Saturday, 3 March 2018

Identifying The Goldmine: Where And How Should B2Bs Promote Their Content?

b2b content promotion


The argument is over. Marketing experts and doubting Thomases have finally come to agree that content marketing is one of the most important customer acquisition channels for business of any kind. Seth Godin has my most favourite quote on this. He says “content marketing is the only marketing left.” 

Our judge has given the verdict.............. nothing left to be said.

What is now baffling, however, is the pool of information available on the internet. Self-ascribed experts and impostors continue to grow by the day. It reminds me of Ann Handely's book "Everyone writes." You are right to be worried!

I understand this, which it’s why I took it upon myself to discuss a subject of great importance: Where should B2Bs promote their content? Should it be confined to LinkedIn where their prospect are often said to be? Or there are other platforms that equal LinkedIn in this advantage?

Don’t sweat it; I will uncover many many facts as regards B2B content promotion.

Successful content marketing is both art and science. The art part is the wonder you perform when you burnish your cutting-edge content to do two things: Arrest and captivate. The science part is finding and implementing how to reach the right people – your target audience. So, we'll be going into some science today.

For B2C, we know audience are almost everywhere, but B2B has been severely narrowed down to some platforms, going by the popular opinion.

Sorry to disappoint you: The answer to the question of this piece does not agree with the popular opinion. Because in practical reality, the goldmine of B2B content promotion is everywhere. In other words, B2B target audience are available on almost every social network, except if you don’t know how to use it.

Why is this true?


Facebook, a platform with over 1 billion monthly active users, cannot be wanting of business owners. Not especially when media household names such as Bloomberg broadcast live video on it. If that failed to convince you, would it be appropriate to say among 50 million businesses that use the platform, none is your prospect?

Twitter, the mini-blog platform and playground of intelligentsia, has the world high-profile CEOs and business moguls hanging out on it. And with 65% of U.S companies, including 377 Fortune 500, using the platform for marketing purposes, how hard is it to find your prospects there?

Do you also have apathy for Instagram? Sure you do, but you are missing a lot because Buffer, Hootsuite and Paypal are tapping its potential to high degrees.

I cannot continue to prose on and on about this. Let’s move to the business of the day.

How B2B Can Promote Their Content Using Facebook

 
Promoting B2B content on Facebook
If you are just about to yell at me for asking you to promote your B2B on Facebook, relax and be sure that thinking Facebook does not work for B2Bs is MERELY some “you think” rebuttable presumption.


About 74% of Facebook users say they use it for professional purpose, according to a recent study by Hubspot. Who do you think uses social media for professional purposes? Only B2C consumers? Certainly, the answer is no.


After a close study of how some B2Bs use Facebook, I outline three most effective things I could lay my fingers on.


1.      Visual storytelling

Facebook, as Social Media Examiner puts it, is largely a visual social network. Better engagement and interaction are more guaranteed with visual posts, most especially in case of B2B users.

Why? Other business owners are busy people, just like you. If a picture is worth more than a thousand words, then using a picture to communicate your message would be a wise thing to do. Examine this post below from Accenture. SME dissected it and figured out it used “high-quality imagery combined with a bold font and one key message” to support its expert status.




In one simple photo, it communicated 3 distinct messages as SME explains:


·        We are experts in our field and we are giving you access to insights from our managing director
·        We have industry knowledge that we are willing to share with you
·        At no point in this status update, in the image, or in the blog link description are we trying to sell to you.


Fantastic! Isn’t it? Your prospects are already occupied. They are not going to pass their time consuming content unless it appears irresistible. Use the imagery tricks to hook them down and they are likely to get into your sales funnel.

2.      Facebook Live Show

One the most important characteristics any marketing content can have is “be very engaging.” Content marketing works for the simple advantage of its ability to interact across various levels. It tucks away complexity and engages people of different levels in the casual cordial way. And there is no better place to do this than a live show.


You may agree with me that there is no better way to engage people than live show. This is most especially so in case of B2B where you need to establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Other business owners -- who are your target market -- are very smart. By implementing Facebook Live in your content strategy, you provide an instant, real-time source of engagements that affirms your authority to others, and in so doing give them the reason to listen to you with interest.


