Archive for the 'General' Category

Writing Blogs That Generate Engagement & Impressions

person using MacBook Pro and holding cappuccino

(Image Source)

Blog writing has become an instrumental part of business for many companies around the world in recent years. Offering an excellent way to encourage search engines like Google to give your website more time in the sun, writing blogs has become a key marketing tactic over the last few years. Of course, though, writing blogs that generate engagement and impressions can be a challenge. To help you out with this, this article will be exploring some of the key elements of this process to help you to find success.

The Title & Description

The meta title and description that you add to your blog posts are crucial. This is the data that search engines use when they display your website, rather than simply taking content from the page. The best titles are those that ask questions and include numbers, while descriptions give you a chance to give your keywords some coverage. There are loads of tools around the web that can be used to make sure that you format these parts of your work correctly.

The Images & Videos

Once you have your metadata sorted out, it will be time to think about the images and videos you use in your posts. Images are particularly important, with many bloggers using the same pool of stock photos for this. Paying for stock photos can be a good way to stand out, but it will be even better if you’re able to take your own photos to show alongside your posts. Not only will this make you look more unique, but it will show your readers that you care about their experience on your blog.

The Content

It will take some time to nail the areas above, but this gives you a good window to practice writing. The content you create needs to be well-written, grammatically correct, and interesting to your readers. Most bloggers will pick set themes for this kind of work, ensuring that they can keep their content consistent and relevant to their readers. Of course, though, alongside this, it also makes sense to work hard to make sure that you are producing content that stands out from the crowd.

The Website

Finally, as the last part of this, it’s time to think about the website that you use to host your blog. Building a good website can be very difficult, with tools like Wix and Squarespace lacking the freedom that people want when they are going through this. Working with a professional website design company can be a great way to solve this problem, giving you the chance to make a truly stunning blog that will keep your readers coming back for more.

With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of writing blogs that are able to gain a strong audience. This process can be a challenge, but this is a big part of running a blog, and it is what makes your success all the more fun.


Internet Marketing Tip: Use (more) videos

Video is not just an engaging content format that’s easy for people to ‘digest’, it’s (now) also easy for you to post on multiple platforms. It’s an effective marketing strategy to build trust by showcasing your personality and expertise and if you can’t create them, leverage existing content to achieve the same outcome as noted (and done) below.

The numbers speak for themselves:

  • Video streaming now accounts for 80% of all Internet traffic.
  • Over 1 billion people use YouTube (Which is ⅓ of all Internet users) 
  • Just including the word ‘video’ in an email subject line, the click-through rate increases by 13%. (Mentioning it’s ‘short’ duration further improves CTR)
  • Research claims video viewers retain 95% of a message compared to 10% when reading text on a webpage.

4 ways video marketing can help you grow your business

1. Improves your all-important SEO ‘ranking’ with Google

Google loves video. A website is 50+ times more likely to be ranked on page 1 of Google if it includes a video. This is because video engages visitors so they are more likely to stay on your site longer, at least the duration of the video. 

2. Establishes trust and builds confidence

Trust is key for online success. Video is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with clients on a more emotional and personal level, this is especially true if you are the primary presenter, but this is not a must IF you collate and curate content that is valuable to your audience.

3. Showcases your unique selling proposition (USP) 

When you decide to post a video, you’re showing your audience who you are and why they should see you as an expert or source of knowledge. Use it wisely.

4. Increases engagement 

Videos generate 12 times more engagement than the combination of text and static images. People love sharing, liking and commenting on good videos because it reflects well on them. It’s win-win-win.

4 examples of the types of videos you can create or leverage 

  1. How-to explainer videos 

2. Demonstrations 

3. Tips and tutorials 

4. Live videos 

This one is longer than usual, but captivating because it’s LIVE and UNEDITED.

Tips for leveraging effective marketing videos 

Before creating or leveraging an existing video, ask yourself a few questions: 

  • Who is the video for (ideally, create a Persona)? 
  • Where are you posting it? 
  • How long should it be? 
  • What is the value for the viewer?
  • Does it add to the conversation you’re having with that audience/persona?

Important video characteristics that make a difference:

– Subtitles: Many people watch videos without sound, subtitles make for a more engaging experience and makes it easier to follow, especially for non-native language viewers.
– Length: Studies show the optimal length for a marketing video is from 60 seconds on Instagram to 2 minutes on Facebook and YouTube.
– The thumbnail: Thumbnails (the still image on the video before it plays) helps entice people to press play and watch – it should give insights about the video content. So make sure you use big, bright and clear fonts or imagery that catches the eye.


