Find Your Teachable Topic with These 8 Questions

Everyone has something they know that they can teach to others.

If you aren’t sure what your topic should be, these 9 questions will help you find your teachable topic?

* What Do You Know? – There is usually something you are passionate about and that you already know that you can teach to others. For example, maybe you know the secret to making the perfect snicker doodle cookie? You can teach the fundamentals of baking a snicker doodle cookie and what is important to make it come out perfect.

* What Is Easy for You? – What do you do that is second nature for you? What is that “thing” that your friends and family are always impressed about – but is easy for you? Really take some time to think about this because we often overlook what seems easy for us.

* What Are Your Strengths? –  Do you like to write, or talk, or make videos? You’ll need to create the content for your course so it’s important to know your preference. Then you can outsource the parts you don’t like to do or the things that aren’t in your wheehouse.

* Who Is Your Audience? – It’s important to start with an audience that you want to teach. Then you can find out what they want to know and create courses for them. Even if you don’t know the material personally, you can interview subject matter experts, or even hire someone to create the course for you.

* What Is the Goal? – Once you’ve decided upon a potential topic, can you figure out what the end goal is? What do you want to teach your audience? What do you want them to walk away from the course knowing?

* What Is the Main Objective? – You need to figure out your main objective for teaching a course at all, then the objective of the course. Do you want to teach them something they need to know so that you can earn extra money from the course, or do you want to teach them something so that they can also learn about other services or offerings you have? Education-based marketing is one of the best ways to introduce prospects to you.

* Is Anyone Else Selling Something in Your Topic Area? – Hop out to Google and take a look at what’s already being sold. You WANT others to be selling in your topic area. Why? Because then you know there are buyers for your topic. And by putting your own spin on the topic, with your voice and your message, you will attract the perfect buyers to your version.

* What Are You Passionate About? – Ideally you want to find the topic you are incredibly passionate about – the one that you spend your weekends on or stay up late reading about. That passion will show and carry over into your course and lead to more success with your marketing.

Teaching online courses can be very lucrative if you find the right information that people want to know, find the right platform, and market the course in a way that gets people to sign up.

The idea for your teachable topic is just the beginning.

Your next steps are to think about what tools you will use to create your course – and where to put it online. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do this – I can help…


LinkedIn Adds New “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” Features

LinkedIn is slowly rolling out new features as part of the popular “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” screen.

The first section lets you see the number of viewers over the past ninety days.

LinkedIn's New Who's Viewed Your Profile

LinkedIn’s New Who’s Viewed Your Profile

Each of the four sections across the top lets you see more details. For example, the “1 Viewer found you from your profile update” you get a more detailed screenshot of where they came from:

LinkedIn's New "How Did They Find You" graphs

LinkedIn’s New “How Did They Find You” graphs


Obviously LinkedIn is adding this feature to encourage memberships. When you click on many of these links, you are prompted to sign up for a paid plan. Currently, you can only see the last 5 people who looked at your profile, and if you sign up for a paid plan, you can see who has viewed your profile over the last 90 days.

By the way, if a user has changed their privacy settings to only show up as “anonymous” or as “title” and “industry,” you still won’t see their information even when you purchase a plan.

The second section lets you see details on the last 5 people who have viewed your profile.

The last section gives you suggestions for improving your profile views, included estimated percentages for improvment. I can tell that this feature is still in beta because some of the suggestions are not appropriate for me (one of the suggestions was to add a Summary to my profile, and I already have a Summary).

LinkedIn Get More Profile Views

LinkedIn’s New “Improve Your Profile Views”


Overall, I like this new feature. It gives you more information than the prior screen and gives you suggestions for improvement.

Has your account been updated? Comment below with your thoughts on LinkedIn’s new features.


PS – Ready to supercharge your LinkedIn profile? Get my list of the 8 Most Overused Words (and what you should use instead!) HERE. 




How Your Content Converts Prospects to Buyers

Check out The Content Grid from Eloqua… I was impressed with the layout.

Across the top you have the business stages: Awareness, Consideration and Close. Each row describes one step in the buying sequence, along with corresponding content for that step. The dots even describe recommended distribution channels.

I was surprised, however, to see pricing guides not appearing until the bottom. Maybe that’s why I get so frustrated with websites. I want to see the pricing at the top when I am researching vendors or at least narrowing the field.

How about you? What kind of content do you like to see and when? What helps you most before you buy?

The Content Grid v2 Eloqua JESS3

Maximize Your Tweets [Infographic]

twitter infographic best practices maximizing your tweets infographic

This Twitter infographic was created by Fusework Studios and is based upon a report from Buddy Media entitled “Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review.”  The report is compiled from their analysis of user-engagement from over 320 Twitter profiles.

Marketing Spend to Increase 6% in 2013

At the end of 2012, Gartner surveyed over 200 marketers from U.S.-based companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue, across six industries (financial services and insurance, high-tech, manufacturing, media, retail, and healthcare).

This presentation highlights the findings including how marketers are allocating their budgets and what activities are contributing to marketing success.

How to Share an Update on LinkedIn

Did you know that LinkedIn gives you a section to share updates with either your Connections or as a public post on LinkedIn?

