Easier Online Selling With Selz and PayPal

Easy Online Selling: Selz and PayPal

Looking for easy online selling? I wrote about Selz last year.

Selz intrigued me because I’ve been selling digital products online for a decade and a half, and I’m always looking for easier ways to do it. The faster and simpler you can make the sales process for your customers, the happier they are. And of course, the easier you can make it for yourself, the more business you can do.

Although I enjoyed Selz, I felt there should be a PayPal option, because customers ask for it. Now there is. Selz has developed a new PayPal app:

Selz’s PayPal Unlimited app makes it simpler for creatives and entrepreneurs to take their sales to the next level by offering the option of buying with PayPal within Selz platform.

It doesn’t get any easier than this…

Anyone who’s been selling online for a while knows that integrating a PayPal buying option into your shopping cart isn’t aways easy. So when I saw that Selz was offering PayPal I winced, and thought: “OK, brace yourself. This will be painful.”

I was thrilled to discover it’s painless. Not a worry in the world. You just turn PayPal on in your Settings, and you’re done. And it’s inexpensive.

You can use Selz for marketing, too

You’ve got a mailing list. You want subscribers. Selz can help:

Here is my theory on why the Selz widget led to more subscribers than the standard opt-in box. The sheer size difference of the Selz widget compared to the standard opt-in box, along with the use of the cover image of the ebook in the widget, makes it stand out.

Selz makes it easy to offer free downloads, and the widget stands out on any webpage, or in your blog’s sidebar.

If you’re dipping your toes into online selling, give Selz a try. Not only is it easy for you to implement, your customers will love it too.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Online Writing Classes: Romance Writing Class Kicks Off

Online Writing Classes: Romance Writing Class Kicks Off

Online writing classes are fun. I started my writing career as romance novelist, way back in the dark ages, so our latest class helps you to write and self-publish Kindle romances.

If you knew me, you’d laugh at that notion of me as a romance writer.  I’m not a stereotypical romance novelist in the “hearts and flowers” sense. I comfort myself that Melvin Udall wasn’t stereotypical either. Few romance writers are as you’d imagine them to be.

Over the past couple of years, student authors have been asking me to create a romance writing class, so I have. I’m enjoying it hugely. The class is called Hot, Hotter, Hottest; a nod and a wink to what we’ll be covering; romance at various degrees of heat, from mild to smoking – sweet romance, to erotica.

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances

My personal coaching students in romance mostly write erotica. The huge success of Fifty Shades of Grey inspired them; I have no preference. I write whatever I’m inspired to write. Sometimes that’s sweet romance, and sometimes it’s steamy.

Writing Romance, Over Four Weeks and Six Months

Hot, Hotter, Hottest: Write Bestselling Kindle Romances is a four-week class. After the four weeks, students receive six months of Kindle Romance Writer Weekly, which continues the class, in a sense. We’ll all be writing together, which will help students to get beta readers, and to get honest reviews for their ebooks.

I’ll be writing with you. You’ll see my process, and since I do hours of research each week, I’ll be saving you time in doing your own research. It’s all experiential – you receive exercises with each lesson, and you send those to me. Your exercises build into a romance, which you’ll publish on Amazon.

Join us, if you’d like to write, and self-publish…. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Twitter: Try This, If You’ve Been On Twitter For a While

Discover your first tweet

Oh, the embarrassment… my first tweet

If you’ve been on Twitter for a while, you’ve forgotten your first tweet. Check out Discover Your First Tweet…. In April of 2007, Dreamhost was down, it seems. (Face palm.) On the other hand, that’s what I always do when something’s not working right — I check Twitter to see if others are sharing the misery.

What was YOUR first tweet?

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Guest Blogging Slam: Bye, Bye Easy Links

Blogging Services from Angela Booth

If you’ve been using guest blogging for SEO and links, the freezing winds of Google are blowing your way. Matt Cutts’ web spam team is looking at businesses which use others’ blogs to get easy links.

Search Engine Land reported on a tweet from Matt Cutts, “Today we took action on a large blog network.”  The article says:

The belief is that Google specifically went after MyBlogGuest.com. If you Google their name, it no longer shows up in the search results.

Ouch.

Does this mean that guest blogging is DEAD?

