How an MPH Degree Might Be Just Right for Your Career in the Public Sector

If you desire to utilize your skills and passion for helping the public in the world of health, an MPH degree can help you achieve your aspirations. As a public health professional, you play a major role in improving the health of a population. Attaining a high level of education in the field of healthcare is not only important for your future patients but your own career as well. You might be tempted to go for a job rather than investing in further studies. But earning a master’s degree can put you in a better position for promotions, higher income, and recognition within your organization. If time is an issue, you may want to consider earning an online MPH degree.

Still on the fence about whether it is for you? The following considerations may help you make an informed decision:

Passion for serving people

If you enjoy helping people improve their health, this career is for you. Getting an MPH degree can be a great option for those who wish to make a difference in the world, study and educate others about the disease, and work for the healthcare industry.

MPH Salary and Job Outlook

The growing demand for professionals holding an MPH degree enhances the scope for this field. It makes sense to go for a master’s degree as it can increase your salary potential significantly. You can earn much more than what you will be earning as a bachelor’s degree holder.

Improve your public health skills

Attaining a master’s in Public Health will give you a better understanding of the field. Translating your skills to greater expertise, you will have additional opportunities to develop your public speaking and presentation planning skills, as well. If you wish to effectively relate to the public to educate them about important health topics, then an MPH can help you achieve the goal.

Improve Global Health

As a health professional, you’ll be able to improve the health of not only your community or nation but the entire world. You will play a crucial role in improving the nation. Apart from a respectable career path and opportunity, this can give you a sense of personal satisfaction.

Specialize your focus

After setting up a broad foundation for your public health career with your undergraduate education, it’s time to focus on a more specialized area of interest.  A master’s degree in public health can help you with this. You will get an opportunity to narrow your choices and have a clear view of what exactly you want to do.

Whether you are serving in the field or have recently completed your undergraduate education, an MPH degree will help you take the next step in your career. No matter what you have in mind, if you have a passion for working in the public health sector, you should consider earning an online MPH degree.

How to Blog on the Road

Are you ready to hit the road?

But are you afraid that you won’t be able to run your blog effectively while you’re traveling?

I was that guy. 8 years ago. But I changed my tune, left the comfort of my native USA and have circled the globe for the past 6 years as a full time digital nomad.

I wrote an eBook to help you circle the globe as a pro blogger – you can buy it here – but wanted to share a few tips with you today on how to blog on the road.

If you are wondering, yes that is me in the picture above with my wife petting a nearly 400 pound tiger in Thailand. Don’t worry; these tips will work if you just want to enjoy cool drinks on the beach too.

1: Be Patient

Patience, grasshopper.

Travel taught me to be patient. To be forgiving. To relax. To chill.

I know of many a blogger who flips out at the smallest inconveniences; a blog down for 5 or 10 minutes, a client who persistently badgers them, a buggy theme that yields formatting issues for some readers. Traveling teaches you that EVERYTHING you make a big deal out of means nothing, and how the 1 thing most people deem to be nothing means EVERYTHING.

My point: most bloggers are impatient because their minds are dominated by fear. Mainly, a fear of loss. But when you travel, and open yourself to the world around you, you learn to let love influence your mind more than fear. As the love grows, the fear dies, and you naturally become patient because you purge your fear-based, impatient tendencies on the road.

2 weeks ago in Yangon I figured the internet would be not too great as Kelli and I traveled around Myanmar. In Bagan I got online about 2 hours a day. In Innlay Lake I have not been able to get online. The internet exists here but never seems to be strong enough to open up a website.

Being a traveler, I am patient by habit. When we arrive to Chiang Mai in 2 days I will have access to a strong internet connection. I won’t play catch up, though. I will patiently take my time, checking emails and publishing blog posts slowly, calmly and….patiently.

If you dream of blogging on the road, ya gotta be patient. Your blogging world changes quickly once you leave the comforts of your home office.

2: Build a Tribe

If I did not build a tribe of supportive, loyal friends over months and years I’d be doomed as a traveler. Because if I had no tribe I’d virtually disappear from the cyber world when I was offline traveling. Instead, my friends promote me, support me and feature me as I spend this rare week offline, due mainly to a poor internet connection but also to a nasty short sickness and frequent travel through Myanmar.

Tweet other blogger’s posts. Share other blogger’s posts on Facebook. Comment on other blogger’s blogs. Feature other bloggers on your blog. Open your blog to guest posting. This is how you make friends. When you travel, these friends will promote you to their followings, giving you passive traffic while you sip coconut juice in Fiji or down banana shakes in Thailand.

3: Create Offline

I am oft spotted writing blog posts 40,000 feet above the South Pacific, busing around SE Asia or sitting in airport lounges around the world. I create when I can.  I create offline. Being on the road so much forces me to create content offline; in many areas I have no access to the internet so I’ve no other choice.

Enjoy down time. Enjoy traveling. Enjoy being on the road. Then, enjoy creating helpful content for your readers when you’re offline. No excuses guys. I write posts on the regular offline with a Chromebook. If I’m using my cloud-based device – with a healthy store of offline storage, apparently – to write posts you can open up a Word document on your lappy or any computer to create content.

