Pricing Strategies for Your Services

What’s the best way to price a product or service? What are the things that you have to take into consideration? Most business owners who are not very sure what to do will simply use their competitor’s pricing and either price below it or above it. The question to ask then is, how would you know that their pricing strategy is right?

Let’s look at the factors you need to take into consideration when pricing. First, you need to determine your pricing objectives. It basically defines what we want to achieve. There are 3 pricing objectives to consider.

1. Revenue-Oriented Pricing

It is setting a price that will maximize revenue from the target market. For example, if your daycare centre is offering something which other daycare centres are not able to offer such as a particular curriculum, then you can consider this objective.

2. Operations-Oriented Pricing

It seeks to balance supply and demand. It introduces cheaper prices during the lull periods (or when demand is low) and raises prices during peak periods (when demand is higher). For example, during the holiday season, when parents do not send their kids in, you can offer short courses / electives.

3. Target Market Pricing

It uses different prices for different target markets. For example, you can offer parents who put more than one child at your daycare centre a discount from parents who only place just one child at your centre.

Next, you need to think about the pricing strategy you are intending to adopt. Pricing strategy defines how you are going to achieve your objective. There are 3 different strategies in which you can adopt.

a. Market skimming

Do you think that your daycare centre or its services generates added value? Do you think your customers will be able to afford it? Are you the only or selected daycare centre that is offering it? If you answer is yes, then you can consider market skimming. It basically involves charging the highest possible price. You will need to decide if whatever you are offering is something which the customer values. For example, you are offering a particular curriculum which other daycare centres are not offering and you think that this value added curriculum is something which your customer will be willing to pay for. Or your centre is the only centre in town that closes at 8pm and it is something which you think your customer values and is willing to pay for. To charge a higher price will also mean that you need to communicate that to your potential customer through effective promotional means.

b. Market penetration

If there are a number of daycare centres and all of you are offering basically the same curriculum or services, then you should consider penetration pricing. It basically means keeping the price low in order to gain a greater market share.

c. Price adaptation

The last and most complicated strategy is price adaptation. It is offering different prices to different target market. For example, parents who places 2 or more children at your daycare centre is offered a discounts. But what happens when one of the sibling becomes of school going age. It might be difficult to revert back to the higher price.

Pricing strategies is something which plague many business owners. Whilst pricing lower might mean higher chances of increasing recruitment, the low prices might mean that you need to cut back on some luxuries such as quality meals or curriculum, which could impact the image of your daycare centre. Therefore, it is important to think very carefully before setting a price because in most instances, it’ll be difficult to reverse that decision.

Market Research Strategies For Small Businesses

Have you ever done any market research? If not, you may be missing some valuable marketing ideas and information that you could capture by doing some research. Market research is a vital part of the process that most small businesses or start-ups neglect to do. However, it could be the single most important thing a new business does prior to formulating their business plan, location or marketing strategy.

Marketing research is the process of gathering data and opinions from consumers, employees, or a specific subgroup within the public, to improve decision making and reducing the risk associated with those decisions. Individuals/businesses can use information gained from marketing research to assess awareness, attitudes, perceptions, or opinions on products, services, advertising, brands, and/or companies. The two types of research are qualitative (words) and quantitative (numbers).

Qualitative research is an in-depth analysis of relatively few respondents, which provides a holistic insight and understanding of the issue at hand. For example, if a company is interested in testing company logos, qualitative methods would provide rich data.

– Focus Groups are an “informal” gathering of 6-10 people from your “target group” to have an in-depth conversation of opinions on your product, brand, advertising, and other areas of your product and/or service.

– Face-to-face interviews typically involve a one-on-one conversation with your consumers or decision-makers. These methods can be more expensive than a traditional survey, but will provide a more comprehensive evaluation.

Quantitative research seeks to summarize data and typically applies some form of statistical analysis. Using this method, for example, a company could measure their customer’s level of satisfaction and then, in turn, make internal changes to increase that satisfaction.

– Researchers should use surveys or questionnaires when trying to measure an audience’s opinions more accurately.

*Telephone surveys are often the most expensive, but are the most effective at getting respondents to complete the survey.

*Mail surveys can be relatively inexpensive, but the response rate on a mail survey is typically 3-10% and takes more time to conduct. These cannot be used when results are needed quickly.

*Online surveys are relatively new, but growing fast in popularity. With online surveys, you can ask survey questions, but also get feedback on things such as logos (using picture files) or commercials (using streaming video).

*Intercept interviews are a tool a company uses when they do not have a list of their customer base, such as a restaurant or a sports team, but would still like to measure their customer’s satisfaction.

