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Before you fully get in over your head with Google AdWords, though, you need to make sure your business is really ready for this kind of pay-per-click campaign. Google Adwords, after all, isn’t a magic bullet for marketing success, and a poorly planned and ran AdWords campaign can easily lead to disaster.
It isn’t beneficial for a company to immediately dive into an AdWords campaign simply because other companies talk about how profitable it can be. To get the most benefit from using Google Adwords, you should have these elements in place:
The first ingredient is customer demand. If your customers are not searching for your product or service in Google, then, obviously, AdWords search advertising is not going to work for you. So, before you get too excited about creating your first campaign, you need to verify there is, in fact, search volume for what you’re going to offer.
The tool to use is the Google AdWords Keyword Suggestion Tool. Besides showing the amount of traffic for any given keyword, its advanced options can also show you how competitive a word is, the number of local monthly searches, relevant alternative phrases, and the cost per click of the keyword.
When coming up with or settling on keywords, ask yourself if the keywords are actually being searched for enough on Google to justify your efforts. This can also help you determine the intent of the user and if you can afford the CPC of the keyword.
After doing some research and narrowing down your target keywords, calculate your maximum cost per click (CPC) you’re willing to spend. The more competitive a keyword is, the more you’ll have to spend (or bid) on it. Don’t just go after keywords that are competitive, target ones you can afford and which will most likely give you profitable results.
You don’t necessarily want to push your budget. For example, if you’re maximum CPC is $5, you’re more likely to make a profit by using a keyword that costs $4 instead of $5.
To get an idea of what your maximum CPC should be, you’ll need to assign numbers to your website conversion rate, your advertising profit margin, and the profit per customer.
There is a handy formula from Kissmetrics that can help you calculate your maximum CPC. It goes like this:
Max CPC = (profit per customer) x (1 – profit margin) x (website conversion rate)
If you really want to crush the keyword game, you have to start with those high-volume keywords, but you should also know what keywords your competitors are using.
There are several tools that can help you spy on your competitors, like one that is aptly named KeywordSpy. This tool collects and provides information on your competitors’ past activities, including the top keywords used and how long they have been using each keyword. If you see someone using a certain set of words for a long time, you can take it as an indication that that keyword has been successful for them, which means you should consider similar terms.
You can even look up a competitor’s past advertising and marketing copy and material that feature their top performing keywords and then export all the necessary information into your AdWords account.
There are millions of websites out there promoting all sorts of brands, products, and services. Any kind of digital marketing, including the utilization of a Google AdWords campaign, will be useless if your brand merely blends into the noisy background. You need to offer products and services that are unique and will separate you from the competition.
If you don’t yet have a USP, you can look to your company’s strengths, get insights from your current customers and look for opportunities your competitors have missed. A strong USP will catch people’s attention and drive more traffic to your site which will lead to more conversions and sales.
In addition to a strong USP, you need to have an offer that customers and potential customers won’t be able to resist. Coming up with an irresistible offer may seem fun and easy, but it can be harder than it looks. After all, every advertiser is seasoned in creating attention-grabbing offer ads.
What are the characteristics of a powerful irresistible ad? Well, they must offer value to the potential buyer, they must be believable, they don’t involve risk, and there is a clear call to action.
When you use AdWords, you pay each time someone clicks on your ads. With that in mind, you need to create ads that not only lead to clicks to your website, but you only want high-quality prospects who are likely to convert into sales to click on your ads. This means you need to create eye-catching ads that speak to a specific audience.
In Google AdWords, the goal is to increase sales through more visibility and more clicks. The number of clicks you get can even have an effect on the costs of your ads, because it contributes to the overall Quality Score.
In other words, it pays to create exceptional, well-thought out ads.
The text of an AdWords ad is very limited, so you need to be quick to the point and only feature the most important information (in an interesting way). The standard elements of these ads include a headline, a two-line description and a display URL. You’re only given 25 characters for the headline and 35 characters for a description. Make them count.
If you’re new to internet marketing, you may naturally think you want the homepage of your website to rank for all your top keywords, and you may even want to send all the traffic from your PPC ads there, too.
This is a common mistake that can easily derail the effectiveness of your AdWords campaign.
When you create an ad in AdWords, make sure it goes to its own dedicated page on your website (not the homepage). You want the user to have a pleasant experience on your site so they make a purchase. Dumping them on your homepage and leaving it up to them to navigate your site to find the item they’re interested in will lead to high, costly bounce rates.
Instead, create a dedicated, destination page to link the ad too. Take the time to create a page that is relevant to the text in the ad and makes it extremely easy for the visitor to take the next action.
Before you make your ads on Google AdWords “live,” you should understand how to track the results of each of your advertising campaigns. If you don’t set up tracking, you’ll lose insightful data that can drastically improve your efforts. You will also be unable to identify weaknesses in the campaign and make necessary changes and improvements.
In Google AdWords, campaign tracking is found in Conversion Tracking. You’ll have to make sure this is set up and activated before your ads are deployed.
To set up Conversion Tracking, you must define what a successful conversion is for your company and its advertising objectives. Simply click on the + Conversion button and enter your conversion definition. A piece of code will be generated. This string of code will then need to be installed on the last page of the conversion funnel. For many companies, this is a “thank you” page.
A Google AdWords campaign is an effective method for your business to increase sales and be successful. Always remember, though, just as a well-planned and timed advertising campaign can benefit your company, a poorly planned AdWords campaign can hurt your company.
It is best to familiarize yourself with the Google AdWords platform and be sure to have the abovementioned components in place before making your ads “live.”
Working with Google AdWords can be intimidating, confusing, frustrating and time-consuming, but you can determine if you’re ready to jump in based on the above criteria. Of course, if you still aren’t sure, you can always discuss your options with an experienced company.
Digital strategy is the application of digital technologies to business models to form new differentiating business capabilities. In the future, all business strategy will be digital strategy.
Digital strategy focuses on using technology to improve business performance, whether that means creating new products or reimagining current processes. It specifies the direction an organization will take to create new competitive advantages with technology, as well as the tactics it will use to achieve these changes. This usually includes changes to business models, as new technology makes it possible for innovative companies to provide services that weren’t previously possible.
Today, technology has integrated with business to become something more than hardware or software. As digital technology becomes more pervasive and companies move further in the journey of digital transformation, digital strategy and business strategy will be the same thing. For now, it is still useful to use the term “digital strategy” to focus the effort behind digital initiatives.
It’s important to remember that digital strategy is both a concept and a thing — that is, a digital strategy should eventually lead to the creation of a concrete plan or roadmap. While you can keep changing the specific tactics you’ve decided to pursue, there should also be a clear commitment to your understanding of what digital means for your company.
