The ROI for email marketing remains the highest among all marketing channels $40 for every $1 spent. No other channels come even close to these heights.
Deciding to build an email list is one thing, but actually seeing success can be quite hard for retailers. This is especially true since there are often so many other aspects of running an ecommerce store.
The two main conditions for successful email list building are the following:
Best Practices—the Do’s and Don’ts of an Email List
1. Get an email service provider
Honestly, before we even start, it’s very important that you get an email marketing provider that you’re comfortable with and which can really help you to build your email list.
Of course, at this point we’d recommend our own service, Getresponse to fulfil that need, but for the purposes of list building, there are many options to choose from.
This is one of the top list building strategies, but it will require a bit of homework from your side. What is important is that your email marketing provider has the following capabilities:
a variety of sign-up forms
the ability to send the signup to different lists
the ability to monitor the effectiveness of each sign-up form
the ability to segment your subscribers based on various behaviors
the ability to send automated messages based on these lists and segments
With that, you’ll have everything in place to start building your email list from scratch.
2. Keep your list healthy
A healthy email list means that you approach those people who are aware of you, engaged with your brand and have signed up for your newsletter. Only these kinds of contacts will provide you with high conversion rates and generate strong ecommerce marketing results.
Most marketers are looking for ways on how to build an email list fast. Remember, neither a free mailing list found online nor a buyable one can be your way to go. It might be fast but it’s not right.
This one is such an important point to make, and one that many new ecommerce marketers are falling for. Repeat after me: this is not how to build your email list.
There are many shady people on the internet who will sell you email lists with hundreds of thousands of “quality” (read: not quality) contacts that are perfect for your business.
But you know they’re not. You’re just hoping that at least some of them are (maybe 2% wouldn’t be bad, right?).
But that’s bad thinking.
If you’re buying an email list, there’s a huge chance that other people are buying the same email list.
That email list may be a pure spam trap, or have spam traps, meaning if you send emails to those contacts, your sender’s email address and IP address will be blacklisted as spam.
Those people may not be spam traps, but they’re unfortunately not quality leads for your business and they mark you as spam. Think about it: 100,000 contacts marking you as spam. Your sender’s reputation is as good as dead.
With enough spam complaints, your email service provider will terminate your account. Your goal of building an email list is dead in the water.
You are violating the GDPR, as those contacts (who reside in the EU) did not opt into your list. You don’t have proof of their signup, and you can face heavy penalties.
You will spend a decent amount of money on acquiring that list, and for sending your campaign to the contacts on that list. But instead of sales from your email marketing activities, you will get all the consequences mentioned above.
If you want to kill your email marketing career before you’ve even started, go ahead and buy an email list. This cannot be on any brand’s list building strategies.
However, if you want to be a smart marketer, follow these proven tactics on how to build an email list from scratch.
Getting Visitors to Your Site First
Building an email list necessarily requires one thing: that you have visitors to your site. While this article focuses mainly on converting existing site traffic, we’ll quickly go over some proven methods for getting that traffic in the first place.
For the most part, you have a few options:
Use ads, most likely Facebook ads. Ads allow you to target your perfect audience at the time and on the platform most suitable for them. However, some ads can be quite expensive. For that reason, many ecommerce businesses opt to use Facebook ads which are cost-effective and can easily scale as your needs and business grow. Read more about the most effective ecommerce ads.
Create engaging content. If you create great content that has the possibility to go viral, then you can use that to bring visitors to your site. You can distribute this content as you please—on YouTube (if it’s a video), TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and anywhere else. You just need to ensure that you have a clear call to action and a link that goes directly to your store. This can be either to the home page or a specific product or landing page you’d like your visitors to see.
Create engaging content via SEO. Another option is to create great content on your website consistently and wait as Google and other search engines pick it up. This is a much slower strategy. It can take weeks, months or even years to see considerable growth in your organic traffic. However, the major benefits here are that it’s completely free and platform-agnostic. This means that, no matter what happens to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. (such as policy changes or reach restrictions), you can still get traffic directly to your site.
Email List Building Tactics
1. The under estimated standard opt-in form
On most ecommerce platforms, you already know how to build an email list. That’s because one of the first, and default ways to collect email subscribers is by having a standard opt-in form on your site.
Pretty much every Shopify site will have this opt-in form enabled, normally at the bottom or in the middle of the screen.
2. A surprise pop-up form
While the opt-in form is important, it is nonetheless still quite passive. You are hoping that your visitors will sign up for your newsletters by their own will.
Furthermore, you can’t really gauge whether they’re already interested in your brand. Instead, you should be using a pop-up form.
Pop-up forms are dynamic in nature. You can set them to pop up at certain times or for certain events, and they are a great way to deliver lead magnets for lead generation.
3. The power of incentive
If you want visitors to subscribe to your email list, you need to give them something in exchange. Something that they would find relevant.
The most common incentive is to offer a discount, sale or free shipping for a limited time to incentive someone to join your list.
But don’t offer “free updates.” No one really cares about free updates, and it might even seem spammy.
In order to build an email list, you need to attract and engage your visitors. Sometimes, however, discounts and sales are not enough.
In those cases, it’s a great idea to think outside of the box. There are now many interactive sign-up forms that are fun for visitors and effective for ecommerce store owners.
5. A targeted landing page
You can also build an email list outside of your home page.
When you are running your marketing and advertising campaigns, you should be focusing on specific funnels to get your sales or subscribers.
6. Powerful lead magnets
People are generally skeptical of new stores and normally quite reluctant to purchase anything the first time.
That’s why the average conversion rate for many ecommerce stores is around 3%, which means that a full 97% of visitors will leave your store and most will never come back.
In order to avoid that, you can convert your visitors into subscribers—at no cost to them—with a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a valuable resource—like a PDF guide, ebook, gift guide, stock images, etc.—that your visitors really want and one of the best ways to build an email list.
7. Giveaways that work
Another great tactic that all ecommerce stores should be considering is to utilize the powerful giveaway, especially on your audience’s favorite social media channels
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We’ve already seen emerging evidence of blockchain-based borderless solutions arriving across Europe, many of which offer a glimpse into the vast potential of digital finance.
The cryptocurrency landscape is slowly but steadily changing the way that we do business around the world. The notion of having a currency that’s free of governmental influence and the prospect of leveraging payments across borders without the process being impacted by the meddling of banks and bureaucracy is certainly an appealing one, but with the help of blockchain frameworks, we may be heading toward a brave new world of limitless possibilities.
It was only a matter of a few years ago that the term blockchain was only known to a handful of people outside the fledgling world of cryptocurrencies. Today, the technology has become much more widely known, largely owing to the growth of Bitcoin. Although cryptocurrencies are the best-known application of blockchain today, there’s limitless potential for the technology. As a secure and fully decentralised ledger, blockchain can bring positive change to many industries.
One sector that’s ripe for innovation can be found in the cross-border money movement in multi-commodity trading business. These companies can involve countless stakeholders, intermediaries and banks all having to push and pull in the same direction to make deals happen.
As the data shows, the European blockchain market is set to experience sustained growth over the course of the decade, opening the door to more comprehensive use cases across the continent.
We can already see emerging evidence of blockchain-based borderless solutions arriving across Europe and beyond, many of which offer a glimpse into the vast potential of digital finance.
ONLY 21 MILLION BITCOINS WILL BE MADE, AND 18,802,368 PIECES ARE ALREADY ON THE MARKET:
It is still not too late to profit from Bitcoin, but DO NOT hesitate because 18,802,368 pieces are already on the market, so there will be less by 900 pcs every day. Bitcoin is limited, according to some star analysts, so there will be an enormous increase in the exchange rate due to this circumstance.
Bridging borders throughout Europe.
Blockchain-based cryptocurrency transactions are already becoming available across Europe, and companies like Bottlepay have opened the door to a cross-border payment infrastructure across the continent that’s free of silos and middlemen.
The UK-based app facilitates real-time, cross border transfers of both cryptocurrencies and fiat money and the company has recently expanded its range of services across Europe — paving the way for international payments in both Euros and Bitcoin.
Both UK and European versions of the app are set to support BTC payments internationally, including the withdrawal of Bitcoin from Crypto ATMs and online merchants.
Bottlepay is also highly in tune with social networks, and is leveraging payments via Twitter with plans to expand its services to Reddit, Telegram, Discord and Twitch over the coming weeks and months.
“Bottlepay is attempting to rewrite the rules when it comes to cross-border transactions. Half a billion people across the UK and Europe can now make cost-effective, instant payments to each other with a payments app that’s built on top of the Bitcoin Network,” explained Bottlepay founder, Pete Cheyne. “By launching in Europe, we are demonstrating the power of Bitcoin as an open-source monetary system.”
“We have created a payment rail that can process cross border payments immediately, at a low cost. It’s a much-needed update on the clunky, outdated payment systems available up until now, and a leap towards better financial inclusion for everyone.”
Championing security across the continent.
Blockchain technology can not only make payments across Europe more efficient, but it can also contribute to a much more secure financial ecosystem.
Records on cross-border blockchains would be secured via cryptography. Network participants have their own private keys assigned to their transactions, which operate in a similar way to digital signatures. If these records are edited in any way, the signature will instantly become invalidated – immediately alerting the peer network to the changes occurring.
Because blockchains are decentralised and distributed across peer-to-peer networks, the chain is synchronised through many different locations. This means that a blockchain can’t be changed from any central location, and if a hacker or external party wanted to change the data, they would need to access 51 percent of the participants and alter their information simultaneously — an act that would require immense computing power.