Think about it. Facebook reports that users watch live videos three times longer than they watch pre-recorded videos. If you manage to hook many admins on the platform to watch your purpose-filled live show, you can as well inform them of your products in a winsome manner.

3.      Facebook Ads

Considering the price and the number of audience available on other social networks, Facebook Ad is a gold mine for B2B marketers to get referral traffic. With its highly specific ad options and customer data repository, Facebook allows you to select and narrow down your target audience to almost anything possible.

With its almost limitless options, the most essential thing here is for you to use it to drive traffic to your website, from where their journey into conversion continues.

If I have my facts right, up to 50 million businesses are available on that platform. Use Facebook ad to target their persona and you won’t go wrong.

How to use Instagram to promote your B2B content

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where you can share relevant content for your industry and get click backs, making B2B work on Instagram requires a great deal of creativity as well as patience. But the simple and straightforward message is: it works.

Proof? An estimated 71% of US businesses use Instagram, that's according to a finding by eMarketer. Instagram says that 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app. Estimate 80% of 800 million monthly users and do the maths. They are there too --  your prospects.

Assuming that’s resolved, how you can secure a foothold on Instagram as a B2B is undoubtedly the next question.  And the answer is a simple one.

Instagram, as you already know, is home to visuals. Nothing else grows there as visuals do. Anything engaging, inspiring and educating will surely do well. Adobe seems to know this better than anyone else. To make Instagram work, they highlight what their products can do by creating dashing visuals that make even the coldest watcher want to try their hand at Adobe products.

There you have it. The first thing is to try and build a large fan base out of them while you attract them with comestibles such as storytelling, motivation, jokes and compelling visuals that highlight what your product is capable of.

Adobe is just one out of many B2B companies that are killing it on Instagram. You can read more about what others are doing here.

Twitter

Twitter undoubtedly hosts a great deal of fun for consumers, which makes it an ideal place for B2C. But what of B2B? Is the grass also greener here?

The answer is Yes. This is not particularly because of the conspicuous presence of many businesses, but because the rule of game is almost pretty clear more than anywhere else. For brevity, let me just specify the three best tools you need when promoting a B2B content on Twitter.

1.      Hashtags

Tweets with hashtags, according to a research, get twice as much engagement as those without, and 55% more retweets. But don’t just go on using hashtags blindly; undertake the thorough assignment of identifying which hashtag aligns with your target market audience -- one they are more likely to share or use when searching in the search box.

Lucky for you, today there exists a handful of technology that caters for hashtaggers' need. From finding out what’s trending to measuring your hashtag performance, you can tap into a pool of advantages by using tools such as Hootsuite, Hashtagify, Keyhole and many others that perform as well.

2.      Timing

Timing is everything, everywhere.

But it is more important on Twitter. This is because, although twitter provides a very limited space for words, the engagement is mostly lively and the connection, very deep. Thus it becomes a rule of thumb that if you are taking your content to Twitter, try not to do it at the sleeping hours. Do it at a time when the birds of Twitter are still chirping, and the dwellers of Twitter are willing to join the chorus. Below is the summary of what I found out.

Coschedule conducted a study to find out when it’s the best time to tweet. It collected some data from top industry experts as well as companies. After studying this collection of studies thoroughly, I found out that 5-6 pm week days are the best time to post a tweet if you are a B2B marketer. You can conduct further research if you are not satisfied with my conclusion.

The bottom line: Timing is very important.

3.      Use influencer’s power

using influencer power to promote b2b content


I know what you’d think if I didn’t mention influencer in this post “The post is zero.”

Of course, influencers can be very useful in promoting your content but not everyone will have chance to win their attention amidst teeming followers. You know this as much as I do. Nevertheless, all hope is not lost.

You can attract their followers to your page by using your company’s account to engage them whenever they post. People who read tweets often read the comments, too. When your brand name is unique and your engagement is valuable, all it takes to drag people to your page is the simple verb word “act.” Comment on influencer’s post as a way of getting your brand name across to their followers, who probably have never heard about you. They will come to your page trying to find out who you are and this is the beginning of their journey into your sales funnel.

How to use Quora to promote your B2B content

At first glance, Quora looks like some Q&A platform where nothing of marketing value can be made out but that’s not true. If you know the numbers and the how-to, almost everywhere is a potential marketplace, so long as human beings interact there. What you will gain from Quora is none more than referral traffic.

