Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.

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People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.

Customer reviews are the "social proof" that encourages people to join in on something. It's one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it's another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information. 

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If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.

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I know some business owners that have had great success on Pinterest. You’ll want to make sure you have good visuals to go with each blog post – infographics are great for this – and make sure you’re posting at least 10 unique pins for every blog. Most importantly, Pinterest is a community just like any other social media, so make sure you’re active regularly, connecting with others in your niche, and re-pinning others’ pins.

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Great article. My site has been up for several years now but I rebranded and switched from Blogger to WordPress about a year ago because I was told the reason why my traffic is so low is because I was using the wrong platform. I still haven’t seen an increase in my traffic and am very frustrated. I write in the health, fitness and parenting niche and I have over 30 experts that write for me, but I still don’t have the page views I would like. My paychecks are small and I am very frustrated. How do I find out what influencers in my niche are talking about and what they would like to share? I read tons of blogs, but most of them just review products or write about their kids, not a whole lot of similar articles. Where do I begin to find sharable content in my niche?

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If you haven’t used software like BuzzSumo to check out what your competitors are up to, you’re at a huge disadvantage. These services aggregate the social performance of specific sites and content to provide you with an at-a-glance view of what topics are resonating with readers and, most importantly, making the rounds on social media. Find out what people are reading (and talking about), and emulate that kind of content to bring traffic to your website.

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Do you have an older list that you suspect has mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in -- promising to remove all contacts who don't respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database. 

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The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Include social sharing buttons and an "Email to a Friend" button in your marketing emails. That way, you'll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a "Subscribe" CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.

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If you haven’t yet started building an email list (but know you need to), this article is for you. You may have heard that a strong email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have, but when you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is partly because many business owners have a hard time envisioning the long-term payoff for the hard work they need to do now. 

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There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.

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Thanks for sharing these great tips last August! I’ve recently adopted them and I have a question (that’s kind of connected to the last post): how important would promoting content be when using this strategy? For example, through Google Adwords. As I guess that would depend on the circumstances, but I am trying to discover if there’s a ‘formula’ here. Thanks in advance!

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This area is like a win-win-win. First, putting together enough information to make an in-depth, valuable, and interesting book will mean that you’re streamlining a LOT of useful information. Then, you can distribute it by promoting it to your followers, giving it as an incentive to people who sign up on your website, or by selling it. All of these options are ways to drive engaged traffic, and if you choose to employ one of the best CRMs for small business and get serious about selling your eBook, you even get some passive income!

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In fact, you should be spending a lot of time figuring out what the best way is to promote your content—I try to live by the 80/20 rule. I spend 80% of my time distributing my content, or figuring out the best way to promote it, and only 20% on the actual writing. Obviously, the quality of the writing is important, but it doesn’t matter how good it is if you aren’t spending the time to get it out there.

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It may seem a bit overwhelming to think about teaching a course, but boil it down to one simple question: what does your audience want to know? Tackle it from the same angle as any of your articles, comments, or blog content by providing useful and in-depth content that your audience wants. What problems are your audience having? Teach them how to solve them, and as a result of launching an online course, you'll likely begin to field offers and requests for other types of work from home services like coaching, consulting and advising as your audience & authority grow. Plus, this can be a phenomenal way to make money blogging in a much more passive capacity.

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Brian, I recently found your blog by following OKDork.com. Just want to say you’re really amazing with the content you put out here. It’s so helpful, especially for someone like me who is just starting out. I’m currently writing posts for a blog I plan to launch later this year. I think my niche is a little too broad and I have to figure out how to narrow it down. I essentially want to write about my current journey of overcoming my fears to start accomplishing the dreams i have for blogging, business, and travel. In doing so, I will share the best tips, tools, and tactics I can find, as well as what worked, what didn’t and why.

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Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.

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If you’ve been on LinkedIn recently, you’ll know that native video is killing it. However, long-form text posts with a clever hook do really well too. LinkedIn can be a great place to connect with others and engage on content that interests you, while posting about interesting a creative content that you think your network will be interested in. You have to make sure your posts are link-free – but you can leave a link to your content in the first comment.

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This one is not really possible right off the bat – you’ll need to have a decent amount of traffic first if you want to get paid by someone to put their brand or site in front of your readers. However, you should always be on the lookout for other bloggers or brands that you want to collaborate with, and brainstorm on how you can add value to their business first. You can start building a community of people that others will want to be a part of.

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You ever hear that phrase, “It’s easier sell gold than it is to sell shit”? No website starts out as minted gold right off the bat, so make sure you’re not trying to peddle, well…you know. In the beginning, a lot of websites try to create useful content on their blog for their audience but end up churning out all the same 500-1,000-word articles offering the 10 quick steps to achieving xyz. Not only is there no shortage of that content, but recent blogging statistics show it’s the last thing that’s going to make you stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression.