For the small business owner it might be helpful to hire a marketing company or market research firm to help with these types of in-depth research however it’s not to say that you couldn’t ask your current clients or contacts as well on your own. Just remember you do not have to do all of this yourself, it’s always good to consult with experts in areas that you are not familiar or experienced with so it’s the best use of your time and it gets done right.

Now what do you do with all that great qualitative and quantitative information when you receive it? It is imperative that you work it into your marketing materials, Web site, correspondence, sales presentations, advertising and many other areas of your marketing plan. When you find out what your target market wants or likes, it is important NOT to ignore those results.

Smart Diversification Strategies Skyrocket Your Business

Diversify to Manage Risk Effectively

Many factors determine a booming business. Diversification is a strategy commonly adopted by businesses to boost sales and profits from new products and/or markets. Depending on the stage that your business is in, diversification can offer many benefits, such as buffering your company from major fluctuations in the industry. As an example, if your business is only involved in the production and export of corn; an outbreak of plague that affects corn crops would adversely impact your company.

However a diversified company with several unrelated businesses or revenue streams would be better positioned to manage the crisis because its funds and resources are not completely tied up in any one sector.

In addition, diversifying also enables your company to explore new markets and opportunities.

Explore New Opportunities

There are numerous types of diversification undertaken by businesses. Concentric diversification occurs when a firm leverages its existing knowledge and ventures into an industry similar to the one it is already in. Horizontal diversification, on the other hand happens when a business incorporates products or services that are unrelated to its current products to its mix, aimed at attracting current customers. For example, a shampoo manufacturer engaging in horizontal diversification might introduce anti-frizz hair serums to boost sales.

As a real-life case study, Australian owned company Wesfarmers undertook horizontal diversification by establishing Kleenheat Gas in the 1950s. Its earlier operations included wool and wheat merchandising and oil distribution to remote areas. The Kleenheat Gas venture tapped into another aspect of the energy industry and proved successful.

Diversify Wisely

Diversification strategies that are meticulously planned and executed have the potential to deliver great results. Some businesses may opt to diversify (overseas or locally) for several reasons, including a pessimistic outlook on the stability of the established market and improving the adaptability of their company to financially uncertain and difficult times. It may be that your company is “forced” to diversify in response to difficult economic conditions or it could be due to new opportunities that present.

Business diversification varies widely – firms may venture into an industry entirely unrelated to their current specialisation or develop a new product line similar to their existing products. No matter the type of diversification, it is important for companies to consider several factors:

  • Financial Planning
  • Expanding globally or starting a new product line from scratch is costly – does your company have the financial ability to do so? A good tip is to look through your accounts and assess how you can improve your business productivity prior to diversifying.

  • Market Research
  • Thorough market research and analysis is vital to the success of any business venture. The process often reveals important information, such as the profitability and feasibility of your proposed product or service in the target market and the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.

  • Competition
  • Who are your biggest competitors in your target market? Sound market research offers insight into your strongest rivals and enables you to tailor your product or service so that your business has a competitive edge.

On the flip side, undertaking diversification without proper planning can lead to great volatility and little benefit overall. It’s easy to spread your capital too thinly when diversifying without proper financial planning and market research.

Acclaimed investor Warren Buffett said, “Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing”. Over diversification may prove to be inefficient, increase a company’s investment cost and lead to below average returns. Certainly, diversifying is not something to be entered into lightly without proper due diligence. However, if the planning and research is sound and the scope for business growth is there, it may well lead to exciting new opportunities.

Small Business Venture Capital Strategies

When launching a new small business, often the entrepreneur will consider venture capital as a source of funding. Here are 3 tips to ensure that venture capital funding can be secured when sending out your business plan:

  1. Send your business plan to the right people
  2. Venture capitalists tend to specialize in certain kinds of businesses. Some will specialize by industry, only investing in new energy companies, for instance, while others look for a certain size of company to invest in. It is worth doing the research to determine who the venture capital backers are for your industry, before you start sending out your business plan. Venture capitalists who are not specific to your industry can provide recommendations to make your plan more appealing to other venture capitalists. However, it would naturally be a mistake to send your plan to potential investors who will not even consider it.

  3. Make sure your business has the potential to be profitable enough
  4. Most venture capitalists look for a return of about 5-10 times their initial investment. For example, an investment in a company of $2 million should yield a return of $14-20 million after about five years. To satisfy these requirements, it is generally necessary to have a business which has the potential for a high rate of return on the amount invested. If the rate of return can reasonably be expected to be lower, such as for a clothing retailer, then it is probably better to look for an alternate source of funding, such as an investment or commercial bank.