As an example, say your digital strategy (ultimate goal) is to monetize basic productivity software that your business has already developed and uses internally. At first, you lay out a strategy (plan) to package it as a mobile app and sell it to individual users. Later, you realize that it has more value if you sell it to businesses to incorporate into their own mobile apps. Your strategy (ultimate goal) didn’t change, but your strategy (plan) did. Changing the guiding idea of your digital strategy should amount to a big shift or reorientation for your company, but ideally, the concrete steps will be flexible enough to allow you to pivot as needed.Digital strategy needs to become the essence of business strategy.REQUEST A DEMOSee how Liferay can help solve your unique challenges
There is a tendency to talk about digital transformation interchangeably with digital strategy. The two terms are closely related, but differ in scope. Digital transformation drives change in three areas: customer experience, operational processes and business models. The process of digital transformation requires coordination across the entire organization, and involves business culture changes.
Digital strategy, on the other hand, focuses on technology, not culture. Digital strategy is most relevant to changes in business models, and uses technology to create the capabilities a company needs to become a digital business. Setting down a strategy is a key component of the transformation process, and ensures that technology is being implemented in a way that supports the business objectives.
According to Accenture, digital strategy looks for ways to use technology to transform activity, and therefore business, whereas IT strategy aims to transform technology in isolation from the rest of the business. Traditionally, the process of IT strategy has been to determine which technologies to invest in, based on the current direction of the business. Digital strategy instead looks at the activities and processes that need to be transformed to provide better services for customers. Then, it looks for the right combination of technologies and strategies that can be combined to create these experiences. Digital leaders have found new competitive advantages and opportunities for growth by making this shift in strategy.Digital strategy instead looks at the activities and processes that need to be transformed to provide better services for customers.
How do you build a digital strategy? Rather than asking, “What’s our digital strategy?”, an article from Harvard Business Review suggests using the five following questions to ground your understanding of digital technology:
To some companies, these questions will have obvious answers, especially those that have already experienced disruption or competition from new digital players. The intention is to identify how digital changes what you do, and then refine your understanding from broad industry trends to specific values that will form the foundation of your strategy. By beginning with a clear understanding of your company’s purpose, you can avoid wasting time and resources implementing technology that doesn’t enable new competitive advantages.REQUEST A DEMOSee how Liferay can help solve your unique challenges
Have you ever been confused with the concepts of customer experience and user experience thinking that they are one and the same? For most, it’s still unclear what’s the difference between the two terms. While UX is about digital product usability, CX is about how the customer feels about the brand throughout the whole customer journey. It’s what closes out conversions, and drives long-term loyalty.
In this blog post, we’re going to sort things out and look a bit closer at these two quite different experiences. First of all, it’s good to understand what people mean when they use these terms. So let’s take a look at the meaning of each concept.
In 1995, Don Norman coined the term of user experience, to describe the set of activities his team was engaged in at Apple Computers. Eventually, the term UX has taken a more limited interpretation in practice. It’s a user’s interaction with a specific digital product, such as a website, app, or software. It focuses on the digital interface in terms of utility, usability, navigation, information architecture, ease of use, and visual hierarchy. The key UX metrics are:
UX is an inevitable part of the CX. To put it another way, UX is the experience your users have with your product, whereas CX is the experience they have with the entire brand.
Related article: Motion Design: How To Win Hearts & Minds Of Your Users?
On the other hand, customer experience has a broader meaning. CX describes a larger experience a user has with an organization. It’s an umbrella concept that encompasses the way customers perceive your brand and feel when interacting with it across every stage of the customer journey. Above all, CX is the sum of all touchpoints, interactions, and engagements that a customer has with a brand and a product throughout the life of a customer relationship.
The customer experience metrics help you understand how loyal and satisfied the customers are with your brand. Customer experience is measured with metrics like:
Related Article: CX metrics: How to measure customer satisfaction?
For any digital product development, user experience optimization across all platforms and devices has become a basic rule. No matter how fancy your product might be, if your users don’t know how to navigate and use it, they won’t come back. In the hearts and minds of humans, no feature or benefit will ever outweigh usability. In fact, you have only seconds to capture users’ attention and keep them. The UX connects your users with your products and increases brand loyalty. UX design is focused on research, analysis, and testing, and because of that these risks can be reduced. In addition, investing in a good UX design can help improve SEO rankings.
Customer experience isn’t a buzzword. It relates to customer satisfaction and their willingness to pay for a particular product. In other words, the more satisfied customers are, the more likely they are to stay loyal, become your brand advocates, and recommend your product to their friends. We live in an experience-brand economy. Today customers are buying not just products. They buy brands that can transform their lives. Now more than ever, companies should rethink their processes and deliver an exceptional customer experience so that their customers come back.
Learn more about our CX-aware solutions development approach, and let’s build a digital product together in line with your goals!
To dilute the theoretical part of the differences between CX & UX, let’s take a look at the example of the biggest digital music service Spotify.
At the heart of Spotify’s customer experience strategy is delivering a tailored listening experience to the users. One of the wizards behind Spotify is user researchers who work together to understand what users are doing on the platform and why. Spotify is considered to be among the top of customer-obsessed brands. They continually work on uncovering customer insights to improve their entire experience. Spotify’s approach to the customer experience is multifaceted. First of all, the onboarding process is fast and clear. Spotify makes it easy for users to collaborate on playlists and share music, follow friends, check their music preferences. By using prediction models and data analytics, Spotify offers simple suggestions like “Your Daily Mix” or “Discover Weekly”, thus introducing each user personalized playlists.
No surprise, the next example that we’d like to mention is our favorite Netflix. A lot has been written about their approach to creating a personalized experience.
Netflix managed to develop cutting edge algorithms. These algorithms allow them to serve content that caters to the users’ tastes and preferences. This level of personalization is what makes users come back for more. No doubt that Netflix is an industry giant with a great staff, including data scientists. Not every business can afford such a level of customer experience approach. But what each business, no matter small or big, can learn from Netflix is being customer-centric and delivering a great experience with every interaction. Data informs every decision they make at Netflix. It begins with data collection. Ensure you collect data points across all customer touchpoints. This includes complaints, support requests, transactions, social media, and customer feedback. Netflix has turned customer engagement into a science. They’ve prioritized learning who are their customers and how to reach them.
Are UX and CX different? Yes, they are. Should they be considered completely separate and exclusive disciplines? No, if you want to win the loyalty of your users and customers. To make sure you’re making the right investments in both CX and UX, ask your customers. With this knowledge, you don’t have to choose between investing in your CX or UX.
