5 Smart Ways to Boosts E-commerce Store Sales

Over the last few years, I have dabbled in the e-commerce space and have owned a few different stores. Although finding things to sell takes a bit of digging into, the return can sometimes be substantial if done right.

With the eCommerce business being the fastest growing market projected to hit 4.058 trillion in sales in 2020, many have been stepping into this industry but get stuck along the way in various aspects, one being how to boost their sales. Just like Daren DeMatas rightly said, “Building an e-commerce business takes more than choosing a brand name, writing product listings, and starting to sell products online. Even the best business ideas can flop…”

This is something I have at times struggled with, and continue to work on to boost the revenues of my stores over the different quarters.

In the e-commerce industry, consumer habits change continually, and this is the reason why methods that once worked soon become obsolete. In other words, to continually gain new customers and generate sales, you just have to keep up with new trends. There’s no magic to it.

Having studied and analyzed the dynamics of the business and have used my connections to connect with some of the best in the industry, I have come up with easy and practicable tips that will help you boost your store sales.

Whether you’re entirely new to E-commerce or have been in the business for years, the tips I have shared here will hopefully work perfectly for you.

Here are 5 smart ways to boost E-commerce store sales:

  1. Simplify your checkout process
  2. Ensure that all buttons are functional, especially the back button
  3. Kill the idea of offering too many choices
  4. Put Email marketing to good use
  5. Use paid traffic

Simplify your checkout process

Simplifying your checkout process eliminates the friction associated with the “wear and tear” of potential buyers.

This practice is arguably one of the easiest and effective ways to boost E-commerce store sales. In fact, one company recorded about $300 000 000 increase in sales right after simplifying their checkout process. What did they do? They simply provided people with the option to check out as a guest.

Popular E-commerce sites like Apple, Nixon, Amazon and a few others use this tactic to greatly increase their conversion rate. You can see how they have done that comprehensively here. I love the way Catalin Zorzini, Founder of  ecommerce-platforms.com, has grouped these great sites up and explained every single step they’ve taken to set their checkout page right. He gives fantastic advice on what you should and shouldn’t do, for example he states, “one of the most common reasons for basket abandonment is forcing users to register their details before they checkout”. He then discusses how you can go about fixing it. I can hardly recall a time I’ve worked on a checkout page without making reference to his post for inspiration.

One of the most common reasons for basket abandonment is forcing users to register their details before they checkout.

Catalin Zorzini Ecommerce-Platforms

Other ways you can go about simplifying your checkout process:

  1. Reducing the number of form fields that customers need to fill in before checking out.
  2. Enabling checkout for un-registered customers (guest checkout).
  3. Keep the back button functional
  4. Offering too many choices
  5. Include a progress bar – This will greatly reduce the number of people that will back out of the checkout process. Knowing when the process will finish has a way of getting customers across the finish line.

These are really important tips to keep at the back of your mind at all times. Try them out on your store, and you’ll experience a rise in sales.

Ensure that all buttons are functional, especially the back button

Ask top level sale killers to put their arms up, and you’ll surely find resubmissions or automatic redirects sticking its arm highest. Less than a handful of customers will go ahead to restock the cart on your store once there’s a redirection and they lose their items. To avoid such situations, be sure to maintain a smart cart that will save customer items whether they navigate away from the cart or mistakenly follow a link out of the checkout page.  While this may seem too ordinary a task to make any difference to your store, I consider it one of the easiest ways to boost E-commerce store sales.

Kill the idea of offering too many choices

Not too long ago, Frank, a friend of mine asked me to help him take a look at his Shopify store. He complained of a decline in sales he had started to notice shortly after improving the mobile experience and adding extra products to his store. Immediately, I suspected the problem was from the new product categories he had added. I did some little tweaks here and there, and sales climbed up again. He had created the problem of choice unknowingly!

“Choice,” is a straightforward expression of free will, and customers love when they can find this expression. However, making too many choices available for customers could reduce sales. In fact, according to analysis carried out by Shopify: offering more products for sale will often get more people to visit your store but will cause very few to buy.

Well, you don’t necessarily need to take down your extra products if you already have them up. Simply sorting the products well enough to reduce the complexity associated with choice over a variety will boost your e-commerce store sales. Just categorize your products “seductively”. This tip worked for Frank, it will definitely work for you too.

Put Email marketing to good use

Email marketing is one of the most reliable and profitable ways to boost your E-commerce store sales.

It can be simple or complex (not difficult) depending on what E-commerce marketing strategies you apply. For example, you can simply get across to people who abandoned their shopping carts and get them to buy.

On the one hand, it could go as complex as preparing and putting out several campaigns that will work closely together to greatly improve sales. All the same, the aim remains to build trust with existing and all potential customers. Whatever be the case, there’re some great Email marketing apps you can use to make certain processes easier and smoother.

