receiving or transferring money. In most cases, Paypal is one of the most common solutions, but there are other options to explore as well.

Rates and Fees

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you transfer money, it’s your freelance contractor who ends up footing the bill in many cases. They may be able to write off or recoup some of those costs, but a vast majority of that money is just lost to third parties. There’s not much you can do to cut those middlemen, but you can work with your freelancer to find a solution with reduced fees. Some employers will even go so far as to handle currency conversion on their own. Certainly a nice and welcome gesture, but not a requirement.

This is actually just another factor in the overall pricing of hiring freelance workers out of country — it’s going to be cheaper! Personally, I will often eat any charges that might be passed along to the freelancer or VA, and it’s usually something that should be negotiated on beforehand. Another thing to consider is using any of the major freelancer writer marketplaces like TextBroker or Contentmart. Not only are they providing the service and making sure both parties are happy with the work and transaction, they are also dealing with any foreign payments and transaction fees as well.

Unless you’re looking to go above and beyond to retain proper talent (more on that in a moment), you’ll be fine if you offer to try and cover some of those fees or find some other way to help out.

Ownership Over Work and Content

Let’s face it… if you are outsourcing anything to a freelancer or virtual assistant in another country, you are probably paying well below average U.S. rates. While this isn’t a problem in itself, it does offer the opportunity for things to occasionally go wrong. One such issue could be the inability to stay in contact with your freelancer, receive the work you’ve paid for, or even having your content, work or relations taken advantage of.

It’s one thing to work with a company or service provider within your country and have everything go smoothly. It’s another when things go bad. Usually you would have the option to hire an attorney and take legal action for such damages against someone working in your same country. However, when you start working with virtual teams or freelancers in other countries, it’s pretty much all up for grabs. Not only would the process be a thousand times harder to take action on and win, it would also be much more costly in the process.

The lesson here is simple… don’t delegate out work that could jeopardize your business or come back to hurt you later on.

Final Thoughts

If your goal is to acquire and retain top talent, then paying attention to these important details is a crucial step for you to take as a business owner. You won’t need to ask around for too long to find someone who has hired the wrong kind of talent. Retaining a good freelancer is worth the struggle of making sure they can get paid without eating too much in fees.

Completed – Rate and Review All People in Business

Reviews, recommendations, and personal testimonials are at the top of the list when it comes to research and influence in a buyer’s decision process before a purchase is made. In addition to the power of a high-quality and trusted review, the business and revenue generated from such reviews can also be worth millions. In fact, just the mere concept alone of compiling and providing such data for customers has generated billions of dollars in new business.

Sites like Yelp and Google Reviews help individuals find reviews for local restaurants and retail businesses. However, reviews and recommendations aren’t just for products and services. Take LinkedIn for example, which was acquired by Microsoft for $26 billion and is based on that same type of recommendation and review service, but on a more professional level. The game of online reviews, ratings, and recommendations is on that is continually being tweaked time and time again, yet always in demand.

With the way technology and data is rapidly growing and scaling across the internet, is it only a matter of time before everyone has an online review and rating system for themselves? This is something Completed.com wants to make happen. The company was recently featured on TechCrunch, as they are looking to change the way reviews and recommendations are made in the business world today — but also on an individual scale versus product or services, while also being more user friendly and personal.

Since we are all quite familiar with the concept of a site like LinkedIn, you should already have a good understanding of how a site like Completed.com. The difference between the two is where reviews, ratings and personal/professional highlights come into play. Also, profiles and reviews on the site aren’t limited to just business professionals, but everyone.

So what are the benefits to using a site like Completed.com?

Besides the obvious of having a site that you can reference to for reviews, personal information, and work history, there are other benefits you may not have considered yet:

  • Improve Search Rankings
    We all know that social profiles rank extremely well in the search results for individual and brand names. This is something to keep in mind when creating a profile on Completed. Since they have an authority site and will likely be gaining more traction over time, it’s important to secure your name now. If you like what you see, send a few backlinks to your profile and maybe scoop up another first page ranking for your name. From within your profile, you can also link out to your website and social profiles as well, which can pass a little SEO juice to your sites.
  • Grab Your Name Before Someone Else Does
    Just like domain names and social profiles, you want to act fast when it comes to grabbing your name. Since hundreds or thousands of people likely share the same name as you, it’s only a matter of time before someone else with your name registers on their site. (ie: http://www.completed.com/individual/First-LastName/) Secure your name and profile, then verify your account in the process.
  • Building a Professional Profile the Way You Want
    When creating a profile within Completed.com, you will have a wide range of fields to choose from (much more than what is offered within LinkedIn). You will also have more flexibility with the type of information, resources, and references as well. With all of your data and professional history on one site, it could be an ideal reference for you and potential clients. This is especially true for anyone in the freelance space, where reviews and testimonials are extremely important.

