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A Beginner's Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing in India.

A Beginner’s Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing in India.

Lately, the Indian startups and brands are surrounded by tons of marketing options. There is content marketing, video marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search marketing… However, there’s one new marketing trend which has covered a significant segment in the marketing industry since the 2010s. And this is “Influencer Marketing”.

First of all, I would like to mention that influencers are not always celebrities. Influencers can be anyone who has a huge following and are recognized and trusted by hundreds and thousands of people. Few of the popular categories of influencers are- Bloggers, YouTubers and recently, Instagrammers.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a paid recommendation for a product/brand by the Influencers to their audience/community.

The effectiveness of influencer marketing lies in its simplicity. This marketing strategy is quite straightforward, yet effective. First, reach out the influencers in your niche who has a large following. And second, pay them to promote your product/services to their audience.

 

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So many Valentines requests but I’m staying #SingleAsAPringle @PringlesIndia💜

A post shared by priya prakash varrier (@priya.p.varrier) on

There are vast benefits of influencer marketing for the brands/startups. Customers generally trust the third party rather brands promoting their own products. Therefore, word of mouth by the influencers boosts the sales of the product/service of a brand compared to any other form of digital advertising.

Moreover, the biggest benefit of influencer marketing is that it helps to build a legitimate relationship between the influencer, brand, and customers. Few other benefits of influencer marketing are:

– It helps in creating awareness and reaching out a bigger audience.
– Recommendation/promotion by the influencer acts as social proof.
– Influencer marketing helps in gaining customer trust and loyalty.

Besides, reaching out to the influencers can also be helpful for the brands in getting an increased number of expert opinions for their products/services.

Guide to Instagram Influencer Marketing in India

Instagram influencer marketing in India requires identifying, researching, engaging with the influencers. For a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign, the brands need to align their interests with the influencers and their audience.

Here is a five simple guideline to successfully run an Instagram Influencer marketing campaign in India:

1. Define your objective

The first step of running your influencer marketing campaign is to define your objective and goals clearly.

There can be different objectives for the different startups/brands while running their campaign on Instagram influencer marketing in India. For example- the marketing can be used for getting more website views, increasing brand awareness, growing subscribers/followers, generating leads and sales etc.

2. Characterize Your Target Audience

The second step is to characterize your audience. What kind of audience do you want to target?

This characterization can be based on location (demography), age, gender, interests, hobbies etc. The best way to define your target audience is to find the people with similar pain points that your brand/startup is trying to solve.

target audience-min

3. Create a marketing plan

Once your marketing objective and audience is defined, next you have to plan your marketing strategy concerning the Instagram influencers. Here, you need to research the types of contents you want to promote through the influencers which may bring you highest traction. Once you are ready with your research, create Instagram stories or posts around them.

Further, your marketing plan should also formalize how many influencers you want to reach and the number of contents you want to publish in a day, week or month.

4. Find the right influencers and connect

Today, there are thousands of influencers on Instagram in India. You can easily find many people with over 50k followers on their Instagram profiles. But you shouldn’t select any influencer who has a big following. While running your Instagram marketing campaign, you need to find the right ones who are in your community and most relevant to your marketing objective.

There two basics ways to find and connect with the influencers.

First, browse through Instagram and find the ones in your niche who might be a good fit. For example- check the explore page of Instagram and look for the popular posts in your niche and people involved in creating/engaging with those contents. When you find a few good matches, send a direct message (DM) with your proposal or email them– if their email details are available on the profile. Be detailed. Let them know the specifics of your marketing campaign and wait for their reply. Many times, you may need to follow up in case you didn’t receive any reply.

Second, if you are not able to connect with the right influencers on Instagram, then you can also find them using a few popular influencer marketing platforms. These are basically websites who have a database of thousands of influencers grouped by their niche. You can look for different influencers in your category and choose the right ones who suit your marketing campaign.

Few of the popular influencer marketing platforms in India are…

– Influencer.in — https://www.influencer.in
– Influencer port — https://www.influencerport.com
– Pulpkey — https://pulpkey.com
– Upfluence — https://search.upfluence.com

influencer.in

Also read: 7 Steps to Becoming an Instagram Influencer in India.

5. Measure your campaign results

The final step of your Instagram influencer marketing is to measure the results correctly. How successful was your campaign?

You can use different tangible metrics like page views, clicks, followers growth, leads, sales etc to measure your campaign performance. Further, sometimes the outcome may be long term. Here, make sure you wait for the sufficient time before concluding the results.

Final Thoughts

A successful Instagram influencer marketing in India require proper planning and budgeting. Although it seems a lot of work, it gets better after the first few campaigns. Once you have found the right influencers, your work reduces a lot as you can always reach out to those influencers in future whenever you are running your next campaigns.

Moreover, connecting with influencers is always a good experience and learning. After all, if hundreds of thousands of people are following a page/profile, there must be few impressive traits in those influencers.

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

digital marketing tools

5 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools to Understand Your Customers.

Today we are surrounded by a flood of information, data, and statistics. It’s no wonder that often times it becomes an uphill climb to narrow down the facts and figures that carry importance for the business and can provide some valuable insight in terms of how customers and potential customers are responding to your product and marketing endeavors.

