You can buy a copy in hard copy or kindle version. But before it gets released to iTunes and to Audible, we’d like to give it to you as a free trial. We hope you look forward to some of the other things that we’ve got that you’re going to get absolutely free here and at www.moreprofitlesstime.com.
CHAPTER 6: TAKING IT ONLINE
- Step 20: Your Online Presence
- Article Marketing
- Google – The Gold Standard in Search
- List Building/Management
THANKS FOR LISTENING!
Until next time!
TRANSCRIPT: BONUS EPISODE 8
Title: How to Turn Your Idea Into a Multi-Million Dollar Business (Chapter 6, Part 2)
Date Published: October 16, 2015
Running Time: 15:54 minutes
Hi, this is John Millar. I’m the Naked Business Coach, stripping business back to its bare basics. As a special bonus, we’re giving you a free copy of all the chapters in How to Turn Your Idea into a Multi-Million Dollar Business.
Now this is available in Amazon and you can buy a copy in hard copy or kindle version. But before it gets released to iTunes and to Audible, I thought I’d give it to you as a free trial. I hope you enjoy it, took me some years to write. And I hope you look forward to some of the other things that we’ve got that you’re going to get absolutely free.
Thanks so much and welcome to The Naked Business Coach Podcasting Channel.
The Entrepreneur’s Guide Series
How to Turn Your Idea into a Multi-Million Dollar Business (And Avoid the Mistakes that Send Most Business Owners into Bankruptcy)
By John Millar
Chapter 6: Taking It Online
I will illustrate these concepts—and how you can improve your online search ranking—by showing you how you can use articles to increase your backlinks. In the early days of article marketing (not so long ago—about 2005), you could use the concept of article marketing, in its most primitive form, to get your site to the very top of the search results page in your niche. Several people discovered they could write a high volume of short articles (about 250 words in length) on topics related to their niche, and then place these articles at strategic locations on the Internet to get to the very top of the search results page. Their sales increased dramatically and they made a tremendous amount of money—even though they only had a small (prior to all the newfound success) business operation, possibly even an entirely home-based business run just by themselves. Some people made millions of dollars from article marketing.
Various companies arose to accommodate the placement of these articles. These companies simply allowed article writers to post articles on their websites so the articles had a home on the Internet. The search engines then spidered the articles and found the backlinks to the website of the article author. The best articles were SEO-optimized (more on that in the next section), and each article dealt with one facet of the niche in which the author sold products. For example, if you sold debt reduction services, you could write an article on “Improving Your Credit Score” or one on “Negotiating with Collection Agencies” and so forth, with each article containing biographical information about your business and links to your website. If you sold almost any product, you could generate articles about your product and increase the number of backlinks to your website with article marketing.
Enterprising entrepreneurs soon discovered that they could hire article writers to write large amounts of articles and increase their backlinks even more. Software developers wrote software that would generate five articles from a single article. This increased the volume of backlinks even more. Software was also available to distribute large amounts of articles in an automated fashion, so you could author your article and click a button to have it uploaded to hundreds of online article repositories. Soon, it was possible for a single person to generate and distribute literally hundreds or thousands of “unique” articles throughout the Internet, all with backlinks to their money site. Those who generated articles in this fashion directed large amounts of Internet traffic to their site after they appeared at the top of the search results, and they became very rich.
A year or so after the word got out, so many people were using article marketing to increase their search ranking that the search engines (more accurately, the people who control the search engines) put a stop to it, sort of. They added logic into the spidering algorithm such that these massive blasts of cheesy articles no longer had the desired effect, and in some cases—such as when an article was duplicated in multiple online locations—the site being backlinked was put lower in the rankings. In essence, the search engine said “No! We will no longer allow you to put all that low quality content on the Internet to increase your rankings in a roundabout way.”
Understand that these article marketers were just doing what worked. This activity would be comparable to placing thousands of road signs along the highway. Eventually, the highway gets so cluttered with cheap signage that it becomes distracting to the drivers and the government steps in and passes laws to prevent all the cheesiness (for lack of a better word). In this case, the government would be those individuals who control the search engines.
What is the state of article marketing now?
You can still do it, but you won’t get as much value from using software and other means to generate large amounts of low quality articles. You can still gain value by generating some high-quality article content; you just can’t go overboard with the short, high-volume articles or it will be a detriment to your efforts. If you want to spend the money to hire good writers to generate high-quality articles, you can get yourself higher in the rankings.
I am telling you about article marketing, and spending a little more time on it, because it is a simple way to illustrate that you can take actions to scale your content development and gain a positive effect on your ranking in the search results. Article marketing is representative of most of the things happening in online marketing, so it is critical that you understand it. Most importantly, online marketing is becoming so critical that you simply cannot ignore it any longer.