It’s this attention to privacy that can be invaluable for large-scale cross-border transactions on the continent. The blockchain technology to support such privacy is constantly evolving, too.
We can see evidence of the future of blockchain in the recent development of Avalanche, the revolutionary consensus algorithm that powers eCash — the new cryptocurrency devised by industry stalwart and innovator, Amaury Sechet.
Sechet was a central part of Bitcoin ABC movement and is now turning his attention to redefining wealth by creating a pragmatic cryptocurrency that will enable instant, borderless transactions that prioritise security against central influence and fork-free upgrades.
Driving emerging technology adoption.
Blockchain-powered payments are also helping emerging industries to accelerate their growth across Europe.
European electric vehicle drivers, for instance, will now be able to recharge their cars through the use of cryptocurrencies after a collaboration between two fintech platforms paved the way for a more universal payment option for 50,000 charging points across the continent.
Driving this change is Vourity, a Swedish payments firm, and Hips Payment Group in a partnership to empower EV users in Europe. Hips’ network has its own cryptocurrency, MTO, and its blockchain-based payments process intends to match consumer protections offered by credit card providers albeit with more flexibility.
“We want to make it easy for drivers to charge their car, and offering an open platform that allows for crypto payments is the most logical choice for our next-generation world,” said Hans Nottehed, Vourity CEO.
This development has enabled users around Europe to use cryptocurrency payments as easily as they can use Apple Pay, Google Pay, Swish and Bluecode to charge their cars.
Although the move is very niche in its application at this stage, it provides valuable options to electric vehicle owners and offers them a consistent choice for payment no matter where they go in Europe — making it the perfect example of the freedom that blockchain-driven cryptocurrencies are capable of providing both businesses and consumers around the continent.
“BITCOIN WILL BE A BIGGER THING THAN INTERNET, THE IRON AGE AND THE RENAISSANCE. EVEN GREATER THAN THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. IT WILL AFFECT THE ENTIRE WORLD, WITH GREATER INFLUENCE THAN ANYONE WOULD EVER THINK.”
Tim Draper venture capitalist told these to CNBC, who thinks that Bitcoin is going to be worth up to $250,000. Tim Draper has successfully foreseen the rise of Tesla and Skype – now he considers Bitcoin as the biggest business.
They asked the investor, whether compared to Tesla, Hotmail and Skype, where he entered as an early investor, how big success does he expect from Bitcoin, and his answer was: “Bigger than all of them.”
In this day and age, any business that wants to thrive must go online.
With so many things going on worldwide and global changes that will forever impact the way people live and do business, going online is no longer just an option.
Not only to maintain their success but even just to survive.
Sure, there are already available tools that any business can use to run their entire company and processes digitally.
However, any minimum amount of research will tell you that most of these products are expensive, complicated, and limited in customization.
In other words, not very user-friendly, and definitely not suitable for all business owners, especially those who are less tech-savvy and might even be on a budget.
I mean, who can afford to invest thousands of dollars a month into a bunch of complicated tools, and on top of that, hire employees to manage the systems, right?
Well, if this sounds familiar in any way, I have some good news for you.
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But the free value does not end there…
You see, GrooveFunnels is not just a website and sales funnel builder.
The co-founder of GrooveFunnels, Mike Filsaime, is actually a veteran in the Internet marketing space and has put all his experience and expertise into one of the best suites of marketing tools I have ever seen.
I’ve also signed myself up for an account (it’s free), and for the past few days, I’ve had the chance to play around with it.
And you know what?
I can definitely tell you that this 100% free tool is perfectly capable of running your entire business, maybe even better than some of the expensive complicated tools out there.
I’m not exaggerating by any means…
From what I’ve seen so far, GrooveFunnels includes everything that I need to run my online business, all for absolutely free.
Here’s just a quick list of what I’ve gathered so far:
FREE sales, page, and funnel building platform
Possible to build my own branded websites with full navigation
Can integrate with my own custom domain name
Able to sell my products with what they call a 1-click upsell
Capability to integrate upsells, downsells, and order bumps
Even has a way to create my own powerful affiliate program for my products!
And that’s just for starters because there is so much more for me to explore!
I’m not even joking when I say that I am planning to change my ENTIRE online business over to GrooveFunnels!
I mean, why wouldn’t I?
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By the way, there’s more…
I didn’t even mention some of my favorite benefits of GrooveFunnels.
As a member, I’ve also received a TON of community benefits.
I’ve been able to join their private Facebook group, connect with marketing experts inside, get help with all my problems, access private training within their own academy, ask questions through their helpdesk, and meet other like-minded entrepreneurs just like me to make the best use of these tools.
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Social networks have made building and widening your social contacts extremely easy. In the past, you might have had to attend numerous functions and paying for gas, food, and clothing just to show up and hand out a few business cards that later got tossed. With online social networking, the costs of networking are zero, but the rewards are immeasurable. Creating a list of social contacts online can lead to opportunities worldwide, something that local networking could never do for you.
LET PEOPLE COME TO YOU
Instead of trying to push people into getting acquainted with you or your company, wouldn’t it be great if you could get up each morning and find seven to ten new people wanting to befriend or follow you? This is completely doable with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Once you establish a profile and a following, just your everyday activities online can draw people to you without you having to go out and find them. Even if you do choose to find people first, it’s still far easier to connect with them online and far less intrusive than trying to schedule a meeting, a phone date, or any other old-fashioned method of networking.
WHICH SOCIAL NETWORK SHOULD YOU JOIN?
You’ve heard of MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but which is the best to join? The answer to that is that you can and should join at least three of these networks, depending on your demographic. The more you join, the better and the wider your exposure; however, not every social network will match up to your business profile. MySpace, for instance, tends to be visited by a younger crowd than Facebook and Twitter. If you’re marketing to teenagers, then it’s a great place to network, but if you’re more into college-age professionals, then Facebook will be a better match for you. LinkedIn is for any working professional, although some people use it to locate jobs when they’re in the market for that too because of the number of working professionals on it.
Twitter is in a class all by itself. It can appeal to many different groups of people, and it is also the easiest platform to generate a large following on. It may take a little while to get used to it, but getting on Twitter can help you create a large social network in as little as one month if you do it right. Imagine having close to 1000 followers in little more than a month? If only 1/10th of those people look at your services or offerings when you post, you will have 100 new eyeballs to market to. Let’s be clear, however, that marketing or building a list on social networking has to follow some guidelines that we will discuss in the next section.
The Rules Of The Game
Social networks have special rules that you must follow to keep your account active. Administrators frown on spamming people with unsolicited emails and other types of commercial activities. If your goal is to build a list for commercial purposes, it’s still doable; it just has to be done more casually than you would on your own website. Self-promotion is allowed, but any time you take an email off of someone’s social networking site and add it to your email autoresponder campaigns, you are spamming them, unless they offer you permission to market to them first. Harvesting emails from these sites is thus very difficult, and this is done deliberately.
BUILD YOUR LISTS WITHIN THE NETWORK FIRST
That doesn’t mean that you don’t want people to befriend or follow you on these sites. It means that you have to take care as to how you end up harvesting their email addresses. Just because someone befriends or follows you doesn’t mean that they are open to your marketing campaign and want to receive commercial solicitations. In fact, if you do send them that information, they’re likely to report you as a spammer, and you can have your account revoked. Thus, the best thing to do is to start by building your lists within the network without harvesting the emails provided there directly. You can still post status updates that promote your business or offerings, but direct emails of this variety will have to wait until later.
MOVE THEM OFF TO AN INTERMEDIARY SITE
You should have an intermediary site ready to capture their email address later. It can be a blog that allows them to subscribe. It can be a website that isn’t that commercial. It can even be some article marketing site where they can land, read some more of your content, and then follow the resource box links back to your website. As long as the final destination offers them a chance to subscribe to your email marketing lists via some free offer, then you will have permission to market to them off of the social networking sites, where you can be a little more straightforward.
HOW TO MARKET TO SOCIAL NETWORKING CONNECTIONS
Before then, you will want to create a highly targeted list of friends and followers who have the potential to follow you back from the social networking sites to your other websites. You can do this by carefully crafting profiles that appeal to your demographics and updating your status updates with information that draws attention from that demographic. As you continue to do these two activities, more and more people will find you, and you will have a wider exposure.
Getting Targeted Lists
You don’t just want to build a large list of people who have nothing to do with your market niche; you want to have a list of people whose interests mean that they might want to buy your products and services later on. Social networks are excellent mediums for creating targeted lists because it’s easy to see what people’s interests are via their searchable profiles, and they can see yours too!
USING YOUR PROFILE TO ATTRACT THE RIGHT DEMOGRAPHIC
The first step to getting a targeted list together is to clearly project the right image and interests in your own profile. To do that, you want to fill out the profile as completely as possible. You also want to use your real name, as this profile should be as authentic as possible. For Facebook, for instance, you would want to add as many details of books or movies relevant to your market niche to attract the right demographic. In Twitter, you would want to give as many keywords that are relevant to the niche you are marketing as possible in the 140-character description of your profile. In LinkedIn, you would also want to give a good, accurate description of your interests and accomplishments as they relate to the market niche that you are marketing to.
FINDING OTHERS WHO HAVE SIMILAR INTERESTS
Once you’ve got your own profile filled out, you can start searching via the keywords you’ve used to find others who are in your market niche and invite them to follow or befriend you back. In Facebook, they track everyone with similar interests, so all you have to do is to click on the link in any of the categories in your Info tab, and you’ll get a listing of people who have similar interests.