A lot of ink has been spilled telling the stories of companies felled by digital disruption— think Kodak or Blockbuster. What gets far less attention is the way traditional incumbents are winning at the digital game. For companies like Starbucks, John Deere, and Unilever, digital is driving new sources of competitive advantage, growth, and value creation. Incumbents have huge advantages—resources, customer relationships, and global scale, to name just a few—that when tied to the right digital strategy give them the edge over smaller rivals.
In our experience, successful digital transformation must rest on a foundation of smart digital strategy. And smart digital strategy, like traditional business strategy, is about making wise investment choices to maximize competitive advantage, growth, profit, and value—and then implementing with discipline.
In many traditional industries, the digital winners’ circle is still up for grabs. Here are five rules for how to get the most from your digital strategy. (See Exhibit 1.)
Good digital strategy starts with a rich understanding of the competitive environment and how it’s likely to change. Because new technologies can radically reshape business economics, it’s essential to think through the implications for your own organization and your broader ecosystem of customers, suppliers, and partners. What new offerings can digital enable? What new competitors can it empower?
The impact and opportunities of digital will vary by industry and by function. Core business processes can be reinvented; for example, supply chains are being reconfigured thanks to Industry 4.0, making it possible to operate smaller, more flexible facilities closer to customers that can rapidly deliver new products tailored to local demand patterns. Digital platforms and their related ecosystems can offer access to borderless global markets—consider Airbnb. And digital services, often data driven, can radically enhance differentiation and lock in customers—think predictive maintenance offerings to increase uptime of aircraft.
The key is to open your mind to the full range of strategic possibilities—and risks—that digital brings. What are the essential technologies and their cost implications? What new capabilities could be required? What new and advantaged positions could you occupy in the future?
Consider Domino’s Pizza. Digital wouldn’t replace pizza, but the company realized that digital could strengthen its advantage in speed and convenience. Its consumer-facing mobile app streamlined the steps for ordering and receiving a pizza (and capturing happy-customer feedback). An interesting fact: Domino’s and Google both went public in 2004. If you’d invested a dollar in both, you’d have made more money with Domino’s.
Organizations that win at digital start by thinking big—whether seeking to strengthen existing advantages or to tap new ones. The best digital strategies aspire to move the needle on value creation. This is especially true because in so many digital domains, network effects create winner-takes-all situations, in which first movers and smart fast followers have the edge.
Digital strategies fail more often because of too little ambition rather than too much. Kodak invented digital photography, and Blockbuster developed an online movie platform before Netflix did. But these historically successful, market-leading organizations starved those opportunities for funding and organizational focus because they prioritized their legacy businesses.
The coffee company Starbucks embraced digital to make up for lagging same-store sales. It found new ways for customers to order and pay for their coffee by developing a mobile payment app and rolling out digital loyalty programs. The result? Mobiles sales increased twice as fast as in-store sales.
The car manufacturer Renault set, and achieved, an explicit goal to drive a 25% increase in EBIT with its digital strategy. And it jumped in with both feet, running 15 pilots across all functions—from marketing through production—to understand where digital could give the greatest lift.
And keep in mind that digital strategies in many industries are increasingly also ecosystem strategies. Rarely does a company have in its organization all the necessary elements (expertise, intellectual property, customer access, and so on). (See Exhibit 2 for a list of the characteristics such ecosystems share.)
Where to start, and in what order? “Let a thousand flowers bloom” may make for nice landscaping, but it is bad strategy. In general, focusing on the two or three most valuable use cases lends greater clarity and delivers the best results.
It’s important to manage priority initiatives as a portfolio and roll out the ones with short-term impact first. Short-term wins (typically in areas like precision marketing, AI-driven pricing and promotion, and digitally driven cost reduction) will help fund the journey by freeing up capital and releasing resources needed for more strategic high-impact priorities down the road. A portfolio approach also makes it possible to demonstrate progress to key stakeholders: board members, investors, and the organization.
Unilever has invested decisively in digital across its value chain, with a particular strategic focus on harnessing data as an enterprise-wide asset that supports precision marketing, manufacturing, distribution, and performance management. The company captures 1.5 terabytes of data daily from more than 150 sources in its data lake—and plans to have 24 digital hubs in 24 countries by 2020.
In identifying the right set of bets, a customer-centric lens that focuses on both competitive advantage and value creation is critical. Ask: Of all the customer pain points and compromises that digital can address, which are we uniquely positioned to address, and of those, which have the greatest value potential?
John Deere, in its agricultural business, began with use cases anchored in the jobs farmers were trying to optimize: planting seeds optimally, adding just the right amount of nutrients, and putting the minimum amount of chemicals on their crops to prevent pests and weeds. This led to significant innovations—for example, the “see and spray” technology, which allows individual weeds to be identified through a combination of optical sensors and machine learning algorithms, and then killed through highly engineered and individually controlled spraying nozzles.
A properly ambitious digital strategy inevitably calls for new capabilities and cultural shifts. The organization needs to build new strategic muscles to complement its traditional strengths—and to ensure that new and old work together in an agile and coordinated way.
New digital talent is critical, but increasingly scarce. So just as important—and often underestimated—is redeploying existing talent and skills to the initiatives that can make the most of it. With both new and existing talent, think through what resources and capabilities can be shared across business units, divisions, or regions rather than that which needs to be dedicated to a single place. And develop a workforce that does not adhere to fixed roles, but evolves with the needs and pace of emerging digital initiatives. Don’t worry about defining an end-state organization at the outset—a multistage process that adapts on the basis of experience and digital maturity makes more sense.
Establishing a “digital” culture in these ways is essential to a successful digital strategy. It helps attract talent, particularly millennials, who are drawn to opportunities for autonomy and creativity. And because of the flatter organizational structure that comes from agile ways of working, companies can achieve superior results, faster than a traditional organization.
While there is no need to completely rewrite the transformation rule book when it comes to digital, some issues will need your attention—such as the rate at which the critical underlying technologies for your industry are evolving, and thus how often you should revisit the underlying strategy to refresh the transformation plan.
Technological progress can be linear or discontinuous. In industries with slower-moving technologies, traditional top-down strategy development approaches work. But planning three years out can set you up for executional failure if changes in technologies and market dynamics shift more rapidly. In these faster-moving, more unpredictable industries, you will need a Fast Execution Needs Fast Strategy to planning, one that balances strategic alignment from above with market insight from below.
As with any organizational transformation, maintaining a strong center will be critical. That’s where program management lives, ensuring process standardization, data management, and talent acquisition. A transformation office, led by a chief digital transformation officer, can keep up the momentum, rigorously tracking progress against detailed goals, milestones, and metrics—and signal when it’s time to adjust course.
Not all digital transformations succeed. Those that do reflect a robust digital strategy that follows the five simple rules we’ve just described. They’ll ensure you get the most out of your people and digital investments by aligning them with the critical moves that drive competitive advantage and superior results.
