Matthew Woodward http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk Tried & Tested SEO Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:31:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Strategy We Used To Rank #1 for “Unhealthiest Foods"http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/unhealthiest-foods-ranking-case-study/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/unhealthiest-foods-ranking-case-study/#comments Thu, 04 Feb 2016 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40860

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How We Ranked #1 for “Unhealthiest Foods” for 1.5 Years was originally published on February 04th, 2016 07:00 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
Today you are going to learn the exact formula we used to rank #1 for the keyword “unhealthiest foods” and #4 in the same search.

They have been there for over a year and are stuck in the top 5.

This is a white hat method with some grey hat mixed at the beginning since we “built some links”.

What You Will Learn

  • How we ranked #1 for “unhealthiest foods” for years
  • How to blend white hat content marketing with grey hat SEO for huge results
  • The exact strategy we used

The Strategy

We were approached by an online content distributor who wanted help with SEO. My company, Grey Umbrella Marketing’s (now Visiture) process back in 2014 was to pick target keywords, create content and then rank for them.

We didn’t use any black hat strategy, but we did build links via relevant web 2.0 sites and we were very good at it.

This is how we did it step by step.

Step #1 – Keyword Selection

First we selected keyword phrases to go after. Here is what we chose-

KeywordSearch VolumeCPC
what happens when you quit smoking54005.27
health benefits of honey54001.57
how to increase libido29002.62
honey health benefits24000.21
how to communicate effectively24002.4
coffee nutrition facts19001.41
how to increase s** drive16003.05
natural s**13000.06
increase s** drive13001.83
should i shave my head10004.34
negative self talk8800.01
how to have good posture8800
shaving your head8802.35
college booty8800.04
how to increase libido in men8801.33
what happens when you stop smoking7205.43
foot massage techniques7200.11
how to increase your s** drive7201.69
what happens to your body when you quit smoking7205.81
how to increase your libido5901.42
how to have better posture5900
what happens after you quit smoking5903.26
different types of tea5903.68
benefits of smiling4800
how to declutter your house4801.73
how to prevent bronchitis4801.57
famous presidential speeches3900
how to boost libido3901
healthy frozen pizza3904.22
how to get good posture3900.74

Overall, 38,000 people a month searched for these phrases. If we could secure the top 1-3 positions, we would be able to achieve a lot of targeted keyword traffic.

We picked these phrases based on the relevance to the website and competition. The lesser the competition, the better the keyword to go after. I always recommend using Adwords keyword tool to do keyword research.

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So once we had this list of keywords, we needed to create an article that targeted each one.

Step #2 – Content Creation

We used Buzzsumo to do all of our content research for each keyword.

BuzzSumo makes it really easy to see what is popular and we entered each keyword into the tool and then picked an article to replicate or “make better.”

This is what it looked like-

Screeny

Once we knew roughly what we wanted to write for each one, a content team wrote the articles for us and published them on the site.

The content team did a great job with a significant amount of research in producing “bad-a**” pieces of content that really blew you away.

Here are all of the articles we created-

KeywordsArticle
what is personal developmenthttp://inspiyr.com/what-is-personal-development/
personal growth and developmenthttp:// inspiyr.com/5-steps-personal-growth-and-development/
a diet to lose weighthttp:// inspiyr.com/a-diet-to-lose-weight/
medication for sleephttp:// inspiyr.com/aids-medication-sleep-counter-natural-prescription/
what is a heart healthy diethttp:// inspiyr.com/what-is-a-heart-healthy-diet/
best workouts to gain musclehttp:// inspiyr.com/6-best-workouts-gain-muscle/
ways to lose weight in 2 weekshttp:// inspiyr.com/best-ways-to-lose-weight-in-2-weeks/
foods you should buy organichttp:// inspiyr.com/food-you-should-buy-organic/
healthy high protein breakfasthttp:// inspiyr.com/healthy-high-protein-breakfast/
healthy takeout optionshttp:// inspiyr.com/healthy-takeout-options/
health benefits of honeyhttp:// inspiyr.com/health-benefits-of-honey/
worlds healthiest foodshttp:// inspiyr.com/worlds-healthiest-foods/
healthiest food at mcdonaldshttp:// inspiyr.com/5-tips-ordering-healthiest-food-at-mcdonalds/
what happens when you quit smokinghttp:// inspiyr.com/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-quit-smoking/
unhealthiest foodshttp:// inspiyr.com/unhealthiest-foods/
coffee nutrition factshttp:// inspiyr.com/surprising-coffee-facts/
top ten healthiest foodshttp:// inspiyr.com/top-ten-healthiest-foods-lose-weight-easily/

We then went in and optimized them for their target keyword.

This was really pretty simple, we just made sure the article was fully optimised for the target keyword using the SEO by Yoast plugin.

Each of the articles was written with a great deal of research and depth. You cannot create subpar content. It has to be the best on the top three search results – this is very important.

A good rule of thumb is to write the content, then look at the content on the top three results. Is your content better? Is it more in-depth or more informative?

If not, keep making it better.

3

Once we had all of the articles optimised and published, it was time to do the real work!

Step #3 – Building Links

We built some web 2.0 property links to the individual blog posts first. Each one was basically a private blog network which had an article that we could link to each of the blog posts.

They were all created with relevant unique content and I suppose this is what would be considered a grey hat strategy.

Here is a sample link that is still alive:

5

We used a service called POSI rank back then to create the web 2.0 properties along with some guest posts. We had them pointed directly to the articles and sure enough we popped into the first page for lots of terms.

Important Note

Since we executed this strategy we have updated it. Instead of creating web 2.0 sites now we just create 10 relevant high quality unique articles and perform guest post outreach to other sites to get them published with a link back to your target blog post.

Just make sure that you do not use the same anchor text as the keyword you are trying to rank for!

You should only need a handful of them and then promote the links and the post on your social channels. You can also use other successful pieces of content on your site to interlink to that particular guide.

Once we hit the first page with our posts, over time natural white hat links started appearing

6

Because the page was now easy to find on the first page, the natural links just kept on coming!

7

Then a crazy thing happened.

It exploded on social media.

Screenshot_012216_120311_PM

We found that once someone had shared it, it got shared again and again until eventually a famous celebrity shared it and, sure enough, thousands shared it behind him.

Screenshot_012216_120500_PM

After this, it exploded to the 2nd positon in Google and after one and a half years, it remains #1 (and now has the Schema markup) and the #4 position as well.

10

Then over the next year, it continued to be shared and now has 70 white hat acquired backlinks.

This page brought hundreds of thousands of views and tons of social signals and also attracted 151 real comments.

Screenshot_012216_030843_PM

I hope you understand that you can use link building to get a white hat campaign started, but at the end of the day – the content has to keep you there.

If the engagement metrics for your content are poor then Google will drop you from the first page entirely!

Lessons Learned

  • Social media has a huge impact on rankings & Google will always keep quality content at the top of search results.
  • One good retweet or share can make a huge impact. Promoting to the right people can make the biggest difference.
  • Acquiring White hat backlinks is often a “the rich get richer” scenario because the people who already rank high attract lots new links naturally with no effort.
  • Spending time & money to create quality engaging content is worth every penny

Wrapping It Up

What I want you to take away from this article is that no matter how much research you do, you will never really know what is going to work until you try it.

Don’t be scared to come up with a small list of keywords and create the very best content on the web for each of them.

With a few backlinks and social signals you will be surprised at what sticks!

But don’t forget – links will get you to the first page but engagement with your content will keep you there.




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How We Ranked #1 for “Unhealthiest Foods” for 1.5 Years was originally published on February 04th, 2016 07:00 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – January 2016http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/monthly-income-growth-traffic-report-january-2016/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/monthly-income-growth-traffic-report-january-2016/#comments Mon, 01 Feb 2016 17:24:14 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=41095

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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – January 2016 was originally published on February 01st, 2016 11:24 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
This is the 40th income report as part of the zero backlink experiment.

Every month I will publish a post like this one that shows you how this blog is progressing and everything I have done across the month to get it there.

These reports will help me track my own progress while teaching you what to do and more importantly what not to do.

ATTENTION: Learn My Secrets With Instant Access To The Income Report Archive

What I Have Done In January

It’s been a slow start to the New Year as I have spent time looking back at the previous year and looking ahead to this year.

It’s interesting just how many things you forget have happened throughout the year and how many things you forgot to action or follow up on!

So this month was all about planning for the year ahead.

First Course Update Released

pbnspecAt the start of November I opened and closed enrollment for my premium private blog network specialist training program.

It has been a great success so far and it’s great to see students progressing and having their first successes.

However during that time and based on student feedback I identified a number of areas that could be improved, so this month I released the first update to the course.

I published 14 updates in total including 3 all new never seen before video tutorials which ensures students keep growing and stay on the cutting edge of things.

When Will Enrollment Be Open Again?

Now that the first batch of students have completed the program and I have just released an update, I am going to open enrollment this week again for 48 hours.

If you would like to be notified of when that happens, please sign up here.

That also means I will make the amazing free training videos available again for 48 hours if you missed them the first time around!

I’m A Savvy Business Woman

Make no mistake about it, I’m officially a savvy business woman!

Screenshot_020116_095916_AM

It’s not every day you get an email like that and naturally I jumped on the opportunity comedy aside =D

Annual Reader Survey Results

Last month I put a short survey together to find out more about you guys and what you want from the blog.

Thank you to everyone that took part, with nearly 500 people completing the survey I was completely overwhelmed.

It took a long time to go through all of the answers especially when 7 of the questions were open ended but it was totally worth it.

Untitled_Clipping_020116_100831_AM

Each and every response I received has been fundamental to my planning for this year and radically changed my views on various aspects of the blog.

Thank you again to everyone that took part, your responses will help me to improve on how I help you.

Content Creation

Last month I published a total of 4 posts which has remained steady this month.

I kicked the month off with these 30 Time Hacks Every Marketer Needs To Know.

Then we took a look at 6 Online Marketing Tasks That You Should NOT Be Doing
to help grow your business.

Other than those we just had the regular income report roundup post and best of internet marketing feature this month.

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my lack of attention to the blog has done to the important metrics.

Visitor Statistics

Traffic increased from 46,223 (1,491/day) last month to 49,696 (1,603/day) this month which is a welcomed increase!

analyticsoverview

Most Popular Content

It’s great to see one of the older articles focused on how to make money with Fiverr jump to the top spot this month!

That was followed closely by the time hacking for marketers post.

analyticscontent

Top Traffic Sources

Like last month Not much has changed really in terms of the top traffic sources this month except a bit of refer spam showing up which I have blocked with this free plugin.

analyticstrafficsources

Search Engine Traffic

Traffic from Google saw a small increase this month from 37,824 (1,220/day) compared to 34,652 (1,117/day) last month.

analyticskeywords

YouTube Views

I lost all of my historical YouTube views because of changes I made to the branding – so I keep track of them separately.

