You may have never started a blog. Or you may have started one, the blog didn’t get much traffic or comments – and you forgot about it. To manage a blog and its audience is no simple task. But the benefits of blogging far outweighs the trouble that goes into maintaining it. If you have not been motivated enough to start a new blog or resurrect your old blog, this post will give you enough reasons to do so. Here are 7 major benefits of being a blogger…

blogger

1. You Organize and Document Your Ideas Better

You learn many things you go through your professional life. But the problem is that unless you document it somewhere you are going to forget most of the things you learned.

A lot of people have journals where they have written several pages of notes. But we know what happens to those notes.

The problem with taking notes:

  1. They are not organized and presented well (the motivation to organize it well doesn’t exist because no one else is going to read it).
  2. It gets lost over time or just buried somewhere digitally or physically.

In learning arenas like training and seminars, you would have seen a lot of people take notes sincerely. Even I have done that, but more often than not such notes get lost and we never take a look at it again.

When it comes to blogging, it solves both the problems. When you know someone else is going to read it, even if it is a very small audience, you will organize and present your ideas in a better way.

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In this article I have tried to to answer some fundamental questions about blogging. If you are not a blogger yet, you will understand how blogging can help you connect with like minded people, brand yourself, get new opportunities and become a thought leader in your field – and I bet you will be motivated to start blogging. If you already have a blog, you will find out ways with which you can find topics to blog about that are sure to succeed with your audience.

Young funny man in glasses writing on typewriter

Verbal and Written Communication skill is the one thing that makes us human and sets us apart from other creatures on planet earth. While body language and verbal communication is about real time exchange of information, publishing transcends time and reaches people even centuries after it is created.

When you think about it, Information publishing is as old as man kind itself. We as cavemen used to draw and paint inside caves trying to communicate what we felt. From cave drawings, to rock tablets, to organic ink on dry leaves, to paper, to printed paper to Kindle and PDF e-books, we have come a long way!

While most of the technology improvements before 2000 AD was about the efficiency of printing and faster reproduction of the materials, there was not much change in the speed at which the published information was delivered, until the dawn of the internet age.

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If you have searched for a shop, restaurant or an office address, you would have noticed that a search result with a map listing would have showed up in Google search. Sometimes, this will also have pictures of the business premises, the address and phone number. These results are not automatic. They come up because the business owner has listed his business on Google Maps. It is now time to list your business on Google Maps!

google-maps-list

Earlier this feature used to be called Google Places, now it has been changed to Google My Business. This post will show you how to get your business listed on Google My Business.

Once you list your business there, you will not only get a map result when someone searches for your company name on Google but you will also show up with location and contact info when someone looks up for your place in the Google Maps app in mobile, tablet or desktop.

This is very important because unless you enter the correct address and pin the location on the map, sometimes your business will be listed in the wrong place and your potential customers may end up at the wrong streets looking for you!

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Many people recently asked me how to become a Google AdWords certified professional. This post is going to show you how.

group of multiracial graduates holding diploma

There is a bit of confusion in this arena because Google recently changed how the entire certification program works. Google AdWords certification is definitely a plus if you want to brand yourself as a PPC expert. (But keep in mind that passing this exam alone does not make you an expert). Read more about how to become a self made digital marketing expert.

Earlier, the test alone costed $50 to try and the process of the certificate issue was different. Now it is free to take the test. If you take the test and fail, there is a time period where you have to wait before you can give it a go again.

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Digital marketing primarily involves generating traffic and conversions. For a business or project to succeed online, a digital marketer has to bring in the traffic at the lowest cost per visitor and strive to achieve the maximum conversion ratio with that traffic.

Lead Nurturing

There are different types of conversions. Conversion from a visitor to a lead, a lead to a customer and from a customer to a repeat customer. Lead generation and lead nurturing is part of the conversion process and helps increase the conversion ratios.

You can read more about the conversion metrics in my article about important digital marketing metrics.

In this article I will explain about Leads, Lead generation and lead nurturing. Lead scoring is an advanced concept which I will talk about in the next article.

What is a Lead

“Lead”, means a lot of different things in a English language. From nouns to verbs, there are several contexts where this word can be used. With a little bit search on the web for definitions, the closest I could come up with for marketing context is “culminate or result in (a particular event or consequence).”

A web visitor becomes a Lead when she has shown an intention to buy our product or service. This expression of intent to buy can be done in different ways. [click to continue…]

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Google webmaster tools is used by many website owners to gain great insights into their websites. If you are not yet using webmaster tools, you are missing out on critical information about your website which can help you get more traffic and make your website more healthy.

Web And Seo Analytics Concept

With Google webmaster tools helps you get information about how many times your website was displayed in Google search results & how many clicks it received for which keywords and so on. You can also get information about how many pages have been submitted and how many have been indexed in the search engine.