You have to put all the information you gather into perspective to be able to glean the key insights that you actually need.

It is not only about finding the right information but assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of all the financial and human resources you’ve invested in your marketing campaigns. This practice allows you to equip yourself and those who are in charge of the most valuable information that further enables you to make informed decisions.

That’s why having access to the right information in the digital age is of crucial significance. Here are 5 tools which can help you in understanding your customers.

5 Digital Marketing Tools to Understand Your Customers

1. Google Suite

If you are not putting Google tools to your benefit then you’re simply squandering the chances of increasing your business revenue. The global data giant has all the information you desire and you need to put it to good use.

Google Analytics – The most popular analytics software which maintains the record of the traffic that visits your website as well as the performance of different web pages. It can provide you the basic data points including where your customers are coming from, what devices are they using, and what demographic they belong to.

Google Trends – A very useful tool in determining what your customers are into. If you’ve a theory about what your customers like and want; you can use Google Trends to find out whether you’re right or not.

Google Surveys – This tool allows you to create custom surveys for your particular target audience. You can mention the type of data you require including geography, age, income, gender etc. It will help you in developing a clear understanding of what your customers are looking for.

Google analytics

2. SurveyMonkey

A feature rich service which enables you to know your customer as if you’re talking to them in person.

Using SurveyMonkey, which includes a high level of customization, you can gather personal opinions of your customers about your product, service, brand, and other related factors. This gives you an insight into deciding the key areas where you need to make improvements.

Survey monkey

Also read: A Definite Guide to Dos and Don’ts of Your SEO Campaigns.

3. Salesforce

There is hardly anyone associated with the business world who hasn’t heard about Salesforce.

An advanced and innovative cloud-based service which allows you to manage and organize all of your customers’ data in one place. Using Excel and other such services can quickly result in a disorganized mess which can’t be relied upon for gaining an insight at a glance. On the other hand, powerful software like Salesforce makes your life much easier by putting everything in one place enabling you to see the whole picture in terms of customer behavior.

Salesforce

4. WooRank

 A great tool that analyses your website and conducts SEO audit to deliver precise insights. It also provides actionable advice and pointers on how you can make your website more search engine friendly by monitoring SEO attributes. The information is gathered by the assessment of rankings, keywords, search volume, visitor behavior data, and more.

Moreover, WooRank’s strength lies in being a security system that alerts you when something isn’t going okay and needs optimization. Another important feature is the ability to be able to stack your website against your competitors and see in what areas you are lacking and need improvement. You can find out whether you are showing up in the correct searches, which websites are ranking better than you, and from where you are getting traffic.

There is also a clever bonus feature is WooRank’s digital marketing checklist that shows you the pointers about improving your on and off page optimization.

woorank

5. DrumUp

 An awesome content marketing tool that also acts as a social media post scheduling app for prominent networking services such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. It allows you to explore trending content topics that would be highly appreciated by your target audience.

It also fills the role of a content recommendation tool by scheduling curated relevant content across social networking services.

One of the key roles of any digital marketing professional’s job, especially in startups or small and medium businesses, is the management of all the social media accounts.

DrumUp can be compared with Buffer, Crystal.io or Post Planner in terms of what it can do but it also features the ability to customize your posts. Apart from saving your most important resource that is time on content discovery and sharing, this great tool also assists you in maximizing content reach through hashtags and mentions, content promotion and automation, along with employee advocacy.

drum up

BONUS!

6. Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook’s Audience Insights are quite different from Page Insights as they monitor a range of customer demographics in categories of age, gender, relationship status, job role, income, and lifestyle.

This tool also gives you insights related to their purchases, Facebook usage behavior, and the number of likes. You can choose who you want to monitor. It can either be people who have liked or followed your page or custom defined audience.

If you have a very large following with hundreds of thousands of fans, then it is better to analyze them first as it would provide you more effective insight into what excites your target fanbase more and what they are likely to spend money on.

However, if you don’t have much of a following to talk about or don’t know who your audience is; you can also pick the option of Everyone on Facebook to give you a broader picture.

facebook business

Also read: Search vs Social Content Marketing: Which One to Prefer?

Final Thoughts

In a world ruled by data, you need to find the right facts and figures to empower your business through the effective employment of digital marketing strategy. Without understanding your customers, you are fundamentally shooting in the dark hoping to succeed.

In the presence of modern digital tools that can provide the answer to any question you may have, you don’t need to rely on your assumptions and theories anymore. You can actually find out what your customers are thinking, what makes them happy, and what they don’t like.

Use the above tools to your advantage and get ahead of the curve before your competition does.

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

A Definite Guide to Dos and Don'ts of Your SEO Campaigns

A Definite Guide to Dos and Don’ts of Your SEO Campaigns.

Taking your website live is only half job done. You have to ensure that it shows up in search engine results when your potential customers type in the related phrases called keywords. Without improving the searchability of your website, you can’t realistically expect to bring organic traffic to your website.

That’s exactly why you need an effective SEO campaign to ensure your customers and target audience are able to find you on the internet. In this post, we are going to discuss some key guidelines on what you should and shouldn’t do while executing your SEO strategy.