On Twitter, it’s just as easy to find people who have similar interests by using the Twitter search engine and looking up keywords. The Twitter search engine is separate from Twitter and can be found at http://search.twitter.com. You won’t just be able to locate people via their profile keywords, but also via their tweets.
Facebook and LinkedIn also have groups that you can join that can lead you to people with similar interests. You can even create your own group if that’s something you want to do. By networking with people who are in the same group as you are, you will be able to build your list fairly quickly. People like to network with people of similar interests, and this works well when you are trying to market to a specific niche.
The Bigger, The Better
You will want to build as big a list as possible within each network. The reason for this is that the bigger your list, the more possibilities to market to later on. Also, a big list has a magnetic effect on other people who will join just to find out what all of the fuss is about. It is easier to build a big list on Twitter than on any other social networking site, but it’s possible to do it on all of the social networking sites. Here, we’ll discuss a few ways to get a jumpstart on building a big list quickly and easily.
START BEFRIENDING AND FOLLOWING PEOPLE
You jumpstart every social network list by befriending or following people you know, whether they’re in your niche or not. This way, you aren’t the person with only a few people on your list. That’s never attractive. Start with people who you already know who are online. They can be work colleagues, neighbors, friends, and family. As long as you can get them to befriend or follow you back, you have the basis of a good start. Once you have a few of those, you will start to target people better so that your list can be used for marketing purposes later.
SEARCH FOR PEOPLE TO BEFRIEND
To build your list quickly, you should expect to add a couple of hundred followers a day on Twitter and 20 or so on Facebook. You will find these people by searching for your similar interests, as stated in the previous section. Facebook is much more stringent with the number of mass befriendings you can do before they peg you as a spammer and throw you out, so be careful. With LinkedIn, you should also seek to add numerous contacts each day. They won’t immediately befriend or follow you back, but eventually, about 30% will do so out of pure courtesy. That’s a quick way to build a list.
BEFRIEND YOUR FRIEND’S FRIENDS
Here’s a quick and easy trick to get a targeted list almost instantly: Befriend your friend’s friends on Facebook. You can go to any friend who is within your market niche and look into his/her friends list if he/she hasn’t made it private. From there, you can befriend those friends and see if they return the favor. You can also do this on Twitter by following someone within your market niche who has many followers and just going down the list of their followers and befriending them too. As suggested earlier, this method will get you about 30% to follow back. If you follow 200 people on Twitter and 60 follow you back each day, within a month, you can expect about 1800 people to be on your list! That’s a real accomplishment and can really zoom your business to heightened levels of exposure!
Trim Your List Frequently
The funny thing about befriending or following someone is that not everyone befriends or follows you back. Some people will even befriend or follow you and then later choose to unfriend or unfollow you. Other times, they simply don’t befriend you to start with. Of either of these situations, you have to keep track of both so that it doesn’t affect how large you can grow your list. There are some limits placed on list building within networks, and when you bump into them, you may wonder why you can’t follow any more people after reaching a certain level. The key is to trim your list frequently.
FACEBOOK IS NOT AN ISSUE
This is not an issue on Facebook, since you won’t even see a person’s profile unless they befriend you too. You can send out invitations, but if they don’t befriend you, it doesn’t affect your ability to send out another invitation to befriend someone. It’s not very common to unfriend someone on Facebook, although it does happen, but that doesn’t affect you much because all it means is that you can’t see his/her profile anymore and he/she won’t see your status updates, as if the connection never happened. In that respect, Facebook assumes that if either party decides to unfriend the other, then the connection is not even a one-way; it’s non-existent. It means that the two of you haven’t connected at all. On Twitter, it’s much different, and you have to keep track of the people you are following and who is not following you back.
THE TWITTER MAGIC 2000
In Twitter, you can be happily following people, 200 a day, and within 10 days, hit 2000 people. Right about that time, you find that you can no longer follow anyone else. What happened? This is a safeguard put in place by Twitter to keep robots from coming in and doing exactly what you’re doing for the sake of building large lists. It’s a spam protection device. The key to getting around this little safeguard is to make sure that people who aren’t following you back are trimmed from your list after a few days. So, if you invite 200 and only 60 follow back, be sure to unfollow the others. That’s because you will be approaching 2000 followings too quickly, with insufficient followers who reply back. In Twitter, if you follow 20% more people that follow you back while approaching 2000 people who you follow, the entire system grinds to a halt. What a drag, right? Just unfollow the people who aren’t following you back, and you’ll be able to breeze right through that impenetrable barrier. Keep the number of people you follow either much lower or nearly equal to the people who follow you back. To tell who is not following you back and to do bulk unfollows, it’s best to visit http://www.friendorfollow.com. This site makes it easy to keep track of who is not following you back, and let’s you unfollow multiple people at one time.
Start To Automate Your Activities
Is this starting to sound like a lot of work? Well, it is, but we have a few ways to make it easy to not only automate your list building, but also to cross-post between different platforms, cutting your work in half. You want to stay active on all of the social networks so that people will feel your presence there and be more inclined to contact you. In addition, frequent status updates allow you to post more about your business activities or links that will inform and entertain your friends and followers. You can use any link in your status updates to bring people back to the intermediate areas that will allow you to harvest their email addresses for use outside of the social networking sites too.
This has a paid service and a free service. The free service has some nice features that can automate the unfollowing of people who unfollow you after following you, as well as sending out a welcome message when people decide to follow you. You can even schedule tweets throughout the day so you don’t have to spend all of your time sitting in front of a PC screen. Join this site and take a look at what might work for you to automate your tweets on Twitter.
This sounds like another Twitter application, but it’s actually a Facebook application. It is called “Selective Twitter” because it allows you to have any selective tweet that you post on Twitter also updated on your status update on Facebook. This is very useful because, if you simply tied in Twitter updates to Facebook updates, your followers on Facebook would get annoyed. It’s a much different platform, and multiple status updates all day long is considered spamming on Facebook and will get you quickly unfriended or hidden. However, on Twitter, which is a microblogging platform, this is actually pretty common and expected. Use the Selective Twitter application in Facebook to allow you to post to Facebook by simply adding a hashtag at the end of your tweet like this, “#fb” (without the quotes).
What if you also have profiles on Stumbleupon, Digg, and other social networking sites? You can use Ping.fm to put postings on all of them from a central source. This is a very effective tool for someone who has many different profiles all over the Web and wants to update them all from a central location. It can make you appear much more active than you really are.
Facebook Strategies For Building Lists
As of now, we’ve been pretty general about different ways to build your list quickly. However, each social networking platform has its own idiosyncrasies that can be exploited to get you up and running faster. In this section, we’ll go over a simple way to get going on Facebook and how to use the features available on it to build your list.
Your profile on Facebook has a place called the Wall. There, you will have a box with the question ”What’s on your mind?” printed inside it. This is the status update part of Facebook, and it allows you to post links and comments so that your friends can see what’s going on in your life and business. The neat thing about the status update is that people can comment, rate it as “like,” and share it with their friends too. When another person does any of these actions on your status update, their circle of friends who aren’t on your friends list also see your status update. That means, when you send out a status update, it has the potential to reach many more people than just the people who are in your circle of friends. That’s why you should post status updates throughout the day and should stay active so people see more of you online. When they see something they like, many people will try to befriend you based on what you’ve said to one of your friends who is a mutual friend. Every time someone comments on your status update, reply with your own comment. This way, it will keep it up and active on more people’s news feeds than if you didn’t reply to them.
JOIN AS MANY GROUPS AS YOU CAN
Try to find groups within your market niche and join as many as you can. Then, you want to befriend the people in the groups too. Contribute to the conversation, but find out who these people are who are in your group and get to know them better. When someone joins you on Facebook, post a brief message on his/her wall or send a link to a welcome video. If he/she likes it, he/she might share it with his/her friends too, and you’ll have an automatic wider audience.
CREATE YOUR OWN GROUP
If you choose to create your own group on a topic about your niche, you will be able to attract people from all over Facebook, not just from your immediate circle of friends. That’s because Facebook will list it as its own entity, and people will join based on the topic and not on your personal profile.
Twitter Strategies For Building Lists
Twitter is a bit easier for list building because it is more transparent, and there are many third-party sites devoted just to helping you build your Twitter following. The very easiest strategy is just to start following people within your market niche. However, there’s even a better way to identify the people who have a large influence on Twitter; by following those people and they finding you interesting enough to follow back, you’ll get a lot of good press this way.
HOW TO GET RETWEETED
Once you’re following them, you can try to get noticed by simply retweeting something they’ve said that appeals to you. A retweet is a device that copies a tweet of someone’s and adds it to the other person’s status update as a new tweet in his/her stream. If enough people do that, it has the potential to spread across the network like a virus, thus the naming of a “viral tweet.” If that happens, the person can reach millions in very little time and get massive exposure for himself/herself and his/her business. The way to start all this is to either tweet something interesting or to retweet something someone else said that was interesting. Often, as a matter of courtesy, people will thank other people for retweeting their tweets, and it will include the person’s Twitter username in the stream.
Another way to build a bigger list on Twitter is to participate on Follow Fridays. That’s where you post recommendations of Tweeple on your status update so that others will follow them. Many people will thank you for the recommendation and will add you to their list of Follow Friday recommendations too. It’s easy to do. Just add the hash tag #FollowFriday at the end of a list of recommended Twitter usernames, and everyone will know that you are asking them to follow these people too.
Should You Hire A Social Media Expert?