If writing ain’t your thing just record videos or podcasts offline while you’re journeying like Marco Polo. Seize opportunities to help folks. Turn travel time into creating time.

4: Buy Resources

My eBook:

How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

Is an excellent resource for bloggers who hit the road. You will face a slew of obstacles when traveling and blogging. Tap into my experience to make your life easier.

There you have it.

4 tips to help you blog like a boss on the road.

How to Deal with Non Supportive Family and Friends During Your Blogging Journey

I received strong support from friends and family during my blogging journey. Including from my wife – seen in the image above – who was there for me virtually every step of the way.

But being human beings, the support waned, faltered and disappeared during the leanest of moments.

How do you get through it? The doubts? The questioning? The skepticism surrounding your alleged blogging venture?

This form of criticism – from loved ones – kills more blogging careers than any other criticism, save the nasty little self critics buried deep in your mind.

Follow these tips to deal with non supportive family and friends during your blogging journey.

1: Accept their Humanity

If you doubt your blogging prospects sometimes – we all have – why hold friends and family to unrealistic, inhuman standards?

My wife Kelli supported me almost every second of the 8 years I’ve been blogging. But when I trashed 3,4000 blog posts, my old blog, a cash flow stream and all I’d done 5 years prior she flipped out. I accepted her freak out moment. We all have them. Not fighting her human fears over a perceived huge shift helped me let go the old blog to create Blogging From Paradise.

Be patient with loved ones. Like you, they are human. Allow them to criticize, to flip out and to question from time to time. Take the freak out in stride. Or, coax them off the ledge.

2: Embrace Your Mirror

No matter how clear you are, a loved one can bring up any lack of clarity around your blogging venture because everybody is simply a mirror, reflecting your feelings back to you. Your TRUE feelings.

Example; I could feel good about being featured on Virgin, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fox News but if a loved one questioned “So, is the blogging thing working yet?”, and I got pissed off, of anxious, the individual just pointed out to me where I truly, genuinely believe on some level how the blogging thing ain’t quite working out yet.

Humans around you are mirrors. Each reflects you, your beliefs and feelings back to you.

If what they say stings, they speak some idea you feel true on some level. Stop fighting them. Thank them in your mind. As you embrace the sting. Then get clearer in that emotional area, feeling your honest feelings around the aspect of your blog in question.

3: Accept this Idea

No matter how much love and fun I inject into my blog some family members of mine will not vibe with my blogging, digital nomad lifestyle. They may not be outwardly critical but in the same regard, they may never understand it. Not only is this OK, it is quite normal. What 1 venture on earth is for everybody? None!

You can’t convince someone of something they cannot see. You can’t influence a relative to be open to something they’re closed off from. Be at peace with this idea: some relatives and friends may never get blogging. Some feel it is not a real job (thank God it’s not!). Some feel it is a joke, or scam, or hustle, or not useful, or not a feasible way to make a living. All these fear-based beliefs have all to do with your loved one and nothing to do with you. Be at peace with this idea.

The 6 Stages of Blogging for a Living

No doubt about it, blogging is becoming mainstream, and the more blogging events pop up around town, the more I get asked about how to get to a stage where you’re actually blogging for a living.

The truth is there are several stages. Some of them are tough and some of them are a hell of a good time.

The “This is just a hobby” Stage

The first stage of blogging for a living is the hobby stage. Most people I encounter started blogging as a hobby. They have an area they are really passionate about and start talking about it online.

A few years ago, talking about your passion online mostly just looked like your own website and maybe Twitter and Facebook. Now, it looks like your own website and every social media channel you can get your hands on. Instagram, for example, is full of beginning bloggers.

You also likely have no concept of how online marketing actually works and that’s okay.

The “Oh snap! I can make money doing this?” Stage.

The second stage of blogging for a living is when you realize you can actually make money doing it.

Usually you stumble upon another blogger in your niche who is a little further along than you are and is earning money. Then you run into a blogger who quit their job full time. And, then you start hearing about stuff like freelancing, product sales, ad revenue and affiliate sales.

Before you know it, your mind is spinning with possibilities and you’re contemplating quitting your job. You start putting in a crazy amount of time learning everything you can about how to make money blogging and implementing as much of the knowledge as you can into your blogging efforts.

The “My day job is getting in the way!” Stage.

Once you start treating your blog as a second job, you quickly enter the third stage of blogging for a living. This is the stage where your day job is getting in the way of your dream job — or at least a job that may pay better, and the idea of striking out on your own – no matter how difficult it may be – is starting to look extremely appealing.

Eventually, you do end up quitting your day job and you will spend the next couple of years in the next stage.

The Hustling Stage

I’m not going to lie to you, the first couple of years of blogging for a living full-time can be rough. It’s just like any other business, in so far as you really have to grind it out before you get things off the ground.

How long this lasts depends on a lot of factors, but from my experience, I’ve seen that it takes a couple of years of hardcore hustling.

