Why Do So Many Entrepreneurs Fail At Content Marketing & Article Marketing?

This is a frequently asked question from members of my community that I don’t think I’ve answered before on this site because it is such a “loaded” question. Yet I think that I’ve now worked with enough entrepreneurs and small business owners that I can answer this pretty confidently. So here it is…

Here are my top 5 reasons why so many entrepreneurs have trouble seeing results from their article & content marketing and what they (you too!) can do about it:

trouble with article marketing#1 – Analysis Paralysis

Many entrepreneurs do not succeed with article and content marketing because they get stuck on what to write about. If you aren’t creating content on a consistent basis, you will not see results — plain and simple. It should not take you 3 weeks to write a blog post and if it is taking you that long — then you need to see me! You are over thinking this whole content thing.

Here’s the key for consistent content creation: solve a problem! Quickly write out a list of 10, 25 or more of the problems your clients/customers typically face. Now write an article that solves that problem. Ta-da the end!

#2 – Unrealistic Expectations

I am notorious for “splashing cold water” on my clients by telling them to stop believing all this crap that many marketers are trying to sell. You cannot dominate your niche with content in a week or even a month. It takes consistency for a long period of time, but the payoff is totally worth it. Free traffic. More visibility. More influence. More authority.

#3 – No System In Place

Many fledgling article marketers typically wake up and decide at some point to write an article or shoot a video during their day, then they do not what to do with it OR they don’t create another one until the “mood” strikes. Things like this happen because entrepreneurs don’t have a system or a blueprint for what to write, when to write, where to publish, etc. in place. I use the Articology blueprint for article marketing in my business and the businesses of my clients. It really makes things a lot simpler when all the guessing has been taken out of the equation.

#4 – Not Using Enough Optimization

Okay, I’m not trying to frighten you with SEO talk but I’ve got to be honest here. One of the major ways that new traffic will find you is if they find your content through a typical organic search in Google, Yahoo or Bing. You cannot create an article or video with a “clever” title and think it will be found by people searching for information on the web. People don’t search for answers using clever words or analogies. They use everyday 5th grade language. Ex: “How do you fry chicken?” or “How can I lose weight?”

So it’s extremely important that you optimize your content for the search engines, otherwise known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I have tons of articles on SEO on this site, but if you need a tip right now: you should be writing titles for your content that contain keyword phrases that your clients/customers are searching for.

#5 – You’re Not Promoting Your Articles

I talk about article promotion a lot in Articology because it’s something not a lot of marketers or strategists are showing you. It’s not enough to publish an article and wait for the traffic to follow. You have to publish then promote that article. Tell people that it’s out there. Shout it out! Guide them with a link.

Let people know what problem you are solving for them today and where they can find the answer and they will RUN to your content, like it, tweet it, share it, etc.

Conclusion

Content marketing and article marketing work. In fact, all the six or seven figure entrepreneurs I know online ALL use content marketing in their businesses. Avoid these 5 stumbling blocks and you’re already way ahead of the game!

Keyword Research: SEMRush Review & Tutorial

How To Use SEMRush To Conduct Keyword Research

At the foundation of every piece of carefully written content on the web is research. To be more precise, keyword research. If you are a member of my training program Articology or if you’ve followed me for a while via my newsletter, you know that I talk about keyword research quite a bit and actually offer it as a premium service in my business. It’s just that important. I do it everyday.

In previous trainings, I have talked about how to conduct keyword research using free tools as well as Wordtracker and Market Samurai, but today I want to talk about a new tool that I am using called SEMRush which is a web based keyword research and analytic tool. I am LOVING this tool for a few reasons.

FIRST – I really do prefer a web based tool because I can use it anywhere and it’s not a drain on any of my computer’s resources. This is a really robust one.

SECOND – It’s really easy to use because in one click you get a variety of search results that are pretty simple to interpret because of the explanations that SEMRush provides along the way (I’ll explain more about that later).

THIRD – There is a paid and free option enabling users at any stage in their business to use the tool and reap the rewards of major keyword research.

SEMRush keyword tool

As a little background, I became familiar with SEMRush because this tool was founded by the creators of the plugin for Firefox and Safari that so many people use called SEOQuake — so I knew that they were quite familiar with keyword analytics and looked forward to seeing what their tool had to offer. As with any new tool that I test, I am doing so for myself of course but even more importantly for my community.

BEGIN THE SEARCH

SEMRush offers both free and paid research options. For our purposes, you can do everything you need to do with a free account but as with any service will benefit from more options and more query options with the paid (pro) option.