Why should you even consider Quora? Simple: Because it has people. Quora hosts people of different social status, from Fortune 500 executives to political leaders, behemoth artists to war veterans and academics. If we should go by the categories of people, Quora would be even a better option for B2Bs than LinkedIn. The reason, again, is because it has people. Needless to say the majority of users are their to share and gain knowledge concurrently.

Apparently unlike LinkedIn, no one hangs out looking for jobs or internship opportunities. So, it takes either a genuine expert or a genuine knowledge seeker to be immersed in Quora.

Or should we talk about the number? Because numbers don’t lie, as they say. Quora reaches over 29 million US people monthly, according to the latest report from Quantcast. Another way to say this is Quora reach 29 million of B2B prospects every month. What we should discuss next is what you should be doing there.

1.      Create a compelling profile

Mark Zuckerberg once remarked “People trust people, not institutions.”

From the onset of this piece, emphasis is laid on professionalism. You want to attract a group of people who are more interested in what you can do. The best way to show them is to leverage social proof. Turn your profile into a semi-resume by displaying the most important of your achievements.

Begin by mentioning your greatest recognitions and then move on to state clearly what service you provide.

I cannot think of anyone doing this better than Neil Patel. First, he reveals he is one of the top 10 marketers on Forbes and also NY Times Best Selling Author. Then he further outlines many of his achievement as an influencer in his area of specialisation.

Observe the image below.



You and I are certainly no Neil Patels, but we can leverage the social proof we have no matter how inferior they seem.

2.      Give for free

With big emphasis on the V word (value) you have to keep answering questions and making sure every word you write there proffers a solution. It is a content place where fine words that give important information hold high ground.

This is the point of your content promotion. What you will gain from Quora is traffic referral. But you must be very meticulous in doing this. At the end or in the middle of your question, you should find a way to suggest a link to a piece on your website without making it look obvious that you are trying to drag them to it. It should be for further reading on a question you just answered well or could be some other valuables you think might be of use for the readers.

The level of your success here is just as good as the level of valuable answers you can provide. Quora is segmented into various categories. By this, it gives a fair play ground for contents to reach the category of those who are interested in it without any hindrance. So long as you can identify the pain points of your target audience, know how to turn that into a question and give an in-depth problem-solving answer on it, you can’t go wrong using the platform.


LinkedIn

I can’t exempt LinkedIn from the piece, neither can I waste good amount of words stressing its necessity for B2Bs. It doesn’t just make sense to do something like that. B2B is a go-to place for B2Bs and hundreds, if not thousands, of literature are available online to teach you how to do that. All you need to do is to go out and find them and you’ll be fine.

Let’s wrap this up


The main theme of this entire piece is simple: Understand that all other social networks, aside LinkedIn, are not meant to corroborate LinkedIn in B2B content promotion. Each and every one of them is as potent, rich and useful as the other. I would not say there isn’t hierarchy, there is, but the pot of gold is for you to know how to effectively tap the potential of all channels. Don’t be a bad work man, be a smart work man. Seth Godin has been praised repeatedly for his ideology of harnessing the purple cow. He made it clear that the best way to succeed in business is to stand out, by bringing out a unique thing which is not adopted by all. You can apply this technique in B2B marketing, while your peers simply abandon other platforms for a few, steal the market before they discover the potential.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

5 Rules Of Thumb For New Businesses To Win In Content Marketing

Must-dos for New Businesses in content marketing


You are stuck.

Aware that you cannot afford the Super Bowl ad, you turned to content marketing for aid. To do it successfully, you need a cutthroat SEO package to withstand your competitors, or you don’t get seen. 

SEO can be expensive and time consuming, but your online business cannot succeed without it. Some surveys show that organic traffic brings in more quality leads. Whether that's accurate or not, both organic and paid traffic are complementary to one another.

Apparently, there are less than 4 billion internet users across the globe today and less than 3 billion social media users. 34% of this number use social media just to take mental break from work, while 27% use it to connect with friends and family while at work and more.

