Inbound vs Outbound Marketing: What’s the Difference for Brands in 2019?

When it comes to marketing, every method is the same as long as it yields results, right? Actually, there’s a variety of ways to market and a difference depending on what techniques get used.

But what are the key differences between inbound vs outbound marketing? And is one better than the other when it comes to generating interest that converts to sales?

This ultimately all comes down to what you are trying to promote to an audience, how that market can take action, and also how you can measure your results as well.

As we all known, online advertising is much easier to set up and track, versus offline advertising. The good thing about ‘inbound’ and ‘outbound’ marketing methods, is that they can also be tracked in the same way.

Learn more about inbound vs outbound marketing, and see which techniques can bring the most success to your business.

Understanding Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing techniques focus on giving customers (or potential customers) information and letting them decide how to execute a plan or suggestion. That means presenting consumers with information in the form of blog posts, social media and even a white paper or other free downloads that would inspire them to purchase something.

Inbound marketing ideas range from making use of your website to curating other viral content that folks take interest in. By combining your own ideas with that of other people, you’ll gain attention in what you have to offer.

It sometimes takes a while to build up viewers for this type of marketing. However, many people view this as working smarter, not harder, and believe that a focused effort on this type of marketing pays off in the long-term.

If you like the idea of appealing to folks but not doing a hard sell, inbound marketing is a form of promotion to consider for your business.

In the eyes of Google, it’s also important to make sure that your content not only delivers a message — but also that it’s one of the most in-depth and detailed articles out there. If you are going to focus your efforts on inbound marketing and writing content, put in the time and effort to make sure they each have at least 1,500+ words of content per article.

Know What Outbound Marketing Involves

In contrast to inbound marketing, outbound marketing involves traditional methods that have long been staples in the business world.

Some of these forms of marketing include:

  • Cold calling
  • Ads on TV, billboards etc
  • Focuses on the product

Many people gravitate toward this type of marketing simply because it’s what they’re used to. The idea of approaching customers and trying to make a sale with folks who might not necessarily express interest is not a concern for those who use outbound marketing techniques.

Outbound marketing has a place in today’s world of promotion. For example, it can prove useful for branding and making a company’s name known but isn’t always the best option when it comes to gaining long-term customers.

You can read more now about the differences between inbound marketing vs outbound marketing. Knowing how to apply marketing to your company’s needs makes a difference in how well it can work.

What Today’s Consumers Want

Many consumers today are wise when it comes to marketing and what someone’s selling. They fully expect to get upsold and asked to buy the most expensive option on the market.

With that in mind, it’s better to appeal to an individual’s intellect before anything else.

One of the best ways to do this (and encourage sales in the process) is through content creation. If your company doesn’t already have a blog and make use of search engine optimization with content, you’re missing out.

Blogging and SEO go hand-in-hand with attracting the right kinds of consumers who actively seek your products and want to purchase from you. Since more consumers are on social media now more than ever, posting and discussing information on there does wonders for increasing company growth.

Another factor to consider is how well cold calling works when most people don’t want to pick up their phones anymore. Many people screen calls with caller ID or even block unknown numbers from calling.

You’re likely to get ahead more using techniques that get your product and services in front of folks, but don’t force them to read more if they’re not interested. If you’re curious about how blogging can help your business, check out a previous post on this here.

The Key Differences Between Inbound vs Outbound Marketing

Now that we’ve discussed the two types of marketing, what are the key differences between the two?

In general, inbound marketing drives the customer to you. You can do this through written content on your blog or website, social media outreach, and even engaging folks on a forum or other public form of communication.

While you might not make a sale right away, you’re developing a relationship with folks interested in what you have to offer. That is considered more important when it comes to marketing than trying to make a quick one-time sale.

In contrast, outbound marketing generally means you go to the customer. You’ll do this by cold calling, going on the radio or making a TV commercial, and even engaging in print advertisements.

Many of your outbound marketing methods are old-fashioned and direct. The focus is on the product and what it does, rather than the individual and what they need. If you’re concerned about approaching people in a laid-back fashion, this isn’t the method you’d use.

Can You Do Both?

Now that you know the difference between the two marketing methods, you’re likely asking yourself, “is it possible to do both?” The answer is yes.

Use outbound marketing sparingly, and to help establish your company’s brand. This allows people to know what you’re about and to get your name out there.

When you want to cultivate meaningful connections and show how your products or services can change someone’s life, use inbound marketing. This allows people to learn more about your product and how you can help them succeed.

There’s no reason not to do both. It just depends on your company and how you’d like to reach people and have them remember you.

Discover More

Now that you know the differences between inbound vs outbound marketing, you can see how to apply them to your business for success. Choosing to blog or utilize social media instead of cold calling can help push your business to new heights as you reach a large number of people.

Does your company have a social media plan? If not, check out our blog post on the importance of social media marketing, and see how having one can grow your business even more.

Developer To-Do List: The 8 Best Programming Languages to Learn in 2019

What are the best programming languages you need to know in 2019?

People who are new to coding will find that there are a ton of programming languages to learn. Of course, you want to start with the easiest programming language.

However, at the same time, it’s important to realize that you don’t need to code in order to have a website or blog. WordPress has made the process of creating a site or making a blog extremely easy — with little-to-no coding or design skills ever required.

Surprisingly, there isn’t an easy answer to find the best programming language to learn. This article will break down all of the basic programming languages.

Which one is the easiest programming language? Read on to find out which programming language you should start with.

Best Programming Languages to Learn

In order to decide which programming languages to learn, you should have an idea as to why you want to learn to code.

Are you starting a new affiliate marketing business? Maybe you want to jump to a more lucrative career. Programmers often start at six-figures, making it one of the more lucrative jobs.

Some programming languages are great if you’re planning to create an app, while others are great for building a website. The best programming language to learn is the one that you can grasp easily and apply in your work right away.

1. Python

If you want to start with an easy and versatile programming language, start with Python. It is a very popular language and would be the best programming language to learn for almost any application.

Companies are migrating to Python to handle data management to building web applications.

2. JavaScript

The best programmers love and hate JavaScript. They love it because it allows you to be creative in creating websites. On the downside, it’s virtually impossible to solve bugs in your code when things aren’t working.