What we will look at here is the simple approach to growing your E-commerce store. To accomplish this, you need to have emails of people who have previously bought items from your store, or that are likely to buy.

If you already have an email list of customers (probably provided during the checkout process), that’s great! If you don’t (maybe because you’re new to the business), we’re still good but you’ll have to start by building a list. Here are 3 ways you can get people on your email list:

  • Use pop-up on your site that offers people a discount
  • Run ads targeted at selling a specific product.
  • Do giveaways with products related to what you sell on your store.

So, once you have got the email list, the next thing to do is sell the people on the list! Here are 2 ways you can go about that.

  • Upselling: This is the practice of encouraging customers to buy a comparable higher-end product. For example, if a customer bought an iPhone 6, you could upsell them to an iPhone 7 Plus.
  • Cross-selling: This is often confused with upselling, but they are two different things. Cross-selling involves selling products that go alongside products they have already bought. That is products that are complementary to previously bought items. For example, if someone has bought a tie, you can cross-sell them a pocket square.

If you plan on cross-selling, I recommend you start email marketing them a week or two after they buy a complementary product.

However, keep the words of Darren DeMatas on e-commerce marketing common pitfalls where he advised, “once you build a list of potential customers, resist the urge to blast them with generic sales promos!”, as this could turn them off. Darren offers a pretty detailed roadmap on the use of email marketing to boost sales on his website, be sure to check it out.

Once you build a list of potential customers, resist the urge to blast them with generic sales promos!

Darren DeMatas EcommerceCEO

Have it in mind that upselling takes a little more effort to close than cross-selling, as it requires some more convincing. You’ll definitely need some knowledge on building customer loyalty if you plan on upselling your customers.

In any case, these two methods will help you reduce abandoned carts, and go on to record fresh sales. However, as mentioned earlier, there’s more to Email marketing than I’ve discussed within the few lines above. If you’re looking to have all the nitty-gritty of Email marketing in your fingertips, there’s no better place to go than Ecommerceceo.

Paid Traffic

Most people have crossed out the idea of boosting sales via paid traffic from their to-do list based on negative stories they’ve heard. Stories of how people have spent loads of cash on paid traffic without getting any ROI. And frankly, paid traffic can be very expensive and yield you no result, but only if you’re going about it the wrong way.

If you heard of a machine that turns one dollar into more than $1, wouldn’t you invest in it? Paid traffic is such a machine, and you should invest in it. The reason lots of people lose their money through paid traffic is that they go all the way in without testing the waters!

What do I mean by “testing the waters”?  I mean spending little amounts of money running several campaigns to see which one makes the most hit, and then spending more on it.

“Spending anything within $20 – $50 on each ad variation is considered OK”

While running the campaigns and multiple ad variations, monitor the metrics to see which of them brings in the highest numbers. Once this is found, kill the rest and invest more in the winning campaign. This way, you will find boosting your E-commerce store sales more affordable and profitable.

That said, one other thing you should pay attention to while utilizing paid traffic is proper targeting. With advanced tools on great advertising platforms like Facebook, for instance, you can target people who are more likely to buy.

For example. Let’s say you sell T-shirts with stars from the TV series, Game of Thrones printed on them, and you want to run a Facebook ad to increase sales. The best thing to do is to target people who follow and like pages related to the TV series. The chances of selling are bound to be higher since the set of people already have an interest.

If your ads get to the right audience, there’s a higher chance of getting more bang for your bucks. You can generate tons of sales on your E-commerce store from Facebook ads, but there’s a lot to learn.

Conclusion

I love finding and trying out new ways to boost E-commerce store sales, skyrocket returns and build quality relationships with customers. And of course, ecommerceceo and e-commerce-platforms are two sites that help me achieve these.

I’ve tried out, and continue to use every tactic mentioned in this post extensively, and they work perfectly for me. If you put them to good use, they will work for you too.

Whether you’re entirely new to e-commerce, or you’ve been in the business and your sales are stalling, the way out is to try new tactics. Good thing you’ve come across this article through which I aim to help you explore practicable and highly effective methods that will increase sales on your E-commerce store.

Hopefully, reading this has provided you with the required skillset to achieve great results, all that’s left now is for you to get started.

Surely, there are several other smart ways to boost E-commerce store sales. Are there some you’ve tried that I’ve not discussed here? Which did you find to be most effective?

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How To Get Monthly Website Visitors With Top List Articles

Traffic to me is the simplest thing on the planet. It is so easy to get! All you have to do is provide people with a solution to their problem and they will come, read it and they will share it with their friends!

I have created over 100 ‘top list’ type posts which have been viewed by millions. They are so popular and well received that they have been featured on Reddit Homepage, New York Times, Yahoo News & one even became a Trending Topic on Twitter! The best part… I can get these types of posts created for just $25. Let me teach you how.