IT guru wanted…

Check out this cool ad for an IT Coordinator… Are you up to the challenge?


Dam-Busting: Open Up Those Revenue Streams

Perhaps the methods of doing business you’ve set up aren’t doing the trick as much as you would like. Maybe you simply want to ensure that you’re squeezing every penny you can out of your market. Some businesses might see that as a sign to go through the long process of creating whole new products and services. However, you can get smarter and open new revenue streams based on what you already have, instead.

Technlogy has enabled businesses to automate many menial tasks as well as given the ability to reach millions of people. This has expanded the pool of potential customers from local, to global. What’s also changed is the sheer number of passive income ideas you can use to increase your income streams. Never have we had so much opportunity quite literally at your fingertips.

Photo Credit

Expand your lead building

There are a lot of different ways to build leads on the internet and outside of it and there’s a good chance that you haven’t fully explored all your options yet. Online, have you made use of SEO, PPC, content marketing, and the plethora of available methods? If you’re mostly doing your business online, have you considered how making a real appearance through trade shows and other events could help you reach audiences you haven’t thoroughly explored yet? Keep looking for new ways to build those leads.

Sell to your friends

One way to expand those leads is through the people that are already your customers. Word-of-mouth is always powerful, but waiting for them to spread the word isn’t always the most efficient. For instance, using a gift card template is a simple method to create a new revenue stream based on the social aspect of spending with very little investment required. Setting up a referral system might require a little more investment, but besides incentivizing word-of-mouth, rewarding discounts on future purchases for the referrer gives them more reason to keep coming back. You can build a new lead as you retain an old one.

Give more bang for their buck

Based on that logic of widening existing revenue streams instead of opening entirely new ones, retaining customers is important. Getting them to spend more often isn’t necessarily difficult, either. Just as referrals can offer them more value for being a customer, setting up a loyalty system can work just as well. Whether that’s offering them points or giving them more exclusive rewards, you have to decide how much you’re willing to invest in retaining your customers. The more value for them, the more likely they are to make use of such reward schemes.

Take it on the road

If you’re in the business of services as opposed to products, then sometimes a demonstration is just what you need to close more sales. To that end, you shouldn’t always expect people to take the first step and come to you. Especially in IT, you sometimes need to help them thoroughly understand the value on offer before you really have their interest. Turning your business into a traveling workshop can help you more thoroughly explore the market and make it a lot more convenient for businesses that might show an interest.

On some occasions it may, in fact, be time to look at new products and services. But don’t jump the gun before considering if the above methods could help you optimize your current revenue streams. It’s not an efficient way to do business.


The 3 things that should be in your monthly SEO agency report

Internet HTTP imageWhen we track down an SEO agency that finally fits the bill, conveys the right message and checks out against a pile of references they’ve thrown our way, the battle is won and we can now get on with the challenges of being a business without the online clap-trap, right?

Well, not really.

Leaving your online presence and eventual income charts in the sticky hands of an SEO agency is risky, even in the best of circumstances and relationships; SEO is an industry that changes quickly, with an average of two algorithm changes being processed by Google every day.

While they stay on top of things and fling us through reports, our eyes should scan the page and critically measure their performance, based on the three following indicators.

Are You Coming or Going? Traffic Comparisons

“So, (your name), as you can see here, your traffic numbers have improved substantially over the last few months, doubling last year’s figures!”

“But we didn’t have analytics tracking installed last year…”

Sound familiar?


SEO professionals are trained, semantic artists, often finding the positive spin in a report and embellishing the details. Whilst shopping around, make sure you carefully select an ethical company like Search Factory to represent and hone your online interests.

If you’ve already taken the leap and plunged into a dotted line fiasco, ask to see a traffic comparison in an easy to understand format over the last month against the preceding month, the last three months, fluctuations over six months and comparisons to the previous year (if you have data dating back that far).

If they dance around these figures and neglect to provide you with meaningful information, something shady may be going on and your money may be invested better elsewhere.

Up, Up and Gone Away? Climbing the Rankings

When was the last time you set eyes on a keyword report that didn’t bore you to tears and lead you to tear your hair out with confused frustration?

Agencies can be fond of over-feeding clients information they don’t need to process, hoping to distract their focus from a complete lack of results across the board.

