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What's Old Is New Again! 

 

2013 Content

Marketing Manifesto

Why Focusing on SEO and Social Media

Is Dragging Your Business Down

and The One Sure Fix That Will

Turn Things Around

 

Did you have a favorite hang out when you were growing up?

 

I did.

 

Mine was the corner drug store in our small town of Bronxville, NY. Bellis'.

 

As teenagers we went there not so much to buy anything, as to meet our friends and find out what was going on.

 

We'd hop on counter stools, if any were available, order cherry cokes, and gossip about whoever wasn't there.

 

There was nothing special about this drugstore. It was not part of a chain and it was actually kind of run down, inside and out.

 

By rights, the owner probably should have kicked us kids out, because we took up a lot of the retail space... just standing around.

 

But he didn't.

 

And whether he knew it or not, that was the smartest thing he ever did.

 

Because by letting his store become "The Place To Go," it achieved a notoriety that it never would have achieved if it had to compete with the larger, more established brand stores on selling alone.

 

Everybody in Bronxville knew about Bellis.'

 

And because their kids hung out there and were always talking about it, parents began to stop in to see what all the fuss was about. And, as long as they were there, they purchased this and that.

 

As we kids grew older, we too began to make purchases other than candy and soda. It never occurred to us to go anywhere else, because we felt at home at Bellis'.

 

So... what has all this to do with you and building a successful building online?

 

In a word...EVERYTHING!

 

If you want to be successful in building a business online, STOP getting sidetracked by stuff like SEO and Social Media and start to focus on what really matters.

 

Creating A Place of Your Own  

Where People Want to Gather 

 

Think of the old brick and mortar corner stores, of the mom and pop variety.

 

Back in the day, store owners knew their customer's names; they knew what they liked and disliked. They took the time to talk to and get to know them, so they could better serve them.

 

And this feeling of authentic caring was reciprocated. Rarely did a customer ever consider going anywhere else to shop.

 

So... the mom and pop stores were virtually assured of a steady flow of business, day in and day out.

 

Over the last five decades we have drifted further and further away from this Norman Rockwell model, and the internet has made human interaction more superficial and fleeting.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

 

Unless your goal is to build relationships and trust, like in the mom and pop days.

 

On the plus side... the internet is a powerful tool for information sharing.

 

That's the reason it was created in the first place.

 

That's the reason social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are flourishing. Because they make it easy for you to share your information.

 

But... they are not places to build a successful business.

 

It is like setting up a store on someone else's property.

 

The owners of these sites are multi-millionaires. When was the last time they offered to pay you for your content contributions to their company?

 

You might argue that these platforms are popular, and you can get high ranking back links to your sites from them.

 

I agree. But my argument is...

 

If You Are Spending Time

Advertising Your Business,

You Are Losing Time

Building Your Business

 

And if you go about building your business the right way, there is less need for self promotion.

 

Just like with our corner drug store in our story above, word of mouth will spread on its own.

 

So, your first order of business is to make sure you have your own corner store.

 

If you have your own website or blog now, re-focus your attention on it.

 

If you don't... get one.

 

Your second order of business is to make your site a place where folks like to hang out.

 

OK. I admit, that is a pretty tall order... but keep reading and you'll see that it is really not that hard.

 

Let's begin by talking about why folks go online in the first place.

 

They go online because they need or want INFORMATION.

 

Scratch that. They don't just want information. They want GOOD INFORMATION.

 

Information that solves a problem, makes them feel good, entertains them or teaches them something they didn't know.

 

They go online to find a place where they feel comfortable. Where they know they will always find something worth their time and attention.

 

And when they find that place, they usually can't wait to let others know about it.

 

See, it's really not that different from the old, mom and pop or corner drug store days, in that...

 

They Are Looking to Find a Place

Where They Feel Special and

Where They Can Count on

Finding What They Want

 

AND... all you have to do to be successful online is...

 

Be that Place and Give Them What They Want!!!

 

The two things are actually tied together. That's why it is so important that you develop your own unique space.

 

Because only then can you develop your own unique brand.