Your update can be a link to a relevant article in your industry, info about what you are doing, or a video your connections would like.

Your update will also show in the “LinkedIn Network Updates” email that most users receive each week.

If you want to share something on LinkedIn, use the “Share an Update” box on LinkedIn.

Here are the instructions:

  • Click Home at the top left to see this screen below.
  • Type your update into the box.
  • Copy and paste a link into the box.
  • Choose “Share with LinkedIn” for it to be public, “Share with Connections” for just your connections or “Share with LinkedIn + Twitter” to also show up on Twitter.
  • Press the Blue share button.
The update box on LinkedIn

The update box on LinkedIn

How Much Do Small Businesses Spend on Social Media?

How to Get More (Qualified) Buyers to Your Website

With all the changes going on with Google’s algorithm, it’s really crucial to understand what does and does not help your website. By the same token, you also need to know what will get you traffic and what will get you blacklisted by this mega search engine.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the Penguin and Panda updates, but there have been more, though less talked about than these two. Basically Google is trying to keep search clean, which is great. Not so long ago you could “trick” the system (and many did) to get higher ranking in Google. So if you searched the term “vacuum” what you’d see could have been a mix of organic and black hat marketing tactics. It’s the black hat that Google continues to go after. That said, some of us may be pushing promotional efforts that aren’t the best, and we don’t find out until our sites get hit. By then it’s too late.

In an ideal world, your site should be able to weather any algorithm change that Google throws at you. If you aren’t sure if your site is vulnerable to these changes, keep reading. Why should this matter to you? Because if you’re hit in the Google sweep, it could drop your site in search and, thereby, affect your traffic, SEO, and business.

So let’s take a look first at what not to do, and how you can build a stronger presence online.

What not to do. First we need to figure out what you shouldn’t be doing. Some of this will be obvious and some of it might be surprising.

Keyword stuffing: We all know that keyword stuffing is never a good idea. Keyword stuffing is a way of pushing a set or string of keywords in your website copy (generally on your homepage) over and over again so Google picks up on it and sends you consumers who are searching on those keywords. This might be the most lethal thing you can do right now, so make sure that your website (all pages, not just your homepage) is a solid blend of keywords and helpful information. If it’s not, get it redone ASAP.

Link farms: A few weeks ago, I had a client ask me if she should buy into a service that would get her 5,000 new links for $500. I told her no. Why? Because getting too many links in a short period of time has always been a huge red flag for Google. Be careful if someone is promising you a lot of links over a short period of time; by “short” I mean overnight, or in a week or two. Even then, 5,000 links is still too much, in my view and the links (even if you should get them, which is questionable) won’t be from sites that are related to your own so even if Google misses you on the sudden link increase, they will get you on the sites that aren’t appropriate to your market.

Too many ads: Ads can be a great way to gain additional revenue, but too many ads could alert Google to a lack of content. How many is too many? Well, I think this falls into the: “If you’re even asking this question, you likely have a problem” category. Generally, two or three ads on a page is fine – but if you have more ads than content, you’re creating a problem for yourself and your website.

Article marketing: While there are a lot of folks still doing this, I feel very hesitant to recommend it which is partially why we pulled it from our list of marketing ideas over a year ago. Article sites were hit very hard during Panda and this has not gotten better. If you do article marketing, tread very carefully.

Keep in mind that the above list is subject to change, so checking in periodically with sites like can really help you keep track of new Google updates.

How to Get Great Results. Now let’s look at how to get great results and how to “algorithm proof” your website:

Fresh content: Blogging is still a great way to drive traffic and social engagement to your website. Having a blog is great, adding content to it weekly (at a minimum) is better. Some SEO experts say that you really need to be updating your blog twice weekly in order for it to even make a dent.

Links to big sites: It’s always helpful when you have the occasional link in your blog post to external and high ranking sites.

Google+: While it seems like Google+ is “just another social network” it’s not, and while I know it’s a hassle to have one more place to update, try doing a search on a particular keyword and I think you’ll be surprised by how many Google+ results show up. Google+ is fantastic for SEO and while you don’t have to spend a ton of time with it, you should be active on this site. Here are a few quick tips to get you going:

* We have both a personal page (mine) and our business page. We use both and both seem to show up high in searches.
* Make sure your page is optimized. Complete the Google+ verification process, add your About Me section, use your keywords when describing your business or what you do.
* Post regularly, videos are a great thing to post – Google+ seems to love videos and, of course, they own YouTube so videos have that built-in bonus. Additionally, pictures and quality content are always great to post on there.
* Add photos to your page and use the Google Scrapbook feature so that your page is visually appealing and mirrors your brand identity.

Diversity is key: Remember that it’s never one thing that will drive traffic, but several things done over time. Your goal is to find those things that work well and do more of them. Don’t put all of your SEO eggs into one basket. Make sure that you are doing 3-5 things to drive traffic. Why? Because if that one thing dries up (and given how many changes are happening online, it likely will) you need to keep the wheels of traffic turning with other options.

