New Inbound Marketing University classes starting today

If you want to became an Inbound Marketing Certified Professional join me  for free. Just go to Inbound Marketing University and register for the classes. This season you have 2 new ones. The first one is held by Mitch Joel from Twist Image and author of Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone. and the second one is held by Paula Berg from Sothwest Airlines.

If you just want to learn more about inbound marketing you can get the recordings of the previous classes here and if you like them drop me a comment bellow.

You can win the elections too

I found this video on YouTube. I have seen a similar presentation live and it taught me that it doesn’t matter if you are the future president or you are a small business owner you have access to the same tools and head for the same results. Enjoy the video and leave your opinion below.

10 things to promote your blog posts

Now you have started a blog but for different reasons people are not getting to your site. What are the 10 things that will drive traffic to your site?
1.Great Title. Whatever the post is about you should look for catchy titles. Most of the viewers will read your post only if the first thing they read makes them click your post. In most cases we decide what is interesting and what’s not in a matter of seconds (less than 10 seconds) and the only thing we can read in this short time is the title of the post so have a great title and you will increase your chances of having me reading the rest of your post. If you are reading this post means that the title I’ve chosen made you click on it.
2, Great Content. In real estate there is a saying that there are 3 things that are important to make profit and these are: location, location and location. That means that if your property is in a good location then you sure can make money from it.
For your blog if you have good content you will get noticed and your blog will get big numbers of visitors. If you have a good title but the content is not so good you will have traffic but of low quality and with increased bounce rate (the percentage of your visitors that leave your site in less than 10 seconds). What else can you do to drive traffic to your site?
3. Optimize your post for Search Engines. When you write a post be sure to complete all the meta fields such as description, keywords and so on (keywords are not used by Google but the other search engines may use them). Verify if your keywords appear in the body of your post frequently enough and get as many inbound links as possible. These will help the search engines to index your post and to rank better in the search results. You can have plugins that help you optimize your blog. I use All-In-One-SEO plugin for WordPress on this blog.
4. Social bookmarking sites. Submit your post to social bookmarking sites such as Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon. One very important thing for getting found is the number and quality of links to your blog and your post from other sites. By submitting your post to social bookmarking sites you can get quickly some links to your post. You can use plugins on you site so that people that liked your post can bookmark your post.
5. Social Media. Promote your post through social media. Write a tweet, update your status in LinkedIn or Facebook. Your followers, friends or connections will be the first to visit your article and comment on it. From my experience, depending on the moment I tweet about more than half of my twitter followers are clicking on the link to my post. If you have huge number of followers this is a great way of driving traffic.
6. Newsletters. This is a classic one, if you have a newsletter you can advertise your post there.
7. Blog comments and Forums. By posting relevant comments on other blogs you benefit of the traffic of the other site and drive traffic to yours. In most of the cases you will not get SEO credit for the links posted in the comments (while the comments may be set not to be followed by search engines) but you may get real visitors. Forums are another grate way of posting links to you article. You can answer to a user question and just ad “by the way, I’ve wrote a post on this topic and here’s the link”.
8. Pitch other bloggers to link to your post. I do this mostly offline when somebody is asking for my support, I give him my advice and then tell: “by the way, I’ve written a post on this subject, If you are interested in more details here is the link”.
9. E-mail signature. You interact daily via e-mail with people. Buy writing a link to your post in your signature will make these people aware of your post. Remember that people that know you, that trust your opinion are more likely to read and comment your post than perfect strangers.
10. Directories. Depending on your post you can submit your article to different sites that let you post news with links to your article. I use the Inbound Marketing site for submitting my stories related with inbound marketing. You can search for similar hubs in your niche.
These are the ways I promote my posts. Do you use the same? Do you have some other? What are your best practices? Share them bellow.

PayPal challenge

PayPal Puzzle

PayPal Puzzle

I was writing last week about the challenge launched by PayPal. If you cannot sleep until you solve the mystery here is the solution: you have to go to https://www.x.com/confinity/, enter the word you see on the screen and then enter the Konami code in order to enter the site. Then you will find out what is all about but I will not talk about this now. Instead I will ask what do you think? Is this type of promotion effective? What PayPal is trying to achieve in this way? Are you thinking to use a similar scenario to promote your product?

5 reasons to share your knowledge

When you start blogging many people do  not know how much of the information they have to share. The main fear is that people that read that blog, using the information provided can do what the owning company is providing.

In my opinion this is a false problem. There is a lot of information over the internet regarding SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and still a lot of companies have enough market to grow. Also the information regarding the diagnosis of specific diseases and their treatment is available on the web, but still you hardly find patients that are putting their diagnostic and treat themselves based on that information.

Here are my 5 reasons to share all your knowledge:

1. The more you share the more you will be seen as an expert and when I have a problem I will ask an expert to solve it for me

2. By sharing more information you will build a tribe of followers that may refer you as an expert in that particular field resulting in increased sales

3. If more people are following you and training in your subject area of expertise you can extend your business to training those people meaning again more sales

4. Not everyone has the resources and want to invest in learning from the information you share. Sufficient people will not have the time or the will to learn and they are your target clients

5. By opening discussions you open yourself to new points of view that may enable you to innovate the domain in which you have expertise. In this way you will maintain your competitive edge.

Dan Ronken elaborated more on these reasons and got to the following reasons:

1. Unselfishness attracts future customers

2. Building community

3. Helping others succeed. The old adage, “Give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach him how to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

4. Hence a foundation of capitalism, right? Specialization.

5. Open mindedness

What do you think? Are these reasons enough for you or you want to add some more?

No comments is like Communism

One of the interesting questions that appeared on the Inbound Marketing Forum was posted by Dan Ronken. He was asking if it is not better when you start a blog to shut down the comments because when you see many posts with no comment you are dettered to write one. You can find the original question here.

I said that no comments is like Communism. As you may have already found out I come from a fomer communist country. In those days you were encouraged to have just the “official” opinion and all the others were banned. I lived those days and we were afraid to talk and tell what we were thinking. We could end in jail for our opinions (some people did it). It took me a long time to go over this fear but now I am cured.

In those days you had no option. Or you go with the crowd or you go to jail. Now, your readers have a multitude of options. They can read millions of blogs and they can comment on them. Why should you put yourself in a less appealing position than your competition? Why should you let your readers go to the others without getting the feedback about your posts?

On the other hand when you start opening the comments to your readers you will be in the same position but with much more content. You will still have no comments but you will have more posts than before.

Social media and blogging is about interaction. You want to start discussions not to just state your opinion. You want people to comment and if they have the choice but they do not comment then may be you do something wrong. You should open yourself to comments, invite your readers to state their opinion and create more intriguing content and then you will have comments.

What do you think? Are you still afraid of no comments?

I have passed the exam

After waiting for a week for the release of the official results I can finaly tell you all that I have passed the exam. I am now officialy an Inbound Marketing Certified Professional and here is my badge.

Want one for you? Just go to Inboundmarketing.com and start the IMU courses in August.

Want some advice? Just drop a message below.

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