 

Yes, I realize that folks can find information in all sorts of places.

 

But if you've been online lately and run searches on even the most mundane topics, the top results lead to articles and blog posts that are really not that exceptional.

 

In fact, some are downright dreadful.

 

And that's your competition!

 

So, really, you shouldn't be discouraged in the least.

 

All it takes to top the competition in just about any niche is a bit of creativity, originality and/or personality.

 

We will talk about how you can make your content stand out a bit later, but for now I want to focus on your #1 goal.

 

Think about Oprah Winfrey,

Donald Trump

Ellen DeGeneres

and Martha Stewart

 

What do they have in Common?

 

You probably answered "lots of money," and that's true.

 

But... the reason they have so much money is that they have developed a reputation in their respected fields.

 

People listen and respond to them and, as a result, they have developed a huge AUDIENCE.

 

People respect those who share what they know with others freely, especially when that information is helpful or entertaining.

 

But Oprah, Donald, Ellen and Martha did not become celebrities overnight. They all worked hard and paid their dues.

 

In fact, since all of them started out before there was an internet and social media, they had to work a lot harder than most folks have to today.

 

But what they all had was drive. They all knew what they wanted and they stayed focused on taking the steps that would get them there.

 

Most importantly, they did NOT think about MAKING MONEY first and foremost.

 

They were smart enough to know better.

 

Instead, they focused with laser beam precision on building a name for themselves; building their reputations.

 

This was the key to their eventual success.

 

There are plenty of successful people in each of their respective fields, but their names top the list.

 

And because of this they COMMAND a huge AUDIENCE whereever they go, and because of this, they also COMMAND a huge paycheck.

 

So, the lesson here is... don't do what 99% of folks who come online do -- chafe at the bit to earn your first buck.

 

Instead, focus on what really matters... building your reputation... becoming an AUTHORITY in your niche.

 

And the way to do that these days is by having the best and the most quality information... AND by giving MOST of it away freely.

 

Here's the thing that you need to grasp...

 

You cannot claim to be an authority.

It's NOT about YOU.

It IS  about the value, uniqueness

and authenticity of your content.

 

The caliber of your content will make or break you.

 

There are really only two steps to becoming an authority in any niche:

  1. Learn all you can.
  2. Share all you can.

Number two is KEY. You want to create content that is worth paying for -- and give it away for FREE.

 

If it's helpful, informative, original and/or entertaining, you will build up an audience and be perceived as an authority.

 

The better the value of what you give away, the faster you will build your reputation.

 

If you offer something of real value, there's a chance it might even go VIRAL, if you encourage others to share it as well.

 

That's the thing about offering digital information, there is virtually no limit to amount of sharing that can occur.

 

And it's so easy to do with all the Social media platforms - Twitter, Facebook, Google +, just to mention a few.

 

If your audience thinks your stuff is important enough to share or link to, guess what? The Google Guys will definitely pay attention!

 

That's the great thing about producing great content, you don't have to worry about SEO and Social Media.

 

Your Content Will Achieve

The Results You Want For You --

Both in the Social Media

and in Google Page Rank

 

The old saying that "Content Is King" still holds. SEO and Social Media are merely the knights that serve it.

 

Read the sentence above again. "SEO and Social Media are merely the knights that serve CONTENT."

 

Without CONTENT there would be no SEO or Social Media. Without CONTENT there would be no Web.

 

All these services are designed to pin point the best content the Web has to offer.

 

So, doesn't it make sense that you should spend your time striving to create some of that "best content" rather than striving to push mediocre pages to the top of the social media pile?

 

Here's what I'm talking about. Let's use as an example two internet marketing newbies, Kent and Mark.

 

Both decide to start a business at the same time, and both happen to have an extensive background in real estate.

 

Kent starts off by hiring a website designer to create a fancy site he is going to use to promote several paid membership workshops and courses.

 

He's confident that with some PPC advertising and good sales copy, the caliber of his real estate information will sell itself.

 

Mark, on the other hand, approaches his new venture in a different way. He creates a simple blog and begins writing about his first hand experiences as a real estate agent.

