What is it that sets the most successful online brands apart from the lesser-known ones?

Why is it that some marketers can spend huge amounts of time and effort trying to build a website and promote affiliate products, only to get nowhere and to eventually give up?

The answer, as it happens, comes down to skill and passion. Sure, there is an element of luck involved. But if you take a look at all of those highly successful brands, you’ll find that skill and passion is the thing that they largely have in common. When you look at these successful online brands, it becomes abundantly clear that a huge amount of time and effort has been put into every aspect of their presentation and that the creator really knew what they were doing.

And if they didn’t? They hired people who did!

This is good news for you. It means that by acquiring the right skills, or by working with the right people, you can potentially do the same and get ahead of the legions of marketers that really don’t invest the time or the skill that they need to.

In this report, we’re going to briefly run down what those skills and areas are and we’re going to see where you should begin investing that time and effort in order to really see differences in your growth and your profits.

Branding and Design

You might at this point still be wondering precisely what I’m talking about. Don’t worry, hopefully, this first example will elucidate you a little by looking at the huge difference that just investing more time into your branding can make – and by taking the time to learn how to handle design properly.

So, an unfortunately huge proportion of internet marketers will set out with entirely the wrong objective. Specifically, they set out with the hopes of making money quickly online simply by promoting things that others have made. They see this as a ‘get rich quick’ solution and as a way that they can make money from home with no risk.

And they don’t really care as to whether they are providing a good experience for the customer.

Nor do they care about their brand’s quality for that reason – or about how they could ensure they were presenting themselves in the best way possible.

Take the logo for example. Logo design and design, in general, are skills that countless businesses and individuals just have no interest in pursuing. And nor do they want to invest the money necessary to get a good logo.

So, they end up a) creating a logo themselves using rudimentary tools (we’re talking MSPaint or Photoshop here, rather than the required Illustrator) or b) not having a log at all.

They combine this with a website name that is nothing more than a keyword. We’ve all seen sites like ‘HowToGetAbs.com’ or ‘EasyWayToMakeMoney.com’. These are highly uninspired names and things that communicate to the visitor that you are interested in making a quick buck from them and nothing more.

Not only does this mean that it’s highly unlikely that people will remember your brand and want to follow it. Not only does it mean that you’re unlikely to ever get any ‘true’ fans or loyal subscribers – but it can even hurt your Google ranking. Google has come right out and said that it prioritizes and promotes sites that have a strong brand rather than a keyword for their name.

A logo should exist to adorn your site and make it look instantly more attractive and interesting. It should decorate your page so that the entire site looks more professional and thereby is able to inspire more trust and confidence.

But more than that, it should also be used to communicate to your audience precisely what your site is all about and why they should consider subscribing.

A great logo shows what your site is about, what your principles and values are and who you are aiming at. It doesn’t try to appeal to everyone but it makes a big impact on the right kind of visitor.

Now, when someone visits your site, they right away think ‘wow, this looks like my kind of site!’ and hopefully as a result, they consider subscribing. And hopefully, they recognize your logo on all the digital products you sell and on all your social media and they see that as a stamp of quality and a mark of something they want to follow or look into.

To do this, you need a great quality logo. And the only way to get that is to hire someone or to have the skill to make it yourself.

How to Make a Fantastic Logo

Speaking of which then, here is your quick primer on how to craft a superb logo:

  • Create a mood board. A mood board is effectively a collage that is made up of images, videos, words and anything else that you feel expresses what you want your site to express, or that you just like the looks of.
  • Combine the elements of the mood board in different ways to try out different ideas.
  • Take a few you like and survey your audience to help choose the best one
  • Create the best one using Illustrator
  • Here is where the skill comes in. It is highly recommended that internet marketers take the time to learn illustrator, as it is one of the very best tools on the market for growing your brand and will give you fantastic abilities that you can also outsource to other brands and companies.
  • If you can’t make the logo yourself, outsource it! There is no substitute for skill and know-how.

Web Design With WordPress

Here’s the good news: web design is actually something you can acquire or accomplish rather easily today and it shouldn’t take you long at all to learn the basics.

That’s because web design today largely uses WordPress. WordPress is a tool that is referred to as a CMS or ‘Content Management System’. This means that it is a tool for adding, editing and removing content from your site. By ‘content’ here though, is also meant the design and look of your site. In other words, you can use WordPress to additionally edit such things as your background, the design and more.