Why Creating Lists Will Drastically Increase Your Traffic

When you Google, think what you are typing in, let’s say you are looking for a cure for a health problem. Just for example, you are going to type in Cure Acid Reflux. That’s a big search term. Firstly you would be surprised how many people don’t name the article what people are searching for in Google. This blows my mind. Why are you calling your article something fancy and using words people don’t ever use, just to make yourself look smart. No one is typing that in Google, so you shouldn’t be naming your posts that.

I’m no SEO expert, there I said it. But I do get around 200,000 visitors a month from Google alone so it’s kind of a big deal for me.

Here’s what I believe: Google ranks sites which are naturally awesome. Forget everything about buying links and social love. Just imagine that your posts are so cool, people spend ages on your site and people love to share your stuff. That’s what GOOGLE wants! Great content because they are in the content industry. There job is to provide users with the right content and the best possible option, if yours is not that, then you don’t rank so well.

Back to my health post, I will call it :

10 Ways To Cure Acid Reflux

Somewhere I heard that odd numbers work better for open rates and marketing so I often will change the 10 for 7, 11, 13, 17 basically any odd number that looks good. I will decide how many I want before I even create the post. Ofcourse, it sometimes changes as I’m writing the post.

What you don’t want to do is call your article something like:

Surefire Ways To Eradicate Acid Reflux

I’m sure someone will type in Eradicate Acid Reflux every month or two but Surefire Ways? No Way!

You think this is an extreme example? Heck no, this is a nice example.

Tip 1. Name Your Posts Something People Search For!

Here’s where top lists dominate:

  • Firstly, they are quite long so people tend to spend a while reading them.
  • Each part is in section, for example, our Cure Acid Reflux post, its 7 cures, so we have 7 headlines with each option. Because of this, people can quickly decide YES, there’s something here I am willing to do, so I will read it all. I think a lot of articles don’t do well because people are not prepared to commit time to read a page if they don’t think it’s going to help them.
  • The title says exactly what you get, so you know what you are getting into.
  • When shared on social media, again, people know what they are about to get. Often people will retweet and share blog posts just because of the title, not even knowing if the article is good or not.

Step 1. To Dominating Any Industry

Post a large amount of amazing articles. That’s what I do, I show up in dozens of industry’s and just do the same old top list posts but for different industry’s. Here’s some examples:

Blogging/Make Money Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People In Blogger
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Internet Entrepreneur
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Tips To Cure Bloggers Block
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Facebook

Photography Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People In Photography
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To be a Photographer
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Photographers
  • 17 Tips To Fix Bad Photos
  • 20 Photographers To Follow on Facebook

Health Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential People in Natural Health
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be Healthy
  • 10 Christmas Gifts for Super Healthy People
  • 17 Tips To Cure Acid Reflux
  • 20 Health Experts To Follow on Facebook

Young Entrepreneur Industry

  • Top 30 Most Influential Young Entrepreneurs
  • 10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Young Entrepreneur
  • 10 Christmas Gifts For Young Entrepreneurs
  • 17 Tips To Stop People Treating You Different Because Of Your Age
  • 20 Young Entrepreneurs To Follow On Facebook

See how easy it is?

And it doesn’t stop there. Each post can be done in so many other ways. For example:

10 Reasons Why It Rocks To Be a Photographer… you could flip this on it’s head and do 10 Reasons Why It Sucks…

Tip 2. Turn One Top List Into a Series of Top Lists

Remember our post suggestion: 20 Bloggers To Follow on Facebook

How about doing that with every social network:

  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Twitter
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Youtube
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Pinterest
  • 20 Bloggers To Follow on Google+

Instead of doing a post such as “20 Ways To Improve Your Website” – you could split it into a series and niche each one down, so for example:

  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Load Time
  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Usability
  • 10 Ways To Improve Your Websites Blog Layout
  • 10 Ways To Improve your Websites Conversion Rate

Step 2. Getting Articles Created (20 at a time)

So in order to achieve a lot of success with our blogs, we need a lot of content… by doing basically no actual work. This is important because as a business owner we can’t be doing everything ourselves, so we need to outsource what other people can do for us.

The great thing about top list articles, is they are more or less just research. Almost anyone can write them. The first article I ever outsourced was way back in 2009 and since then, has recieved over 1,000,000 visitors. All I had to do is hire someone and pay them $50. Still to do this day, I get thousands of visitors to my website every month because of that blog post. So don’t just think about how much traffic you will get today from a post but how much traffic you can get in the future.

Right now, one of the easiest places to hire a writer is Fiverr. They have a huge selection of writers and you can get your post written in under 24 hours. So if you want to test this strategy out, click here to hire someone to write your articles for you!

Tip 3. Be Specific With What You Want

If you want great articles, you have to give great guidelines. When you hire someone, I always include instructions so they know what I expect from them. This is what I send them:

Guidelines For Writing Awesome Articles For My Website

The majority of people who write articles for us, will go on to write many more. Please follow my article outline and guidelines to ensure your article is well received and accepted. Failure to do so will result in your article being declined.