YouTube views also grew this month from 20,731 last month to a total of 23,053 this month.

That also saw total minutes watched for the month jump from 101,250 to 108,334!

youtubestats

Social Shares

This month the total social shares across Facebook and Google+ increased from 47,660 to 48,486.

  • Google+ – 17,828 (17,399 last month)
  • Facebook – 30,658 (30,261 last month)

Subscribers

The most important metric on the entire blog – earning a subscription from someone is the ultimate form of commitment and conversion.

This month brought 1,421 which is roughly inline with last months 1,490 new subscribers.

There are now a total of 129,301 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 919 (919 last month) / Total: 70,402
  • Twitter – 234 (205 last month) / Total: 10,942
  • YouTube – 249 (265 last month) / Total: 10,240
  • Facebook – 90 (218 last month) / Total: 19,536
  • Google+ – 14 (1 last month) / Total: 17,876
  • RSS – -57 (-118 last month) / Total: 305

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings

ATTENTION: Learn My Secrets With Instant Access To The Income Report Archive

Expenses

Consultation Earnings

I separate out the consultation earnings from the affiliate earnings. The blog drives affiliate sales directly and whilst it does generate consultation leads these are separate projects in their own right.

This month I took on one consultation project for a cost of $2,497.

Other Income

I’m working on another project right now that is part of the blog but not something I’m ready to talk about publicly yet or maybe ever.

I will declare the income here though as it wouldn’t be possible without the blog and ‘technically’ it is affiliate income.

This month that income has increased slightly from $9,395.17 last month to $10,534.96 this month.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $11,316.30
  • Consultation Income – $2,497.00
  • Other Income – $10,534.96
  • Expenses – $49.99

Grand Total: $24,298.27 / £16,919.03 ($31,286.01 / £21,225.97 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

Signing Off

Income took a relatively heavy hit this month as we entered the New Year although I am still very happy with current income levels.

Interestingly affiliate income took a near 50% hit this month across the board which leads me to believe that people are spending less as they recover from the festive season.

It could also be the fact that I’ve stepped a little while conducting my plan of attack for the year.

Either way, it’s a great start to the New Year and I’ll be growing right along with you!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me reach my goals – I couldn’t do it without you, the reader!




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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – January 2016 was originally published on February 01st, 2016 11:24 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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Income Report Roundup – January 2016http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/income-report-roundup-january-2016/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/income-report-roundup-january-2016/#comments Fri, 29 Jan 2016 12:45:14 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=41039

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Income Report Roundup - January 2016 was originally published on January 29th, 2016 06:45 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
One of the most popular posts I publish are my income reports.

So I decided to round up as many income reports as possible and rank them based on earnings to see how I stack up against the rest.

If you publish an income report on your blog and would like it included in next month’s post then please let me know in the comments!

Here we go-

#1) MakingSenseOfCents.com – $37,392.00 (+$8,323.00)

Michelle is celebrating her best month ever this month and December has seen her biggest month for affiliate income yet!

She’s happy to report that she’s still managing a great work life balance too and Pinterest traffic continues to grow as she uses her new tool for analytics and automation.

She’s also testing out another scheduling tool to measure the pros and cons of each. Going forward she plans to continue working on her confidence, accepting more interviews and writing her book.

#2) AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com – $31,525.81 (+$2,668.81)

Jon’s celebrating another best month for income so far for the second month in a row!

This month sees him sharing the process he believes has fuelled his businesses success while only working a couple of hours a night.

He also unveiled a new website design and reflects on this month’s bad planning and prioritising. To finish he covered his goals and achievements for 2015 as a whole.

#3) MatthewWoodward.co.uk – $31,286.01 (+$3,733.25)

In December I tried my hardest to do as little as possible, and weirdly that resulted in an increase in earnings!

After what’s been a crazy couple of months solid work, I’ve had some time to think about what direction to take the blog in the next year.

Apart from that it’s been nice to just slow down and enjoy life, but that does mean that I have lots to catch up on in the coming weeks!

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

#4) JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com – $17,427.00 (-$3,582.00)

In December Abby and Donnie celebrated their 9 year anniversary along with christmas, new year and their son’s birthday while working on the business and travelling.

They mainly tried to stay afloat as they had a whirlwind of a month and Abby spent the end of the month preparing for the re-launch of her product ‘Simplify’.

In the meantime Donnie began strategizing, planning and writing 20,000+ words for a top secret project that they’ll be revealing next month!

#5) Untemplater.com – $13,361.00 (+$1,049.00)

untemplaterSydney is celebrating her best month for earnings so far again for the second month in a row!

With the fun of the holidays over and the year drawing to a close she went over not only December’s goals but how she’s progressed in 2015 as a whole.

Going forward she’s now thinking about taxes and budgeting for 2016, she wants to save a lot and reach her goal of having a $1million net worth.

#6) DigitalNomadWannabe.com – $8,725.00 (+$1,926.00)

digitalnomadSharon is very excited about the future as she smashes her income record for the third month in a row this month, a great way to end her first 12 months as a digital nomad!

She’s happy to report that most of that income could also be considered as passive, as she’s down to a 10 hour working week.

Sharon has decided this will be her last income report for a while as she wants to keep things more private as she returns home and has started to earn more.

She speculates that she may share her earnings again in the future, but for now she isn’t sure of the direction she wants to take with the site.

#7) BrendanMace.com – $6,790.80 (+$1,766.15)

brendanmaceNew to the lineup this month is Brendan reporting a nice increase in income! While pleased with the increase he’s putting it down to higher Amazon earnings over the holiday period.

This months travel took him to Panama City in Panama and he’s been working on a YouTube comeback after losing a video that was generating a lot of traffic.

With that in full swing and one of his new videos set to become his best yet for traffic, he’s enjoying watching new applications for his coaching come flooding in.

#8) MissBiziBee.com – $3,421.37 (+$502.68)

bizziIn December Kaitlin and Travis set off to Punta Gorda to visit family and then brought in the New Year in Vegas!

This saw the first month where Kaitlin had to put her Etsy shop on hold for a vacation and she was nervous about what that might do for this month’s earnings.

With Etsy still the biggest source of income, she set up the shop so that if people did order she’d still have time to fulfill orders when she returned home.

Kaitlin plans to do the same again in January to fit in a trip to Thailand, as completely closing for vacation could make a huge dent in her numbers.

#9) TrueValhalla.com – $2,986.00 (-$501.00)

December was Matt’s most productive month this year and in the week leading up to Christmas he hosted his third annual cash giveaway.

The rest of the month was spent working on his games, with a total of 5 new ones published. He’s also been working on his major project Dragon Depths.

Reflecting on the year as a whole Matt is pleased to report he has officially crossed the quarter of a million dollars milestone! He also achieved his goal of working 6 hours a day instead of 10.

#10) MyPathToPassiveIncome.com – $1,276.53 (+$411.93)

mypathtopassiveincomeIt’s onwards and upwards for Esteban as he celebrates his best month so far for the sixth month in a row!

After celebrating passing the $100 mark last month, he was ecstatic to pass the $1000 milestone in December.

Traffic and productivity wise he says he expected things to be worse over the holiday season, as he worked half as hard as normal and focused much less on social media engagement among other things.

Despite seeing less traffic as a result of this he speculates that it was better quality traffic. Going forward he’ll be trying to scale things further and hopes to get started creating an eBook.

#11) OneHourProfessor.com – $904.88 (+$495.35)

ohpReporting a nice increase in income to finish the year on, Ron says he didn’t get as much done as he would have liked this month due to the holiday season.

He finished his new authority site in December but is having problems with only 3 out of the 155 pages showing up in Google. Completely stumped he’s considering calling a rep to find out what’s going on.

His goals going forward are to continue work on his consulting website, to get it completed, get new consulting clients and continue to lower expenses.

#12) IncomeMesh.com – $845.40 (+$378.85)

incomemeshDespite publishing only one article in December, Drazen is happy to report an increase in income!

This month saw him take a break from Income Mesh while he got some client work done and took some time off to enjoy the holidays.

He recently started working on two more Amazon niche sites and plans to create an e-commerce one for digital products, he’s also decided to release a product on JVzoo just for fun.

Hopefully that won’t be too much to be focusing on all at once!

#13) LivingOffCloud.com – $542.07 (+$2,511.97)

livingoffcloudLast month’s newcomer Nadya has had a busy month improving the websites she acquired, continuing work on her PBNs and backing up businesses on KickFurther.

In December she launched 6 Adsense experiments, began trialling Amazon links and for content creation she hired a native English writer.

She’s so far finished two blogs and registered 4 new domains in the process of building PBNs for her sites, and has hired a dedicated writer for PBN articles.

She also started building backlinks through commenting on authority blogs with do-follow links and hopes that going forward all of her months will end in a positive profit.

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

In Summary

This month we have another newcomer to the lineup and two have dropped out.

The total income of all bloggers featured has taken a dip of $28,555.65 down to $156,483.87.

That’s largely due to the fact that our usual holder of the top spot didn’t publish an income report for December and another site officially discontinued their reports this month.

Amazingly though, two of our sites featured are posting their best month’s earnings for the third month in a row, and only two sites reported a drop in income!

That’s despite the fact that most people reported working a lot less this month, whether that was on purpose or just due to the distractions of the holiday season.

As 2015 came to a close January has seen everyone looking back on their year’s achievements as a whole and setting new goals for the year ahead.

If you feel inspired to start your own blog then why don’t you start a blog now? It only takes a few minutes!

Performance Tracking

I only include the earnings history of the top 10 blogs each month to make the graphs easy to read.

I’m having a problem with the graph right now and will update the post when fixed




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Income Report Roundup - January 2016 was originally published on January 29th, 2016 06:45 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/the-very-best-of-internet-marketing-january-2016/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/the-very-best-of-internet-marketing-january-2016/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:38:36 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=41034

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The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016 was originally published on January 25th, 2016 08:38 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
This is the 32nd post in the series which shares all of my favorite internet marketing posts from the past month.

There is an awful lot of junk to sort through every month so here are the best bits according to me!

The Best Posts Of January 2016

It looks like everyone is refreshed and energized after the New Year as there has being some awesome content published this month!

Honestly, don’t read the rest of this post unless you have at least an hour to procrastinate learn awesome stuff.

SEO & Link Building

Google have been busy by releasing not one, but two new algorithm updates so far this month that have seen fairly decent shifts.

As usual we need to wait for the dust to settle until any credible observations can be made at the moment! In the mean time you should read the official search quality rater guidelines to get a feel for what Google is trying to achieve with machine learning.

Although Brian Dean’s latest study tell it’s own story of what you should be doing to rank!

If you want some quick wins you could upgrade your image optimization, speed up your site with one line of code or take advantage of this new HTTPS information.