Some people just don’t want to spend any time learning social networking platforms or posting their offerings on the status updates. They would prefer if someone else did all that, while they just sit back and get the emails that result from these activities. While that’s a perfectly reasonable scenario, you do have to be aware that just about anyone can call himself/herself a social media expert, and you should take pains to hire someone who can produce results and not just hire pretty looking profiles that waste your time and money.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN EXPERT
You want some proof that the person who is claiming expertise on social media actually has some. This can mean that you want to see high follower counts on Twitter and Facebook. You want to get a good idea of how he/she will target the people who will end up on your list. You want some idea of his/her credentials and his/her accomplishments in his/her field. If he/she can prove to you that he/she has what it takes to do the same thing for you, by all means, hire him/her.
PAYING FOR FOLLOWERS
You can also post a job on a freelance board to pay for the building of a list based on follower count. This is not a good way to go, as it doesn’t really target the right people, and it’s not an organic way to grow your list. There are, however, numerous outsourcing companies that specialize in just this thing, and since you’ll no doubt stumble upon them, it’s something that should be mentioned as being out there. Whether you actually want to do this or not, that is up to you.
PAY FOR RESULTS, NOT HYPE
Make sure they understand what it is that you are paying for, not just counts of people who are being added to your list. It should be highly targeted people who are interested in your products and services. You don’t want to pay someone to build fake profiles so they can all link to you and have you pay them. That’s useless to you. You also don’t want to use robots to follow people automatically, unless it’s highly targeted and well managed. This is another way to “hire a social media expert in a box” by getting software that lets you target and add followers in your niche without too much extra effort on your part. Hummingbird is one such package that Internet marketers use to create large, targeted lists.
Harvesting Emails To A Central List
Once you start getting a large number of followers, and you are using your status updates to market them back to intermediary areas, you will start to get a steady flow of people who are going to sign up for your free offers and giving permission to market to them. You have to be ready for that eventuality by having some service set up where you can harvest emails and create a central list for all of these people who are coming from different social networks and websites around the Internet. As long as they’re all in the same niche, they should all be on one central list. Later, you can start to separate them out into category lists for whether they are low-income, mid-income, or high-income customers.
One such service is called AWeber.com. It is popular because it isn’t too expensive, and it has a lot of good features for email marketing. What’s the point of collecting all of these emails and not marketing to them, right? AWeber will help you to develop email campaigns so that you can track and fine-tune to create income from all of the list-building activities you’ve implemented.
FEATURES THAT HELP YOU
Great features included in AWeber.com are the ability to track open and click-through rates. You will not only be able to find out who is opening your emails, but how many of those people clicked on the links within your emails. They also have the ability to do split testing, so that half of the people on your email list get one version of an email and the other half get a different version. That way, you can see if there is any improvement in the open and click-through rates, and which version appealed more to your mailing list.
After you get the hang of email marketing, you’ll want to create multiple lists and campaigns for different segments of your demographics. Maybe you want to market lower-priced products to your low-income group and more expensive products to your higher-income group. You can do this with AWeber and keep the central all-inclusive list for informational emails alone. The more you work with an email campaign manager, the more you start to see profits from the activities of list building and marketing. It can help you to plan your sales months ahead of time and to keep money flowing in so that you can pay others to do your social networking for you, while you hang around and collect the checks.
Find and Claim your Business on Dealando24 … People on Dealando24 are looking to spend their money with the right local business. Make sure they choose you.
While Google used to share major update announcements, the exact inner workings of the algorithm are still unknown. The majority of information is just speculation from industry professionals.
After all, if everyone knew exactly how to rank in the first position without penalties for shortcuts or black hat SEO strategies, Google wouldn’t succeed in ranking only the best results. Anyone could hack their way to the top without putting in the work.
Not only would this make it hard for honest people like you and me to succeed, but it would also seriously compromise Google’s mission statement:
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Not to mention Panda, Google EMDs (exact match domain names), and the Private Blog Network (PBN) deindexing updates. Then there’s Phantom, which first appeared in May 2013 and is believed to have been updated four times – but has never actually been confirmed by Google.
How are you supposed to keep track of all these Google updates?
Quick Sprout is doing pretty well at 1.89 seconds. Aim for under 2 seconds for a really fast site and under one second for mobile devices.
Remember, a load time of more than a few seconds could cause you to lose a significant amount of site traffic.
Check Your Site’s Health
After looking at keyword search engine rank and site speed, assess the overall health of your site before you start to optimize.
Have you experienced a sudden drop in organic traffic after months or years of consistency?
Are you wondering whether Google has deindexed (or banned) your site?
There are a lot of great tools to help piece together this puzzle. Try the MxToolBox Domain Health Report tool to check for major issues in five different categories: general site problems, blacklist, mail server, web server, and DNS.
Just click the box for each category to see specific errors and warnings. From there, you can work one-by-one to fix them.
If you want to check if you’ve been penalized by one of the major algorithm updates, check out FE International’s Website Penalty Indicator tool.
You’ll see a graph that shows your site’s traffic in relation to rollouts of major updates. This comparison takes you one step closer to knowing if an update directly affected your site.
To check for a Google penalty, login into Google Search Console and look for the “Security & Manual Actions” report. This will tell you if Google has taken a manual action against your site.
Note that this report will only show if a human reviewer has determined your site breaks Google’s quality guidelines — it won’t tell you if a Google Algorithm update penalized your site.
Today, social media, email, and paid ads often lead the pack in driving organic traffic — but that can vary drastically by industry.
To find out how many visitors reach your site, log in to your Google Analytics account and check out the acquisition channels report. This helpful Google Analytics guide will guide you.
Organic Traffic Conversions
In addition to analyzing search traffic, it’s worth paying attention to the keywords that generate traffic for your site. This is harder to see than it used to be, but is still possible.
One way to find these is a simple tool called SERP Scan. I’ve been using it to identify the keywords that convert organically for my site.
SERP Scan will show you the keywords that have sent organic traffic to your site within the last 12 months. It includes an on-page SEO keyword performance chart.
This tool makes it easy to get the data that you need from Google Analytics and to understand the broad picture relating to keywords on your site. But, you still need more.
Keyword Ranking for Transactional Keywords
The number one keyword research mistake is not spending enough time focusing on transactional keywords.
That’s because commercial keywords are the ones that drive revenue. To improve your search engine rankings and make money, you need to understand the difference between commercial and informational keywords to improve Google rankings.
If all of your keywords are informational, you will still generate organic traffic, but it may be difficult to convert those visitors to buyers or people who share on social media.
The reason is because visitors who search for informational keywords like:
How to clear acne with home products
How to install WordPress
Make money online for free
Free ebook download
Top 10 free article spinners
If they’re not in the buying mood, they want you to speak their language – the search engine language of free. Now, these terms can drive traffic and a solid sales funnel will convert some of those people — but not many.
In contrast, there are people who use transactional keywords that show user intent, like:
Best acne products
Top 10 web hosting providers
Web designers in NY
These folks are probably searching for a solution that they can buy.
If you’re in the e-commerce industry, you’ll hopefully already know that transactional keywords tend to convert well.
Keywords that have the words below as a prefix (before) or suffix (after) to the rest of the keyword phrase tend to do well:
Earlier, I talked about the keywords that are sending you organic traffic. They should also be used in the meta description as well as on-page SEO (more on this later).
Here’s another example. Can you spot the difference between informational and transactional keywords?
Set Up An SEO Dashboard to Track These Metrics
I recommend that you set up an SEO dashboard so that you can track all of the important metrics at any time.
These profiles can be a deciding factor for someone who’s searching in your area, so claim and update your business listing ASAP if you haven’t. This also goes for other local listing sites, like Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, and more.
Let me walk you through a link analysis using SEOprofiler.
Sign up for a free account and go to Link Profiler → Backlinks. Let’s use problogger.net:
The results show the most important elements to look for when analyzing your backlinks:
Unique Active Backlinks: This shows the number of links that directly or indirectly affect your Google ranking. “Unique” means that the links are from different IP addresses. That’s one way to identify a natural link. These links have been indexed by Google in the last 90 days.
Nofollow links: Problogger has 10.2% nofollow links, which equals 1,522 backlinks from the total of 14,922. Google introduced the rel= “nofollow” tag in 2005 to stop spammy blog comments from artificially manipulating rankings. After the Google Penguin update was rolled out, it became essential to diversify your link profile. And as Matt Cutts mentioned, you need a mix of dofollow links (links that pass ranking value to search engines) and nofollow links (links that don’t pass ranking value).
Industry: If you read the content of Problogger, you might think that its industry is “blogging” or “internet marketing.” But, when you look at this analysis, it turns out to be “media.” Knowing your industry can help you identify relevant links that will improve your backlink profile in the search algorithm used by the search engine.
Link Influence Score: This shows how links from the website influence the search engine rankings of linked pages. The higher the score the better. As a very popular and influential site, Problogger’s score is a whopping 99%! Check your own site and see what your score is.
Anchor Text: Click on the link in the left menu to access data for anchor text (anchor text is the text that becomes your link and points to your page) linking into your site. Google’s Penguin update was rolled out to prevent site owners from manipulating search results with exact match anchor text. If you want to stay under the search algorithm penalty radar, diversify your anchor text.
It’s also important to know which links are harmful to your site so that you can remove them. Harmful links include those tha:
Come from PR-n/a or PR0 websites
Are mostly sitewide links
Are from referring domain names with little traffic
Remember to export the list of unhealthy links once you find them. That way, you can refer to them later.
Clean Up Your Link Profile to Avoid a Google Penalty
That’s the next step in cleaning up your link profile, and there are two ways to do it.
1. Request a Manual Link Removal: Visit the website where the unhealthy/unnatural links are coming from and contact the site owner. Ask the site owner to either remove your link (the better option) or add a nofollow tag to it.
