The Most Complete and Practical Social Media Checklist – Infographic

Social Media Checklist

Social Media is a quicksand! Do you agree?

It is very easy to get caught in the Social Media web, just as you would get caught in quicksand. And once are you are caught in it, it is very difficult that you will be able to get out of it.

One big problem that most small business owners like you are me face is in keeping up with the changes in internet marketing. When Social Media became the next big things and everybody started professing about being on Social Media and building social signals to your sites, people flocked Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and such other sites and started posting. They would post anything and everything and kept doing it for months together.

A few months into doing all this and they could come to a conclusion – Social Media doesn’t work. They fatigued out and slowly dropped off their activities on Social Media. But there were a handful of people who just kept minting money from Social Media. Their sites got all the required signals and they just kept growing..

What was the difference between these 2 sets of people?

It was the presence of a strong Social Media plan.

Time and again, wise men have told us and taught us that a plan is extremely important to achieve success. But, just as most simple things in life that we ignore just because they are too simple, we tend to ignore the plan. And the result – STRUGGLE TO SUCCEED.

How can a Social Media Checklist help?

While the term, “Social Media Plan” might sound too overwhelming, it is actually not that complex. And it all starts with a simple social media checklist.

Now the question is, what do you put in your social media checklist?

Let us put all of this in a few simple steps:

  1. You start by defining your target audience. You might want to include key metrics like demographics, spending power, their pain areas etc.
  2. The nest step will include creating interesting content that you can share with your target audience. You might want to decide on the various methods that you will be using and the types of content that you will share
  3. Write out the various steps that you will following to in each of the social media channels in order to get the content out to your audience.
  4. There is no step-4 :)

The Whole Brain Group put out this nice little infographic that explains each of these steps involved in making a social media checklist in easily understandable points.

You will just need to print it out and put a tick mark against each of the activities that you do and you should have your social media campaign up and running and delivering results.

Social Media Checklist

Infographic Courtesy – http://blog.thewholebraingroup.com/sensible-social-media-checklist-v30-infographic

Do let us know your thoughts about this post by commenting below. If you found this post useful, please do share it in your favorite social network.

Thrive Content Builder Review – Building Beautiful Landing Pages

Thrive Content Builder Review

Have you ever tried to build a landing page in your WordPress blog?

I am sure, if you were not on the Optimizepress theme or, one of the other landing page creator themes, you will have had a tough time doing that!

Now, have you ever tried to create a funky little post with a couple of column contents, a buy now button, a beautiful headline, some nice little graphics for those bullets etc. I am sure you would have given up and never tried one such adventure after that.. if at all your tried.

My blog at dkspeaks.com was not a salespage. It was a blog that I would regularly add content to. It was probably because of that I did not install and Optimizepress theme in it. I had a blog that was beautiful (in my terms) and I loved.

I had been using the Genesis theme from Studiopress for my blog here at dkspeaks.com. While Genesis theme is the best theme for any WordPress blog, thanks to it being SEO optimized and the many customization options available, it still lacks a lot of essential features when it comes to an Internet marketing blog.

At my blog here I write a lot about Internet marketing, affiliate marketing, social media and blogging. As my blog graduated into an authority blog, I wanted to offer different kind of solutions and services to my readers.

While I was planning to offer one such service I decided to create a landing page for it. And that is when I faced the biggest problem with the Genesis theme. I was using the default theme in the Genesis Framework on my blog and it had an option of creating pages without the sidebar. But here are some of the problems with using that page style.

  • I couldn’t remove the Post Title and you of course, did not need that in a sales page.
  • There were no options in fonts. It was the default theme font that I had to use.
  • The headlines were not too good looking for a sales page.
  • I couldn’t insert any boxes like the ones that you see in sales pages.
  • For everything on the page including a guarantee box, I had to upload one image and it still looked ugly.

I realized that Genesis was not enough unless you have created a child theme that had all these options built into it. I wanted a lot more customization to the landing pages that I was planning to create for my service. And I did not want to spend hours creating a child theme.