Social Media

While you are taking care of SEO for your site, you might as well make improvements to your YouTube SEO efforts at the same time!

Don’t forget to enable these 2 unknown YouTube features to make sure you are getting the biggest bang for your buck.

If you want to harvest more traffic from Facebook then you might want to start a popular group or build yourself an evergreen ad campaign that keeps on paying.

You can also take advantage of LinkedIn Pulse for thousands of visitors like these guys do using a strategy like this.

Blogging / Traffic Generation / Analytics

If you are struggling to come up with content ideas, here is a great tip to unlock hundreds of them instantly!

Don’t forget to weave one of these story templates into your writing to keep people captivated from start to finish.

Once your content is working for you, you might want to consider integrating a solid drip marketing campaign to help automate growth and grabbing peoples attention by ditching the sidebar .

Last, but not least…

If you want to quit your day job, then set aside one hour per day to work for yourself.

Although if you really want to quit your job, you can squeeze in a lot more than that!




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The Very Best Of Internet Marketing January 2016 was originally published on January 25th, 2016 08:38 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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How To Grow Your Business By Outsourcing These 6 Taskshttp://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/grow-business-outsourcing/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/grow-business-outsourcing/#comments Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:55:43 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40680

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6 Online Marketing Tasks That You Should NOT Be Doing - A Step By Step Guide To Outsourcing Effectively was originally published on January 19th, 2016 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
You know that feeling when you a make a big (ish) sale online?

(If you haven’t yet, here is an AWESOME post on how to make your first one)

Magical right?

Here is a screenshot of a recent one of mine:

proof

A grand total of $1,097.00 (don’t ask about my pricing strategy ;)) for a Play Store App Promotion service, hardly a life changing event but significant none the less.

And can you guess what made it that much sweeter?

I personally put zero time into the marketing and delivery of this sale (directly).

But how? (I hear you cry!)

By effectively building a team of awesome virtual team members.

I like to call it Efficient Outsourcing.

And in fact, in the 18 months or so that I have owned this business a week rarely goes by when I invest more than 2 hours into it’s operation.

And yet it still churns out an average of $1k net profit per month (that is after I have paid the wage of the virtual team member running the business).

Last week we looked at a selection of time hacks for marketers but in this blog post, I will explain exactly how we have outsourced our online businesses and most importantly…

How you can too.

What You Will Learn

  • The tasks that you should not be doing if you want to grow your business
  • The formula for outsourcing any task in your business effectively
  • A step by step guide to outsource any tasks (including templates)

Have you read the E-Myth by Michael Gerber?

emyth

If you haven’t, go pick it up from Amazon here and cancel your plans to go bowling tonight.

It is simply a MUST read for any entrepreneur.

However, if you don’t like reading here is my 30-second summary:

You can group every task you complete within your business into one of three categories:

  1. Technician – Writing sales copy, handling customer queries…
  2. Manager – Recruiting, reviewing performance of team…
  3. Entrepreneur – Defining strategy, researching new marketing channels…

Michael basically says that in order to be successful in a small business you must shift more of your time from the Technician to Manager to Entrepreneur categories.

And it is from the Entrepreneurial position that you are able to create a system that will operate without your direct input.

And now, your next non-mandatory piece of homework for this assignment 😉

cashflow

But again, I am feeling kind so will share what I believe to be the most important concept from the book:

  • Employees – Work In A System
  • Self Employed/Contractors – Are Systems
  • Entrepreneurs – Build Systems
  • Investors – Invest Money In Systems

Pretty simple right?

So I would urge you to close your eyes RIGHT now and be honest with yourself:

Which category do you currently spend most your time in?

Because this post Is all about building your ability to become more of an Entrepreneur, to build a system that generates value for your customers AND captures value for yourself and your shareholders WITHOUT your direct involvement.

This releases your time to do whatever you wish:

To sit around eating pizza all day, to go hiking or to start another business…

The Efficient Outsourcing Formula

After spending five years in outsourcing: three in the corporate world and two in the online marketing world, I have developed the following simple, four step formula to effectively outsource any task or process.

Step #1 – Identify Tasks To Be Outsourced

Spend 1 hour thinking about your business and where within it, you spend you time.

Then simply download this free tool that we use in our online businesses to identify which tasks and processes within your business are outsource friendly.

taskoutsourcingtool

You will need to enter each task you operate in your business in the “Tasks” column and then input a numerical value between 1 and 10 into the next 5 columns.

The tool will then provide an opinion as to whether this is a task that should/shouldn’t be outsourced in your business.

Did you know that Matthew himself spends 3 hours logging into over 200 affiliate accounts every month manually to get the numbers for his income reports?

That is a perfect example of working in the system rather than building it and is a task that he should be outsourcing – bad Matthew!

Step #2 – Perform The Tasks To Be Outsourced

This is the crucial step that most people miss.

Once you are aware of the tasks that should be outsourced within your business it is vitally important to have a good idea of how the task or process is performed yourself.

This enables you to both optimise the process and to understand how much time needs to be invest to achieve the desired end result.

Step #3 – Create Working Procedures

And for my third and final book recommendation: Work The System by Sam Carpenter.

It’s an awesome story about how Sam turned his small business around from chaos to a well-oiled machine through the use of documentation.

workthesystem

Each process you outsource must have an associated Working Procedure – a document detailing exactly how the process is performed in either written, image or video format.

Here is the Working Procedure template we use in our business:

working procedure

And here is an example of a completed working procedure for the creation and posting of social media content for one of our online business.

For bonus points, you can use Screenflow to create videos of you/your team members completing the process.

Step #4 – Train Your Team

If you are the person that has created the Working Procedure for each process in your business then it is your responsibility to train the person who will be taking the responsibility in the future.

To do this, we perform both:

  • Forward Job Shadowing – You operate the process whilst your team member observes
  • Reverse Job Shadowing – Your team member operates the process whilst you observe

It is only when all four of these stages are complete that you can step back and allow the process to operate independently of yourself.

One of the biggest mistakes with outsourcing is a lack of training and the expectation that everyone knows precisely how you want things done.

The better the training you provide, the less time you will have to spend managing people.

6 Online Marketing Tasks That You Should NOT Be Doing Yourself

So now you aware of why you should be outsourcing AND also the step by step process to outsource any task efficiently, let’s get into the 6 specific online marketing tasks that you should NOT be doing:

#1 Managing Your Social Media & Content Strategy

Every online business needs a social media and content strategy, as let’s face it, content is the language of the internet and your social media accounts are the megaphones (if used effectively).

Furthermore, a content strategy cannot be effective without a well thought out social media strategy (and vice versa).

So, to build an audience of die-hard fans that love (and share) your content you need to consistently invest time in a number of tasks consistently day in day out.

  • Managing content production
  • Scheduling content
  • Keyword research
  • Researching content pieces
  • Ensuring social content is native to each network
  • Creating a posting schedule
  • Reaching out and interacting with your audience
  • Ensuring leverage of niche relevant hashtags

Time, which for you…

Could be better spent elsewhere.

This is your first opportunity to engage the four-step formula for outsourcing outlined above…

And to help you on your way-

Want to learn more about our content and social strategies? I send out my best actionable and bootstrapped marketing tip each Wednesday and you can jump in here.

#2 Keyword Research

There are parts of the keyword research process that SHOULD NOT be outsourced and those that definitely can. For example, you must define the high level strategy, though the time spent to gather data in the category you target, is a great candidate for Efficient Outsourcing.

It is also crucial to track ranking for your targeted keywords over time to enable you to measure the results of your SEO efforts. This is the template we use, feel free to make a copy and then download.

keyword tracker

#3 Filtering Emails & Managing Your Calendar

Waking up to a pre-organised and filtered inbox and calendar is a wondrous feeling.

It leaves clarity of mind, which you can use to direct straight into your most important tasks that morning.

However, in order to set this up with your virtual team member you need identify strict guidelines:

  • Folder structure and guidelines
  • Structuring calendar invites
  • Time availability
  • Emails to unsubscribe to
  • Emails to reply to

For the following tasks:

  • Replying to/unsubscribing from and categorising emails
  • Collating content for your consumption
  • Monitoring Google Alerts for specific keywords
  • Scheduling and setting up appointments
  • To do list creation

Finally, it is important to note that outsourcing email and calendar management is definitely a learning process and the greatest time rewards will be experienced after a number of months working with your virtual team member.

#4 Managing Your Email Lists

Growing your list is a crucial task for every online marketer, and guess what?

These time sucking activities do NOT classify as “List Growth” tasks:

  • List hygiene
  • List segmentation
  • Subject line analysis
  • Scheduling auto responders
  • Simple replies to customer requests

No, these tasks come under the category of “Email List Management”, and fortunately, these tasks are ideal outsourcing material.

Thus as your list grows, you are able to continue to focus on the high leverage “List Growth” tasks, enabling further growth.

#5 Customer Service

As social media amplifies the effect of word of mouth marketing, it is of paramount importance that your customer experience is flawless.

Now, you may feel that as business owner you are able to provide the best customer support…

And you are probably correct.

However, is that the best use of your time?

Would your customers prefer that you spend 4 hours per day addressing menial support tickets or developing that value new product they have been waiting eagerly for?

Ok, so as ever, let’s follow the four step formula for Efficient Outsourcing, perform the “Customer Service Representative” role for a couple of days, create the Working Procedure and then hand over to you enthusiastic virtual team member.

#6 Recruiting & Managing Virtual Team Members

It is likely that after you have effectively outsourced the above 5 tasks that you have been able spend significantly more time working “on” your business as opposed to “in” your business, which unsurprisingly leads to growth.

So what next?

You need to grow your team.

We personally like to follow the old adage: “Hire Slow, Fire Fast”.

As “getting the right people on the bus” is of paramount importance to the success of any business.

Thus, it is best that you as the business owner, has the final say on each hire you bring into your business, though that does NOT mean you have to perform the following tasks that consist of a robust recruitment process:

  • Advertising vacancies
  • Screening candidate CV’s
  • Initial interviews
  • Designing and distributing test tasks
  • Candidate communication

BONUS – Social Media Buzz

Ok, here is a sneaky little bonus…

Over the past 2 years of failing miserably with social media, I have finally found the secret.

Not that it is a really secret, in fact, it is blazingly obvious, it’s just that I was too selfish to realise.

For me, the key to being effective on social media is by reaching out and making an effort to develop relationships first, not waiting, selfishly posting your own links for people to come to you.

And if you do this consistently over time, you will build real, genuine connections with people and will ultimately gain a following.

So how do you do this?

By taking small steps each day to reach out and appreciate other people’s content.

e.g.

  • Liking, commenting and sharing on Facebook
  • Favouriting, retweeting and replying on Twitter
  • Liking, commenting and following on Instagram
  • Liking, commenting and sharing on LinkedIn

And you can probably guess what I am going to say next…

Yes, some of these tasks do not need to be completed by you (I do NOT advise completely outsourcing your social media presence).