Some notable features that are included in Webmaster Tools:

  • Check Keywords and their impressions and clicks
  • Check your website for malware
  • Check the status of structured data
  • Get notified if there is a sudden drop in traffic
  • Get notified if there is any issue in the website
  • Fetch as Google bot and submit the page to Google
  • 404 / Not found errors on your website
  • Incoming links from other websites and internal links
  • Remove certain URLs from the search engine index

In this article I will show you step by step how to add your website to Google webmaster tools and how to make the maximum use of this tool from big G. [click to continue…]

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When it comes to getting business online, lead generation is one of the biggest responsibilities of a digital marketer. Branding and PR is also important but because branding is not measurable, generating leads (direct response marketing) feels more tangible and can help in scaling up fast. When it comes to lead generation online, there are no free and paid methods per se. No source is free in the real sense. Some channels require more money to be invested and some channels need more time to be invested.

Human Resources

If you invest time, your results will last longer but the initial growth will be slow. If you invest money, you will get quicker results but won’t have continuity. A combination of time and money investment would be the ideal way to go – you get leads fast and also your efforts will have a ongoing momentum. Integrated digital marketing helps marketers achieve that goal. As a digital marketer, I use the following channels the most to generate leads for the projects I am a part of.

1. Google Adwords

Google Adwords has been the number one source of quality leads for all my projects. Since I am displaying my ads only to the people who are specifically searching for the product or service that I am offering, Adwords gives quality leads and the conversion ratio is usually high. Adwords can help when you need to reach your lead generation targets within a short span of time. [click to continue…]

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There are only two important things in digital marketing. The first one is traffic and the second one is conversion. This post is about increasing conversions. I know I have made a big claim about helping you double or triple your conversions, but in reality your conversions can go even higher than that. What you are about to learn here is not just a tactic but a strategy.

increase conversions

Tactics change from time to time depending on the trends and technology, but strategy remains consistent. The strategies I am about to reveal here have been consistent for 100s of years. These sales methods have been used even before the advent of the internet.

To make sales online, you need traffic. It doesn’t matter if you are selling display advertising space, other’s products for a commission or your own product. If you have got the traffic, you have the potential to make sales.

You may have tons of traffic, but if you do not focus on conversions, your revenue will be little to nothing. Here, conversion is defined as visitors to clicks, clicks to leads or leads to customers. (Read my post about top 7 digital marketing metrics if you want to know more about conversion metrics).

If you are selling display advertising, you may not be making much revenue if your banners are not positioned in strategic places. If you are collecting leads through a landing page, enough visitors may not be converting into leads if your landing page is not optimized for high conversions.

A lot has been said and talked about traffic generation online. Until now, enough attention and focus was not given to conversions. I think its because people have started to realize that there is a limit to how much traffic you can generate using a specific channel, but there is no limit to how much % increase in conversion you can achieve. [click to continue…]

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secure domain name registrarsDomain name registration and holding is one of the most important aspects for any online business. Usually a lot of web hosting companies offer domain registration services but there are a few registrars who specialize in domain names, have wonderful security features and offer great prices.

Most domain registrars charge exorbitantly high for registration and renewal of domain names. For example, .in domain names are charged as much as $35 in many registrars and they do not offer any value added services for that price. But my recommended registrars charge only $10 – $15 per year.

One of the most important aspects for me when registering a domain name with a registrar is two-factor login / authentication which provides an additional layer of security of my domain names. Domain names are so important because the email IDs on that domain names are controlled by the MX records on the domain name.

If you have an email account online like yourname@yourdomain.com, this email ID can be controlled by anyone who steals your domain name. With email IDs, they can reset passwords for many of your online accounts. One guy lost his $50,000 @N twitter account like that. Google it.

[Find out the top 3 Registrars...]

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custom short urlsWhen in comes to social media, emails and offline publication of links, URL shorteners play a very important role. The URL looks clean, you can track the clicks on the URLs and easy for someone to visit a web page mentioned in a magazine, book or newspaper article.

Bitly.com is one of the most popular URL shorteners around. Their short URLs start with bit.ly followed by a few characters. But did you know that bitly also allows us to have our own custom domain? You can register your short domain name and use it with bitly system for free.

Having your own custom short URL helps in branding and increases your cool factor. I had this short domain from a while back – dpak.net and now I am using it for URL shortening with bitly. Hence forth, all the links that I share on social media and email will be something like this: http://dpak.net/NBsb5K

If someone manually types in dpak.net in the browser bar, it can be redirected to a URL of my choice. It usually redirects to bitly.com by default but you can change it in the settings. You will not be able to have any content or website on this domain. The domain name should be dedicated to URL shortening purposes only when you are using it with bitly. [click to continue…]

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