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Tips For Creating Powerful Headlines

Men and a woman reading headlines posted in street-corner window of Brockton Enterprise newspaper office on Christmas Eve, Brockton, Mass. (LOC)

You have a mere 3 – 10 seconds to capture a prospect’s attention and the most powerful tool you have to capture and keep their attention is your headline (or title of your post, sales page, or article).

There are several keys to writing a compelling and selling headline. Here are a few tips to help you.

1.  Tap into Your Reader’s Emotions

According to psychologists, buying decisions are based on emotion. So get emotional! Create your headlines so they include a strong emotional benefit (to what you are selling), and you will have written a compelling headline.

Examples:

“You will get amazing results with just a few minutes effort each day”  (easy, simple, effortless).

“Men will flock to you once you lose those last few pounds. Here’s how”  (attractive, sexy, respected, proud)

“Are you ready to attract the man of your dreams?” (in control of destiny, attractive, hopeful)

“Buy this and you will never spend another Saturday night alone again”  (sense of belonging, in control of their own destiny, attractive)

“If this face cream doesn’t take 20 years off your face in just 7 days, I will refund your money immediately” (confident, pampered, safe, hopeful)

OK so these examples are a little over the top, but you get the gist. You have to tap into emotions to get a response from your viewer. If they do not ‘feel’ your message, they won’t take the next step which is to continue reading.

2. Make it Active

Use active language – language that shows movement and that commands attention.

For example,Conquer Your Cravings With This Simple Step”, is an active headline because ‘conquer’ is an active and emotionally powerful word.  Readers get the benefit of feeling powerful and in control, and it commands action.

3. Let Your Reader Know They’re Important

‘YOU’ is a powerful word. Make your readers feel as though your are speaking directly to them. They want to know that you are interested in helping them solve their problems or issues, and/or that you can help them achieve their desires.

Use “You” in your headline.  People want to know what’s in it for them. For example, the difference between “Stop Your Cravings” and “Conquer Your Cravings” is night and day. Conquer suggests that you will never be bothered by your problem again. It is conquered, once and for all. It’s a powerful, action-oriented word, and it creates a compelling reason to continue reading (and make the purchase).

  • Make a promise –   You will get amazing results
  • Make it newsworthy –   Buy this and you will never spend another Saturday night alone again
  • Ask a question –   Are you ready to attract the man of your dreams?

Do you have a formula that has worked really well for you? Tell us what you did by leaving a comment below.

Very Simple Ways to Put Some SEO onto Your WordPress site

If you are like most small business owners, getting to the SEO for each post/page is the last thing you want to do, even though it is probably the most important.

I’ll bet that you think about it a lot. Why? Because most people do not know what to do, and they know it’s important to do, so they think about SEOit a lot. But don’t be hard on yourself — after all it is a distinct area of specialization that people get paid a lot of money to do.

If you’re not willing or able to invest that kind of money right now, and you are using the Genesis framework with a Child theme, then the following will help you make sense of SEO for your site. This really is the least you should do on your site in terms of SEO. Once you’ve done it on all of your pages, you can then take the same steps on each post as you write them.

How to add SEO to your pages and posts:

Log in and click on the Pages tab to the left. Choose a page and click on edit. Now scroll down below the editor area until your reach the following Search Engine Optimization fields:

1. The Custom Document Title field 

2. The Custom Post/Page Meta Description field

These two fields are extremely important because if you don’t do any SEO in them, Google will, by default, use the title of your page or post, and the first 150 characters of your content for your SEO. Since you have the opportunity to do a little marketing here, why allow Google to just default to what is already there? 

Field 1: Custom Document Title.

In this field you can create a whole new title. Although it does not change the title of your page or post on your site, the new title shows up in Google search.

For example, here is what I’ve found when I search for Personal Chef.

Indulgence at Home – Your Personal Chef in Calgary
calgarypersonalchef.com/
Ashlee Steinhauer is a Personal Chef in Calgary. Indulgence at Home specializes in home-cooked meals for people who are too busy to cook but still want to ..
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Do you see the length of the title? Since your page title is what creates the links on your navigation bar, I’d bet that she has changed it in the Custom Document Title.