Make sure your report includes an easy to understand table of keyword rankings (and know which keywords you’d like to be ranking for!), complete with increased or decreased search volume, converting keywords and dead keywords.

A competent specialist will guide you through what everything means, pulling parts together into one cohesive picture that doesn’t make you want to throw your computer out the window.

If your agency doesn’t have time (or make time) to sit down with you and drill into keyword reporting, you need to question whether you are really their priority; there’s nothing worse than being taken for a ride and paying a premium mark-up for the pleasure.

Backlinks? What Backlinks?

Upon opening an SEO report, a range of indicators should automatically be indexed or at least apparent as the pages roll on.

If your reports lack any evidence of back-linking, from process to mention, pick up the phone and demand more information.

Chances are, your nominated SEO company has completely neglected a very important facet of ramping up sustained rankings. Think of the Internet as a mega-city; you have ghettos and caravan parks, middle class dwellings and specialists, expensive neighbourhoods and affluent areas – link building allows SEO agencies to tap into this embedded social hierarchy and put your brand in touch with the right people, managing not only your online reputation, but audience perception through association.

The absence of these negotiations is not only preventing your company from climbing a very competitive exposure ladder, it may work against you in the future, as you struggle to play catch up to competitors who have made smart choices in link building activities and grown a strong following or a database of highly ranked websites.

Don’t shoot yourself in the foot before you get started!

Everybody has an opinion. So what about the rest of us? What do you think SEO agencies should include on reports, or do you have a horror story to share with me? Thoughts, ideas, anecdotes are welcome!

About the author of this blog post

Jessica Hannah is a part of the team at Search Factory, a leading Brisbane SEO agency.


Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2013

Top 10 Blog Posts 20132013 has been quite a year. Below is a list of the top 10 blog posts of the year. Enjoy a quick review and use the tips and techniques to make 2014 your best year ever!

  1. Willpower is like a battery – How to stick to your goals like New Year’s Resolutions.
  2. Hyperbolic Discounting – How to remain committed to long-term goals to achieve the success that might have been eluding you.
  3. Why Smart Business People Fail – Success is not the inverse of failure. In other words, not failing does not make you successful…
  4. From Motivation To Momentum – A must read if you slip and sabotage your goals and dreams (knowingly or unknowingly).
  5. Google Search Tips – These tips are priceless to get the most from Google, otherwise you’ll never quite get what you’re looking for.
  6. The Epic Split – This is simply AMAZING. The power of human focus and concentration combined with incredible athleticism.
  7. Good And Bad Habits Of Smart People – Success is not about how smart you are, but much more dependent on WHAT you do with what you know and HOW you do (or don’t do) certain things…
  8. Bobby McFerrin – Amazing Presentation – Every once in a while someone creates a magical moment. This is one such moment. Enjoy!
  9. Positive Twist On Negative Thinking – Attention small business owners… Don’t hire this type of person!
  10. The Power Of Why – The better the questions you ask yourself, the better the answers you’ll come up with.

Happy New Year From Exponential Programs


Internet Blackout? What you need to know

According to reputable sources, thousands of computer users may lose Internet access on Monday, when the deadline for a temporary fix to a malicious software scam shut down by the FBI last year expires.

What is it?

Millions of computers were infected with the so-called “Internet Doomsday” virus used in the hacking scam, which redirected Internet searches through DNS servers used by the scammers. (Who, in turn, allegedly netted $14 million in bogus advertising revenue.) After U.S. and Estonian authorities busted the malware ring last November, a federal judge ordered that the FBI use temporary servers while the malware victims’ PCs were repaired. The temporary servers will shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, meaning anyone using a computer still infected with the virus will likely lose Internet access.

“Connectivity will be lost to the Internet PERIOD,” Symantec, the online security firm, said in a blog post. “If your computer is still using DNS entries that are pointing to the FBI servers on July 9, you will lose TOTAL access to the Internet. No connecting to the office from home, no updating Facebook, nothing until the DNS settings are fixed.”

Click here to read the original article and access links to safely test your Internet access.


The Internet is 24/7/365


“Thinking that you can only get paid while working is like thinking

you can only listen to music while someone is playing an instrument.”


This is the fundamental principle of Exponential Internet Marketing that we teach our clients in our Online Lead Generation Programs.

Our Internet strategies are legitimate, proven systems avoiding trying to ‘cheat the system’ with ‘black hat strategies’. They work in all industries for companies of all shapes and sizes that have real products and services to offer.