If you have outsourced link building in the past, you can also contact the person who placed the links for you and ask that person to have the links removed. Here’s an excerpt from a post at Search Engine World to show how this works:
In this case, don’t ask the site owner to remove your links because they might assume you’re a spammer and ignore you. Instead, follow this tutorial from Search Engine Journal to learn the best way to contact webmasters about link removal.
2. Use Google’s Disavow Links Tool: If you’re unsuccessful in getting unhealthy links removed, your only option is to use Google’s own disavow links tool.
While manual link removal is best, this is a good second choice.
The disavow tool is part of Google Search Console. Once you open Search Console, you’ll see a list of all of your sites.
Go to the site for which you want to disavow links. This is what you’ll see:
When you check for unnatural links, you have the option to export the links that you find. If you have done this, upload the file and click “done.”
Like you, Google can’t actually remove the links as they don’t have access to the referring sites.
However, doing this authorizes Google to stop passing link juice (value) from those links to your page content.
3. Diversify Anchor Text Distribution: Anchor text can play a key role in improving or utterly destroying your search ranking. As I mentioned earlier, if you want a natural link profile, you have to diversify anchor text.
When distributing your anchor text, think about including these types:
Exact Match: Does the anchor text match the keyword that you’re targeting exactly? e.g. hybrid bikes
To avoid anchor text over-optimization, follow these two guidelines:
Avoid Excessive Keyword-Tich Anchor Text: If you want to link to your internal pages on a topic, like “link building strategies,” don’t use that same keyword phrase as your anchor text. Instead, use something like “learn more about link building” or a combination of a generic plus the exact keyword. Variety is key.
Avoid Irrelevant Links: What’s the point of linking to your dog training site using “best golf trainer” as your anchor? It doesn’t make sense to improve Google rankings and could actually result in a Google penalty.
Step #6: Improve Google Rankings with Keyword Research
Once you are rid of unnatural links, it’s time to improve on-page SEO the right way.
One essential element of an effective inbound marketing strategy is keyword research. You won’t get far without understanding how it works.
Learn How Your Audience Finds Your Site
To be effective, you need to pinpoint the keywords that your target audience is using to find your site. Here’s how that works.
Step #1: Visit Ubersuggest, Enter your Keyword and click Search.
Step #2: Click on Keyword Ideas
Step #3: Review Keywords and Search Volume for the Month
Here’s how that helps you.
When you research keywords, you’re getting firsthand information about your target audience, the information that they want to know, and how they want it.
For example, when someone searches for “html5 tutorials for beginners,” you know the searcher is a newbie who is searching for solutions and wants content that helps with this topic.
That can guide you to write headlines and content that ranks well in the Google search results.
It’s helpful to figure out the buyer personas and customer lifecycle of your target audience, so you understand what motivates them. Then, provide relevant page content that will help you increase your Google ranking.
Alexa can help you work out audience demographics, as in the example below for Upworthy.
Remember when I mentioned transactional and informational keywords?
When you do keyword research, you can easily see whether users are simply looking for information or ready to buy.
That’s called user intent, and here’s how it looks for the keyword research example used earlier.
In this example, free web design is an example of an informational keyword. Free web design courses is an example of a transactional keyword.
You need both informational and transactional keywords in your page content to improve the Google rankings of your website.
It’s your job to educate, inform, inspire, and build interest before recommending a product.
Informational keywords can be used to build email lists and nurture prospects before offering a product for sale.
Also, don’t ignore long-tail keywords and questions.
The rise of voice search and BERT means long-tail keywords are more important than ever before.
If your competitors are ranking ahead of you in Google search results, it’s time to spy on them.
If the search algorithm likes them, you can learn and copy their strategies.
I like to use Google Keyword Planner for this because it gives me an accurate estimate of competitors’ keyword targets.
Let’s assume you’re in the “survival knife” sub-niche. One of the authority blogs you might spy on is survivallife.com.
On the Ubersuggest homepage, instead of inputting a seed keyword, simply type your competitor’s URL into the landing page box and click search.
Then scroll down the page until you see “SEO Keywords.” You will see the keywords that your competitor is targeting.
In addition to the keywords, other data includes:
Volume: The number of searches the keyword has during a month.
Position: The position the URL is ranked for in Google search.
Estimated visits: The estimated traffic the webpage gets for the keyword.
For example, your competitor ranks number 1 for the term “survival life.” With the top spot, they receive roughly 395 visitors per month for the term. So, if you’re successful in overtaking them, you know what type of traffic to expect.
This works for any niche and can help you uncover hidden keywords that will help improve your ranking.
Boost Lower Ranking Keywords
If you find your web page on page two, how can you boost its ranking to the first page of Google?
The starting point and cornerstone of search marketing campaigns. By understanding what queries qualified visitors to your website type into search engines, search marketers can better customize their landing pages to increase conversion rates.
Unless you know the queries that qualified visitors type into Google, you’ll find it difficult to improve your ranking and conversion rates.
By now, you know how to do keyword research. That’s the easy part. The difficult part is knowing which keywords are bringing in organic traffic.
Ever since Google’s “Not Provided” update, this info has been hard to come by. This guide to unlocking Not Provided Keywords will help you recover some of the data. But these days, it’s impossible to get a full view of what terms drive organic traffic.
You do want to pay attention to popular keywords, terms your competitors rank for, and Google’s “People also ask” questions.
Use this information to write on-page SEO content that matches user intent (remember that?). This will improve the Google ranking of your web pages.
How should you place your target keywords in the content?
Let’s assume you want to write an in-depth review on “best senior irons for seniors.” Here are some titles that you could use:
Top 10 Best Senior Irons For Seniors
Buyers’ Guide For The Best Senior Irons For Seniors
Best Senior Irons For Seniors – The Ultimate Guide
To start your introduction, you could begin like this:
There are several senior irons in the marketplace. But knowing the right one for you is the most difficult decision. If you read this guide from start to finish, you’ll know the best senior irons for seniors that are affordable and reliable.
Or, you could start your introduction by asking a question:
Do you want to find the best senior irons for seniors? This page will not just tell you about the irons but will show how to use them to improve your golf game and provide practical tips on getting a huge discount for your purchase.
Do you see how I placed the target keyword in the first paragraph, without making it seem like spam?
As I’ve said before, target a specific keyword in a natural manner – don’t just try to make it look natural.
Step #7: Increase Google Ranking With On-Page SEO
Now that you know which keywords you want to target – and should be targeting – to maximize your performance, you’re equipped to make meaningful on-page SEO changes.
Backlinko has an excellent guide that breaks down on-page SEO factors that will earn you big points with Google and your visitors.
Let’s break down a few key considerations.
Optimize Title Tags
Title tags are still a big part of determining how your site will perform.
Curly Hair Leave-in Conditioner – Hair Care | Diana’s DIY
Here are a few more title tag optimization tips:
Use pipes ( | ) and dashes ( – ) between terms to maximize your real estate.
Avoid ALL CAPS titles. They’re just obnoxious.
Never keep default title tags like “Product Page” or “Home.” They trigger Google into thinking you have duplicate content, and they’re also not very convincing to users who are looking for specific information.
Put the most important and unique keywords first.
Don’t overstuff your keywords. Google increasingly values relevant, contextual, and natural strings over mechanical or forced keyword phrases.
Put your potential visitors before Google – title tags can make-or-break traffic and conversions.
Keep in mind Google shows roughly 60 characters on a SERP, but don’t cut off if a longer title suits the page content. The search snippet title Google displays can be dynamic based on the search query.
So ultimately, you might be doing yourself a favor by getting more descriptive.
Plus, desktop snippet titles are limited by pixel width, while mobile display titles are typically longer.
In the image above, Google displays as many characters as possible from the beginning. But in the image below, Google truncates the middle of the title to show the term “Hobo” at the end to show relevance to the user’s query.
While meta descriptions have negligible (if any) impact on your rankings, they still serve the important purpose of helping to determine your search snippet and adding an extra factor of uniqueness. This in turn can influence your click-through rate (CTR) from SERPs.
Use Schema Markup (aka structured data markup)
Schema markup can be thought of as extra “labels” on information that tells Google what your content means. For example, let’s say my name appears on an article, so Google displays my name in a SERP entry.
But if I use the right schema around my name in the article’s HTML, I can indicate to Google that I’m the author of the article, not just another term in a sea of indistinguishable words.
Not only does schema markup help Google understand your website, it also makes a massive difference in attracting traffic to your website.
Schema helps give users more relevant information in a visually organized and aesthetic way.
Plus, featured snippets are featured more on mobile SERPs, which we discussed are more common in the U.S. than desktop searches.
Once you have your sitemap, check out my article on XML Sitemap to download your sitemap file, put it into the domain root folder of your website, and add the sitemap URL to your Google Webmaster account.
Now that we’ve covered some key on-page SEO factors, it’s time to discuss how to differentiate your brand from good to great with unique, strategic, and purposeful content.
Step #8: Use Keywords to Create Better Content
Although I’ve touched a bit on keyword research and placement already, in this section, we’ll look more at going leveraging those keywords that you’ve researched.
Sadly, a lot of people misunderstand the purpose keyword research and placement.
Even before Google rolled out their first Google Panda update, the best search marketers knew that quality, valuable, and useful content should target a particular group of people.
Optimize for informational keywords and improve your search ranking by writing resourceful and detailed content while supplementing it with descriptive meta description and title tags.
This process attracts raving fans, gets your content shared on social media platforms, and garners relevant and high-authority links naturally.