Notice that she has also fit her keywords (personal chef) into the title. hint hint. She has also added her location, which is very important if you are a brick and mortar biz, or are known in a particular area.

Custom Post/Page Meta Description

The next field, Custom Post/Page Meta Description, is where you can write your own search engine optimized summary of what’s on your page or post. Again, this does not show on your post or page at all, but it does show up in Google Search. Again, in our example, she has fit her keywords into the summary she has written about who she is and what she does.
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Summary:

Wondering where to start? I suggest that you get creative and do this on every published page on your site. For example, on your bio page instead of using the default title, create one that uses whatever you want to advertise yourself as whether a Personal Chef, artist, coach, doctor or what have you. Remember that the title and the blurb has to relate back to that page or you will be penalized by Google. This is by far your best way of getting ranking in Google and traffic to your site so give it a try. I’m pretty sure that these fields are the most underutilized areas of most people’s WordPress site if you are the average user.

Who is Your Target Market?

target-market-20847307

Determine who your target market is. It’s your first step to creating a wildly successful internet business.

 

Why? Because you can predict your financial future by how closely you are connected with your target market.

Not sure what a target market is?  Basically it a group of people who are most likely to buy from you. It’s that simple. This group is comprised of those who want and need your product or service. They wait for your next product, and they rave about you and your services.  They are your biggest fans and they like your stuff.

You need to determine who your target market is otherwise you will be trying to be all things to all people What you have to do instead is to specialize and in turn you’ll narrow all the shoppers in the world to just a few loyal customers and/or clients.

How do we find them?

It starts with doing some research. This is not as daunting as it sounds, so don’t be discouraged. The greatest benefit you’ll get from doing this research is that you’ll be very clear as to what you have to offer and to whom.

Where do we start?

With your product or service in mind, describe the person who would most likely want or need your products. Use as much detail as you can.  Would it be a single mom? A retired woman? A teen? A single man? A woman with a family? An online business owner? An offline business owner? A writer?

Give the following some thought:

  • Is your target customer male or female?
  • What does she do for a living
  • What is her income? Depending on your price point, this could eliminate people
  • What age group is she in? (Age groups may or may not be pertinent)
  • Where does she  live? Geography could be a limiting factor
  • What matters most to her?
  • Who would hire you to perform the services you offer?

Other Considerations:

If you offer online business courses, then retired people probably won’t be your target market.

If you are a handy person who cleans windows, then retired people might be the exact people you are looking for. But something to consider is whether your market can support another window cleaner. Is your target market already saturated with competitors? Do they even get their windows cleaned, or is their income low and they have to clean them themselves.

Your market has to be just the right size–small enough for you to be a major player and large enough to make good money.

It also has to be a market with a problem that needs to be solved. Those are the people who are most likely to spend money.

Family and friends are probably a great resource in the brainstorming process. Ask who they think would purchase your product.

Where to Look for Business Ideas

Google Trends is the best source for up-to-the-minute information on what is trendingThey can help you identify new target markets. You may be able  to jump into an opportunity where you become a major player before others hop on the bandwagon.

Another great place to look is Amazon Magazines. Chances are that if there’s enough of a market for a magazine, then there’s enough of a market to make money online.  http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Magazines/zgbs/magazines

eBay Pulse is another great place to look. Again, you’re looking for markets where you can become a major player.

How to Research a Market

You’ve come up with some ideas for a business. What’s the next step?  You’ve probably guessed that you’ll be doing some more research, but this step is to see if your idea is viable.

The first step is to check the volume of traffic to make sure there’s enough to make you a living. Google Keyword Tool is the best place to check this out.

Once you’ve made sure that there is lots of traffic to your basic business keywords and that you can make enough money for it viable, you will then get to know the market and the market’s spending habits.  You can start by clicking here

Now you’ll want to know how your competitors are doing? Are they selling high ticket items, or are they scraping by with advertising? Are AdWords bids high or low? This will all help you determine how much money is being spent.

Google has the best survey program out there. Like I say, if you want to know something, just ask. Google Insights

So you’ve brainstormed and researched a few niche markets, identified those that show some promise, and narrowed down the winners, all that’s left to do is take action and make it happen.