All posts should be well researched.

If the article is numbered, please number it 1. 2. 3. etc (not #1 #2 #3 or 1 – 2 – 3 -)

If the title is broad, for example, 50 Places to Visit in 50 States of America, then please give a broad selection of choice. So for example, don’t make all 50 places landmarks, split it up so their is variety, for example, Landmarks, Famous Restaurants, Bars, Theme Parks, Extreme Things To Do and so on.

Be consistent with how you lay your article out, for example, I sometimes see people write post titles with the attraction first, followed by location. Then there will be 1 or 2 titles without a location. Each title needs to be in the same format.

Below is an example of how I like articles to be laid out:
—————————————–

Headline

Introduction to post. (This needs to be informative and make them want to carry on reading.)

Subheadline, in h2 tags. <h2>Your Subheadline</h2>

<h3>Item 1</h3>

[IMAGE]

Information why you should do what this title suggestions.

<h3>Item 2</h3>

[IMAGE]

And continue.

[There should be one line between each element.]

—————————————–

Examples of successful posts written:

  • https://www.incomediary.com/21-life-lessons-from-steve-jobs
  • https://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-websites
  • https://www.incomediary.com/top-earning-blogs

Conclusion

As you can see in the final part of this post, I guide writers through exactly what I want. Even giving them examples of writers who have already followed our guidelines. This is key to having success with outsourcing article writing.

So just to recap what you need to do:

  1. Download our 110 top list headline templates, it’s FREE!
  2. Go through our headlines and decide on the 10 that you think will be most successful on your blog.
  3. Go to Fiverr and hire a writer or several writers to create this content for you.
  4. Publish content on your website and enjoy the benefits of top list articles.
  5. Repeat the first 4 steps over and over again.

That’s all there is to our top list strategy. It works for us and it’s worked for thousands of other IncomeDiary readers as well, so why not give it a try?

The post How I Get Over 100,000 Visitors a Month With Top List Articles appeared first on How To Make Money Online.

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How To Make Money Online – Your First $100k From Blogging

Most people, when they try to make money online, overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.

That is why I often tell brand new bloggers to focus on the first $100 rather than the $100K figure.

That said, how was it possible, that we could create a brand new blog and only 30 days later, have already earned over $5000?

Today’s post will answer that question.

The IncomeDiary Blueprint for Making Money Online

Idea —> Take Action —> Build a Brand —> Create Content —> No Leakage Rule —> Blog Funnel System —> Free eCourse  —>  Product —> Money

All great websites start with solving a problem.

Step 1) How To Come Up With Website Ideas | Solve a Problem

At IncomeDiary we focus on the make “money online niche”.

Making money online is something that interests a lot of people, from many different demographics.

As soon as we started we had people ask us how to start their first blog.

And once they had started their blog, how could they make money from it?

Some even asked us to build websites for them.

There was a PROBLEM that people wanted help in SOLVING!

From the responses we where getting and our own research it was clear there was a demand.

But how do we make money from this demand?

In the case of IncomeDiary we knew a lot of our income would come from affiliate links.

That is where we started.

If you are a first time blogger you will need a domain, hosting, blog design, email list management.

Fortunately there are plenty of affiliate programs for services like this and in any case we needed all these services ourselves.

As an example if someone signed up for a domain, hosting and a blog design through our affiliate links, we would earn $100.

All we needed to do was convince 50 people to follow our advice and we would earn $5000.

Better still we where recommending products and services that we where using ourselves!

In blogging as in all business having a plan is essential.

A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power ~ Brian Tracy

All we needed to do now was estimate / work out how much traffic we would need in order to accomplish our goal for month one!

We are simplifying the calculations here a little – not everyone will need a domain or hosting for example – some will purchase more services, some will purchase less.

But for the purpose of planning these where good starting points.

Of course your niche may be entirely different from Make Money Online – but for just about every niche there is be affiliate programs you can promote to your readers.

As an aside, our sister site – ExpertPhotography.com covers a completely different niche to IncomeDiary – but when it started out, it used exactly the same strategy as IncomeDiary to get its first income – great content combined with affiliate income!

Step 2) To Make Money Online – Take Action

Now that we had an idea, we had to create a website.

This is an easy step, something that only took a few hours. I go over this in detail on this page.

Step 3) To Make Money Online – Build a Brand

Branding isn’t something a lot of people think much of.

But branding is important. It’s what someone thinks about your website.

When people think IncomeDiary, we want them to think, authority website that teaches people how to make money online.

To achieve this, we did a few things:

Domain Name

You want it to be easy to remember, easy to spell and you want it be a .com.

When I create a website, I don’t begin until I have found a domain that I think is good enough.

Sometimes it makes sense to buy a domain that has already been registered from a Domain Broker.

For example, IncomeDiary.com was bought for $100 from a blogger.