You can instruct your virtual team member to complete a number of actions each day on each social media platform and over time, you will be amazed at the increased engagement you have with your own posts.

WARNING – I would be hesitant with to outsource commenting on any social media network until you are completely confident of your virtual team member’s judgement and tone of voice.

Wrapping It Up

Ok, so we have been through:

  • The tasks that you should not be doing if you are looking to grow your business
  • The formula for outsourcing any task in your business effectively
  • A Step by step guide to outsource each tasks (including relevant templates)

Awesome right?

You simply cannot beat the feeling of getting your first “zero direct time” invested sale!

Because trust me when I say that the initial time invested into efficient outsourcing will definitely be worth it.

However, if you do not wish to wish to spend your valuable time on recruitment, you could pop over to Virtual Valley and hire an awesome Virtual Team Member in 5 minutes and 7 clicks (yes we timed this 😉 as we have spent months built a fully curated database.

Feel free to link to your online business below, I will take a look and will outline what I believe to be the highest leverage tasks to outsource to start building your business system and regaining your time TODAY.




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30 Time Hacks Every Marketer Needs To Knowhttp://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/time-hacking-for-marketers/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tips/time-hacking-for-marketers/#comments Mon, 11 Jan 2016 12:55:08 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40655

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30 Time Hacks Every Marketer Needs To Know was originally published on January 11th, 2016 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
How often have you been in this situation?

You wake up.

You grab a coffee.

You go to look at your to do list.

You realise that 24 hours in a day just isn’t enough. Heck, seven days in a week just isn’t enough.

And you have no idea how you’re going to get all of this work done on time, without ruining the quality of it all.

If you’re like me, that sounds like any day that ends in a ‘y’.

Because the curse of being a marketer is that there is always something to be done. Whether it’s for a client, for yourself or, you know…trying to have a life outside of it all.

And, about six months ago, I got sick and tired of feeling this way.

I found myself at the end of a working week, looking at my slice of Pizza, realising that I hadn’t left the house in six days.

So I started researching productivity and looking at how I could maximise my time without ever losing quality.

And, as of the time of writing this, I cut my working week down to as little as 16 hours a week, without losing a single penny of income.

But, that’s a story for another time. Instead, in this list, I’m going to show you 30 easy to implement ways to help you have more time, get more done and make more money.

And if that sounds like something you want (I’m pretty sure it is), read on…

What You Will Learn

  • Life Hacks: Easy to implement in your everyday life and proven to work
  • Science Hacks: Scientifically proven methods to be more productive
  • Free Tools: Simple to use free tools that almost create more time from thin air
  • Paid tools: In case you want to make an investment in your free time
  • Pro tips: How people from Richard Branson to our very own Matthew Woodward create time

The Science Of Having More Time

Okay, before we hit the list, I want to debunk a myth for you:

There is no such thing as multitasking.

Research has shown time, and time, and time again that humans can’t multitask. It’s just not something you can physically do.

Which means that the key to getting more done isn’t to fit more tasks into the hours that you work. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s to increase the quality of the work in your hours.

Scientific research into elite level violinists discovered something interesting.

They found that the most elite violinists – the ones with the best technical and performance skills – didn’t spend more time practicing their skills.

In fact, some of them spent less time practicing than others.

Instead they were more deliberate with how they practiced.

They didn’t try and acquire two or three new skills at once. They chose one objective, saw it through to completion and then moved on to the next task, or ended their session.

The results?

  • Less overwhelm
  • Less burnout
  • Less stress
  • Better end product

And if you look at how you manage your time right now, that’s probably the exact opposite of what you’re doing. You’re trying to do everything at all once.

So stop.

time-is-free

If you take one thing from this article, let it be this:

Take a breath. Look at your to do list. Choose one task. Finish it. Wash, rinse and repeat.

Once you know that you can start using this list to maximise the time you do have. To eek those extra drops out of it, and turn minutes into hours.

8 Easy To Implement Life Hacks That Create More Time Instantly

Simple. Easy. And, super effective. These don’t require any preparation or messing about. They just deliver epic productivity over and over again.

#1 – The 2 Minute Rule

David Allen’s 2-Minute Rule is easy to follow.

First, you need to break down your task into its smallest, easiest to complete component, like:

  • Writing a sentence
  • Taking a screenshot
  • Bullet pointing your next article
  • Creating a Tweet
  • Replying to one comment on your blog

The idea being that this task should take you no more than 2 minutes to complete.

Next, and this is the really crazy bit about it all…

You need to do it.

Yep. I know.

And, seeing as you’ve started, there’s no point in stopping, right?

This is the perfect system to implement if you’ve wasted the last 30 minutes procrastinating about what to do.

shareasimage (2)

#2 – Eat The Frog

This is a really common time hack, but it’s often overlooked because, well…it involves doing something you don’t like.

But if you’re serious about getting more done every day, then this is a method you need to take seriously. Plus, Brian Tracy will rarely ever steer you wrong.

It works like this:

  • Take the task you least want to do
  • Put it first on your to-do list
  • Get it out of the way at the start of the day
  • The rest of the day becomes a whole lot easier

If you leave your dreaded task until last, you’re going to spend the rest of your day worrying about it. It’ll slow you work rate down. And you’ll create hundreds of excuses why you can’t do it.

This is the precise strategy that Matthew used recently to grind out a project, each day doing the most dreaded task first – everyday, for 2 months straight.

So just get it done and you’ll breeze through that other work in half the time.

#3 – Become A Perfect Email Checker

It’s no secret:

You’re addicted to your inbox.

It’s okay, so is the rest of the modern world. On average you could spend up to 13 hours a week checking your email.

Which is a lot of wasted time. Time that could spent actually, you know…working.

Not only does this make you less productive, it also creates a lot of stress for you too. But there is an answer for you…

The brains at the University of British Columbia found that the ideal amount to check your email inbox is three times a day.

This tip alone could save you eight or nine hours a week. You can thank me later.

#4 – Learn A Lazy Cheat Code

For every task you need to tackle, there is always a lazy way to do it and this is one of Matthews favorite time hacks.

Now being lazy doesn’t mean that you’re going to cut corners or do a sloppy job. What it means is this:

You’re going to find the fastest way to complete a task for the least amount of effort.

This can be completely unique to you, or it can be one that lots of people use. If you get creative here though, you can find yourself looking for cheat codes in everything and shaving hours off your work week.

Here are a few examples I use for my writing business to give you an idea:

  • A pre-made article structure: If I really don’t know what to write for an article, I use this to just work through the points from A-Z until it’s completed. Then go back and edit.
  • Tweet templates: I have five stock tweets I reword for different topics when I get really busy.
  • Ctrl + F: If I’m researching, instead of reading an article all the way through, I’ll hit ctrl + f to bring up ‘find’, and just search for the relevant piece topics I need.

Whether it is something as simple as learning all of the keyboard based shortcuts for software you use the most or templating your work load where you can – spending a bit of time planning now can save you a lot of time in the future.

#5 – Turn Off Your Phone

You check your phone about 110 times a day. And, if you’re on the really bad end of it, it can be up to every six seconds.

That’s a lot of wasted time looking at stuff that doesn’t really help you get your work done.

So, just turn the thing off, okay?

If you really can’t turn it off, there are a few apps in the upcoming sections that will help you out.

Matthew’s phone is in a permanent state of silence. It doesn’t ring or vibrate, any time of the day which makes for peaceful working and living all round.

#6 – Try A Flow State Activity

Flow is the point of total immersion in a task. Where you’re mentally closed off from the outside world and focused only on what you’re doing right in that moment.

You’ve probably felt it at work before, where you’ve blinked and realised your coffee has gone cold and you’ve just checked off the first four points on your to-do list.

Getting into this flow state is key for getting more work done. Because when you’re in it you work fast and you create quality. But how do you get into that state?

Well you need to find a task that:

  • Isn’t too hard to complete
  • But is challenging enough to make you work

For example, let’s say you’ve got to write a blog post.

Instead of sitting and staring at the introduction not knowing what to write, choose a section of the article that you know you can write and start there.

I started writing this post at The Science Of Having More Time because the study interested me. And, I know I had to think about what to write, but not hard enough to stop me writing.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 14.32.27

No matter what your task is, find the point you can start working at, and then attack the harder parts of the task when you’re in your flow.

shareasimage (3)

#7 – The 5 Sentence Email

Okay, so I’ve shown you that you need to check your email less. But, there is another really simple way to bring down the amount of time you spend around your inbox too.

Write less email.

Notice how I didn’t say send less email. I said write. Because you need emails to communicate. But what you don’t need is to write an essay every time you send one.

Instead try adopting this tactic:

Keep every email to five sentences or less.

You can say a lot in just these few sentences. And if you’re worried about sounding curt or short with people, try using emoticons to convey your meaning a little better.

You can even use some of these gmail hacks to cut down that time even more!

#8: The 20% Rule

This is simple and easy for anyone to do.

20% of an eight hour working day is about 90 minutes. And, 90 minutes is long enough to get a lot of work done.

If you were to block out 90 minutes a day, five days a week, for defined work that would be eight hours of uninterrupted, productive work.

Even if you sit around and do nothing for the rest of the week, think about what you could do in that time:

  • Write two to three blog posts
  • Schedule a month’s worth of status updates
  • Write a killer sales page and emails to your entire list
  • Produce an entire Udemy course
  • Record eight podcast sessions ready for editing
  • Create that email buy in you always talk about but never do
  • Optimize your last 10 blog posts with new SEO

And the list goes on, and on, and on, and on.

Be ruthless. Block out that 20% of your day and make it your own, personal, get s*** done time. You won’t regret it.

Scientifically Proven Ways To Get More Done

Everyone has their own view on productivity. But, if you want to know what’s sure to work, it’s always best to look at the science. Here’s some of the top tips.

#9: Change Your Workstation

Your desk is your sanctum sanctorum, right? It’s the place where you get work done.

But, here’s the thing:

Your desk could be killing your productivity after all. Because being stuck in that same place, over and over again, can be quite stifling.

In research done by workplace psychologists, they told the Wall Street Journal that by re-positioning yourself, or the people you work around, it can lead to faster focus and more innovation.

That doesn’t mean you can’t come back to your old desk. But, trying these new surroundings for a couple of weeks, or months, you can reap a lot of productive benefits.

For example, in my own experiments, I changed my workstation at the start of every working week for a month. And by the time I came back to my original desk, I’d shaved 4-6 hours off my week.

#10: Get Warm

Focus and productivity are massively controlled by how your body is feeling in that moment.

If you’re ill, if you’re tired, if you’ve eaten something c***, it’s all going to affect how you approach your work.

What’s also interesting is that your body temperature can play a huge role in it to. And, by heating your body up, you can increase your output.