The Tipping Point Stage

Once you’ve been grinding it out for a few years, you’ll reach a tipping point. All those little actions you’ve been taking for so long amount to respect in your field, opportunities coming to you, and recognition.

The “Holy crap! I’m actually doing this!” Stage.

The last stage in blogging for a living is when you realize you’re actually doing it. Not only are you doing it, but it’s easier than ever. This doesn’t mean you can lounge, it doesn’t mean you can quit the hustle, it just means — as in anything — after you have put in your time and conquered the knowledge of the process, the process becomes more like second nature. The struggle is so very much less.

Truth be told, this is the stage I’m entering now and it’s a little weird. When you’ve been grinding hard for a long time, it’s easy to miss that you’re making a living doing what you wanted and what you love.

However, once you do realize that you have it down and you own it, then it becomes easier — much easier.

The 6 Stages of Blogging for a Living was originally published on Due by Amanda Abella.

How to Spruce Up Your Blog Sidebar

My blog sidebar underwent a metamorphosis of Kafka-esque proportions over the years.

I’ve gone bare bones. I’ve loaded it up.

Finding the right feel and look took time but following the tips below help you to present a clear, tidy sidebar.

As for why, presentation counts. Most bloggers are unclear on their blog design. This reflects in your haggard or less than optimized sidebar. Craft a neat-looking, clean sidebar to impress readers, to grow your list and to boost sales. When readers easily see and process what your sidebar has to offer your blog will grow. It’s that simple. More importantly, when readers are not confused by a jambalaya of distracting sidebar widgets they will stick around to learn more about your blog and how you benefit them.

Follow these tips to build a rocking blog sidebar.

1: Add an Opt In Form

Add an opt in form to your sidebar. Grow your email list.

Building a list is one of the easier ways to conveniently deliver posts to your readers. Sign up. Read posts from your email inbox.

Even if you use pop ups add a form to your sidebar. Preferably above the fold for prying eyes.

2: Trim Widget Fat

Ad frenzy. Or, non aligned widgets. Sometimes, unneeded widgets slip into our sidebar when we are not vigilant. Nip this fear-filled tendency in the bud with fat trimming sidebar sessions every 2-3 months.

I do a sidebar review frequently to see what needs to stay and what needs to go. Easy way to keep a tidy, clean blog sidebar.

Let go any widget not fully aligned with your brand and blog. Example; blogging tips bloggers should not display Adsense ads related to traveling, or, to anything other than blogging tips. This seems picky but is the easiest way to send a loud, clear message to your audience.

3: Narrow the Alley (or Widen the Road)

Note; ONLY follow this tip yourself if you have design experience. If not, hire a skilled designer to handle this for you.

Narrow your sidebar alley. Tighten up your sidebar space by having your theme altered. Pull the real estate together. Give more space to blog post content. Tidy up your side real estate. Doing so can make your sidebar prettier on the eyes if you devoted too much space to this area previously.

On the flip side some may widen their road to expand their sidebar real estate. All depends on your individual blog. What looks prettier? What looks cleaner? Follow your intuition.

4: Tell More about You

Some sidebars are ad frenzy. Others are bleak, desolate blogging wastelands. If you are clear on either style neither will hurt you but simply telling more about yourself – versus over stuffing or emptying your sidebar – helps you grow a more intimate connection with your readership.

I sell eBooks and audio books and online courses through my blog sidebar. I also tell readers a little bit about me and how I help you. I also link to a contact page. Doing so forms a little bond between you and me. The blog owner is the blog source; before you trust the blog, you check the source. Let the source open up a bit. Pen a few lines. Link to a contact page or page about you. Use your sidebar to bond with your readers.

Your Turn

What tips can you add to spruce up your blog sidebar?

Online Course

If you want to become a professional blogger purchase my audio course:

11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging Audio Course (Plus a Bonus Audio Course)

5 Ways to Create a Huge Market for Your Digital Products Online

Creating a digital product is just a step in the search of profit. Once you’ve had that wonderful product idea, the next thing is always to hire qualified skills to transform the idea into marketable product. But most of us product creators fail at the most crucial phase of business – marketing.

Digital products like ebooks, desktop software, web applications, mobile apps, WordPress themes and plugins, etc have a huge market today. But unfortunately, most authors end up being their only product consumers.

I have a few suggestions here to help you grow your market place and make more profit from your works.

How to create a huge market for your digital product.

Once you’ve tested your app and made sure it’s fit for consumption, it’s time to market. The bigger your market, the more your sales and the more your profit. Here are some tips:

1 – Get the right digital marketing materials

If you want to dominate your industry, you will have to go a step ahead of your competitors and acquire the right marketing tools. For digital products, you will need tools including:

  • A website for your product
  • A blog for your product
  • Photorealistic screenshots (For desktop, Worpress themes, web or mobile apps)
  • Etc

2 – Tell communities about your digital product

If you’ve come up with a beautiful piece of Web, Mobile or Desktop app, one of the first things to do is announce its release on community sites. Commonly used sites are Hacker News and Product Hunt. These are communities with a huge audience to expose your product and generate sales.