WordPress actually powers an incredible 25% of the web and is used in some of the biggest and most successful site designs around. These include the likes of BBC America, Forbes, Mashable, Wired… you name it! In other words, then, this is a tool capable of making highly competent websites and is in no way a kind of ‘site builder’ just for amateurs.

On top of this, WordPress also happens to be an incredibly powerful tool in terms of what it allows. The great thing about WordPress is that it is a platform that can be upgraded with a single click whether that means installing a new tool or feature, or whether it means completely changing up the design in order to create something that looks entirely different by installing a ‘theme’. Because so many people use WordPress, there also happens to be a huge community surrounding it and a huge industry. Almost any site tool that you could want to use or any theme is going to be designed for WordPress.

In short, WordPress offers all the tools you could likely need to create an amazing looking website and then some. You actually make life much harder for yourself by choosing to go any other route, as well as introducing new confounding variables that might interfere with your success. And as though that wasn’t enough, WordPress is also completely free to use and very easy to get to grips with.

THIS is the skill you need to pursue in order to become great at web design then. With that under your belt, you’ll be able to create a beautiful site for your own brand and will be able to outsource yourself as a web developer.  

How to Get Started With WordPress Site Building

  • Building a website starts with a domain name – choose a name that will suit your site, ideally your brand name
  • Next, you need to buy that domain and get hosting. Look for domain and hosting providers like BlueHost or Host Gator. Read what they do and then choose the basic account.
  • Log into your cPanel and install WordPress with a single click! Or, download the files from WordPress.com and follow the instructions.
  • Navigate your browser to websitename.com/wp-admin and use the details you used when you set it up.
  • Change the name, the logo, the background image, and the layout.
  • Find a professional theme from a site like ThemeForest or hire someone to make you one.

 

Content Development

Next comes content development and this can broadly be split into two categories: articles and images.

Your site should be filled with interesting, unique and well-written articles and blog posts. These serve numerous important functions. Firstly, content on your website is going to be indexed by Google. This is what Google’s ‘spiders’ will look at and what Google uses in order to identify the topic of a website and to decide when to bring it up in search. Moreover, interesting and engaging content is going to be what keeps bringing your visitors back and it is what they will have the option to share on social media, thereby bringing in even more patrons.

There are a right way and a wrong way to go about content. Firstly, you need to learn the basics of SEO.

A Primer on SEO

  • SEO is Search Engine Optimization and it means creating content in a specific way, designing your site in a specific way and getting links from other sites in a specific way – all with the objective of bringing more traffic to your website via Google searches.
  • Google looks for keywords in the content. These keywords are the words that people search for in Google. So, if you have a website that sells hats, you might want to incorporate keywords like ‘buy hats online’. If Google notices this phrase coming up in your content, it will then know that your content is relevant to that search and you should start appearing in the SERPs.
  • But if you overdo this, it becomes unreadable. Google sees this as you trying to ‘game’ the system and it will respond by penalizing your site. That’s why it’s important to aim for no more than 2% density. Ideally 0.5-1%. That means for every 100 words, there is one keyword or fewer!
  • Quality is as important as quantity. Think about where the keywords go. Certain positions will help to give them more influence over your ranking:
    • In the headers
    • In the title
    • In the first paragraph
    • In the last paragraph
  • Use LSI – latent semantic indexing. This means you are using other relevant terms and phrases and synonyms for your keywords.
  • Build links on other sites as much as possible. Search for high-quality sites that Google trusts and sites that have topic relevant to yours. Get them to link to your website from relevant articles. Try offering to write a guest post.
  • Get a range of different types of links and avoid letting your links look overly ‘designed’. Use a range of different anchors to in your links.
  • Write content that is so engaging and so comprehensive that others link to it to teach others, to back up their points or to start conversations. This is called ‘link bait’.

Quality Content

At the same time though, your content also needs to be engaging and well written. That means it should be written in a way that makes people want to read it and makes them want to keep coming back to your website.

