Linkedin Marketing A To Z
If you’re not getting the results you want from your LinkedIn page, try these advanced insights to rev up your LinkedIn profile and make it work harder for you!
First off – let me say this – if you are looking for some long-winded ramble on making a million dollars in 45 minutes….this is not it. You will actually have to spend some time setting up each site and putting the plan in place.
Fortunately though, once they are set up – they run with minimal maintenance on your part, but provide the Big G and all of her pets, Panda, Penguin, and whoever is next – Platypus?) with all the food they want. Google will love you, your clients will love you, your writers and their clients will love you and mostly – you will start loving your life and your bank account again.
Everyone knows that LinkedIn is a great place for business contacts – in fact there are very few places where you can connect directly with as many C-level decision makers as you can on LinkedIn. Everyone is in the mindset of doing business – so it’s a place you want to be!
But there is something else that everyone here has in common: we are all trying to find ways to get more exposure for ourselves and our businesses or our client’s businesses..and this where you can step in to help – both yourself and other business people on LinkedIn.
As to the technique itself – I tripped over the core concept accidentally – but it took many months to put together the website that the method utilizes, because there was simply no single resource or tool that did it all quite the way it needed to be done!
This guide includes all of the plugins and resources you need to set up your website the right way – and trust me – it will save you literally weeks of time!!
The Power of User Generated Content
As you have no doubt heard….probably a few hundred times a day in fact,….there has been a bloodbath going on over the past year, thanks to Google’s drive to improve the ‘user experience’ online.
The goal was to remove auto-built sites filled with spun content that was obviously never intended to be read by humans. Many site owners saw their sites disappear from the search engines overnight – along with their income.
What Google wants to see is real content written by…gasp!…real people. And not only that – but if you really want to be seen by an authority in your space – the content needs to be original, and if at all possible….you need more than one author contributing content to your website.
But hiring writers is expensive, and the results are unpredictable and frequently simply awful. Guest bloggers are difficult to find and often submit content that is little more than a sales pitch for their own product, that does little to add any real value to your site.
But I’ve discovered a great way to find all the content I need, from people that are looking for ways to establish themselves as authorities in their field – and for almost any industry that you can imagine!
LinkedIn, the leading internet site for business networking is a goldmine for us website owners! It is filled with business professionals and entrepreneurs that want to;
a) build a broad network of contacts in their industry
b) establish themselves as leaders and authorities in their field of expertise and
c) understand the power of self-promotion – done correctly!
These are people that are open to being contacted – otherwise they would not be on LinkedIn!
But one of the key things that I have discovered is that although they use LinkedIn, very few have a personal or business blog because they simply don’t have the time to maintain one on a regular basis.
BUT…and occasional article or post, suits them perfectly!
These are also people that understand the power of branding themselves online, the importance of being published in a variety of mediums, and that you cannot establish a true aura of authority in business simply learning to use Twitter. Social media is great for some things….but not for establishing credibility the way you do with articles, press releases and interviews.
Since I discovered this little secret, I have used it on multiple websites, across several different verticals, and it has worked like a charm. I have original content and news on my sites, and everyone seems happy. I do admit to having a lot of spiders around the place though……Google’s little darlings visit the site several times a day, as does Bing and Yahoo, so I guess we are doing something right!
Follow the steps outlined in this report – and within a matter of weeks, you could have all the content you need to have a great authority blog in your niche!
Our Goal: Authority Sites That Google Loves!
So here is what you need to put this all together:
A Niche! You can create an authority site in virtually any niche but in our case, since we are using LinkedIn, you will have the best luck in niches that have groups already established on LinkedIn. While you CAN find your writers by contacting LinkedIn members one at a time – it will be a lot easier to reach out to larger groups with your offer.
A self-hosted WordPress blog. It does NOT need to be fancy – but it does need to have some special features that will make it easier to attract your guest bloggers and regular contributors. Don’t panic – we have you covered. You’ll find a full list of the plugins you need (all free), some premium ones that are really nice to have but not absolutely necessary, and a list of both free and premium WordPress themes that we personally use.