3 – Create an affiliate platform

One of the best ways to create a huge marketplace for your digital product is to have an affiliate marketing tool in place. This will recruit affiliate promoters who will do the sales job while you focus on update and maintenance.

There are lots of affiliate marketing platforms where you just submit your digital product and benefit from an already established community of affiliates.  In some other cases, you may want to run a standalone affiliate marketing platform.

In any of the cases above, you will have to do a couple of things to attract affiliates:

  • Pay out high commissions
  • Provide affiliate marketing materials (Professional banners, review copies, co-branded pages, swipe copies, videos, etc)
  • Tweak your sales copy to improve conversion
  • Reach out to known affiliates in your industry with attractive offers
  • Provide custom discount codes
  • Etc

You may not be able to give out review copies to all your affiliates. Some may chose to purchase your product to have firsthand information about it.

What most product owners fail to do is provide product screenshots. While banners are great, screenshots show prospects what to expect from your product.

I recommend using a professional product mockup application to capture screenshots into different device mockups (Desktop, smartphone, TV, Notepad,etc). Check out my Smartmockups review post as that may help.

4 – Create a WSO

If your product is in the Internet Marketing niche, I recommend thinking about doing a Warrior Special Offer on Warrior forum. This is one of the most active forums online in the IM industry. Doing a WSO promotion on this site will attract a huge list of new consumers.

At any given time, you are going to find 1000+ readers the WSO section of the forum and that’s a huge market to tab into.

5 – Collaborate with bloggers

Bloggers constitute an unbeatable marketing resource for digital products. These are people who have created an active community around their blogs and you won’t fail to make use of it.

For the most part, most of these bloggers will charge a fee to write and publish about your product on their blogs, share it to their lists and social medial profiles. The result is always mass exposure and leads.

Thanks for reading. Please share your thoughts.

Analyzing The Ways YouTube Views Could Strengthen Your Small Business

Almost everyone in the world has sat down and watched a YouTube video at some point or another. A large quantity of people will actually watch YouTube videos on a daily basis. As a small business owner, you should be wise enough to see this as a potential growth opportunity for your business. By implementing YouTube into your company’s advertising plan, you will be able to leverage YouTube’s enormous user base and strengthen your company’s grasp on your market. Below, you will learn precisely how YouTube can enhance your small business.

More Views And More Sales

First and foremost, you should understand the fundamentals of YouTube. The website is all about videos. Each time someone visits and watches one of your videos, that video’s view counter is increased by 1. In return, each view could potentially equate to a new long-term customer. It should come as no surprise to learn that it is in your best interest to send your videos’ views as high as possible. This is one of the reasons it is often wise to buy YouTube views. Increased views will ultimately result in more exposure, increased sales, and higher profits.

If you’d like to see where there is a lot opportunity for getting premium ad placements on YouTube through paid advertising options on Google Adwords, simply take a look at some of the most popular accounts on YouTube. Not only do they have millions of subscribers, they are also continually creating content that trends across YouTube all the time. You can also see some of the latest stats on the most active, trending and latest video channels on YouTube in the chart below (or live at VidStatsX).

A Visual Presentation

It should come as no surprise to learn that there is something special about videos. They’re far more impactful and engaging than boring adverts. By utilizing YouTube to create a visual presentation of your company’s products, you will have a much easier time convincing the consumer to hand over their money. Give the consumer a thorough inspect of your company’s offerings and make them aware of how your products can improve their life. Videos will give you the ability to prove your product’s worth, while also speaking directly to the consumer. This can help make YouTube an enormously effective form of advertising for all businesses.

Just remember that you’ll need to continue increasing your views along the way, in order to reach your end goals. To further justify these points, take a look at some of the insane YouTube video stats below from Concept5.

Spread And Reach

All businesses need to effectively expand their reach, in order to continue strengthening their consumer base. Big corporations will achieve this goal through expensive forms of advertising, such as television and radio ads. For a smaller business with limited capital, it is often wise to utilize the Internet to your advantage. And of course, this is where YouTube will prove to be very helpful. YouTube is easily the most popular video sharing platform on the Internet. By creating an account and sharing your videos on the site, you will effectively be able to convert some of the site’s users into customers of your business. The YouTube account for Geico is doing this extremely well. Not only have they been creating paid ad campaigns and showing their commercial for viewing on YouTube, they also have custom videos created for YouTube audiences as well.

Increasing your viewer count will be critical for your success. More views will increase the shares and likes for your videos. In return, this will make your brand more visible and far more profitable!

YouTube Video Marketing Summary

It is undoubtedly true that YouTube can be an excellent advertising tool for small businesses. Part of the struggle involves creating compelling and engaging videos. Once you’ve achieved that goal, you’ll need to increase your video views as quickly as possible. Do not hesitate to buy views, as doing so will prove to be well worth it in the long run.

1 Strange Habit Leading to Guest Posting Failure

I just received a guest post pitch from a blogger.

