Easy Article Marketing – Brand Yourself With Articles

If you haven’t branded yourself yet, using articles is the easiest (and in my opinion, the best) way to do it. Here’s how to brand yourself with articles:

Decide your niche.

The first important step is determining your niche. Who is your perfect audience? What are their interests? What do they enjoy doing? How can you relate to them?

When you know your niche inside and out, it is easier to talk to them. This makes writing articles for them to read much easier and quicker as well.

Write often.

Once you’ve established your target market (niche), write articles as often as you can. It does absolutely no good to write a handful of articles to submit, then stop there. You have to write frequently to build up a good audience.

Speak openly about the topic(s).

One of the best ways to relate to your target customer is to speak freely and openly about the topics they are intersted in. Take a positive, but open stance, and openly discuss important issues. Remember to stay upbeat, despite the topic.

Stay on target.

Don’t hop from one subject to another. Stay focused and on target with your niche’s interests and concerns. If your target market is 50-something singles, don’t write about marriage issues or child-rearing issues. Write about things that your target market is interested in, such as dating after 50, or introducing your new love to your grown children.

By following these simple methods, you can quickly brand yourself as an author. You’ll build a following of people who enjoy reading your articles and will keep coming back for more.

Marketing Plan: Why All Small Businesses Need A Solid Plan!

“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.”Lester R. Bittel

Recently, I offered a marketing plan review as a door prize for a local business group. When I approached the winner to exchange information, she whispered that she didn’t have a written one; she had it stored in her head. She then asked it a marketing plan was even necessary.

Should Your Small Business Have A Marketing Plan?

Absolutely! In fact, as a small business consultant, I’ve encountered numerous clients who repeatedly make the same mistake… failing to have a plan ‘business or marketing’ in place.

In a recent survey, I asked 200 respondents, ‘of the many issues facing their businesses, what common road blocks hindered their business growth.’ An overwhelming 32% said ‘No Marketing Plan’ was a potential reason for lack of sales and growth.

Why Marketing Plan?

Well, a marketing plan is a road map that details a route you should take to successfully promote and expand your business. It is critical to the success of a business, in fact, to all businesses! If a small business wants to achieve its potential, a marketing plan must be implemented!

Marketing is more than just ordering business cards or creating a flyer, it’s how you communicate with your current and potential clients. It is important to get your name out in the business community and differentiate your products and services from that of your competitor. If you don’t market your products or services, how will people know that you are a serious business owner or worse, in business? With a marketing plan, you will have a game plan in place.

A marketing plan is an integral and valuable tool for determining success of your business and the overall direction that your product or service should be taking. It should:

  • Clarify the impact and results of past marketing decisions.
  • Elucidate the external market that a company is competing.
  • Include deadlines for meeting those targets.
  • Prepare a budget for all marketing activities.
  • Set objectives and provide path for future marketing efforts.
  • Require accountability and measures for all activities.

6 Key Components of a Marketing Plan

Market Research

Gather information about your target market to include competition, business and industry environment.

When researching, answer the following questions:

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. What do they want or need?
  3. What is important to them?
  4. Who are your competitors? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What is your businesses environment, locally, regionally, and nationally?
  6. Is your industry doing well?

Target Market

Potential customers who have issues that or problems which your products or services can fulfill. Generally, people in this segment possess common characteristics and a relatively high tendency to purchase a particular product or service. Included in a target market are demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics.

Executive Summary

A brief summary which includes the main points of the plan; generally shared with people you approach with your plan, such as investors or lenders who may want to read a synthesized version to determine if they are interested in it before taking the time to read it in depth.

Situation Analysis

The evaluation of operations to determine the reasons for the gap between what was or is expected, and what has happened or will happen.

SWOT Analysis

A formal outline to identify and frame a company’s’ growth opportunities; SWOT is an acronym for an organization’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats.

Marketing Strategy

A process that allows a company’s to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.

Budget

Estimates tied to specific allocation of revenues. A budget is required to have a successful marketing plan.

  • Yearly marketing budget
  • Expected return after investment
  • Breakdown of expected expenditures

In conclusion, as you can see, a marketing plan serves as your roadmap. It is critical for the success of your business. If writing a marketing plan seems a little intimidating, click here for FREE tools to help you.

Market Research – Why It Should Be Considered Before/During Prior Art Search

An invention is a set of ideas and thoughts to ease the way people perform their daily tasks. An Inventor can be a business or an individual who has an objective behind the invention. A lot of money is required to present the invention to the world, thus, investors who find it interesting fund the R & D operations.

The invention process is very wide. There is no fix time when an invention is converted into useful products. It can take 5, 10 years or even more. The R & D department performs a series of operations one after another – describing the business vision, creating strategies, describing the R & D processes, identifying resources, and drafting designs. The R & D teams comprehensively study all areas of the invention, collect different ideas, which are then combined to build products and services. Thus, the research to development of invention comprises a wide range of processes, which need thousands or millions of dollars.

Patenting an invention

An invention is patented to prevent it from being theft by others. The inventor can restrict individuals and companies from using his/her invention for making or selling products during its life. When filing a patent application, the inventor needs to mention a set of claims, which he/she should choose carefully. So, it is recommended to know the market trends, new technologies, applications, etc. at the time of performing the R & D operations, which will help in getting great claims.