And we paid $2000 for our sister site – ExpertPhotography.com – via a domain broker.

Blog Design

If your blog doesn’t look good, it reflects badly on your brand. I’m not saying you have to spend a lot of money, we didn’t.

We started with buying a premium theme for $80 and getting a custom logo created. We kept the website simple and easy to understand.

It’s also important to pick a good color scheme for your site. When someone sees the green color we use, I want them to think IncomeDiary.com (I also wanted them to think money!)

Create Top Lists (read before you scroll past this)

Now I know most people know what a top list is, but you need to know what posts we created, why we created them and how they influenced our brand.

Some examples of the top lists we created:

Creating these posts, made us stand out as an authority on the subject.

If we are the website to decide which bloggers are the most influential, then we must know a lot about blogging.

Interview Experts

Interviews don’t get us a lot of long term traffic.

What they do though, is associate our website with experts in our industry.

We are not going into detail on conducting interviews in this post – but read any of our interviews and you will have interview templates you can follow.

Step 4) To Make Money Online – Create Compelling Content

To make money, we firstly had to get traffic. To get traffic, we had to firstly create interesting content.

We have spoken a lot about creating content.

The strategy for getting a lot of traffic from blogging is simple – create amazing content.

Look at this post as an example:

  • The subject of the post is something people are looking to read about
  • Over 2000 words (average page on first page of good is over 2000 words)
  • It’s easy to read (checked spelling, grammar, post styling)
  • Headline draws the reader in
  • It provides real value
  • Post images add to value of the post

The 10 posts that received the most traffic in the first few months were all top list articles.

Looking back, their was very little traffic going to any posts that were not top lists or interviews.

One big benefit from writing top list posts and interviewing authorities in your industry, is the amount of links and social media shares you get. Often when we write a post saying that someone is one of the most influential bloggers in the world, they want to link to it on their site, because it helps with their own brand.

All these links and shares tell Google that we are a great site and they should rank our posts higher in their search engine.

You can see how our traffic would spike every time we published a top list on our site:

Step 5) How To Make Money Online – The No Leakage Rule

The no leakage rule is when you create a website in a way that either a reader signs up for what you are promoting, or they leave your website.

Let me explain further:

The goal of IncomeDiary is to get people to subscribe to our email list. Now to best accomplish this, we need to keep distracts to a minimum.

That means having no banner ads, no blogroll, no top commenters links and so on…

If a website visitor is leaving our website to look at an advertiser, they are not signing up for our email list.

It’s the same reason we don’t want to link to guest bloggers at the bottom of blog posts, because if our visitors are checking out their website, they are not signing up for our list.

Step 6) Make Money Online – Blog Funnel System

This is all about getting your visitors to go where you want them to go, or shall I say, how to funnel them to your desired location.

The goal of our blog is to get people to subscribe to our email list.

That is how we make the majority of our money.

To accomplish this, we get the majority of our subscribers through a popup using OptiMonk. Read this post on: how we use OptiMonk.

The longer someone stays on the site, the more likely they are to subscribe and for us to make money.

Step 7) Make Money Online – Free eCourse

When we started IncomeDiary, not a lot of bloggers were giving incentives for signing up to a mailing list.

Those that did, often gave free eBooks.

I liked the idea of a free eBook but there was one problem.

I wanted readers to take action and if they received to much information all at once, they would feel overwhelmed and would be less likely to follow my guide.

So instead, we decided to split up what we wanted to teach and give it to subscribers over 7 days.

We called it: 7 Day Free eCourse To Creating Your First Profitable Blog

I would explain to everyone signing up that “You may have to spend some money if you want to make some money” – not a lot of money just a little if you really wanted to be serious about blogging. (Less than $100). I included special offers on domain names and offers on hosting such as get your first months hosting for 1 cent and coupon codes. (People love coupon codes)

This worked amazingly well.

Pretty much one of the reasons it worked so well was because I showed my readers exactly what I’m doing. I was not asking them to do anything that I had not done myself.

It’s also important to point out that I was solving a specific problem. I wasn’t simply trying to help people become better bloggers.

Setting up a Autoresponder

Once people opted in and joined my eCourse, the auto-responder would start sending them an email every day for a week.

The course was very much step by step – “Day One, installing your blog” – “Day Two, adding a theme and customizing your blog,” – Day Three: monetizing” etc

Every day subscribers would look forward to the next addition. Often I would get people email me saying, “Hey, is there any chance I can get Day Two now, rather than wait until tomorrow?”

Subscribers took action straightaway. I told them, “Look, take action on this today, and then you’ll be ready to do tomorrow’s assignment.”

Marketing Your eCourse

Another huge benefit of having a squeeze page, or a separate page on WordPress dedicated to your free course, is people have a link they can share with friends if they wish to recommend it. It is great when people Tweet things like “Check Out IncomeDiary’s Free Blogging eCourse” and link to this page.