People ask us one question over and over: What is a digital product? And why should an entrepreneur focus on digital products instead of just their physical counterparts?
We live in an increasingly diverse marketplace. People are earning money from a variety of endeavors, whether they hang out a shingle online or start a brick-and-mortar business.
Maybe we’re biased given our industry, but we believe that digital products offer the easiest and least expensive point of entry for any aspiring entrepreneur. Our Knowledge Commerce customers — entrepreneurs who earn great money teaching what they know — prove our hypothesis.
Today, we’re going to guide you through the process of understanding digital products and figuring out what you might want to sell. Even if you’re already part of the digital economy, you might discover a new revenue stream to add to your burgeoning business.
We’ll start by defining a few terms, then we’ll get into our 17 suggestions for the most profitable digital products to sell online.
A product is any item that you can sell to someone else in exchange for cash or barter. It could be a piece of produce, an electronic gadget, or a comfy couch.
Until the Internet altered commerce for the better, a product was always a physical object or item — something to distinguish it from a service. It was something you could pick up, see, smell, hear, or even taste.
That’s changed now that many entrepreneurs start businesses online. The virtual world has opened up a new category of products (which will get into later).
The point, however, is that a product is something you sell. Most often, you ask for money in exchange for the product. That’s how you earn a living.
Products differ from services in that there’s no obligation beyond the transaction. The product already exists, so there’s no further work for the seller to perform.
A digital product is any product you sell online that doesn’t have physical form or substance. You can’t hold a website theme in your hand, smell an e-book, or taste a software program — Uber eats does come close though ; ).
You can turn digital products into physical products. For instance, many people buy e-books in PDF format, then print them on their computers. The product becomes physical, but it started out in digital format.
Some online entrepreneurs try to take shortcuts. They create poorly constructed digital products and assume they’ll make a living from them.
More often than not, those entrepreneurs fail. Why? Because customer retention matters more than customer acquisition.
In other words, your goal as an entrepreneur who sells digital products should be to create more products and convince your existing customer base to buy them. That’s how true wealth becomes possible.
You might wonder why you would offer digital products instead of creating your own physical product. After all, physical products dominated commerce for hundreds of thousands of years.
Digital products have many advantages over their physical counterparts, especially for the entrepreneur who sells them.
This isn’t to say that you can slap together any digital product and generate a fortune. The product still needs to offer incredible value if you want your customers to return.
You can funnel the time and money you save on creating digital products into making new products available to your customers. Spend your money and time on marketing and advertising as well as branding.
Marketing digital products isn’t much different from marketing physical ones. You have to define your audience, target them with brand-appropriate messages, and keep the lines of communication open.
The main difference is that explaining the need for a digital product sometimes proves more difficult than illustrating the benefits of a physical product.
If you need laundry detergent, for instance, you go to the supermarket or a big box store. You scan the shelves, find your favorite brand, and take the detergent to the checkout counter.
That’s something you need if you want to wear clean clothes.
Explaining the need for a mobile app or online course can present more challenges. That’s why Knowledge Commerce professionals must focus on educating their audience — through blog posts, webinars, landing pages, and other marketing assets.
Now that we’ve covered some of the definitions and obstacles, let’s jump into the opportunities. After all, you probably want to generate as much cash as possible from your online business, so you’ll want to sell the most profitable digital products.
We’ve identified 17 options, many of which you can create and sell directly from the Kajabi platform.
Resist the urge to try to create them all. It’s tempting, but it will spread you too thin. Start with a single product — one that will resonate with your target audience and provide them with maximum value.
Once you’ve established your flagship product, you can branch out. At some point, you might be able to hire staff members to help handle administrative work while you focus exclusively on the creative process.
Without further ado, let’s look at this list of digital products and explore how they might be able to help you grow your business.
We’re obviously big fans of online courses here at Kajabi. In fact, courses are the primary way by which our Kajai Heroes generate income.
An online course is just like an in-classroom course except that you teach online via text, video, and audio assets. Your customers learn via distinctive modules based on the name of the course and the material you want to convey.
Customers can take your course in their own time without having to worry about meeting deadlines or stressing themselves out. Plus, you can create courses of different sizes and at different price points.
Some of our customers have created dozens of courses, while others stick to one flagship course. It’s entirely up to you. Plus, down the line, you can create other digital products that complement your courses.
E-books are growing in popularity month over month. In 2015, more than 220 e-books flew off virtual shelves, and experts predict that e-books will eventually take over physical books in terms of sales.
You can write an e-book on any topic you like. The best news is that, once you complete the product, you don’t have to do any further work — other than marketing, of course. It allows you to earn passive income over months and years.
As the entrepreneur, you decide on the e-book’s length and content. You can either self-publish it on your Kajabi website or seek a traditional publisher.
If you already have customers who have bought your online courses and other digital products, you can introduce them to your e-book. You have a built-in pipeline of potential customers.
Since millions of people publish content on the web every day, there’s a constant demand for unique photography. Stock photo sites, such as Fotalia and iStockphoto, buy images from creators just like you.
Alternatively, you might want to sell your photographs from your own websites. Many fine art photographers take this route so they don’t have to share their profits with established marketplaces.
A great way to get people excited about your photography is to post your images on sites like Flickr and Instagram. These platforms allow you to retain all rights to your photos, which protects your intellectual property while exposing you to potential customers.
Keep in mind that you can sell photographs in many different ways:
The sky’s the limit if you’re a shutterbug.
Major labels no longer control what music makes it into the headphones of your average consumer. Indie musicians can make excellent livings by selling their creations by themselves.
Musician and singer Amanda Palmer, for example, launched what was, at the time, the most successful crowdsourcing campaign in history to fund her next album. Since then, she has relied only on grassroots marketing to sell her band’s music.
You can record your own music, then make it for sale anywhere you wish. The freedom to explore your own musical talent and to retain creative control over your output can be freeing as a creative.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about dealing with bureaucratic red tape. Instead, you can focus exclusively on your music.
Since you no longer need to produce a physical product, such a CD, you can make your music available exclusively as digital files. People can then listen to them on MP3 players, their computers, and other devices.
There’s a huge demand for web elements in today’s economy. For instance, many people earn six or seven figures by selling WordPress themes.
Premium web design templates create passive income because you only have to create the theme once. You might have to update it from time to time because of changes to the content management system (CMS), but that’s far less work than creating a whole new product from scratch.
Additionally, you can create as many web themes as you want. The more you provide, the more customers you can potentially convert.
Other web elements can also prove popular in the marketplace. You might sell thematic elements for a web design, such as navigational buttons, header images, font combination suggestions, social sharing buttons, and more. If you’re creative and artistic, there’s no limit to what you can create and sell.