Do’s of Your SEO Campaigns

1. Pay Attention to Content

content is king

At this point, the quote “content is king” has become a cliché but it’s a cliché that expresses the truth. Coming up with engaging and SEO friendly content is crucial to bringing traffic to your website. Once a visitor is on your website, content is also what converts a visitor into a customer.

If you want to outperform the websites which are already ranking on the first page of Google for your targeted keyword, the first crucial step is to build better content than those websites. Your content planning should include developing engaging, impactful, and SEO optimized content which doesn’t read like a run of the mill copy outsourced to an amateur freelancer.

Also read: Why Your Content Is The Only Thing That Matters?

2. Focus on Quality Backlinks

Another SEO strategy that works well is backlink generation where we put a link to our site on other websites through the placement of relevant content.

However, it should be noted that it is more important to focus on high-quality backlinks than the quantity. What it means is that you should try to place your backlinks on websites that rank well in search engine results. It’s better to have one backlink on BBC website than having 100 backlinks placed on no-name webpages.

Few of the best websites to check the backlinks on your (or your competitors) websites are Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush etc.

ahrefs

Also read: 6 Pro Tips to Build Backlinks to Your Blog.

3. Enhance Organic Traffic

The main goal of any SEO campaign should be the boost organic traffic. It means that while it’s fine to spend money on PPC ad campaigns and running social media sponsored ads, with good SEO people should be able to land on your website without having to click on an ad.

How do you get there? By detailed planning and incorporation of actionable items with specific and measurable goals.

Remember, organic SEO is a long-term game and that’s why it is of utmost significance to keep tabs on how your website is performing on different keywords. As long as there is a visible improvement, keep working on your plan but as soon as the improvement stops; it’s time to reevaluate and rethink your strategy.

4. Performance Assessment

Since SEO is a long-term and continuous endeavor, it is crucial to keep assessing the performance and effectiveness of your plans periodically. Without studying key indicators regularly, you won’t know whether what you are doing and investing in is even effective or not. It would also give you insight into whether a certain initiative is beneficial enough to justify the human effort and financial cost.

Without performance analysis from time to time, SEO campaign is basically shooting in the dark with the hope that everything you are doing sticks.

Quick Tip: You can use the FREE Google search console tools to track your search analytics like Clicks, Impressions, Click through rate (CTR), Positions etc.

google search console

Don’ts of Your SEO Campaigns

1. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

There was a time when the number of keywords in your content mattered. That time has long gone.

Yes, it is important to include relevant keywords in your web copy and off-site SEO content but keep the frequency under the natural limit. If the same word or phrase occurs, again and again, it doesn’t only put off the customer because of poor readability but Google also discourages the website ranking with repetition and stuffing.

2. Steer clear of Plagiarized Content

One of the cardinal sins of SEO is using a large portion of texts that have already been indexed by search engines. This is something that heavily penalizes your website and instead of doing any good, makes things worse for your website ranking. If there is information that you want on your website, make sure it’s at least rewritten and reformatted so it doesn’t appear the same.

The ideal here is to have your original content. That’s what search engines value the most and if you keep adding original and engaging content to your website, you will soon witness substantial gains in terms of how your website performs in search engine ranking.

Also read: How to start your blog within 20 min? The Ultimate Guide.

3. Disavow Legacy SEO Practices

If you have been carrying out SEO for your website for quite a while then you must have used some grey or even black hat practices to get ahead. To be honest, why not when something is effective and everyone else is doing it anyway?

However, in current scenario where search engines have become incredibly smarter and the algorithms working on the back end are able to figure out shady practices; it’s not only a bad idea to employ grey or black hat SEO methods but it becomes imperative for you to retract and disavow from anything that you may have done in the past.

Disconnect your website from bad quality backlinks and redo content to maintain natural tone and style wherever you can. This will ensure that you are not penalized for the practices you have done in the past.

black hat seo

4. Don’t Hire Amateurs

SEO is a science that requires an intricate understanding of how search engines work, evolve and rank different websites. An experienced SEO professional knows it’s not just guesswork but the art of drawing insight looking at a wide range of statistics, facts, and figures.

Spending your money on someone inexperienced just to save a few bucks would cost you more in the long run than hiring an experienced expert right now. Not to mention you also lose the most valuable resource which is priceless in the context of SEO i.e. time.

Final Thoughts

SEO is the lifeblood of your website that keeps the traffic coming. It is imperative to invest your human and financial resources in an effective, monitored, and well-thought SEO campaign that has been devised giving consideration to the latest developments, news, and search engine trends.

Every SEO strategy isn’t going to be successful, but as long as most of what you are doing works; you are golden! Just remember to pay heed to aforementioned pointers that will improve your odds of coming up with an effective and

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

Steps to become an Instagram Influencer in India cover

7 Steps to Becoming an Instagram Influencer in India.

Want to become an Instagram influencer in India? You have landed on the right page.

Lately, Indian brands are spending a lot of money on influencer marketing. Whether the niche is fashion, cooking, traveling, yoga or motivation– all the Instagram influencers in India are making tons of money online through their favored pages.

In this post, we’ll discuss seven steps to become an Instagram influencer in India and turn your IG profile into a money-making machine.