Said blogger wished to place a guest post on my blog, Blogging From Paradise.

Go ahead. Click my blog link. Look around. Get a feel for what I offer our community.

I help people retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

I share blogging tips. My readers love getting blogging tips.

My blog is all about blogging tips.

The blogger who emailed me this morning wanted to place a guest post about home improvement. A DIY guest post.

Home improvement has as much to do with Blogging From Paradise as an “all you can eat” buffet has to do with Weight Watchers.

Trying to squeeze a DIY guest post on my blog is like walking into a pizzeria, sitting down at a table and asking your waiter: “I am not here for the pizza. But can you please mail something for me?”

Strange Tendency

We never do stuff like this offline. Why the online disconnect?

Yesterday someone wanted to place a guest post about how to sell a home on Blogging From Paradise.  This is funny in one vein, but in another way I feel compassion for prospective bloggers because I know they are struggling to place guest posts. I am nice. Polite. I explain how we do not have a match. I also suggest placing guest posts on blogs specifically related to their niche.

The Failure

You can see why 10 out of 10 guest post requests like these never get placed. What blogging tips blogger places a post about selling homes on her or his blog? None. No match. Many ill informed or confused prospective guest bloggers may feel guest posting does not work after their non targeted pitches fall on deaf ears. Not true. Guest posting works fine. If you place guest posts on related blogs.

The Solution

Only reach out to perfect matches.

If I have a guest post about blogging tips I will place the guest post on Blogging Tips Dot Com, Basic Blog Tips, or a similar blogging tips blog.

In essence this tip is perhaps the easiest blogging tip to follow. I spot matches easily. So do you. But fear, worry and a general anxiety about not being able to place guest posts clouds even sound thinking minds, leading to wayward pitches that make zero sense.

So first off, kick that fear out of your mind. Or, feel the fear of missing guest posting opportunities. Sit with the anxiety. Sit with the worry. Release the fear.

Accept only good matches.

What blog topic do you cover? Only submit guest posts to bloggers who cover the *same exact topic*. I mean that. No wiggle room. No tangential stuff. Meaning, as a blogging tips blogger I would never submit a guest post to a marketing blog.  Marketing and blogging are 180 degrees apart on the energetic scale. Totally different niches. I waste not my time on any blog other than a blogging tips blog. Ensures I have perfect matches. No doubt. No lack of clarity. Just a perfect match.

No sense beating this one to death guys.

Find good matches.

Stop spinning your wheels.

Place more guest posts.

Reap the delicious benefits of placing guest posts on blogs fully aligned with your niche.

That’s where your new readers chill.


If you want to travel the world through blogging purchase my eBook:

How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging

6 Steps to Truly Understand Your Audience

Do you know your target audience well enough?

To really create content that will resonate with your audience — understanding your audience is very crucial.

It gets better when you can put yourself in your customer’s shoes and create content with empathy that’s tailored towards improving their lives.

In a recent study, 90% of customers find custom content very useful and according to Custom Content Council — 61% of consumers feel happy with it.

It’s only when you know your audience that you can engage them with your content, and convert them to happy paying customers.

Here are 6 proven steps you can take to truly understand your target audience.

1.  Conduct exclusive market research

This is by far one of the most important steps to understanding your audience.

Whether you are a small business owner or you run a large firm, it’s very important that you conduct a research before you ever start any marketing campaign.

In a recent research by Responsys, 34% of 2,000 US adults surveyed left a brand because they were receiving irrelevant marketing messages from them.

Oops! What a great lost.

This can only happen when a company ignores market research or fail to do it the right way.

I’m sure you don’t want to have the same experience — that’s why I wrote this article to guide you.

Here are the four simple ways to carry out this research:

1).  Use Google Alerts or Social Mention tool

Google Alerts can be a very vital tool in following trends and people in your niche.

You can set alerts for similar products in your niche, follow updates, check out articles written by your competitors, and also check out the comments by your prospects. As you’re aware, mobile  usage has surpassed that of desktop — so you need to study and understand user’s mobile behaviors as well.

You’ll have insights about topics, events, and people that your ideal customers care about. Researching the long-tail keywords that your target audience is using to search for information about your business/product is equally important. Unfortunately, Google Keyword Planner  might not help you here — I like to use Ferzy Keyword Tool or KeywordTool.io

More so, you can also use Mention or Social Mention tools to monitor content and people from social media, forums and other social channels. Yes, you may have to invest in SEO, PPC, or even native ads to be able to reach your target audience, but it begins with a market research.

These services can help you know when a new research has been published about the specific keyword or phrase you are concerned about.

2).  Interview Your Current Customers

Interviewing your current customers can be a great way to get first-hand information about your ideal customers.

It will not only help your customers, but it will allow you to gather case studies and metrics which are integral factors for building your personal brand and gaining traction online.

3).  Study Your Web Analytics

Your web analytics can help you a great deal.

Are you really making use of the data available to you through your web analytics?