Overall, JavaScript is used to develop programs online, making it a widely used program.

3. Ruby on Rails

Developers love Ruby on Rails and many consider this the best programming language to learn. It’s used quite a bit in website development, and you’ll see it on the backend of sites like Air BnB and Hulu.

The reason why developers love it so much is because it’s intuitive and fun. Many people will tell you to learn this language first.

4. PHP

Facebook, WordPress, and Yahoo! Are run on PHP. If you’re looking to develop WordPress websites, PHP is the language to learn.

It’s not intimidating for people just starting out to code to learn PHP. If your dream is to make money through affiliate marketing sites, then this language would be a good one to learn.

5. C++

This is a programming language that’s been around forever. It’s been around for so long, it’s considered to be a language that’s obsolete.

While it is a legacy programming language, it’s still very useful. It’s alive and well in assisting engineers to solve complex mathematical equations in an instant.

It’s also used to develop games, and system software. As you can see, this programing language is alive and well.

6. C#

In the corporate world, you’ll see a lot of companies that use Microsoft’s .NET framework. Pronounced C-Sharp, this language is meant to make development easier to learn than other programming languages from Microsoft.

If you want to develop games, you’re definitely going to need to know both C++ and C#.

7. SQL

What does SQL stand for? Structured Query Language. What does that mean? It’s a language that’s used to extract, update, and delete information in databases.

While some people view SQL as an old and cumbersome way to communicate with databases, but it’s the best way there is.

You’ll see SQL used in WordPress sites and projects that contain large databases.

8. Swift

Swift is one of those programming languages that not many people know. If you plan on developing an app, you’ll want to be familiar with it. This is the programming language that’s used to drive iOS apps.

If you want to fast track your learning, this is a great language to know. Think of this way, there are millions of iOS devices out there, from phones to watches. This presents a great opportunity for you to get your business out to a larger audience or join a company that develops apps.

How to Learn to Code

You know which programming languages you want to learn. How should you go about learning? There are many options to learn to code. The most common ways to learn is to go to school for a degree, programming boot camps, and teaching yourself.

No matter where you start, you should read a few books about the history of computer programming. This will give you a background on the various programming languages and how they evolved. One such book is “The Art of Computer Programming,” which by many is a book that has shaped computer science.

There are also algorithms in there that are tied to Babylonian tablets from 3000 years ago.

If you want to learn Python, you can learn with a few good books and videos that are available online. There are also courses where you can learn Python and data science, which can help you take your skills to another level.

There are blogs, books, course, and more that you can use to learn just about any programming language. Most programmers are self-taught, and it is possible that you can do the same.

If you’re serious about learning to code, you’ll need to be disciplined about learning.

The best thing you can do is to set up a schedule to study your chosen programming language.

Start Your Programming Adventure

In 2019, you want to have the best opportunities in front of you. Whether you’re building a business or want to give your career a fresh boost, programming languages are great to know.

You can create customizations on your websites, build apps, or do anything your imagination wants.

Want to know more? Check out this article on building a million dollar website.

7 Tips to Boost Email Subscribers and Grow Your List in 2019

Did you spend most of this year struggling to figure out how to grow your email list? If you did, don’t worry you’re not alone. Many small businesses and new bloggers can’t quite discover the secret sauce that many other websites use to grow their email list from nothing into hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

But fear not, there are some easy to implement tips and tricks that will help you build an email list full of loyal fans who will hang on your every word, become brand ambassadors for your business, and buy your products or services again and again.

Get ready to ring in the new year with a ton of new subscribers, check out these seven tips to boost email subscribers in 2019.

1. Offer a Content Upgrade

Everyone loves getting a free gift, so use that to your advantage when growing your email list. Offering a freebie or content upgrade to your website visitors in exchange for their email address is one of the easiest ways to get more subscribers in 2019. People won’t hesitate to join your email list when you’re offering extra content that’s relevant to your niche.

You can use a free tool like Canva to easily create PDF guides, checklists, worksheets, calendars, templates, and more. One great tip is to turn your most popular existing blog post into a content upgrade. It will be less work for you to put together because you’re not coming up with new ideas from scratch and you know it will perform well.

2. Add an Opt-In at End of Articles

When a visitor has just finished reading one of your useful blog posts they’re fully engaged and in the mood to subscribe, so give them the opportunity to do so by adding an opt-in at the end of your articles. You already know they’re loving your content because they’re reading it, which makes it the perfect moment to turn them from reader to subscriber.

Like in the example below, you can let readers know that if they enjoyed the article they just read, they can get more of the same great content by signing up for your email list.

You can easily create a sleek looking opt-in that will grab the attention of users and convince them to sign up.

3. Create an Exit-Intent Popup.

Another amazing way to catch the attention of website visitors and encourage them to become subscribers is to use an exit-intent popup. Many people will come across a great article on your website, read it, and never return again. In fact, over 70 percent of people who leave your website will never return. So in order to convert abandoning site visitors into subscribers, you need to add an exit-intent popup to your site.

You can build a stunning exit-intent popup in minutes using a tool like OptinMonster. An exit-intent message works like this: When a user is on your site, the exit-intent technology tracks when they’re about to leave and then displays a targeted message to them at exactly the right time. So before you’ve lost a visitor forever, you can turn them into a subscriber.

4. Promote Your List on Social Media

You can’t expect to grow your email list if you don’t promote it. That’s why it’s important to promote your email list not just on your own website but on social media too. There are a number of ways to promote your email list on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn etc., including:

  • Sharing your blog posts on social media and include hashtags related to your niche
  • Adding a link to your profile bio
  • Pinning your email list opt-in to the top of your profile
  • Join Facebook groups relating to your niche
  • Make connections and interact with people in comment sections

Promoting your email list on social media will widen your reach; you’ll introduce your blog and your email list to online users who have never heard of or visited your website before.

5. Add a Contact Form to Your Site

If you’re a blogger you might think that having a contact form on your website isn’t necessary for you, but it is. Your website visitors need an easy way to contact you if they have any questions or if they just have something to say, plus you can use a contact form to grow your email list. You can create a contact form with a field for an email address that users are required to fill out before they can submit their message. So even visitors who ignored your email list opt-ins on your website will be able to be converted with a contact form.