First you can start your search and get basic keyword information by typing your keyword in the top bar choosing to get either Google or Bing results. Go with the Google results as they dominate the search results.

SEARCH OVERVIEW

You will get basic Google trend information, search volume, and the cost per click for the keyword using Adwords. If you don’t know what a specific term means, you can hover over the ? image and get a brief description. This is a great feature for the new user.

semrush review

PHRASE MATCHES

The second part of your results will show something called a phrase match report. In this particular search, I researched the term “keywords” and this report includes the keyword phrases that Google found relevant to my original search term. This information opens up my options for what terms I may want to also try and rank for.

The two most important areas you need to pay attention to are the Volume numbers and the Results numbers. Volume means how many monthly searches are conducted for this keyword and Results means the number of search results (pages) that Google returned for this search term.

*So one of your goals when making a decision about what keyword is a good one is finding one that has HIGH search volume and LOW results.

If you like one of the phrase matches, feel free to click on that particular keyword to drill down your search results even further.

keyword research

RELATED KEYWORDS

The next sections of your research will show related keywords. This again is to option up options for me and shows me a variety of “synonyms” or other terms that Google believes are related to my original search term. Again you are looking for terms that make sense to your research, have high volume, and low page results.

Like with keyword phrase matches above, you can click on a particular keyword to drill down your search results even further in the related keywords section.

semrush keyword tool

ORGANIC RESULTS

This section of your report shows the top 20 results that appeared in a Google search for that term. So basically, who your competition is for that search term, which is very important to know. For example, look at my results below. Some of the websites that I’d have to compete with for the search term “keywords” are heavy hitters such as Google, Wikipedia, and Wordtracker. So chances are, I’m not going to rank well for that term. So that let me knows right off the bat, that I should look at other options.

search engine marketing tool

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, as someone who conducts keyword research on a daily basis, SEMRush is a tool that I will not only use myself but one that I feel very comfortable recommending to my community regardless of what stage you’re at in your business and keyword research experience.

Feel free to give it a whirl at: SEMRush Free Trial

Then make sure to come back to this page as I plan on digging in a little deeper on how to conduct keyword research step by step. I will post those new tutorials as I create them. Until then, feel free to ask me any questions about SEMRush or keyword research in general over on Facebook.

How My Blog Traffic Increased by 33%

One of the major ways that you can and you should be attracting more clients and customers is by leveraging the power of the web. Ultimately what that means, is that you should be taking advantage of the free traffic that the search engines will send you when you give them what they want–content.

How I Increased My Blog Traffic By 33%

On February 13th I got the highest amount of traffic ever on my site and most of it was due to several articles I had written over two years ago on February and Valentine’s Day related article ideas. I saw similar results last year, but this year the increase was even higher probably because Google has ranked those articles pretty high for me with related keywords.

lisa-angelettie-blog-stats

For instance, if someone is searching specifically for Valentine’s Day Article Ideas, they will find that two of my articles on this site come up in positions #1 and #2 in Google out of over 49 million results!

valentine's day article ideas

 

Keep in mind that I wrote these articles two years ago — nothing this year around this topic because I was busy promoting Articology. So my point here is that the real key to consistent traffic that will only get better as long as it still is relevant is to just do it! Create it, publish it, rinse and repeat. And realize that you will reap rewards from your efforts immediately when you push your content out in social media AND for years to come as the search engines rank your content higher and higher in a search like the above example.

You can replicate these types of results as well when you follow a few simple rules:

Do Proper Keyword Research
I didn’t accidentally come across the term valentine’s day article ideas. I did my research and knew that there was a select group of people searching this topic using these keywords. So I made sure that I wrote optimized articles around them. I talk about this a lot in my article marketing training program Articology.

Keep Stacking Content
It’s important that you continually publish content to your blog. Not only to keep things fresh for your clients, but for the search engines, who will rank your older content based on how relevant you continue to be with your new content. Simply put, if I hadn’t continued to build my site and stack it with relevant content, I doubt that those articles would hold the #1 and #2 positions. They would get ranked, but probably not that highly.

Keep Sharing Your Content
One thing that I did do differently this year, was to casually remind people through my ezine and social media that if they needed article ideas for February or Valentine’s day that I had a few articles around that topic. I really think that this helped my traffic rise for not only the 13th but the entire month of February. Remember that while you are always sharing new content, it’s important that you remind folks of all your great older content found deep inside your site.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Remember that content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy. It serves as the foundation for your business and you should ALWAYS be doing something content related in your business. This is not a quick fix strategy. Once you adjust your mindset around that fact, you will do the work necessary to see REAL results like mine as you grow your business.