Conducting one’s own research and data can absorb considerable time. Some people don’t want to expend that energy to gather data in one convenient place.
That’s where you come in. Selling data — such as information about your industry or the results of your own studies — can prove massively popular. People who buy that data can then use it to inform their own businesses.
It’s true that many people post free tutorials and guides online. However, if you can create one that’s longer, more in-depth, and of higher quality, go ahead and sell it as a digital product.
We live in a DIY culture. People want to learn how to do things themselves. They’d rather save their cash than pay somebody else.
Plus, consumers want to learn everything they can about subjects that interest them. Documentaries and similar forms of television remain extremely popular for their educational value.
In terms of format, you can create a tutorial or guide however you wish. Some Knowledge Commerce professionals prefer to create videos, while others are better with text or audio. You decide.
If you’re a computer whiz, creating a new piece of software might launch you into the stratosphere in terms of potential revenue. People love software because it inevitably cures a pain point.
From productivity and web insights to designing and drawing, lots of software programs have stood the test of time. They remain popular because their core audiences are loyal fans.
These days, many software programs are sold as subscriptions instead of licenses. In other words, your customers pay a nominal monthly fee to use your software. As long as they pay, they retain access.
In many ways, the subscription model offers better revenue potential than licensing. If you sell licenses, you get paid just once. The customer never has to give you another dime. However, you can decide what payment model makes the most sense for your business and wallet.
Cookbooks are among the best-selling books of all time. People are always looking for fresh takes on their favorite recipes, and many consumers want to explore cuisine from around the world.
Sure, you can find recipes for free online, but there’s a reason people pay for actual cookbooks. It’s assumed that a paid product offers better quality and higher value.
If you’re a chef — amateur or professional — you could put together a cookbook with your best recipes. Consider grouping them based on a specific theme, such as comfort food or recipes from a specific country or city.
A theme makes the book more marketable and therefore more likely to gain traction in the market.
Of course, cookbooks aren’t the only way to release recipes. You could create an app or subscription service that delivers recipes to subscribers. Think outside the box to create a unique digital product that will get everyone talking.
Speaking of apps, it’s possible that mobile applications have become even more popular than software packages. However, they’re essentially the same thing — just one a different platform.
For instance, people used to play games installed via CD-ROM on their computers. Today, they can play similar games on their phones or tablets via an app.
Some apps involve a small charge, while others are so-called “freemium” releases, which means that you can include in-app purchases for people who want more features, benefits, or information.
You don’t even need technical skills to develop an app. You can hire a freelance developer to help execute your idea and pay a flat fee. Many entrepreneurs take this route.
There are also software program that make creating a simple app fairly easy. However, if the app doesn’t offer much in the way of features, it will become a hard sell for savvy consumers.
Most podcasts are free. Entrepreneurs and creatives use them to promote their brands, products, or services.
However, you can also create a subscription-based podcast that offers more features, in-depth guidance, and more. There are numerous ways to do this.
For instance, you could create a subscription-based podcast for which people pay you directly. It would work just like a traditional membership site except that the content is exclusively audio.
You could also take the freemium route. People can listen for free, but if they pay, they get bonus features, extra audio, and other incentives. For example, many creatives use services like Patreon to fund their podcasts and other creations.
As mentioned above, digital products don’t always have to remain virtual. Printables have become a popular commodity for crafters and for people who like to stay organized.
You might create printable agendas, schedules, planners, artwork, scrapbooking assets, or something else entirely. You just need an idea for which someone would be willing to pay.
Just package the printables like you would any other digital product. You deliver the package when the customer pays.
A swipe file is a document that contains valuable assets for a particular goal, hobby, or job. For instance, writers often keep swipe files filled with examples of good copy they might want to emulate in the future.
However, swipe files can contain anything you want. If you’re an artist, you could create a swipe file full of icons and other graphics your customers might use on their websites, marketing assets, or other deliverables.
You could also create a swipe file filled with research, data points, checklists, and more. Crafty professionals might sell swipe files with DIY projects, while parenting experts could sell swipe files with indoor activities for children of various ages.
The possibilities are limitless. The important thing is to make sure the information in your swipe file is truly premium. In other words, it should be regurgitated content from your blog or contain information people could find freely on the web.
Similar to tutorials and guides, templates and calculators have become increasingly popular. People want the easiest way to get from Point A to Point B.
Templates could be for anything from interior design to music composition, while calculators might help people determine the ideal interest rate for a mortgage or the best combinations of investments.
You can get creative with these types of assets, but make sure they offer more than the free examples available on the Internet. Your template or calculator should be so sophisticated that you wouldn’t dare give it away for free.
If you’re the crafty sort, creating your own patterns for cross-stitching, knitting, crocheting, watercoloring, and more can help you assemble a salable digital product. People are always looking for fresh, new patterns with which to create and decorate their homes.
Most people don’t know how to create their own graphics, icons, and other graphic assets. They rely on free or premium products for those needs.
The DIY and commercial market converge in this case. Entrepreneurs like you want to build their own websites, but they need attractive assets with which to populate their designs.
Of course, it’s not all just about web design. A creative might use someone else’s graphic assets to design T-shirts and other consumer products. They don’t know how to create the actual art, but they can arrange a pleasing design for sale.
Companies like DesignCuts offer bundles at a significant discount and from multiple creatives. People can buy lots of premium products at a low rate, which benefits both the consumer and the seller.
You can also sell graphic arts bundles on your own. You might do a mix of different types of graphics or create a bundle for each type. Potential assets could include the following:
The list goes on.
We mentioned before that the commercial marketplace has changed over the last few years. Products and services aren’t as carefully delineated as they were 20 years ago.
You might have noticed that you can now order clothing, sunglasses, and even razors as a service. You subscribe to the service and you receive your deliveries at set intervals.
However, you can also sell services as a package deal. As part of your Knowledge Commerce business, you could offer coaching packages to supplement your income and to create more intimate relationships with your customers.
For instance, let’s say that you teach people how to be better leaders. You’ve created online courses, e-books, and other digital products, but many of your customers would like one-on-one tutoring.
To respond to that need, you create a coaching package. For $300, you’ll spend 30 minutes on the phone with your customers once a week for one month. Of course, you’d adjust the numbers to your liking.
It’s a digital product because you’re selling it as a bundle. It’s also a service because you’re working with your customers one-on-one.
You don’t have to live near one another. You could set up email, telephone, or Skype consultations with your customers. It’s never been easier to accrue customers from the other side of the world.
Once you have a product to sell, you have to find a place to sell it. This can depend on what kind of product you make. For example, you’ll likely want to sell a digital book or audiobook on a platform geared for that like Amazon or Audible.