If you get the right business coach to help you, and you have some money to fund your efforts, you can get to the very top of the search rankings, and it is still not as difficult as you might think (as long as you don’t try to do it with a million cheesy articles). Article marketing is still one of many ways to play the online marketing game. As you can see from the list of content forms in the previous section, in addition to article marketing, you can and should use many other forms of content to increase your search rankings, and the search algorithms are not as sophisticated with some of these alternatives as they are with articles. Whatever you do in the online marketing realm, you will need to have at least a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so I will talk about that next.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to the act of optimizing your online content to best meet the expectations of the search engines. In other words, you structure your content such that it gets you the highest ranking in the search results for the keywords in your niche. If you are selling a certain product, that product has certain keywords and phrases associated with it, and you need to structure your content so it presents those keywords and phrases in the right proportion to the other words in your content piece.
Google – The Gold Standard in Search
Now that we are on this topic, I will point out that there is really only one search engine (that matters), and that is Google. Google is the gold standard in the search game since they control about 80% of the search market. Yahoo is next with about 10%, followed by Bing. Most SEO efforts and standards are based on what the Google pagerank algorithm expects to find. If that algorithm assigns a higher score to debt reduction articles that use the word “debt” at a certain rate in proportion to the content, then SEO experts strive to achieve that exact proportion in all the content they generate.
How do the SEO experts know the correct proportions?
They use a lot of trial and error, but Google also has tools available to assist you with optimizing your content. The functionality of these tools falls outside the scope of this book, but you should be aware that Google does make an effort to help online marketers, and the person you hire to help you should be well versed on the various tools Google makes available in this area.
To illustrate the concept of optimizing your content, consider the extreme case. If you sell debt reduction services, one of the top keywords would obviously be “debt” and a common phrase would be “debt reduction.” Although you could structure your article (it does not have to be an article, by the way—it can be any of the content forms listed in the previous section) such that “debt reduction” appears in every single sentence, this is not the best way to do it. The article will not be appealing to the reader and the search engines will assign it a score lower than a piece with a more natural proportion of keywords to content. As I mentioned above, my objective here is not to teach you how to write the very best SEO content; rather, I want to educate you in the process so you can understand it enough to run your new business and work with those experts who will help you with online marketing. You will need to understand these concepts at a basic level to make sales and marketing decisions. You don’t have to be the person writing the articles or even managing those who are doing it. That is what your coach and employees are for. You do need to understand how it works so you can communicate with these experts and make strategic decisions for your business. The more you understand, the better your new business will perform.
In the online world, a list of email addresses—used for email marketing campaigns—is referred to as a “List.” Many companies send out weekly or monthly email campaigns, also known as “email blasts,” to the addresses in their List. Some aggressive marketers send out daily email messages. I do not recommend daily email blasts to your List because they can become quite distracting and you can actually damage the relationship with your client/prospect. The frequency would be a function of the perceived value of the communication. If your prospect finds these communications highly valuable, then you might send more. That will be a decision you need to make.
Whatever you decide, there are some rules to follow when performing email marketing activities. Here is a little bit of history first. Up until about 2003, there were no regulations on email marketing and as the Internet evolved, the amount of marketing emails skyrocketed to the point that so many marketing messages were being generated and sent around that email systems were nearly unusable. Some people had to traverse through pages and pages of marketing emails just to find their non-marketing messages. The governments of the world stepped in and passed legislation to control unsolicited emails, which are also called “SPAM.” In Australia, they passed the Spam Act 2003, and in America, they passed the CAN-SPAM Act. These are similar in that they are designed to decrease the overall amount of SPAM on the Internet.
At first, after the regulations were put into effect, they were largely ignored. Then some violators were brought to justice and given severe prison terms for sending SPAM messages. Immediately there was a dramatic decrease in the amount of SPAM. I will not outline all of the regulations here; rather I will give you an overview of the online marketing topics you need to know about to get your business going. You can get the details on those regulations by searching on the act in your country, or check with your attorney or business coach.
The general thing to understand is that you cannot take a list of email addresses and start blasting messages out to people on the list. The regulations require that you include an easy way for the recipient to “opt out” of the list. There are also requirements about the identifying information you must include in the communication. You should not be the person who manages the email campaigns until you have a good understanding of the regulations and the process. Until you do, consult your business coach for guidance.
You should however start building your List when you start your business. You will likely have some type of website, however simple, right from the get-go, and a standard component of any website is the “Contact Us” page. You may or may not have the ability to automate the process of storing the email addresses of prospects who contact you through that interface. In any case, keep a record of those email addresses from the beginning. Save the names and other information also. This data can ultimately be converted into your online marketing List. You can do that early on or accomplish it as your business grows and evolves. At some point, you should send periodic email communications to these people on your List.