  5. Remember to include an exit strategy for your investor
  6. Venture capitalists generally do not want to be involved with a new venture for an indefinite period of time. Most will plan to leave the new venture after about five years, so you should offer a clear explanation of how this may be achieved. There can be a variety of reasons for this; some venture capital managers require that the holdings periodically be sold off to acquire other offerings. Nonetheless, by demonstrating that you understand the limited time frame for many venture capitalists, you automatically make your plan more appealing than those which do not.

In summary, by sending your business plan to the right people, by recognizing what rate of return is necessary for venture capitalist involvement, and by including an exit strategy, you can improve your odds of securing venture capital funding for a new and growing business.

Cost Effective Small Business Marketing Strategies and Tips – Part Two

In my previous article (part 1), I discussed Marketing Keys, Marketing Plan Components and Creative Marketing. Now I will get into specific, cost effective marketing methods and strategies you can use today to increase your company’s exposure and profits.

MARKETING METHODS

Internet

-Highly targeted and extremely economical

-Extremely Interactive

Magazines

-Targets your niche

-Creates credibility

-Establishes Identity & Brand

TV

-Can be very cost effective

-Great for demonstrations

Direct Mail

-Highly targeted

-Medium that allows you to go through the entire sales process.

-Augmented with Follow-up Mailing and Telemarketing is very effective

Canvassing

-Provides personal contact, which can be the most effective

-Backed by targeted mailings and TV advertising increases its conversion ratio

Outdoor Billboards

-Constant Reminder

-Especially good for “Next Exit” Location traffic targeting

Indoor Signs

-Capitalizing on your marketing’s momentum

-Can be the most important sign – even more crucial than outdoor signage

-Signs don’t have to be static: i.e. Video Message, Slide Show, etc.

Online Marketing

-Absolutely the best medium which economically blends high interactivity with action

-Examples: Email, video & audio postcards, forums, blogs, websites, texting

-Very effective when content based

-Prospective customers are not constrained by time

-Good, targeted, updated content means repeat customer visits

-Great Follow up, Resale, Cross-sale and Up sell medium

-Exponential results when augmented by offline marketing

Classified Ads

-Very cost effective for a broad customer base

-Targets the very hottest prospects

-Confronts your competition head on

Brochures

-Only effective if combined with online and offline marketing

-Always a good after sale piece to keep the customer thinking of you

-Code the brochure, ask the customer to pass it out and provide discounts or referral fees back

Phone

-Telemarketing only effective if part of an Opt In Marketing Campaign, whether online or offline or both.

Reminder Tools

-Refrigerator magnet is the most effective

-Double sided or folded business card which provides mini-brochure capabilities

Trade Shows

-Targeted and motivated prospects

-Consider online versions

Publicity

-Public Relations driven marketing can be cost effective. Establish reputation and credibility

Community Relations & Sponsorship

-Establish powerful contacts and connections

-Great for image

-Great constant reminder

-Create an edge over the competition

-Needs to be sincere

COMBINE MARKETING TOOLS & METHODS

Creative Strategic Marketing is based on developing multiple Marketing Tools in concert to achieve an out-of-the box, competitively advantaged Creative Strategy. Marketing Methods should be integrated together for each cohesive Marketing Strategy, and then adjusted as the campaign proceeds and develops. Personally, I believe one of the most lethal combinations of Marketing Platforms are:

–Developing a Content Rich Internet Presence

–Online Marketing through Opt In

–Advertise free Articles, Newsletter, Guides, Webinar, etc. in a targeted Magazine Ad

This combination of print and online marketing is very cost effective, yet lucrative. Explore the possibilities.

The important thing to keep in mind when executing multiple Marketing Tools, Forums and Methods in a synergetic strategy is to carefully track and monitor the results, making Key changes as the initiative develops. This is where an online / internet marketing platform is so valuable because it can adeptly track results (i.e. conversion rate, response rate) in real time.

ONLINE MARKETING CALENDAR

A good Marketing Calendar is based on a 52 week year and helps considerably in planning and budgeting a Marketing Strategy. At any point in time, you can determine the best ads to run, what needs to be in inventory for the anticipated sales, the project costs and projected sales. The calendar should be an online platform for maximum interactivity, utility, access, flexibility and integration. The Marketing Calendar should be fully integrated with the Marketing Strategy, Strategic Plan and Budgeting Process for maximum utility. The calendar should be in an expandable spreadsheet format to reveal all necessary details for each marketing method within an overall strategy.

COST EFFECTIVE MARKETING STRATEGIES

Profitable Marketing does not have to be expensive! Some cost saving tips:

Cooperative Advertising

-Can save upwards of 50%. Partner up with a larger company, mention their name and get paid for the promotion. Spread the ad cost among fellow advertisers.

Per Order or Inquiry Payment Method

-Advertising costs subtracted after a sale or defined event.