We always recommend having your own site to sell digital products in addition to third-party marketplaces. That way, you have more direct control over the relationship with your customers. You can also often avoid the hefty service fee that many platforms solve.
Sure, you could set up a website on your own and create the backend needed to offer online courses, membership sites, and other digital products. Creating such a setup would take hundreds of hours of work — and that’s if you have the skills necessary to do it. You can also lean on an all-in-one business platform like Kajabi, as it makes it simple to have a business around digital products.
Being a product owner can be overwhelming – like you’re trying to juggle lots of things at once. Between defining the product scope, creating a great experience for your customers, working with cross-functional teams, and understanding when something is your number one priority and all focus should be on that.
In this list of never-ending tasks, the key one is the ability to manage project risks. Risks are almost inevitable, and to mitigate them, you need to prepare yourself. Even a simple activity can turn into an unexpected problem. Addressing and realizing those risks in advance can save you time, costs, and sometimes your product. When you plan the digital product development process, first of all, answer this question: “do I understand the problem I’m solving, and is this problem worth solving?”
In this article, you’ll find more about risk mitigation planning, why you need it, and how to build products customers actually need.
First of all, let’s figure out what are the reasons that something can go wrong in your project. Here are some of the most common risks associated with product development.
As an industry expert, you might think that you know what your users need. This assumption creates a risk of working on a product that, as a result, will be used only by you and possibly by several more people (sorry for being straightforward). The risk is higher as you grow the product idea on assumptions or without conducting enough user research.
Starting a business is hard. A survey conducted by CB Insights among 101 failed startups states that 70% of startups fail because there is NO market need for a product (42%). It follows that companies should build products only according to the real needs of their users.
There are several questions that you should answer to minimize the risk of building a product that doesn’t meet users’ needs and wants.
The result of your answers will help you to differentiate your product and create a unique value proposition (UVP).
There’s no universal formula to guarantee project completion on time. However, there are a few tips that can help you mitigate the chances to fail meeting the project deadlines.
Things happen. When the work on the product is in full swing, one of the developers leaves the project.
As a result, you might experience team members’ change-over or lack of qualified specialists. To minimize risks associated with human resources, try to organize team members into small groups. In this way, team members can jointly plan a project, share knowledge, perform code reviews and work together on tasks from the get-go. Also, the team should be able to easily perform work if one of its members is temporarily absent or has left the team.
Before you start working on the project, you’ll want to be meticulous when deciding on a tech stack and whether it suits your business goals. This choice can make or break the entire product performance and UX. Here are four (at least basic) rules we recommend to keep an eye on when deciding on a new technology stack for your next project:
Here are a couple of things to catch up on when managing risks and your project:
You can’t resolve a risk if it’s unknown. For starters, try to make assumptions, brainstorm all potential risks, and write them down. This way you structure all of your concerns. Think of all the possible things that can go wrong and note them. Don’t forget to refer to past projects as this is a source of real risks that you can prevent in the current project. After you make a list of possible risks and review them, assign who is responsible for what risk.
Don’t be afraid and don’t avoid talking about risks. On the contrary, pay close attention to risk communication during team meetings and make sure that everyone in the team perceives risk management as an integral part of the project.https://giphy.com/embed/rZwm8oOApXjDBjs3Pk
Prioritization focuses on what matters most in the risk mitigation process. However, ‘what matters most’ can vary during the project: some risks may have a higher impact and probability than others. To evaluate what risks may have the most negative impact, and have a higher probability of occurrence create or use ready-made evaluation tools to categorize and prioritize the risks.
Before defining how to manage risks, the project team should identify what can cause the identified risks. Think about the effects and consequences of a particular risk. https://giphy.com/embed/SAAMcPRfQpgyI
First, let the entire team answer these questions as accurately as possible:
The acquired information will provide valuable insights into your project, and you will find it helpful later when optimizing the risks.
For each major risk identified, create a contingency plan to manage it. You then act according to how you’ve prioritized those risks. Arrange a meeting with your project team and try to find answers to the following questions:
Answering these questions allows your team to improve the digital product development process. Based on the above-mentioned points prepare an action plan and convert it into feasible tasks. Once you implement the risk mitigation plan, your work isn’t finished. Risks are dynamic and tend to transform, evolve, and reappear throughout the entire project life cycle.
Yes, risk mitigation might seem like a daunting task. But if you do your homework and embed a risk management strategy into the digital product development process, you can reduce the chances of project overrun, escalating costs, resources challenges, and more.
The total digitalization of everyday activity is changing our perception of the world. Today people can hardly imagine their lives without smartphones and gadgets. They help us with everything – shopping, business, sports, communication, navigation, logistics, entertainment, and so on. The growth of technology is changing the process of digital asset development too, so it becomes faster, more reliable, and more global. Companies start working globally from the very first day of their existence. Web and mobile apps become a must-have feature for businesses.
Lately, I’ve noticed that new product development process has been slightly changing during the last two years. The redefinition of the Product Owner (PO) position is taking place and now it is not a person who is only responsible for defining user stories and prioritizing them. These days, a good product owner is an executor who is acting like a mini-CEO of the product. The role requires good understanding of the business operations, UI/UX design, marketing, consumer psychology and behavioral patterns, and the technical processes of digital product development. Only if the individual knows these aspects they can make the right decisions.
The product owner is the person who will take care of the product from the idea to implementation and successful release to the market. He must have in-depth insight into how to satisfy customers, differentiate from the competition, and earn money for the business at the same time. More and more companies start to realize the value of product owner role within the software product development life cycle and the importance of having the right skilled people in the right place.
The DashDevs team works closely with both startups and middle-sized businesses and currently we witness how these companies change their approach to new product engineering. We’ve collected the most interesting cases and analyzed our experience to outline the top five trends in product development, that will soon change the software market.
Everybody understands that data is crucial for strategic decision making and business planning. We’ve faced the issue of gathering the correct data and processing it accordingly. The solution that we’ve opted for and recommend using comes from Data Science.
It is the transformation of Big Data and Data analysis. Companies can gather data from different sources — like mobile app analytics, advertising data, or customer support tools — in one place to organize it in such a way that a product owner can get any information they want at any time. Based on this data, the business can create models that give insight into a product, customer behavior, and market changes. There is a significant difference to see a data slice that describes only your customer population in comparison with the model that shows you the influence of your adverts on the particular target audience. Using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial intelligence (AI) Data Scientists can not only analyze past actions but also give the business some forecasts for the future.
Basically, Data Science provides stakeholders with the possibility to perform Predictive Product Development, so today the leading software product engineering companies are starting to correlate their strategies with the obtained analysis findings. However, Data Science is not only about past and future analytics, as it also brings personalized experiences to your product. User behavioral models can run real-time to define which goods can be exclusively suggested to the customer, while the user interface can be changed accordingly. Additionally, chatbots start to use behavioral patterns to resolve customer requests and improve the overall customer experience.
