You really just have to know what you want. Whenever you set out to make anything, just decide to know exactly what it is you want to achieve with that creation. Write it down. Start with that seed and go from there. No matter if it's a blog post, audio or video clip, new product, anything; make a plan and know what your desired outcome is. If it seems like I'm repeating myself, it's because this is important. Target marketing is all about removing the frustration of advertising HOPING for results and replacing it with the confidence that you can drive highly targeted traffic using carefully crafted and compelling content. If you can figure out the exact questions people are asking when they are ready to pay for a solution to the problem they are currently trying to solve, you can put yourself and your products/services in front of those prospects at the exact right moment in the buying cycle.
The easiest way to find out what questions people are asking online are to use a small set of tools that can almost help you read the minds of your customers. Use Google to find what people are searching for. Break down your content into KEYWORDS that will be used to match your content with the perfect customer. Use the Key Words to find LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS that are the questions people are asking google when they are looking for a specific answer. A search for MAKE MONEY ONLINE will show very different results than MAKE MONEY ONLINE BLOGGING. You'll notice as you start entering keywords that Google will show you related suggestions for similar popular searches. This is vital in finding out the fastest way to find your best customers online. Once you have your main keywords, you can start building a list of Longtail Keywords. The right Keywords will get you in front of the right people. Carefully chosen Long-Tail Keywords will not only find you the right people, it will get you in front of them at the exact right time in the buying cycle: when they're so frustrated and in search of a solution to their problem that their credit card is practically burning a hole in their pocket just waiting to be used to buy the answer to their burning question. Next you'll take your Keywords and head over to Keyword.io for a little more in-depth research on how these keywords are being used at multiple sites and exactly what people are finding when they search. Once you've really gotten a grasp of what people are searching for online and how you can get their attention, I highly recommend setting Google Alerts on your keywords. This will let you know about new searches for your keywords than can prove invaluable when you want to know if people really are searching for your stuff, when they're searching, and this all gives you amazing insight into what they really want to know. Give them content that answers their questions. Provide massive value with everything you give away for free, and customers will come with confidence when they know you've really got something to give that's going to make their life better than it was before they found you/your product/your service. If you're wondering how to find what people are searching for when you have no idea where to start or what keywords to try, the best place to check is Google Trends. There you can get countless ideas for posts and content that can take advantage of current popular searches. Realize you will be 'competing' with a lot of other people across the globe doing the same thing, but if you can get creative and bring something to the table no one else is, there's no doubt you can get your content in front of, and shared by, people who are glad to have found it. Anytime you're doing research online, or want to know more about a website and how it gets its traffic, start with a little visit to ALEXA. It is, if I am not mistaken, owned by Amazon and keeps track of websites worldwide and ranks their popularity. You can see where people love to go most, what they're searching for before they go there, age groups, geographic locations, and more; the details are astounding and can give you a lot of information about how different websites generate traffic and how you can learn to do the same by finding the places your target market of core customers love to frequent online. When you first start building traffic to your site, I have to recommend what worked first for me: Forums & Blog Comments. When you start doing your Google searches, you'll notice a lot of blogs and websites with comment sections, and sometimes you'll even stumble across a niche-specific forum that answers a question you've hammered down into a Long-tail Keyword. Start going to these sites and get involved with the communities there. Not only is it an opportunity to talk about everything you're upto that's related to the forum you find, you'll also learn a lot about what people in that niche are currently talking about, interested in, and hunting for. It's the perfect place if you've got something to offer that will make the members of that community happy to have you stop by to share and participate. An awesome sort of forum is a site called Quora where you can offer your best answers to questions in topics you love, and your answers will be seen precisely by those who asked the question as well as others who had the same inquiry. Another pretty well known community for questions, answers, and everything in between is Reddit(<-click the icon for trending reddits). Get involved in subreddits related to your keywords and start reaching out to people who will gladly pay for the solution you're offering. It also pays to research what subreddits are growing in popularity with a 'secret' site like this trend tracker. Text posts and comments are fun and all... but we shouldn't neglect another HUGE way to reach people online: video. With YouTube you can get yourself out there fast, and it doesn't hurt to click that YouTube icon to visit a page where you can see what's trending on YouTube. It can give you a lot of ideas of what you can do yourself to grab the attentions of lots of people. Also be sure to check out what's selling on Amazon, the best sellers there can give you a lot of ideas for content to create and keywords to target for massive traffic.