Adding a contact form to your website isn’t difficult, it’s actually quite easy with a tool like WPForms. With their drag and drop builder you’ll be able to create a contact form in minutes that will capture all of the information you need. They also have some other cool features like a Form Abandonment Tool that will capture a users info even if they don’t submit the form. By adding a contact form to your site, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with your website visitors and turn them into email subscribers.

6. Display Testimonials

It’s natural for humans to want to be a part of something awesome. For instance, if you drive by a restaurant and see a line up down the street, you’ll want to eat there too. If that many people think it’s great, it probably is. You can create the same effect with your email list by displaying testimonials. Showing social proof is an effective way to grow your email list. People will take notice of all of the subscribers singing your praises and want to become a part of the club too.

So, ask some of your biggest fans to write a review or testimonial you can showcase on your website. You could also retweet users who are talking about you and sharing your content on social media. Seeing social proof helps users build trust with your brand and more trust means more email subscribers for you.

7. Redirect Commenters

The people who are commenting on your blog are the perfect people to encourage to become subscribers. If they’re commenting on your articles, you already know they’re interested in what you have to say and right after they’ve spent time sharing their thoughts with you is the most opportune time to convert them into email subscribers. So to get a boost in your email list, redirect users who are commenting on your blog.

A great tool for this is Yoast Comment Hacks. With this plugin, after a user has commented on your blog for the first time, they’ll be redirected to a “thank you” page that encourages them to sign up for your email list. An engaged user who’s commenting on your blog posts is one that will likely take you up on your offer and subscribe.

Over to You

With these actionable tips you’ll be able to take your email list from zero to hero in the new year. But don’t wait until 2019 to get the ball rolling. Start implementing these tips now so that by January 1st you won’t only be celebrating the New Year, but you’ll be celebrating the huge growth of your email list.

Thwart the Thieves: How to Protect Your Company Data from Hackers

Running an online business where you are dealing with customer data and private information can be scary. It doesn’t matter if you are a sole affiliate marketer or a huge 500+ person company, a data hack or leak can happen at any time. Even scarier than the initial leak itself, is that if hackers find a way to access private company data, they may be able to bring down your business. If you’re worried about this potential threat, you might want to learn how you can protect yourself.

Luckily, there are specific tactics you can put into place to shield your company data from hackers.

Keep reading and you’ll learn what it takes to keep your data safe. When you’re done, you’ll understand how you can lower the odds of a hacker stealing precious company data.

Let’s begin!

Enable 2-Factor Authentication

2-Factor authentication means that a password is not the only thing a person needs to access a certain ‘account.’

This is helpful because if someone accidentally exposes their password, their data is still going to be safe.

Most of the time, 2-factor authentication means you need an authentication code whenever you want to login to a specific account. Or, you’ll need to login to an app, that is constantly generating new authentication codes.

When you sign up to something like this, you’re also given some ‘backup codes.’ These codes are ‘hard-copy’ codes you can use should you lose your phone. You can write down these codes on a piece of paper and put that paper somewhere safe. You’ll then have a way to login to your account even if you don’t have your phone nearby.

There’s also the option of using a ‘key.’

This method is growing in popularity because it’s a lot more secure than using a message sent to your phone. With this option, you buy a special USB key. You then need to insert the key into your computer before you can log in to your account.

If you want to keep things as secure as possible, security keys can be the best option. Just make sure you buy your keys from a reputable source.

Be sure to enable 2-factor authentication for all your digital business systems.

Teach Employees How to Keep Data Safe

Data breaches often happen due to human error. If you can train your staff on potential scenarios that might lead to a data breach, you can reduce the odds of an issue related to human error.

One thing you need to teach employees is the importance of verifying URLs before they enter information.

For instance, there are a lot of hackers that will use a method which involves creating a duplicate web page. When people reach this duplicate webpage, they’ll think it’s the original version. Following this, they’ll enter in their login information. The hacker will then have this login information and they can then use it to access your data.

It’s worth noting that using methods like 2-factor authentication can help reduce the odds of this becoming an issue. After all, even if someone has access to the password, they’ll still need the authentication code/security key to gain access to your systems.

Another thing you should teach employees is to be wary of how they carry/transport data.

You should also let them know that they’re not allowed to store data on their USB sticks. USB sticks are convenient, but they’re also an easy way to lose company data.

The alternative is to store everything on a cloud server. This will help prevent a scenario, wherein an employee accidentally leaves their USB lying around and someone then steals You should also tell employees that they should always make sure there is a password on their computer.

Make Use of Business Specific Cloud Services

If you’re using a cloud service, use one that’s designed specifically for business. Such a service can often provide a lot more security, than a normal cloud offering.

You’ll find certain options provide you with a lot of insight into who has access to certain files and folders. Using the administrator login, you can control who has access.

This is especially helpful if someone loses their laptop.

You can just log in to the dashboard and make it so that the computer in question no longer has access to the files. If someone steals the laptop, they’ll be unable to access the data and exploit it. If you’d like to know how access rights work, check out this post for more info.

Such services also provide you with logs.

This can be helpful if you’re trying to spot unusual data access patterns. If you notice a login from an unusual location, it could be the sign of someone trying to hack your system. You can shut down this login as soon as you’re aware of it.

Hire People to Check Your Systems

There’s also the option of hiring people known as ‘white hat’ hackers. Such individuals will look for ways to hack your systems and gain access to your data. These people can let you know what vulnerabilities exist in your system and how you should fix such issues.

According to HeimdalSecurity, the following cyber attacks and threats are the biggest risks to data companies of all sizes:

  • Getting their info compromised in massive data leaks
  • Smartphones shipping with malware and malicious apps
  • Ransomware attacks on cloud services
  • Cryptojacking that affects their hardware
  • Financial losses and data compromise due to cryptocurrency trading
  • Scams with advanced social engineering tactics
  • IoT devices like smart locks or smart assistants being hacked

This preemptive approach gives you the chance to address issues before they’re exploited in a way that can damage your business. Good white hat hackers can be expensive. But you need to compare this cost to what you might expect you lose if someone hacks your company data.

Do You Know How to Protect Company Data?