Are You Going To Hit It & Quit It?

I want you to stop thinking about the pursuit of search engine traffic as a one hit wonder, a one night stand, or a quick fix. Sure there are a lot of marketers out there trying to sell you WordPress plugins, software, and “systems” that will assure you a HUGE avalanche of traffic (can you hear me being sarcastic?), but the truth of the matter is that I am not here for a quickie. I’m in it for the long haul. I can stay committed. I am faithful. I want a long term partner and therefore long term results. That is why I consistently feed the search engines what they want:

Content that is original
There is little tolerance for duplicate content by the search engines and rehashed content by readers. The search engines are getting smarter and smarter each day to all the duplicate content tricks, PLR mess, etc. and the readers are getting a little sick and tired of reading something they know that they’ve read somewhere else. Be original.

Content that is high quality and useful
I’m going to be totally transparent here. There are definitely days where I have written articles that I just wanted to get done and rushed it. Or there were articles I’ve written where I didn’t really have a lot to say and perhaps should of saved them to include in a more meaty article — but I didn’t. Ultimately I will pay the price for those so-so articles because people won’t read them or they certainly won’t convert. Not when there is a higher level of content out there on my topic. Now I’m not putting a word count on that content – I’m putting a quality meter on it. If it’s highly informative or entertaining, then publish it. If it’s not really something that you would read yourself, forget it, and go back to the drawing board.

Content that is shared with others
This is a relatively new concept for many business owners but it makes perfect sense. The quality level of any piece of content can generally be judged by how many people share it with others. Think about an article you shared with someone recently. Or a video you “liked” or “tweeted”. If you’re not totally sold on social media yet, think of “old school” sharing. Comments. Or reviews (like Amazon). Anything that gives your content the thumbs up or the seal of approval is of great importance to the search engines and helps them determine where they will rank your content. For example, if you’ve enjoyed this article, I’d really appreciate it if you would comment, Tweet it, share it on Facebook, or give it a G+.

Your Turn!
What strategies have you used to increase your blog traffic this year?  What are your trying? What’s working for you? What isn’t?

How To Optimize Your Blog Post Images For Top Google Rankings

One of the things that I find that most entrepreneurs drop the ball on is basic seo for the images on their websites. The reason why this is a BIG mistake is that Google sends websites traffic from images too. In fact, when I check my website statistics I can see what images are sending me traffic, and there are quite a few! The images that are sending me traffic to my sites typically are ones where I got the keyword phrases REALLY right. Watch this video to see how to get it done in under 4 minutes!

Are Your Pages Panda Protected?

Are The Pages On Your Website Protected From Google’s Panda Smack Down?

google pandaUpdated: March 2012

I’ve written before about how a lot of shifts occurred on the web after Google’s latest search engine algorithm tweak. Sites that use to dominate the search engines were hurt pretty badly by what is fondly known in the seo world as Google’s “PANDA” updates.

What Was The Point of Google’s Panda Update?

To take a serious chunk out of duplicate content on the web and unnatural link building. Now if you follow any of my work at all, then I know that duplicate content isn’t even an issue you for you – right:) Great! But you do have to make sure that no one has ripped you off and scraped some of your content and published it to some junky adsense blog.

So this is what I need you to ask yourself:

Do my articles/pages contain unique, detailed, grammatically-correct content that is not plagiarized or reprinted elsewhere?

Not so sure? Then I’d like you to occasionally run some of your more popular articles on your site (ones that were heavily shared in social media or commented on) through a duplicate content tool like Copyscape and make sure that your content is unique and Panda Strong!

While I would not recommend doing this for every article you publish, because who has the time for that, just running one of your more stronger articles every once in a while will give you sense of whether or not your content is being swiped and published, thereby possibly indirectly affecting your ranking with Google.

Do my website statistics reveal a major dip that I have not recovered from?

Take a look at your website statistics. If you see a major dip in traffic for a specific month, for the entire month, then you may have suffered a rolling Panda update. Google continues to do them although we cannot really anticipate when they will be. So you just have to pay attention. If you do notice a sizable drop in traffic (like 40 or 50%)  — don’t panic. More than likely you have been hit because of some bad backlinking.