A decent logo graphic – you can usually get one for $5 at – you guessed it – fiverr.com
A LinkedIn profile (yes, that IS why I called this “LinkedIn to Content” – clever, huh?)
A little patience as you follow some (really!) very simple steps to build a real Authority site that Google and all of her pets will love – a real site with user generated content! 😉
You are actually going to be working on your website and your LinkedIn profile pretty much simultaneously – so although they are labelled as separate steps…you will probably be going back and forth between the two projects to make sure they are perfectly in sync!
Step 1: Choosing Your Niche
Obviously – this is a very important step – in fact it is critical to everything that we are going to do here.
Personally, I like to check on the groups I want to join BEFORE I set up a new profile. I generally start out with a wide top level niche, such as ‘Home Business” or “Health” and then start building up my list of groups and sub-topics using LinkedIn’s Group Directory.
The first step is to check out the Groups on LinkedIn, and search for groups related to your niche.
LinkedIn has made the search process a bit convoluted but it is still not difficult:
On your home page, input your keyword into the search box at the top of the page, such as ‘small business group’ and hit enter.
Click on Groups, and then start reviewing according to the parameters below…..
For now though…we are just doing research – so keep away from that join button!
Continuing on with our research…..
1. Starting with your top level key word, scroll through the listings and find a few good sized groups, with a good level of activity. Make a list of the top 5 to 10 groups that you find. Note the name, and the number of members.
2. Next, click on the “Similar Groups” link and let LinkedIn tell you what groups IT thinks are related to your primary keyword. Review this list of groups, picking out 3 to 5 groups for each new potential keyword.
3. Continue this process of finding similar groups, and new related keywords, until you have a list of 50 to 75 groups, focused around 10 to 15 keywords, all related to your primary keyword. This list is going to be the foundation to building your new website.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Website!
For the purposes of this guide – we are going to assume that you know how to a) buy a domain, b) have a basic hosting account and c) know how to set up a WordPress blog, including the basics of uploading, installing and configuring simple plugins (trust me – none of these are very complicated!)
There are some key elements that your new site needs to make this attractive to the writers we want to attract as permanent regular contributors PLUS the long term goal is to try and get your site included in Google News (no promises – but you might as well do this correctly from the beginning, just in case, right?)
The entire site can be set up using free themes and plugins 😉
Yes, you CAN use some really nifty premium themes and plugins, but if you don’t have the budget for it when you start, don’t worry
about it. With a little elbow grease – you can do it all without spending anything extra beyond your hosting account!
Here’s what your new site needs to be attractive to your potential writers:
1. The Right Theme
Although you could just go to wordpress.org and download a free theme, I highly discourage this as recent studies have shown a high rate of harmful code in free themes. This is a great way to see all of your hard work go down the drain when your site gets banned in Google for ‘malicious code’!
If you want to use a free theme, use one from a reputable themes provider. Even most premium theme companies offer free themes to ‘tease’ you into becoming a paying customer!
These are some free themes that come from well established premium theme developers that work well for these sites:
• WooThemes.com: The Original, Premium News
• SoloStream.com: Solostream 3 Column, WP-Glory 1.0
• GabFireThemes.com: Snapwire
• Theme-Junkie.com: FashionPress, Collection
And, if you have a bit of a budget…these are my favorite premium themes:
WooThemes.com: Fresh News, LiveWire, BoldNews, The Journal, The Gazette, Canvas, Currents
Theme-Junkie.com: FreshLife, Collection, Newspaper, Forrester, Daily, ClearType, Channel, Fashion Press
ElegantThemes.com: Magnificent, Aggregate, TheStyle, TheSource
GabFireThemes.com: City-Desk, Arts & Culture, LinePress, BlogNews, Advanced Newspaper, NewsPro, WPNewspaper, Transcript
SoloStreams.com: WP-Professional, WP-DaVinci, WP-Clear,
I’ve personally used most of the themes listed above, and can honestly say that I have had good support as well from all companies listed.