There’s really no way to escape the fact that your company will have sensitive data stored on electronic devices. This can be a problem because people who are looking to exploit your data can hack these devices.

In this post, we’ve reviewed how you can protect your company data from hackers. You need to focus on training your employees so that the odds of human error are low. You also want to make use of things like 2-factor authentication.

If you want to keep your data really secure, consider hiring some white hat hackers. They’ll be able to take a look at your setup and can provide qualified advice on how you can make things better.

No matter what type of business or brand you are running online, it’s extremely important to protect your own, and your customer data. This is also true for any bloggers and affiliate marketers that might want to further protect their ad campaigns, company marketing plans, and business models.

Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17

Thousands of internet marketers, entrepreneurs, content creators and brands will ascend upon Las Vegas this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Not only has Affiliate Summit become one of the largest affiliate and internet marketing conferences in the world today, it’s also one I’ve been closely associated with ever since the beginning. From it’s first conference in a small room in New York City with just a couple hundred people to now having more than 5,000+ attendees and conferences twice per year, it’s always been great to attend as both an attendee and speaker.

At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to discount Affiliate Summit as just another networking of marketing conference. The relationships, businesses and life experiences that are a result of the event is second to none — which I why I always recommend everyone to attend, no matter their current level of expertise.

By the way… if you are attending, don’t miss the awesome “How to Become a Millionaire Blogger” panel with myself, John Chow, John Rampton, and Syed Balkhi. It’s almost always standing room only, and rated as one of the highest attended and most valued sessions of Affiliate Summit.

Affiliate_Summit_West_2017_Agenda2_-_Affiliate_Summit

Over the years I’ve literally met thousands of people through the conference and built many powerful relationships and business opportunities as well. With each new year, new speakers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers will take the next step in becoming financially independent, starting a side business or simply changing the world in some way or another.

To help you not only get inspired for this year’s Affiliate Summit West conference but also get inspired with just a glimpse of the talent at this event, I wanted to highlight some of my previous podcast guests, who will also be speaking at #ASW17. Enjoy, and I hope to see you there!

Inspiring Stories and Marketing Tips from Affiliate Summit Speakers

Below you will find a list of speakers currently on the agenda for ASW 17. However, through my podcast I’ve interviewed more than 80 different industry experts… many of which who will be also attending the event in one way or another. Be sure to check out the full list of interviews here.

Shawn Collins and the Affiliate Summit Empire

Shawn Collins of Affiliate Summit

Shawn Collins the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, which has become the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world today.

I’ve been good friends with Shawn for a while now and we’ve both been able to experience the affiliate marketing industry completely transition and develop over the past 15+ years. We were both in attendance at the Affiliate Force cruise, which was one of the first attempts at an affiliate marketing conference, but knew it could be done better. At that point Shawn and Missy decided they could do it better and the rest is history!

John Chow, the Master of Blog Monetization

John Chow is one of the most well-known and successful bloggers in the world. If you’ve ever Google’d “how to make money online” or “how to make money blogging”, you’ve probably come across his name and site several times.

The amazing thing about John Chow was that he was never supposed to make money with his blog in the first place. What was originally just going to be a blog on his personal life and what he ate for lunch, soon became a “money making case study”. As John learned new and exciting ways to monetize his blog content and audience, the money just kept rolling in.

Jump forward several years later and his blog is now generating over six-figures per month, and most of it recurring and automated through his amazing sales funnel system — all of which John talks about in this episode.

Rachel Honoway, From Intern to CEO

Rachel Honoway is the CEO of For Me To Coupon. However it’s not her current position that we are focusing on, instead it’s the great journey that’s led her to where she is today.

The start of Rachel’s journey in the world of online marketing is nearly 20 years in the making. Rachel’s first job was at an internet marketing company called Kowabunga, where she first came in as an intern. As the company continued to grow in size, so did Rachel’s daily tasks and her job title. The company was soon acquired and Rachel was then managing more of the company than ever before. Once leaving Kowabunga, Rachel had a wide range of opportunities over the years before ending up at For Me To Coupon, where she is the CEO today — which is all discussed in this latest episode.

Syed Balkhi, the Wizard of WordPress

Syed Balkhi is not only a master at WordPress, but he is also an awesome entrepreneur.

Since an early age Syed has always had a passion for business and building success. This could be seen from the early years of his life when he was just a kid in Pakistan and selling greeting cards. Then later in life while in high school, Syed started developing sites of his own while quickly discovering what the internet had to offer.

Today Syed runs some of the most powerful and heavily trafficked sites in the world… and yes, they are all powered with WordPress!

Stephan Spencer and the Science of SEO

Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He’s also the author of Google Power Search and co-author of The Art of SEO… so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking sites in the search results.

How sites rank in the search results can go all the way back to before 2000, which is when Stephan and his NetConcepts company started getting heavy into SEO services. The thing about SEO is that it’s always changing, so to be one of the best SEO experts in the industry, Stephan is continually at the forefront of the industry and connecting with some of the most successful experts, businesses, and brands in the world.

Geno Prussakov Shares his Affiliate Management Tips

Geno Prussakov is an affiliate marketing expert, author, and international speaker.

In the world of the internet, being an expert is key. Geno has mastered the art of affiliate marketing and affiliate program management and through this expertise has been able to grow his personal brand and business at the same time. As the author of many best-selling books on affiliate marketing, and also haven spoke at 50+ different conferences on such topics, Geno is the voice many people turn to when looking for answers to their affiliate marketing questions.

Having trained thousands of marketing professionals through his various books and online blog, Geno also went on to create Affiliate Management Days, which is a conference solely focused on the art of successful affiliate program management.

Oliver Roup Wants to Make Every Link Intelligent and Valuable

Oliver Roup is the founder and CEO of VigLink, a company that helps content creators make money through the use of affiliate marketing, while not having to deal with all the complexities of individual tracking, manually creating links and joining multiple programs.

Before getting active in the online marketing space, Oliver had accumulated quite an exciting resume of previous work with Space X, Microsoft, Paul Allen and many others. However, what might be Oliver’s most exciting experience to date was taking his business at Viglink from an idea to the flourishing business it is today.

For Oliver, this isn’t something that would happen overnight. Instead, it was a long journey of meeting with investors and VCs, trying to convince them that his idea was worth their time and investment. After many failed attempts, Oliver finally found an investor that was interested and things started to move fast!