This also meant I could mentioned this page in my blog posts – for example if I did a Top 30 Bloggers list I would finish it with a link says: “Follow in their footsteps, check out my free course”.

The signup page became so popular that it was the third most visited page on the site.

Step 8) Make Money Online – Selling Your Own Product

Once someone has gone through our eCourse, we want them to be thinking, WOW, that was amazing, I can’t believe that was free.

If they think this, then when we tell them that we have a paid membership site, they can only imagine how good it must be.

When creating products to sell on IncomeDiary, we think about what our readers most want.

The two biggest struggles of new bloggers is getting traffic and making money.

For us, getting traffic has always been easy. And if it’s easy for us, surely we can make it easy for our readers. So we created an eBook called Traffic Domination which is a blueprint to getting over 100,000 visitors a month from top list articles.

We also use to offer a training program called Site Profit Domination which showed our customers in detail how we were monetizing our blogs.

Step 9) Making Money Online and Reinvesting

The reason for a lot of our success is the way we reacted to making money.

When we make money, we reinvested it. We may have started our blog with a small budget but as soon as we had the money, we made it a lot better.

I was not entirely happy with the blog theme, so I spent sometime customizing the design. This included a big change to the homepage – allowing us to display a large opt-in box.

We also used some custom graphics on the side-bar to direct visitors to our best revenue producing pages.

We even bought advertising for IncomeDiary, which at the time, was not something we would normally recommend with a new blog, but earnings per visitor was so good, we could afford to buy traffic.

One final note on making money online.

I love this quote from Paulo Coelho …

It is essential to know your visitor numbers and your earnings per visitor!

For some, attracting the first 1000 visitors will be the big goal and for others it will be attracting the first 1,000,000 visitors

Set yourself high, but realistic targets and go all out to achieve.

Hoping and Guessing is not a business strategy – but FOCUS and CONCENTRATION is.

What you focus on, EXPANDS!

Take the time to build your brand, build your following and build your website into the premier site in its niche.

Making $100,000 PA is a Big Goal – but it is not an impossible goal.

Believe in you – believe you can do it.

It is also the strategy you need in order to set yourself for the ULTIMATE Pay Day!

That magically day when you eventually sell your business.

Good Luck!

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Market Research: How to Increase Sales in a Competitive Market

Have you ever come up with a seemingly original product idea, only to find that a few other people have already created something similar?

Most business owners have had this experience, some on several occasions. A truly unique, never-been-done-before idea is pretty hard to come by.

But just because other companies offer similar products doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it. Instead, you can expect to be in a competitive market like most industries.

The competition for your product idea can vary. If you have a commodity product, you might find that you have more competition as opposed to a specialized product in a less crowded market space.

When you face this competition, it’s important to think about your brand positioning.

Visual branding, marketing messaging, brand culture, and internal communication all go into positioning your product as the top choice for people in your audience. And you’ll build your like-know-trust factor through consistent and relevant positioning.

Positioning can make or break your business. Take Warby Parker, for example.

They battle Luxottica, an eyeglass manufacturer with a monopoly-like presence in their industry. Unlike Luxottica’s B2B model, Warby Parker sells directly to consumers for a fraction of the cost. They also allow people to try on eyeglass frames from the comfort of their home and created a buy-one-give-one model.

Another example is Uber and Lyft, two popular ride-sharing apps that allow people to purchase rides without having to wait for a taxi.

No matter how fierce the competition is, you always have the opportunity to disrupt the market with your product and business model. But before you take a page from Warby Parker’s book, it’s important to assess your product’s market size and the number of competitors in your industry. Only then can you create a market research plan that will help you craft a comprehensive sales strategy.

How to increase sales with some competitive market research

How many times have you created marketing content based on what you think is true rather than what you know is true?

We’ve all done it! It can be easy to bypass market research for the sake of getting our product out into the world, but we can’t miss this crucial step.

Without market research, we are just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping that something sticks. Sure, something may stick at some point, but we can be more confident when we take the time to research our market.

Our sales strategy starts with market research. Understanding our target audience, their pain points, and what our competitors’ offer will help us determine what our foolproof competitive advantage is.

Determine who your target audience is

As you read through this Tradecraft issue, you are probably sensing a theme. We’ve been talking a lot about how your marketing and sales strategy has more to do with your audience than you. This is because they are the ones who will buy your product.

While it might be tempting to say your ideal customer is anyone who is willing to pay, it’s best to create targeted marketing toward a specific audience. When you have an ideal person in mind, it becomes easier to write marketing content and make the sale.

The first step is to think about your target audience’s demographics. This will give you a general picture of who you are trying to attract. Here’s a quick list to help you get started.

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education level
  • Income level
  • Life stage
  • Business stage

Once you have created your target audience demographics, you can move on to understanding their psychographics. Too many businesses stop at the demographics stage because they feel like they have at least a good idea of what their audience looks like.