Now that you're going to be creating all sorts of creative and compelling content, you're going to start sharing it with the world. Without a little promotion, you might make something awesome that might never be found. On the other hand, getting something awesome into the right hands, the hands of an influencer, can blow up your business so fast you might not even be ready for the explosion in customers. When it comes to advertising, I recommend learning how it works for free, then start taking chances spending money on paid ads. A great place to start gauging interest in what you're selling is Craigslist. See if you have a category that would fit well for what you're upto, and start sharing, never spamming. I sold my very first $25 blog on craigslist back in 2011 just by emailing with someone that answered my post. If you're good at starting conversations, or at least contributing meaningfully to them, hop on Reddit and make sure you get involved in subreddits related to your niche; you can't 'advertise' but if you have something of value to add to the conversation, you can share away. The same goes for Facebook Groups, and if you dare you can also dive into paid advertising with Facebook; they make it pretty easy and you can start with very little upfront. No matter what you're selling, product or service, you can turn your sales message into an online document, a blog post, a pdf, SOMETHING you can share starting at sites like Scribd; you can offer your documents for sale online fast. If you have something interesting that others would enjoy stumbling upon online, a great place to submit your site, posts, and content is Stumbleupon; much time is 'wasted' browsing the hidden corners of the internet on Stumbleupon, so get your stuff into the mix. Also, if you can make your post into a PDF, you can make it into a simple slideshow, a presentation form of the story you're telling. Toss your slideshow online for others to find at SlideShare and get yourself in front of an audience that loves powerpoint presentations. If you have a great article or post that needs to be shared, get on over to EzineArticles and submit your content for the potential to be shared across the site.
Once you start getting your content out there, it's time to get help selling your product. Some of these sites just make payments easy so customers can buy seamlessly and without worry, others actually help promote your product and take a small cut. Figure out what you need, what's going to work for you, and start experimenting. No matter what you sell, you need your sales funnel, and especially your payment pages, to look professional and seamless. Sellfy will give you countless tools for selling, tracking, analzying, targeting, tax logging, and more. SendOwl is a really cool site that helps you make sure you're getting the most out of every sale and click, they give you a free trial, and they brag about being able to bring a product online to sell in 20 seconds using their tools. GumRoad is a really interesting platform that offers help when you're selling your first product online; they aim to be the one-stop-shop solution for selling online, giving you everything you'll need. Selz is another site offering a free trial, and if you like Star Wars, you'll enjoy browsing their site; their aim is to help you sell anything, any way you want. PayHip is a site made to help you sell digital downloads specifically; ebooks, artwork, photos, music, and so much more can be sold safely using their services; they help you sell and deliver your product seamlessly. Another site for selling digital downloads is Payloadz, made for selling PDF files.
When it comes to eBooks, there are several sites to help you start selling. Lulu will help you learn exactly how to make a great eBook in various formats and you can make your eBooks available to all of their readers for free. Kindle Direct Publishing will help you get your eBook onto the Kindle Library that's accessed by millions of Kindle users. Smashwords will help you by getting your eBooks onto many platforms at once without doing all of the work yourself. Kobo will walk you through the basics of getting start selling your eBook and give you all the basic tools you'll need to sell as well. Blurb helps you sell using many formats and they can even help you make your eBook if you're just getting started. E-Junkie is a great marketplace to start selling your eBooks fast and gives you tons of options to make sure your content stays protected once sold. Distribly will host, help you sell, and even promote your PDF eBooks.
Getting free traffic sounds too good to be true, and it is if you're expecting it to be easy and happen in a matter of days. The simple strategy is this: when people have a question and enter it into Google, you want to be the content provider who has the #1, #2, or #3 ranked search result in answer to the search question. Getting on the first few pages is great, but slipping into the top slots means you will get clicks from visitors hoping that your site will answer their question and put an end to their search by providing them with a perfect solution/answer. The term you'll come to know, love, and hate is SEO: Search Engine Optimization. It simple means making a piece of content easy to be found by the people it's meant to help. There's a long list of tips, tricks, and advice galore out there from countless 'experts' willing to hand over their knowledge for cold hard cash. I can only recommend a few things, those that have worked for me: 1. Keep it simple and just make good content, no matter what it is; quality outwieghs quantity. 2. Use what SEO tips and tricks work for what YOU are doing, don't try to master it all at once or try to market in every imaginable way; start with what makes sense to you and expand from there. Who better to consult on how to master Google Search Rankings than Google? CLICK HERE to get the FREE Google SEO Starter Guide. If you want to dig in and do some more research and get helpful tips from true experts, CLICK HERE for the Beginner's Guide to SEO;way more information that you'll need to get rolling fast. For some awesome free SEO tools to help you do your research and find the right keywords to target, check out the free tools at MOZ. If you have your website up and running, make sure you check it over with Google Webmaster Tools; it's free and can help you make sure everything is Google friendly fast. When it comes to building links back to support your content, social media is a big part of getting ranked fast and OnlyWire makes it easy to post your content across multiple platforms fast. If you make something genuinely interesting, submit and share it with a community like Digg where the users can help share and spread your content to others that will love it too. Another great site you can share on to build authority links back to your content, is Instructables; a platform for you to share what you make through words, photos, video and files.
Once you've made a quality podcast, learn exactly how to make it the standards you'll need to be an iTunes partner. If you need a little more help getting your podcast up and running, reach out to the service providers at Libsyn.
If you make something of quality, the entertains, educations, informs, or inspires, you might just able to turn it into an app much easier that you might think. Once you have your content turned into a beautiful application, you'll submit it to the various stores like the Apple iOS App Store, the Chrome Web Store, the Google Play Store, and the Mac OSX App Store.