7 Steps to Becoming an Instagram Influencer in India

1. Select Your Niche

According to June 2018 report by statista, there are over one billion monthly users on Instagram now. If you try to target all, you’ll get none. Focus on a specific audience.

Build your community around a specific topic which you are passionate about and then dominate that niche. After all, it’s better to be a big fish in a small sea rather a small fish in a big sea (which can always be eaten by the bigger fishes anytime). Thank god to the big diversity, you can become an Instagram influencer in India on a variety of targeted niches like the state-based topics, culture-based, language-based, food-based etc.

In short, the first step of becoming an Instagram influencer in India is to choose the right niche where you can build a loyal audience who are eager to see your upcoming posts.

2. Build high-quality Instagram posts

There are +100 million photos and videos shared on Instagram every day. If you want your Instagram profile to stand out, your contents should be appealing.

Posting high-quality content is essential to becoming an Instagram influencer in India. Your posts should be awesome and engaging enough to encourage your audience to like & comment. This will help your channel to grow faster as Instagram algorithm promotes engaging posts.

Moreover, there are a few things that you can do to build high-quality Instagram posts.

First, you can learn a little photo/video editing and graphic design. It can help you build amazing contents and will reduce your dependency on hired editors/designer. Btw, you do not need to become a professional with these skills. Just a little knowledge of design and editing can save you a lot of time, money and offer you a huge flexibility.

Second, get a smartphone with a good camera or if possible -get a DSLR. A small investment towards your future can help you a lot to beautify and differentiate your Instagram accounts from the crowd. If you are serious about becoming an Instagram influencer in India, you should not miss these two steps.

post quality

3. Write a noteworthy profile description

Your profile description is something that people will most likely read before following your page. That ten seconds of reading your bio may decide whether they want to (or not) follow your page. A good profile description can influence people to follow your Instagram profile.

While planning to become an Instagram influencer in India, know your targeted audience and write a catchy description which appeals to them. (Quick tip: Bullet points works the best).

description

desciption sapna vyas

4. Stick to one theme

Once you have decided the theme of your Instagram page, stick to it. Your audience should know what to expect from you. After all, that’s the reason they are following your page.

Posting travel photos today and cooking recipes tomorrow may confuse the audience and increase the unfollow rate. Always post contents related to your niche.

contents

5. Be consistent

Consistency is the key to success in any profession. Becoming an Instagram influencer in India also requires the same level of consistency. Post daily and if possible, post at a consistent time.

Even if you are posting multiple times a day, build a schedule for your posts. Instagram rewards consistency and your contents can reach a bigger audience if you are posting daily.

6. Engage with your audience

You can earn a lot of money after becoming an Instagram influencer in India only if your audience is engaging with your contents and buy/participate in the posts that you share on your page. Having a big number of followers doesn’t matter much if they are not engaging with your posts.

Start building an engaging community from day one. Take polls on your story, ask questions in your posts, reply to the comments and help people if they direct message (Dm). Doing these little things can help you to engage with your audience better and build a devoted community.

7. Network with the other influencers

This is the final step to becoming an Instagram influencer in India.

When trying to become successful on Instagram, it’s important that you network with other influencers in the same niche. Collaborating with other influencers can 5–10x your Instagram growth (if you use your networks effectively). Few popular ways to grow on Instagram using networking is by participating in the engagement groups, cross-promoting contents and followers, shoutout for shoutout (s4s) etc.

Besides, networking with other influences will also help you to stay motivated and challenge yourself to post better contents.

network

Also read: How I grew my blog from 0 to 133,891 monthly page views within 12 Months? [With a Day Job]

Bonus: Get a business account.

This is a bonus tip for all the newbies who want to become an Instagram influencer in India. Getting a business account on Instagram is FREE on and it hardly takes two minutes to shift from personal to a business account.

There are a number of benefits of getting a business account on Instagram. Few of the best ones are- You can see the posts insights, analytics, promote/boost your content as sponsored posts, etc. Moreover, Instagram analytics can help you to understand your audience better.

instagram analytics

Closing Thoughts

Becoming an Instagram influencer in India is not an overnight success. It will require consistent work, efforts and time. Unless you can wink like the #winkgirl -Priya Warrier, you probably won’t get a million followers in a week.

 

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Thank you for all the love and support💙

A post shared by priya prakash varrier (@priya.p.varrier) on

It will take time to grow your audience and you should accept it before you start your journey to becoming an Instagram influencer in India.

Although it might take a few months to build a decent page and followers, however, it’s definitely worth it. Cheers!!

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

keys of an entrepreneur cover

The 6 keys of an Entrepreneur.

“Entrepreneurs are those morons who are willing to work 80 hours a week for themselves to avoid working 40 hours a week for others.” — Lori Greiner

Being your own boss and having a flexibility in working hours is something that appeals most people to walk on the trending path of entrepreneurship. However, no matter how awesome it sounds, entrepreneurship is not for everyone.

While the pros of being an entrepreneur are having the freedom to follow your passion and build something helpful for yourself and others, the downs are stretched hours of stresses, handling tons of uncertainties and moreover sleepless nights.

In this post, going to discuss six keys which can define whether you are an entrepreneur or not.

entrepreneur

The 6 keys of an Entrepreneur.