While I am a hard core fan of the some of the landing page creators, I felt the need for a different kind of solution for my needs.

Thrive Content Builder WordPress Plugin – The Best WYSIWYG Editor

I had been using Hybrid Connect from Shane Melaugh for quite some time now and I was very impressed with the many options that this plugin came with.

It was while I was searching for a solution to the problem, when I got a mail from Shane about “a theme that will change the way your write your posts in WordPress”. Normally I would simply delete the email, but I felt I should just check it out once.

And, I was happy I did. Thrive content builder gave me the solution I was looking for.

I was so impressed with the plugin that I thought I should do this quick Thrive Content Builder review.

Thrive content builder has a ton of features that will actually change the way you use WordPress. It integrates seamlessly into your theme, yet adds a lot of additional functionalities.

You can create sales pages, squeeze pages, landing pages, download pages etc. designing these from scratch or, by using one of the pre-made beautiful templates. Check out one of the landing pages I created using Thrive Content Builder, for a FREE traffic ecourse. This landing page only took about 30 minutes to be up and running.

Let’s quickly look at some of the features of Thrive Content Builder.

Installation

Since Thrive Content Builder is a plugin, installing it is pretty straightforward. Once you have installed the plugin, you will need to activate it using your license key.

There will be 3 additional options that you will see on the left sidebar of your WordPress dashboard, once the plugin is activated. These are Icon manager, Font manager and Thrive lightboxes. You have an option of adding custom fonts and icons by uploading the icon and font files.

There is nothing else to configure. Anything that you want to do to a page is done directly on the page itself.

Using the Content Builder

Using Thrive content builder is very easy. When you create a new post or, page.. you will find an option just above the WordPress editor, called “Edit with Thrive Content Builder”. Clicking on it will open a new window with a sidebar looking like in the image below.

thrive content builder review

 

You can simply drag and drop any of the elements that are available, onto your page or, post and you are done. It is that simple. Once you are done editing the page, just click on save changes and publish the page as you would normally do on WordPress. That’s it!

Editing Options

While you will find only a handful of options on the sidebar in the editor, those handful of options has numerous customization options that makes it a large list. You can pretty much add anything that you want into your sales page –

  • Buy now buttons
  • 2-Column, 3-Column or, any number of Columned content
  • Special styled content boxes
  • Images
  • Guarantee boxes
  • Icons
  • Custom HTML
  • and much more..

Since you are doing pretty much everything on the live frontend of your WordPress blog, you can see how your page will look with each addition. You don’t have to do the “save the page > publish it > refresh the page” to see how your page looks.

Pricing

This was where I was most impressed. Shane had priced the plugin so reasonably that it was very much affordable. It did not pinch me in spite of the fact that I had paid about $60 for the Genesis theme.

Thrive Content Builder was priced at around $87 for an unlimited sites license. And this came with unlimited updates for life unlike some of the other themes that were charging for updates as well.

Support

Shane has a very responsive customer support and I had a taste of his prompt support team since I was already using Hybrid Connect. Support tickets were answered within 24 hours and they did every thing to resolve an issue.

It is the same support that you will get for Thrive Content Builder as well

Conflicts with other Plugins

This is one area that I felt a little disappointed. But it was not something that I could blame the guys who build this plugin for. WordPress is ever-changing and a lot of plugins are not always able to keep up with the pace of development in WordPress. Hence it is not uncommon for plugins to create conflicts with other plugins.

Thrive Content Builder has addressed most of these possible conflicts, yet there are some plugins that could create a conflict. I faced this problem when I first installed the plugin but unfortunately I couldn’t isolate the plugin.

So you might want to check which plugin is conflicting, if at all you face such a situation.. by the method of elimination.

Purpose of this Thrive Content Builder Review

As an internet marketer I am sure you will be faced with a situation similar to that of mine. If you love your blog, then you need Thrive Content Builder.

