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Blog Marketing

February 16, 2009

Get Rid of Unprofitable Blog Reviews Once and for All

by Praveen Rajan

Learn The Latest Profit-Making Tactic Used by The Fastest Growing Online Stores in North America

The hardest part about marketing an online business is to get it off the ground. It’s even harder when you’re starting from scratch. Your biggest problem is how to generate “profitable” traffic to your website.

One of the easiest ways to generate profitable traffic without spending any money up-front is to get your product or service reviewed by bloggers. However, because it’s easy, most bloggers that would be interested to review your product might have already been approached by your competitors.

How can you beat your competitors?

Incentivize Your Reviewers With Discount Coupons

Do you like receiving gifts? I do. And so do bloggers.

Every one loves to receive something. So, rather than just ask a blogger to review your product, make it “meaningful” for them. Give them a few “exclusive” discount coupons that they can use on your website.

Most of the popular shopping cart services, such as Shopify, support discount coupons. Even if your shopping cart does not support discount coupons, there is nothing to stop you from using this concept.

This step-by-step proven method will reveal the secret to creating more buzz and profits for your business.

Step 1: Create a List of Reputable Bloggers

Are you keeping a list of reputable bloggers in your industry?

If you haven’t got one, then it’s time to start. Keep this list fresh, by always updating it with new (and relevant) bloggers. You don’t need any fancy tool for this, as Microsoft Excel or Google Docs can do it easily. Here’s a format I would recommend to keep track of your bloggers:

google-docs-bloggers-panel

If you haven’t got any bloggers in mind, then it’s best to start searching for blogs using Google Blog Search. As an example, if I were selling aquascaping products, I would start by searching for all blogs that mention the word “aquascaping”.

google-blog-search-aquascaping

Hot Tip: it’s always best to get reviewed by bloggers that are already ranked on Google. This way, you can get your website indexed faster, and build higher quality traffic.

Step 2: Create Discount Coupons & Track It

Like I said earlier, you don’t have to worry if you’re not using a shopping cart system. It’s a nice to have, but you may not need it when you’re just starting out.

Either way, it’s time to create some exclusive discount coupons that you can offer to your panel of bloggers that they can give away to their readers or choose to use for themeselves. Remember: the trick is to make these discount coupons seem exclusive. So, don’t publish the same discount coupons anywhere else.

Use this exercise as a way to promote the reviewed product. For example, if you’re asking a blogger to review your latest e-book, then craft the discount coupon to specifically for that product:

BOUNTY33: Enjoy a 33% discount when you buy this e-book within the next 48 hours

Here are a few more recommendations when crafting your campaign:

  • Personalize your coupons: if you’re contacting a list of 10 bloggers, then try to create 10 different coupons with their blog names as the coupon names. This will make your coupons seem more meaningful for the selected bloggers
  • Keep it scarce: As Seth Godin says, “scarcity creates demand”, people want something that others can’t have. Perhaps set your coupon to expire within 48 hours, or allow it to be used up to three times

If you don’t have a shopping cart system to do all the magic discount coupon rules, then start with something simple. Remember to track which coupons go out to the bloggers, the expiry dates, and any other “manual” rules that you’re assigning to it. Put this down in a spreadsheet (Google Docs) and always keep it updated.

Step 3: Craft Your Review Email

This is the most important step. You need to craft a good email that is able to capture the blogger’s attention and get him/her to review your product.

Here’s an email we helped write for a client, not too long ago:

Dear Jennifer,

I’m a big fan of your blog, and follow it daily on RSS. Love your latest post on “How to Make Your Backpacks Last Forever”.

Our company, Super Duper Backpacks recently launched a new range of custom handmade backpacks, known as the Evolution series. It’s an amazing item in our store, and we’re sure your readers will love them too. You can find more information about it here: http://super-duper-backpacks.com/evolution

We would be delighted if you could review this product on your blog, good or bad. As a token of appreciation here’s an exclusive discount coupon you can give away to your readers for this product. Feel free to copy and paste the offer details below on to your blog or sidebar:

Enjoy a 33% discount on the Evolution backpack
Visit Super-Duper-Backpacks.com
Offer valid till the end of January 2009
Go to: http://super-duper-backpacks.com/evolution

Feel free to email me for any help. I’d be happy to lend a hand and answer your questions.

In the meantime, keep up the great work with your blog!

Cheers,
Jim

Go ahead and copy the sample above. The important part is to personalise each email for every blogger. Yes, it takes a little time, but you will be surprised by the number of positive replies you will get from this.

Here are secrets we share with our clients:

  • Personalise every email: you can reuse a template, but at least address the person on a first name basis, and mention something nice about his/her blog
  • Show that you care: try and read the blog, and pick up a couple of points about what you like. Mention this in the first paragraph. If you liked the blogger’s latest post, then mention that. The trick is to sound genuine
  • Keep it simple: remember that you’re only sending an email. You don’t need fancy graphics or HTML. Bloggers will be able to “smell” bad copy and paste work
  • Do not pressure anyone: there’s no need to force a good review. Bloggers will only promote your product if it’s good. If you get some negative reviews, then just be up-front about it, and reply to the blog post with a comment to give your side of the story

Start Building Your List of Bloggers, & Enjoy The Phenomenal Effect of Word of Mouth Marketing

This tactic has worked for many successful online businesses. It’s best to keep a long list of bloggers, and try different review offers every now and then. You will be amazed by the buzz that this type of campaign can generate for your business.