How to Write Engagingly

  • The objective of all writing is to communicate a point, thus good writing should do this efficiently and quickly.
  • That means avoiding longer or more complex sentences and it means avoiding jargon or fancy language where it doesn’t add to the quality of the writing.
  • Your content needs to deliver value – your readers’ lives should be better for having read your writing!
  • That means you need to provide information or entertainment. And that means you need a USP. You need to make your articles and your content in some way different so that they offer something that people can’t get anywhere else. Avoid derivative or done-to-death content. Find angles and find concepts that make your content different and more engaging.
  • The ideal length for your content is around 1,800 words. Include a range of lengths though and make sure that the length serves the purpose of the article.
  • Bounce rates are important for Google – you need to avoid creating content that doesn’t keep people on your page for longer than a few seconds. To avoid this, make sure to spread out your content well and structure it with lots of paragraphs and headings.

(Again, if you can’t create amazing content yourself, then there is always the option to outsource. However, the best writer in the world will not necessarily create the best content for you. The best content will be the content that is written with passion and knowledge for the topic at hand. Therefore, you should prioritize hiring writers that know the subject well and that write about it in their spare time. I can not emphasize enough how articles like ‘Easy Way to Lose Weight’ will do nothing for your brand. That is why writing is a key aspect of the internet marketer’s skillset.)

Taking Stunning Photos

Speaking of which, one of the best ways to enhance the quality of your content is also to adorn it with great images. These should be high definition, crisp and professional looking. But more than that, they should also be as relevant to the topic as possible. So, you have the option to buy stock images from websites like Shutterstock. This is fine but only if the images you buy are really top quality. That means you need to be willing to spend a lot of money if necessary in order to get the stuff by the professional creators. Moreover, though, you also need to make sure that the images properly reflect the content. That is something that is very often overlooked by creators and it results in a kind of ‘mismatch’ that does nothing for the content and doesn’t enhance it in any way. Create your own images conversely and they can be precisely what you need them to be. Not only that, but they can also include you and be much more personal and relevant. This is especially useful for what is known as a ‘personal brand’ – a brand that includes you as the creator as a key ambassador. So how do you take great photos?

How to Take Professional Photos for the Web

  • Invest in a high-quality camera. That could be a mirrorless or it could be a DSLR. Either way, it should have a removable lens and manual settings for controlling such things as the ISO, the shutter speed and the aperture.
  • Always consider the background and lighting. Taking an extra second to move so that the light source is to the side of your subject can make all the difference.
  • Consider composition and layout. Focus on having something in the foreground, middle ground, and background and guiding the eye to create depth.
  • Try to tell a story. Think not only about what you want to show but also what you want to omit in order to create that narrative.
  • Avoid the most boring shots. That means reducing the head-on photos of your subject in the center of the frame. Change the angle, add movement or obscure the image to create a more dynamic sense or to convey scale. Think about the emotional impact of your image.
  • Don’t be afraid to use filters. Filters can add a whole lot to a photo, as can other post effects.

 

Videography

This report has been all about how you can elevate the quality of your brand and your internet marketing by learning key skills or at least acknowledging the importance of those skills and outsourcing to the right people. One last skill that is highly worth learning to this end is videography. That means being able to create high-quality video and specifically, it means both filming and editing. This will allow you to engage in video marketing. That could mean creating a vlog or YouTube channel and uploading regular content to let your audience feel as though they are getting to know you (and trust you). Or, it could mean creating an advert which will instill a huge amount of confidence in your brand if it has a high-quality production value. Or it could mean adding a video explainer to your homepage which will communicate the nature of your products and your brand much more effectively than you could manage with written content.

How to Create High-Quality Video

  • Again, it is worth investing in a good camera. Ideally, one that can record at 4K at 24fps to get the most filmic look.
  • Invest in lighting (softboxes), create a backdrop, consider your own appearance and presentation style.
  • High-quality sound is critical. This means getting a lapel mic, or better yet, a shotgun mic.
  • Keep your videos short-ish and create a storyboard to get your point across quickly.
  • Add movement and interest with B-roll, stock footage and other cutaways.
  • Learn advanced editing techniques like cutting on action, L-cuts and more.
  • Invest in some backing music, add your logo, get a good video opener, consider an outro/bottom thirds.

If you can do all this, then you can add an incredibly impactful additional element to your marketing and your brand. Of course, there are many more skills worth learning to supplement these. They include everything from programming, to music creation, to After Effects, to persuasive writing. For much more on this, check out the full ebook and begin expanding your capabilities and your creations!


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