For online sellers, however, internet users can be categorised into 3:

1.   Business owners who are online to sell.
2.   Researchers who only need some online resources.
3.   Internet shoppers who initially wanted to buy online or didn’t know they wanted to buy – until your content showed them they should.

But that classification doesn't matter. Whether you are a B2B or B2C, an ecommerce site or a blogger, your success depends on them knowing about your business. They are all your prospects. They all fall into the last category. But you are not the only one whose success depends on them. Others, including those who sell the same products/services as you, are also spending top dollars to grab their attention. Then Content Marketing turns out, again, a battle for survival.


For many reasons, the odds are against you. One of them is the fact that 91% of Google users don’t go beyond the first page, according to a study by Chitika Insights. While there is no doubt that numbers given vary across researchers, all of them agree that majority of online users stop on the first page. And you are pretty unlikely to be there.

Why?

First, indexing your web content by Google spiders could take time, in which case you have no option than to wait.

Second, your competitors who have long been in content marketing will not see you take over. Due to their long presence on the web, they have competitive advantage to rank over you on the SERPs.

So, what’s the buzz all about? Is success still possible with content marketing?

Yes, it is.

Let’s begin to see what winners in content marketing are doing, so that you can inculcate these best practices from the beginning. Foundation, you know, is very important.


1. Get Seen

Let me simply assume you already know it’s necessary to keep a content schedule, identify your KPIs and hire a competent team (Obviously, not more than your budget can take), so I will just move on to discuss what should be done, why and how to do it.

To get seen, there are two available to you:


  • Social media
  • Google

This is how to use them, beginning with social media.

How to use social media to win in Content Marketing

Given that paid ad is an absolute must if your content will get seen on social media, what we should be discussing is what kind of content get shared and engaged on social media. The first rule of thumb here is to create highly shareable content and do so consistently.

So, I’m going to be showing you, with examples, the most effective 3 hacks in creating contents that go viral.

In his book “Rhetoric”, one of the specific things Aristotle concluded a viral content must have is “to appeal to the emotions.” “Pathos”, he called it. These 3 tips fall under this emotional category, and it had been widely tested and proved by content marketing warlords.

1.   New discoveries

Too often as human beings, our consciousness is left wandering in the wilderness of unanswered question, an unsolved mystery about a particular subject. It may be about disease; it may be about technological advancement or anything we subconsciously care about. We don’t always realise this until when some scientific answer comes and affirm or disaffirm our fear. Once a discovery is made about something that interests us, it doesn't matter whether it is negative or positive so long as it satisfies our curiosity. That is our emotion at work.

This perhaps account for the virality of “New Alzheimer’s treatment” in 2015.



It appealed to our emotion by making a new claim about something we all care for, whether we know it or not.

That’s the way to go if you are interested in going viral. Dig deeper into something that interests your buyer persona and open a new perspective that will awake the interest of even the most absentminded internet surfer. By this, they promote you because they feel good for sharing your content.

2.   Appeal Segmentation
Narrowing your content down to a specific audience has two distinct effects. First, it draws the attention of your target segment. Second, it arouses the curiosity of their opposite. How? Read on and see the example below.

Here is a post with the headline “Bald men are sexier, more masculine...”



The post is surely meant to stir reaction from non-bald category of men, too, not just from the bald men.

It announces their extinct by claiming they are less masculine. And who would not be moved by such a troubling claim?

If bald men are sexier, what then are the non-bald? Less masculine? Less Sexy? You see, these and other questions are  just few of many that would be brought  up. And either in agreement or disagreement, readers will click on it and this ultimately works in your favour.

At the end of the day, the only person gaining substantially is you who manage to drag more eyeballs to your content – the threshold of your sales funnel.


3.   Some rare information about an influencer
Influencers are people who are highly known and respected. Their opinions become fuel for courage and their life histories are go-to places to learn about what they did right. We use their words as quote to aid our claims because they are the people who have been there and done it. And their life story undoubtedly serves as affirmation or dis-affirmation of popular philosophies and beliefs.

Below are two examples of how rare information about great men draws traffic in.


Since its publication in Dec. 2017, the post has seen more than 1.5 million reads. The secret behind it is simple: The headline is promising and spectacular. It promises to show people something they probably don’t know about two individuals they are most likely interested in.