Not all traffic is created equal: Not all traffic will get you to conversion. You want to turn people into customers, that’s your bottom line and surprisingly, you don’t need a lot of traffic to do that. You need the right kind of traffic and a website that encourages them to take action.

Everything changes: You can’t just put up a website and expect it to do the same great things for you all the time. Social metrics change, how people surf changes so you need to stay up to date on the changes that are happening. Staying in touch with key newsletters and/or websites is important to keeping track of what’s happening out there.

Know your traffic stats and analytics: In order to get better, consistent traffic you need to know your analytics and you should be checking in with your site stats at least monthly, if not once a week. Good analytics (like Google analytics) will show you some pretty specific traffic numbers including what social sites are driving the most traffic. Something to focus on are bounce rates. We get a lot of traffic from Facebook (a lot) but the bounce rates from Facebook are fairly high. We also promote the business on LinkedIn and don’t get as much traffic (maybe half of what Facebook sends us) but the bounce rate from LinkedIn is much lower and people are spending more time on the site. What this tells us is that while Facebook remains a good target, the visitors coming from LinkedIn might be more focused and perhaps more serious about doing business with us. Knowing these numbers will really help you to define where your best traffic is coming from so you can spend more time focusing there.

Getting traffic and seeing your business increase online is always a solid goal, but knowing what’s working and where to best spend your time is even more important. Having a solid footing online isn’t difficult, but it does take some time, effort, and a little bit of research. Staying alert to the changes and being aware of your traffic numbers will help you grow your client base, year after year. Recommended sites and newsletters:

Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Photo credit lrargerich

Not sure what to talk about? Here’s a list of 22 ways to create content…

One of the trickiest things about marketing online is coming up with new and original content that entices your readers.

This infographic from gives you 22 ways to create new content. One of my favorites is #8, Review Something, because I always have an opinion about a new tool or strategy.

I’ll add another for you… Make a List. Any size list will work, and here are a few titles you can borrow and fill in the blanks:

  • Seven Secrets to ____,
  • Three Ways You Can ____,
  • 20 Top ____

What’s your favorite? List it in the comments below.

22 Ways to Create Compelling Content - Infographic
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

5 Quick Tips To Get Website Traffic Fast!

Online, one of the most significant keys to success is getting website traffic.  The more visitors you have, the better your sales and profits.  Presumably you have a niche and you know your keywords, and regularly conduct keyword research to stay on top of what’s popular.  Based on those assumptions here are five quick and easy tips to get website traffic fast!

Tip #1  Make sure you’re actually tagging your keywords.

Do you spend a lot of time optimizing your content and then neglect to tag them on your web page?  Tags are where search engines look and if there are no tags they’ll pass right by your web pages.  Here’s a quick brief on tags.

There are a number of tag types including,

* Title tags.  Title tags are quite possibly the most important place to situate your keywords.  Here’s what they look like – <title>Primary keyword phrase here. </title>

Your title tag is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase.  The sentence will describe your business in less than 90 characters.

* Header Tags.  Header tags are next in order of importance to search engines.  They’re ranked in order of importance and look like this – <h1>Primary and/or Secondary keywords here</h1>

The “1” designates this header as the most important header on the page.

* Meta Tags. Meta tags provide the small descriptive text found underneath the title tag on the search engine results page.  Like title tags these should be kept brief, informative and up to date.

* Alt Tags.  Alt tags are used to provide a text description of a graphic.  Each graphic on your site should have a description and an alt tag.

Tip #2 Add content to your site daily

Content is essential for traffic and a top search engine ranking.  Content is what search engine spiders look for and index – without it there’s nothing to index or rank.  Give visitors and search engines a reason to visit and index your site. Make a commitment to provide daily, optimized content and your traffic will soar.

Tip #3 Procure valuable and relevant incoming links

The more websites which link to your web pages the more valuable search engines perceive you to be, though not all links are created equal.  Search engines give more leverage to links from sites which are popular and credible and from sites which are relevant to your website topic.

There are different types of links.

– A direct link looks like a basic website address, for example,

– A text link occurs when the webpage address is embedded in the text.  Readers simply click on the link and are redirected to a new website page.

– If the link is to an internal web page, for example an article published on a website, rather than the home page, it is called a “deep link.”

You can encourage linking to your website by:

* Adding content to your site.
* Submitting to article directories.
* Publishing press releases.
* Blogging and participating in social networking forums, chat rooms and social networking sites.

Tip #4 Be Social!

Now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community.  Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments, links to your site and ideas which generate conversation.

Get involved – many chat rooms and forums are industry specific, find those which cater to your industry, and begin participating.  Speak to and connect with a highly targeted audience.

Tip #5 Advertise for more exposure and traffic

Advertising, when handled strategically, can be used to promote your content and products or services.  PPC advertising is often the tool of choice because you control the advertising budget on a daily basis and have the tools to test and track your advertising efforts.  Once you’ve honed your PPC ads the return on investment can be phenomenal in terms of traffic and purchases.

For maximum results, create a traffic and SEO strategy.  Outline your plan and your goals and then take the necessary action.  Take advantage of these five traffic and search engine tips to boost your business.