Years later and over $20 million dollars in funding to date, the company continues to grow and scale in size while also helping sites of all sizes make money with their content while also connecting them with some of the largest brands and advertisers in the world.

Russell Brunson and How to Create Killer Sales Funnels

Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and the founder of DotComSecrets and ClickFunnels.

While finishing up his last year in College, Russell wanted to figure out a way to make enough money so he could continue with his passion for wrestling and to take care of himself and his girlfriend. After dabbling in the online marketing space and going through various failed projects, Russell discovered that one of the most successful ways to make money online was through the use of ebooks, guides and selling information. While messing around with some friends, Russell wanted to create a potato gun and went to the internet to find out how to create one. Once he found that there was nothing out there, he quickly threw one together and made a little course of his own on how to do the same.

Jump forward several years and today you will find Russell Brunson with all of his attention focused on ClickFunnels, a WYSIWYG editor and seamless way to create high converting landing pages and sales funnels. Not only has ClickFunnels become a huge success, it’s also taught Russell how to grow and scale a company, while also learning how to remove distractions and only focusing on what matters most.

John Rampton and Living the Dream in Silicon Valley

John Rampton is an online entrepreneur who has become a master at pay per click marketing, but even more importantly — making connections and networking with the right people.

I first met John Rampton several years back when he came up to me and asked for an interview while at Affiliate Summit. Since then we just seemed to click and started working on various projects together. In addition to being the Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal, John’s writing can also be found on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Entrepreneur and many other top media outlets and news sources.

One of the major reasons for John’s success in the world of online marketing can be attributed to his outgoing attitude, willingness to help others and talking with just about everyone he meets. Each of these are all required skills for making it in the world of business and forming new partnerships. With all of this in mind, it only made sense for him to leave his home state of Utah and make the big move to Silicon Valley, CA — the central economic focal point for everything internet!

Thomas Smale and How to Buy and Sell Websites

Thomas Smale is the co-founder of FE International, a company that was founded in 2010 that focuses on website brokering for mid-market online businesses.

Back in 2009-2010 Thomas wanted to get involved in the world of online marketing, but with little technical experience, his options were limited. It was then that he fell upon the concept of buying and selling websites for himself. With only a few hundred dollars at a time, Thomas began buying and flipping websites and getting quite good at it in the process. As his reputation and experience in this space started to grow, so did requests from other individuals asking for his support in selling their own websites — thus, a new business venture begins!

Today Thomas is the co-founder of FE International, which has offices in two different countries and 11 team members — all with the focus on website brokering and mastering the art of buying and selling websites.

See you at Affiliate Summit West!

10 Strategies to Take Your Facebook Marketing to the Next Level

How should brands that rely on Facebook marketing shift strategy in light of Facebook’s latest newsfeed update (which makes brand pages more dependent on users sharing posts with friends)?

Facebook, with over 1.7 billion users, is a powerful marketing platform for any business. It allows you to reach consumers on a platform that they are already using every day.

But when users told Facebook that they wanted to see more stories from friends and less promotional content, Facebook implemented a news feed update that gave them just that. So what does that mean for your marketing efforts?

Facebook Marketing

Businesses now need to work harder to ensure that their content is shareable rather than promotional. We asked ten entrepreneurs from YEC to share their best tips to ensure that your content still makes it on the news feed.

1. Be the Supplier for News Breakers

Step back and think about the sharing behavior of your own friends. They always want to be the first to share content that others have not already seen. Be fast and be first to break new stories relevant to your audience. Your Facebook page fans are more likely to share exclusive and engaging content to their own personal audiences if they feel it’s fresh and new.

– Anthony SaladinoKitchen Cabinet Kings

2. Stop Selling and Start Engaging

Unless you want to pay Facebook to promote your content, you need to push more content that your audience is likely to share. The more shares and likes you drive, the more reach you get with your content. With Facebook’s recent change, the key is to stop using Facebook to sell and instead use it to educate, entertain and engage your audience.

– Kristopher JonesLSEO.com

3. Pay Facebook

Facebook is a public company. Any updates to its newsfeed algorithm are meant to help the company maximize its return to shareholders. My advice? Play the game. Pay Facebook its advertising dollars to ensure your content gets discovered. The cost to create content (designers, copywriters, etc.) is usually more than advertising. Budget a little extra for Facebook ads to produce your best content ROI.

– Brett FarmiloeMarkitors

4. Embed Interactivity

Reduce the number of links that you post on your page and focus on embedding content – articles and videos – into Facebook instead. Since Facebook users prefer to stay on Facebook, giving them content without sending them away will help to guarantee they actually share your content, which will then place you in front of other audiences. Share stories that are informative, not promotional.

– Marcela De VivoBrilliance

5. Focus on Proven Tactics That Yield More Shares

Tactics like video content and helpful advice are some of the most commonly shared type of posts, so businesses should redirect their content strategy toward these tactics if they haven’t done so already.

– Peter DaisymeDue Invoicing

6. Diversify Your Marketing Strategies

It is not a good idea to be solely dependent on just one marketing platform. In this fast-paced world, change is inevitable when it comes to marketing via various social media platforms. Diversify your marketing strategies across numerous platforms because safety comes in numbers. If changes on one platform don’t suit your business, move your marketing money to another.

– Engelo Rumora, List’n Sell Realty

7. Make Ad Campaigns Pop

 With social media platforms now “competing for screen time,” companies need to make their advertising campaigns funny or memorable. We always remember those funny Super Bowl commercials, share them and talk about them. Making an emotional connection through storytelling will make potential customers remember your brand and create more buzz.

– Nemoy RauUS Biometrix

8. Network and Be Personal

You need to connect with friends and family on a personal level. Then you can market your services, just like you would in real life. You would not consistently blast your friends and family with announcements of your services, so don’t do it on Facebook either. However, a well-placed announcement for something interesting or important can be effective.

– Peter BoydPaperStreet Web Design

9. Make Content Sharable, Then Pay

If you have the right approach, this shouldn’t be a problem. You’re already creating shareable content targeted to the right audience. But even if your content is popular, you’ll have to pay to promote posts to a wider audience. Find out which posts generate the most engagement and pay to promote them. For brands, Facebook isn’t the free ride to huge audiences that it used to be.

