Surviving Your First Year in Business – How to Improve The Odds

Starting a business is very difficult and it’s stated that within the first “2” years, around 30% to 40% fail because they encounter unexpected problems. This is why it’s important you have a clear cut plan about your business, thinking of everything from the beginning. Did you know, at one point, banks didn’t even require a business plan if you needed a start-up loan? That’s amazing because now, you can’t even get a loan for $2,000 WITHOUT having a clear cut outline of your plans. Banks have experience and have dealt with millions of start-ups over the years so they know what to look for when applying for a loan. They know when to spot a problem even when you don’t, however, this is NOT the point of my content. It’s to go through some common mistakes made by start-ups that can be the difference between failure and success. I’m […]

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$10K Challenge Update #10

Welcome to the 10th update of my $10K Challenge. If this is your first time reading, check out what this challenge is all about here.  Below are the things that happened since the last update (March 2017): Key Successes Increased revenue. Moved forward with ecommerce project – almost ready to launch. Key Failures Website Stats – April 2017 More… Domain Profile I used Ahrefs (paid) and Open Site Explorer (free) to help measure the effectiveness of my promotional efforts by tracking these metrics: Domain Rating: 49 (+2) Referring Domains: 360 (+76) Traffic Traffic went down by 8.11% compared to March 2017 which is normal fluctuation. Income We finished April 2017 with $5,226.82 in Amazon affiliate commission and $1,128.07 from a new affiliate program that we tested which summed up the total revenue for the month to $6,356.44. What We’ve Done in April 2017 As usual, we continued posting new articles regularly and ran […]

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Great Marketing Strategies You Can Steal From the Most Successful Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl has been called “The Marketer’s Holiday” for good reason. At $5 million for a 30-second spot, it’s one of the highest-grossing media events in the world. And with all the hype around previews before The Big Game, it’s become a frenzy to follow all the activity of the big brands before and after the game. And while the Super Bowl is the ultimate in big brand marketing, there are a number of takeaways that would apply to a business of any size. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from this year’s crop of advertising. After all, marketing is a spectator sport, and 2018’s spectacle was no exception. Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing Consider the environment Context is everything. Make sure you serve up your brand messages in a way that is appropriate to the environment. The Super Bowl is a massive stage, but it’s also a […]

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3 Simple Steps to Get to the Point with Your Content

Ever have a friend who tells stories that never seem to go anywhere? It sounds okay at first, then it spins off to a tangent about how they met their spouse, then we go into their first college dorm room, with a side trip to that deeply formative event that happened in third grade, then … There might be a point in there somewhere. But by the time it’s arrived, your eyes have rolled back in your head and you’re hoping to get struck by lightning so you can get out of this conversation. It’s boring. And it’s annoying. So let’s make sure that your audience never feels that way about your content. In the work I do with our content marketing students, I’ve critiqued hundreds of blog posts. One mistake I see over and over is content that’s interesting and well written, but that wanders all over the place […]

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Content Crush Nov. 17: SEO Strategies and the Revenge of the Creatives

A roundup of this week’s best content marketing content for content marketers.  1. Discover Hidden Backlink Opportunities This post from the Portent blog is a great how-to resource for discovering great backlink building or co-marketing opportunities hidden in your Google Analytics You should know the channels that drive tons of leads…While that’s great information, your boss will probably also know what’s obviously working. What we want are traffic sources that are unsung heroes in your marketing mix. See Also: Content Marketing Moneyball: The Secret Strategy to Data-Driven Content Success 2. Content Gap Analysis Before you finalize your 2018 content plan, it’s crucial to do a content gap analysis first according to a recent post on Search Engine Journal. (Plus, we think our Content Marketing Platform is pretty handy tool for helping you do just that.) It doesn’t matter how many visitors you drive to your website if you don’t have […]

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2017 Goals – Dan Norris

Every year I go through my results from the previous year and goals for the upcoming year. Here is the 2015 goals, 2016 goals and 2016 results. I normally do the review and the goals in 1 post but when I wrote that post, I really had no idea what I’d be doing in 2017 so I didn’t want to include goals in that one. As it turns out I didn’t do much in January at all, after selling my company in December 2016. I had a health scare that turned out to be nothing, but there’s nothing like a health scare to remind you what is important (i.e. nothing). With that behind me now and a tiny bit more clarity about what I’m up to this year, I’m ready for some 2017 goals so here they are. While I sold 1 business last year, I was reminded by my son […]

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How to Increase Sales by Mastering the Art of Storytelling

Nothing keeps someone on the edge of their seat like a good story. That’s why people love to watch movies, read books, and binge-watch television shows. I know we all have that one friend or family member who tells the best stories around the dinner table. But what if there was a way to turn those stories into dollars? There is. You’ll be able to boost your sales if you can get customers to connect with your stories. Some of you may be thinking, “I’m a terrible storyteller, so this won’t work for me.” And some of you might say, “My life is boring. I don’t have any good stories to tell.” Yes, storytelling is an art. Not everyone is born with the ability to tell an engaging story. But luckily for you, I’m very familiar with storytelling. In fact, I use this strategy all the time as a marketing technique. […]

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Public Shaming On Social Media. A Single Tweet Can Ruin Your Life.