Summarizing: Now, Data Science is doing a deep dive into the agile software development life cycle. At this time, it is not a free-running feature, as it is totally interspersed with the development and management processes. The impact of Data Science is tangible — it enhances digital product analytics and increases the effectiveness of the entire product development strategy so companies can corner the market. Applications become more agile and personalized. However, Data Science increases the cost of the implementation and maintenance of the product, since businesses need to store data and process it using the latest technologies and expensive specialists.
Where does your digital product end? Is there any limits to its potential of use? Nowadays companies confess that “product” goes beyond simple mobile/web applications or landing pages. The digitalization of the processes has changed the way we see, use, and interact with web and mobile applications. Innovative software solutions extend their functionality and communicate with other devices – watches, home pods, and TVs. From the other side, the Internet of Things (IoT) widely steps in, so now users can make payments via home pod, ask Siri to check the car location, or request Alexa to order food delivery. And the thing about it is that users love it.
However, the digital product ecosystem starts to grow not only to improve the end-user experience. Stakeholders understand that intellectual property can be shared with other businesses, so mutually rewarding interaction between different companies becomes natural. They start to open APIs on a free and paid basis, thus allowing others to integrate their services. This step helps companies to fill new niches, increase business valuation, and grow their revenue. In the very beginning of the article, I’ve mentioned that the product owner responsibilities have been changed, so now POs must grow into masters of this product ecosystem.
Summarizing: Businesses start to redefine product boundaries. Apple Watch complications, widgets, Siri shortcuts, or Google Assistant Commands become a part of a minimum viable product. Shared APIs become one of the basic requirements for system architecture design right at the initial product development stages.
Companies used to hire the core team in one city and outsource only a part of their business activities. However, currently the situation has changed and the culture of nearshore and offshore IT outsourcing reimagines the product development life cycle. The whole business can be divided into functional blocks — like app engineering, marketing, sales, customer support, logistics & distribution — to be outsourced to different service providers. Companies start to outsource all services, especially at the initial stages of their business formation, when it is essential to save money and gain the necessary expertise. If you want to develop a fintech app, you can hire dedicated developers from one company, while customer support representatives and financial investment management team from the other. You just need to employ some key individuals to the office to coordinate and supervise the vendors.
Another trend associated with the distributed engineering teams is the outsourcing of vital technical positions such as CTO, Solution Architect, and Team Lead. This is a common decision across new companies and startups since they get experienced resources at a better price. The challenge here is only in clear communication, synchronization, and control of the dedicated software development teams. These issues can be easily solved by regular meetings, detailed documentation, and a clear description of the responsibilities. In this way, businesses can build transparent and trustworthy relationships with vendors.
Summarizing: If properly set up and managed, outsourcing engagement models can become a perfect solution for businesses. It helps them get access to top tech talent with rich experience in the specific niche, save time and money on recruitment and team management, all while avoiding expenses related to hardware and premises. Moreover, agile software development with distributed teams allows companies to concentrate on other important, revenue-generating tasks like sales, distribution, public relations, or marketing.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management regulations become more strict in terms of the requirements for personal data protection. Businesses can be closed down by regulatory if they find wilful default of the criteria to the safeness of the personal and business data. This trend has always been actual for the financial and healthcare industries, but after the latest updates of the regulations, it becomes more crucial for every company.
Data security used to be the headache of the engineers in the security operation center only, but in most cases critical data leaks are caused by a human factor. Everybody who works on the product must understand how business can be hacked or how data can be lost. Companies start to control partner relationships, and the data flow within the applications. All of this brings additional work for the technical product owners.
Product owners need to understand how data is circulating in the app and how to protect the nugget of information. Businesses start to realize that access control should be implemented at the initial product development life cycle stages. Additionally, a list of policies needs to be created. They must cover disaster and risk reduction, password management, access to production data, and the process of issue escalation. There must be a responsible person to control the execution of the policies. Another step that becomes more natural for the companies to perform authorized penetration testing before the launch of the applications to the real world. This step helps companies reduce the likelihood of data leaks and exclude security holes. The next step that is implemented on a regular basis is security awareness training for all members of the company (including the outsourced ones).
Summarizing: Companies start to invest money into safety and their security awareness. Regulators are chasing them, forcing to be compliant with the requirement. Otherwise, businesses can lose the license, get a significant penalty, or even be dissolved.
Previously, one of the essential job requirements for the managerial position was to have experience in the niche for three and more years. However, time spent in one area doesn’t mean that the person can make your product successful. Businesses start to understand that the most important is the executive experience and knowledge of the way digital products are developed. You can learn everything about the new sphere in two months but it is impossible to teach someone to become an executor over the same period. Otherwise, it will be a constantly hand-holding process. It is especially crucial for the CPO, product owners, project, product, and delivery managers.
It may not be necessary to learn some programming languages, but it is crucial to know the basics of computer science. Technical knowledge can give you a deep understanding of how your product features will be implemented and this is important not only for the product management roles but for designers as well. Such an approach helps to communicate with software engineers better and deliver a next-generation product experience. This is particularly applicable to products related to technology.
Summarizing: The existence of the visionary for your product is an essential component of your business strategy that ensures consistency and smooth product implementation. Usually, CEO and business owners take on this role, but today companies start to search for the executors with a technical background who are ready to make decisions. The cost of such a position is higher, however, companies are willing to pay for it.
All these trends are the most noticeable if you start to think about them. Broadly speaking, the boundaries of digital products have been changed and the vision of the product owning position has been improved. Strategic thinking, can-do attitude, and tech background have become the most essential requirements for the agile product owners of digital assets. Companies are changing their perception of the outsourcing process and recognize the advantages that they can get from it.
We believe that there is one more extra-trend that is going to have a second breath in a few years. We’re talking about digital twins — an approach that gives companies digital representations of their actual products, so companies can easily improve and test them eliminating the need to create physical prototypes. It helps to understand, predict, and optimize performance in order to achieve better business outcomes. Digital twins consist of three components: a data model, a set of analytics or algorithms, and knowledge. Now they are mainly used by large companies and only for the simulation of the physical goods, but every year this process becomes more accessible for smaller businesses. More and more companies start to see the real benefits in it, while in combination with Data Science, ML, AI, and IoT, it can improve the products and processes within the companies significantly. We will post the review of the digital twins approach for processes really soon, so stay tuned.
Contrary to what many people think, graphic design isn’t a dying industry. Looking closely, however, it’s easy to see why some people would believe so. From the field being saturated to the advent of free and user-friendly graphic design software, it’s clear why some have given up on graphic design.