The problem with this is that the information we determined above doesn’t tell us much about the purchasing motivations and habits of our target audience. If we miss out on this important aspect, our marketing won’t be as strong as it could be.

Instead, let’s take a moment to answer some of these questions as it relates to your buyer persona.

  • What are their likes and dislikes?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • What does their ideal day look like?
  • What qualities are they known for?
  • How would a friend or family member describe them?
  • What drives them when they make a purchasing decision?
  • What irks them, and what energizes them?
  • Where do they go for news and information?
  • What titles do they associate themselves with?
  • How would they describe their lifestyle?
  • What holds them back, and what pushes them forward?

After you answer these questions, you will have a better understanding of who your ideal customer truly is.

Pro tip: If you’ve already been in business for a while or have been working on side hustle, you can also keep past clients, readers, or customers in mind when you go through this activity.
Pick the best people you’ve collaborated or worked with in order to fully answer these questions. It’s another great way to make your market research feel more real.

You can also create more than one buyer persona depending on how many subsets you have inside your target audience. We usually recommend doing two to three buyer personas max so you aren’t tempted to attract everyone.

Understand your audience’s pain points

Your business is only as useful as the solution you provide your target audience with. In order to gain market share, you must fully understand your audience’s struggles and pain points. Some of your audience’s pain points may seem obvious, but others may take a bit of digging.

Knowing your audience’s pain points comes in handy when you start to write conversion-based copy. Before you can offer a solution, you need to highlight what their pain point is.

If you are creating a vegan cookbook for stay-at-home moms, their pain points might be:

  • They don’t have enough time to go to the grocery store
  • They don’t always have the extra income to buy multiple healthy ingredients per meal
  • They don’t have the energy to cook after caring for their kids all day

Based on this market research, you could dig even deeper to see what Millennial moms struggle with as opposed to the generation before them. You could even look at moms who had newborns in their early twenties versus their early thirties.

All of this is to show that you can always uncover more layers that go into your audience’s pain points.

If you are struggling with this stage, we suggest casually interviewing some of your friends or people you may know who fit your buyer persona to get more information. It can be a great way to hear what their pain points are rather than guessing at what they could be. No one knows their situation and buying habits better than they do!

As you determine their pain points, you can look at what stage in the buying process they are in and what struggles they have in each stage.

If you want more information and anecdotes to back up your market research, you can also send surveys to past customers or followers to gain their feedback. Remember that people who match your ideal buyer persona will have better feedback than those who don’t.

You can also create a focus group if you want to take this activity a step further. Then you can see how people interact with your product and react to your messaging or positioning. You can choose a small group of about five to nine people so everyone has a chance to be heard. The feedback will be invaluable!

Research your competitors

We consider researching your target audience and their pain points the primary goal of your market research. Your secondary goal is to research your competitors. This is so you can understand the current product options your ideal customer base already has.

If you skip this crucial step, you may end up creating a product or service that your ideal buyers don’t need or already have. In many cases, there is room for improvement with products that are on the market.

One way to start researching your competitors is to try their products yourself. Note what your experience was like from purchasing their product to getting it in your hands. If it is a service, note how you were treated and the overall experience you left with.

Trying their products will also give you an idea of what is missing and how you can position your product to satisfy the “what’s missing” element.

You can even read consumer reviews online to see what people think. You can look at YouTube product comparison videos, Consumer Reports, or look on social media to see how people are talking about your competitor’s products. These testimonials will give you a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.

After this market research, you’ll be able to see how you can fill in the gaps.

What do you offer that other companies are lacking in?
How can you improve what they are doing?
Do you have a better product, a better experience, a better all-around brand, or something else entirely?

This is the stage where all of your competitive market research will come together. Once you know what your differentiators are, you can solidify your positioning within your niche, which will help you write better emails and sell more effectively.

How will you increase sales from your market research?

By doing your market research, you’ll be building your trust and credibility with your target audience as you find ways to optimize your product, brand experience, and process.

Knowing who your audience is, their pain points, and your competitors will help you communicate clearly and effectively, giving you that coveted competitive advantage in your marketplace.

So before you start selling your product or service (or even if this is your second or third offering), make sure to do all your market research. You never know what new things you'll learn about your audience or competitors that will help you make the next sale.

The post Market Research: How to Increase Sales in a Competitive Market appeared first on ConvertKit.

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9 Best Survey Sites to Make Money In 2019

best surveys sites, paid survey sites, online survey sites, make money online, surveys for moneyI’ve been doing online surveys for over 5 years already! I still remember it used to be my only source of extra income before I started blogging.

I didn’t make a fortune from taking online surveys, but I made a good extra money by spending a little bit of time every day.

When I first started, I remember I signed up for a lot of survey sites (I did it to get as many surveys available to complete, and it worked like a charm).

The number of surveys I do depends on how much free time I have. Some months I end up making a few dollars and others hundreds (one month I got nearly $1,000).