The best part of the strategies is that they can be setup with a passive income aspect so that traffic is generated ‘automatically’ and systematically to feed the sales funnel. Most of the strategies and tools we use are FREE and require no internal IT resources.

If you’re interested in making money 24/7/365, contact us for a quick chat and we’ll explain how we’ve helped hundreds of small business owners become market dominant leaders within their market niches within 12 to 24 months.


Final Status Update

The video below deals with the inevitable electronic archive that survives us… This is an interesting perspective that makes you think beyond the here and now without being morbid.


Happy New Year!


Be careful with email

As you are receiving e-mail, it’s wise to remember how easily this wonderful technology can be misused, sometimes unintentionally and with serious consequences.

Consider the case of the Michigan man who left the snow-filled streets of Detroit for a vacation in Florida. His wife was on a business trip and was planning to meet him there the next day. When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick e-mail.

Unable to find the scrap of paper on which he had written her e-mail address, he did his best to type it in from memory. Unfortunately, he missed one letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife, whose husband had passed away only the day before. When the grieving widow checked her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint. Hearing the scream, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

“Dearest Wife,

Just got checked in.

Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!”


A Paper Phone?

If you think the iPhone is revolutionary, check this out… Not sure how commercially viable it is, but it sure is an interesting innovation.


Are You An Internetaholic?

Internet Marketing, Online Lead Sales Generation

Your name was given to us by a spouse or family member who is concerned about your internet addiction. At Internetaholics Anonymous, we can help.

Yes, you–we’re talking to you. You, looking at this screen for hours on end, online. You, bleary eyed. You, an addict.

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Been outside? Know what day of the week it is? Have you checked downstairs to see if your family still lives with you?

We’re a non-profit society of recovering addicts like yourself that provides support and counselling through weekly (off-line) meetings designed to help you cope with your problem.

We feature a twelve-step recovery program and in extreme cases, interventions. Although it is our firm belief that you are never “cured,” you most certainly can recover.

We have designed a brief checklist to determine if you are an addict. Do you:

  1. Have twitches of the hand when you walk by your terminal?
  2. Check e-mail more than five times a day?
  3. Spend more time chatting than eating or sleeping?
  4. Surf aimlessly with no direction, if only to be online?
  5. Leave your name and information at countless sites if only to hope you’ll receive a reply one day from a company you’ll never do business with anyway?
  6. Log on before important personal habits, such as meal preparation, hygiene or bodily functions?
  7. Have red, swollen eyes that hang halfway out of your head?
  8. Spend hours online on a holiday from work, where you’d usually be griping about your carpal tunnel syndrome?
  9. Do you have thousands of friends on Facebook you never want to meet in a million years?
  10. All of the above?

If you answered yes to four or more questions (or chose #10), you have a problem. Please call us at Internetaholics Anonymous at:


We’re here, we’re free, and we’re confidential. The first step to recovery is admission that you have a problem.

Call us today. That is, if you can power off to free up your phone line.


Steve Jobs Rest In Peace

This is a very sad day. The world has lost a force of pure creativity, innovation and genius that changed the world as we know it. What a fabulous legacy he has left behind, motivating so many to follow and create their dreams. He has been a source of inspiration for me from the very beginning… I still can’t believe it.


How good are you on the Internet?

In a recent article,”Companies in the dark over converting web traffic into sales” it was reported that sixty per cent of Australian companies with an online presence have no idea how to convert website visitors into customers.

More than 300 Australian marketers were surveyed through independent research with the report also revealing 89% of companies don’t use tools to assess how people use their sites.

Moreover, the companies surveyed spend 40% of their budget attracting traffic to their website.

Some 30% of marketers either do not evaluate the success of their website or only evaluate on an annual basis.

A further 25% assess their website biennially. This lack of engagement and measurement of their websites means most marketers have no idea what small simple changes could be made to their websites to increase sales.

Isn’t this alarming?

So how do you stack up to these stats?

If you want help to grow your online presence and bottom-line results, give us a call. We have a RESULTS GUARANTEED Platinum Program that will have you out-performing and out-selling your competitors in no time – if you qualify!


Texting codes for seniors

As we know, seniors are adopting the “Interweb” like never before, so if you’re sending texts to them as part of a multi media campaign, you should use the most recent codes, sent to me courtesy of Andrew Powell of Montreal, Canada.