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” This is a tweet that Justine Sacco sent to her 174 Twitter followers while waiting for boarding in the London airport on 20 Dec 2013. How does that tweet make you feel? What would you do if you saw this in your Twitter feed? Would you just skim through? Would you laugh at this joke? Or would you rage at Justine and tweet back at her saying what an awful kind of person you think she is (making sure all of your followers will see that)? But let’s get back to the original story. No one replied to that tweet and so Justine got on her plane and turned off her phone. She only tuned it back on when the plain landed in Cape Town. Only to realise that her life was ruined. Apparently someone from her 174 […]

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7 Reasons Your To Do List isn’t Getting Done

Here at Fizzle, our members have no shortage of useful skills and incredible ideas. But making measurable progress day after day? Well, lots of us fall down when it comes to execution. If you have some big dreams, you probably know what it feels like when days and weeks pass without feeling like you’ve made actual, measurable progress. I know this feeling all too well. Before launching the Courage & Clarity podcast, I sat on the idea for the better part of year. Don’t get me wrong, I was busy — I launched a successful course, became a mom, and kept up my share of the work here at Fizzle — but this big dream of mine started collecting dust. Today, as a mom to an adventurous toddler, time is still in pretty short supply. You probably have some version of this in your life, and it makes it hard […]

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The 2015 Halfway Point—Goal Status and Future of SPI

Today’s episode is just you and me. Let’s take a break from strategy to check in with ourselves. We’re halfway through 2015. What progress have you made on your goals for this year? What have you learned? What else does 2015 have in store for you? In this episode, you’ll hear my own, personal answers to those questions. I’ll walk you through my year so far, the goals I’ve reached, and the lessons I’ve learned. I’ve got a few announcements, too, that I’m eager to share with you. Let’s take stock of where we are and have a conversation. I can’t wait to get inspired for the months ahead! Thanks for Listening! Thanks so much for joining me again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below! If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom […]

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People Buy From People: Five examples of how to bring the humanity back to marketing

“People don’t buy from websites, people buy from people.” This is an essential principle from the MECLABS Institute Landing Page Optimization certification course (from the parent research organization of MarketingSherpa). With so much focus on martech, marketing org structure and website optimization, and channels ranging from print to digital advertising, this principle can be easy to forget. Yes, marketing technology is powerful. Yes, the correct structure of the marketing department and IT department are necessary; and you certainly want a well-functioning website. But this is just infrastructure. Mere roads. You, dear marketer, are in the driver’s seat. You decide how to use these roads. The most effective way to use them is to connect with other people. Remember that everyone behind the technology is a real, complex human. And everyone on the receiving end is a real, complex human with hopes and fears, needs and wants, goals and pain points. […]

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Content Neutrality From Amazon, Apple, Facebook, & Google More Important Than Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is in the news, but an even bigger problem is looming, the increasing lack of content neutrality. The island mentality of the world’s largest technology companies including Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google isn’t getting nearly the debate that it should. These companies seem to be so focused on keeping users locked into their own content technology gardens that they threaten the easy use of their products and services.  Related posts: 3 Ways the Net Neutrality Repeal Can Damage Your Business The Trump Administration Is Fighting California’s Tough Net Neutrality Law How to Unlock the Free Market Possibilities of Net Neutrality’s Repeal In 2018, Success Will Come From Telling The Truth Net Neutrality Ends in April, Unless Congress Acts Supreme Court Declines to Hear Net Neutrality Challenge Freshness and Google – Why It’s So Important How Color is Important in Your Content Strategy

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Diva Marketing Blog – Marketing blogs and corporate social media strategies for innovative companies

Social Share Shopping Dance 05/08/2014 The interweb and smart phones forever changed how we buy, what we buy, where we buy .. and who we take along on our shopping adventures.  What makes social shopping work is something so simple but at the same time it’s often a challenge for brands to achieve. The Social Share. Sounds like the next viral video dance! One of the new ways to shop is taking your virtual entourage along. Your friends can be part of your shopping experience for seconds, a la SnapChat, or participate in in-depth discussions in Google Hangouts. For some folks social shopping is an amazing adventure. Still don’t know if it’s really worth the extra money for the souped up camera?  You have a way to bring friends, as the marketers might say, into the purchase decision. Girlfriend, are you in a quandary about which cute dress to buy? Through […]

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Sales pipelines and non-linear pharmokinetics