1. Are you a self-starter?

Being an entrepreneur means that you should take initiatives.

Entrepreneurs have a strong self-starting mindset and they treat their failures as just another learning. They apply unconventional tools and approaches to solving the existing challenges. Besides, entrepreneurs are curious people who are always open to new ideas.

2. Do you have a ‘Get it done’ attitude?

entrepreneurial-journey 2

Are you ready to take no as an answer? If NO, then you might fulfill one of the most critical traits of an entrepreneur.

During your entrepreneurship journey, there will be times when you might see a dead-end ahead or don’t have any motivation to keep moving. However, Entrepreneurs are not the people who stop when they are tired. They stop when the work is done.

The entrepreneurs need to have this ‘Get it done’ attitude to driving their dreams, no matter what the circumstances.

3. Are you ready to adapt to change?

Entrepreneurs embrace the change and learn from it. Moreover, they don’t only accept the changes, they expect it.

They prepare for and react quickly to obstacles, setbacks and new pieces of information. Entrepreneurs are the ones who learn to weigh and access risk and make themselves comfortable with the changes.

Also read: Why Nobody is Waiting for Your Startup?

4. Can you smell opportunities and make money?

“Finding Opportunity is a matter of believing it’s there.” — Barbara Corcoran

No matter how many people say that entrepreneurship is not about making money, the truth is that — Money matters. Everyone wants to make money and if you can’t convert an opportunity into the money making startup, then you are not an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs see and seek out opportunities. They are the one who sees ways to make things better for everyone and make a big fortune solving those problems.

5. Can you communicate?

“Success takes communication, collaboration and, sometimes, failure.”
 — Jessica Alba, The Honest Company

Communication is an essential key in your entrepreneurial journey.

Entrepreneurs are good at communicating. They share their ideas clearly and passionately.

6. Can you sell dreams?

Entrepreneurs are sellers. They are ones who sell products, ideas, companies and sometimes even themselves. The ability to sell dreams is the last key to become an entrepreneur.

Quick Note: You do not always need to sell your dreams to public only. If you are not comfortable selling to the public, sell it your co-founders first. And they can do the rest for you.

Also read: Why Do Big Companies Fail? The Tale of Disruptive Innovation.

Closing Thoughts

Although all the six points mentioned above are important, however, there is one more key which defines whether you an entrepreneur or not. And this is — Are you a hard worker?

Startups are not an overnight success and you need to work hard for many months and probably years. And if you are not ready to work hard, maybe the entrepreneurial journey is not right for you.

“I am a great believer in luck. And I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it.” — Thomas Jefferson

entrepreneurship journey

The last point, entrepreneurs have fun. Although being visionary is good, you also need to enjoy the present.

That’s all for this post. By the way, how many keys did you get correctly? And below in the comment box and don’t worry- even if you didn’t match as much as you hoped to. You can always learn these skills with time and experience. After all, entrepreneurship is a journey. Cheers!!

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

Why Your Content Is The Only Thing That Matters cover

Why Your Content Is The Only Thing That Matters?

I’m really frustrated with my blog now. It’s been over two months since the launch, and the blog is still getting less than five visitors a day?”, Gaurav said to me annoyingly.

Relax Gaurav. It takes time to build traffic. For my blog- Trade Brains, which is getting over 100k visitors per month right now, it was totally deserted for the first few months after launch. The combined total traffic for the first three months was less than a hundred page views.”, I replied patiently.

Gaurav has been trying to build his blog for quite some time. However, he does not seem to get satisfactory results.

What did you do to increase your traffic after the first three months? I really need an expert to advise here?”, Gaurav asked.

Haha. I’m not an expert. I just know a few things more than you by experience. And I didn’t do many changes. I continued writing awesome blog posts and increased the frequency of writing from two to three/four per week. By the end of six months, I’ve written over 50 articles on my blog… By the way, how many articles have you written so far?”, I asked Gaurav guessing the answer to be somewhere between 15–20.

Four!”, Gaurav said with a slightly embarrassed tone.

Are you kidding me, Gaurav? In two months, you have written just four articles. What have you been doing so far?”, I asked for a logical explanation for not building contents.

I was busy designing the blog and improving the user experience. Mostly, I worked on the blog theme, plugins, graphics, widgets, etc. to make it look awesome. I also worked on the site speed to make the page load faster… All those work took a lot of time. And because of it, I wasn’t able to write as many articles as I originally planned.”, Gaurav sounded a little satisfied with his answer.

Gaurav, it doesn’t matter how good your blog looks if no one is looking at it. The only thing that matters right now is your content!!”, I replied knowing that it’s going to take a lot of time of mine to explain this answer to Gaurav

***********

When most people launch their blog, they tend to spend a lot of time improving the design and layouts. Believe me, been there- done that. However, after over four years of experience in blogging, I can confidently say that it’s a wrong approach. The only thing that matters for building a successful blog is your content, especially during the first few months.

All the other stuff can be taken care of once you have consistent traffic on your blog. However, spending too much time on themes, plugins, social media, etc. is a wrong approach. Build your content first, before diving into these kinds of stuff.

Content is the King

Tell me one thing? Why do you follow any blog?– Remember any of your favorite blogs and try to find the reason why you started following that blog?