ATD – at the doctors.

BFF – best friend fell.

BTW – bring the wheelchair.

BYOT – bring your own teeth.

FWIW – forgot where I was.

GGPBL – gotta go, pacemaker battery low.

GHA – got heartburn again.

IMHO – is my hearing aid on?

LMDO – laughing my dentures out.

OMMR – on my massage recliner.

OMSG – oh my! sorry, gas.

ROFLACGU – rolling on floor laughing and can’t get up.

TTYL – talk to you loud.


Email Still Outperforming Social Media

A lot of people debate the pros and cons of Social Media, what I have come to call Social NOTworking – where people waste countless hours exchanging posts, chats, pokes, photos and other electronic elements with people they wouldn’t be caught dead with face-to-face. But that’s my personal bias AND I am not saying that Social Media is not worth doing – it is, but not for the reasons MOST people think…

That’s a discussion for another day and one I reserve for my paying clients to help them out-perform their peers by doing out-of-the-ordinary things that create extra-ordinary results.

Results that baffle their competitors – BECAUSE they (the competitors) have no clue…. Shhh! It’s called Stealth Marketing and means they can’t copy what you’re doing!

In support of my bias, I came across recent reports that continue to show that website traffic from social media networks is still pretty low.

SeeWhy studied 60,000 ecommerce transactions across a variety of sites in February 2011. Since running an online store is about selling things, they looked at only the people who actually loaded items into their shopping cart. Here’s one of the summary results:

Email Marketing Generates More Buyer Traffic Than Social Media

Online Traffic, SeeWhy

Email Marketing Still Outperforms Social Media

As you can see, email brought in the most traffic, with direct and search significantly less. Social media came in at only 4.3%, not great, but better than display advertising, so that’s something to think about.

Next they took that info and charted the percentage of people from each source who completed their transaction. In other words, the people who handed over their credit card number and hit submit.

Email Marketing Converts To More Sales Than Social Media

Online Conversions, Social Media, Email Marketing

If you want more sales, send more emails!

In the above pie chart you can clearly see that email and direct hits to the site still resulted in the best sales conversions, social media picked up a dismal 2.11% of the overall, but look at display advertising. Yikes, only 0.53% conversion rate? Maybe you should be spending money on your Facebook page rather than on display ads, but once again that’s a discussion for another day. Social NOTworking does have its place, but not where or how you might think. We explain this in our Killer Konversations™ Workshops if you’re interested…

At the end of all of this, SeeWhy does put in the usual disclaimer. Your mileage may vary and different types of ecommerce sites will have different results. While I understand that this is a study of ONLY 60,000 transactions, it supports my bias that email marketing still is the primary source for online sales.

There’s a fundamental reason – it’s a privileged conversation that people still value – as long as it’s not violated.

If you’re asking yourself why email marketing isn’t in the news more often, it’s because it simply isn’t as new and trendy as social media marketing.

The news “media” are always searching for new trends and buzzwords to fill their empty pages.

My clients don’t care about the buzz and hype – all they want is more people buying their products and services.

If that’s what you want – send them more emails – but not just any emails… That’s considered spam. You need to know what to send to whom.

That’s what we teach our clients to do – become a client today. Contact us now and we’ll help you avoid making mistakes that cost money and lost sales.


Internet Case Study: Survey sample

Every once in a while I come across something that stands out. Today’s post is an example of a subtle question (13b) that puts the previous question into context. It’s the BEST SURVEY QUESTION I have read in several years. Leave it to Apple to do it – they know the value of feedback. They also understand and respect the CONTEXT and INTENT in which it’s given.

From AppleSurvey Example - Exponential Programs

When I meet with my clients, I go into substantially more detail than just highlighting something like this. There are two psychological constructs in play here that were outlined in substantial detail in two recent books I read. Books you would not come across in your airport or local bookstore.

This is what I do as The Exponential Growth Strategist – I seek out distinctions, nuances and explanations so my clients can tailor outstanding examples like this one in their businesses and/or careers. If you’d like to be coached or mentored and access this level of expertise, contact me. If you qualify, we’d love to have you in our RESULTS GUARANTEED Platinum Program.


Google Translate

If you have the need to translate text or documents, Google has a great translation tool. This is handy when you do a lot of blogging or have a lot of YouTube videos and someone posts a comment in a foreign language… It still has difficulty with vernacular, but it’s always improving!

Google Translate -1

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