I have no access to a particular data showing how many times this has been read, but it certainly is one of the headlines that attract a large majority. It is rare to find a business owner today who doesn’t use email, not in a content marketing world.

Aside these three, other forms of content that attract high viewership are data driven contents, surprising stories, listicles, memes and powerful responses. But if you can master these three, you are fast on your way up to winning the content marketing game.

This has an additional benefit: every share and reference your post gets on social media serves as another backlink to make your website rank higher on Google Page.


How to use Google to win in Content Marketing

Ah, Google.

SEO is hell-bent on truncating your efforts. You are always gasping for air, learning and fighting for attention as if SEO is the only thing there is. As a matter of fact, no SEO expert or knowledge is potent enough to make you win.


Why? For every great expert you contact, there are thousands of you contacting him. And each resource you read about it is made available to your competitors as well. Then you have limited time and limited resources. So, what are your chances if you are just starting out?

Nil, it is.

But don’t leave it to chance. I’m going to show you some wonderful 3 hacks to make winning possible.

1.   Optimise your content for search engine

In other words, do SEO. I know it sounds like contradiction, but it certainly is not. We are just about to move on to the next two other tips. But doing SEO is a general rule. And if by chance, your SEO efforts bring you to the first or second page of SERPs, these next two will benefit you greatly.

2.   Be different

Say you are into connecting people with influencers in their industry and there are many of you doing that online, your content will mostly talk about why people need influencers or how to find their ideal influencers and so on.

Change that. Write something about whether influencer marketing is worth the entire buzz, if your SEO see to it that somebody gets to see it on Google page, this new perspective will definitely catch their attention and lead to shares. More shares means more readers and more readers means more leads.

Use the common content you are all churning out to keep your blog fresh and optimised, then use new perspectives whenever possible to grab more attention to your own post.

Do this, and do it as much as possible.

3.   Make it indispensable throughout

If you are keenly following the post from the beginning, you’d understand by now that the first recommendation is that you attempt to get seen on Google (by doing SEO), the second one is to drag them to reading, and this third one is about making them read further and sharing your posts.

How do you make reading your post unavoidable?


It starts from the headline. First, your headline must answer a specific question or raise one, one that can’t be ignored even by the coldest reader. 

Second, your content must deliver on that promise by making your intent clear from the first paragraph and inculcating a lot of information.

While you do that, don’t forget to adorn your post with visuals. And take this visual advice as an important part of this process which on its own can stand as an independent blog post.


2. User Generated Content (UCG)

User-Generated Content is not a so new concept that’s gaining currency in an internet world. Popular magazines and smart advertisers have long understood its value and harnessed it.

In the 19th century, one of Australia’s culturally and politically formative magazines, The Bulletin, cherished for many years the tagline “half Australia writes it, all Australia reads it.”

The idea of this campaign is explicit in the tagline; it was apparently to tell the Australians that their content were not some officialdom-doctored content, while positioning them as citizen-centric magazine and ultimately boosting wider circulation and acceptance.

And even before the system got the nod it has on the internet today, talk-back radio and TV shows have been used to advertise through consumers’ voice.

As you can see from the points above, UGC works even without any special survey to back it up. But researches and surveys today aren’t short of data to prove its effectiveness.

79%of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.


92% read online review.


44% say a review must be written within one month to be relevant.

On and on it goes. Suffice with this for now.


3. Measure

Continual improvement as it is in anything is important when running a content marketing campaign. Why? It helps you uncover what works and what doesn’t.

You want to measure what you do as to know if there is any need to change the status quo. It is why at the beginning of every content creation, it is crucial to ask yourself “Why am I creating this content?”

It is based on your answer that your success will be measured. Whether it is to increase your brand awareness, customer retention or lead generation, you end up knowing where you are and where to go from there. Evolving and adapting sit at the heart of every successful campaign. It is why big companies in the system have mastered the science of measurement and change according to consumer’s behaviour.

Bottom line: Measure.


4. Share industry news

Desperate times call for desperate measures. The survival-of-the-fittest nature of the internet today calls for disruption. To do this, I decided to find out some rare thing that has been proven to work. One of the things I found out is that sharing industry news can help you win in Content Marketing.

How does this make sense?