The correct answer is ‘Content’.

The actual reason why you started following that blog is that you loved their content and you wanted to read more. (Think this similar to following any facebook, youtube or Instagram profiles- which you also follow because you love their content). In other words, you were mesmerized by their posts which appealed you so much that you decided to stick with that blog.

When it comes to blogging, content is always the king.

If your content is fantastic, people will follow your blog- no matter how much crappy your blog design looks. Although there will be a few percentages of the audience (<5%), who might not stay on your blog longer because it doesn’t look cool. However, for the rest of the audience, it doesn’t matter to them as long as the content is terrific. (Moreover, it’s logical to focus on the 95% audience first by building great contents).

In other words, your content is the reason why the audience visited your blog in the first place. They landed to get the answer or information via your blogs. And if this primary criterion is getting fulfilled, they will stay longer at your blog. Else, no matter how good your blog looks, if their basic requirement is not met- people will bounce back.

(Image Courtesy: Netmonks.in)

Give the people a reason to follow your blog.

Suppose that you heard about a new blog referred by one of your friends. You landed on the blog but found only two articles. That too written infrequently (two pieces in last four months) with average quality of contents.

What would be your reaction? Would be stick to the blog or switch to the hundreds of other online websites/platforms available to read awesome contents and get entertained?

Most probably, your answer would be to switch.

The right way to give people a reason to follow your blog is by creating excellent contents. Nobody will follow your blog if the blog post section is deserted. Maybe a few of your family/friends, just for your sake. However, the other’s just don’t care.

Also read: The Battle of Traffic: Search vs Social Content Marketing.

What is the right approach to building your blog?

There are only two essential steps required to build your blog- the right way:

1. Post amazing contents

Write super helpful and entertaining articles which people enjoy reading. This will give them a valid reason to stick to your blog. The more the number of useful contents, the higher the chances of getting and retaining a loyal audience.

2. Show consistency

By showing consistency, like posting 2–3 blogs per week, you can increase the number of returning visitors as they might be interested to read what you posted recently.

Moreover, even for the first time visitors, consistency shows that the blog is active and they can expect good posts in the future. On the other hand, an inconsistent blog doesn’t appeal to most people.

how to write awesome contents

(Image Courtesy: www.share.travel)

Closing thoughts

It’s true that writing contents consistently may sound a lot of hard work ( and a little boring) to you right now. However, you can’t ignore the heart of blogging. Building awesome content is the single most essential part of your blogging journey.

Final tip, as a rule of thumb, write at least thirty articles in the first three months before you actually start expecting audiences to your blog. Once this benchmark is crossed, you can start working on marketing, promotion or the design of your blog.

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

start a side project cover 2

Quit Excuses! Here’s Why You Need To Start A Side Project Today.

Quit Excuses! Here’s Why You Need To Start A Side Project Today.

Last week, I was having dinner with one of my high school buddy, Sourav, who is currently working in a big IT firm. He is definitely living a lavish life and earning a handsome salary.

However, when I asked him how’s life (just a casual question with no intention for knowing the answer), he sounded a little depressed. Sourav said that although his salary is fantastic, he doesn’t find his work very challenging. Nevertheless, he has no intention to leave the job as he’s comfortable working less than an hour in a day and getting paid for a position of nine hours. In short, Sourav finds his job boring, but he is not in the mood to leave it.

After understanding his situation, I suggested Sourav that why doesn’t he start a side project on anything that he is passionate about. This will keep him engaged, and he might get new experiences and learnings.

Now, I don’t know how much seriously Sourav took my suggestion. However, I believe that there are a number of people people who are in similar situations. If you look around, you can easily find many people who

— do not find their job challenging and are bored with their regular jobs.

— have ‘ZERO’ opportunity to build something good or add value to the life of people from their existing jobs

— want to learn some new skills and experience.

— Or just have a decent idea but can’t afford to leave the job…

For all those people, starting a side project can be an excellent step. In this post, we are going to discuss why these people need to start a side project today and how it can change their life significantly.

Why Do You Need to Start a Side Project Today?

First of all, I would like to mention that many popular startups started as a side project. Few of the big names are Product hunt, Groupon, Twitter, Craigslist, Unsplash, Appsumo, Occulos, Khan Academy, Git Hub, Instagram, Buffer, Slack, etc. (Also read: 21 Side Projects That Became Million-Dollar Startups (and How Yours Can, Too)

 slack

Even many of the famous products of Google like Adsense, google maps, Gmail, etc- also started as a side project by the Google employees (Google encourages their employees a lot to work on the side projects).

That’s why, if you are also one of those who is planning to build a big empire in the future, it’s better to first start it as side a project before quitting your job. This will give you an opportunity to build a foundation before you dive in completely.

Nonetheless, even if you are not much interested to build a big startup, still there are a number of key benefits of starting a side project. Here are few of the crucial ones:

1. It can accelerate your learnings

Working on a side project can help you learn new skills faster.

For example, if you are planning to learn coding, why not better to take a side project related to it. (I remember that I build my first website startup, at the age of 19, just to test out the new web development skills that I learned that time.)

