Complete Guide to Developing a Mobile Strategy

mobile strategy - credit:www.flickr.com/photos/williamhook/Do you have a mobile strategy?

Your mobile strategy can no longer be an after-thought.  Smartphone sales continue to grow rapidly.  There were over 300 million smartphones shipped in the second quarter of 2014, up 25% from the second quarter of 2013.  With the release of iPhone 6, there is now an even more aggressive marketing push by all of the major carriers to up the ante in terms of pricing and data – all likely to increase mobile usage. [Read more…]

Website Competitive Analysis: Top Free Tools to Analyze Your Competition

Website Competitive Analysis - credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cpstorm/Every time I analyze my competition, I uncover great opportunities…and so can you!

There are many compelling reasons to analyze your competition.  When I was still working in corporate jobs, we would do competitive analysis as part of our strategic planning process.  One key component of this planning process was a “SWOT” analysis.  SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  When you perform a SWOT analysis you are identifying key strategic factors that can help or hurt the success of your business.  In order to correctly perform a SWOT analysis, you must look at the market and your competition. From a blogging perspective, there are many benefits of taking a closer look at your competition.  These include:

  • Traffic – understanding where they get their traffic from.
  • Monetization – what their revenue sources are.
  • SEO – search engine rankings and linkbuilding activities.
  • Marketing approaches – branding, positioning, email subscriptions and more.
  • Differentiation opportunities – how your website can provide a unique experience.

[Read more…]

How Much Do Bloggers Make

How Much Do Bloggers Make - creditwww.flickr.com/photos/pagedooleyHave you ever wondered how much money bloggers really make?

You are not alone.  I wondered the same thing when I started on my online journey back in 2008.  When I tried figuring this out back then, I was totally overwhelmed.  There was so much misinformation that I couldn’t get a straight answer.  Unfortunately, the problem still exists in 2014.

I decided to tackle answering the question “How much do bloggers make” by compiling all of the available information I could find and analyzing it.  To do this, I scoured the web for bloggers who self-reported their earnings.  I looked for any available surveys that analyzed blog income.  I hunted down research that attempted to shed light on blogger’s income.  This article, which I intend to regularly update, is the result of that effort. [Read more…]

Safe Link Building Strategies and 9 to Avoid

Link Building Strategies- Credit:www.flickr.com/photos/dcjohn/ | CC BY 2.0Is link building safe in 2014? Is it still worth it? Should I be doing it?

There is much confusion over if “SEO is dead”, or what link building strategies are safe.  This 2014 link building strategies guide will present safe and effective link building techniques as well as link building tactics that you should stay away from.

Links have been an important part of the SEO landscape ever since Google began using them as a key ranking factor back in the late 1990s.  Originally, Google used links as “votes of confidence” in a page.  The more “votes” (links) a page received as well as who voted for (linked to) you determined your search engine ranking.  As SEO practitioners began aggressively building links (and trying to game the system), Google began to revise their algorithms.  Other ranking factors were introduced and “illegitimate” link building practices were punished.  Even so, the quality (and to a lesser extent quantity) of links in your link profile has a significant effect on your search rankings. [Read more…]

Expectations vs. Reality – Quitting my Job to Start an Online Business

expectations vs reality - credit:https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear | CC BY-SA 2.0I thought I knew what I was getting into.

I was running my online business on the side; it started off as a hobby.  As it became more successful, I became intrigued by the dream of leaving the corporate world and focusing on my online business fulltime.  I googled “should I quit my job to start my own business”.  I made a list of pros and cons.  I tried to set my expectations realistically – I didn’t want to make a mistake.

Now that I have been at it for a little over a year, I thought it made sense to look back at my decision and see if it was the right one.  Would I do it again?  Would I do it differently?  How is the reality different from what I expected… [Read more…]