Author: D. Dixon

About D. Dixon

D. Dixon is a PMI, CompTIA and Microsoft certified professional and the owner/founder of S/M/A/R/T Social Media Management. One of her main blogs is and she's also a guest blogger /article writer/website builder. Currently she is creating the 1!SingularSensation exclusive E-Book series of BackIIBasix(c). She's always a student, sometimes a teacher and a proud to be a non-guru

Optimizing Your WordPress Site: 5 Steps to Speed Up Your WordPress Blogs

I was doing research for a client and found out about P3 Performance plugin profiler. It’s a way for bloggers to find out how the plugins are affecting load time and which ones are really slowing your blog site down. The first chance I got, I downloaded it and took a look at it. It’s a really neat plugin and because I didn’t really have a baseline, I had no idea what to expect when I ran it. Here’s how the journey of me finding ways to speed up my WordPress blog got started.

FINALLY! A Way to Find Those Long Tail Keywords…using HitTail

Even after a couple of years of doing this online blogging thing, I am still amazed at how much I still don’t know. It’s actually quite humbling. One thing I do know is that keyword research is extremely important. It’s not about writing for search engines; it never really was, if you think about it. It’s about creating value for people. (more…)

Google Analytics Basics: How to Set Up Goals & Campaigns

I have to admit that the minute I found out how to set campaigns and goals in Google Analytics I went a little happy.  I’ve since wound down and am starting with the simple stuff. But if you want to track the conversion of your links, set or measure your ROI, then you need to invest some time setting up your goals and campaigns. (more…)

How You Should Approach Your Facebook Advertising Campaigns

Blog Post: How You Approach Facebook Advertising CampaignsOne thing I like to do is to take a look at the stats regarding advertising and marketing because it’s interesting to me; I used to be a marketing analyst so I’m used to this kind of data. So as I look at this, I wonder just how much we bloggers should really buy into it. I mean, how is this data really relevant to us. The truth is, probably not much. This data is usually compiled by marketing companies from their clients who are larger companies with budgets who spend a ton of money to pay this experienced marketing company to get more clients/sales/likes/follows.

Reading this data can give smaller marketers a complex because they can have it in their heads that if these guys are getting those results, I should be too. If I’m not, well, I’m obviously screwing things up. Not even close to true. Here are some other untruths that we need to get away from:

Using the Average CTR as Your Standard

Let me break it down for you. When it comes to calculating an average click through rate, CTR, there are so many factors that are going into it that there isn’t really such a thing as a Facebook advertising CTR. In a report I was reading, the average CTR was shown to be about 0.046% to 0.05%. First off, that rate is only for non-app ads and there are too many variables that go into that number for it to be taken as an advertising hard line for smaller outfits. The best thing to do is to find your own baseline CTR and work from there. As you do more advertising, you’ll get a better idea of the response you should be getting.

Not Doing Your Own Calculations

If you’re going to be taking those metrics into consideration, you’ll want to do your own calculations to see how you’re doing and not just rely on the numbers. Here are some formulas that could come in handy:

  1. Click-Through Rate (CTR) = # of clicks / # of impressions per ad
  2. Cost per Click (CPC) = Total cost / # of clicks per ad – How much is each click on your ad worth
  3. Cost per Impression (CPM) = (Total cost / # of impressions per ad) x 1000 – If you’re running a CPM campaign, this number will help you see how much you’r spending per 1000 impressions and if you may need to switch to a CPC campaign instead
  4. Cost per Page Like  = Total cost / # of Page Likes per ad – If your campaign is for increasing likes, how much is each like costing you?
  5. Page Like Rate = # of Page Likes / # of impressions per ad – How many likes are you getting per impression. If you’re running a CPM campaign, you can tie this rate to your CPM to understand how your campaign is really going.

Only Targeting the U.S.

One of the beauties of checking your site analytics is that you’ll get to see where your readers come from. I was surprise to learn that I have quite a few readers from France and Australia on a couple of my sites.  I was tickled because while you hope that someone’s actually reading your blog, when you see it, it’s cool. So what I now have is an opportunity to expand my advertising options.  Unless you’re living in a bubble, chances are you’re going to get U.S. readers organically. But those readers from France, Australia, England or wherever may need some extra attention. So it may be a good idea to test out some adverts in these regions just to see what happens.

Forgetting About Mobile

When I decided to optimize my sites (somewhat) for mobile, I wasn’t really prepared to see that I had more mobile clicks than regular. I knew it was possible because mobile is a lifestyle these days so it doesn’t pay to forget about that. Mobile design is a completely different kettle of fish but doing little things like optimizing your photos and optimizing your site with plugins like WP Touch help you to get your foot in the door until you do some more research and find out what else you’ll need to do to accommodate your mobile readers.

If you’re interested in taking a look at some of the stats from the “big boys” just to see their perspective on Facebook advertising, take a look at this report from SalesForce.