You can learn new skills better by doing it practically instead just learning from the books. Besides, building a side project also exposes you to new technologies and keep you updated with the latest trends.

2. Correct Use of Your Time

time remaining for side hustleMost people say that they do not have much time left after their 9 to 5 job for working on their side projects. However, here is an infographic showing you still have around 30 hours per week left after performing all the essential activities (it doesn’t even include weekends as holidays).

When you are not working on any side project, these 30 hours are generally spent watching tv series on Netflix, going to the mall or simply falling asleep on the couch in the front of your TV.

However, once you have started working on a side project, you can use this time efficiently to build something that you love or that can add value to the life of the people.

3. Experimenting and unleashing your creativity

One of the biggest benefits of working on the side project is that it gives you an opportunity to test new things and unleash your creativity.

Here you are not afraid to fail or get scolded by your boss for doing things differently. You can reflect all your inventiveness on your side project.

4. It boosts your mental health

Your side project allows you to escape from your routine work and helps in increasing your productivity.

Besides, working on your side project also gives you a chance to meet new people and have a healthy conversation regarding your thoughts and ideas. Overall, this is an excellent option to boost your mental health.

Also read:

— The Era of “Personal Branding” – Are You Ready?

— How Power of Branding Can Explode Your Startup!!

— Why Do Big Companies Fail? The Tale of Disruptive Innovation.

How to start your side project?

how to start

Now that you have understood the importance of starting a side project, the next big question is how to start?

You might have few ideas of starting a side project building Softwares, Apps, Websites, blogs, Youtube channels, Publications, Podcasts etc. However, how to begin?

Here are a few basic tips which can help you to get started with your side project.

1. Start Small

When you starring your side project, it is vital that you start small. Maybe you have an idea to add hundreds of features on your app that you are planning to build. But its crucial you restrict it to only the most essentials one. This can help to avoid a lot of complications while developing your product.

In short, be minimalist.

It’s not necessary to build a titanic for your first side project. It’s okay if you build a small ship which can hold four passengers. Moreover, you can always expand your side project and make it bigger once you get more severe with your project.

2. Know what you want

Have you ever heard the story of Alice in Wonderland? It’s a story about a young girl that ends up in a strange world called Wonderland. One of the moments that’s most telling is where she encounters a fork in the road. Here, she meets the Cheshire Cat, and the following conversation takes place:

Alice: “Which road do I take?”,
Cheshire Cat: “Where do you want to go?”
A: “I don’t know”
CC: “Then it doesn’t matter.”

The bottom line is: it doesn’t matter what you do if you have no idea where you want it to lead you.

When starting a side project, know what you want from it. If you wish to work on it as a hobby/non-profit project, or you want to earn some extra cash, or you want to replace this project as your full-time work in the future.

You do not need to know everything at the start. However, having a rough idea of what you want is essential when starting your side project.

3. Take no pressure

Finally, you are starting this side project as a love for your product.

You do not want to make it another work by taking the unnecessary stress. Use this side project to learn, grow and to challenge yourself.

Closing Thoughts

Working on side project will give you an opportunity to merge the ‘things that you enjoy to do’ and ‘skills that you want to build’.

Few of the best benefits of starting a side project is that it doesn’t involve any risk, you can afford to fail, and there are no deadlines to complete the work. Moreover, the greatest satisfaction is that you are merely working on this side project only because you love to work on your product, not because you have to.

Final advise, move you lazy a** from the couch and start working on your side project now. Happy Hustling!!

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!

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How Power of Branding Can Explode Your Startup!!

How Power of Branding Can Explode Your Startup!!

Dude, I almost had a tiny heart-attack yesterday.”, Gaurav said to me while playing with his iPhone.

What happened, man?”, I swiftly asked him.

I was in Cafe Coffee Day with my girlfriend yesterday and we were having a great time. Then, we had to go to this theatre to watch a movie. We booked a cab and after riding for around 5 minutes I realized that I don’t have my phone with me. I remembered keeping my phone on the table before going to the bathroom at CCD, but I couldn’t remember whether I took it back or not.”, Gaurav said to me.

Damn! What happened next?”, I felt curious.

“I asked the cab driver to turn around the cab and go back to the CCD. And that’s when my Shruti became really angry. She said I always do stuff like this and I’m never careful. Can you believe that girl?”, Vaibhav asked me rolling his eyes.

I wanted to reply that ‘Yes, I believed her’. When I and Gaurav were in college, he did forget his phone at least ten times in different classrooms. And then, he used to force me to go into the classroom with him to get back the phone. Gaurav was always careless with his phone, laptop, and other stuff.

No! Anyways, go ahead, what happened next. Did you find your phone?”, I wanted to reach the end faster.

Okay. I asked the cab-driver to turn the cab but Shruti disagreed. She persisted to the driver to continue moving towards the theater as we were getting late for the movie. I didn’t understand what was wrong with Shruti. After all, it was my iPhone. I saved money for over 3 months to buy that phone and she knew how much I liked my it…”, Gaurav continued.

You do love iPhone and you are a die-hard Steve Jobs fan. Everyone knows that.”, I said to him with a wicked smile.