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Brian, I recently found your blog by following OKDork.com. Just want to say you’re really amazing with the content you put out here. It’s so helpful, especially for someone like me who is just starting out. I’m currently writing posts for a blog I plan to launch later this year. I think my niche is a little too broad and I have to figure out how to narrow it down. I essentially want to write about my current journey of overcoming my fears to start accomplishing the dreams i have for blogging, business, and travel. In doing so, I will share the best tips, tools, and tactics I can find, as well as what worked, what didn’t and why.


I read all the words in your post. To believe me I read “generated generated” words two times at step 3. Okay lets come to point. I believe that I’m producing the right content and that too related to niches. When I started my blog, I’ve already made a list of influential bloggers started following them. I produce the hot/trending content in market and I share every post of all them, but in return I receive a 5% of output towards it. I get interact with each others and don’t know why new comers like me getting struggle for a reply from influencers ? … In most cases is same. Is that they are consider about their followers ? / they have enough/more sales or business?.

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I agree 100% with quality content. If the quality is outstanding, the back links just pour in. Must also add that I am not exceptional when it comes to English, as it is not my first language. Best investment I ever made was to hire a proof reader to check a post before I publish it. I also use a good quality grammar tool. Grammar and spelling issues is an absolute “website killer”. Great post, keep up the good work!

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If you utilize various services and apps for checkout, you are often allowed to add an opt-in checkbox at final checkout. Often times, you have already requested the customer’s email address in order to send them a receipt, but it is important that you also ask them to opt-in rather than just assume that you have the green light to send them email.

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incredible post and just what i needed! i’m actually kinda new to blogging (my first year coming around) and so far my expertise has been in copy writing/seo copy writing. however link building has become tedious for me. your talk about influencing influencers makes perfect sense, but i find it difficult for my niche. my blog site is made as “gift ideas” and holiday shoppers complete with social networks. i get shares and such from my target audience, but i find that my “influencers” (i.e etsy, red box, vat19, etc.) don’t allow dofollow links and usually can’t find suitable sources. I guess my trouble is just prospecting in general.
Great article. My site has been up for several years now but I rebranded and switched from Blogger to WordPress about a year ago because I was told the reason why my traffic is so low is because I was using the wrong platform. I still haven’t seen an increase in my traffic and am very frustrated. I write in the health, fitness and parenting niche and I have over 30 experts that write for me, but I still don’t have the page views I would like. My paychecks are small and I am very frustrated. How do I find out what influencers in my niche are talking about and what they would like to share? I read tons of blogs, but most of them just review products or write about their kids, not a whole lot of similar articles. Where do I begin to find sharable content in my niche?

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Because your site likely has a really low score, you’ll want to start targeting relevant keywords and phrases—but don’t go for the big ones like “business ideas” because you’ll have an incredibly hard time ranking for those top-level keyword phrases. Instead, aim for long-tail keyword phrases, like “monthly web hosting plans” and you'll have a better chance at ranking—fun fact: that’s a real example of a long-tail keyword I use for my blog.

Not sure exactly why, perhaps I used a number too big and since my page is about classifieds, it probably seemed too much to browse through 1500 ads, I assume? Somewhat like you would post 800 tips for better ranking? Don’t know, will try to change things a bit and see how it goes, but you really gave me some new suggestions to go for with this article. Thanks again 🙂

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I love your post. I keep coming back because you always have great content I can use in my business as well as share. Since I own my own Digital Marketing company I guess you would be one of THE influencers in Internet Marketing field. I just started my business and because most influencers on twitter are talking about Content Marketing, that is what I have been writing about. But my site is only about a month old so I will just stay consistent in my writing. I’m also in the process of changing my navigation bar so be know how to get to what they want faster. Which would be “what is SEO”, etc. Thanks and would love any advice you can give me.

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This is one of my favorite ways to connect with other entrepreneurs like myself, chat with them, and usually learn quite a bit – I feature them on my podcast, The Side Hustle Project. I started the podcast as a way to feature thought leaders in my industry and learn about what it took for them to succeed in their side hustle – and it’s the perfect opportunity for content outreach too. When the podcast airs, most of them will share it with their audience.

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Just like issuing a dare, offering a challenge motivates people to step up and do things they might not do otherwise; like pour a bucket of ice water over their head. The challenge can include some sort of giveaway or reward for showing up logging in or commenting on posts for a certain number of days or some other type of challenge, but should certainly require an email address to enter.

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