You can see how all of this information comes together in a live profile in the example below. In addition to all of the fields you see below, when actually in your account and filling out of all of your details, other sections include Trade Shows attended, greatest attributes, favorite foods, life milestones, favorite sports teams and more. As you can see, it’s a more personal approach than what LinkedIn offers.

In a new world where everyone is obsessed with page one rankings in good, how their reputation looks online and only having the best recommendations possible… a site like Completed.com can help bring everything together in one simple page.

It’s free to create an account and I’m sure there will be many new improvements and features added in the future. Visit their site and put together a profile of your own today. You might be surprised with how fancy and professional you look and feel after walking through their simple profile wizard that asks all the right questions!

12 Methods that Will Help Increase Online Traffic to Your Homepage

Search engine optimization is a frequently discussed aspect of marketing. But what about homepage design: Can how a page is structured be used to increase interest in the site?

To take advantage of this, some people favor moving the call to action to a more prominent place to improve the chances of winning a sale. Others feel you should include engaging content like videos, while making sure not to clutter the page with too much information at once.

But what works best? We asked 12 members from YEC to share the design elements you can incorporate into your site’s homepage in order to increase customer traffic.

1. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

A lot of websites are still mostly designed for desktop. A mobile version of your site is important because Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites above non-mobile friendly ones. Even just creating a responsive, dynamically served, or separate URL for your mobile homepage is a start to avoid site bounces and losing mobile site traffic.

Vincent Wong, mHelpDesk

2. Generate and Keep Visitor Interest

Through image and text, make sure your design funnels the user to key supporting pages that evolve the conversation about your brand or product. More then ever before for SEO traffic, search engines are giving high importance to metrics of user engagement like bounce rate and average time on site. You need a design that creates not only immediate but also sustained interest.

– Travis Nagle, Stem and Viesso

3. Make Your Call to Action Clear

Whether it is to contact you, purchase a product or schedule a service, make it very easy for someone to find your call to action button. It should exist on the top half of your website and be big enough for everyone to see.

Lyndsi Stafford, eLuminate Marketing

4. Tout Your Unique Selling Points

First, ask your customers why they buy from you and not from the competition. This will tell you what your unique selling proposition is. Then, make this the No. 1 element on your homepage. A customer should land on your page and be able to answer where they are, what they can do there and why they should do it. Your unique selling proposition will quickly answer this question and improve conversion rates.

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

5. Add Live Chat

Live chat is an absolute necessity for websites that provide products or services. Having a live chat box across your website builds a sense of comfort for visitors because they know any questions can be answered immediately. The real-time advantage of live chat is that it keeps the customer engaged and not bouncing to seek answers. This increased engagement is better for conversions.

– Obinna Ekezie, Wakanow.com

6. Put Video on the Homepage

Put video on your homepage to get and keep people there. This is the most engaging content and could then influence these visitors to explore other parts of your website. Video content can also provide search engine ranking assistance, as more people are seeking out this type of content.

Murray Newlands, Sighted

7. Provide Connections to Social Media

Our social media accounts are where we get more sales through the testimonials that we post there. It is very important that our website showcases these posts in order to make sales on our site and increase traffic as well.

Daisy Jing, Banish

8. Keep Visitors Engaged

In so many words, don’t be boring. Provide interesting and fun items that keep visitors hanging around. The more they hang around, the more they will find links that provide the information or products they want to use.

Brandon Stapper, 858 Graphics

9. Fine-Tune Your SEO Page Title

The most important element for increasing customer traffic online is the SEO page title that appears in browser windows and search engine results pages. If a homepage title is “Home” or simply “Company Name” in the browser window, then there is an opportunity to include your target keyword in the page title to attract more customer traffic online.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

10. Use Long-Tail Keywords

Prospects are searching long-tail keywords, phrases containing several words that ask a question they need answered. Focus on the questions your prospects are searching for, and target your content to respond to and answer those questions. And if they don’t find the answer right away on your homepage, they’re likely to click away somewhere else. You have to immediately capture interest.

Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

11. Make Products Easy to Find

From personal experience, customers like to find the product they’re looking for easily and without too much hassle. On my e-commerce website, I have what’s called a custom search and filter functionality, which helps customers find what they’re looking for with ease. This type of element is important because a customer’s experience on your site will make them buy from you or go somewhere else.

Patrick Barnhill, Specialist ID, Inc.

12. Tell Visitors What You Do

It’s such a simple idea, but one that gets forgotten about often: Tell your viewers what it is that you do. Remain direct, succinct and use language that they’ll digest immediately. Oftentimes, marketing copy can become overly verbose and ambiguous, and ironically forgets its message. If you’re the best at organizing conferences, say it directly — you’ll garner more traffic and conversions.

Blair Thomas, First American Merchant

 

Quick Tips to Improve Your Website or Blog Homepage

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through some expert tips on how to improve your homepage, it’s time to implement these changes into your own site. Also, if you enjoyed this expert round up, I highly recommend you check out another one on BloggingTips.com which asks 83 online marketing experts the question “How Do I Start a Successful Blog?“. If you don’t already have a website or blog of your own, follow my guide to get started with one today.

7 Examples of How Big Media, New Sites and Top Blogs are Using Native Advertising

As bloggers and site owners, we are always trying to think up new and creative ways to make our website and content better. At the same time, we also want to make sure we can increase page views, visitor time our sites and of course, revenue. With all of this in mind, native advertising has completely changed the way content is being created, read and monetized on the internet today. Through the use of native advertising network, websites and brands of all sizes can ‘recommend content’ to their audiences, while also cashing in on their traffic and providing engaging content in the process.

The concept of native advertising is nothing new, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down in usage or revenue it generated either. Some of the biggest brand names in the world like Fox News, Forbes and ESPN are all using native advertising to increase traffic to their sites, other articles and make even more money in the process. Not only are we seeing native advertising being used across some of the top websites and blogs on the internet today, we are also seeing thousands of entertainment and link bait type sites making a decent coin using these methods as well.

How Top Sites are Making BIG Money with Content Recommendations

If you aren’t already making money with content recommendations or native advertising, there is still plenty of time to take action. To help with this process, I wanted to highlight seven different sites to show you how they are using ‘content recommendations’ and native advertising to increase activity, content, and revenue through their sites. Each of the sites featured below go livw with new daily articles on a wide range of topics and are using native advertising and content recommendations in different ways. Check out each of the examples below and see if you can come up with any ideas on how to improve page views, engagement and revenue for your own site.

ESPN

Millions of people visit ESPN.com daily to find the latest scores and highlights… though they are likely led off to a wide range of other sites through the content recommendations will come across while browsing through their site. Head over to any article on ESPN and you will see a bunch of native advertising in place from Outbrain. What stands out about the content recommendation on ESPN, is when you read an individual article, like this one on The Boston Celtics, you will start seeing content recommendations relating to the sport you are reading about. I bet this works extremely well for CTR!

Fox News

Fox News is well-known for being one of the most popular news sources in the world today. At the same time, they are probably banking a lot of money off their TV ads and commercial time. However, when you look at their site you can see a ton of ad placements and content recommendations on there as well. Take a look at this recent article on Stephen Collins and the upcoming reunion of 7th Heaven, then scroll down passed the article and you will see a section like the one below. Massive content recommendations from OutBrain, TMZ, Pop Crush and even additional articles from the Fox News site.

Jeff Bullas

Jeff Bullas has become a well-known name in the world of blogging and social media. Through his high-traffic site and daily article publications, Jeff is able to reach thousands of people daily. With all of this reach, it would only make sense for him to add content recommendations to his site as well. Check out this article on The Power of Storytelling and scroll down to the bottom. You will then see a few content recommendations from Publi.sh and also internal recommendations to his other recent articles. This is a great way to keep audiences flowing through content on your site.