Your web analytics can help you answer the following questions:

  • Where did your website visitors come from?

  • What keyword or phrase did they use to find you?

  • How long did they stay on your website?

  • What content format are the most popular?

  • Where are the locations of your audience?

  • Where do they go from your site?

  • What are the patterns of your visitor’s behavior?

  • Are these patterns giving you information about the position your prospects are on your buyer’s journey?

When you are able to get answers to this questions you’ll begin to get a better understanding of your audience.

4).  Use Professional Social Networks

Use professional social networks like Quora and LinkedIn to uncover what groups your potential customers are and what they’re discussing.

Great, you’re on the right track.

So far, we’ve discussed how you can leverage some of the resources that are available to research your target audience. Now let’s put them together to create a customer persona

2.  Create Your Customer Persona

After gathering all the required information about your customer from your research, you need to now create a fictional customer that exhibits all the characteristics.

No matter what you call it, a customer persona or marketing persona, we’re referring to the same thing.

According to Ardath Albee – “A marketing persona is a composite sketch of a key segment of your audience. For content marketing purposes, you need personas to help you deliver content that will be most relevant and useful to your audience.”

I love this definition of buyers persona by Ardath Albee.

Your buyer’s persona can help you provide actionable solutions to the challenges that your audience is facing.

And it should contain core characteristics that answers the following questions:

  • What is the buyer’s role in the company?

  • What type of company does the buyer work for?

  • What level of education has the buyer achieved?

  • What does the buyer like to do for fun?

  • What is the buyer’s gender?

  • What is the buyer’s age?

  • What is the buyer’s household income?

  • How does the buyer define success in the workplace?

  • What are the buyer’s career goals?

Here’s a typical example of how your buyer’s persona should look like:

Source: Single Grain

Once you know all of this, the marketing content you’ll create will be of great value to your target audience — they would feel involved and will stick to your brand.

4.  Monitor Comments And Engagement

As you know, one of the reasons Neil Patel is so successful at blogging is that he interacts with his audience via comments on his posts.

I think he replies almost every comment and in the process, he understands how his audience thinks and will most likely find new content idea during the conversation.

You can also do the same and hopefully, you’ll be able to understand your client well enough.

5.  Look at Your Competitors

Look at successful brands that share similar goals as yours. Look at what they’re doing. Evaluate their content marketing strategy, try to find out what they do differently, find out why they are using some terms consistently.

Truth is, a brand might not fully understand what they’re really doing, but a careful study will reveal to you what works and what doesn’t.

6.  Learn from third-party resources

You can also leverage on the research done by other marketers with respect to your target audience. Study them very well and extract the necessary data.

Learn from case studies and psychological analysis conducted by more advanced marketers in your industry. For example, if you’re a digital marketer you can learn a lot from Moz, Content Marketing Institute, QuickSprout, and other credible digital marketing blogs.

Stay away from assumptions. Why?

Because, often times, your assumptions about your customer could be wrong. Yes, it’s acceptable to make intelligent guesses, however, that shouldn’t inform your decision making process.

Mobile Responsiveness Can’t Be Ignored in 2017

With millions of blogs and business websites online mobile responsiveness can’t be ignored. A mobile friendly website is not just a nice to have but it is a must have in 2017 and beyond.

With the massive amount of smartphone users, Google wants to ensure that they are providing top quality content in the best way to those who use their services. The sites that are providing viewers a good user experience are the ones who are being rewarded with higher rankings in the search engines.

“Do you know 80% people use mobile for searching and 50% of local searches are carried out on smartphones?” asks Navneet Kaushal, CEO of PageTraffic

Here are some quick tips on how to keep your business website or blogs ready for mobile users:

Test Current Site

Depending on the theme you’re using for your website or blog, you might already have a mobile friendly space on the Internet. Google wants to ensure that you’re easily able to see whether your site is suitable for mobile users, so here is a Google tool that will analyze the URL of your site.

Remove Flash

One of the worst things you can have on your website is content that is flash-based. It doesn’t load as quickly as other types of content which use HTML 5. This includes animations and gifs that are not mobile friendly.

Mobile Friendly Fonts and Buttons

When you stick with the standard fonts, users will be able to pinch to zoom in and out of the content. On the screen, there won’t be a blur or distortion for standard fonts. The font size should be at least 14 pixels, so users can zoom in and out as well. Bigger buttons are able to scale without the blur too.

Image Optimization

High-resolution images can be scaled to a smaller or larger scope than what a person might see on the website when viewing images on a desktop monitor. The newest smartphones have hi-res screens that are able to show high definition images to its users.

Responsive Design

Instead of worrying about whether you have a website that can be viewed on a variety of devices, you can choose a responsive theme that reduces the work you’ll have to do on the site itself. It’ll use a flexible layout that responds directly to the size of the viewer’s screen. John Rampton discusses further about responsive design in his Huffington post column.