No, no, no… As I said in an article on guest blogging on my Fab Freelance Writing Blog:

Google’s warned people against guest blogging, when it’s done to scale – that is, if a company gets a thousand pieces of crap a month written solely for the links. When it’s done with quality content, and not solely as a link-getting activity, Google has nothing against the practice, as Matt Cutts noted:

“Added: It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context… And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

So if you’re creating genuinely useful, quality content, and offer that content to others, you can use guest blogging for promotion.

It’s all about your intent…

Think about your intentions with guest blogging. Do you want to post on a blog which is read by your target audience because it’s a good marketing strategy? Go right ahead.

Or do you want some easy SEO link juice? If you do, beware. Anything which is done to scale will come back and bite you.

FWIW, I’m still guest blogging, and I’m blogging for my clients too. It’s worthwhile, esepcially if you want to build your search profile as an authority in an area. And of course, to get traffic. :-)

It’ll be interesting to see how this Google slam works out over the next few weeks.

Content Creation With WordPress: 4 Essential Plugins

Content Creation With WordPress: 4 Essential Plugins

Is content creation wearing you down? Blogs are voracious. You need to feed the beast constantly. Luckily there are tools which can help, especially if you’re a WordPress blogger. Here are my four essential “content” plugins.

A word to the wise: add plugins one at a time, and don’t add too many. Delete any plugins you’re not using.

1. (free) Editorial Calendar: Know What You’re Publishing and When.

Editorial Calendar
It’s Friday afternoon. You’re finishing up the week’s work. Suddenly you realize… you haven’t blogged this week. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve got to post something to your blog within the next hour.

WordPress Editorial Calendar saves your sanity. You’ll know exactly what you’re publishing, and when – no more last-minute panics. I love that I can see my draft posts all in one place.

2. (free) WordPress SEO by Yoast: It’s a Built-in Content Checklist.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

The basics of search engine optimization (SEO) are easy enough. However, keeping them in mind when you’re fiddling around with headlines, graphics and fact checking is hard. WordPress SEO by Yoast ensures that you don’t forget optimization.

It functions as an easy checklist. You can see what a post is missing at a glance. You can even choose to hide posts and pages from the search engines, if you wish.

3. (free) Related Posts by Zemanta: the Easy Way to Add Related Posts and Images.

Related Posts
Call me shallow, but I like Related Posts by Zemanta because it makes your “related posts” look pretty. I’ve tried lots of related post plugins; Zemanta’s gets the most clickthroughs. You can see it on my Just Write a Book Blog, in the image above.

4. (free) Edit Flow: Easier Collaboration With WordPress.

Edit Flow

If you’re working on a blog with others, corralling content is frustrating, to say the least. Edit Flow makes it easy. Not only do you get a content calendar, you also get custom statuses. As content moves through the editorial process, you can change statuses with just a couple of clicks. Users can not only pitch content, but can also see which posts are in progress, and which are ready for editorial review.

So there you have it. My essential WordPress content creation plugins. If you need WordPress to do something for you, chances are that someone, somewhere has created a plugin to do it. Have fun with WordPress. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

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3 Ways Copywriting Skills Can Help Your Sales

Can Copywriting Skills Improve Your Sales?

How many sales are you missing out on today? If you’re a small business person, chances are you’re not communicating as much as you could. You need copywriting skills. Not only will you communicate more clearly, you’ll communicate more. Just about every business has a mailing list; few businesses do anything with the list.

Let’s look at three ways you can use copywriting skills to help your sales.

1. You Can Grab Those Sales You’re Missing.

We mentioned your mailing list. Today, send out an email message to your list. Tell the people who want to hear from you about a new promotion you’re running. You can tell them anything you like; as long as you communicate.

Again: your customers want to hear from you, otherwise you wouldn’t have their email address. Send something.

2. You Can Create Fresh Copy to Win YOUR Customers.

If you’re using your suppliers’ copy, you’re missing out on sales. When you use the same copy all the other distributors are using, your customers are buying from the business which sells the products the cheapest.

You know your products, and you know your customers. Tell your customers stories about how other customers in their area use the products. Give them a reason to buy from you.