– Justin BlanchardServerMania Inc.

10. Provide Value

Facebook is a game changer for any business that can master it. By providing value to the users that share your posts, it will give them an incentive to do so more often. For example, if you have an e-commerce business, offer a coupon code to anyone who shares your post. If you’re providing a service, give the users access to an exclusive blog post for sharing.

– Chad KellerWUDN

 

The answers above are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Top 7 Mobile Apps for Stock Trading and News Alerts

As online marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners, we may find ourselves in the situation where we have a decent amount of money to set aside or to invest in the stock market or different opportunities that may arise. For the majority of us, the stock market is the easiest place to start putting some extra money to use.

However, when it comes to investing, many people do not know where to start.

They know that it is important to invest, but they do not know how to do it or in which company it would be wise to invest their resources. Even individuals who are long time investors need a bit of guidance regarding the current status of the stock market. The process needs to be as simple and easy as it possibly can. That is why many of the top stock trading and reporting companies have generated several mobile apps for stock trading online and news alerts. Many of them come with their own unique features and people enjoy them for different reasons. The wise investor needs to assess their needs and choose a mobile app that best corresponds with those needs.

Thanks to the advancements in mobile usage and technology, trading and keeping an eye on your investments has never been easier. Many of the top stock trading, banking and news reporting agencies have created high-quality mobile apps to keep you in the know at all times. Many of them come with their own unique features and people enjoy them for different reasons. The wise investor needs to assess their needs and choose a mobile app that best corresponds with those needs.

The Best Stock Trading Online and News Alerts Mobile Apps

Mobile___Web_Forex_Trading_and_CFD_Trading_-_XTrade_United_Kingdom

1 – XTrade

XTrade has successfully branded itself as “the number one mobile app for trading stocks.” One can understand their enthusiasm and why many consumers think that XTrade is a very efficient app. It makes the process of trading stocks very convenient. If somebody is compelled by a certain stock offer, they can make investments right from their phone using their credit or debit card. When they make these transactions, they do not have to pay XTrade any additional fee for the commission. XTrade takes no commission, so that the consumer just needs to pay for the investment. 

Those who are compelled by this offer have the opportunity to take a free trial. A free trial speaks to the confidence that XTrade has in their service. They know that when the consumer starts to use XTrade, they will see the financial potential and the capacity to hone their investments and optimize their financial future, such that they will want to continue the service. 

Mobile_Trading___TD_Ameritrade

2 – TD Ameritrade Mobile

Mobile apps need to be accessible across every platform. It shows the consumer that the business cares about their interests. TD Ameritrade has designed their mobile app for accessibility even on the Apple Watch so that people who value convenience and do not want to deal with the headache of a malfunctioning app across different platforms will enjoy Ameritrade. 

Second, while it used to be that people who were interested in the stock market would read the papers every day to catch up on the latest news and insight regarding the companies into which they have invested, Ameritrade has made it much easier. They update their consumers with the latest news and information about the stock market so that their customers will be able to make informed decisions about how to proceed into the future. Many consumers regard TD Ameritrade as a great mobile app for managing one’s stocks and enhancing their portfolio.

Mobile_Trading_App_-_Download_E_TRADE_Mobile

3 – ETrade Mobile

Many people who want to check the status of their stocks will have to wait until they have an opportunity to sit down at the computer and access them. They may have to call their stock broker or just open up the newspaper. But ETrade Mobile has made this process much more convenient. When there is an update to an individual’s account or stocks, they will receive a notification directly to their phone. So when they get good news that the company into which they are investing is on the rise and their net worth is growing, they can celebrate and share the realtime update with their friends. 

Second, ETrade makes it very easy to manage the money that you have earned through the stock market. Their Mobile Cash Management feature makes it very easy to make deposits and withdrawals, even to pay bills with this system. ETrade Mobile is therefore an app that goes beyond managing one’s stocks. It helps them to manage their financial stability and to generally make their life easier. 

StockTwits®_-_Share_Ideas___Learn_from_Passionate_Investors___Traders

4 – StockTwits

As an individual considers investment, they will want insight from the experts so that they can know which companies are on the rise so that they can make an informed decision. But many people do not want to consult with a stock broker because they do not want to be pressured into investing before they are ready. That is why Stocktwits is so helpful. It provides insight into what the stock brokers and experts in the industry are saying. Users will overhear the expert analysis and they can use that to make an informed decision without actually being pressured. They will also be able to hear about what experts have to say about their current investments so that they will know if it is time to sell or if they should hold out for a better day.

Stock_Picks__Stock_Market_Investing___Seeking_Alpha

5 – SeekingAlpha

A long term investor is doing more than just placing their resources in one particular company. They are strategically moving their resources around so that they will be able to enhance their net worth. But many people do not know how to do that. They do not know when to sell, and to where they should move their resources. After all, most people are not interested in merely one payout from the stock market. They want to secure their future. This requires an intimate knowledge of the present and future state of the market and how they can maneuver through it. SeekingAlpha offers features to help them do that. It guides investors through the strategy that they need to employ to be successful as they are using the stock market. It sees them through the confusing and winding trails of Wall Street.

TradeHero___Trade_Better__Together_

6 – TradeHero

There are people who know how to maneuver through the stock market. If beginners knew what these people were doing, that would be a great start to investing in their future. TradeHero displays their most successful users and allows others to follow them. This means that an individual can see what somebody is trading online, and they can mimic their activity and then mimic their yieldings. A novice can develop an impressive stock portfolio in a short amount of time just by mimicking people who have been in the business for awhile. 

Second, TradeHero has a platform for competition and even has leaderboards. By creating his sort of atmosphere, they allow their users to [1] see who they can follow and [2] enjoy the process of moving up the leaderboard as they employ the best strategies to maneuver through the stock market. People have a lot of fun trading stocks on the TradeHero community. 

Robinhood_-_About

7 – Robinhood

Robinhood is typically regarded as the mobile app for new users. First time investors are their biggest clients. Perhaps this is because there is no commission fee. Most brokers charge investors per trade and other mobile apps usually do have some sort of fee as well. But Robinhood earns revenue in other ways. They encourage their investors to upgrade to the paid service, as it comes with more features. They also collect interest upon uninvested revenue sitting in their client’s accounts (at no charge to the client). This allows them to grant users stock trading online without any commission. 