There are a LOT of good news themes available today, so this is a tough choice, and I freely admit that I learned the hard way which themes actually work best for these sites!
In the beginning I always fell for the really busy looking news themes – the ones that basically let you easily put 20 or 30 stories on the home page. My thinking was WOW! That looks like CNN or some other big news site….but from a real-life maintenance perspective, it’s a nightmare!
It takes a LOT of fresh content to keep that kind of site new and appealing – and sometimes just setting them up took forever – too many options, too many features, too many categories needed.
Now I look for sites that offer a “featured content” slider or tabbed area, but I also like a theme that allows me to show a featured news slider that does NOT require images. The reason for this is that I’ve found that it often takes longer to find a ‘safe’ photo to use for a story than it does to write the story.
A good alternative is to create a default graphic/image for each category and store them in your media folder. This way you can quickly grab the image for the category and it becomes a nice branding for each category – you will wind up with a very professional looking blog with minimal effort with this technique.
A side benefit of this method is that regular users will be able to easily spot stories of interest when they see the category image they recognize.
I also like sliders or tabbed areas that can pull content from 6 to 8 categories. This is enough to keep your readers engaged and still make it realistic from a management perspective.
For the home page layout, I find that 3 columns usually works best with a widget area on the right, or some variation of this style. This allows you to have ad space, and create effective navigation tools without overdoing it on the site.
Remember the goal is to feature the content first to make Google happy and attract writers! Once you have accomplished this – you can monetize in many ways – from Adsense to selling your own products, depending on the niche you have chosen.
TIP: You will often find monetization possibilities offered through your writers, so be sure to check with each writer to see if they have any affiliate programs available for you to promote! And of course, whenever possible – look for programs that offer recurring billing that result in long-term, monthly revenue streams for you.
2. An Author Page
This the Author profile page that used to be in the standard WordPress installation and no longer is. This will allow your writers to create their own full bio – as long or as short as they want – with links back to their own site. But….we have you covered – check the Bonus Alert below!
3. Author Directory
This is a nice way to list all of the authors on your site, and gives them added exposure. We use the Free Member’s List plugin to accomplish this – which is listed in the Suggested Plugins section, and is included in your Bonus.zip package in the Plugins folder
4. Expanded User Profile
Depending on your chosen niche, you might want to add additional fields to the Author bio, such as company, education etc that are not easily added to the standard WP User profile, unless you are brave enough to play with the database. I am not so I use the Juiz Custom Meta plugin – it’s free and works like a champ!
An absolute must – the ability to easily and quickly create good forms that can be easily customized to meet your needs.
Typically, I use forms for an application form for potential writers, a press release submission form, and article submission form for those that do not want to write on a regular basis. Additional forms that I usually need are for my ‘feature’ or ‘showcase’ areas, one for businesses and one for individuals.
I use Formberry and WuFoo.com, both are terrific – but you can also use the new plugin I found below – it works very well and is totally free, just takes a bit of time to set-up the first form.
One caveat here – it does take a little time to copy and paste the submissions from the form to an actual post – but for casual one-
time submissions, it is worth it. I personally would rather spend the time to do create the post than to grant access to the blog to people that may only submit one PR. Not worth the risk!
6. User Role Management:
This is essential as (obviously) you don’t want to give everyone the same ability on your website – too much of a security risk. The standard WP dashboard only gives you very limited ability to do so.
We actually use a number of different plugins – but we’ve included our two favorites below for you.
Suggested Plugins (free):
So now that we’ve told you WHAT you need…..here’s a full list of all of the plugins (free and premium) that we use to build our sites. And believe me this, list will save you weeks of testing and research time!
You can build the entire site with free plugins – the premium ones are just for more automation, etc – but you can definitely survive without them! All of the plugins are easy to install, and very easy to set-up – very newbie friendly!
1. Google News Map
Now, getting included in Google News is not easy- and some niches are virtually impossible no matter how much original content you have – BUT, I personally set up all of my sites from the beginning to meet the Google News requirements because it is almost impossible to go back and do it AFTER you have a few hundred posts in place.
