Mar 3, 2015

Revenue Share: An Alternative to Monetizing Your Blog

home-office-336377_1280If you have a successful blog – business or otherwise – chances are you’ve considered monetizing to see some financial ROI from your hard work. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn from your blog, and there are many options with which you can earn, from affiliate links to advertising networks of all shapes and sizes. The only problem with monetizing your blog in this way is you may find yourself earning pennies at a time, with high minimum cash-out amounts (i.e. you can only get paid when you reach a predetermined threshold, and even $10 minimum takes a lot of time when you’re earning $.01/click). If your traffic is absolutely insane and your readers are extremely engaged with your blog, though, monetizing this way is a viable option. Word of warning, however: don’t monetize to the point where the ads become annoying to your visitors, or you’ll lose them!

There’s another option to earn with your writing and your expertise, and that is writing for a revenue share site. Often this is a much more profitable proposition.

There are a lot of revenue sharing sites that pay pennies per ad click as well, so you have to look around to find the best opportunity for you. But if you have an established blog, there’s a good chance you can write for revenue share for a larger site that guarantees a rate of pay per article or based on traffic. If you’re writing for a major business blog and they’re guaranteeing you a good rate per traffic, a certain amount of traffic is already built-in, so that’s a pretty safe bet. If they also offer a guaranteed payment per post, even better. Furthermore, the big sites are often syndicated on news aggregators and linked to by other significant sites, all of which equals the opportunity for your post to go viral and your traffic-based earnings to soar. (more…)

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Mar 2, 2015

Mother Knows Best: Mom-Owned Businesses on the Rise

mom owned businessMove over Al Capone, there’s a new MOB in town. Mom-owned businesses (MOBs) are reaching new heights with innovative products designed to improve family life. Because moms are constantly seeking new ways to create better lives for their children, success is in large part due to their little muses. And, thanks to a mother’s inherent nurturing abilities, identifying gaps in the market is purely mother’s intuition. Need a little inspiration to kick-start your entrepreneurial endeavors? These three stories are sure to bring out the MOB mentality in you.

SwaddleDesigns

Our first mom-owned business: Lynette Damir, RN, CEO and Creative Director of SwaddleDesigns, launched a swaddling renaissance back in 2002. During home visits, Damir noticed a pattern among new parents. It seemed the practice of swaddling had become a long-lost art, and first-time parents were sleep deprived and exhausted because their baby was not swaddled and no one was getting much sleep. On her site, Damir describes how parents consistently asked her to share the secret of the hospital nurses: how to swaddle. Combining her passion for helping others with her medical background and design education, Damir developed the Ultimate Swaddle Blanket. Today, this mom-CEO has the SwaddleDesigns brand in Target stores nationwide. Because the brand only uses the highest quality materials to make its swaddling blankets, SwaddleDesigns has become a highly respectable brand across the industry.

PackIt Personal Cooler (more…)

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Feb 27, 2015

IMC Campaign of the Month: Bharatiya Janata Party

"Modi Run" mobile app

“Modi Run” mobile app

Welcome to the first in a series of monthly profiles I’ll be posting to highlight great IMC campaigns, both recent and past.

This month is an oldie but a goodie – one of my favorites – the IMC magic worked by the Bharatiya Janata Party of India. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was formed in 1951 as an “Integral Humanist” party, which basically means the BJP strives to create an economic model (indigenous to India) that places the human at the center of all concerns. BJP’s presence in India is significant – it’s the largest party represented in parliament and the second largest represented in individual states.

Why did BJP turn to integrated marketing communications? They realized IMC’s power for increased reach and branding through messaging that appeals directly to their target audience. For example in a given election year, that audience includes a significant youth presence, as the BJP aims to motivate youth to vote. Considering youth are easier to access than ever before in the modern digital marketing landscape, you can probably already imagine some tactics BJP explored. We’ve seen a similar outreach from the White House under President Obama, particularly regarding the healthcare marketplace. From an appearance on Between Two Ferns to a BuzzFeed video spoofing millennial behavior, Obama’s presidency may go down in history for taking every opportunity to reach its key demographics precisely where they spend their time. (more…)

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Feb 27, 2015

The IMC Report Card

pencil-308509_640Earlier this month I wrote about ways to determine whether you’re truly doing integrated marketing communications, or IMC. Everyone is doing integrated marketing in some way or another. It’s always a struggle, however, to determine where your priorities lie in terms of really diving into the practice.

I thought it would be fitting to end the month with the IMC Report Card. The IMCReportCard  is a tool I created to help my clients and others figure out how to prioritize their strategies and tactics. It’s a simple way to objectively review where you stand regarding the components that make up the critical success factors for IMC.  Here’s a quick primer to help you “grade” your brand or organization (or someone else’s) on their IMC proficiency.

  • The first questions ask about messaging. You must have a consistent message, but it also needs to be translated for every messaging channel. Do you see a lot of disparate, beautifully worded messages? That means the team was more focused on wordsmithing than on conveying simple ideas of what the brand does, why it does it, and for whom it does it. Sometimes the message is written so beautifully it doesn’t resonate with the target audience. If you’re selling to moms, are you talking to moms in a way that appeals to them? Or are you talking like an industry insider? These are all the kinds of questions I think about when I’m reviewing a company’s messaging.
  • Next, does it look like the company or brand understands how their customers buy? In other words, am I led down a path that clearly leads to a  commitment or conversion when I go to social media, or the website, or any earned or owned media for that matter? Am I directed at all by the messaging?   (more…)
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Feb 24, 2015

Pop-Ups & Lightboxes: Effectively Use Lead Forms on Your Website

When it comes to your website, your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your client to get information. If you make it easy, they’re more likely to look, and therefore more likely to buy from you.