If you are any serious about building high converting sales pages and squeeze pages, you need this plugin. If there is one plugin that is extremely essential for your internet marketing business, it is the Thrive Content Builder plugin.

Do tell me your thoughts about this review by commenting below. Also share the post on social media if you thought it was worth a read.

Why You Should Focus on Video Marketing in 2015 – Infographic

Video Marketing Trends 2015

I have been a huge fan of video marketing ever since I started Internet Marketing. My first source of income was by creating simple review videos and uploading them to Youtube. I would promote all kind of affiliate marketing products from Amazon to Clickbank. I even promoted a few CPA offers and that gave me some nice commissions.

I slowly ventured into creating training videos and then into sales videos as well. One thing that I noticed in all of this was that, on any promotion that I did with a video the conversions were almost 70% better than the ones without videos.

Such is the power of videos.

Are you using videos in your business?

If not, then this is the right time to start doing that. Video marketing is slowly becoming one of the biggest things on the internet and videos are dominating everything from Social Media to blogging.

Check this out. Statistics say that 74% of all the internet traffic in 2017 will be videos!

No wonder, a software like Videomaker FX created waves on JVZoo and is still the most in demand product. If you haven’t checked it out, you should do it right away. It is simple an amazing piece of software.

Syndacast put out this nice little infographic that shows some startling statistics about Video Marketing. And I am sure, if nothing else has been able to push you into Video Marketing, this will surely do..

video marketing

There has been a flood of video marketing software products in the market. While some of them are video makers, there are yet others that can help you create video scripts as well.

All this has simplified video marketing to a great extent. So if you want to create a good video sales letter today, you don’t have to be a top-notch copywriter. Nor will you have to hire one. You can get everything is an SaaS and you are on your way.

I recommend creating screencast videos to most of my students because that is the easiest to do. If you have never created a video or, if you have the fear of facing the camera, then this is the best and easiest option for you.

Whatever the case may be, I recommend that you start off with video marketing immediately and experience the power by yourself.

I have a FREE course that teaches you how to make money from simple little Youtube videos. If you are interested in checking it out, you can click this link and join the course.

How to Improve Email Open Rates by Cleaning Your Dead Email List?

IMPROVE EMAIL OPEN RATES

Okay! How much are you paying for your autoresponder services?

What if I could help you reduce your auto responder service costs by almost 50%?

One of the biggest expenses in an internet marketing business is on auto responder services. While you might get services that might charge you cheap, but that will be at the cost of deliverability and flexibility. We use Aweber for our autoresponder services and we settled with them after using many others like GetResponse and iContact.

We pay close to around $250 per month only for our auto responders. How much do you pay?

Have you ever evaluated the ROI on this investment? What are your email open rates? What is your subscribers worth?

SO, if that sounds like too many questions, then I can assure you that you are wasting a lot of money on your autoresponder services. Because you are not studying your stats and evaluating it. And when you don’t do it, you are not getting the best ROI on your investments.

Here is the result of an experiment we did to one of our email list at Aweber which has about 2000 subscribers and literally no action.

improve email open rates

The objective of the experiment was to see if we can improve our email open rates. And in the above image you can see, we almost tripled our email open rates. So what did we do exactly to get these results.

Improve Email Open Rates – Identifying the Problem

Before we could do anything to our email list or, think about the steps to improve email open rates, we had to identify the problem. So we went about digging a little deeper into the subscriber list and do a little maths.

We were paying close to $29.00 per month as our autoresponder costs for about 2000 subscribers. While the open rates were about 3% which meant about 60 people were opening our emails, our CTR was only about 1.5%, meaning about 30 people were clicking on the links in the email.

This meant that about 1940 people in the list were not even opening the emails. What could be the problem?

There could only be 2 reasons that they were not opening the emails – first, they had marked it as spam and all our emails were being moved into the SPAM folder and second, our email headlines were not enough to make them open it.