An invention can only be patented if it doesn’t contain any part of the previously patented technology and meet certain uniqueness standards. To find if your invention is already known or not, prior art search is conducted. The innovator can do prior art search on his/her own, or hire an expert for this purpose.

What is prior art search?

Prior art search can be defined as collecting information about the technologies associated with the invention. It’s main objective is to know whether the invention is patentable or not. Sources of prior art search include previous patents, filed patents, scientific reports, research papers, textbooks, newspapers, journals, and internet publications. There are many inventions that are never used in products and services, and these should also be considered during the patent filing process. On the internet, a wide range of tools are available that can help you conduct an efficient prior art search.

Prior art search can provide details about previous inventions in the field, new products and services, etc. It prevents reinventing the already existing inventions. With this, the R & D department can know the already existing technologies, and focus the activities, processes, and tasks to innovate them or research the new ones.

Know the market well before conducting prior art search

The main objective is to get the invention patented with broadest possible claims. Prior art search collects existing knowledge in the fields that belong to the invention. But, this is not enough. One should know the market and companies that are already working on the technologies the invention is based, which will help in choosing the right areas for R & D.

Patent filing is a broad process, and a little wrong move can convert into a big mistake. Thus, from planning to execution, every step should be put wisely. Before going for prior art search, it is important to know the markets in which the invention can bring revolution in, current market trends to focus on, activities of competitors, etc. All these details can be obtained through market research. Thus, it is recommended to conduct a market research first to know the technologies trending in the market.

Why market research?

Market research can help in proper utilization of all the elements of an invention. It provides comprehensive analysis of different markets associated with the invention, patent environment, and existing and future products. Thus, market research can add value to the research and development operations, making them more advanced.

There are many reasons why the inventor should consider market research before starting R & D operations and prior art search. Please have a look at them –

Detailed information about the markets:

Market research reports not only provide information about different markets that belong to the area of invention, but also tell the top active markets. Suppose, an invention can be used in manufacturing products in 10 different industries, out of which 7 are in the growing phase. Thus, there is need to spend extra time and money to obtain patents in these 7 industries to get maximum ROI. Thus, market research reports can suggest you the right industries to continue research and build products.

Competitor analysis:

To emerge as a leading player in the market, it is necessary to know the activities of competitors. With market research reports, the inventor can get in-depth understanding of his/her competitors, technologies they are working on, and their existing and upcoming products and services. Thus, the R & D department can broaden their research to the areas untouched by the competitors.

Helps in patent drafting:

Patent drafter is the person who can help you get a patent with great claims. With extensive knowledge of market trends, active industries, and customer needs, he can write broadest patent claims possible. Thus, with market research reports, your patent drafter can prepare a clear, accurate patent application, and your get a patent, which will have great market value, and you can earn a lot from it.

Top players:

Market research reports provide information about the top companies using the technologies similar to that of the invention. This makes easy to know how advanced the invention is, the technologies that can be innovated, and how to plan R & D processes. After obtaining the patent with significant claims, the inventor can contact the top companies for business partnerships or licensing.

Best Affiliate Program For Advertisers And Affiliates

An affiliate program can be best if the target of advertisers and web-site publishers is fulfilled. One should have the technical know-how to run a best affiliate program. The refreshed marketing business is full with many programs which boast to be best. The so called best programs are run either by advertiser, web-site publishers or network service provider. Everyone infer out different meaning of best affiliate program according to his interests. However, there are different meanings of a program for advertiser, web-site publishers and network service provider too. The best program can be described as an affiliate program in which advertisers and web-site publishers share a common interest.

Best affiliate program for advertisers

It is true that advertisers are the back-bone of affiliate marketing industry. The need for advertisement gives birth to best programs. An advertiser searches for high traffic web site with relevancy to his advertised product. The sole aim of advertising is to increase sale of the advertised product. Advertiser pays to web-site publishers according to his expectations from visitors such as click, lead or sale of the product. The web-site publishers only run a program.

Best affiliate program for affiliates

Web site publisher is instrumental in giving desired result to the advertiser. A web site publisher increases the traffic on his site. The advertiser uses his traffic for promoting his product through a best affiliate program. Web-site publishers get commission whenever the advertiser gets his desired result. In a best affiliate program, web-site publishers maintain record of all clicks, leads or sales to ask a commission.

Best affiliate program for a network

The role of a network is highlighted in bringing advertisers and publishers together for a program. Marketing network mediates between the two. He looks after the interests of an advertiser as well as a publisher in a program. It is through network that payments are received by publishers. Marketing network keeps record of all the account. It keeps a close watch on the clicks, leads or sales generated through a best affiliate program. Network provides all the tools necessary to run a program to the publishers in a best affiliate program.

Examples of a best affiliate program

Cost-per-Click (CPC), Cost-per-Lead (CPL) and Cost-per-Sale (CPS) are all examples of a best affiliate program. In CPC, publishers get hefty commission on mere clicks. The CPL affiliate program generates revenue for publishers whenever a lead is received by the advertiser. CPS is the best affiliate program because advertisers pay commission on furnishing a sale. Advertisers can choose a program according to their requirements. If you need only contact details of the visitors then CPL affiliate marketing can be a best affiliate program for you. If you wish to display a banner then CPC program can work as a best affiliate program for you.

Free affiliate program are becoming popular day by day. It is topic of my next article. I will evaluate the advantages of a free affiliate program in my next article.