In the book, The Good Psychopath’s Guide To Success, Dr Kevin Dutton points out:

“[Studies show] A small rise in body temperature has been shown to stimulate both working memory and alertness – the two key ingredients of sustained cognitive performance”

Which, in basic English, means that by getting a bit warmer, you can get more work done.

Try:

  • Taking a hot shower
  • Sitting near a warm radiator for a few minutes
  • Drinking a hot cup of coffee or tea
  • Putting on a sweater for a while
  • Go for a workout

Whichever is available to you.

#11: Make Less Decisions (Or Be More Decisive)

You’re only given so many attention points in a day. Because, once they’re spent, your brain starts to get tired.

And as a marketer, you want to try and give your attention to as many different places as you can:

  • What’s the Twitter feed doing?
  • Has someone commented on the post?
  • I need to take care of that email
  • How do I increase the traffic here?
  • What about if I try and SEO this content as I write it?

Which leads to burnout, overwhelm and you just not getting any quality work done at all.

But you might think, well…what does this have to do with making decisions? Good question…

The decisions you make every day, from what you’re going to wear, to where you’re going to eat and which task you’re going to take on first, all start to mount up.

And they use those vital attention points.

So in order to be more productive and do more work, science says you need to either:

  • Make fewer decisions
  • Make decisions quicker
  • Automate your decisions

That’s why Obama only wears blue and black suits and why Tim Ferriss outsources any decisions that will cost him less that $100.

Here are a few ways to use this knowledge to your advantage:

  • Spend no more than 15 minutes on a decision
  • Pre plan your day and never stray from it
  • Outsource trivial things that require your attention
  • Limit the work you’re able to do on a particular day, like making Mondays for Social Media

#12: Take More Breaks

That’s right. Taking a break from your work could actually be what you need to get more done.

And, I know, that goes against everything the system has ever taught you. But the system is wrong. This is about you getting more work done, nobody else.

There is a tonne of science to show that taking breaks from your desk and doing something unrelated can help you stay focused on your work, without impacting your quality.

Here are a few break methods you can try:

  • 50/10: Work for 50 minutes, take a 10 minute break
  • 90/20: Work for 90 minutes, take a 20 minute break
  • Pomodoro: Work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break (set an alarm or an egg timer for this)
  • Planned 15: Block out two 15 minute do-nothing blocks in your day and stick to them (I recommend 11am and 3pm)

#13: Learn To Say No

You’re a people person, right?

As a marketer, you tend to have to be. Because you like people, you want to help them, and you want to use your products to do it.

But a byproduct of that is that you really struggle to say… no.

You’re happy to take on work. You’re happy to do those extra hours. And, at the end of the day, you’re happy to help people while sacrificing your own results.

That’s bad.

Instead you need to learn how to say no to people. Because no isn’t a dirty word. In fact, it’s the opposite. It shows you have respect for your time, for yourself and for your work.

Want to say no effectively? Learn to say, “I don’t” instead of “I can’t” .

Research shows that people who say I don’t to themselves are far less likely to do something, than if they say I can’t.

Plus, “I don’t have time for that” is a much more confident, assertive statement than, “I can’t do it, sorry”.

shareasimage (4)

#14: Get The Perfect Room Temperature

Quick one:

Science shows that between 70-72ºF (21-22ºC) is the most productive room temperature .

Too low or too high and you can decrease your productivity.

A simple change, backed by science.

#15: Go For A Walk

You know you need to exercise. I know you need to exercise. And now, it goes beyond your health and into your work.

A recent study has found that people who take a 30 minute walk on their lunch break are:

  • Calmer
  • Less stressed
  • More focused
  • More adaptive

Than those who don’t. And with less stress and more focus, you can do a lot more work.

Take a walk, even just for a few minutes, to clear your head. In just a few days you’ll find you’re much more focused and effective with your time.

Free Apps To Help You Stay Productive

From time to time, you’re going to need a helping hand to get you to stay on task. Because habit (and temptation) can sometimes just become a little too much.

Thankfully, these free apps are on hand to help you stay on track.

#16: Focus On

If you’ve got an Android phone, and are addicted to it, this app is perfect for you.

I personally use this on my Samsung and it’s given me back countless hours of my life.

Simply download and install it, and use it to block apps that you spend a lot of time on. Like social media, email, WhatsApp, Reddit and others for a certain period of time.

Between 8:30am and 12:30pm, or 2pm and 2:15pm, or however long you feel you want to block the apps out for.

You can set it to run on specific days too so you don’t have to set it up each and every time.

#17: The iPhone Equivalent

I’m going to be really honest here…finding an effective App Blocker for the iPhone is hard (if you have one, or suggestions, let me know in the comments.)

However, the best option I could find is this app called AppCap. It’s for Jailbroken iPhones and lets you only open up apps and games a certain amount of times a day (a limit set by you).

Perhaps there is an opportunity here for someone with app development skills!

#18:Slack

Slack is ideal if you work in teams, because it can save you a lot of time on email and trying to get hold of people.

It’s a simple desktop and phone messaging app that puts all of your people together.

You can send files, messages, notes, whatever it is that you need to. And you can do it in a group chat or with individual people.

I use this with the entire team over at Share As Image and it’s helped solve so many problems. Because – as you’ll see at the Pro section that’s coming up – it helps you deal with it now.

#19: Rescue Time

It’s amazing what you can do with your time you know how you’re spending it. Which is what Rescue Time allows you to do.

It tracks all of your movement while you’re at your computer and categorises them in order of productivity.

Which means that when you see a lot of red, you know you need to do a little less procrastination:

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 13.30.29

And, because it ranks your weekly productivity score as a percentage, it turns it into a game.

So you can consistently try and improve it. Which has a huge impact on the quality of work you do and where you spend your time:

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 13.30.51

#20: Trello

As organisational tools go, Trello is the best of the bunch.

If you’re not familiar, it lets you organize your life into easy to access – and share – cards. Whether that’s a:

  • To do list
  • Content plan
  • Tasks and goals
  • Article idea
  • Social media schedule
  • Workflow system

You can do pretty much anything you want to keep yourself organised. For me, I used it to store all the articles I need to write, when they’re due for and the outlines for the articles.

Meaning I get a lovely little email in my inbox when something is due, and I know I need to work on it. And I never forget a task that’s been put on there.

You can get creative with it and make it fit your tasks. But you’d be amazed at just how much knowing what you have to do, consistently, can increase your productivity.

Take a look at some of these inspiring boards to help get you started!

#21 + 22: The Secret Weapon

This comes from our own Matthew Woodward as one of his key productivity, get more done tips.

The secret weapon is absolutely free, but can do epic things for you.

It’s basically a system that combines:

  • Your current email client
  • Evernote

To create a foolproof system for productivity. It helps you organise everything and gives your prompts, systems and ways to capture ideas you didn’t think were possible.

Basically, this secret weapon helps you organise chaos and Matthew deals with a lot of chaos. Winner.

shareasimage (5)

#23: Hemingway Editor

How do you feel about editing your blog posts?

If I’m honest, I hate it. And it’s a big part of my job. Which is what makes Hemingway so special.

It cuts hours off your time editing and formatting your posts, by highlighting all the run on sentences and hard to read paragraphs and spelling mistakes, so that you only have to edit the bits that you need to edit.

And to save you reading your blog posts again for the 300th time.

What The Pro’s Are Doing: 6 Tips From The World’s Best

Okay, you’ve seen the science and the recommendations. Now it’s time to see how the pro’s stay on track…

#24: Deal With Something Only Once

This is something Leo Babauta, of Zen Habits fame, learned from a Zen Master a few years back.

When he asked her if she wanted to go for tea sometime , she pulled out her notebook and organised a date there and then. She told him:

“Deal with something once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.”

So, instead of just adding these small little tasks onto your to-do list, just get them over and done with.

This is easy to apply to the 2 minute rule, too. If it takes more than 2 minutes, put it on your list. If not, get it done now. And get on with the next thing.

#25: Freeze Your Meals

This is another, quite smart, suggestion from Matthew himself.

Not only does this let you reduce the decisions you have to make, it also opens up a lot of free time.

Batch cook your favourite meals on one of your quiet days – like a Sunday – and put them in the freezer to eat at a later date. T

hen when it comes to meal times, you don’t have to worry about setting aside extra time to:

  • Cook
  • Go and pick up take out
  • Order food
  • Wash up and clear away

Instead you only have to set aside time to microwave and eat it. Splendid.

Here is a picture straight from Matthew’s freezer today-

myfreezer

Which currently includes-

  • Chicken rogan josh
  • Sesame seed chicken
  • Beef stew
  • Chili
  • Breakfast burritos (these are awesome)
  • Tomato soup

shareasimage (1)

#27: Exercise First Thing In The Morning

This is something a lot of high powered people do. And is the personal favourite of Richard Branson, who said it gave him eight hours more focus than on days he didn’t exercise.

Now you don’t have to commit a lot of time to this but I’d suggest around 30-45 minutes. The main goal is to get your heart rate up, work some muscles and enjoy yourself.

Matthew spends his waking moments on the beach with his dog in the morning that provides plenty of exercise along with the perfect environment to wake up in.

#28: Have An Airplane Day

Bryan Guido Hassin is a university professor and start up junkie who has come up with a genius strategy for becoming more productive.

After noticing he got much more work done while he was flying, he decided to add Airplane Days in his week, even if he wasn’t flying.

That means he locked himself at his favourite workplace and:

  • Turned off his phone
  • Cut off the WiFi
  • Being out of the office to any employees or students

So that he was never interrupted or disturbed by things that can wait.

Try it for yourself. Pick a day next week and shut yourself off from the world. Even if only for a morning. And see how much your productivity spikes.

#29: No Meeting Wednesdays

This is a strategy used by Facebook to boost the productivity of its workers and it works a charm. I use it in my own business and it’s made a big difference to me.

Simply choose a day of the week and dedicate that there can be no meetings done. Whether that’s in person, on Skype or over the phone.

You can waste countless hours worrying about, or with idle chit chat, in meetings. And they aren’t always productive in and of themselves. So have a free day where they aren’t part of your strategy.

#30: Tidy Your Desk

No matter which desk you’re at, you should keep it tidy.

In fact, it’s what almost all productivity experts recommend.

While a messy desk can be great for creativity, it’s not great for focus and clarity.

So if you’re looking to get creative, feel free to let your desk clutter and fill with trash. But as soon as it becomes time get the work done you need to tidy up and free distractions.

The Art Of Productive Marketing

There you are. There’s the 30 time hacks you need to know to get more work done in much less time.

Now you can spend that time doing more of the things you love in life!

Now, I’m interested…

What are your personal productivity strategies?

Are there any that you recommend, or that you’ve tried that have supercharged your results?