Increasing the simplicity of decision-making by 20 percent increases the chances of clients purchasing by 86 percent.

Insert a form that allows clients to enter the criteria they are looking for, and provide tailored search results. This increases the chances that they are matched with a product that meets their needs exactly.shutterstock_141377746

The main question is where to put your forms to get the most benefit.

On the Homepage (more…)

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Feb 20, 2015

How to Write a Marketing Plan – the Marketing eBook

If you’ve been following the Wax blog you know that during the month of December I posted one step per day to help build your 2015 Marketing Plan. marketing ebookEach step was meant to require no more than 15 minutes. I also recently wrote about why February is the best month to write your marketing plan.

Some of you emailed me asking if I could put these steps together in an easier format. I’m announcing the How to Write a Marketing Plan in 15 Minutes a Day eBook, available for free now.

This eBook contains all the steps you’ll need to write a sound marketing plan in 15 minutes a day, over the course of 20 days. In less than a month you’ll have a plan and concrete tactics that will guide your marketing efforts for the next year.

The eBook covers not just strategy and tactics, but also explains:

  • Ways to identify and communicate with your BEST customer (more…)
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Feb 18, 2015

PR checklist for 2015

If you’re like me, 2015 has gotten away from you already in terms of your own public relations and social media. However, it’s never too late to update your accounts and blogs. Here is some terrific advice from Diana Ennen, the President of Virtual Word Publishing Diane specializes in PR and marketing and helps her clients frequently overcome what she calls “desperation marketing.” Enjoy!

PR Checklist for 2015 – Get Back Into the Swing of Things with These Tips to Maximize Business Success

By Diana Ennen

Hard to believe January is in full swing and the holidays are a distant memory.  By now, some resolutions are probably already broken and everyone is back into the same ole’ same ole’ of 2014.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  There is still time to take action to make 2015 the year that your business sees the success it deserves.  Still time to get re-energized and passionate about your business once again, and still time to remember why you started in the first place.  Make 2015 the year you love your business back to success.

Here are some tips to help along the way: (more…)

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Feb 16, 2015

5 Reasons February is the best month to write a marketing plan

Lots of people bemoan the fact that February often rolls around before their business marketing plan is complete. I’m here to stop the guilt once and for all. In my mind, February is the BEST month to write a marketing plan. Here’s why:

  1. Most operational plans are not completed until the end of January. In order to create a successful marketing plan, you’ve got to have measurable goals or objectives that align with the overall organization’s goals. This is impossible to do UNTIL you are thoroughly educated on the company’s plans for the coming year. Taking time to review the overall goals is important to building a marketing plan with the correct focus. 
  2. Your competitors often jump out of the starting gate too fast. In other words, it’s not a bad thing to wait and see what your next best competitor is doing in terms of new promotions or launches. Watching and waiting can help you fine tune your own marketing strategies to best the competition after their direction is already set.
  3. Just as your business creates new goals, so do your target customers. If you’re creating personas as I think you should, January is a great time to trend watch, particularly if you’re a consumer brand. Some things come into fashion and others go out, and you can spend your time doing surveys, re-engaging in social media and really understanding the personal goals of your target audience. Knowing your best customer really, really well might mean understanding how they’re “turning over a new leaf” and incorporating into their plans. (By the way, if you want a good primer for finding your best customer, here’s a SlideShare presentation I did last fall on the topic.) (more…)
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Feb 13, 2015

How to effectively use visual content on Instagram

InstagramWe are constantly bombarded with images. TV advertisements, social media content, email messages or print articles—we’re constantly having words and images thrown at us. But using the right images on the right platform can help your visual marketing strategy work.

Fast Facts

If you aren’t using visual content consider this:

  • According to WishPond, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the human brain than text.
  • WishPond studies have shown that posts with visuals have 94 percent more page visits than those which don’t.
  • Studies conducted in June of 2014 have shown that 23 percent of young people cite Instagram as their favorite social media platform, according to AdWeek.
  • There are 300 million accounts on the photo sharing app, according to Instagram.

Getting Started (more…)

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Feb 10, 2015

5 reasons nonprofits do IMC better than the rest of us

Headwaters Relief in Colorado

Headwaters Relief in Colorado.

As I wrote last week, IMC is not easy. It’s definitely a case of progress, never perfection. And yet nonprofits seem to have grasped many of the components of integrated marketing and are running with it. I thought that was worth a little bit more analysis to see why that would be true.

1. Nonprofits understand the buying behavior of their target audience. Face it, trying to get money out of people for charity is really, really hard. It takes a great deal of understanding of your audience in terms of what pulls at their heart strings. (As marketers, isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?) Good nonprofits know the basic messages that appeal to their targets, how they get their information and how best to influence those decisions via the use of media placements, email, social media and other channels. The Red Cross does this better than anyone else. Sign up for their email newsletter and experience them leading you by the nose through their IMC channels. Brilliant, really.

2. Nonprofits usually don’t have money to burn. Unless you were lucky enough to work on one of the .orgs spawned by the Big Tobacco settlements, for the most part a nonprofit marketer is working on a tiny budget. This breeds creativity and that’s what IMC is all about. Nonprofits jumped on the social media bandwagon (and other brand new bandwagons) as soon as they could. (more…)

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