Related articles:

Every year I like to publish a new list with what I consider to be the best online survey sites, and here is my 2018 list!

But before we start, here are some good tips that will help you if you are new into the “survey world”.

  • Join as many free online survey companies as you can. This is my number 1 tip. The reason why signing up for all of them is that each survey company will send you a few surveys to your inbox every month, so the more you sign up for, the more potential money you will make. Here are my three favourite ones: Swagbucks, Vindale, American Consumer Opinion.
  • Never lie when signing up for online survey sites.
  • Make sure a free online survey is legitimate.
  • Surveys + Netflix. That’s my favourite combo! I can spend hours watching Netflix and sometimes feels like a “wasted time”, but when I do surveys while watching (surveys don’t need much concentration) I am productive and it feels great!

These four tips should be your bread and butter before you start doing surveys (well, the last one is just how I do it).

Best 9 Free Online Survey Sites (Make $1,000)

I think we are now ready to jump into the best online survey sites in 2018.

#1) Vindale Research (I earn $150-$200/month, $2.00 signup bonus)

Vindale is new favorite online survey company. You can earn a good extra money every month just by doing a couple of these surveys a week.

They are one of the best survey companies considering the payout and time spent. The best thing is that before taking any survey you’ll be able to see how much will they pay and the time to complete.

I only do the ones which pay between $2 to $20.

You can join Vindale Research here.

#2) Swagbucks (I got $50 gift cards, 100SB sign up bonus )

Swagbucks helps me earning gift cards which I can use at Amazon, and it’s very easy. You can also claim your points as a cash check.

They give you points for taking surveys, watching videos, using it as a search engine (just like Google), online shopping and trying new promotional products.

Then you can redeem these points for gift cards. I already redeemed more than 10 Amazon gift cards for $50 and it feels great.

You can join Swagbucks here.

#3) American Consumer Opinion

American Consumer Opinion is a really good survey company and I highly recommend it. The payment is straightforward.

Every single week I receive a few surveys from them and I always do them because the payout is quite good.

You can join American Consumer Opinion here.

#4) EarningStation (I earn around $120-$180/month)

EarningStation reminds me to Swagbucks. The way it works is the same.

With EarningStation, you earn money by watching videos, taking surveys and shopping online. During weekends when I’m watching movies or sitting on my couch doing nothing, I usually spend some time with EarningStation.

They send you emails for surveys every now and then. You get points which can be redeemed for gift cards.

Once you signup for EarningStation, you can receive 1,000 SD (worth $10) just by signing up for 5 websites. The name of this offer is “Easy $10”, make sure is the first thing you do when you register.

You can join EarningStation here.

#5) Ebates ($10.00 sign up bonus)

Just by signing up with Ebates, you will receive a 3.0% cash back anytime you buy at Amazon.

I’ve received over $2,000 cash back from Ebates since I started using it a couple of years ago. It just became to be my favourite cash back company.

There are other products from which you can earn up to 30% cash back on every purchase.

Plus, if you sign up using my link you will get $10 when you make a purchase over $25. You can signup now and claim your $10 months later.

You can join Ebates here.

#6) PineCone Research (guaranteed $3/survey)

PineCone Reseach has become one of my favourite survey sites. They have a minimum payment of $3 per survey, which is one of the best payouts in the market.

The best is that you don’t get disqualified from surveys. Plus you can manage your time efficiently knowing that you get pay always $3 or more every time you receive a survey.

Every time I do one of PineCone’s surveys, it takes no more than 15 minutes (great for when I’m commuting).

You can join PineCone Research here.

#7) Paribus (found it a few months ago and I love it)

I recommend you to sign up for free to Paribus.

Paribus gets you money back when prices drop (it actually will track the prices of the items you purchased and claim for refund on your behalf).

Last month I got over $70 money back.

You can join Paribus here.

#8) OneOpinion (available in US, UK and CA)

With OneOpinion you get points every time you complete a survey. Then, this points can be traded in for rewards (I always choose the $25 virtual Visa Debit Card).

If you prefer cash, OneOpinion has now added the option of having your rewards delivered directly to your PayPal account which I think I’m gonna try next time I accumulate 25,000 points.

You can join OneOpinion here. Must be 13+

#9) My Survey (earn up to $200/month)

My Survey is an international program available in most of the countries.

They pay you real money for completing surveys, visiting sites, trying free offers and referring friends and advertisers.

The pay via Paypal or gift cards and there is no minimum threshold.

You can join My Survey.

 

I would add more survey sites that I like but I only wanted to share best ones so you don’t need to struggle deciding. However, if you really want to know more about surveys I recommend you to check the post 100 Free Online Survey Sites To Make Money.

That’s all for today! You are now ready to start making some extra money by taking paid surveys. Remember to join as many survey sites as you can!

Are you already making money from surveys or thinking to start? How much do you make from them?

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