2. User Role Editor & Role Scoper
Easily grant your writers and columnists exactly the role and access you want on your site in just a few minutes! I’ve included 2 different plugins for you – I use them both, and they both work very well, really a matter of how detailed you want to get with your user roles, so try them both out and see which one you like best!
3. Author Avatars List
This lets your Author’s avatars be shown in a widget on each page – writers love it!
4. HTML in Author Bio
Without this – the bio’s are pretty limited as far as styling, paragraph breaks etc. This just makes it a lot easier to have a decent looking bio on the Author page, and is very simple to install and use.
5. Juiz User Custom Meta
For whatever reason, the standard user profile doesn’t have things like Company name listed, so this lets you add custom fields. We’ve also included complete instructions in the Appendix, so you can add other fields if you need to. It’s really not that difficult!
6. Members List
A nifty free plugin that lets you create a directory of your writers. You can name the list whatever you want, decide what details are visible to visitors and what is visible to signed in members of the site too. Several variables make this a really slick free plugin with a lot of ‘premium’ features.
7. Microsoft AJAX Translation
I always like to have my blogs available to anyone that visits – and this is one of the best translation plugins available today, now that Google has discontinued it’s translation API.
8. Subscribe To Author Posts Feed
Creates a link for each Author’s RSS feed at the end of their article allowing readers to easily subscribe to a particular author’s content.
This is an easy to use plugin for creating simple polls on your blog. Polls are a very effective way of creating interaction between your LinkedIn groups and your website – the more topical and/or controversial, the better. (note: I have had a few issues lately with this one ‘playing nicely’ with a few other plugins, so just a word of caution!)
10. Forms Options
Two free options for your forms: the Easy Contact Forms plugin, which is a super easy to use form builder with a drag and drop interface – or get a free account at http://wufoo.com. The free account lets you have 3 forms, 10 fields and 100 entries – it’s enough to get you started and is easier than even the simplest WP plugin that we have used so far. 😉
Suggested Plugins (premium)
Okay, I admit it…I am a WordPress junkie, and I have oodles of premium themes and plugins…but there are indeed a few that I consider absolutely ‘best in class’ that I can recommend wholeheartedly:
Content Buddy by PluginDynamo.com
This is my all time fave when it comes to curation: it lets you set your keyword parameters and choose where you want to pull content from and the type of content you want. You can then quickly view the various results (in a new window so you never leave your post area) so you can grab a few quotes, write a couple of sentences, and your post is done. Then to make Google REALLY happy – you can actually drag and drop links to the news resources into the bottom of your post.
Disclaimer: Yes, the links to this one are actually affiliate links. If you are as smart as I think you are and see the amazing value in this plugin – and subscribe for that huge $7.95 per month – I will make a commission! Yea!!! And thank you! (and yes – I really did put in an affiliate link here – the only one in this guide!)
1-Click WP SEO by George Katsudas
Yes, I admit it – I am sometimes lazy about SEO…but the truth is when you have good, original content and a plugin like this one – you really don’t have to kill yourself learning SEO, and you will still rank well. This one not only automates the SEO process for
each post – you can even add it to an existing blog and it will optimize previous posts for you. Totally love this one!
Recommended Services (includes free options!)
Creating Your First Content
Before you go back to LinkedIn to set up your profile – you need to add some content to your blog. Since we are trying to create a blog that will be an authority in a specific niche, vertical or industry – a good place to start is with press releases – BUT most press release sites do not allow you to reprint the full press release – and Google does NOT want to see another site full of press releases anyway – so what you are going to do is quickly ‘curate’ a few press releases or news articles that fit your chosen topic.
If you are new to the concept of ‘curation’ it’s really a very easy process: find a press release, then do a quick Google search (I start with a Google News search if it is recent) for the company in the PR.
Most sites that do press releases will have a news section on their website. You will often find not just PR for that particular company but also important news for their industry as well. This is especially true in the health or weight loss fields, and is a great way to find news regarding medical studies, tests, and new products in these niches.