It does by bringing a large chunk of organic traffic to your website. According to the newest survey of Quartz, 63% of people say they trust “search engines” for their news more than the news outlets, as opposed to 53% that say they trust “online-only media.”

This survey means more people are still using Google Searching news items to see whether a news is true or otherwise. It is for you to use this to your advantage. Advantage as in doing what others wouldn't do and thus bringing a large chunk of audience to your website by providing what they wouldn't find elsewhere.


5. Repurpose

In the current content world, just publishing your content won’t suffice. Of all the limited resources we have, time is the most limited one. Knowing very well that money we invest today can be recovered tomorrow in manifolds, when do we recover time? Never.

To this end, you need an escape route from burn-out and from exhaustion of your most limited of limited resources.  Repurposing saves you the brainstorming time, the initial creation time and much of the painful proofreading hours.

Lucky for you, the options are many and even two or three of them can do the magic.

Repurposing is a must-do for everyone and even most importantly for a new business. But that’s not peculiar to you. A survey from Marketing Profs and Forbes shows that creating new content is the biggest challenge faced by B2B owners across board. One most valid ways to surmount this roadblock is by repurposing your content.

Repurposing has many benefits. I wrote extensively on it in one of my columns for Entrepreneur Magazine. Below are some benefits of repurposing in summary:

·      Increased chances of closing sales
·      Making the most of your efforts
·      A chance to redeem less successful contents
·      Improves organic visibility


For further explanation of any of that, you can read my piece on Entrepreneur.





Monday, 15 January 2018

Entrepreneurs Need Education More Than Before, Here’s Why




Thinking college education is not so important anymore? You’re not alone.

According to the latest findings of the Pew Research Centre, 54 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners in America who said college had a positive effect (in 2015) have quickly surged (in 2017) to 58 percent of them who now say, “Colleges have a negative effect.”

Aside from the story of iconic entrepreneurs who made history after dropping out of college, there are more reasons to look down on college education -- especially if you’re overwhelmed by entrepreneurship furore.

But in reality, do entrepreneurs need education? The shortest possible answer is YES.

Every individual who thinks otherwise generally points to the likes of Steve Jobs. Of course, Jobs dropped out of the College and so did Mark Zuckerberg. But there’s nothing as killing as thinking that they ever stopped learning. Listen to Jobs talking about the essentiality of education: “I really believe in equal opportunity. Equal opportunity to me more than anything means a great education.”

Below, let’s look at some fundamental reasons why entrepreneurs must make education their life partner.


1.        The rate of business failure

If failure is the best teacher, then the rate of business failures suggests nothing than the need for more education. According to Fox Business, 80 percent of new businesses fail in their first year. What are the top reasons? Bad management and cash crunch problems.

The above data is heart shattering. But the bare truth is, timeless knowledge about your business is all-important, if you must escape that plague. And note: Managerial skills such as keeping finances healthy, gathering and interpreting industry data and managing human resources -- among other vital business skills -- are not randomly acquired on the street. They take substantial amount of proper arrangement, time, and mindfulness.

Thanks in large to the Internet. The easy access to knowledge continues to expand. With educational virtual realities such as MOOC and online MBA in their varieties, entrepreneurs can maximize their success by properly learning about business and/or continuously honing their skills.



2.      The need for maximum success

Success is not just an opposite of failure; it’s the preferred option ever. But why do people miss the preferred target? The above point tells us partly why: lack of knowledge.

There’s usually a day in business that entrepreneurs run to investors. As you probably know, investors don’t trade checks for nothing. In all instances, metric, substance, and a proficient team are essential factors that interest venture capitalists.

Take a lesson from Amy Freeman, a co-founder and CEO of The Spice and Tea Exchange. To create a franchise and secure financing for her company, Freeman had to learn on her own about accounting, marketing and starting a business -- and through painful lessons sometimes. In her words, according to an interview with CNBC, “I would have known how to build that structure. I would have had resources to tap into.” That is, if she had received a formal education in business.

Businesses nurtured by wide knowledge are not only fortified against failure, they are potential step to maximum success. For any entrepreneur going after maximum success, find and use knowledge to your own advantage.


3.      Networking

This has a lot more to do with getting higher degrees from universities.

Not to be surprised, business networking by creating relationships has been proven to be the best type of marketing. But building a bank of professional contacts isn’t something that just happens out of nowhere.