Business2Community

With the rise of Google Adsense, contextual marketing and native advertising on the rise (along with their revenues), more websites and blogs are now focused on increased content creation at mass scale. We are now seeing more media outlets cover topics like entertainment, politics and general news… simply to increase the amount of traffic flowing through these sites, while also increasing ad exposure. One such example of this is Business2Community. You can view this recent article on entrepreneurial advice from Sam Ovens, and as you scroll through the article, you will see a wide range of native advertising and content recommendations along the sidebar and at the bottom of the paid. You will likely pass some Outbrain ads on the right sidebar, while hitting some Google Adsense recommendations after the article, along with a few from Publi.sh and Brightinfo as well.

Mashable

Web sites and blogs that used to focus heavily on content and news, now seem to put out anything to simply attract more attention and traffic to their sites. This kind of makes sense, since they are all relying so heavily on native advertising to produce more traffic and revenue for their sites. A perfect example of this can be seen at Mashable — which used to be a tech/business type of site, and now puts out articles like this one on Pretty Little Liars. While on the site, you will quickly see how content recommendations and on-site advertising pretty much dominates the page space in and after the article.

Inc.

One big media site that hasn’t sold out to the native advertising networks like many others have, is Inc. In one of my recent articles on their site about infographic marketing in 2017, you can take a quick look at the many content recommendations they have on their site and shown alongside their content — but for the most part, it’s all content within the Inc website. Along the right side of the page you will see “Today’s Must Reads”, then at the bottom of the article you will see “More” articles (found on Inc) then a “Recommended” section with thumbnails and videos of other content on the site. While many other news sites are making money with native advertising, it would be interesting to see how much of an increase Inc. has seen in page views per user since implementing all of these content recommendations to their own content.

ViralNova

Probably one of the best examples of how content recommendations and native advertising have changed the way we browse content online is ViralNova. The site is basically what started the whole craze and even went on to sell for $100 million. Take a look at any article on their site, like this one about a daughter coming home from school and you will see a great supply of recommendations throughout the page (for other content on the site), then after the article, you will see a mix of content from Revcontent and Community Postings as well.

Content Recommendations and Native Advertising is Here to Stay

As you can see, the world of content recommendations and native advertising looks like it’s going to be around for a while. As long as the process continues to generate enough money for big name sites and also enough quality content for the site users, both sides look like they will be happy. To learn more about this process and how to get set up with your own content recommendations, see this review on Revcontent.

Outsource Content and Hire Quality Writers at Contentmart

No matter what type of online business or service you are going to provide, you must have content. Content has quickly changed over the past decade, as the internet has moved from a core focus of SEO and search traffic, to social media, and now mobile and viral based content. It doesn’t matter which traffic source you are focusing on to get visitors to your site and eventually convert them into high-quality leads, what does matter is that you are producing the right amount of content for your audience.

A perfect example of this would be if you were a blogger with an affiliate niche site that needs to have data-rich articles or simply have a celebrity gossip site that focused on short articles and quick views. The limitation here is that content creation takes a lot of time, and if you are better are marketing or monetizing your content, you should be focusing your best talents elsewhere.

The good news is that there are plenty of options for when it comes to creating content online. The first is that you can do is yourself (free, but time-consuming), another option is to hire a full-time writer (expensive), and sometimes the best option is to simply outsource your work to an online writing marketplace (recommended by many top content creators).

Today we are going to look at one such content marketplace, Contentmart – an all-in-one solution for connecting those in need for content, with thousands of content writers around the world.

Contentmart Online Writing Marketplace

While there are many options for outsourcing and creating content online, not all of them will be able to fulfill or offer access to enough writers to make it a worthwhile process. In the case of Contentmart, they’ve already built their platform and marketplace to not only work seamlessly with connecting those in need for content, to thousands of writers around the world, they’ve also amassed more than 50k active writers on the site — all with detailed demographic/writing skills targeting in place.

The way Contentmart works is quite simple. You are visiting the site for one of two reasons;

  1. You are in need of content and want to hire a content writer
  2. You are a content writer and looking to get paid for your skills

Contentmart will walk you through the process for either option, and it’s very simple to get setup with either option.

In this review, we are going to be looking at Contentmart for strictly outsourcing content through their platform.

As a client (ordering content) of Contentmart, there are no additional fees. You will simply create or login to your account, post a writing job and pay for it to be completed on a simple rate per word (we cover this in detail below). There is a 20% fee that takes place on the writer side, and this covers the writing service, checks all writing for plagiarism and also offers a 100% refund if the client isn’t happy with the completed work.