Further, there is no minimum balance. This will give some comfort to first time users who need to just peak their head into the room rather than kicking the door open and barging in. They want to know what is behind the door before they open it. Robinhood allows them to do that.

All of the trading apps are excellent options to overcome the learning curb when investing in the stock market. They are efficient for both novices and experienced investors who need insight into the status of their account and stocks.

5 Most Powerful Ways to Monetize Your Blog and Increase Traffic

Most people think making money from a blog is really hard.

But the truth is it’s not. Anyone who knows how to sell can make a decent income online.

If you have ever wondered how to make money blogging, this is the RIGHT place for you. I’m not only going to share you few incredible ways to make money from a blog but also going to show you few insider strategies to drive huge traffic to your sites.

Let’s dive into the details.

5 Powerful Ways to Monetize Your Blog

Infographic financial investment

#1. Create a money making online course

Ramit Sethi, Derek Halpern, Brian Clark – these big players have one thing in common. They are making huge income by selling online courses. They have built million-dollar online businesses by selling courses to their audience.

Online courses are the new craze now. Every top marketer or guru in your industry has an online course (or going to start one soon). Did you know why?

They give you passive income with less or zero investment. All you need is to have some experience around your niche to create a profitable online course for your audience.

So how can you create a successful online course that actually makes money?

  • The difference between a profitable online course and the mediocre one is the “authority”. No one likes to spend their money on a stranger especially if they don’t have any authority. If you are popular in your industry, people are going to pay you no matter how high your prices are.
  • Promotion is everything while making more money from online courses. Every profitable online course is well promoted via Facebook ads, affiliates; email lists, PPC ads etc. The more exposure you give to selling your courses the more people you can attract.
  • Answer “why should anyone buy from me”. If you don’t have convincing answers for why people should pay you for your online courses instead of your competitors, you will fail miserably to make money.

#2. Offer Consulting Services

Consulting

Did you know that consulting is a whopping $500 billion industry?

Consultants worldwide are getting paid to teach.

Neil Patel is a well-known consultant who teaches first at his blog QuickSprout and uses his audience to convert into his clients.

People love to pay him more for his consulting services not only because he delivers but he has worked with Fortune 500 companies.

Not everyone can repeat the same but you can definitely learn some of the lessons from other successful consultants to start making money from your blogging efforts.

Here are few important steps you need to follow to make more money by offering consulting services from your blog.

  • Produce highly informative content and get massive exposure to it. The simple truth about making more from online consulting through blogs is to share highly valuable content with your target audience first then giving them premium content in return of “one on one” coaching. This always works because people trust you if they see you offering huge value through your blog posts.
  • Learn how to turn normal website visitors into loyal readers. If you want others to pay you for your consulting services, you need to create a friendly blog where people love to read and share your stuff.
  • Make sure to improve your portfolio. Work with the authorities in your industry. If you have a sounding portfolio, it makes easier for people to take decisions to work with you. You can offer free services to the big guys in your niche so you can get some great testimonials from them later.

#3. Become a Go to Guy in a Small Niche

Notebook with monetization sign on a table.

Becoming an expert is really the key to growing your own hungry audience who are ready to pay you. It’s almost impossible to dominate a niche where there’s too much overloaded crowd.

And people don’t pay you if you are not an expert.

The best way to gain people’s attention is to pick a small niche and dominate it. Become the go to guy in that small niche. And people will come back more for you.

The idea here is to establish yourself as an expert in a very small niche where you can easily dominate. See, you can’t beat Google if you are creating another search engines. But you can definitely make your own mark by staying focused at one thing.

A niche market doesn’t mean small, it’s a focused market where even beginners can become sharks by providing more value. Bigger brands like Tech Crunch, Mashable use mass marketing where they post tons of articles every single week to drive more traffic and increase their ad revenue.

The same thing doesn’t work for you if you are a single blog owner who has a limited budget and time. You can’t spend most of your time creating content for your blogs, right? You need to be laser focused while defining your target audience. Only then, you can create a blog that builds business for you in the long run.

Also make sure to note that, it takes time to make money online. Making money from blogging is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes consistent efforts and lots of trial and errors to finally start making money from your blogs.

#4. Build a Sales Funnel

Creating a Sales Funnel with Autoresponders

A sales funnel is where the money is. A sales funnel is where the paying customers are. A sales funnel is what you really need to make more money from your sites.

If your blog doesn’t have a sales funnel yet, you need to create one. If you are struggling to make money blogging, it’s probably because you don’t have a sales funnel put in place.

If you want to create a profitable website sales funnel, try the following tips.

  • Offer a freebie (such as eBook, theme or plugin) to turn your website random visitors into subscribers. Then, find ways to add more value to your email list by sending educating emails about the products you promote.
  • The more you nurture your email list the more qualified leads you can generate.
  • The money you make from your sales funnel is directly proportional to the people you help. The more people you help with massive value the more you can make out of them.

#5. Affiliate Marketing is EVERGREEN

Internet

I know, it’s easier and faster to make money from Google AdSense. And there are a ton of other alternatives to AdSense if you are not happy with it. All you need is to drive more traffic and make your visitors click on random ads on your sites to make more cents. The problem with it is, you are just turning off your visitors.

Instead of sending your hard earned website visitors to random links, it’s a smart strategy to send to your own product links or affiliate links. It gives you more money whenever someone makes a purchase from your affiliate links.

Affiliate marketing is one the proven ways to make passive income online. If done right, within a year, you will be building a blog that makes you money on autopilot (even while you sleep!).

If you are wondering how to make more money by promoting affiliate products, here are 2 simple tips for you.

  1. Write in-depth case studies about the products you use. Use affiliate links. If people find your reviews genuine, you will get a lot of sales.
  2. Recommend less products. Most people recommend a lot of affiliate products and that’s a plain wrong approach to increasing your affiliate sales. If you give too many options to your readers, they choose nothing. Recommend as less products as possible but put your best efforts in getting more links and traffic to them to increase sales.