You can connect with as many as possible people online. But the truth is, none works better than a networking that takes place face-to-face. Traditional networking cannot be replaced even by the most advanced kind of technology.

Now, can you imagine how many seminars and conferences held in various Universities each year? Talking of networking for entrepreneurs, their extent of opportunity is not confined to business-related seminars alone. Since business involves some sort of buying and selling, consider every seminar an opportunity because literally every living human being is into business.

If you have been wondering where you can build a huge basis of networking or you just start considering it now, you can consider offering a college or University education. Think of it as a place to plug into wider more fruitful business networks.



Conclusion

Now let’s take a break from the tempting stories of successful university dropouts and focus on data a little more. Yes, they blow our minds every day and when you are a young man brimming with entrepreneurship ideas and dreaming big, it is easy to just stop bothering and take the plunge.

But quickly visit Medium, Linkedin and other platforms of storytelling. See from people with firsthand experience how the flame of rushing into entrepreneurship burned them, almost to the point of literal death.

Obviously, entrepreneurship is a sharp move and our world undoubtedly needs more of it. I once pointed out that everybody in this world has become a refugee. We are always running away from one problem or trying to solve another. Entrepreneurs make life easy for all of us. But then there is education, which has been part of human history for long and has not for once been short of purposefully solving problems for the world. Today, if you get education as an entrepreneur, it is at your own advantage.



Thursday, 11 January 2018

5 Biggest Blogging Challenges (And Their Workable Solutions)

5 biggest challenges facing bloggers and their solution
5 Biggest Challenges Facing Bloggers and Their Solutions


Let's start with the bad news. The blogosphere market place is now oversaturated with sellers and the market is fast bogging down. Many bloggers will go cash-strapped if they don't learn fast. If you have not read my article "5 Evergreen Ways Newbie Bloggers Can Generate Revenues (And Beat Adblocker), you'd better go  and do so now.

Blogging is great, interesting and lucrative. 

Whether for commerce or information or how-to, everyone on the internet visits a blog for a purpose. But those interesting things you often read or/and enjoy for free didn't happen without hard-boiled challenges for bloggers. 

In spite of these challenges, why do some bloggers thrive while others fail?

After reading everything blogging from back-to-back, investing on costly courses and even watching endless tutorials, you still find yourself below edge. Your investment is fast going up in the stratosphere and it appears -- or seems obvious -- you will never make anything out of your moribund blog.


I understand your plight. To quote Bill Clinton “I feel your pain.” But I understand this more because I've been there, too. And in spite of what you might have heard, you can still make it as a blogger. That's the good news of this post.

I'm not about to take you through that harrowing circle again (I assure you). I have identified 5 prominent problems most bloggers face and how to solve them, the materials you need and the commitment you need to to solve them. And all I ask of you before you read on is to answer this simple question: Do I have a burning desire to succeed as a blogger? If your answer is resolved in positive, then take a look at these things.

1. Generating Traffic 

Whether you put a product out there for sale or you just monetise your blog through affiliate marketing, Adsense and the likes, traffic is the bane of our business as bloggers.

When people don't discover you, they can't buy from you and when they do and are not just plenty enough, you will make too little from your monetisation strategy. You probably already knew that 40,000 visitors a day can only generate as little as $40 dollars a day in Adsense. And that means if you are going to have six figures income from your blog, you'd be needing more than that.


Luckily, a lot of handy tips have been provided on this question. While it is apparently clear that you cannot execute every single one of them, concentrate your effort on these 5 indispensable things:

1. Keyword research. 

Why keyword research first? you may ask.

I turns out finding the right keyword is your most important asset in generating organic traffic. And organic traffic is important, not only because it doesn't cost you a fortune but because this research shows it brings more traffic than paid Ad. So, when finding the right keyword becomes the next line of action, all you need do is head towards any of these sites: WordstreamUbersuggest, and Buzzsumo. Once you get there, you will know what to do next.



2. Create experiences by using visuals.

Countless researches are showing how more people are placing emphasis on visuals. I recall how stunned I was the first day I visited Upfront to study their submission guidelines. Their use of visuals was just so amazing that I wanted to go over all their pieces one after the other. It was nothing short of a movie set. The more visuals you use, the likelier it is that your post will be shared. That’s the secret.