We had a solution for the second problem, but what do we do with the first problem?

Another thing that we did not know was if these subscribers were good enough to be kept on our list and will they ever act on any of the emails.

So we took a 2 prong approach to solve this problem.

FIRST – we sent and email to the entire list with the subject line mentioning, “FREE Download – xxxxxx”. The objective was to entice the readers to open the emails. And what better than something “FREE” to do it. We knew most people will open it if, the email did not go to their SPAM box.

And we were right.. The open rates improved from a 3% to a 17%. We were able to stimulate some sort of action in the list.

SECOND – We segmented the list based on the opens on the last email with the “FREE Download”. We changed the “From Email Address” in our account (Aweber lets you do that) and sent another email with a similar subject line. We got about 8% opens on that email.

This proved that people had marked our earlier email address as “SPAM” and since we changed our FROM email address, the emails landed straight into their inbox and they opened the emails.

You can see the below image for the results!

email deliverability

That made us infer the following on the problems that we had –

  • Our email subject lines were not too compelling to force people to open them
  • Our original email address was marked as “SPAM” by the subscribers and consequently the emails were not reaching them.

So we were left with a question – if we really needed the subscribers who fell into the second category. But we could only decide on that once we had marketed to them.

But there was an even bigger problem that we had to resolve. What were we to do with the 1800 subscribers who did not open our emails in both the above cases?

Cleaning a Dead Email List – Saving Autoresponder Costs

Most auto responders have a tier system in pricing. Your monthly cost depends upon the number of subscribers you have in your list. While with some like Aweber, the charge is on 500, 2500, 5000 and so, other email providers will have a different pricing system.

Hence, your auto responder costs are straight way governed by the number of subscribers you have on your list. And if your list is full of non-responsive subscribers like our list in question here, then you are paying for carrying dead baggage.

With our email list, we were paying for storing 2000 subscribers which was the 2nd slab. Hence there was not too much that we could save but your case may be entirely different.

Whatever that was, we figured out one thing – we had to clean out email list.

Here is how we did it –

STEP – 1 : We added 2 filters to our subscribers.

  1. The first was all subscribers who did not open any emails before a specific date. I would recommend a date at least 4 months before.
  2. All the subscribers who were added before the above date.

While the first filter was to find subscribers who were not opening our emails (and our experiment above meant that only those subscribers who had not opened any emails since the last 4 months were selected), the 2nd filter was to ensure that we only select subscribers who joined our list before that specific date.

The below is how it looked after adding these 2 filters..

list cleaning

Once you get the list of subscribers who fit the above 2 filters, just export the list and save it as a CSV, just in case you might need it. Follow the below screenshot to see how it is done.

export the lists

Now that you have exported the list, it is time to clean up. Select all the subscribers and click on the RED “Delete” button. You can see the below screenshot for more details.

list cleaning

So, that deletes all the subscribers who have not opened any of your emails since the last 4 months.

Now you might want to repeat this with all of the lists in your auto responder account.

When we finished the process, we were left with about 600 subscribers and a 15-17% open rates. This in turn meant a better ROI. We were able to make about $697 of sales from this tiny list of 600 subscribers, once we took them through our email sequence and the funnel.

Save on your AR Costs

When did you last clean your email lists?

Cleaning your lists is extremely important to improve email open rates. You might also be able to save on a lot of money that you are otherwise wasting on auto responders. Better open rates, better monitoring and better ROI are all by-products of cleansing your email lists of dead baggage.

So, go ahead and clean your email list today itself!

If you enjoy watching video, the below video shows you everything that we discussed in this post.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts about this post by commenting below. Also do share it by clicking one of the buttons below, if you enjoyed it.

Guest Posting for Traffic – Invitation for Guest Posting with DKSpeaks

GUEST POSTING

Have you been guest posting?