If you want to write resourceful and detailed content, follow the guide below:
Use Data-Driven Articles
According to ConversionXL, data-driven approach can increase your traffic.
Here’s how to tell a story that captivates your audience:
Begin with something unique: Start your story with a unique message that resonates with your audience. Ideally, this should connect with your audience’s questions or pain points.
Infuse Your Own Experiences: It’s called a story for a good reason. Use your own experiences (whether good or bad) as part of the message. No fakery allowed!
Jon Morrow used this on-page SEO content technique to grow his blog to 1,740 loyal subscribers in just seven days. Here’s the post that helped him connect with his audience: How To Quit Your Job, Move To Paradise, and Get Paid To Change The World.
Add a Call-to-Action (CTA): Every story must have an ending. Once you capture your readers’ attention, they expect you to share the solution. After all, your story is supposed to solve a problem, not nurture it.
Use a call-to-action link or button to lead people to your funnel and convert them. MatchOffice increased its conversion rate by 14.79% by changing its CTA copy.
Unbounce provides some more examples of actionable CTA buttons to replace your generic ones:
Write Shareable Headlines
Google has made a lot of changes to search rankings, but one element remains crucial: the headline.
If you write a shareable headline for your post, nothing can stop it from getting clicked, read, and shared by true fans.
Peep Laja of ConversionXL increased his conversion rate by changing the word “today” to “now” in a headline. It also helped him increase sales by 332%.
Headlines truly win the clicks.
Even if your web page is ranked at #1 in Google for page content, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the most clicks.
On-page SEO gets you in the running but the title can convert impressions to clicks.
Let’s search for the term how to outsource. Note that the most clickable headline is in position #2.
The perfect example of a website that uses shareable headlines to boost conversion rate is Upworthy.
I’ve used Buzzsumo to analyze Upworthy’s headlines. Check out the amazing number of shares the first article has racked up.
If I wanted to craft a better headline for my own content, here’s what I’d do:
Add numbers: Upworthy’s post was shared over 1.6 million times on Facebook because it has a definite number. If the headline was “Americans are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact,” I’m sure the total number of social media shares would be lower.
Here are some more examples. When I wrote this post, these headlines were ranked in the Google top 10 for their respective keywords. But, a simple tweak would result in a higher click-through rate.
SEO Basics For Optimizing Your Site
Let’s add some numbers:
6 SEO Basic Tips For Optimizing Your Site
12 SEO Basics You Need To Optimize Your Site
Freelance Writing Tips For Stay-at-Home Moms
Freelance Writing Jobs To Make Money
Let’s add some numbers
5 Freelance Writing Tips To Help Stay at Home Moms Make Money
10 Freelance Writing Jobs You Can Make Money From
Invoke Curiosity: Curiosity will cause people to click your headline, but do it with caution and make sure that you deliver on the promise of your headline with quality content.
For example, if your title is:
Top 7 Body Building Secrets You Didn’t Know
Then make sure that you reveal the ‘7’ secrets, and ideally, what you reveal needs to be new or unique.
Create a Multimedia Experience
While regular blogging is important, don’t settle there.
Hone in on your keywords to learn the questions that brought your visitors to your site. Then use diverse types of content to answer those questions, like:
While the occasional duplicate content won’t destroy your rankings, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by showing Google each piece of content is original, relevant, and useful.
Once you have great on-page SEO content that includes informational and transactional keywords and tells a story that appeals to your audience, it’s time to build links the right way to improve Google rankings.
Step #9: Build Links the Right Way
Earlier, I showed you how to analyze links to your site using SEOprofiler.
Note that it shows a range of different types of anchor text for inbound links.
That’s exactly what you need to build links the right way and improve Google rankings.
Here are some of the ways to do that and the types of links that you need.
Anchor text linking (in-text links): Anchor text links are simple links that appear within the content. See an example below…
I’ve found placing anchor text links “above-the-fold,” can increase conversion rates.
The anchor text linking strategy is mostly used when you’re looking to rank for a particular keyword.
You can use your target keyword as anchor text, but to be on the safe side and avoid penalties with the search algorithm, mix it up with generic keywords.
For example, if your primary keyword is digital camera reviews, when building your links from another site, link naturally like this: find the best digital camera reviews, top digital camera brands, etc.
A good mix is smart on-page SEO.
Internal Links: External links (that is links from other sites to yours) are important, but internal links are also important. Make sure to link to important internal pages using optimized anchor text when it makes sense.
Editorial Links: Creating useful content and sharing it through social media naturally results in valuable inbound links.
A good example is the post on 200 ranking factors that Brian Dean wrote. It’s been cited multiple times.
Disclosure: The links on this page may save you up to 33% OFF normal pricing due to partnerships. We receive commission if you make a purchase through these links. This adds ZERO cost to you, and can only SAVE you money. It’s a win-win!
A Free Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide toCreate a Website in 20 minutes
One of the misconceptions about starting a blog is that you need to be a great writer to be successful. Nothing could be further from the truth. People read blog sites to get a personal perspective on things, so most bloggers write in a very informal and conversational style.
In addition, you don’t need to be an expert on your topic in order to have a successful blog. For example, readers of a cooking blog don’t want to read a textbook from a food scientist, they want to hear the experiences of someone who has actually cooked some real meals, mistakes and all.
At its heart, blogging is about sharing your knowledge with the world. Choosing a topic that you are passionate about makes the process of starting a successful blog so much easier. Writing about more than one topic is totally fine too. As long as you are writing about things that you are genuinely interested in, your passion will shine through and keep your readers interested.
So why would you go to the trouble of blogging? There are a few reasons:
Make money from home. Blogging can be quite lucrative if done correctly. The top bloggers in the world obviously earn quite a bit, but even a part-time blogger can expect to make a nice profit if things are done correctly. The best part about it is that blogging is a form of passive income, since you can spend just a few hours a week writing a blog post and then continue to make money from it long after the
blog post is written. I go into much more detail on how to blog for money later in this guide.
Share your story. A blog allows you to have a voice and be heard. You can share your story with the entire world if you so choose. One of the most common ways blogs are used are as a diary where the blogger writes about their daily experiences so that friends, family, and others can all be a part of their lives.
Recognition for yourself or your business. No, you probably won’t have paparazzi following you around because of your latest blog post. But a successful blog can gain you a ton of recognition in your respective field. Many bloggers are known as experts just because of their blogs, and some have even gotten book and movie deals based on their blogs.
Find a community. Blogging at its heart is interactive. You write a blog post and people comment on it. This is a great way to connect with people who are interested in the same things as you are. Blogging allows you to teach these people based on your experience, and it gives you the opportunity to learn from your readers as well.
The good news is that the internet is exploding with growth right now. More people than ever are online. This explosion in growth means more potential readers for your blog. In short, if you are thinking about starting a blog then there is no better time than right now.
Learn how to create a blog in about 20 minutes following these steps:
Pick a blog name.Choose something descriptive.
Get your blog online.Register your blog and get hosting.
Customize your blog.Choose a free template and tweak it.
Write & publish your first post.The fun part!
Promote your blog.Get more people to read your blog.
Make money blogging.Choose from several options to monetize your blog.
Let’s start your blog!
So, we made it. Better late than never! So, without further ado, let’s jump into step 1.
# Decide what to start a blog about
You probably already have a general idea of what to blog about, but let’s look at a few blogging tips for beginners just in case you are not quite there yet.
1.Avoid choosing too broad of a niche
For example, don’t just blog about fitness, blog about marathon running or resistance training in particular. Keeping all of your articles in a tight niche to begin with will help Google to see that your site is an authority on the subject and they will send you more visitors if this is the case.
The above isn’t designed to crush your dreams of making a huge site, this is quite possible later on. You can expand into new categories of course, but it is a lot easier to get the ball rolling with traffic if you stay focused to begin with.
2.Try to create evergreen content.
Write about topics that people will always be searching for, even in the future.
To give an example of this in the fashion niche (Notorious for this problem), people will always be searching for the best flats under $100 – this is unlikely to change massively over the years. If you write about a particular Chanel model that was popular for one season, expect that people may no longer need your content after a short amount of time.
# Choose a blog creation platform
Choosing where you want to build blog is pretty much the first thing you have to do. I’m going to take a leap and assume you’ve heard of WordPress, and this is the platform I advocate. It’s massive.
It’s by far one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world, with countless plugins and add-ons and almost infinite ways to design and layout your blog.
There are more than 82 million active users of WordPress = a lot, basically.
There are other alternatives, however, and they are listed below:
Blogger – Definitely the next best thing to WordPress.
Tumblr – Half social network, half blog. Interesting, and very simple to use.
Even though WordPress is bigger (and probably better) than those two, here are my reasons why you should still go with WordPress:
Super easy set-up and is free to use
Tons of free themes and layouts (I’m not kidding, there are gazillions).
There’s a massive support forum in case you get stuck (you won’t, but it’s nice to have it there if you need it).
Your blog will be insanely fast and it’ll also look Functionality and form – perfect!
People can interact with you easily. Your content can be shared, commented on, and so on.
#Choose a great web hosting and a domain name for your blog
Setting up a WordPress blog on Bluehost is very easy. First, we will talk about the costs of blogging:
To receive the cheapest price to start a blog, then choosing the “Basic” plan is really all you need. It’s only $2.75 per month through my link (due upfront in full) if you sign up for 36 months, which is a great price. If you sign up for a 24 months plan, then the price is $3.95 per month. If you sign up for a 12 months plan, then the price is $4.95 per month. $4.95 is still extremely affordable and it’s a great plan to choose (especially since you get a free domain at this price still!). If you are unsure about blogging, I would sign up for the 12 months plan as this is still a great price and very affordable for one year of blogging. If you purchase a 12 months plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is still a great price. Plus, you still receive the free domain name when you sign up for 12 months or more which saves you money. The best value would be purchasing a 36 months plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
The Basic plan is all you really need for now, so skip the Plus and Business Pro plans as they are more expensive. You can always change it later to a different plan if you want to (and just pay the difference), so there is no need to sign up for extra that you do not need.