Pick out a couple of articles (they don’t need to be about the same PR – just related to the company or incident or even the industry) and copy those links to your blog post. I like to put mine at the bottom of the article with a ‘read more’ or ‘related articles’ title.
Google loves these kinds of outgoing links because most press release sites have good PR and Google considers them “authority” sites. I also try to find related news stories at a couple of good authority sites as well; ie: TV station news sites, CNN, ESPN etc.
If it is a major company, you can link to their site or check to see if they have posted the PR to their own news section as well.
Now, write a brief summary of the press release, and add a couple of personal comments as well. If there is a quote I will usually add it, making sure it is in block quote format. Be sure to put the story in your own words, and then clearly link to the site where the original press release is posted. I usually put this at the very bottom of the the summary, just above the links to the related articles.
Continue this process until you have a fair amount of content – I try to do 30 or so, and then set them to post over a couple of weeks. Once you get the feel for doing these – it will really only take a few minutes to do each one. I can usually do the entire site in a couple of hours.
Depending on the niche, I will also add 5 to 15 original articles and where available, I may also add a headline feed from an industry news site, but it really depends on the niche. Headline feeds are nice to add to a sidebar or to a ‘sticky’ post on your home page, and since they constantly update, it makes sure your site will always have fresh content. Unfortunately, in some niches it may not be possible to find the kind of authoritative news feed that you want on this kind of site. Remember – no junk or spun content allowed!
I have several sites that I have been very successful with that only have industry news, and are monetized through various industry specific affiliate programs – but the bottom line is that since you are creating authority style news sites – with lots of original content – you can really monetize these sites any way that you want from Adsense to affiliate programs, to selling your own products. The traffic is focused and targeted to EXACTLY the niche you are targeting.
Step 3: Creating Your LinkedIn Profile
On most social networks it is still fairly easy to have multiple profiles, without getting banned. LinkedIn is not one of those places. LinkedIn does not like people to have multiple profiles and obviously fake profiles will definitely get you booted off, but you can still get pretty focused on your profile and market to multiple niches as long as they are related niches.
For the purposes of this guide, let me make this point very clear:
If you choose to create multiple profiles – real or fake – do so at your own risk!!
For example: Weight loss may be your primary vertical, but you can expand your marketing and branding efforts out to personal development, personal coaching, self improvement etc for the purpose of joining or creating groups.
Usually, the basic membership is enough at this stage – but if your project really takes off, you might want to consider the basic business membership as it does make it easier to connect with influential people that may not be directly reachable otherwise.
Profiles on LinkedIn are very similar to your standard resume layout. There are fields for specific areas related to your professional life such as education and work experience. The resume can be easily edited later so you may add updated or additional information later. There are also prompts on the forms to give you ideas as to how best to complete the profile fields.
Complete your profile as fully as possible, being sure to use your keywords in the appropriate profile areas – without sounding spammy. In other words – write a description that sounds natural to readers, uses your keywords in a ‘conversational’ format, yet
still manages to make good use of your niche’s targeted keywords – without going overboard.
And of course – you already have your website ready to go, so enter all of your website details, being sure to use your keywords, and enter your site RSS feed as well so that all of your updates will be displayed on your profile, too!
TIP: I do not recommend sending out invitations to your existing contacts unless they are related to the niche directly. This is not a good way to build your business – it is better to connect directly with people that are more targeted candidates for your project.
Step 4: Join Those Groups
Now that your profile is complete and we have done our group/niche research, it’s time to go back and join the groups you checked out earlier. A completed profile is very important because many group owners/moderators actually will review your profile to make sure you are an ‘appropriate’ new member for the group.
New people with incomplete details very often will have a difficult time getting accepted into the more active and beneficial groups, but since you have taken the time to set up a good, solid professional profile – you should have no problem getting into the majority of the groups that you apply for.
One thing to remember – no matter what your membership level is with LI – you are limited to joining only 50 groups, so use some care in joining. If you find later that some groups are not proving to be as productive as you want, you can leave a group so that you may join another.