Post a Comment or read more about Blog Marketing

February 6, 2009

The Secret of Successful Blog Marketing

by Praveen Rajan

Learn The Secret Tactic Used by Profitable Online Businesses to Increase Your Sales Immediately

Have you ever asked the question:

“What should I wear to work tomorrow?”

Probably not. But you may have had problems of your own needing instant solutions.

According to Google, over 18,000 blogs have mentioned the phrase “What should I wear …” in one form or another. This includes What should I wear to class tomorrow, What should I wear with these shoes, and more.

More and more people are turning to blogs to vent their frustrations, and blog about their problems or needs. Most of these blogs are probably read by a small circle of regular readers, often friends and family. And anyone that owns a blog will tell you that getting a comment is always a super surprise.

Harness The Power of Blog Comments

Now imagine you were running an online boutique selling clothes for women.

As an online business, your goal is to solve people’s problems by providing relevant products (or services). Why not harness the power of blogs, and solve problems right away by just leaving a comment. Every time you leave a comment on a prospective customer’s blog, you earn (a) potential traffic from a circle of loyal readers, and (b) potential revenue from a relevant sale. Remember: desperate buyers will do anything to solve their problems, as long as you stay relevant.

This is a step-by-step proven method to do just that without blowing a hole in your pocket.

YES, it’s cheap, fast and effective.

So, how do you find people with problems?

Step 1: List The Problems That Your Product Solves

If you’re in the business of selling clothes online, you should be able to solve common problems such as “what to wear” for specific occasions. Similarly, if your business provides a useful service, spend some time to think about the exact problems that you can solve for your customers.

List out the possible questions that a potential customer might rant about on a blog.

Taking the example of “what to wear”, common problems may include:
What do I wear with these shoes?
What do I wear to the prom?
Which dress looks better?
Where can I buy cheap dresses?
What do I wear to a Toys R Us interview?
What to wear on a fun date?

Step 2: Analyse Your Problems With Google Blog Search

If you haven’t already started using Google Blog Search then there’s no better time to start with it. Think of it as a minute-by-minute radar of the “blogosphere”. Every blog update by potential customers can be searched easily from here.

http://blogsearch.google.com/

Try searching for the common themes of the problems that you outlined in Step 1, and shortlist at least 3 problems to focus on.

How do you go about picking your top 3? The easiest way is to just pick the top 3 with the highest results, but it often pays to be more targeted. You may want to start with a list that returns 20,000 results or less. As you get better at this, you may want to narrow down your focus to more targeted problems. Often, you may find problems with less than 10,000 results, but the fact that it is highly targeted, gives your product immense value to the blogger (potential customer).

Example of a shortlist of common themes:
“what do I wear” = 21,000 results
“what should I wear” = 18,000 results
“what to wear with” = 4,000 results
“what do i wear to” = 2,000 results

Step 3: Set-up Google Alerts

After you have shortlisted some “problems” to tackle, it’s then time to set up Google Alerts. Think of this as a pager that beeps every time some one blogs about one of the problems you are hoping to solve. Rather than go out looking for problems, let them come to you.

http://www.google.com/alerts

Google Alerts lets you keep track of new blog posts via daily email updates or an RSS feed. We usually start by setting up email alerts first, and suggest that you do the same until you get the hang of things. Besides, it’s easier for you to act on emails rather than monitor feeds.

1: Search for a common problem using Google Blog Search
google-blog-search

2: Click on Blogs Alerts on the left column
google-alerts-blog-search

3: Configure your alerts the way you want it, then click Create Alert
google-alerts-configure

Step 4: Leave Comments on Relevant Blog Articles

You should now be receiving daily updates of new blog posts that “talk” about the problems you have shortlisted. It’s best to set aside some time every day to sift through this list. Yes, you will have to speed read through these blogs, but this can also be a great way to gain inspiration for new ideas.

Read and make sure the blog post is relevant to your product. Are you able to provide a relevant solution or relevant reason for the blogger (and their readers) to visit your website?

If you answered YES, then leave a comment on the blog. Some blogs provide the option to keep track of comments through an RSS feed, or email alert. A better alternative is to use a comment tracking service such as co.mments or CoComment. This way you can stay updated with the conversation on a specific blog, and always reply promptly.

Remember: bloggers love receiving comments to their post, especially if it’s the first comment. But it’s important that you stay relevant to the blog article, so try and read the post before commenting.

Set Aside Some Time, And Start Minting Money Right Away

It’s really easy to master this tactic. We’ve seen a number of online businesses structure this form of marketing into their daily routine.

Start slow and keep it simple — perhaps set aside 30 minutes every other day to review and solve problems on blogs. You will be amazed by the traffic and potential sales you can earn from this free tactic.

Post a Comment or read more about Blog Marketing

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