Test Frequently

Once you’ve created a website or blog that is mobile ready, it’s helpful if you test it on a variety of devices. This includes a desktop, Android, iPhone and Windows devices to ensure that it’s viewable on all devices. After any major changes that you make to the website, you should be checking on all devices too. Ask others to test it for you. It’s possible for links and images to stop working, which could cause problems with the site anyway. It makes sense to always stay on top of the viewer’s experience to ensure it’s always good.

Fast Loading Site

A fast loading website is very important so it doesn’t turn away your site visitors. This is even truer on mobile devices. Most people use their mobile devices when they have 5 minutes to spare in between meetings or waiting for someone. If your site does not load quickly then you will loose these online visitors probably forever.

Google Webmaster Tools

There are plenty of webmaster tools available through Google. They’re free tools that will give you insight into your search traffic as well as mobile usage, and it wouldn’t make any sense to ignore all that free data. It’ll let you know if there are issues with your site as well as how to fix those issues.

Conclusion & Takeaway

Every site and blog owner who wants to see their website rank in Google will want to ensure that they are complying with the recommendations by the search engine. They’re a giant when it comes to search engine traffic being directed to your site, so ignoring mobile responsiveness would cause serious issues with loss of viewers, leads and income.

Make Money Online with Shorte.st URL Redirection

Some people might have called it a problem, but chances are that those people weren’t internet marketers who saw the situation as a very lucrative opportunity. While the rise of URL shortening services cannot be wholly attributed to the rise of Twitter, the social media platform certainly played a significant role. When you only have so many characters to use in your tweets, you don’t want to go wasting them with lengthy URLs.

But that’s only a small fraction of the potential opportunity. URL shorteners are certainly useful for shortening long URLs (and even short URLs for that matter), but what if you could make money when sharing these links both on social media and elsewhere on the web? That’s the promise put forth by Shorte.st, a URL shortener that goes even further.

A Shorter URL for Bigger Profits

At its most basic level, Shorte.st works just like every other URL shortening service you’ve likely already used. It takes the standard URL for any webpage on the Internet and shrinks it down into far fewer characters.

I know what you’re thinking. The shorte.st domain name is not the shortest domain name for a URL shortening service. That’s because it’s not the domain name that is actually used for your shortened URLs. Instead, those will be found via the sh.st domain, or through the viid.me domain name, which was already recently added as well.

This being said, the shortened URLs can be even shorter, because as of this writing, the portion that follows the domain is only four characters. Last time I checked, the portion following Twitter’s t.co domain is 10 characters. For instance, I was able to shorten http://www.bloggingtips.com to http://sh.st/1oqg. That’s pretty short. But there’s so much more to this service than just reducing the number of characters.

Should you have any previously generated links created through their sh.st URL and would like them updated for even more security and connectivity in place, this can be done manualy simply by added a few characters to the new viid.me domain shorteners in place. A perfect example of this would be http://viid.me/1oqg -> http://sh.st/1oqg. This way, all Shorte.st users will have their own flexibility over type of domain URL redirects they would like to use.

How Do You Make Money with Shorte.st?

Normally, when you click on any of these shortened URLs on social media or elsewhere on the web, you are immediately redirected to the original webpage. For the person who shortened the URL in the first place, there may be some added benefit in terms of metrics and analytics (which Shorte.st provides too), but there’s more of an opportunity here.

Rather than being sent directly to the original URL, the person who clicks the shortened URL will be shown an interstitial ad first. This is very similar to the pre-roll video ads you’ve likely seen on YouTube. Quality advertisers pay for this space and they’re paying for nearly all traffic from nearly all regions around the world.

The user can engage with the ad (which is what the advertisers obviously want) or they can click on the “skip this ad” button in the top corner to continue on to the page they want to visit. Meanwhile, you’ve earned a hit and are on your way to making money.


The actual amount of money you’ll make will depend on a myriad of factors, but Shorte.st maintains a page with typical payout rates. These appear to be quoted on a CPM basis with English-speaking traffic from the United States offering the most lucrative rate. Less popular geos will naturally pay less.

Payments are issued monthly via PayPal, WebMoney or Payoneer. The threshold for Payoneer is $20, whereas the very low payment threshold for PayPal and WebMoney is just $5. They pay on the 10th of every month. In addition to the payment terms listed above, Shorte.st will also occasionally send out payments twice in one month. This is often done during the months of December, as is their way of sending out a bonus (faster) payment to their site partners. There are also plans in the works to offer daily payments to top earning site partners as well.

Dashboard and Advanced Tools

Signing up for an account only takes a moment — simply provide an email address and password to get started — though you will want to fill in the rest of your account information so that you can get paid. You can start shortening URLs right away though, with or without an account.

The main dashboard is easy enough to follow and the URL shortening bar is always available near the top of the page. Browse around to get your statistics, across all income sources, enter your withdraw information and so on. It’s also through the dashboard that you gain access to some very useful tools.