The other item you may want to pay for when it comes to blogging is Domain Privacy Protection, which is only $0.99 per month. This is so that your contact information stays safe.
Other than the above, you do not need the other items that Bluehost sells, so I would uncheck any of the extras that are listed.
Remember, if you sign up using my link, then you will get your domain for free if you purchase a 12 month or longer blog hosting plan.
I want to reiterate why you should purchase at least a 12 months hosting plan. Month-to-month is less effective, and I highly recommend signing up for a minimum of 12 months for many reasons. By signing up for a minimum of 12 months, you will receive a free domain name, lower pricing, and you won’t have to deal with an expired website after each month. For example, if hosting is not renewed or if the card expires, then your website is down and you risk losing business (visitors/traffic) when you pay on a month-to-month basis. It’s also exceptionally more expensive to pay month-by-month rather than in one lump sum. The more years you sign up for, the less you pay.
Blog hosting will most likely cost you around $59 a year on average, or $99 for 3 years, which is a great deal! If you purchase a 12 months plan, your total price is only $59 a year, which is a great price. The best value would be purchasing a 36 months plan, as your monthly rate is much lower over the long run.
When you are ready to create your blog, follow the steps below to buy hosting for your blog.
Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
Click on the package you are interested in.
Enter your domain name you registered with earlier, or sign up for a new domain name here.
Enter your personal and payment information.
Next you will be asked to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure as this information is very important. (You better write your login details and passwords on a note book that stays handy)
Now to the exciting part!
To set up a self-hosted blog on your own domain name, you’ll need two things:
Domain Name This will be your personal blog address where people find your awesome articles over and over again.
For example, Google’s domain is www.Google.com. My domain name is www.positivenova.com
Your new blog domain name will be www.YourBlogName.com, except you’ll choose what’s going to be behind YourNewBlog.
Web Hosting This will be the home of your blog address and content that’s on the blog. Without web hosting, you’ll be unable to use your domain. Think of it as a computer hard drive that stores all your content on your blog (images, blog posts and so on).
Install WordPress on Bluehost.
Okay, this is probably the step that all of you have been waiting for. If you want to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost then continue reading.
This part isn’t hard at all. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog and it is FREE.
After you create your password, Bluehost guides you through exactly what you need to do in order to start a blog.
First, Bluehost will ask you to pick a theme. You can just pick a random one here or find one that you actually like. You can change it later so it’s not a big deal or just scroll to the bottom and skip this step. Remember, there are many free ones too!
Click on “Start Building”
On the next screen, you can choose “Business” or “Personal” – it’s up to you. Or, you can click the “I don’t need help.”
It’s FREE for everyone to use: (including themes, layouts, and add-ons that many other blogging platforms don’t provide).
It’s super easy for you to set up on your own: I’ll show you exactly how in a little bit…
It’s safe & secure: WordPress is always updating their software and keeping everything sound and secure, so there’s rarely a worry of having your blog come under hacking attacks. No wonder NASA, Time Magazine, and even top university blogs are using WordPress.
It’s HIGHLY customizable: There are hundreds of free themes and plugins that add more functionality to your blog, from contact and subscribe boxes to plugins that improve blog performance and more. While the other blogging platforms are generally all pretty okay; nothing, in my opinion, has ever come close to matching the freedom and customization options that WordPress offers.
So, without a doubt, go with WordPress. Especially when you are just starting out.
OOOHHH YESS! You now have a WordPress blog. You will have to work on the design and producing high-quality content, of course. Good luck!
Some general tips for how to navigate WordPress:
You can add and create new posts by clicking on “Posts” on the left-hand side when you are logged in.
If you want to add an image, click on “Media” on the left-hand side.
You can go to “Appearance,” then “Widgets” in order to add items to your sidebar, footer, and so on.
How did your site do in the most recent Google update? Did you see any change in rankings, traffic, and conversions?
Do you want more traffic?
Hey, I’m Khaled. I’m determined to make a business grow. My only question is, will it be yours?
WiFi Clickz is a product that was made to simplify the work of affiliate marketers. While using this product, you will be able to set your making-money process to automatic and have an easier time finding traffic, building lists, getting clients, and finally selling your products for commissions.
One of the most wonderful things about this product is that it is super effective, according to the development team and the results they had tested before the official launch.
Moreover, you will be amazed by how much time and even money you can save by setting everything up and letting it run automatically day after day without you putting too much effort into every single task.
There are many more features that I will mention later on in this review, but even with so many tools and benefits you can get from this product, there is also a 180-day money-back guarantee to back you up. For this reason, you can have no risks trying this product and will never pay one single penny if this product is not a good fit for you.
About The Creator
Glynn Kosky is the mind behind this powerful software. This guy is well-known as a 6-figure vendor in the field of digital marketing.
During his career path, he has gained his reputation for many high-quality launches such as: Levels, WiFi Clickz, Profit Stream, 10X Profit Sites, Traffic Shark, Replicator, Hijack’d, Cashed, etc.
Here’s some of their recent sale history, let’s take a look:
You can literally find his name on the leaderboard as his launches have always been received high rates from users in the world.
This time, he will launch the WiFi Clickz with the help of these familiar names Rod and Leigh. They are both talented marketers and creators in affiliate marketing.
WiFi Clickz Features
Let’s take a closer look at the features within this tool:
This software duplicates the process of making use of links to generate 6-digit profits in a year.
It will help you generate revenue many times higher than your current one.
Multiple DFY Campaign
The independent campaigns within this tool will help you generate the highest revenue and profit.
You will experience great moments inside these campaigns.
Mаssive Vаult Of 100+ Premium Bonuses
You’ll never run out of quаlity giveаwаys to mаximize conversions on your promos.
This tool is designed very simply. Therefore, you can use it without any skills or experience. All you need to do is click and track.
It works with automatic features. With just 1 click, you can create bonus pages for your links.
Bonus site builder software will help you create the highest and fastest commission. You really don’t have to worry about this.
Sell More Products Or Services
You can customize campaigns to sell more products you want. It does not limit the number of what you can monetize. In general, you can sell everything.
The interface of WiFi Clickz is super simple, and it will help users easily access and use the product effectively.
High Ticket Deals
There are tons of high-ticket deals to work with. For this reason, you will not have to worry about selling multiple cheap products to earn enough for a living.
You now can use the help of WiFi Clickz, close the big deals, and reach your goal much faster.
Tree Traffic Training
How to get traffic effectively?
This WiFi Clickz will give you a 100% free training program to help you answer this question. This program is created to help users understand everything about traffic so they can make WiFi Clickz even a more useful tool to use once they have more traffic.
Done-For-You Landing Page
For those who work as an affiliate, landing pages are crucial because, without them, people will not find the product’s information, let alone buy from you.
The problem of creating so many landing pages is that it takes time and even money. However, WiFi Clickz will allow you to create landing pages with done-for-you templates so you can get a brand new page in only a few minutes.
while using WiFi Clickz, the hosting services are included, and you will not need to pay for hosting services anywhere else.
WiFi Clickz is a done-for-you platform. This means all you will ever need to do is click on the tools you want to use and never have to design, code, or hire any other third party to make this product work for you.
You will be amazed by how much time this product is safe for you in the long run.
Besides the traffic training I mentioned above, you will also get step-by-step training that will help you increase this product’s effectiveness.
Automated List Building
Building lists is one of the most important features of WiFi Clickz. Unlike other products, this creation does not only help you to build a list but also the automated list. You will be able to get a list without investing too much effort and energy in work.
Billions Of Visitors Available
WiFi Clickz can help you to touch billions of visitors that are available online.
Pre Approved Links To Start Right Away
No need to wait for affiliate link approval if you use WiFi Clickz; you will get approved immediately to start your journey right away.
Grow Your List Super Fast
With all the features above combined, you can grow your list super fast without pouring too much money on advertising and promoting your products or services.
It is easy to useWiFi Clickz System, but if you are still not confident about your software-using skills, the training section will back you up. You will be trained on how to use this app from A to Z.
How Does It Work?
In order to understand this product thoroughly, you cannot leave without reading my demonstration.
I receive review access and would like to show you what’s exactly inside, how exactly it helps with your online career.
When you get WiFi Clickz through my link you’ll get access to my EXCLUSIVE bonuses delivered right inside Warrior Plus
Later I tested lots of different Tier 2 and Tier 3 backlinks building techniques. Not all of them were effective and safe. For example, getting Tier 2 and Tier 3 links by using services on Fiverr turned out to be an absolutely useless activity.
I’ve highlighted the ones that proved to the most efficient, with minimum time and money lost. The last factor is particularly important since link building in competitive niches requires a huge budget.
What is Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 link?
Tier 1 links are backlinks directly referring to your website. These could be both “links” to whose origin you have nothing to do with, and artificially obtained links.
Tier 2 links are leading to the pages that contain Tier 1 links. And, consequently, Tier 3 links are leading to Tier 2.
But to what extent can Tier 2 link building make your main backlinks more powerful?
Now I’ll explain the point of getting Tier 2 links instead of lots of Tier 1 links. The benefit of a more link optimized page with a backlink leading to your site could be several times higher than of any additional Tier 1 link.