3. Engage your readers in the comment section.

Many of your readers will be happy with the information they got from your website, then some will love to make additional contribution or ask some questions. Let them know you know your niche in and out by engaging them in the comment section. Trust me, it is only a matter of time before you become an influencer.

4. Produce much of quality contents.

Every single question in this world leads us to more. For readers who are simply in need of answers to their questions, reading more is inevitable. Write more of quality contents that answer the question your readers are asking. Write anything related to it. It will get them to click more on your website. 

5. Blog Structure.

 Use these 3 things pre-eminently:
  • Subheadings, 
  • Bullets
  • Numbered list.

2. Generating topic ideas

If you research quite a lot, you'd find out that almost every aspect of your niche has been well covered by the industry big boys. Not to mention, writer's block is just a few step away from you.

To win others to read on your blog, you've got to always come up with a new idea and a unique perspective. Right?

Wrong. 

Go back to what others have written, there is always a new thing to discuss, a new topic open for discussion and something they haven't touched enough yet. You have a great chance of getting new ideas everyday, but from where?


While it may appear there are many tools to help you generate blog ideas, it is best to use an organic way of generating ideas for your blog. What you should simply do is this: visit big sites that offer articles about your niche. See what others are writing about and how you can smartly contribute to it in a better way. I am a contributor to big publications as well, and there are thousands of us from all over the world. If you are looking for where to get ideas, you can't exhaust the resources in those sites before you start to brim with ideas.

Another organic way is to hang around on Quora. Stalk it every time. People are always asking curious questions and amazing answers are being provided. Both the questions and answers can be used to your advantage.

That's still not enough?  Alltop, Buzzsomo and Hubspot Blog Idea’s Generator are just the right tool for you. Visit those site and seek help from those applications, Hubspot is my own favourite.

3. Becoming an expert in your niche

"Yes, I know I enjoy talking about that thing but I just don't know enough of it. I'm not an expert. Won't I be an impostor for trying to offer advice in something I'm not so well versed in?"

That sounds like you, right? 

Give me a break.

You will never know enough. No matter how good you are, some people will always be better. 

You are a blogger and that makes you an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs evolve. You learn everyday. What sets most great writers apart is nothing more than their ability to research madly and brainstorm rigorously. I've read about imposter syndrome from many great writers, for you to know it happens to us all. You really will never know enough. Knowledge and truth are endless exercise.

If you doubt me, hear Zig Ziglar out on this 


“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Sounds inspiring? Great!


4. Fear of publishing your worthless ramblings

You probably find yourself always asking “Is it good enough?” “What if I've committed errors?” “Oh, my style is boring” 

Yes, I understand, it’s really hard to beat the great guys out there. 

That’s an understatement. It’s unimaginable to compete with them.

But let me ask you a question. Do you have a favourite author? How many of their books or articles do you know? Which one is the most successful? 

What you will learn from answering that question is this: You really need a lot of nonsense before you can make sense. You really can't tell which of your work is going to perform better. The more you do publish, the more you can learn from your mistake and improve for the next time.

On the other hand, Abdullahi Muhammed, the founder of Oxygenmat suggests that it’s more important to fill your content with information. Visitors to your blog come there for that one and only purpose. 

If you provide a useful information, any other thing can be overlooked, including your floundering grammar. Seeing this advice is coming from a behemoth writer like Abdullahi, it is incontestable.

5. Focusing

You have heard it and I’ve heard it too, that specific blogs should be for specific information. My experiences with different blogs prove otherwise. Unless you are creating a strict freelance writer portfolio, feel free to cover as much topic as you are capable of. Just make sure you deliver. Carol Tice is a first class freelance writer and a coach, yet her blog offers advice on ranges of topics. There are thousands of examples out there.


Conclusion

Blogging, like any other enterprise, has its mind-shattering challenges. But you can't afford to turn your back against it because of this reality. Like you will in any other business, you have to cope and find your way around these challenges. Regardless of what you chose to do, those 5 challenges I mentioned here are the leading factors of failure for many bloggers. And you can beat them. I've just made it easy for you.

Go on and do it. You have my permission now, though you don't need it.