Is graphic design dead? The answer is a resounding NO. Recent studies conducted by IBISWorld show that in 2019 alone, the industry generated a revenue of $15 billion with an annual growth rate of 3.5%. It is expected to grow further at a rate of 2.7% to become a $14.8 billion-dollar-strong industry.
Penji is a living proof that graphic design is alive and kicking. We’ve helped thousands of businesses with all their graphic design needs. If you’re still in doubt, read on to learn why graphic design isn’t dead and is here to stay.
It may come as a surprise to you that there are people who think that graphic design is already dead. Especially for the graphic designers themselves who have experienced tight competition, it’s understandably so. As long as there is access to cheap computers and free design software, fake graphic designers will proliferate. It is sometimes overtaking the jobs of qualified ones.
Also, websites that offer to create a logo for you for just five dollars, and other similar gimmicks, give the impression that graphic design is dead. With these channels, you’re sure to get cheap graphic design, nothing else. For your business to stand out, a generic logo or website from a template just won’t cut it.
A few business owners are also to blame for graphic design’s perceived death. Some entrepreneurs think that graphic design is a one-time thing. After the website, logo, and letterhead have been designed, it’s time to let go of the designer. Later, we’ll discuss why this shouldn’t be the case.
Any seasoned entrepreneur can tell you that graphic design is an essential part of business. But factors such as limited finances can make these business owners forego their graphic designers. And some think that after establishing their brand identities, there is no longer a need for a designer.
Graphic designing for your business is a continuous endeavor; here’s why:
Your brand identity is your main point of communication with your customers. Entrusting the continuity of the scheme to someone who doesn’t understand graphic design can be a significant blunder. Your visual identification deserves to keep its integrity, and only a professional can help you achieve this.
Cleveland Cavaliers hired an external graphic designer for their fan engagement platform. The brand identity, as you can see from the photo below, shows that it remained intact and recognizable.
Create smart, effective campaigns efficientlyMeet your conversion goals using visuals that stand outI need this!‹›
Great design inspires. Your customers, as well as employees, can benefit from this graphic design advantage. Excellent visual design can attract customers and encourage your employees to promote your brand.
A good graphic designer can prepare your business for the ever-changing digital world. Technology is continually changing, and your brand has to keep up. Good design can ensure that your website and other design materials can be viewed on multiple devices and platforms.
The Firefox logo had been through many redesigns in its history. This image shows the transition from detailed design to something more streamlined. The logo was simplified to fit beyond the normal website browser.
Graphic design can also become stagnant, and a professional designer can help maintain the freshness. You’ll gain new perspectives from someone outside of your business and provide you insights you may have never seen before. A good graphic designer will work with you to create new ideas that will keep your business on its feet.
Advancements in technology will make us think that AI will replace most of the work humans do. This may be so, but specific industries that require creativity will never succumb. You may have the most exciting website in your niche, but without innovation and creativity, soon enough, it’ll become boring and stale.
A professional graphic designer can help you stand out from the crowd. The WordPress templates shown below serve a purpose, and sometimes you’ll find a website design gem through a template. But don’t be surprised if you see some other websites to have that similar look as yours. Your company is unique, and its overall design should show how one-of-a-kind you are.
Business owners have a lot on their hands. If you leave the design work to a qualified graphic designer, you’ll be free from the burden of getting the design right. You’ll have more time and energy to focus on what matters most in your business.
Every aspect of your business will always require graphic design. And not just a one-size-fits-all plan, but a quality graphic design that’s uniquely yours. Whether it’s your website, promotional paraphernalia, corporate branding, web and print design, it has to include graphic design as an essential component.
In this fast-paced world we live in, is graphic design dead? Not only is it alive and well, but it’s also here to stay for good. Graphic designers are integral parts of a business and will contribute to a company’s success. Graphic design has become an indispensable asset and investment for a business.
Great graphic design is a business investment that will reap lots of benefits for your company. If you think that finding the right graphic designer is a difficult task, Penji can help you. We have vetted designers that can provide you with all the graphic design you’ll need.
For a monthly fixed price of as low as $369, you can have all the design, plus all the revisions you need. We’ll always make sure that you get the designs you love.
Without a solid base of links, your site won’t be competitive in the SERPs — even if you do everything else right. But building your first few links can be difficult and discouraging, especially for new websites.
The first one is basically looking for links that come from your own name, your brand name, your domain name potentially, and the names of the founders or people who run your company.
Step One: Search Google for the names in quotes.
If you have that, you’ll need to use your brand name plus some sort of signifier or identifier.
Step Two: Manually check the top let’s say 50 to 100 results to confirm that…
They link to the right place, and if they don’t, we should fix that. We’re going to contact those people.
If you can control the anchor text and where the link location points, you can update it.
Step One: Identify your top 5 or 10 most visible on the web competitors.
This is a process that you can go through on your own to identify, well, these are the 5 or 10 that we see on the web very frequently for searches that we wish we competed for, or we see them mentioned in the press a ton, whatever it is.
Step Two: Search Google not for each one individually, but rather for combinations, usually two, three, or four of them all together.
Step Three: Visit any sites in the SERPs that list multiple competitors in any sort of format (a directory structure, comparisons, a list, etc.)
Then in each of those cases, I would submit or I would try and contact or get in touch with whoever runs that list and say, “Hey, my company, my organization also belongs on here because, like these other ones you’ve listed, we do the same thing.”
This is a little more challenging. You won’t have as high a hit rate as you will with your own brand names. But again, great way to expand your link portfolio. You can usually almost always get 20 or 30 different sites that are listing people in your field and get on those lists.
This is sites that list people or organizations in a particular field, a particular region, with particular attributes, or some combination of those three.
Step One: List your organization’s areas of operation.
So that would be like we are in technology, or we’re in manufacturing or software or services, or we’re a utility, or we’re finance tech, or whatever we are. You can start from macro and go down to micro at each of those levels.
List your geography in the same format from macro to micro. You want to go as broad as continent, for example Europe, down to country, region, county, city, even neighborhood. There are websites that list, “Oh, well, these are startups that are based in Ballard, Seattle, Washington in the United States in North America.” So you go, “Okay, I can fit in there.”
List your unique attributes. Whatever interesting attributes there are about you, you can list those and then you can combine them.
Step Two: Search Google for lists of businesses or websites or organizations that have some of these attributes in your region or with your focus.
You can find lots and lots of these if you sort of taking from your list, start searching Google and discover those results. You’ll use the same process you did here.
You know what the great thing about all three of these is? No tools required. You don’t have to pay for a single tool. You don’t have to worry about any sort of link qualification process or paying for something expensive. You can do this manually by yourself with Google as your only tool, and that will get you some of those first early links.