Let me know in the comments…




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30 Time Hacks Every Marketer Needs To Know was originally published on January 11th, 2016 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – December 2015http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/monthly-income-growth-traffic-report-december-2015/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/monthly-income-growth-traffic-report-december-2015/#comments Mon, 04 Jan 2016 12:00:52 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40819

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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – December 2015 was originally published on January 04th, 2016 06:00 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
This is the 39th income report as part of the zero backlink experiment.

Every month I will publish a post like this one that shows you how this blog is progressing and everything I have done across the month to get it there.

These reports will help me track my own progress while teaching you what to do and more importantly what not to do.

ATTENTION: Learn My Secrets With Instant Access To The Income Report Archive

What I Have Done In December

Honestly this month, I have tried my hardest to do as little as possible.

After a crazy couple of months of solid work I decided to take my foot off the gas and take some time to enjoy life rather than sitting in front of the computer.

That means that I have a bunch of things to catch up on in the next week but I will worry about that next week.

I have also had a lot of spare time to ponder what direction I want to take things in over the next year. There is huge room for improvement across all areas of the blog and I will send out a short survey next week to gather some reader feedback.

Until then though, I am going to keep this income report short and sweet because no one likes working on the 1st of January right?

Help Me, Help You!

As we move into the New Year I can’t help but wonder which direction to take the blog in this year.

I have a lot of conflicting thoughts and ideas, so I decided to ask you – the reader!

So I have put together a short survey which will ultimately decide what will happen to the blog over the next 12 months.

This is the first time I have ever created an audience survey for the blog and I expect the results will be very interesting.

I will also be jumping on the phone with some of the people that complete the survey to learn a little more and give some free advice to help you out at the same time.

Please click here to take the survey now.

Content Creation

Last month I published a total of 4 posts which has remained steady this month.

I kicked the month off with these advanced GSA Search Engine Ranker optimization strategies.

Then we took a look at how to craft cold emails that ALWAYS get a response.

If you want to learn how to start a blog then this 8 point blogging checklist should help you out!

Other than those we just had the regular income report roundup post and I didn’t get round to writing the best of internet marketing feature this month.

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my lack of attention to the blog has done to the important metrics.

Visitor Statistics

Traffic dropped from 47,319 (1,577/day) last month to 46,223 (1,491/day) this month which is an expected seasonal drop off.

dec-analytics-main

Most Popular Content

The GSA Search Engine Ranker optimisation tutorial stole the show this month in terms of traffic.

Not far behind it was a tutorial on how to make money with Fiverr and the 8 point blog checklist.

dec-content

Top Traffic Sources

Like last month Not much has changed really in terms of the top traffic sources this month.

dec-top-traffic

Search Engine Traffic

Traffic from Google saw a small drop off this month from 37,603 (1,253/day) compared to 34,652 (1,117/day) last month.

dec-keywords

YouTube Views

I lost all of my historical YouTube views because of changes I made to the branding – so I keep track of them separately.

YouTube views grew took a small hit this month from 21,918 to 20,731 which also had an impact on total minutes watched dropping from 110,532 to 101,250.

yt-stats

Social Shares

Important Note: This month Twitter stopped showing the actual share count which makes reporting on social shares from Twitter impossible.

This month the total social shares across Facebook and Google+ increased from 47,303 to 47,660.

  • Google+ – 17,399 (17,514 last month)
  • Facebook – 30,261 (29,789 last month)

Subscribers

The most important metric on the entire blog – earning a subscription from someone is the ultimate form of commitment and conversion.

This month brought 1,490 new subscribers which is a sharp drop from last months 2,181.

There are now a total of 127,880 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 919 (956 last month) / Total: 69,483
  • Twitter – 205 (303 last month) / Total: 10,708
  • YouTube – 265 (295 last month) / Total: 9,991
  • Facebook – 218 (520 last month) / Total: 19,446
  • Google+ – 1 (10 last month) / Total: 17,890
  • RSS – -118 (97 last month) / Total: 362

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings

ATTENTION: Learn My Secrets With Instant Access To The Income Report Archive

Expenses

Consultation Earnings

I separate out the consultation earnings from the affiliate earnings. The blog drives affiliate sales directly and whilst it does generate consultation leads these are separate projects in their own right.

I didn’t take on any consultation work this month which results in zero consultation earnings.

Other Income

I’m working on another project right now that is part of the blog but not something I’m ready to talk about publicly yet or maybe ever.

I will declare the income here though as it wouldn’t be possible without the blog and ‘technically’ it is affiliate income.

This month that income has dropped from $12,127.43 last month to $9,395.17 this month.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $22,461.79
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $9,395.17
  • Expenses – $570.95

Grand Total: $31,286.01 / £21,225.97 ($27,552.76 / £18,444.37 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

Signing Off

One of the most weird trends I consistently see on the blog is when I take a large period of time off, earnings increase.

I don’t know why it happens but it happens every single time!

As we move into 2016 I have a huge list of improvements and changes I want to make to the blog which all starts with this survey.

Once I have your feedback and followed up with you on the phone, I’m going to turn that into my master plan for the year with my immediate focus on improving the overall user experience.

I have also come to realise that I need to hire a full time blog manager and perhaps even a full time SEO assistant to help support growth over the next 12 months.

I’m going to take the rest of the month to collect all of my thoughts and your feedback into an awesome plan of attack before releasing the hounds!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me reach my goals – I couldn’t do it without you, the reader!




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Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – December 2015 was originally published on January 04th, 2016 06:00 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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Income Report Roundup – December 2015http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/income-report-roundup-december-2015/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/income-report/income-report-roundup-december-2015/#comments Tue, 29 Dec 2015 14:56:01 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40803

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Income Report Roundup - December 2015 was originally published on December 29th, 2015 08:56 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
One of the most popular posts I publish are my income reports.

So I decided to round up as many income reports as possible and rank them based on earnings to see how I stack up against the rest.

If you publish an income report on your blog and would like it included in next month’s post then please let me know in the comments!

Here we go-

#1) PinchOfYum.com – $53,168.14 (+$27,164.30)

It’s Lindsay & Bjork’s best month for earnings so far and they’re expanding their team!

They recently announced that they will be hiring a remote office manager and have announced the position and opened the application process on Pinch Of Yum.

Lindsay has also started running food photography workshops which they have decided to host in a permanent studio location.

#2) MakingSenseOfCents.com – $29,069.00 (-$2,713.00)

Michelle decided to take some time off from writing in November to relax a little.

This month was the biggest ever month for affiliate income for her and in this month’s report she reveals the tool she uses to optimize on Pinterest and how she manages to stay connected to the internet on the road.

Next she aims to get herself one month ahead with her writing and is still working on her book creation and creating something like a course, webinar or forum to help her readers.

#3) AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com – $28,857.00 (+$13,878.00)

November has seen Jon celebrating his best month for income so far.

He’s seeing great results from his FBA business and both of his Amazon affiliate sites, and is reporting a record month for his Passive Income Portfolio.

He did however lose $1,500 in one day as he forgot to limit the numbers on a promotion code, a mistake which he says prevented him from reaching a new income milestone this month.

#4) MatthewWoodward.co.uk – $27,552.76 (+$2,527.91)

In November I managed to launch my first product, so now I can finally take some time to relax after a year of hard work.

This month we also had Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which made for the best month of income I have ever had on the blog!

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be sticking to maintenance on the site and putting together a plan of attack for the year ahead.

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

#5) JustAGirlAndHerBlog.com – $21,009.00 (+$6,357.00)

In November Abby launched her new product ‘The 2016 Intentional Life Planner’.

Joining in the Black Friday sales and offering 50% off an eBook, she was pleased with the results and felt that the decision not to put everything they have for sale on offer was a good one.

Much of what they planned for the business in the new year last month has already changed, so they have decided to stick to a 90 day planning strategy they recently came across.

#6) Untemplater.com – $12,312.00 (+$5,371.00)

untemplaterSydney is happy to announce her best month for earnings so far!

After experimenting with Amazon promotion for Black Friday and holiday shopping trends she was a little disappointed that nothing much came of it.

That said, she’s relieved to see traffic rising again and also picked up some extra freelancing in November. A new freelancing stream she’s currently looking into is pet sitting.

#7) DigitalNomadWannabe.com – $6,799.00 (+$1,091.00)

digitalnomadSharon is pleased to be celebrating her best month for income so far for the second month in a row!

That’s not all she’s celebrating as she recently discovered the reason she has been feeling so ill, and it’s because she’s actually pregnant!

She’s now looking forward to putting her passive income to the ultimate test as she’ll be leaving things on complete autopilot when she takes 4 months of maternity leave.

#8) TrueValhalla.com – $3,487.00 (-$6,535.00)

In November Matt decided to take a well earned rest after October’s record breaking month for income.

On the days he did work he spent most of his time on his major project, a HTML5 game called Dragon Depths and a few other titles, working almost exclusively on games.

Orders for his new book ‘Learn To Make Games’ were higher than usual and sales of his ‘Mobility Engine’ also remained unexplainably high, selling itself through word of mouth alone with zero time spent on promotion!

#9) MissBiziBee.com – $2,918.69 (-$1,853.22)

bizziKaitlin has had a bit of a downturn for traffic and sales this month with no posts covering Thanksgiving and Christmas to draw in visitors.

She’s finally got an idea of what a full year cycle looks like in her business though as she celebrates a year since Miss Bizi Bee’s first post!

Although she would love to see her blog starting to earn more by itself, she reflects that it’s been difficult to find the time to invest in it.

#10) MyPathToPassiveIncome.com – $864.60 (+$772.55)

mypathtopassiveincomeAlso celebrating his best month so far for yet another month with a huge leap in earnings in November is Estaban!

This month he focused a lot more on social exposure and kept to a strict posting schedule which has resulted in his best month for traffic and income.

Going forward his goals include getting one or two guest posts on the blog, reaching 100 email subscribers and hitting the $1,000 profit milestone.

#11) DumbPassiveIncome.com – $562.70 (-$1,090.20)

Matt managed to make up for a not so great month in November at the last minute with his Black Friday and Cyber Monday affiliate sales.

His expenses were very high as he paid a writer to produce a 16,000+ word guide for his ‘one thing’ site which he will be giving away as a lead magnet.

He says this will more than pay for itself in the long run with the email list he is building on the site.

He’s been working on a two-step optin process to build the email list and going forward says it’s time to promote the site and start getting links.

#12) OneHourProfessor.com – $409.53 (+$956.99)

ohpRon has been spending the month focusing on his new authority website and getting his new course done.

Since this has been the first thing to make him any decent income online he has decided to make yet another authority website and a new consulting website.

His goals going ahead include getting both of those sites finished and figuring out a strategy to get new consulting clients.

With little time to post on One Hour Professor and an unfinished project already ongoing, only time will tell if having so many projects at once is a good idea…

#13) LivingOffCloud.com – -$1,969.90 (+$13,169.81)

livingoffcloudNew to the lineup this month with her third income report is Nadya.