Survey your Current Customers

-Costs pennies to do, yet gives you the most up to the minute market trends. Plus gives you an opportunity to Cross or Up Sell the customer at the same time.

Backend Products & Services

-Bundle your offerings to minimize your marketing cost per sale.

Code your Ads

-Codes allow you to track and measure your marketing strategy’s results. By keeping ahead of the campaign roll out you can adjust for maximum cost effectiveness.

-Online tracking is the most beneficial and cost effective means of keeping your marketing costs in line with your budget, while providing you where the most profits can be made per marketing dollar spent.

Don’t Use a Rate Card

-Make an offer for all your advertising – rates are always negotiable.

-A 30 second TV spot can be as effective as the more expensive 60 second one.

-Tap into Remnant Magazine Space

-Extra, unused ad space sells at substantial discounts.

TV Ad Tips

-Tight scripts and excellent prior planning cuts down the time costs.

-Do your Ad in 3-4 renditions move session.

-Use a production studio during off-peak times.

Concentrate Efforts on Established Customers

-Customers are 85% cheaper to market; Keep a good balance between Customer and Prospect marketing efforts.

-Exponentially expand your sales, cost effectively, through a Customer Referral Program.

-Up sell, Cross Sell, Cross Promote

Combination Marketing

A very cost-effective and successful combination is pairing a Magazine Ad with a Website. Offer a FREE Newsletter, Guide, E-book, etc and set yourself up as an Expert; mine the prospects data in a permission based, Opt In; Follow up free offering with product and service offerings. All your marketing efforts, mediums, tools and campaigns should be done in concert and combination as the results are exponential and the means cost-effective.

Website Design

-Web Design, Development and Optimization is very important, crucial in fact, but can be very expensive. –To cut Web design costs:

–Create your own content

–Write articles on areas you have Expert status or Knowledge

–Look at the web and decide what you want your site to look like and sketch it out, as well as, organize the link structure. Then have a designer lay out the website in a user friendly Content Management System, and you input all the content. Have the designer / developer review the site after your inputs for Search Engine Optimization tips.

Tip: Consider hiring a Web Designer / Developer overseas, such as from China or India, etc. They charge about $30 per hour (or less) verses $75 – 100 per hour. Make sure to carefully review a Designer / Developer’s credentials, referrals and past projects, to ensure credibility and reliability.

In the next article on Cost Effective Small Business Marketing, I will discuss Marketing Research and Targeted Marketing. Stay tuned!

Effective Lesson Plan Making Strategies

Planning is an integral part of any activity that you do as it is the only thing that can ensure the smooth completion of your activity. An effective plan can let you work in a proper way and also lets you analyze your path, your growth and your progress towards your aim. The same principles are applicable to the field of education. This makes Lesson Plans an essential part of the teaching and learning process. A lesson plan is a blueprint for a teacher on his/her course of teaching or conducting a class. While this takes care of the different styles in which a subject can be taught to the students, it also takes care of the various understanding levels different children may have.

An effective lesson plan helps you in finding the right way to guide the students. A teacher gets to know how to handle a topic in an effective manner and how to go about it so that the concept or the learning outcome is absolutely clear to the students. While the plan lets you to strategize your teaching course it also helps you in effectively managing assessment.

An effective Lesson Plan should broadly be based on the following elements:

• Direct Instructions: this is where a teacher makes a formal introduction to the topic that has to be taught. Reading and explanation can be included under this.

• Guided Discovery: Also known as ‘learning by doing’, this should include activities where students gather information about the topic and learn by way of researching or doing. A plan should include the kind of activities that can be conducted for this purpose.

• Assessment & Review: this should include the way in which the teacher plans to assess the understanding of the students and the way actionable feedback can be given in a well-structured format.

Steps in making an effective Lesson Plan:

• Share clear learning outcomes – the principles or concepts you expect children to learn and understand by the end of the class

• Make a strategy to have an instruction process that ensures that the whole idea is made clear to the students.

• Find out different methods that can be used by students to investigate the topic and research it which in turn will facilitate learning.

• Chalk out activities that would make students learn in groups and develop learning partnerships.

• Develop and design activities that generate interest in the subject and make students learn through discussions, reflection and investigation.

• Find and develop activities that will help in assessment of students’ learning

•Find out ways to recognize and review understanding and grasp of core concepts.

A major challenge here is to have a right plan in place and most teachers struggle in making a perfect plan without wasting much of their time that is needed in teaching. Here educational experts can help out. They have the professional skills and the qualifications to chalk out the best plans and help teachers manage their time effectively. Since they are experts in subject matter as well as educational planning they know how best to strategize and plan to get the desired results. One can go for some well known Educational Service Provider for getting a good lesson plan prepared for effective teaching delivery.