 

His daily posts are both educational and humorous and, slowly but surely, he begins to attract an audience.

 

This audience spreads word of Mark's blog through social media to their friends and followers.

 

And because many of Mark's posts are so helpful and relevant, back links soon begin to sprout from his audience's recommendations. He gets lots of link exchange requests.

 

Before he knows it, Google takes note and his blog rises steadily to the top of the SERPS. This drives more targeted traffic to his blog, and the process keeps repeating itself.

 

And all Mark is doing is writing about what he knows best in an authentic, informative and entertaining way.

 

To him, his blogging is more of a hobby than a business, but before long he begins getting emails and phone calls from other marketers and companies, asking how much he would charge them to put advertising on his site.

 

He gets queries from his audience wondering whether his content is available in any other format. Does he have any courses or books available for sale?

 

So Mark thinks why not.

 

Not only does he combine many of his previously published posts into paid reports and ebooks, but he takes advantage of the comments of his readership to figure out what topics he should write about next.

 

In this way he keeps up his usual posting habit, but also begins to monetize more and more of the information he puts out, expanding it from reports and ebooks, to full blown multi-media courses and work shops.

 

Without being aware of it, Mark has stumbled on a successful, self sustaining business model, one that will only grow bigger and better as the years go on.

 

Kent, on the other hand, is struggling after his first year online. Remember, he was over-eager to get his business rolling. He figured all he needed to do was put up his site, stock it with a variety of enticing products, pay for some advertising and he would be on his way to big buck city.

 

Unfortunately, what happened was, the PPC advertising was too costly and didn't work (too much competition). So... he figured he would try social networking but, since he had no social media expertise, he had to shell out more money to outsource that...

 

At the end of a year, while Mark's business was flourishing, Kent had made a total of two sales. And the outlook for making more looked pretty bleak.

 

What's the difference between both approaches? Although both men offered quality content...

 

One Chose to Give First,

The Other Chose to Get First.

The More You GIVE Your Audience,

The More You Will GET in Return

 

Folks online are a lot smarter these days. They have supersonic radar for any hint of marketing and, if they detect it, they flee.

 

They hate wasting their time and they resent being pitched to. They want to be educated -- or entertained.

 

They want to feel that YOU really care about them and are not just out to take their money.

 

This educational approach gives you a chance to build trust, and that trust enables you to better communicate benefits and overcome objections.

 

Think of yourself as a teacher, rather than a marketer.

 

So, let's review here.

 

First, you want to create helpful, informative, original and/or entertaining information.
That information will establish you as an AUTHORITY and build you an AUDIENCE.
That AUDIENCE will help to SHARE your information and further build your AUTHORITY.
AUTHORITY + Happy AUDIENCE ==> ENJOYABLE SALES EXPERIENCE

 All you have to do is sprinkle in some product/s.

 The fact of the matter is, these days...

 

If You Want to Succeed

In Marketing Online

How You Sell May Matter  

More Than What You Sell 

 

Now, I know this all sounds pretty simplistic, and you might be saying to yourself... "if it's really that simple, why isn't everyone doing it?"

 

The answer is truthfully...

 

95% of those trying to start a business online are overloaded with internet marketing crap and haven't got a clue what to do.
   
And the 5% that might have an inkling about content marketing are afraid they don't have the skill or writing talent to carry it off.

 

Let's tackle the first problem first. If you are suffering from information overload, stop reading your email. Unless it is from a good friend or family member, delete, delete, delete.

 

Information is the greatest commodity in the world. But there is too damn much of it. And, when it comes to internet marketing, that glut can tie you up and keep you immobile for years.

 

Yes, it is important to learn, but at some point you have to stop learning and start doing.

 

Problem two. You can't write worth a damn.

 

Who cares?

 

The great thing about communicating online is that your high school English teacher is not going to grade your blog post or website article.

 

If you can talk, you can write. (Although proper spelling is a must, so use spell check.)

 

And, if you have made it to adulthood, you must have gathered some knowledge and experience along the way.

 

So you're two for two.