It is easier to bring an article published on a popular trust site to top rank on Google, than on your own (client) site with lesser traffic and low DA and trust parameters.
There are several reasons for it. Trusted, authoritative sites have:
more Google trust;
more likes and shared in social networks;
more natural links that appear right after the article was published;
more fragmental retyping by other sites (often with a referent link to the source).
I know that some SEOs aren’t keen on optimizing web pages instead of their own.
Don’t worry. If you identify the right pages for SEO and use economical but effective Tier 2 link building techniques, you’re likely to win.
You’re likely to spend the same time and money, but the result will be much better than what you get if you concentrate only on Tier 1 links creating.
How to spot ideal Tier 1 links pages for optimization?
Obviously, not all Tier 1 links need additional Tier 2 links. For example, there’s no point in strengthening an external web page, where the link to your competitor’s site is also placed in addition to the link to your site. There’s also no need in strengthening pages containing irrelevant or partially relevant content.
There are four main factors that’ll help you identify ideal pages for Tier 2 link building:
1. Trusted and authoritative sites’ pages
These sites score higher on DA and trust parameters than your website. Use Google trust for your purposes.
You should take into account that getting such backlinks is often a dramatic money loss (and it requires much time, at the very least). It’ll be more logical not to let anything go, but promote the links with the help of Tier 2 links.
2. Pages on sites with relevant topics
I am referring to domain relevance. In this case, if the article is relevant to the subject matter covered in your main link, the positions in search results will be more likely to grow. If all four components coincide – a subject of a donor domain, a subject of a published article, an anchor text of a link in an article and a subject of an acceptor – this is the perfect combination for Tier 2 promotion.
3. Pages with dofollow links
Though Google is not ignoring nofollow links anymore, the dofollow links’ effectiveness is still the most important for SEO. If you strengthen Tier 1 links, only do it with the dofollow ones.
4. Pages with business anchor links
There’s no point in placing Tier 2 links on the page where Tier 1 link is without anchor or has an alternative anchor. Choose pages where anchor links correspond to the keyword you’re targeting. These links will be the most effective, and they will fully transfer the link weight to the acceptor.
Let me tell you about Tier 3 link building pages selection a little later.
Tier 2 Link Building Techniques
When you’ve identified Tier 2 link building pages, it’s time to start promoting them.
This is particularly important, because Tier 2 and Tier 3 link building requires a more modest budget than that for any Tier 1 links.
Here are 5 most effective Tier 2 link building techniques:
Links in social networks
Just after an article is published, share it across all social media. If you have an opportunity to add the article to relevant groups (for Facebook) or channels (Telegram), just do it! If you don’t have such an opportunity, search for it.
Important! the more coverage you make the first time the article is published, the more chances there are for it to be noticed by notable media and opinion leaders in your niche. Remember that people are more likely to share the materials from authoritative sources. And this is exactly what we have.
Links in communities and Q&A sites
In parallel with social media, target communities and Q&A sites. You could place a link to an already existing thread or create a new one. But don’t do this too promotional – present your article as useful material (especially if it is true). Through the right approach, this technique is likely to give you more referral traffic than any other.
Free guest posting
In the case of Tier 2 link building, using the sites that publish guest articles for free could be the best idea for getting links. You’re likely to spend your budget only on content making, far from paying website owners. This will definitely reduce your costs for getting backlinks.
Cheap premium guest posting
In addition to free guest posts, I use the sponsored ones, keeping the cost below $50 for one post. You can find quite a few websites that will publish your article at a low cost. Last but not least, article quality requirements are less strict than those of free guest blogging.
Important! Avoid sites that regularly sell links or publishing of guest posts. The utility of such publications is questionable.
How to identify such problem donors?
There are several telltale signs that could help you:
Such sites generally have a page mentioning the price for guest posting. I don’t work with such blogs.
You could often see such sites in the lists sent to your email. They make offers of publications with links from them. You should also avoid them.
Such sites don’t have a specific niche and accept diverse content. As usual, they have a catch-all menu with various categories.
Such sites are not against forbidden content (adult, casino, pharmacy, and other). They often charge higher for such publishing.
These sites don’t often have their own social media accounts. And if such sites do have them, then they are often abandoned pages with zero subscribers, no recent posts, and minimal activity in the form of comments on posts.
Sites of this kind usually (but not always) have low organic traffic. You can check their traffic with the help of SimilarWeb or Ahrefs.
The very sites often have a high spam parameter. You can check it through Moz, LinkResearchTools, or CheckTrust.
Additional guest post links
Often the sites that accept guest posts (especially sponsored ones) allow placing more than one referral backlink. It’s wise to use them for getting Tier 2 links. Thus, you’re likely to get one main link to the main project and one or two links for Tier 2 pages from one publication. This technique not only keeps your expenses in check but is also very effective.
Important! When using this technique, mind that Tier 1 and Tier 2 links in one publication should not be from the same branch. This means that the second link should link to an article in which the link URL does not match the first link.
Firstly, if properly built, they give referral traffic, which makes such Tier 2 links more valuable.
Secondly, they are timeless: if such links are not deleted on the forums during the first month, they’re likely to remain there forever.
And thirdly, they are available at cost, which is also an important factor.
Actually, forums are ideal sources for getting Tier 2 links. Remember that when you place a forum link not to your website but to a famous and authoritative one, the forum moderators will be tempted to let it remain because they don’t suspect you’re doing it for your vested interest, and the forum members benefit from the content. That is, of course, provided that the article is really valuable.
Important! Refrain from using exact business anchors in forum links. If frequently used, business anchors could be insecure, especially when they are the only things to use. That’s why you should use just URLs without any anchor texts more often.
When and How Should One Use Tier 3 Link Building?
I use Tier 3 link building only for the pages that have already shown good response to Tier 2. In this case, I lean on the Pareto Principle to define the appropriate Tier 2 pages.
For each publication with Tier 2 links, I control rankings by the most important keywords. If after some time the rankings are growing, then it is a good sign that they can be strengthened by Tier 3 links. Consequently, if there is no position growth, the pages are not likely to get extra Tier 3 backlinks.
In my experience, authoritative pages grow well in search queries due to their high quality and well-defined content. As for ‘one-size-fits-all’ articles with a superficial topic analysis, they don’t usually give significant results.
Tier 3 link building techniques
They are the same as for Tier 2 link building, except sponsored guest posting. In most cases, I limit myself to social networks, Q&A sites, forums, and second links in guest posts.
Automatic Tier 2 and Tier 3 link placing techniques
There is another slippery slope that can’t be omitted.
Should one take them into consideration? They definitely should not be used for the white hat niches I work with. That’s true even for Tier 3 link building.
Firstly it’s a moral issue, because when you create spam links for somebody else’s sites and their owners would not appreciate such a link profile.
The main issue is the following. If a page linking to your main site will sharply drop down in SERP as a result of Google sanctions (your active work with it in Zennoposter), your site is likely to undergo negative effects too.
Probably, several such links will not do much harm. But if they grow in number, Google is likely to recognize it as your site getting links artificially.
That’s why this is one of the reasons you should monitor SERP positions for all the pages you strengthen by Tier 2 links. If the positions suddenly drop down, that’s a really bad sign. Contact the donor’s administrators immediately and ask them to delete the link in such an article.
If you are not sure you’ll delete the link at once, never use such automatic link placing techniques.
At present, one of the biggest questions surrounding artificial intelligence or AI is whether they can develop free will. Loosely defined, free will is a sense of agency upon one’s actions. It seems counterintuitive to think that a computer has free will because, for the longest time, humans have been giving machines explicit instructions on what to do and how to do things.
Kind of like the equivalent of your parent telling you to do chores or finish your homework when you were young. However, like a child stepping into its teen years, technology is seemingly adopting a more independent standpoint in the form of AI. It involves machines learning from datasets and past experiences to improve future decision-making. Instead of relying solely on us for instruction, machines are now self-learning and self-correcting.
Is AI making machines capable of free thought?
As mentioned, free will means making conscious decisions of your own volition. Going by that alone, it’s easy to conclude that contemporary AI isn’t yet at the level where it can make its own decisions unimpeded.
Many AI models incorporate a human in the loop, whose role is to supervise, train, and test the AI to ensure it’s working as intended. For many AI models, every decision it makes, even seemingly those it made “by itself,” is still controlled by a human, directly or indirectly.
Human sentiment and AI
It’s human nature to project consciousness onto anything, even objects that aren’t alive. Think of how, as a child, you would name your toys and talk to them, even if you knew they were just that – toys. Even adults tend to append names to plants or their favorite gadgets. If we are this sentimental with stationary objects, it was only inevitable that we’d be concerned with anything that exhibits intelligence and emotion, as artificial as it is.
Besides our sentimentality, fiction enjoys portraying AI as something more human than it is, depicting them as oppressed creatures under the control of their human masters. First, however, we must understand that AI is nothing more than vectors, just 1s and 0s with no conscious thought. All its actions and words are governed by logic and programming.
The implications of free will-enabled AI
While it seems unlikely now, free will-enabled AI brings forth questions on ethics, rights, and moral responsibility. Humans are held accountable for their actions and are protected by the law because we are beings with agency. If AI were to reach that level of consciousness someday, it would only complicate a system that is already corrupt and complex, to begin with.
Most scientists have this to say on the matter – don’t build it.
Remember that technology only progresses, thanks to the work of human scientists. If human scientists draw the line at AI that exhibits free will, it will never happen and be a concern. Remember that the core purpose of technology is to improve human life. As it stands, we gain no benefit from imbuing AI with free will.
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