Marketing Strategies: Increasing Your Business Profits

The main objective of every business is to grow and keep on profiting. Besides, what kind of entrepreneur would want to see their businesses fail? Although business has its risks, you, as an entrepreneur should know that you need to take risks in order for your business to flourish.

However, you also would never want to take too much risk on your business. This is why in all kinds of businesses, you always plan, plan and plan some more before you make a move.

As an entrepreneur you should have a written guideline for you to start your business’s marketing strategy. The guidelines are used by your business to judge your business’s actions accordingly.

A good marketing strategy should have the following goals in order to create a good marketing plan:

– Competitor

– Description of key clients

– Reasons why your product is unique

– Distribution channels

– Price strategy

– Research and development

– Expenses

– Marketing segments the company will compete in

With all of these included in your marketing strategy, you can be sure that you can really pave the road to success for your business.

Think of marketing strategy as a compass where it will guide your business to the right path. Having this kind of “compass” will make it clearer for you on what actions to take if you encounter an obstacle in your business’s path.

Decision-making is also the key in every business. With a marketing strategy, you will find that it will be easier for you to make a decision when it comes to leading your company to success. It will also help you prevent making the wrong decision.

Another advantage that a marketing strategy can provide is that you can set specific goals for your company. Whether it’s a short-term goal or a long-term goal, a marketing strategy will make it easier for you to set goals that can affect the way you run your business.

Depending on the situation, you can try different types of marketing strategies that will tailor your business’s needs. Here are some examples of the different types of marketing strategy:

– Market dominance strategy – This kind of strategy is used by companies to take control of a particular business.

– Innovation strategy – This strategy deals with the company’s rate of new product development and also innovation.

– Growth strategy – This marketing strategy is formulated to make the company grow.

– Warfare based strategies – A business competition is always there. And, sometimes your company needs to be aggressive to attack the competition or defensive to protect your company from losing profit.

These are some of the strategies that you can use in order to maximize business profit and minimize loss. Sometimes, it will be necessary for you to change your marketing strategy to cope up with the changes in the business world, such as new competitions, new technology or falling client numbers and profits.

So, depending on the situation, you should always plan on what kind of marketing strategy you should use for the benefit of the company. Running a business isn’t always smooth. There will be times that your business will be in danger of losing money or have decreased profit. Because of the ever-changing situation in the business world, you need to think of a marketing strategy to minimize risk and maximize profit.

3 Online Marketing Strategies for Your Network Marketing Or MLM Business

Are you a network marketer? Then say hooray for the internet and internet marketing. The internet gives you the advantage of being able to get your information out in front of millions.

As we all know, warm leads are two things – usually a very short list and actually rather freezing. How many on your warm list actually sign up and do something with the business? My guess is not that many. Many old school network marketers will tell you to begin with your warm list. Let’s now waste everyone’s time with that when we have the advantage of the internet. The internet will enable us to find leads in other places.

Today the internet is making lead generation much easier. Here are three great ways to use the internet to generate your leads.

1. Article Writing

Use the keyboard as a marketing tool to get your income opportunity plan out. This is an obvious and easy tool to use. Article writing can generate leads as well as help you build relationships with others interested in your company. One well-written article can create an on-going stream of marketing leads. Once your article is published it is on the web for a lifetime. Think you can’t write? You can, give it a try. If you REALLY think you can’t write, you can find inexpensive ghost writers to do it for you.

2. Blogging

Blogging began as personal diaries and journals posted on the web, but have fast become the platform for many business owners, including network marketers. You can include information about the marketing plan, the products, training programs, updates from the company and many other resources, as well as testimonials. These testimonials can be from successful networkers in your group or from product users. You can also put an opt-in box on your blog or even create a squeeze page in order to create a list of more leads.

3. Video Marketing

Thanks to YouTube, videos have become a great resource for marketing on the web. You can easily record a video with a simple explanation of your business and then refer people to your blog site for more information. This starts your relationship building. When people can actually see who you are and experience your enthusiasm for your network marketing company, they are more likely to respond. And, if you use the right keywords, Google will find you quickly and put you on the first page, as Google loves videos!

Are You Wasting Your Marketing Dollars on Obsolete Strategies?

Many people who run businesses for a long time get into ruts or habits which may not be the best way to decide the most effective or productive strategies when it comes to marketing. What worked in 1980 or 1990 or even 2000, may not work today.

As we all realize, times have changed and along with them, consumer shopping and buying preferences. Whether your customer is an everyday person or another business, decisions about what to purchase, how much to pay, where to get it and how to pay for it have been greatly affected by the Internet.

Years ago, if you wanted to buy a used car, you would probably have picked up the classified section of the newspaper and scanned the appropriate listings. The same held true for real estate. If you were hunting for a job, where did you look? Of course, the want ads in the paper.