How to Grow Your Website Traffic?

Getting more visitors to your blog or website is a BIG deal especially if you are new to online and know nothing about SEO.

Here are 3 simple yet most effective ideas to bring more visitors to your sites.

#1. Give Your BEST Posts to Others

One of the biggest mistakes most bloggers and marketers make is they publish the BEST stuff on their own blogs. This isn’t a smart strategy to grow your audience especially when you have no prior online connections or readership.

I know how hard it is to refrain yourself from giving your best posts to other blogs. But what’s the point in writing great content to a smaller audience when you can get more exposure to it when you give it away as guest posts?

You will get more visitors and loyal audience if you have highly informational and valuable guest posts. As Matt Cutts said, guest blogging isn’t dead. It is still one of the most effective ways to build your audience from scratch.

#2. Be Active on Social Media

Social media is the new SEO. Did you know that your social shares increase your overall visibility in search engines?

Google gives high priority to the pages that get more social shares including tweets, G+ shares, Facebook shares etc. If you get hundreds of social shares on every post you publish, you will eventually start ranking higher in search engines even if you don’t have thousands of backlinks. 

But getting more social shares is hard if no one knows you. You should be active on social media. You need to interact with the social media active users and influencers in your niche. If you get mentions from them, in no time, your traffic will explode.

#3. Use Skyscraper Technique to Create Viral Content

Most people create content on random topics. They create content on the topics they think that could go viral. But the reality is 99% of the time it won’t create any buzz.

That’s why you need to focus on creating content that is proven to go viral. Brian Dean originally coined Skyscraper technique in which you create content that attracts more buzz. Here’s how you can use it to create content.

Find popular content in your niche using Buzzsumo. Then make it even better and promote it to the right people to get more exposure to your content.

Here’s a beginners guide to skyscraper technique if you want to find out more.

Final Thoughts About Monetizing Your Blog

The concept of “making money blogging” may sound strange to you if you are completely new to online world. But there are thousands of people who are using their blogs to make a living.

If done right, with the right efforts, you can turn your blog into a money making machine.

In order to do that, you need to build a sales funnel that turns normal visitors into subscribers into sales. You also need to find out the right monetization strategy for your blog audience to make money.

Let me know what you think about monetizing blogs. Do you have any more tips to drive more traffic and increase sales from blogs? Share your thoughts in the comments.

This post was an original contribution by Anil Agarwal of bloggerspassion.com.

Creating Your Own Web Hosting Service

Have you ever wanted to run your own web hosting service, or wanted to know how other services can charge only a few dollars a month for web hosting? It’s actually easier than you think. When you order cheap web hosting through a service like HostGator, which costs under $10 a month, you are actually placed on a dedicated server with a bunch of other web sites. By placing a bunch of people on the same server, hosting companies can offer low monthly costs, while still generating a great deal of revenue.

If you ever wanted to start your own hosting company, you would essentially do the same thing. Order a large dedicated server, then break up your clients into smaller hosting accounts which you then bill on a monthly basis. This is what 16 year old Mate Hegedus has been doing with his web hosting company, and he would like to show you how to do the same.

In addition to setting up your own web hosting service, you should also consider your options with email hosting as well. This is commonly done through the use of a Microsoft Exchange Server — which allows you to setup POP3 or IMAP email with higher levels of security and functionality versus using other third party email providers.

No matter what type of hosting (web site or email) you want to setup, this article will provide you with the necessary details to do both.

How to Setup Your Own Web Hosting Service

To walk through the whole process and get a better understanding, you can create your own free unlimited hosting company at no cost whatsoever, by visiting Powrhost.com! Once setup, you will be provided with free and unlimited hosting with no ads!

So how can a 16 year old do such a thing using just his MacBook?

YouHosting is a company that allows everyone to go and turn just their own domain name into a hosting business. You don’t even need to buy a domain name as you can just simply get one for free at www.cz.cc.

Without paying a single dime, you may allow your clients to have 10GB of disc space each and a whopping 100GB of bandwidth each month! And it really is that simple to create your own hosting company.

Simply go to YouHosting.com and sign up (it really is free). YouHosting will then tell you to point your domain’s nameserver to them and then you can just choose a pre-done theme and voila! You have your very own hosting business. The image below walks you through the process of how their service works.

Registration literally takes a minute and you can easily set up how much bandwidth you wish to allow in certain packages and how much you wish to charge users should they wish to upgrade for more bandwidth. You can really run a super powerful and competition ready free unlimited hosting website for no cost whatsoever!

But how can we make money from this?

As mentioned earlier, you can easily add your own upgraded packages which users can purchase should they need more MySQL databases, email accounts of more bandwidth.

Here is a screenshot of my master control panel’s packages selection:

As you can see I am only providing free unlimited hosting, but I could just as easily add upgrades to generate revenue.

You can also add advertisement to your client’s webpages, allowing you to generate revenue from that. Adding advertisements literally takes a few seconds and you can just simply take your Google AdSense code and put it in there!

You Can Also Sell Your Web Hosting Service

With the help of Flippa, this should be extremely easy for you. My own free unlimited hosting gets over 10 signups a day on its own and is hosting over 1 million page views a day. This was achieved with relative ease and I am sure I could do it too. My secret? I do not place advertisements onto my client’s websites but I do place a back link on their site back to Powrhost so that it has a better SEO.

Now all you need to do is get the first couple of users to your hosting site and that shouldn’t be too hard of you have a mailing list and you can just as easily place an advertisement into a hosting forum (something I am planning to do to catapult my site’s usage even more).

YouHosting’s control panel truly is revolutionary. It gives you access to do everything that you may need to do. You can set up domain names which your customers can use a free subdomain, you can create automatic email replies and YouHosting will even create and code your whole HTML website for you. All you have to do is just direct a domain name to their servers, get a free account and you have a fully functional hosting provider!

The super admin panel even allows for customers to submit their tickets should they have any queries:

Running your own hosting company, you will run into issues relating to support, downtime and possible security and software issues. Before jumping full on into your own hosting, make sure you have a good understanding of what’s going on, as you will be hosting web sites for other people, and it isn’t necessarily something you can just walk away from.

This article was written by Mate Hegedus who is a 16 year old internet marketer from Hungary.