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Social Media Marketing: Paid vs. Organic

Social Media Marketing: Paid vs. OrganicBy Dawn Berryman

It’s a given that you should be advertising your home-based business on social media. But, should you be paying for it? There are a variety of great options, both paid and free, that you can utilize to market your business.

Where should you be spending your time and, more importantly, your money?

Organic social media marketing. 

A Twitter profile, a Facebook business page, a profile on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and an Instagram account: Are these all things your business has? If not, it should. These are all free and somewhat easy marketing avenues. Presence on social media is crucial. Many people head right to Facebook to search for a business now instead of visiting Google. Social media profiles are just as important as websites if not more so.

That being said, building and maintaining an audience can be tricky and time consuming. I typically only recommend joining the number of social media channels that you have time to maintain. Trends and strategies change frequently, and it takes a lot of effort to stay abreast of what is going on and how to maximize it for your business. It’s important that you keep your profiles up to date and current. Tools like Hootsuite can make it easier to post simultaneously across multiple channels, but the art of social media management can, in itself, be a full-time job. That’s why I suggest focusing on a couple of key platforms that you find most beneficial to your business and target audience. (more…)

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Small Biz Salute Celebrates Small Businesses

Small Biz Salute Celebrates Small BusinessesSponsored by The UPS Store

It’s no secret that running a small business is challenging. Small business owners are involved in every part of their business, and they give 110% in everything they do.

To celebrate these hardworking small business owners, The UPS Store is launching its annual Small Biz Salute to bring together small business owners to make connections in their communities and provide valuable advice from business experts. Throughout the month of May, you can share your favorite small businesses on social media using the hashtag #SmallBizSalute to recognize and celebrate them for all the hard work they do.

Saluting Small Businesses

The first small business owner I’d like to #SmallBizSalute is Sarah Titus. It was her quick path to blogging success that got my attention, but after learning about her personal life and the struggles she overcame, I was totally blown away by her strength and perseverance. Just four short years ago, Sarah went through a divorce and was living in a homeless shelter with her two kids. Even though her situation was bleak, she never gave up; she kept pushing forward. She found ways to live frugally so she could stay-at-home with her kids. Today, Sarah earns six-figures annually blogging, and she coaches other bloggers so they too can have the option to stay-at-home with their children. You can find out more about Sarah here. (more…)

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The Best Affiliate Marketing Tips For Bloggers

The Best Affiliate Marketing Tips For BloggersBy Kimi Clark

As a blogger, we use affiliate links to help us earn a living. But when you’ve worked hard to build an audience, the last thing you want it to think is that your only purpose is to sell something!

That’s why we’re sharing the best affiliate marketing tips for bloggers with you today!

To start, let’s break down what affiliate marketing is (then we’ll get to the tips!). Affiliate marketing, if done the right way, is like telling a friend about something you love. There doesn’t have to be pressure or salesy talk – no gimmicks, just ‘this is the product, and this is how it worked for me’ type dialogue.

Those are the bloggers that rock the affiliate marketing space – the ones who are honest about what they use, how they liked it, and can talk about it straightforwardly and sincerely as if they were chatting with you over coffee about the latest and greatest product or service they discovered.

But what kinds of things can you promote as an affiliate? Here are some examples.

Types of Affiliate Products:

1.) Downloads and Online Products

Ebooks – These are so easy to include thanks to sites like Amazon and Commission Junction. They provide you with a unique tracking link to include in your post, and you can even use pictures off the site. (more…)

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How to Write Guest Post Emails That Get Answered

How to Write Guest Post Emails That Get Answered By Sarah Landrum

If you’re a freelance writer, it can be hard to make a name for yourself. That’s because many clients insist the writers act as ghostwriters, and thereby never claim rights to the work. However, guest posts could serve as a platform even if you often write for other people. After all, even ghostwriting sharpens your skills, and guest posts allow you to use your talents by crafting articles under your own name. As a result, you have the chance to establish credibility in specific industries — and grow your portfolio as you do it.

However, writing guest posts may not deliver instant or simple success. Challenges could arise if you discover a blog isn’t currently accepting guest submissions, or perhaps already has a roster of reliable guest writers, making it very hard for new content creators to get chances to prove themselves.

If a guest post pitch email isn’t well written, it becomes increasingly likely that you won’t get published.

Keep reading to discover how to write a pitch that showcases your worthiness as a writer, gets read, and generates a prompt response.

Check and Follow Submission Guidelines.

Statistics say 168 billion emails are disregarded per day, and 55% of people admit to not opening and reading their emails. (more…)

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5 Reasons You’re Losing Online Customers + 5 Easy Fixes

5 Reasons You're Losing Online Customers + 5 Easy FixesBy Wes McDowell

If you’re running your own business, your website should be the hub of all of your marketing efforts. It should be pulling prospects in, and keeping them there long enough to convince them to become a customer, growing your business in the process.

Unfortunately, for many businesses, this just isn’t the case. I can’t tell you how many web design clients I’ve had over the years who have no real goal defined for their website. I’ll ask why they want a website or a redesign, and they’ll say something like:

“We just want something that looks cool, that people can check out online.”

Face-palm!

Come on, you can do better than that. Your website has the potential actually to get you more leads, customers and sales, so settling for a digital “brochure” is a huge missed opportunity. (more…)

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