How about clothing, gifts, jewelry, golf clubs, books or even shoes? Well, you’d probably hit the mall for a tiring day of browsing, asking questions of a salesperson, trying things on, and lugging bags of purchases to your car.

How about tax services, medical consultation, planning a night out at good restaurant or pet grooming? Entertainment equipment, car insurance, office supplies or finding a local plumber? We used to pick up the yellow pages for all kinds of things we needed – you must remember those huge books filled with tiny type listing everything under the sun?

But we live in a brave new world. Today, practically everyone shops for everything online. Not only that, we use our credit cards to pay and have everything delivered to our homes or businesses for the ultimate in convenience.

So, how has that impacted how we reach our markets? Enormously! If you are still placing classified ads in the paper or buying expensive display ads in the yellow pages, you need to step back and reassess your decisions, which may be a little out-of-date.

Instead you should be capitalizing on all the free “yellow page” listing directories available online. This may take you some time to set up, requiring you to do some writing of short blurbs (otherwise known as paragraphs or “sound bites”) about your business, but are well worth the trouble for a couple of reasons. First, most people now use the Internet to find contact information for whomever or whatever they want to reach. And it is impossible to know which yellow pages they will use, so you need to be listed in all of them. But even more importantly, if you have a website, which you should, all those listings which usually include free links to your website, will help you with your SEO or search engine optimization. (That means that the time you invest in placing free listings will pay off handsomely by pushing your Google search rankings higher in search results if anyone is seeking your products or services online.)

I’m sure all the yellow page sales representatives will not appreciate my suggestions here. But, they are not the only ones whose printed products have fallen out of favor. I am still predicting the coming demise of the printed newspaper and many magazines, as much as I continue to enjoy sitting down to pour over the printed page when I get a few minutes. It’s probably just an old habit that I’ll need to break before it breaks me. First of all, as we age, our eyesight takes a turn for the worse, and seeing that tiny type in the paper is a lot harder than it used to be twenty years ago. Since I spend most of my days staring at my computer monitor, I take advantage of the enlarged type feature which makes it much easier to read. And although I consider the little time I spend reading actual magazines and newspapers as rare moments of luxury, to continue to do so in the future will probably only take place online or via electronic tablets or e-reading devices.

This means that if you run a business, your means of advertising must change as well. While you may feel you still reach the target audience you seek via a printed newspaper ad, which admittedly has become a lot more affordable when compared with rates charged in the past, you may change your tune once you explore the logic behind advertising on the Internet. Online text ads, in addition to banner ads (display “billboards” on the Internet) both of which appear in appropriately planned subject searches you control with pre-placement keyword decisions, are the modern, and perhaps, superlative method of target marketing. In much the same way we used to buy mailing lists to reach a certain segment of the demographic to which we were appealing via direct mail, today we can reach the markets we want by appearing within the subject matter of Internet searches. Granted, this is still quite new, but is evolving further as each day passes, clearly as the future of marketing.

Call me old-fashioned but I must say that direct mail can still be a lot more successful in its ability to land in a prospective customer’s hands compared with trying to elicit the click of a mouse from your customer’s scattered attention on the busy Google search results page! The advantage here is that the direct mailer if designed effectively has the power to keep the recipient interested with graphic influences of color, visual imagery and font size and selection. In comparison, the online text ad is just that, merely text, and looks like every other text ad on the Google page, giving you no greater edge to attract a click than anyone else. Whether the direct mail piece gets opened, read and responded to or whether it is immediately discarded without a glance continues to be the challenging factor to marketers everywhere. As with investing, there is no magic formula. To give a little guidance, if you are marketing to everyone anywhere, perhaps online text ads can make sense because of the large numbers of individuals which may possibly see your ad. That is provided your placement choices are in a popular area of interest. If your target is too small, then those numbers may dwindle considerably. While it is also possible to appeal to a small market in a small geographic area via online text ads, doing so successfully may require some diversification and support from other types of traditional marketing. At least until the Internet is the one and only means of marketing, or until Google is knocked off its Internet throne of infallibility.

With the proliferation of ways to enjoy the vast entertainment industry which includes radio, TV, movies, videos, games, and more, to name a few, investing marketing dollars into the right singular medium in a targeted market has become a lot more difficult. Trying to stretch your budget to appeal to the audience you want to reach can be frustrating with all the choices, distractions and short attention spans of most seekers of entertainment. From a marketing standpoint, and a 35-year history of experience, my advice would be to guard those dollars very carefully before making a rash decision about where to spend.