When I ran my own business, I had a solid, tried-and-true, 3x pipeline. That was absolutely, 100% the math. For every $3 in prospective sales, we would see $1 in booked revenue, and this was the case for years. Until it abruptly wasn’t. For whatever reason, the ratio started to shift, and we began closing less than 30% of deals. Clearly it was time to move to a 4x pipeline. If we were going to maintain the same amount of revenue annually, we needed to increase the number of opportunities were were pursuing. So that’s what we did. ***** Let’s park this parable for a moment and jump to an article I came across last week. It turns out that a popular pharmaceutical contraceptive doesn’t work well for women who weigh more than 165lbs (75kgs) and doesn’t work at all for women over 176 lbs (80kgs). The article explained that […]

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From SMBs To Industry Giants: Managing Online Brand Reputation

In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Intuitive Digital is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in Portland . Check out their profile here. As more and more people seek out information online, creating and maintaining a solid online reputation that holds true to your brand is a must for any company or business owner. We’re not exaggerating: “97% of consumers read online reviews for a local company” and “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation”. A Brand is What Makes a Company a Company Your brand is not just the product or service you provide. It’s a culmination of design items like a logo, website, tagline or color scheme and, more importantly, the culture — the employees and the values adhered to. It’s also how companies interact with the public through advertisements and on social media channels; a brand is the overall feeling, emotion and lifestyle […]

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Competing with Amazon in SEO

In this week’s Affiliate Marketing Tip of the Week  we tackle a situation faced by countless affiliates and affiliate managers – that of competing with Amazon’s stellar search engine rankings. Amazon, the company whose affiliate marketing program is in many ways exemplary of leveraging affiliates for growing a business, is crushing many brands’ affiliate marketing efforts, making their SEO-centric affiliates suffer revenue loss the very moment that the brand starts selling on Amazon. Background Last year, U.S. online sales reached $395 billion [source]. Out of these, Amazon.com alone collected $136 billion [source], accounting for 43% of US online retail sales [source]. Who wouldn’t want to sell in a marketplace that owns 34.43 cents of every 1 dollar that Americans spend online? For many businesses adding their product(s) to Amazon translates into a substantial exposure and additional revenue. Thus, many brands go this route – in fact, millions do [source] and, of these, as […]

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10 Simple Ways to Make Your WordPress Site Faster

I’ve become obsessed with site speed over the last six months, systematically working through each of my sites to improve their speed. Supposed SEO benefits aside, the faster your site is, the better the user experience. And the better the user experience, the higher the conversion rate – sales, leads or newsletter subscribers; whatever a conversion for your site may be. And that’s a good thing for your business – no matter what type of business model you have. My three favorite resources for assessing site speed (and identifying site speed issues to fix) are: Well, that last one is a lie. I use Pagespeed Insights solely to assess how Google rates mobile user experience for my sites. Their site speed improvement recommendations are limited and often vague. But it’s still an important test to run to ensure you’re achieving a 100/100 mobile user experience score in Google’s eyes. I’m […]

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Discover How Incapsula Secures Websites and Boosts Performance

When you run your business on the Internet, any sort of business at all, it is absolutely paramount that you keep security front of mind. If you have a content-based website like a blog, you don’t want hackers to get into your backend and install all sorts of malicious code or compromise the security of your website visitors. If you have an online store or a site with user-generated content, you don’t want hackers stealing the personal data of your customers and members either. You also want to make sure that your site runs as quickly and as smoothly as possible. But how? A Four-Pronged Approach Offering a comprehensive suite of products and solutions, Incapsula by Imperva strives to “secure and accelerate your website” to deliver the best possible user experience while frustrating attackers and simplifying your operations. There are four main product categories as part of the overall Incapsula […]

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Are You Taking GIFs Seriously as a Marketing Strategy?

GIFs are the new emoji. GIFs are also the video form of the meme. You can mock, cajole, amuse, or comfort through a GIF. GIFs typically include some sort of cultural reference. And the medium thrives on instant pop culture recognition. But how in the world is a GIF even useful in marketing? When I first heard of the concept, I was like, “Riiiiiight.” But as I did my research, I realized that GIFs are actually a brilliant marketing strategy. And if you utilize them correctly, you’ll see a massive impact on your conversion rates and income. 1. What Is In a GIF? A GIF is a Graphical Interface Format. And it’s old. How old? Like 1987 old. And the question ever since has been “How do you pronounce it?” Fortunately, the FAQ section of the original program that used GIFs tells us it’s pronounced “JIF.” But the debate still […]

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5 Affiliate Traffic Sources to Test in 2017

The Internet landscape is constantly evolving which means the best sources of traffic for affiliates is constantly changing too. Where can affiliates find good traffic in 2017? There are 5 specific traffic sources that I recommend affiliates test this year. These are all sources I have been running traffic with for the past few months and that I have had some success with. I will explain what types of affiliate offers I’ve been running and how affiliate friendly each source is. Let’s start with Bing Ads. Favorite Search Traffic Source for Affiliate Marketers – Bing Ads Bing Ads is not a new traffic source for affiliates. Bing has been trying to compete with Google for years. I do not think there is any doubt which company offers a better overall search experience, but there are still millions of people using Bing every single day. One thing that Bing definitely has going […]

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