Once you have joined all of your groups, write a brief intro about yourself and your business – nothing too elaborate, just enough to let the group owner and members know that you are going to be a valued contributing member of the group. I usually spin it a bit for every 8 to 10 groups, as there are going to many people that will belong to several of the same groups you are posting to – you don’t want it to look totally ‘copy and paste’ across all 50 groups!
So spin it a bit – change up the opening sentence every few sites, switch the paragraphs around, change the close. You don’t have to write something totally unique for each one – but you do want to vary it a bit so that across the 50 groups you have at least 5 different versions, and ideally 10 different versions.
Step 5: Participating & Connecting
This is the time consuming part but absolutely essential: you need to become a visible known entity at several groups before you start your own group – and start reaching out to ‘connect’. This is all about building your credibility on LinkedIn – and credibility will lead to your long-term success with this project!
Here’s the game plan: I usually focus on the largest and most active 5 groups that I have joined first as it is pretty overwhelming and time consuming to try and do this over all 50 groups at once.
And as mentioned earlier – there will be many people that will belong to more than one group on your list – so by focusing on the top 5 groups, you stand a very good chance of still being seen by may people that are also members of many of the other groups on your lists.
You will usually find that people will respond to your introduction post – some will welcome you to the group, some may even ask for more information on what you do. Respond to each comment, and send out an invitation to connect with each person that comments. That’s the big perk of joining groups – according to LinkedIn’s hierarchy, you are now ‘connected’ to every person in every group that you belong to – you can now start reaching out to them directly 😉
But, obviously, we want to be much more proactive than simply waiting for people to comment on our introduction message – so now we start posting to the groups as well. I like to vary the type of posts that I make. Generally, I will start with a news piece of interest to the niche, and will link directly to the source – NOT to my website.
Next I may ask a question – I may ask for help with a problem related to the industry, asking for assistance in looking for a resource etc – in other words – you are recognizing that others in the group have knowledge and resources that you value and respect.
My next post will usually be an interesting article or even a survey on a topical issue (the more heated/controversial the better!) on my website. I continue this process for a few days – I rotate through all 5 groups, and never post to any group more than once a day.
At the same time that I am making myself ‘visible’ across the groups that I have joined, I will also send out invitations daily until I have built up my connections to 200+ (this doesn’t take long). 200 connections seems to be a good base point to start
your own group – it doesn’t take long to get to this point, and gives you a good number to send invitations to once you set up your own group….
Tip: Sending notices out to all of your groups – this is why automated services such as HootSuite or Buffer can be very helpful!
Step 6: Creating Your Own Group
Creating your own group is very easy – LinkedIn will let you create and moderate up to 10 groups! Just click on the ‘Create A Group’ link and follow the instructions. I always set my group to open join, and let posts be published without moderation.
You do get a few spammers but not many – LinkedIn users are pretty good at policing, and inappropriate spam posts are reported and the violators banned pretty quickly, so I have never had much of a problem with it.
This is also covered in more detail in the LinkedIn set-up guide included in your bonus files.
BUT….one of the most important aspects of setting up your group is creating your autoresponder message templates. A LOT of people overlook this when setting up a group – but this is where you can market your website directly to new group members as soon as they join your group, with a well crafted “welcome message” in your autoresponder.
Here’s a screenshot of the Autoresponder set-up page:
It’s important in your group welcome message to direct your new member to YOUR WEBSITE – not just back to the group!
It’s up to you exactly where you send them, but I always include my website main link and links to the sign up page for guest bloggers, contributing writers etc – and I usually pick up at least one new writer per week, just from new group members. If I have a related product or offer going on – I also include that as well! And of course, I always include my direct email address, and surprisingly – I get very, very little spam from any of my groups. (I use a dedicated email address for my LI groups so I can track my responses).
Once you have your group set-up, start inviting all your contacts within your LinkedIn network to join your new group.
The importance of having your own group is that it makes it easier to reach out to people directly, and you don’t have to worry about a group moderator approving your post, so you can easily post whatever you want – and directly promote your own website or services.