Meeting the Writers on Contentmart

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest advantages to using a site like Contentmart, is the massive directory of writers they currently have on their site. You can view through all of their 50,000+ talented copywriters when logged into your account, or you can see a quick screenshot below to see how it looks.

What should immediately stand out is the detailed profile that each writer on the site has. For example, if you look at any individual writer, you will see their reviews, star rating, how many orders they’ve completed, their English skill level and also their category expertise and a portfolio of their past work.

On the right side of the page, you will also find a menu that allows you to sort through all writers based on their expertise, such as automotive, banking, gaming, online marketing and more. This is a great place to start if you already have a niche focused site, then you can view all relevant writers based on their skills and work history.

You will also notice that many of the writers are from India. With 50,000+ writers in their directory, there is no doubt you will find a writer that fits the needs of your content and audience, but you will also find that having access to such a massive directory of writers can also provide you with quality content at much lower prices than the competition.

The Costs of Article Writing on Contentmart

As with all outsourced content writing, you are likely going to pay for the quality of your content and how many words each article will consist of. This is exactly how Contentmart is also setup, plus there are no additional fees along the way.

Before placing an order through Contentmart, you will need to make sure you account is funded. This can be done through Paypal or credit card. Once in place, you can then walk through the ordering process, which will also allow you to create content orders based on the following rate card.

Each writer will fall into one of four categories, based on their writing skills and previous work. The more you are willing to pay a writer, the higher skills they will have. With English always being in demand, this is one of the biggest differences between a “Standard” writer and “Verified” or “Hand Picked” — which can also be seen in the “per word” rate.

At the beginning of the article, I talked about the many different types of content on the internet today. Some might be used for your main website and to provide value to your audience, while other content might be used for guest blogging, excerpts, link building or simply as filler content. For your best websites and content that is going to be read by a real audience, it would be best to go with a “Hand Picked” writer. If you are looking for ‘filler’ content that likely isn’t going to be read or associated with your brand, a “Standard” or “Experienced” writer can get the job done while also saving you a lot of money in the process.

The minimum order amount per article is $3, and as you can see in the screenshot above, you are simply paying for how many words you would like your article to be. A 500-word article from a “Standard” writer will only cost you $5, while a high-end “Hand Picked” writer will cost $35 for the same amount of words.

Placing Your First Order on Contentmart

To get started, all you need to do is register for an account. Be sure to confirm your email address afterward, so you can gain full access to the site.

Once logged into your account, you will then be sent to your main dashboard area and see everything you would need to become an active customer of the site. You will also see a quick walkthrough of how to place an order, which is as simple as “Post an order > Choose a writer > Review content >Project complete”.

Clients also have access to the Contentmart affiliate program, which pays a 10% commission on all referred customers. If you were to refer a new client that did $10,000 in content orders, you would receive a nice $1,000 commission simply for making the introduction.

Now let’s move onto the actual order creation process.

This is pretty simple and straightforward, as you just need to fill in the details of your order and select the demographics and targeting options for the type of writers you would like to use. Fill in as much information about your “Order details”, as this will make sure the completed work is close to your expectations.

Next, you would select a deadline, category, expertise, and language. Again, the more accurate and detailed you can be with these selections, the better your final work will be. The option is also there (further down the page) to add any SEO requests you might have. If you aren’t already actively using keywords and SEO best practices within your content writing, it would be a great idea to start now.

When placing your order, don’t forget to use discount code: “CONTENT10” to get 10% extra cash on the wallet recharge of $100 or above.

All orders processed through Contentmart will also be checked against Copyscape for plagiarism. This keeps both you and the writers safe at all times.

Contentmart, the King of Content Creation

One of the greatest things about running a business on the internet is that there are so many ways to automate and outsource different components of your site. For some, content writing will be something they need to handle personally, while others will outsource as much as possible. Everyone will have their own preference. For those times when you are looking to outsource your content creation or maybe even bring in a new team of writers for your site, be sure to check out Contentmart to easily and affordably get the job done.

Ten Years of ZacJohnson.com – A Decade in the Making

Ten years ago today I made the decision to finally go live with a blog of my own and share my story with the rest of the world. Looking back, it was definitely one of the best business and life decisions I’ve ever made.

Before I talk about the purpose and results of the blog… we need to start from the beginning.