Troubleshooting Backlinking Disasters

Anyone can suffer from a backlinking disaster because for one — you don’t have control over who links to you. Yet if you find that your Google traffic has seriously dropped and you run a high content, high quality website then more than likely there is a site that Google doesn’t like that is linking to you. Make sure you take a look at any questionable backlinking you’ve done lately. Backlinks that were paid for. WordPress plugins that troll for comment backlinks, etc. You should eliminate any quick fix backlinking strategy, because chances are it’s what’s putting you in the mouth of the Panda!

I talk a lot more in detail about how to protect your content in my article marketing program Articology, but implementing today’s Panda related tips will give you a really good head start. Please make sure to share this tip (if you liked it:) with others by liking it on Facebook, tweeting it to your followers, sharing it on LinkedIn, and of course giving it the big G+.

Can I Submit Same Articles To EzineArticles & Blog?

Can I Submit The Same Articles To EzineArticles & Blog?

I guarantee you that someone asks me this question every week, no matter how many articles I write about it. So I thought I’d feature it as one of my frequently asked questions this week. Plus, it sort of ties in with my whole Google theme this week.

Q: Lisa, one of the problems I am having is that I want to use EzineArticles to promote my articles as well as my own website. Can I use the same articles that I write for EzineArticles on my website?

A: I am a big believer in repurposing articles – so my answer is yes – but with a few caveats. First of all, I need to know where you are in your business. If you are just starting out, then I definitely recommend getting some momentum going by publishing articles to EzineArticles as well as your blog.

Don’t worry about duplicate content, etc. right now. EzineArticle’s WordPress plugin will help carry this out even faster. After you’ve published the article to your site, you can publish it as is to EzineARticles throught the plugin OR you can make a few changes tot he article and then publish it to EzineArticles via the plugin.

If you are in the middle of your business, meaning that you are generating some income and have been building a list for a while, then your site/blog has probably gained some traction on the web. You are appearing in the search engines, but now it’s time to really take your optimization a little more seriously. Duplicate content starts to matter to the established webpreneur.

Now when you submit your blog articles to EzineArticles or vice-versa you need to make sure that you change the article enough that it looks like a different article to Google. This is actually much more important now than it use to be due to Google’s latest algorithm update. Sites like EzineArticles took a hit because too many websites had identical articles to the ones on their site.

Ways to make sure your articles are different are to rewrite them (which I do) or use article spinning software. An article submission service that also offers a high quality article spinning service is SubmitYourArticle.

Bonus Tip!
Also, writing unique articles will be easy for EzineArticles and your blog because you should be using links to related resources/content in your blog articles. On the other hand, you cannot add links to your EzineArticles articles (or at least only one in the body of the article) the other links are only allowed in your resource box. Having an article with no links vs. one with links helps create two distinct articles that the search engines will view as different and unique.

 

 

How To Use Internal Links For Better Search Engine Ranking

How To Use Internal Links In Your WordPress Blog For Better Rankings

When I seriously began writing articles to attract search engine traffic years ago, I read a lot of search engine optimization (seo) information and followed a lot of the big bloggers online and learned that one of the important factors for getting a bit of Google love is to link to relevant and related information. These links include external links to other sites with related content to the topic of your article and/or your site, but the other links that you should also include are called internal links. These are links to other related articles already on your own blog/site. There are reasons why this works.

First of all it’s important to understand that Google and the other search engines favor articles which offer readers a variety of sources, points of view, and other related supplementary information (all links) inside your blog articles. This is one of the SEO secrets that is part of the formula I use to write and publish articles that Google loves and ranks. You MUST include several links to related articles and/or websites in your articles if you want to give them a fighting chance to rank well in the search engines.

What’s great about creating some of these internal links in your blog, is that for one you give your site a bit of “stickiness” and a better bounce rate. That means that people reading article 1 will be more likely to stay longer and read other articles on your site because you have linked to them. People who stay longer on your site, have more exposure to your message, and are more likely to invest in you.

Now it use to be, a while back, that if you wanted to link to other posts and pages on your WordPress blog that you probably opened another page in your web browser and searched your site for the articles you wanted. Then you would copy and paste those links into the new article you were writing in the other browser window. Personally, I found that a tremendous pain, and it limited my use of internal linking (even though I knew better!).

Now due to one of the many WordPress updates, when you now use the visual editor to create a link, you have the option of entering the full url to the link you want or to search through your existing content and link to that. Here’s how you can do that:

1. As you are writing your article in the visual editor, you can create a link to another post or page on your blog by clicking on the link icon.

