I have been blogging for the past six years now (Since 2008). During this period, I have set up a lot of blogs. Some of them succeeded spectacularly, such as BikeAdvice.in and this blog DigitalDeepak.com. Some of them are performing moderately and continue to bring in passive income till today. Some of the blogs are for non-profit initiatives. Some of them died due to a failed revenue model, but they gave me experience.

Businessman Brainstorming About Blogging

A lot of people have asked me to publish a comprehensive guide to setup a self-hosted blog on a custom domain name. I have helped many people setup blogs. But surprisingly I never wrote an article about it, until now. Better late than never.

Here’s is a comprehensive guide to setting up your self-hosted WordPress blog on your own domain. I have tried to keep it short and simple. But if you find yourself stuck in some place, just leave a comment below, and I would be happy to help you.

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The Evolution of Content & Content Marketing

by Deepak on December 7, 2014

This article is a chapter from my book Content Marketing for Startups.

Evolution of Content & Content Marketing is the most important chapter in this book. Here, we take a look into the evolution of language, communication, memes and content. It is important that we take a moment to understand the evolution of content. Understanding content from the ground up helps us become masters in content marketing and helps us get an edge over our competition.

Old paper, ink and feather on wooden background

I am going to turn back the clock by a few thousand years where humans mostly lived in tribes as hunters-gatherers. I will show you how content came into existence. We will find out why content is the epicentre of marketing and how marketing couldn’t exist without content.

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paypal alternative indiaWe are in the middle of an ecommerce boom in India. Indian consumers are getting used to buying products and services online and making online payments.

In such a day and age, the ability to receive payments online is mandatory for any business. The business could be as small as a freelancer providing online services or it could be a medium-large business receiving millions of rupees in revenues every month.

PayPal was invented for this purpose. When PayPal was launched, online businesses blossomed all over the world. New business models were born because it was so easy to receive payments online. PayPal used to work well in India, for a while. Then all of a sudden RBI (The Reserve Bank of India) started disrupting the business model with a lot of regulations and restrictions.

Post RBI’s intervention Indian PayPal users were not able to:

  • Hold their PayPal balance in their PayPal account
  • Send or Receive money between Indian PayPal users.

Right now PayPal can be used only to make payments through your credit or debit card to a PayPal user in another country. You can also receive payments to your PayPal account from other countries but that money will be withdrawn to your bank account. You will not be able to hold that balance to make further payments.

If you try to send or receive payments within India, your transaction will not go through. The biggest hurdle for Indian businesses is that there is no peer-to-peer money transfer system within India.

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I am excited to let you know about my first book – Content Marketing for Startups! This book explores how startups can leverage content marketing to get targeted traffic.

But traffic is of no use if it is not converted into leads and paying customers. You will also learn about how to convert your visitors into leads, different types of leads, scoring your leads, nurturing those leads and finally converting them into paying customers with proven inside sales strategies.

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If you run your own startup, work in a startup or dream of starting up one day, the content in this book will be priceless to you. Marketing and Sales is one of the most important aspects of any business.

As my mentor used to put it: Marketing is the only activity in a business that gives a direct return on investment. Everything else such as HR, Tech, Finance, Legal etc. are just expenses. Marketing is the only part in a business which you cannot afford to outsource. Everything else can be outsourced.

This is not just an e-book but a real book which you can hold in your hands! The book will retail for Rs.699 on Flipkart and Amazon. You, being my blog reader can get a free copy of this book before it goes for sale at online & offline stores.

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I just came back from Gerry Robert’s Publish a Book and Grow Rich Bootcamp. It was an intense weekend with a lot of learning and networking. In this post I am giving a review of his weekend seminar and a preview of his $35,000 Instant Author Program! You will learn why you don’t need such a pricey guided publishing program to become an author and how you can self publish a book in a much better way at a fraction of the budget.

Gerry-RobertGerry Robert’s idea about book publishing is about how you can publish a book, become a published author and then benefit from the authority and credibility that comes from publishing a book. It’s more about personal branding than making money from actually selling the book.

When you are a published author, people see you in a different way, their first impression towards you will be different. They trust you more (sub-consciously).  A book helps you to get media and press attention thus helping you expand your personal brand.

This works very well if you want to become a speaker, trainer and/or consultant. This also helps you in negotiation and winning client projects.

The things that you will gain after you become an author will be much more than what you expect or imagine it to be. You will get a lot of pleasant surprises. Gerry Robert shows a lot of examples of how people’s lives changed after they became authors. That motivation was priceless to me.

One of the most read articles I have published in DigitalDeepak.com is how to brand yourself as an expert through content marketing. Gerry’s tips on personal branding is very much in sync with my own ideas. While I focus on blogging, his focus is on book publishing. I am sure that when you combine the two it is going to be even more effective.

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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!

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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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