While I admit new venues have replaced old, some of the old choices still reach certain holdouts who refuse to accept today’s new technologies. Although few and far between, there are some markets still responsive to traditional yellow page, newspaper, magazine and other forms of advertising, which may justify maintaining a judicious presence within such media. It is hard to argue the merits of buying the back cover of the phone directories when thousands upon thousands will be delivered to countless homes even if viewed only that one time all year. The sheer numbers of that marketing reach are staggering. But to do so blindly into the future would be irresponsible if not totally wasteful, when there is now talk of “do not deliver” lists being added to the “do not call” rosters.

And when newspaper ads of huge proportion are sold for a fraction of the cost they once were, temptation sometimes trumps better judgment just for the momentary thrill of dominating the newspaper page for mere pennies. Any response is considered gravy.

This leads me to conclude that we are in a period of marketing limbo: some strategies are on their way out but the door has not quite yet slammed shut. The new strategies are a little intimidating but the old ones are much less effective. If you can bridge a balance between the two until time sorts out the survival of the fittest, marketing budgets will be preserved a bit longer and perhaps maintain a semblance of success despite the need to navigate seas of confusion, trepidation and obsolescence.

Top 10 Traffic Strategies For New Bloggers

Nowadays competition is stiff in almost any niche! If you’re a new blogger you really can’t expect to become world famous quickly or just because you blog regularly.

As a new blogger you need to know that people are not watching everything you do. Some people don’t even care and most aren’t aware of you or your business.

This is why so many new bloggers are struggling with traffic. Don’t live in a bubble, take action and change your situation.

A good way to start is to build traffic the right way. Follow these 10 Traffic Strategies and start driving traffic to your site today!

Traffic Strategy #1 Distribute Viral eBooks for New Bloggers

New Bloggers creating an eBook that you write and produce once can drive traffic to your site for a very long time. How you ask? By putting your name, website address and email or phone number on each page.

Pick a topic that your readers would happily pay for. Then write the eBook and then give it away for FREE! Yes, I said FREE! Have the topic relate to what you are doing, what your website is about. Tell people who get your eBook to share it with their friends, share it with everyone they know.

Remember all of your contact information is listed on each page of your eBook. This will bring traffic to your website. People will want to see what else you have to share with them. They will come to your site because they received this great eBook from you for FREE!

Traffic Strategy #2 Self Promotion for New Bloggers

There are so many little things that new bloggers can do to help promote you that many can be overlooked. Everything you can do to promote you, you can also use to promote your website which is better.

Keep in mind you may not be able to drive large amounts of traffic with these methods, you just never know what will happen with those handful of visitors.

Add a link to your website in your email, share links to your posts and of course your business cards are just a few ways to self-promote you and your website.

Traffic Strategy #3 Quality Content for New Bloggers

Now as a new blogger you may think that quality content has nothing to do with getting traffic to your website. The impact of quality content can be very substantial.

Visitors come to your website to find out what you have to offer and read your information. If they like what you have, what they read, the will subscribe to your RSS feed, sign up for your newsletter and of course tell their friends about your great website/blog.

Remember content is king! Blogs are a fantastic tool for creating quality content on a regular basis. Each time your add a post you increase your blog content which is turns is creating a smorgasbord of relevant content that Google and other search engines really love!

Traffic Strategy #4 Article Marketing for New Bloggers

As a new blogger you may think why do I need to write article? I’ve been told article marketing no longer works! There are far too many articles out there, what could I possibly have to say that hasn’t already been said before?

I personally use article marketing to drive traffic to my website, to increase the visitors to my website/blog. Some of them (the visitors) will turn into customers/clients. The time spent writing and promoting the articles is time well spent.

New Bloggers article marketing will continue to work as long as people need information. Think…how you can as a new blogger fit in by contributing that information…into articles.

Article marketing is one of my favorite traffic strategies which does not take months to see results. You can start to generate traffic within days. Write articles that are targeted to your market, your niche. Submit your articles to the top 5 to 10 article sites including your name and website url.

Traffic Strategy #5 Social Networking for New Bloggers

Social Networking sites are popping up everywhere. You can join groups of like-minded people that are bloggers or entrepreneurs.

As new bloggers don’t let all the social networking sites overwhelm you! A few of the top sites to join are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Start with these first and then add more later when you get comfortable.

As a new blogger it is important to remember is start with your profile, invite your friends and start connecting with likeminded people.

You have a website/blog it is important to not only create a personal Facebook page; you also need a Fan Page for your business. Facebook Fan Pages are really starting to take off as a method of traffic generation for your website/blog.

Keep in mind start with a couple social networking sites…get to know them, how they work etc. Get really good with those networks before joining more. Quality time is more important than quantity. As new bloggers joining a ton of social networks and not participating will not generate traffic. You will feel overwhelmed and just give up.

Social Networking only works if you participate regularly…Relationshipping with people. This is a relationship building business.