 

wordpress visual editor

2. After you click the link, a box will come up where you can either manually add your link or search your blog for an article post or page to link to.

wordpress internal links

3. Select your page or post, click “add link” and you’re finished! It’s very fast and easy to do – so there’s really no excuse to start building up your site’s rank by including related internal links to every post you write.

Questions or comments about internal linking? Leave ’em in the comment section.

Should You Write Article Titles For Readers or Google?

Should You Write Article Titles For Readers or Google?

In the SEO (search engine optimization) world, there has always been a discussion about whether site owners, bloggers, retail site owners, etc. should write content and titles that target their community of existing readers or if you should write articles and article titles that gets good ranking in Google? That debate is still ongoing, but as you make the decision for your own content, I want you to keep a few things in mind:

New Kid On The Block – Writing Article Titles For Google
If you are new to the online marketing world then chances are that you do not have a large existing community of followers of your content. There are always exceptions to this rule, but the average newbie does not and so it probably is not in your best interest to write content or at least titles for that content that is not keyword rich. Keyword rich titles are very attractive to search engines. They love ’em!  In other words, I’m suggesting you write article titles for Google.

What this means for you is that when people search for information that includes the keywords that you are targeting in your title, your content will show up in a search engine search. This is very important to the new marketer because you want to begin to gain traction in the search engines. You want Google’s search engine spiders to start crawling your site and then showing your pages in relevant searches. This is how you will begin to obtain organic, natural, traffic to your site.

Social Butterfly – Writing Article Titles For Readers
If you have been on the web for a while and have built a following of devoted fans, perhaps to your site (they leave a lot of comments) or your Facebook fan page, Twitter page, etc., then you have a decision to make. If the word spreads about you socially on the web (someone refers your articles, forwards your articles, tweets your latest article) then you may want to write article titles that appeal especially to those readers. And often titles that appeal to readers are not especially keyword rich. This varies among niches, some markets having to be a lot more “clever” with their content in order to stand out among the clutter – but I would say that most times these titles are clever or cute.

Now the flip side to this theory is that Google will show Tweets in real-time that are keyword specific. For example, if a new Dancing With The Stars is showing and you tweet the title of the show while it is showing on live TV, Google will show you relevant tweets about the show very high on the page (above the fold). The only tweets that show though are the ones that contain the keywords. This makes a case for using keywords socially on the web as well.

Same goes for Facebook fan pages. When you are able to name your Facebook Fan Page with a customized url – using keyword terms is a good idea. I used one of my phrases for my Facebook fan page, and it ranks #3 for that term. Of course pages on my site, rank for that same term in the #1 and #2 position and this is out of over 9 million results for that term!

article marketing income

So the bottom line here is that you can do a little of both if you are building your business socially via a lot of conversation. Write what appeals to your readers first and sprinkle keyword terms in here and there when you can.

Article Marketing All-Star – Writing Article Titles For Google
If you use article marketing as part of your marketing strategy, then here’s my recommendation for you. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of articles in your niche talking about similar to identical topics. The only way to truly cut through that clutter is to write really good information (no junk) and to write relevant article titles. Ones that people will actually type when conducting a Google search. Those are the two most important factors for getting read among the sea of competitors you have out there.

Guest Post Guys and Gals – Writing Article Titles For Google
When I write a guest post for another blogger, one of the things that they ALL have asked me for was seo information. They wanted a good article title, keywords for tags, and a kick-butt summary. This is because they want their articles to be found and indexed HIGH in the search engines; and you want this too! While you also want to reach that blogger’s existing readership, you also want to always look for opportunities to attract new readers and writing a keyword rich title for your guest posts is a great way to accomplish this.

* Hot Writing Tip For Writing Balanced Article Titles
Honestly, as you practice writing more and more – you will find a balance between writing clever titles and keyword rich titles. Many of the great writers and bloggers on the web have figured this whole strategy out. It’s the best of both words. One of the short cuts you can try is to include both sides in a two-part article title.

Part 1 – will have your keyword phrase. No longer than 4 words. Very specific. Example: Raw Dog Food Diet

Part 2 – will appeal to your readers interests. Example: Is Raw Really Right For Fido?

Complete title will read: Raw Dog Food Diet: Is Raw Really Right For Fido?

The first few words of the title will appeal to the search engines and hopefully rank pretty well for that keyword term. The second part is what will help draw readers into reading the rest of your article. Both together are a content marketer’s perfect marriage.

Have any tips or thoughts about writing for readers vs. search engines? What do you do in your own business? Leave your comments or questions in the comment section below.