Tips For Writing Great Content When You Have No Confidence In Your Writing Ability

Creating great content for your website is right up there with having a great website in terms of building a successful business (especially online).

06-08-10 And With Heart Shaped Bruises And Late Night KissesGreat content is an absolute necessity, but you may be feeling completely overwhelmed by even the thought of writing anything. Although it can seem overwhelming, these fears are easily conquered. I believe that with knowledge comes confidence, so I’ve put together these tips to help you overcome the fear.

8 Things to Keep in Mind When Writing

  • You are not writing for high profile marketers or some fancy internet rock star that you think might be critical of your writing. You are writing content for your target market or your niche, and you are speaking their language.  It’s only your niche that you have to satisfy. Those other people are way too busy to be looking over your shoulder anyway.
  • The more you write, the better you will get. Sure, we all want to be the most sought after go-to person in our niche, but the reality is that it’s quite difficult to get found or known online until you’ve written a lot of great content for them. This alone should motivate you to write.  
  • Speak directly to your audience. Use the word “you” a lot. Write like you are having a conversation with one person in your niche by focusing on that absolutely ideal client (and then write to that person).  
  • You do not have to be a professional writer to write content for your website. If you keep in mind that your content only has to be appealing to your target market AND you are clear on what your specialty is, the content will come much more readily (and easily). 
  • Make your content easy to read and you’ll be half way there. Ever been to a site where it’s almost impossible to read that person’s content? Don’t do that.  There’s a lot you can do with WordPress to format your content so that it is easy to read (also extremely good for SEO). For example, use bullets, numbers, stars, check marks, and sub-headings so you can keep your content well organized. And don’t forget to leave a lot of white space so your reader’s eyes get a break. 
  • Remember the outlines we had to create before writing an essay back in school?  If you struggle to write a post that makes sense and builds on itself from beginning to end, creating an outline might be the very thing you need to do before putting your fingers to the keyboard. Instead of writing content that is confusing, the outline will keep you on track to producing an interesting and clear blog post. 
  • If outlines aren’t your thing, then write out some notes in a notebook, cut them out and rearrange them into an order where your story make sense. Once you start writing or typing, you’ll find that it’s much easier to elaborate on each paragraph, and you’ll see exactly where to use the bullets, stars, checkmarks and other formatting techniques.
  • Before publishing your content, read it several times to find any errors in your spelling or grammar. Edit accordingly.

If you keep these tips in mind when writing your content, you’ll have easy to read, clear, informative, useful, on topic and great content that your niche and/or target market will be thankful for.

What do you focus on to ensure that your content is great? Let us know in a comment.

 

Add Professional Elements to Your Sales and Squeeze Pages With This Very Cool Plugin

Super Styles Plugin

Imagine Being Able to Add Professional Elements to Your Sales and Squeeze Pages that

Get Lots of Attention!

 Without Having to Learn HTML, CSS, or Photoshop!

 

 

Re: Superstyles Plugin for WordPress

Does this sound familiar? You have a WordPress website with a beautiful theme, and you love how simple it is to write and publish pages & posts. You can even add images, bullets, headings, and links. And for most of your WordPress activity, this is all you need to know.

But what about when you have a special offer, or you want to build an opt-in page, or create a sales page?

You’ve seen them out there on the internet – the sales pages that have check marks, asterisks, buttons, testimonials, and notice boxes. They look great, and draw you in, and make you want to buy that product, just the way a sales page is supposed to.

It’s frustrating because when you compare your own sales page to the fancy ones you see, you KNOW that your page falls flat.

  • Your special offer has no zing.
  • Your opt-in page isn’t very appealing and
  • Your sales page is just, well, bland.

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Read more by clicking here

 

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8 Tips for Writing Content That People Actually Read

A Pen and Notebook For Writing a Marketing MessageAs a small business owner it can be very difficult to get found, never-mind be heard, on the internet. The competition is extreme and we are just one of many. Without something to set us apart, we just blend into the background. Is there a way to get an edge?

Our written content can be what saves us from mediocrity, IF we know where to start.

First, what do I mean by ‘content’?

Basically content includes written posts, pictures or images, and video, but it can also include anything that’s particular to your business, such as product descriptions.

Sales copy, or just “copy”, can also be considered, but it is much more finely tuned content than what I am discussing here.  (Sales copy is written advertising).