Traffic Strategy #6 SEO and Keywords for New Bloggers

What you write whether articles or content for our website/blog you need to use relevant keywords. A keyword density of 3-8% is a good target for getting higher page rankings in Google and other search engines.

Research your keywords to find the most popular words used in the search engines for you target market, your niche. Use tags and keywords in your posts will help you move up in the search engines.

All photos and also add an alt tag using your keywords helps in the search engines.

As you write your posts you want to optimize your pages for both your human readers as well as search engines. Some say that if you make it work and rank for your keywords that your website/blog will be a search engine magnet.

You can write naturally and the search engines will notice if you know which keywords to target. Search engines do need time to work so don’t expect instant results.

Traffic Strategy #7 Social Bookmarking for New Bloggers

Being a new blogger you may be wondering what is Social Bookmarking?

How do I use Social Bookmarking?

What do I Social Bookmark?

With Social Bookmarking you submit your posts to the top social bookmarking sites. This allows others who are members of those sites to visit your website/blog. Taking this time to submit your posts to social bookmarking is a simple way to quickly boost traffic to your website/blog.

Social Bookmarking is all about people sharing their posts or posts that interest them at your website/blog. In other words your visitors if they like your posts they can also bookmark your posts…they can share with others through social bookmarking.

Put a plugin on your website/blog to the top social bookmarking sites, this will help your visitors to bookmark your posts or pages quickly and easily.

WordPress has several different social bookmarking plugins to use…one favorite is Sexy Bookmarks. Sexy Bookmarks has several of the top site to pick from. Add this plugin to your posts and pages and make it easy for your visitor to bookmark your website/blog.

Traffic Strategy #8 Document Sharing for New Bloggers

New Bloggers every document, article, post that you write is by my definition a marketing document. These documents present an image of your business, your website/blog.

It’s important to reuse your articles and posts…turn them into PDF’s and upload them to the top 10 to 15 document sharing sites. Why you may ask?

The reason is the top document sharing sites have thousands of people visiting daily, looking and reading and finding your articles and will in turn visit your website/blog for more information.

Each article needs to have your contact information, your name, your website/blog url. Set up your profile at each of the document sharing site with your website/blog url as well.

What you are doing is creating backlinks to your website/blog and generating traffic.

Sharing information is what they internet is all about. Document sharing sites are a boom and a great way to generate FREE traffic to your website/blog. Be creative add pictures, increase the font size of your header and add color to your articles before you turn them into PDF’s.

Traffic Strategy #9 Video Marketing for New Bloggers

Listen up new bloggers Google and other search engines love videos! Video on your website is becoming more and more an effective method to help continue to grow your business, your online presence.

Here’s some trivia. A school of business stated a well-produced video increases information retention by 50% and it also speeds up buying decisions by 72% over a printed brochure.

Video marketing is quickly becoming the medium for branding and online communications. This is an important traffic strategy that you need to incorporate into your business put on your website/blog.

The most popular video marketing websites is YouTube which is owned by Google! See why Google loves videos?

Produce your quality videos; upload to YouTube plus at least 10 to 15 other top video marketing sharing sites and of course your website/blog. Always making sure your website/blog url is listed in your video. You want to send people back to your website/blog. This is also creating quality backlinks to your website/blog and this is generating free traffic.

Traffic Strategy #10 Syndicate Your Blog for New Bloggers

Setting up an RSS feed and putting a button on your website/blog makes it easy for you visitors to read your blog each time you publish new content.

As a new blogger it’s important to give your visitors ways to know you’ve added new content. You don’t want to rely on people’s memory, to remember where your website/blog is located. To remember to come back now to your website/blog; then to visit and see if you have add new content or not, everyone is busy so give them a way to remember!

For new bloggers and all bloggers who are growing a business online, making money by selling products or services, visitors are important and returning visitor the lifeline of your business.

Setting up an RSS feed for you website/blog is very quick and easy and another avenue for generating FREE traffic to you website/blog.

Conclusion to Traffic Strategies for New Bloggers

I want you as new bloggers to know that there are several more ways to promote your website/blog, to generate more traffic than what was mentioned in this article. It is just a matter of creativity and diligence.

Some traffic strategy methods work better than others. Some traffic strategies sources will send and generate more traffic for you website/blog.

Remember all traffic strategies take time don’t expect overnight riches or millions of visitors. Consistency is important, don’t just do each of these traffic strategies once or partially and expect tons of traffic. You will see traffic and it will continue to increase as long as you continue to follow the traffic strategies you put into place.

Regular traffic to your website/blog will continue and will increase if you as new bloggers continue adding new quality content to your website/blog and if you consistently continue these and other traffic strategies. I know I said that before but it is worth repeating.

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