Now…last but not least….add the RSS feed from your website to your Group settings. Now, every time you update your website with new content – it will be sent to your Group as well.
Step 7: Putting It All In Motion…
Your LinkedIn profile, your website and your Groups are now set up and ready for the next step…..getting other people to create your content for you, so you can build a site that Google’s pets will love!
and the best part is that once these sites are up and running, it takes very little time to keep them active and building up Google love.
Now all you have to do is let everyone in your network and groups know that you have a website that welcomes guest bloggers, news stories, GOOD articles and quality press releases.
You can also add company or website reviews, offer to publish ‘interview’ style articles, company videos, executive ‘profiles’ – you get the idea! Get creative and think of all the different types of publicity and exposure that any business or business person would love to have – then let your network know that YOUR WEBSITE is offering these free opportunities!
Follow the same steps you used in Step 3 to send out notices to all the groups you joined, as well as sending out these notices to the groups you created.
Once again – always remember that you don’t want to spam LI groups – you CAN get banned – i have had good luck sending out my news blurbs 3 to 5 times a week and usually once a week will send out the notice that we accept press releases and articles.
For most niches, I send out the following 4 different types of messages, interspersed with my website news, each with a link to the appropriate page on our site:
1) Our website is looking for guest bloggers and columnists
2) Post your industry Press Release for Free!
3) Looking for company execs/entrepreneurs to be featured
in ‘Company Showcase’ Feature
4) Polls (these are great as you can send the notice out for
initial participation – and then again when you have the
Tip: Now, here is an interesting note: when we send out notices for Guest Blogger openings – we don’t get nearly as much response as when we send out virtually the same notice but using the word “Columnist”!! Maybe Columnist sounds more ‘professional’ or ‘sexier’ than ‘Guest Blogger’ – but the response rate is about 30% greater!
I suspect that this may vary by industry as well – and that in any IM related niche, Guest Blogger will probably pull as well as Columnist – but remember, at LinkedIn, the demographic is primarily ‘mainstream’ business people. I have a hunch that ‘blogging’ is still looked down upon a bit by those that are more offline than online business people.
Just my personal observation, but we have seen it happen over several niches now – so test it out and see how it works for you! Test for yourself but since we made the switch to Columnist – we get a lot more people sending us content!
The Final Step: Monetizing Your Sites
You now have a very easy to repeat process, that can produce authority sites with original content and far-reaching networks of targeted business leads in virtually any industry that you want to attack and dominate.
Once you go through the process the first time – you will find it easy to replicate, and very easy to outsource a large portion of the initial site and content aspect. What will probably take you a few days to a couple of weeks the first time, will most likely be done in an few hours on your subsequent projects – but the effects will last for years!
Remember, you are not only building sites with real content but you are also going to be building an audience of interested readers and potential buyers!
The ways to monetize these sites is virtually endless: you can take the easy ‘passive’ route of Adsense and other PPC programs, or go the affiliate route with Clickbank, Amazon, Shareasale etc.
I’ve also found that several of my writers have very lucrative referral partner programs that pay by the lead or sale, and depending on the niche – these types of programs will frequently pay a great deal more than the usual affiliate programs.
And of course – you can also sell your own products and services, coaching programs, affiliate program etc. You can also sell advertising space, create a business directory and free listings with paid featured listings or upgrades, set up a job board….you can also add forums and create a full niche community….. the ways to monetize your new site are endless – just use your imagination!
Google News: If your site can be classified as an industry news site, consider submitting it to Google News. It’s not as easy as it
used to be to get approved – but if you get approved, your traffic will jump literally overnight. The fact that you will have multiple LEGITIMATE writers, with real LinkedIn profiles for Google’s staff to review increases your odds of approval dramatically – and trust me – it is worth the extra effort to set it up right from Day One.