All the way back to the mid-90s…

Today we are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of ZacJohnson.com, though I’ve actually been making money online for roughly 20 years now. Back when the internet was young and while I was still in high school, I knew there had to be a way to make money online, it was just a matter of figuring it all out. After playing around with a few different methods, I finally came across one that legitimately worked and had a real business model associated with it.

That was affiliate marketing.

The concept was simple — refer a customer or sale to a business and get paid a commission! At the same time, it was also a dream come true! Wow, I could make money online without ever needing to work for anyone else, talk to customers, handle any transactions and not even have to invest in a product or hold inventory! Too good to be true? Nope… that’s just how affiliate marketing works.

Long story short, Amazon.com had an ‘associates program’ of their own, where they paid out 5-15% commission on all referred sales to their site. I found some great success with this and was able to continually scale my business through the use of affiliate marketing for the next several years. Once I discovered the world of CPA marketing where I could earn a commission on leads and not required to have a user complete a purchase, then things really started to get serious.

You can see a couple checks from 1996 and 1998 below. eAds was a CPA type banner advertising network and AdGraphix was web hosting company back in the day. I used to scan copies of all of my checks, but most of them are now destroyed thanks to Superstorm Sandy. Good thing I still have digital copies to remember them!

Even before starting the blog, my focus was always on lead generation. My two favorite methods for doing this were through the creation of my own website and using email marketing. In the early years of my business, I started off in the free stuff and sweepstakes niche market, then moved into entertainment sites and also social networking resources sites.

One of my best sites was a MySpace resource site that went on to generate over $800,000 in profit in just a few months time. You can see a check from the revenue generation from that site below as well, along with two write ups on that who process here and here.

However, don’t take the “showing” of such checks in the wrong way. I’ve never been one to brag and have always used any success of mine as an example and inspiration for others. In doing so, the content and material I’ve produced through the blog have helped my readers earn millions of dollars in the process, all while never charging them a penny in the process.

Such examples are here to only “impress upon you, and not impress you”.

But don’t let me get too far ahead of myself… this would all just come into play as material to document through the blog when I would then launch it in a few years time…

Jump forward to 2005-2006…

Being an affiliate marketer is great, but it also comes with its own set of ups and downs.

You never know when your next big campaign might win or fail, there are always going to be outside (advertising) costs, and you are also reliant on affiliate networks and the offers you are promoting. In short, if you don’t own your own website, blog or product, your business can go belly up at any time. On top of all of this, you are also potentially held captive to affiliate networks until that next payment comes through. (and sometimes it doesn’t)

In short… this isn’t where I wanted to see myself forever.

I already knew I had what it takes to find success and make money online, and not only did I want to grow my own business, I also wanted to teach others how to do the same. I also wanted to become “the brand” of “Zac Johnson”.

Unlike other ‘gurus’ who charge $5,000+ for online courses and $25k for a mastermind, I never really felt right with charging someone that much money. It’s a perfectly legitimate business model and one that has held me back over time, but this also goes back to why I never promoted junk weight loss rebill offers and scammy offers. Sure, I could have made a lot of money, but I also want to be happy with myself and how my business works at the same time.

Affiliate marketing is always going to be a main focus of mine, but I knew something bigger and better was on the horizon.

Time to start a blog…

Around 2005-2007, the concept of blogging was getting pretty popular. Thanks to the growth of WordPress it was now easier than ever for someone to start a website and publish new content on a daily basis. With entrepreneurs and bloggers like John Chow, Darren Rowse (ProBlogger), Brian Clark, (CopyBlogger) and Jeremy Schoemaker (ShoeMoney) all making big names for themselves in the world of blogging, it was definitely something to consider. (All of whom I’d be later speaking on panels with at events like BlogWorld and Affiliate Summit, all a result of the blog)

And consider it I did… for quite a while actually!

You might think having a personal website or blog isn’t a big deal, but when you are putting yourself out there… you are really putting yourself out there! This is especially true when talking about the internet marketing industry, where everyone is constantly trying to one-up another or bash someone for the dumbest reasons possible. So yes… it is quite a decision to put yourself out there, even if it is just a blog or website of your own.

March 17, 2007…

With deep consideration and thought, I finally decide to launch my blog at ZacJohnson.com on March 17th, 2007 — which happens to be St. Patrick’s Day.