She bought a new website this month, the second one so far, and decided to do everything herself in order to learn through doing after outsourcing the building of her first niche site.

Although she’s making some huge investments the sites have already begun to pay for themselves with actual expenses much lower than income.

Having only spent $16,996 on purchasing online businesses with a budget of $20,000 she’s decided to stop there for now to develop what she already has.

Get all of my income reports & round-ups direct to your inbox!

In Summary

We have one newbie and two drop outs in the line up this month.

This month has been the biggest month for combined earnings so far with the total rising $36,357.20 to $185,039.52!

That’s despite the number of bloggers in the lineup decreasing this month and our newbie making some huge investments right off the bat, taking away from our total rather than adding to it!

Six out of thirteen of our sites featured are celebrating their best month for earnings so far with two of those celebrating for the second month in a row.

It’s certainly been a great month all around with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combining with the holiday shopping season to finish the year on a high!

If you feel inspired to start your own blog then why don’t you start a blog now? It only takes a few minutes!

Performance Tracking

I only include the earnings history of the top 10 blogs each month to make the graphs easy to read.

I’m having a problem with the graph right now and will update the post when fixed




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Income Report Roundup - December 2015 was originally published on December 29th, 2015 08:56 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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The 8 Point Checklist To Start A Profitable Bloghttp://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/8-point-blog-checklist/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/8-point-blog-checklist/#comments Mon, 21 Dec 2015 12:55:52 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40633

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The (New) 8 Point Authority Blog Checklist was originally published on December 21st, 2015 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
Authority Blogs are big business.

After all, you’re reading one now, aren’t you?

And you can earn a lot of money from them:

  • eBooks
  • Courses
  • Seminars
  • Mastermind groups

Not to mention the other 28 ways you could start making money from them today.

But most authority blogs never actually become a success.

You write a few posts. Get a few subscribers. Retweet a few tweets. And then they fade out. Becoming just another site to end up on Google’s 65th page.

Why?

Because, up until now, you’ve been starting your blogs for the wrong reasons.

And it’s meant that they were destined to fail from the minute you bought the domain name.

But in this article, I’m going to show you how to succeed at authority blogging by giving you the ultimate checklist to make sure you start your site for the right reasons.

What You Will Learn

  • The 5 questions you need to ask yourself before you even think about starting a blog
  • The right reasons you should start a blog (and it’s not what you’d think)
  • How to tell if your blog is really going to be profitable
  • A simple content hack to make sure your blog posts are epic from the start

ATTENTION: Unlock My Award Winning Blogging Resources Instantly

But, Wait…What’s The Wrong Reason?

Good question.

And, you’re going to hate me when I tell you it. But, I’m okay with that if you are?

Okay, here goes…

Money.

Money is the worst reason to start an authority blog in the history of the world. And, I’m going to tell you why.

Because when you’re creating a blog, you’re trying to create a connection with an audience. And when you start a business just to make money, they can see right through it.

It comes across in everything you write. The products you sell and create. And, the time and effort you put in to your blog.

Which means that when they sense you don’t care about them, or your topic, they lose interest in you.

Now, that isn’t to say your blog shouldn’t be profitable:

It should.

But it shouldn’t be the sole purpose of starting it.

Take Matt’s blog right here.

He runs an SEO agency. He gives talks on SEO and Internet Marketing. He lives and breathes these topics. So you know all the information here is genuine and from someone deep in the trenches.

This blog started out of a passion. And now it pays him money. Which is exactly the order it should be.

Okay, if you’re still with me, and still want to start an authority blog, let’s get on with the checklist…

Section #1: Have You Made The Right Choice?

Before you get your site on line, choose a theme, or start getting carried away with writing your email buy-in, there are five questions you need to ask yourself:

#1 – Is This A Topic That Excites You?

Be honest. Is this the kind of topic you’d be happy to spend your days writing topics about?

Are you likely to:

  • Read books about it?
  • Go to seminars about it?
  • Want to give a talk about it?
  • Experience this topic in your day-to-day life?
  • Want to run case studies or projects on it?

If you can’t answer yes to any of these questions, you’re setting yourself up for a fall.

For example, at the start of 2015, I tried to start an authority blog called Gentify. All about being a Gentleman in the modern world.

…and it sucked.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.24.36

Because while I’m genuinely interested in Male lifestyle. It wasn’t a part of my life that I could feel motivated to write a 3000 word article about.

And, outside of reading GQ Magazine or the occasional post on The Art of Manliness, it didn’t excite me that much.

This doesn’t mean you have to be in knee-trembling love with the topic. But, you have to have an interested beyond, “Oh, well…that’s alright”.

#2 – Could You Write 100+ Blog Posts About It?

An authority blog isn’t an overnight success.

In fact, doing it inside 279 days like Chris Guillebeau did with The Art Non Conformity would be considered a quick-success nowadays.

So this question is two-fold:

  • Are you prepared to write 100+ posts about this topic?
  • Can you think of 100+ topics for it?

If you’re not prepared to write lots of content, then you’re in the wrong game.

And you don’t have to be able to think of all those topics right now. But, try this:

Action Steps

  1. Grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open a word processor)
  2. Head to this blog post
  3. Try and create 25-30 blog post ideas from the headlines there
  4. If you struggle beyond the first 10…it’s time to rethink
  5. But, if you have lots of Killer ideas, you’ve just generated your content for the next few months. Winner.

#3 – Are You A Relative Expert?

Nowhere in the rules of the Internet does it say that you need to have a PHD in your subject to be able to blog about it.

But, what you do need to be, as Blogger Sean Ogle puts it, is a Relative Expert.

Here’s what he means by that:

A relative expert […] is someone with a perceived level of credibility due to the fact they know more about a subject than the person they’re talking to.

So before you start on your authority blog venture you need to make sure you know more than your audience does.

That means:

  • If your audience is beginners, you need to be at an intermediate level
  • If you audience is intermediates, you need to be at an advanced level
  • If you audience is advanced people, you need to be an actual expert

Now, a lot of bloggers will choose a niche that they don’t really have an interest in. So, they’re not even beyond the beginner stage.

Off the top of my head, here are a few ideas I’m a relative expert in that I could technically start a blog with if I wanted to:

SEO, Rugby, Guitar playing, writing and selling eBooks, starting a freelance business, travel hacking, coffee reviewing, theatre and drama reviews, goal setting and motivation, lifestyle design.

The only time I can see you getting away with being a complete beginner and starting a blog is if the entire subject of your blog is using yourself as a case study.

For example, if you were to run a blog about learning how to brew beer at home, and documenting your journey to opening your own microbrewery.

So, if you’re not a relative expert in your subject you have three options:

  1. Take the time to become a relative expert
  2. Forget about this blog and try a new project
  3. Follow the action step below…

Action Step

  1. Set a timer for five minutes.
  2. Then, like I did above, list as many topics as you can think of that you’re a relative expert in.
  3. Once you’ve done that go through questions number 1 and 2 again.

#3 – Will You Solve A Problem People Know About?

Recently, I went to see a therapist about some issues I was having in my personal life. And, he made a point that stuck with me:

“What you’re feeling is normal, James. Most problems show up as one thing, but are really caused by something else that you didn’t know about.”

But what does this have to do with your authority blog? Well, let me tell you…

People don’t know what their problems are.

So you shouldn’t build a problem around those ones.

Instead you should build a blog around the problems that they do know about. Then give them the tools to help them fix the problems that they don’t know about.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

  • People don’t know they have a link building problem, they know they have a traffic problem
  • People don’t know they have a gluten problem, they know they have a weight loss problem
  • People don’t know they have a self esteem problem, they know that they can’t get dates

Once you use their visible problem to get their attention, you can begin to let them know about their smaller problems and how to solve them.

Now, I can hear a lot of you saying:

“But, James, that first example is wrong. Brian Dean runs a site all about Backlinks. It’s even called “Backlinko

And, I’d just like to show you the first thing you see when you come to his page:

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 13.14.13

Traffic. That’s the problem he’s solving first. Then he hits you with posts all about link building and SEO.

Solve the big problem they want to solve. Then help them with the little ones that they need to solve.

Section #2: Is It Profitable?

Once you’ve laid the foundations of starting a blog that you can actually run (and for the right reasons), that’s when you can start looking at how you can monetize it.

In this section, you’re going to find out if your blog idea is profitable, or if it’s going to cost you more cash than you make.

#4 – Are There Any Other Successful Blogs?

Running an authority blog isn’t like running a small niche site. You don’t have to be worried about your competitors in the blogosphere.

Instead, you need to embrace them.

If there are people out there already making money from this topic, that’s a great sign for you. Because it means you’re going to be able to make money by taking on a whole new angle.

Here’s a simple way to find out if there are any other successful blogs in your niche:

Look For Top 10, 50 or 100 Site Posts

Sites love putting together posts like, “Top 100 Productivity Blogs You Should Visit Today” or “10 Photography Blogs To Improve Your Skills Right Now”.

Because…the Internet.

These posts make for great research tools though. They put all the information you need together, and help you tick off this part of the checklist in one quick blast.

After all, if there are 50+ blogs in that niche, you’re probably on to a safe bet.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.27.07

Just do a quick search on Google or BuzzSumo for [topic] + “Top blogs” and see for yourself:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.28.00

#5 – What Sort Of Products Perform Well?

Okay, so you’re still here. That means you’ve found out there is money to be made with your authority blog.

Super, you’re on a roll, go you!

Now it’s time to start looking for what kinds of products make money in this niche that you’re going to be able to create.

This doesn’t mean you should be ripping off people’s ideas for products, mind you. What I mean is the type of products that work well.

For example, you don’t want to steal someone’s topic for an eBook. But if they’ve made $5000 from selling eBooks, they’re worth looking at as an income stream.

Now you might be thinking, “But how will I know?”

Good question. Let me help you answer it.

Bloggers tend to be pretty obvious with their products that do well. Because they tend to promote them. And promote them. And, well…promote them some more.

You might find them on their websites as blatant advertisements:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.30.18

In the first few emails they send to their mailing list:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 10.41.26

Or, as common themes between competitor sites:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.10.25

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.10.13

And, if someone has multiple of the same products, then you’ve found a product you need to pay attention to.

Action Step

Pick one of these two options and use them to find the products that are doing well in your niche:

  • #1 – Join Three Mailing Lists: And look for the products they try to promote in their first two or three emails. Trust me, they’re there.
  • #2 – Look for adverts: Go through five to ten competitor sites and see which adverts they’re running and for what products. Or, use the AdSpresso database to see which products they’re promoting on social media.

Section #3: Setting Up For Success

You’re still here? Awesome! That means you must be on for a killer authority blog idea.

The even better news is that most of your hard, background work is done.