3. You Can Make the Most of Social Media: Have You Discovered Pinterest?

Social media isn’t sales. A copywriter’s mindset will stand you in good stead however. Pinterest makes sales, for example:

Yet another study, this one by Shopify, found that orders driven by Pinterest are substantially larger than those produced by Facebook or Twitter. In fact, at $80 per order, Pinterest even tops Google and Amazon.

Dip your toes into social media today; copywriting skills give you the confidence you need.

Check out our Copywriting Master Class, if you haven’t done so already.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

Free Press Releases: The Best Services Ranked for You

Free Press Releases: The Best Services Ranked for You

Further to yesterday’s post, in which we discussed online press release tips. A couple of readers asked me about free press releases. These sites seem to be less common than they used to be, but you can still find sites which will publish your releases without charge.

I was happy to find this webpage, which ranks free and inexpensive services:

Ratings/Rankings of Free Press Release Distribution Services

WINNERS:

I’ve used PRLog.org; they offer a great service. Your releases are published quickly, and they get into Google News.

Give these websites a try, as we said yesterday:

Online press releases are a wonderful addition to any marketing campaign, yet few small businesses use them. Major companies use them as a matter of course. Try these tips; you’ll be pleased with the results.

 

Online Press Release Tips: 5 Ways to Get Value for Money

Online Press Release Tips: 5 Ways to Get Value for Money

A decade ago, you could write an online press release, post it to a PR website, and get great results. You needed to use appropriate keywords, but your little press release was great value for the time you invested. In 2014, Google’s severe on press releases written purely for SEO – no more free traffic for junk releases.

This doesn’t mean that press releases are worthless, far from it. They’re an essential tool. If you use them correctly, not only will they enhance your marketing campaigns, they’ll also help you to get customers. Consider this: if major companies continue to use press releases, why don’t you?

Let’s look at how you can get real value from the online press releases you create. (Note to self: write more press releases for my own business…)

1. Focus on Your Entire Marketing Campaign, Rather Than a Single Press Release.

You’re launching a new product. You’re running online and offline advertising, you’re using social media to get the word out, you’re blogging – you’re even running a Pinterest contest.

Whether you’re doing a big launch, or a mini one, online press releases fit right in. Be aware however, that press releases aren’t advertising. They’re factual, and are written in the third person.

You’re free to use any angle you like: straight news, or human interest. If you’re looking for media attention, a human interest story may be the way to go. Do customers use your products in unusual ways? What good works have you done lately? Years ago I wrote a press release for a company which helped a lady who ran a shelter for abused pets; it was a lovely story, and got press.

2. Quid Pro Quo: Give and Get.

An online press release is targeted directly to your audience. You’ll reach potential customers who’ve never heard of you. So, make it easy for them to stay in touch. Offer readers a freebie in exchange for their email address.

And of course, use the email addresses you collect. Many small businesses never bother using their customer lists; this is a huge waste of resources.

3. Pitch Your Story to Bloggers in a Sentence or Two.

Bloggers can extend your reach by hundreds of thousands, even millions. Ideally, you’ll have reached out to bloggers long before you launch your campaign.

Pitch your story to bloggers, but keep it short.Greg Kumparak, mobile editor, TechCrunch says:

“Know how to make your pitch in a sentence or two — if you can’t wrap up your own product in a concise and interesting way, we probably won’t be able to either.”

Add a link to your online press release to your pitches.

4. Post Your Press Releases to Your Website.

Press releases are the gift that keeps on giving. Post them to your website, into a “Press” area. Anyone who wants to learn more about you will appreciate your releases. Over time, your press releases will show the evolution of your business; they build your credibility with people who’ve never heard of you.

5. Keep Your Releases Short: Add Support Materials for More Info.

Keep your press releases short: a maximum of 400 words for the meat of the release. Get your point across with your story: aim for an emotional connection. Use a conversational tone. If your eyes glaze over when you’re reading, rewrite – “don’t be boring” applies to press releases too.

Most press release distribution websites allow you to add media to your releases. Take advantage of this. Add documents, images, and videos ( if you have them). Offer the press release as a PDF download.

Online press releases are a wonderful addition to any marketing campaign, yet few small businesses use them. Major companies use them as a matter of course. Try these tips; you’ll be pleased with the results.

Need help with your online press releases? Contact Angela.

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.