Here’s the link to the Google News submission requirements:
A word of advice about Google News – the ‘guidelines’ are a ‘moving target’ – seriously, they change frequently, so be sure to check them out on a regular basis, to make sure what you are doing is still what they want 😉
And last but not least: Flip these sites! These sites rank well in the SERPs, so they sell quickly and for good moola. Document your work, your revenue, your traffic growth along the way, and it will make the sales process much easier and smoother.
The bottom line is that in a few short weeks, you will have a site with unique, quality content that will simply continue to grow with just a little maintenance every week on your part – a true business asset that can be monetized in many ways for years to come!
Good luck – and if you have any questions – just drop us an email at:
[insert your contact details here]
Fine Tuning Your WordPress Site!
As is often the case – while WordPress plugins add a great deal of ‘power’ and functionality to your site, they are often lacking in instructions for setting them up! Here’s some tips to get you started:
Juiz User Custom Meta:
First of all – let me make this very clear!! You do NOT need to add any custom fields unless you want to. You can simply add a bio box to your article submission forms, or let your writers simply register at the author level, and add details such as their Company to the main bio box. So if you are not comfortable with this step – it’s easy to skip!
This allows you to add custom fields to the User Profile, such as
Company, Education, or anything else you can think of.
The first step, of course, is to install the plugin and activate it in your WP installation. Then, under “Users” section, click on “Settings of user custom fields”. Enter “Company” in the first box, and “company”(lower case) in the second box as shown below.
Then simply “Add this custom field” (below left corner).
If you want to add any other fields, you can do so by following the above instructions, then copying and pasting the string of code shown above into the Author.php file.
And no…it is really not quite as difficult as it sounds…but I would suggest keeping additional fields fairly simple, such as maybe “Education”, “Certifications”, etc.
This way, you can very easily add them below the “Company” field, making it easy to add these new fields without affecting the current formatting.
Here’s how you do it:
1) Create the new data entry field
2) Copy the string of code created
2) Go to Appearance > Editor
3) Choose the theme that you are using
4) Click on “Author.php” (hint: always keep a clean copy of a file on your computer! That way if you mess something up – you can just ftp a clean Author.php to your WP install and overwrite the ‘corrupted page’)
5) Look for the line circled below, then paste the new code on the line below it:
6) If you want to match the same size as the company name, you can add <h3> before the code and <h/3> after the code. You can also add in a field name as we added “Company:” above after the <H3> tag. (Be sure to add a space after the colon for better formatting in the profile)
7) Click the “Update file” button under the window and you are done!
This is the plugin that will allow you to create a nice Member’s Directory for your blog. Clicking on the Author’s name in the Members List will take you directly to their full profile.
To Create The Directory:
1) Go to Members List > Settings and set up your list parameters
2) Go to Members List > Create A List and set up your list
3) The shortcode will now be available under “Created Lists”, simply paste the shortcode into a new page (title must be whatever you set up in the first field of step 1 Settings above), and save the page.
4) Add link to page where ever you want on your site!
Adding Your Custom Fields
1) Juiz Custom Fields: Go to Users > Settings Of User Custom Fields
2) Create a new field titled “Company” (without quotation marks!), then click “Add this custom field” – that’s it for now!
2) Go to Members List > Configure Mark-Up
3) The two fields that we recommend showing on the Members List are the Display_Name and Juiz_Company. Members List will by default shows several other fields – you may keep or delete these per your preference.
4) Find Display_Name in the drop down menu, and click ‘Add New Field’
5) Place your cursor over the new field you’ve created until you see ‘edit | remove’ and click on ‘edit’. The next screen will look like this:
6) In the right hand box, replace the existing text with the text below:
<H3><div class=”tern_wp_members_display_name”><a href=”%author_url%”>%value%</a></div></H3> and then click “Update Field” – this will make the Display Name a clickable link to the Author’s Profile page! And there you have it! To your future success, enjoy!
Social media – everyone uses it. From big businesses selling their products to people amusing themselves on the bus, millions of people use social media every day. However it’s time to let you in on a secret millions of social media users are blind to, even though they use these platforms every day.
What if I told you you can make money telling other people what to post on social media?
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Plus, they don’t even have to leave their own homes!
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