Image source: By Jeff Ogden (W163) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Checking Your Mobile Traffic and Stats Using Google Analytics

Not too long ago, I decided to test the mobile waters with a plugin called WPTouch. I found out about it through an article a while back and thought that this would be a good way to make sure my site was somewhat mobile-friendly. I was skeptical because I had a lot of problems with plugins and didn’t want another “issue” but I’m the curious type. Now, I have a “dumbphone” so there was no way for me to see how any of my sites looked so this was a huge risk but with mobile being such a force, I had to start somewhere and do something.  Good thing I did (more…)

Basics of Facebook Advertising Targeting Options

Basics of Facebook Advertising Targeting OptionsI have made no secret of how much I really like Facebook advertising. To me they are the one company that has learned (and is continuing to learn) how to really integrate social media and advertising in a useful way. What a lot of people may not realize is that while you can create a sponsored story around a post on your page, you can also advertise your own website as well not just your Facebook based assets. (more…)

How to be an Affiliate Marketer: Finding Products and Niches


As you’re asking yourself those three affiliate marketing/niche questions, it’s good to keep in mind a few points that may just help you get some niche ideas flowing. When you’re trying to find a good niche, there are typically four categories:


  1. Hobbies – These are interests you have. It could be knitting, jewelry making, or some other handcrafting idea that could do well on a site like Etsy. It could be selling a particular piece of clothing or electronics, like woofers, fixing cars,…the list is extensive.
  2. Passions – This is very similar with one important distinction; people are extremely excited about these products. You can tell in the way they write about  a subject and even the level of reverence they have. Niches that fall in this category have a better chance of doing well.
  3. Problems – Everyone has a problem and some have more than one. Whether it’s getting enough sleep, losing weight, finding a particular smartphone accessory, app or anything else. You have the solution and people are willing to pay for it.
  4. Trends – This one is a little trickier because trends are typically short-lived and not necessarily good for a long haul. Remember the heavy buzz around the Atkins Diet or the Zynga game Farmville. They are both still around but with less fanfare than before. There are some trends that do seem to signal a lifestyle shift like organic foods and homeschooling. These are trends that could conceivably be more than just flash-in-the-pan.

Niche Digging

Finding a specific product niche can be a challenge. The tendency is to go broad, cast a wide net with the hopes of getting some more from more. The problem is that by going broad, you put your site up against the big retailers. You can compete against them and you’re foolish to try. What you can do is dig at least two levels deep to find something good.  For example, say your niche is about Dogs. At this level, you’re up against Pet Smart and PetCo. If you drill down to Training Dogs; that’s a good niche but still broad and probably the domain of Cesar Milian, the Dog Whisperer. If you drill down once more, you’ll probably want to get breed specific, German Shepherd Dog Training. Now you’re getting closer. So this is your path:

Dogs –> Training Dogs –> German Shepherd Dog Training

You can even do one more and train GSDs specifically for health or home security. With this in mind, you can offer videos that you made or that worked for you. Just make sure you do your keyword research.

Your Goals as an Affiliate

There are many stories about six figure incomes and affiliates who make thousands a month. These are great financial goals but they typically show up at the end of the long road. That road includes finding a niche, getting the URL, finding a good webhost, building your platform, promoting it, keeping content fresh, promoting it, adding more content, and then there’s promoting it.  Affiliate marketing is not a means to get-rich-quick  and you need to plan it like a business.  When you first start it, it needs to build momentum and grow strong enough that you can step away from it but keep an eye open. It’s not an easy road and that’s why some fall off. Your affiliate marketing plan is at least a year long and despite the lofty financial goal, your ultimate goal is to become an expert in your niche.

It’s not just about money, it’s about consistency, trial, error, persistence and then more trial and error. Having the experiences of another as inspiration is great but it’s even better when you’re able to find your own way of doing achieving those goals.











image source:

How to be an Affiliate Marketer: Three Questions to Ask

For the past few months I’ve been trying to figure out how to work my online assets in a way that works best for me. For a while I decided to make this site a blog network because I thought it would be a great way to get more traffic and build up a social bookmarking rep. While I liked the idea, it just wasn’t right for me with this site for a variety of reasons. So I decided to go back to the old format. (more…)

Email Marketing & Its Scope

Guest post by Sumeet Gaurav


Guest Post Email marketing and it's scope

All of us have come across the term “marketing” which is generally defined as a process of communicating and advertising the value of an item or any product. Marketing is a broad term in itself which can be categorized in many segments. Email marketing is one of the most vital segments of marketing.

Basically email marketing is a kind of direct marketing in which a commercial message is sent to a group of people via electronic mail. The purpose behind this kind of advertising is to gain trust, build reputation and loyalty.

Types of email marketing- generally email marketing can be categorized as-

  • Transactional emails- such emails are mostly targeted on customer’s action with an organization. The main motive behind such email marketing is to convey the required information in context with the action that triggered it. Not only this, such mails serve as the best way to engage the customers and in building strong bonds with the customers and subscribers.
  • Direct emails- direct emails are very straight forward and to the point. Usually it involves sending emails which are purely targeted for promoting or advertising particular event, announcements of special offers etc.

Overall, we can conclude that email marketing is a sort of advertising your product with the help of emails. In simple words, it would not be wrong to say that any email sent to a potential customer is email marketing.

How does it work?