I’m sure until about three months back you would have been spending a lot of your time in writing guest posts in order to get back links to your website. Guest posting has been one of the biggest sources of getting back links to blogs. There were a lot of websites which were inviting guest Posts and in return offering to give a do-follow back links. This way the blog owner was getting their articles written and the author was getting a good back link from an authority website.

But all of this changed when Google decided to penalize people who were guest posting to build backlinks because they considered it as gaming the system. They penalized a very good and valuable service at MyBlogGuest and it looked like guest posting is going down the drains. That was not to be..

We internet marketers have a knack of picking us up again and starting all over without losing heart in spite of so many adversities that the Google Gods throw at us. And that is what we did with Guest Posting as well.

The objective of guest posting changed. It was no more a strategy to build backlinks. Instead it became a strategy to get traffic. This is in addition to many other benefits that we derive out of it as a by-product.

So, what has been your Guest Posting Strategy?

My Woes with accepting Guest Posts

guest posting

At dkspeaks, I had been accepting Guest Posts for a long time. But since the last 9-10 months, the number of guest posts being accepted went down, primarily because of the low quality of posts that I was receiving.

When I review the penalty that Google imposed on guest blogging, it looks like the right thing to do. Offlate the playground had become dirty and people were getting into it with the sole objective of getting a backlink. The quality, the guidelines etc. all went for a toss.

Just take a look at the stats below –

  • No. of Guest Posts I received in 2014 – 312
  • Posts that were accepted – 17
  • Posts that were rejected because of being SPUN articles – 83
  • Posts that had little to no value in the article – 119
  • Posts that were not originals – 108

Now, imagine the efforts that I might have had to put into reviewing each of these articles. I am not too much into outsourcing, when it comes to this blog of mine. But I had to take the services of a couple of people to help me in reviewing these posts. While my initial thought was that they would accept most of the posts that went to them because they would not be bothered too much into the quality, I was surprised to see that they were the ones who found the duplicate articles and SPUN articles.

I normally spend about 15 minutes on an average reviewing an article that comes to me. Imagine the time I lost in reviewing these posts. I could have spent that time of writing a few posts or, even working on a product launch.

I am not surprised at the fact that a lot of bloggers these days, just plainly reject guest post pitches from people they don’t know.. thanks to all the crap that is out there in the guest posting world.

Guest Blogging Plans for 2015

So, with all of that pain that I had to go through in 2014, what should be my plan of action for 2015. I had initially thought of not accepting guest posts at all even if that meant, I had to write all of the content myself. But then I felt it would not be the right thing to do. Of all the posts that I had to reject in 2014, I also got some very nice posts from some very good authors.

Why shouldn’t they be given a chance?

That’s where I decided on putting together my plans for 2015.

I will be accepting guest posts for DKSPEAKS.COM, strictly following the guidelines that I have put up there. I also decided on adding a twist to the entire guest posting plan.

So here is what you can expect.

  • Guest Posts will have to strictly be more than 600 words. Anything lesser will not be accepted.
  • Posts have to be accompanied with at least one image that is legal to use.
  • Only posts that are formatted the right way, using H2, H3 tags will be accepted.
  • Generic articles like what is internet marketing, what is blogging etc. will not be accepted.

So that should cut down on some of the useless articles that I receive and it will make my life easier and at the same time give my readers something valuable to read and share.

In 2015, I will also be following a set schedule to publish guest posts.. Guest posts will be published only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. This is if there is a queue.

The Guest Posting Incentive

This is another addition to my plans for 2015. There are so many good writers who write with only one objective in mind. It is to produce good content for a newer audience.

So it made perfect sense to incentivize those good writers.

Of all the guest posts that we receive, we will pick the best quality ones and select upto 2 posts per month who will then be paid anywhere between $10 – $25, depending upon the quality of the article, the value add and on the social signals that these articles receive. Social sharing and signals, though is not a compulsory criteria.

In case you wish to know more about our guest posting guidelines, you can read it at our write for us page..

Looking forward to see some nice articles coming in as guest posts..

dksignature