  • Full Page Script: Do you have a blog, resource website, microsite, online forum, or almost any other kind of website? With this handy script, every link on your site will automatically be converted to a Shorte.st shortened link instead. This way, you can ensure you are monetizing all your traffic. Through the options, you can whitelist or blacklist any domains you definitely want to include or exclude too.
  • Developers API: Want to do more with Shorte.st beyond the features and functions that they offer? The API allows your creativity to be your guide, taking the Shorte.st platform to wherever you want to take it.
  • Quick Link: If you don’t want to visit the Shorte.st website to shorten your links, you can grab the quick link, appending it with whatever URL you’d like to shorten.
  • Mass Shrinker: This is perhaps the most useful tool of all. When you have multiple URLs you need to shorten, you can do up to 20 at a time on a single screen. This is perfect for shrinking the URLs for multiple affiliate links or blog posts, for instance.

Watch the demo videos for all of these tools in the How It Works section on the website.

Big Opportunity in a Small Package

In addition to earning revenue through the interstitial pages as part of the URL redirection service, you can also earn more money through the Shorte.st referral program too. For every new user you refer, you earn a commission of 20% for all the revenue they bring in. That’s lifetime.

What are you waiting for? Register for an account with Shorte.st now and start getting paid for every link that gets clicked.

7 Blogging Lessons I Learned from a Forced Internet Fast

Recently I experienced a forced internet fast (where I did stuff like play with mosquito killing tennis rackets).

The internet connection in Myanmar was not too hot. Factor in a nasty stomach situation and you have said fast.

Instead of complaining like a baby who lost its rattle I’m sharing 7 blogging lessons during this period of solely offline activity. To help you gracefully embrace your own forced internet fasts.

1: Letting Go Helps You Grow

All true growth is had in surrender and release.

I chose to spend these days completely surrendering to circumstances; first, the poor internet connections, then, being sick. No complaining or worrying or whining, which would have indicated clinging, or a heavy attachment to the internet.


Letting go has helped me grow in many ways. I’m thinking more clearly and more creatively. I’m reviewing how I can tweak my blog and online income streams. All because I surrendered to circumstances I could not change.

2: Spirit’s Got Ya Back (or Trust in the Process)

If you are more spiritually minded, being offline for an extended period shows how things will continue to grow and flourish for you and your blog because spirit has got your back. Something bigger than you or I connects through all of us and whether we are online or offline that connection still exists.

If you are less spiritually minded simply trust in the process. My blogging process has unfolded over the past 8 years; spending a few days offline is a blip on the cyber radar screen as my online momentum continues to grow.

3: The Interwebs Don’t NEED Your Participation

The internet does not need me. Otherwise, cyber space would have collapsed a few days back when I went Zero Dark Thirty.

TOM – The Old Me – foolishly believed I needed to show up online daily, to make an impact. The new me realizes this: the internet does fine on its own. If life intervenes, the internet will do just fine without me.

4: Being Offline for a Bit Heightens Your Powers of Observation

I spotted firefighters dressed up more like the US Coast Guard working at a “fire force” during a recent walk in Inle Lake, Myanmar. I also noted the make and model of their firetrucks, the look on the smoke eater’s faces and the neat and tidy nature of the fire force aka the fire station.

I’m developing a Terminator-like, laser-focused concentration when it comes to observing the world around me. Like a blogging detective. From the fact that although the bikes in Inle are traditional Burmese rides like in Bagan – where we visited prior – these bikes sit higher and house more robust, stout, sturdy tires.

2 men rode by on bikes asking if we wanted to tour the lake. One man promised a cheap price. The other man yelled “San Francisco”, after we told him we were American. (Seemed like a weird response.)

When you go offline for a minute you will notice more, observe more, and simply watch more of what’s going on around you. This is an invaluable skill for any blogger.

5: Being Offline for a Bit Helps You Think More Clearly Online

I was able to open my gmail for only 2 minutes during this internet fast.

I felt relaxed, calm, peaceful and clear thinking as I checked only 3 emails before the internet crapped out again. Because when you’re offline for an extended period you see the internet is not really important at all. Even if you make a living THROUGH the internet, the internet is not the SOURCE of how you make a living.

Being armed with this attitude I thought clearly and calmly during those 3 minutes of rare internet time recently. No racing thoughts, no desperate clinging to email or my blog, just a pleasant, peaceful experience.

6: Open Your Blog to Guest Posting

I will likely not publish a post to Blogging From Paradise for over a week.

But when I get online again I will have plenty of work/play waiting for me.

Opening my blog to guest posting has helped me to publish posts on auto pilot. If I am online or offline, sleeping or working, skilled bloggers send me content, And if you’re traveling some place where the internet is not so hot you can spare yourself the worry of having to do the blogging bit all on your own.

7: Expect a Creative Surge

Rare times, indeed, as I have only written 1-2 posts daily during the forced fast. Note; I fell violently ill for a few of these days. Tough to write posts while sprinting to the bathroom.

Going offline for 2, 5 or 10 days puts you in a different world. A creative world. Instead of being preoccupied with getting – checking emails, social, comments – or even, giving – promoting other bloggers, featuring other bloggers – you give most of your energies to creating something helpful through blog posts and videos.
Now that I’m feeling better I am in the flow. The creative flow.