 

I assume you also have a personality. Maybe even a sense of humor? Are you sarcastic? Do you tell jokes? Make others laugh, occasionally?

 

Even if you think you are as deadpan boring as tree bark, you can make that work for you.

 

As for what you are going to write about, that's simple. Begin with what you know best or... whatever you are interested in.

 

Yeah, if you want to be anal about it you can do keyword research, but with millions and millions of people online, there's a pretty good chance that you will find an audience for just about any topic you choose to write about.

 

And actually, the longer the tail (the narrower the topic), the less competition you will have, so if you are boring and have eccentric interests, you should still do okay.

 

But what if you don't have any interests, education or experience. Basically, you've  slept through your entire youth and adolescence.

 

You're still not entirely out of the game because, as we've said, the internet is all about information.

 

You can find out anything you want to know online and then write about it.

 

And, if you don't want to write, you can use pre-written content or PLR.

 

This combines the best of both worlds. The research and writing is done for you.

 

Remember, You're Not Trying to be a Writer.

You're Trying to be a Teacher.

Or Perhaps, if You Find That Role

Too Off-Putting, a Good Friend.

 

We all have the natural ability to help to others. It’s human nature.

 

You do it all the time in small ways.

 

Have you ever told a friend to steer clear of a product that doesn’t live up to expectations? Have you ever suggested a favorite dish at a restaurant, or told someone why she would absolutely love a movie you just saw?

 

You are helping these people by giving your opinion or recommendation. This narrows down their choices and makes it easier for them to decide what they want.

 

You can do the exact same thing with the information YOU offer online! YOU can help people solve their problems!

 

The need for information is not a trend, and it will not go out of style.

 

All you have to do is figure out the unique spin you are going to give it.

 

Maybe this will help:

 

Picture the biggest mob scene you've ever witnessed or experienced. The Beetles first trip to America, Woodstock, Occupy Wall Street.

 

Then imagine yourself as one person in the midst of that massive crowd.

 

How much attention would you get?

 

Not much, right.

 

Now maybe if you were dressed as Big Bird or you were propped up on ten foot stilts, you would be able to call some attention to yourself.

 

Folks would be intrigued with you for a few minutes, but unless you had something more to offer them, like a song and dance, their attention would invariably wander away.

 

Same thing with starting up a blog or putting up a website on the internet. It is mobbed with content. And the amount of information is growing daily.

 

So, if you want to stand out in this mob, you have to make yourself distinctive. You have to one-up everybody else.

 

In some markets, this will be more difficult than others, but it is not impossible. Not if you keep in mind Mark's story and the mob analogy.

 

Also, remember Oprah, The Donald, Ellen and Martha. There is nothing special about them as individuals. But they each created a persona that made them stand out from the crowd.

 

You Need to Keep Your Mind Focused on

What Really Matters... AUDIENCE,

AUTHORITY and CREATING

An Enjoyable Sales Environment

 

Be yourself. Inject your personality, your spin, if you will, into the information you put out. Something that will make it uniquely yours.

 

If you are using PLR content, repurpose and reformat the content. Add some finishing touches like instructional charts and pictures or humorous icons or memes.

 

I grew up in a house where we got The New Yorker magazine delivered each week. I delighted looking through it, not for the articles (which I later came to appreciate) but for the wickedly funny cartoons spread throughout its pages.

 

Offer different types or combinations of content. Make PowerPoint presentations or short videos that you can later upload to YouTube. Your options are really unlimited.

 

But you must always deliver good value -- better yet, over-deliver great value!

 

This is how you will build and retain your AUDIENCE, convert them to CUSTOMERS and insure your they become repeat customers.

 

Bottom line... the work you put into making your content exceptional will pay you back in spades!


It will build your AUDIENCE and your AUTHORITY.

 

And your AUDIENCE and AUTHORITY will drive non stop targeted traffic to your business, making it possible for you to succeed in selling anything you want... for as long as you want.

 

Kind of like having your own Mom and Pop store, only instead of operating in a small town, you have the entire world as your neighborhood:-)

 

 

I hope you found this report
both thought provoking and motivating.
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