In general, making your content top notch is the very best marketing tool you have, because nothing attracts potential customers like useful, educational, and shareable content.

But how? How do people get the ideas that cause their posts or videos to go viral? Are they just better marketers than you? Better at business? More creative? Nicer people?

The answer is, no. They aren’t any of those. But I guarantee that they have spent lots of time learning how to write good posts, create interesting video, and use interesting images.

The following tips will help you to think about and see your writing in a different light:

  1. Bring your personality and voice to the paper. Show your audience your enthusiasm and passion for the product or services you offer. When your audience detects that you really are passionate about what you do or have to offer, they will be more interested as well.
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    Ensure that your voice is coming through the written word. Use your tone, your voice and your style. Eventually your audience will become accustomed to “you” and come to expect nothing less. When they return to your site, this is what they will be looking for. Personalize each written piece so that it is your own, and can be easily identified as such.
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  2. Always give. I don’t know about you, but I love it when I am in the cosmetics department and am given a sample of something and told what it is and how it works. I walk away feeling just that much more informed, not to mention impressed at their generosity.
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    It’s even more important online because you can’t be there to hand out the sample. Your writing has to be that sample. Make it educational and informative. Help that person so they can make an informed decision about hiring your or buying your products. If they leave your site not knowing anything more about you and your product/service than they had before they visited, they probably won’t be back.
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  3. Stay relevant. Are visitors going to get the information they came for about your business, or will they find something unrelated?
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    For example, if you are a Virtual Assistant and you are writing posts about your cute little pets, it’s not relevant to your business. People are busy and are looking for answers. Only include interesting, cutting edge, helpful, and/or newsworthy content that is relevant to the type of business you are in. If your content is all that, you can be sure they’ll be back for more.
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  4. Is there an element of surprise? Or something unexpected? I’m not sure what that would be in your business, but I’m sure there is something you could do that would leave your viewers thinking great things about you and your business, products or services. Give them something to talk about.
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  5. This next step is especially important for sales. Whenever possible, show your visitors what you want to say rather than tell them. Your content will be more powerful to your audience when you can show them testimonials or customer feedback rather than just you telling them how much your market loves your stuff. Anyone can say that, but the ones who can back it up will come out on top.
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    The internet can be a scary place for many people. They have no idea who you are or if you are honest. Let them know that others have tried your product or service and that they recommend them (social proof).

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  6. Edit your content to ensure it is clear and simple to follow. The easiest way to do this is to write the way you speak (conversational tone). You will come across as more approachable, friendly, and trustworthy if your audience feels like they are having a conversation with you.
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  7. Avoid using technical language or jargon that most people would not understand. If you have to use a word that your audience probably won’t understand, then it is completely OK to define it for them.
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  8. Get your content looking the best it can be. Spell-check and proof-read before publishing. Don’t present your website with a bunch of grammatical errors and misspelled words. Take a little extra time to check it before publishing it. Leave lots of white space so they can take a breather between paragraphs. Highlight words that are especially important (this is also awesome for SEO if that word is one of your business’s keywords). You’ll look more professional and capable of running a successful business. 

What did I miss? What is your writing ritual?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect the Content on your WordPress Site

Protect Your ContentHave you stumbled across a website (WordPress or otherwise) where you (shockingly) see the content that you sweated bullets over to write? I know I have, and I’ve had a few clients tell me that they’ve seen their content out there on other sites as well.

Most people are pretty honest and wouldn’t think of stealing your content, but unless you take measures to prevent someone from copying and then pasting your content onto their site, your site is free game for the dishonest of the world.

But there is a solution to prevent those who are brazen enough to copy and paste plagiarize your content.

There are two very simple little WordPress plugins called Blog Protector and WP-CopyProtect that:

  • disable right click on your site.
  • disable selection of text on your site

No more highlighting text, copying stealing and pasting from your site.

To install either of these plugins, go to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins –> Add New.  Then type Blog Protector or WP-Copyprotect into the search box. Install it and voila!  Just one more level of protection for your business.

Enjoy
Kathleen

PS If you install the WP-Copyprotect plugin, you can customize the message that people will see when they right click. That could be rather satisfying…