These final few points are to make sure that your blog is set up for success, and that you give yourself every opportunity before you start your blog.

But, they are some of the most important. So play close attention.

#6 – What Content Should You Create?

Once you’re sure you can monetise your blog, and create a lot of content for it. It now comes down to what type of content should you create?

Are your readers…

  • Doers?
  • Thinkers?
  • Talkers?
  • A mix of two?
  • A blend of all three?

Because knowing this is a great way to decide what content you need to create. And, whether it’s going to perform well.

For example, TinyBuddha is an authority blog in the self-help niche. But, while their content is helpful, it isn’t particularly actionable.

Instead it’s thought provoking and generates discussion. Because their audience like new ways of thinking and to talk about the issues and problems they’re having.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.12.21

Contrast that with FinerMinds, an authority blog in the same niche, and their content is mostly actionable, with elements of generating discussion and new thoughts:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.14.14

Now, I know you don’t have an audience yet. And that’s fine. You’re just going to do a simple competitor analysis to find out who there are.

Head to BuzzSumo and sign up for the free 14 day trail of their premium account (or buy an account, that’s your decision):

Then pick the competitors you found before and search them in their ‘content analysis’ section:

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 11.19.22

And look at all the common trends like…

Length of post:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.55.31

Type of content:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.55.10

And what days it’s best to publish on:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 12.55.22

Once you’ve gathered all this for four or five different sites, you can start to get a picture of what’s going to work for your audience. And, from here, it’s just trial and error.

You can read how I did this in-depth for Nichehacks right here.

#7 – What Tone Of Voice Do You Need?

This is a really overlooked question when you’re starting a site.

Your tone of voice isn’t what you write; it’s how you write it.

Take a look at these two sentences:

Foods containing tryptophan help produce the hormone serotonin in your brain, resulting in happier feelings when you’re feeling in a low state of mind.

Feeling low? Foods containing tryptophan can help by releasing a happy hormone called serotonin in your brain.

Both sentences say exactly the same thing. They give the same information. Just the first one sounds really formal and academic. While the second one is bouncier and more fun to read.

Now, neither of these is wrong. It’s all about what your audience wants. And how you feel as a writer and blogger.

There’s two really simple ways to get this down for yourself though:

Action Steps

  • #1 – Write. Read. Speak. Edit: Write a paragraph. Read it back to yourself. Speak the passage out. Then edit it to fit the rhythm of your voice. Do this a couple of times and you’ll find your own personal tone.
  • #2 – Write five paragraphs from competitor blogs:Open a word processor. And, instead of copy and pasting, write out five paragraphs. One from each competitor blog. And look at what they’ve done.

Are they short sentences or long ones? Fast or slow? Assertive or passive?

Once you can see this and the patterns they use, you can take the best of your style and their styles to craft your own super style.

#8 – Do You Have List Of 10+ People To Network With?

Networking is an important part of blogging.

It just is.

And you need to get on board with it. Pronto. Kapeesh?

Because the more people in your niche you know, the more successful you’ll be. As they’re the ones who, in one way or another, will drive traffic back to your blog.

Whether that’s through link building, shares or just being swell people to have around.

Now I’m not going to dwell here too long. I’m just going to give you an incredibly actionable step to follow:

Action Step

  1. Go tothis post and look at Step #4 about learning to pitch
  2. Adapt that simple model to why you’re a good blogger worth connecting with
  3. Find 10 site owners emails in your niche
  4. Create a draft email to send to each one of them, customised to them or their site
  5. Save them in your drafts folder
  6. Then send them when your site is online

ATTENTION: Unlock My 6 Figure Blogging Resources Instantly

Check, Check and Check Again…

So, how are you feeling?

Did I just ruin your idea for a blog, or have I created a spark that’s going to spur you on to success?

Let me know in the comments…

And be sure to check out Matthew’s video tutorial on how to start a blog or read his story about how he built a 6 figure blog.




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The (New) 8 Point Authority Blog Checklist was originally published on December 21st, 2015 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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How To Craft Cold Call Emails That ALWAYS Get Resultshttp://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-craft-cold-call-emails/ http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-craft-cold-call-emails/#comments Tue, 15 Dec 2015 12:55:12 +0000 http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/?p=40625

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How To Craft Cold Call Emails That ALWAYS Get Results was originally published on December 15th, 2015 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
In the past week, I’ve exchanged emails with Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers, Rand Fishkin from Moz, and Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.

Yes, I am THAT annoying blogger - stephenaltrogge@gmail.com - Gmail 2015-11-09 14-44-20

I cold-call emailed them, and they emailed me back…usually within 20 minutes.

I didn’t do anything particularly special, other than use my simple, proven formula for connecting with influencers.

What if you could easily connect with high-powered influencers in your industry?

I’m talking people with massive email lists, enormous social media followings, and incredible influencing power.

The movers. The shakers.

Think about how that would affect your content marketing strategy.

Derek Halpern has famously said that he spends 20% of his time creating content and 80% of his time promoting it.

One of his primary promotion tools is emailing the high-profile people he quotes in his articles and politely asking them if they would consider sharing the article on social media.

It was this strategy that allowed me to connect with Joanna Wiebe and persuade her to share one of my posts on Twitter.

Joanna Wiebe (@copyhackers) - Twitter 2015-11-08 17-55-22

Connecting with high-profile influencers can also open up tons of guest posting opportunities, which is a great way to build your brand.

I’m going to show you a step-by-step tutorial for exactly HOW to reach out to influencers so that you are GUARANTEED a response.

What You Will Learn

  • The incredible power of email outreach, and why it BEATS social media.
  • How to find ANY email address.
  • The steps for crafting the PERFECT email subject line.
  • How to INFUSE your email with personality.
  • How to ask for something without being a sleazeball.

The Power Of Email Outreach

It’s hard to believe, but email is considered an outdated form of communication.

Wow, does that make me feel old. Back in the day (a phrase I’m allowed to use since I’m old), having a Hotmail account made you the coolest kid on the digital block. Now text messaging, Snapchat, Facebook, and live video streaming are the preferred methods of communication.

But when it comes to connecting with high-powered influencers, email is still my weapon of choice.

Why?

Because with email, I have their exclusive attention.

I’m not competing with a Facebook newsfeed or 50 Twitter notifications or a random cat video on YouTube.

Email is a one-to-one, mono-y-mono connection between me and the influencer.

But how do you get in touch with an influencer and actually get their attention?

Most people think that that an influencer would never be interested in what they have to say.

Most people are DEAD wrong.

Here is my step-by-step formula for reaching out to and getting a response from important people.

FIND THE EMAIL ADDRESS OF YOUR INFLUENCER

Believe it or not, finding the email address of the person you’re looking for isn’t the hard part.

No need for slimy, blackhat tricks. I use FindAnyEmail to find email addresses. This is a legal, ethical way of finding email addresses.

Simply enter the first name, last name, and domain name of the person you’re searching for. Here’s a quick search for Michael Hyatt.

Find Email Address - Free Email Search & Verification Tool 2015-11-08 19-51-46

Here’s another one I did for Chris Drucker:

Find Email Address - Free Email Search & Verification Tool 2015-11-08 20-01-33

If FindAnyEmail doesn’t work, you can try one of these ways, but usually I find what I’m looking for on the first try.

CRAFTING THE PERFECT OUTREACH EMAIL

Now that you’ve got the right email address, it’s time to craft the perfect cold call email.

Before we talk about what you should do, let’s talk about what you really shouldn’t do.

After all, as Ash over at The Middle Finger Project says:

…everybody’s trying to pitch everything, yet nobody knows HOW to pitch anything.

Do NOT:

  • Blast a generic email to 50 different people at one time.
  • Use a boring subject line like, “Thought you might like this.”
  • Pretend that you somehow know the person you’re contacting.
  • Pretend that the person will immediately understand why you’re contacting them.
  • Write an incredibly boring that is totally irrelevant to the reader.

In other words, don’t write an email like this:

Hey %Name%,

I just wrote a post called “How To Write Emails” that I thought you might like.

Here it is: www.heresthelink.com

I’d really like it if you shared it on social media.

Thanks,

Stephen Altrogge

Uhh, no.

I mean, what would you do if you got this email? I would delete it. Immediately. My inbox is full enough as it is, and I don’t need more boring emails cluttering it.

So what should you include in your email?

A super interesting subject line that compels the reader to open.

Most people get hundreds, if not thousands of emails every day. So how do you get your email to stand out?

By crafting a killer subject line.

My subject line to Pat Flynn was: Yes, I am THAT annoying blogger

Not especially compelling, but interesting enough to get Pat to click on the email. My emails to Joanna Wiebe and Rand Fishkin were very similar.

I also like this headline because it contains some amount of self-awareness that, by virtue of sending an unsolicited email, I am one of those annoying people who fills up inboxes.

If you’re going to get a response to your email, spend time working on your subject line. Make it as interesting and compelling as possible. If the reader isn’t interested, they won’t open the email, and you’ll never get a response.

Dave Gerhardt over at Hubspot puts it like this:

So how do you write a good subject line? Figure out what you are ultimately trying to say and then boil down that request to 5-7 words. Once you get to those 5-7 words, make sure those words speak to the interests of your recipient and clearly communicate what you’d like from that email exchange.

Tons of personality that makes for an interesting read.

Here’s what I said to Joanna:

blogger

About 20 minutes later, Joanna replied by saying:

joanna

Why did my email generate a response? Because it was INTERESTING!

The Internet is full of endless, boring drivel. Of stupid memes and Buzzfeed quizzes.

When something has personality and zest, it majorly stands out from the crowd.

I want the readers of my emails to be entertained, even if they don’t do what I’m requesting. So when crafting a cold-call email, I try to include as much interesting, entertaining material as possible.

My high cold-call response rate is primarily due to the fact that my emails are, at the least, engaging.

Boring emails lead to low response rates. Entertaining, engaging, clear emails lead to more opens and more responses.

When you craft cold-call emails, focus on including:

  • Self-deprecating humor.
  • An appreciation for something that person has done.
  • An awareness that you may be annoying them.

Up front acknowledgement that you’re asking them to do something

When you send someone a cold-call email, be up-front about the fact that you want something from them. Don’t pretend that you’re emailing them out of the goodness of your heart. They can see right through it, and they know you’re just spewing nonsense.

Acknowledge that you want them to share your article or reply to you. Don’t beat around the bush. Be clear about what it is you’re asking them to do.

The worst that can happen is they decline your request.

Wrapping It Up

Being able to connect with high-powered influencers is incredibly valuable, and contrary to most people’s perceptions, not all that difficult.

If you’re willing to spend time crafting the perfect subject line, infusing your email with personality, and being clear about what you’re requesting, you can almost always get a response.




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How To Craft Cold Call Emails That ALWAYS Get Results was originally published on December 15th, 2015 06:55 AM by Matthew Woodward Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved.]]>
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