The date was fitting, as it was right around when I was ready to launch the site and it’s a perfect ‘Lucky’ holiday and easy way to remember when the blog went live. My first post was a simple one, and you can see it here. Just a simple hello and getting that first post out of the way. As for the domain name, it was one that I registered several years earlier and just decided to keep it for a rainy day. I always stress upon the importance of owning your name as a domain, and this was something I acted on very early.

Like all blogs, in the beginning, you are writing for yourself and any friends or family members who are willing to take some time to read what you have to say. These are going to be the toughest times for anyone launching a blog or brand of their own. Keep in mind, I already had years of experience in the world of internet marketing, but I was still kind of an ‘affiliate marketer in the dark’. Sure, I was already speaking and attending events like Affiliate Summit, but I didn’t have a launch pad to really kick things off. However, I did manage to secure a blog review on JohnChow.com a few months later, which helped introduce my site to a larger audience.

With the blog now live, it was simply a matter of growing my readership one person at a time, while also focusing on sharing my story, case studies, guides and helping others learn how to do the same. After all, the time and effort that I put into the site and personally responding to nearly ALL emails I get, is how the site and my personal brand got to where it is today.

The Zac Johnson Mascot Logo…

Speaking of personal branding… one of the best decisions I made when launching the blog, was to create a unique logo for the site and a custom site design. The blog logo, of course, is a custom drawing of myself with a crown and a dollar on my shirt. Whether you like the concept or not, it’s become quite the branding feature and is well-known throughout the blogging and affiliate industry.

As for the actual design of the site, it’s gone through several revisions over the years — all of them being 100% custom designs. You can see the first three designs of the blog below. If you ever want to invest some money in your own site and branding, a custom design is definitely the way to go.

However, as great as a killer logo and site design might be… it’s the actual content of a website or blog that matters most.

As of today, there are 1,548 published articles on ZacJohnson.com, all written by me (except for a few guest posts). Not only does the site make for a great resource for learning how to make money online and grow a business, it’s been an amazing way to connect with my audience and profile my life in the process.

Rise of the Entrepreneur…

When you have an audience, you always want to provide as much value for them as possible. Starting ZacJohnson.com was an amazing opportunity for putting myself out there, which is something I never really liked or wanted in the first place. I was a shy kid and never enjoyed the thought of public speaking or becoming a mentor to people around the world — being an entrepreneur, attending conferences and launching the blog helped changed all of that.

To keep the message and value of ZacJohnson.com alive and flourishing with the trends of the industry, I thought it was time to launch a podcast of my own. This was yet another challenge in itself, as no one likes to hear their own voice, I know absolutely nothing about audio/recording equipment (nor did I want to), and recording yourself in conversion with another person on the other side of the line is quite a task in itself.

With all of that said, Rise of the Entrepreneur was launched.

The focus of the podcast would be to interview industry experts and entrepreneurs I’ve personally become friends with over the years — ultimately making each episode strictly about the guest and how they got to where they are today. It was quite a process, and over 80 episodes have been launched so far, with more than 100,000 downloads to date. Some notable names that have appeared on the show are Gary Vaynerchuk, Jeremy Schoemaker, Carol RothTimothy Sykes, Neil Patel, Michael Hyatt and even my dad!

The podcast is currently on hold for the time being while transitioning/rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy.

Not only has launching the podcast allowed me to connect with some of the best experts in the world, just like blogging, it’s also helped me become a better public speaker, while also allowing my audience to know me much better in the process. Written text is one thing, audio is another.

Thank you again to everyone who has listed to the show.

Ten years in the making…

So here we are… ten years, 1,500+ blog posts and more than 2.5 unique million visitors later — it’s been quite a journey and one that’s really only just getting started.

The opportunities and new business that have been generated from the blog over the past ten years have been quite amazing. Everything from appearing on ABC News and Fox News, to having a camera crew come to the house and film a documentary that premiered in Hollywood, to being able to share personal stories around my life, brand and business — and most importantly, getting to meet and connect with new audiences and readers around the world.

Probably the greatest result of all from the blog is being able to spend time with my wife Reena, my dog Foxy and family and friends. I get to work from the comfort of my home and I love what I do. Life is short and I wish everyone could truly experience the same.

Simply one of the best business and life decisions ever made.

Without you, the blog is nothing. Thank you, everyone.