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Everyone knows how much I love apple products. And it was my beloved iPhone which was missing. How could Shruti not care about it?… And then I realized what was going on. Shruti must have picked my phone before we left CCD. And that’s why she didn’t care about my questions and asked the driver to go on.”, Gaurav answered. He sounded like he was Sherlock Homes and he has just solved the biggest mystery in the world.

Damn that girl. She really rocks.”, I applauded.

Shut up, Kritesh. I almost got a heart-attack for around 2 minutes in that cab. And Shruti’s joke wasn’t that funny.”, Gaurav sounded a little scotched.

Actually, it was kinda funny. And I think you deserved to learn that lesson.”, I answered thinking what worst could have happened if Shruti has not picked his phone.

“Yes, I know. Anyways, I always try to be more careful with my stuff, especially my iPhone. But its just something that I can’t help. I do careless things like this all the time, unknowingly.”, Gaurav sounded a little worried. But, then I realized that it was Gaurav and he never worries for more than two minutes for anything. So, he’ll be fine.

Tell me one thing, Gaurav. If you know that you are not so good at handling stuff — Why don’t you buy a cheaper phone? You won’t regret losing or mishandling them? Why did you pay Rs 106k to buy your iPhone X?”, I asked Gaurav a question whose answer I might already know.

Haha. There’s no way in hell I’m going to buy any sh***y phone. I always go with the best.”, he bragged.

Oh, come’on. iPhones are not the best. You know that there are many other phones on the market with better configuration than that of iPhone, Right?”, I tried to reason him.

Yeah, maybe there are. But, I don’t trust any other phone. I believe in the brand of Apple. Maybe the price is a little high, but the satisfaction that I get after using Apple products are worth it”, he answered with a big pride.

Okay Champ, I got it! Brand matters more to you than products… Now, give me your iPhone so that I can play that new game which you downloaded last week. I bet I’ll break your high score within ten minutes.”, I challenged Gaurav and demanded his phone.

You can try, dude. But I’m confident that you’ll not be able to complete even first three levels…”, Gaurav guffawed at his remark.

********

According to Wikipedia, a brand can be defined as:

“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising.”

Sounds a little boring, right? That’s why I’m not a big fan of Wikipedia when I’m searching similar topics –which are not fact-based.

Anyways, the definition of a brand is relative and it varies from person to person and company to company. Here are a few common definitions of a brand presented by a few well-known personalities —

A Brand is not a logo, identity or product. A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.” — Marty Neumeier, Branding expert

 

An Idea of an image of a specific product or services that consumers connect with by identifying the name, logo, slogan or design of the company who owns the idea or the image.” — Josh Wagga, Branding Expert.

 

Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” — Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com

A Brand is an emotional and psychological relationship with your customers.

This is the thing in your business that causes a customer to drive 15 km from the city to buy from you.

Further, you can consider a brand as a person. If you like that person, you will stick around with him/her. Similarly, if you like a brand, you’ll remain associated with it for a very long time.

What are the Key ingredients of a brand?

“Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.” -Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group

brand campass

Although every little detail matters while branding, however few of the key elements of branding worth mentioning are a brand compass, name & tagline, identity, core value, meaning, and brand culture.

Anyways, what matters the most while defining a brand is the values, vision, and personality of the brand.

Also read: The Era of “Personal Branding” – Are You Ready?

Few examples of the most powerful brands in the world.

“Your brand is not what you say it is; It’s what they say it is”

In the late 1880s, Coca-cola started packaging and leveling its drinks to differentiate itself from the generic competitors. When it started, Coca-cola was just another carbonated sugar drink. But today, no one can compare Coca-cola with the road-side soda shops. Maybe both the products are similar, but the difference is in the power of branding.

Similarly, if you’ve been to the McDonalds, you must know that it is also just another burger selling company. Moreover, you can find dozens of other shops in your locality with even better and cheaper burgers. Still, they won’t ever be able to compete with Macdonald.

Few other well-recognized companies in the world which are enjoying the power of branding are Amazon, Toyota, British Airways, Dunkin donuts, VISA, FedEx etc.

Moreover, if you want to know the world’s most valuable brands, here is a list by FORBES:

(Source: The Worlds’s Most valuable brands list by Forbes)

most powerful brands

Why Branding is so important?

The simplest answer to this question is that with big brands, people want to associate with the company easily, willing to pay more for the products/services and argue less.

Branding is important because the customers have a lot of options these days. They have an option for everything at least 10x times. The Power of branding helps the company to win a price war, survive worst economic crisis or recession, or simply grow its profits — no matter how much the competitions.

It is a way for the company to stand out in the crowd, increase values to their offers, attract and connect with the ideal customers. A company with a big brand enjoys the recognition, trust, greater financial values, increased marketing effectiveness, and inspired employees.

Also read: Why Nobody is Waiting for Your Startup?

Bottom line

We are currently living in an era where having a brand is a necessity for the companies as it boosts the business values and helps them to acquire customers more easily.

Nevertheless, with power comes responsibilities. When you are building your brand, you should also keep in mind the values that you are offering to your customers. After all, a brand is a promise.

Hi, I’m Kritesh, a 23 years old Entrepreneur & Digital Marketer. At Money24Hr.com, I share my journey of entrepreneurship and startup growth marketing. Cheers!!