Basically in email marketing an organization creates its advertisements in form of pictures, texts etc. which can be sent further to many people. This email is sent in bulk to thousands of people at once. When customers go through your email and find it lucrative. They will surely get back to you.

Key to efficient email marketing is as follows-

  • Good email content- your email should have an impressive content which helps you to leave a good impact on viewers.
  • Customer database- you should have a database of your potential customers.
  • Sending and tracking- it is advisable to buy licensed software which allows you to send your email and track your customers easily. It will help you to get a measure of your strategies and in improving them.

Beside this, you can offer various special rewards and exclusive offers to your customers to gain their trust and loyalty. There exists various kind of software which helps you to create mail templates, categorize your customers according to the rate of conversion, or adjust your content as per the customer’s requirement.

Scope of email marketing- email marketing is a very broad term in itself as it is not just promoting a product through emails but also serve as a tool which helps you to gain trust of customers, to attract them and build your own reputation.

If used effectively, it can bring help you to earn the maximum returns on each penny that you have spent. In fact, it can help you to acquire new customers as well as enhance your relationship with existing customers.

With more and more people using internet on regular basis, the scope of email marketing is rising tremendously as it a very cost effective method with a global reach. In fact, a recent media report revealed that about 500 million people access the internet on regular basis which is almost twice of last two years. These figures are enough to get an idea of expansion of this wonderful marketing tool.

Benefits of email marketing-

  • Simple and easy to use- email marketing is very simple and easy to use. Anyone can easily learn the whole process about how it works.
  • Save time and efforts- unlike postal messages or telesales campaigns, emails save our time and efforts.
  • Low cost- email marketing doesn’t require overhead of employees, designers or analysts. It simply requires a skilled person with bit of creativity. So you don’t need to pay heavy bills for telephones, postal deliveries and all. Email marketing can be done at very low cost so there are no overheads or financial worries.
  • Easy to track ROI- the best thing about email marketing is that it can be easily tracked and measured. You can track the success of your marketing campaigns and can improve them accordingly.
  • Frequent communication- emails serve as an effective way of frequent communication. You can be in touch with your customers and can offer them the services they want.
  • Cheapest way with global reach- emails are the cheapest and the best way to reach thousands of people at just one click.
  • Real time personalized messages- with email marketing, you can send real time and personalized messages to you potential customers on special occasions with in short span of time which will definitely leave your good impact on customers.

About the guest author: Sumeet Gaurav likes to write about online Marketing and card games like online poker game . For more information visit the site .

Social Media Marketing: Designing The Ideal Infographic

This is a guest contribution from Adam DeJong

If you think that the infographics are simply fun, witty, colorful ways friends choose to brighten each other’s days on social networking sites like Facebook or Google Plus, then it’s high time you thought again. Infographics are also today’s trendiest and most effective marketing tool when it comes to raising brand awareness, driving web traffic, and increasing your ranking with today’s most important search engines. If you haven’t yet made them a part of your own marketing campaign, then it’s high time you did so.

Check out the following infographic all about… well… infographics! Learn everything you need to know about how to design one that will be appealing to your target demographic. Find out where and how to market what you create for best results. Get the real skinny on why infographics are such effective marketing tools in the first place. Even see the numbers in regards to how infographic popularity has risen over the years!

Adam DeJong, marketing director at a leading internet marketing and SEO company.

Social Media Marketing: Designing the Ideal Infographic

Social Media Marketing Infographic: The ‘Net Business Boom

This is a guest contribution from author absolutelytrue

 From Sephora’s 15 Days of Beauty to Kitchen Aid’s poorly thought out tweet about President Obama’s deceased grandmother,  social media hits and misses mean a lot more to a brand’s standing than ever before. Don’t believe it?  Here are some of the best and worst lessons learned.


As AdBrite Dies, What Are Other Active Google AdSense Alternatives?

Earlier this week, I got an email informing me that as of Feb 1, 2013, AdBrite, a known Google AdSense Alternative, will cease operations.

AdBrite Dies - Google AdSense Alternative


6 Simple Farming Concepts That Apply To Blogging

Cucumber seedlings from the farm. I have a farm. Not a link farm or a blog farm, a real farm with plants, trees, and animals (goats). For a time, when I first moved here, I worked with my father on the farm and while I liked it, eventually I found blogging and that’s what I’ve been working to grow ever since. As I work to become a better blogger, it’s not lost on me how similar blogging is to farming. Not quite convinced? Well here are a few farming concepts that may seem familiar to you as a blogger: (more…)

Doing Keyword Research: Finding Your Competition

Now that we’ve gotten a general idea of how to use the Adwords keyword tool to find those traffic generating keywords, we can now turn our attention to finding the competition. Remember,  the competition field in the AdWords display is related to finding CPC advertising competition and with the addition of the CPC column and the local trend column, you can have a better idea if your site will generate decent PPC income. (more…)

How To Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool For Your Keyword Research

Many times when I was trying to learn about finding those low competition keywords, I turned to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool for my research. A lot of the resources out there use terms like “do your keyword research” without really showing bloggers how. It was like a trade secret no one wanted to share and I always felt like I was missing that piece of the puzzle that would help me figure out how to really do keyword research.

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