Understanding Your Aweber Analytics and Stats


One of the best parts about Aweber email web analytics is that you don’t have to install complicated tracking codes.  Your basic data is right there at your fingertips – or will be, as soon as your list starts to grow.

Step 1.  Where to Find Information about Your Subscribers

As soon as you log into Aweber, you’ll see instant stats for all your recent broadcast emails.


You can see:

  • What percentage of emails were opened
  • The percentage of clicks
  • What percentage bounced
  • Total percentage of complaints

What’s a good rate of opens?  Well, obviously, we’d all like 100% — but realistically, for lists containing 1000+ subscribers, 12.2% is the industry average open rate, according to Mailermailer.com’s most recent Emarketing Metrics Report.


Open rates do vary by industry.  For example…

  • The 2012 average open rate for both the Small Business and Consulting industries was 15.9%
  • The 2012 average open rate for the Marketing industry was 8.6%

Lowest open rate in a list of 19 industries surveyed by Mailermailer.com?  The medical industry with 6.5%.  This means that Marketing broadcasts with 9.2% and 11.5% open rates respectively suddenly change from being slightly below average to above average for that industry.

This is the sort of judgment that Aweber’s statistics will help you quickly develop.

This example also reminds us that all statistics are fluid; and one of the most important skills to master lies in knowing what other hidden factors are likely to influence or change our perception of results.


So if you are new to email marketing statistics, you now know a whole lot more than you did five minutes ago – and those figures of 9.2% and 11.5% actually mean something specific to you.  That’s the difference between seeing statistics – and knowing how to apply the knowledge.

Step 2.  Getting Specific

But there are many more stats we can analyze and tests we can set up for each campaign.  Let’s start by looking at the stats for these particular two lists.

Click on the “View Stats” link:


A new page opens and, at first, all you see is general stats…


The green number indicates that there were 138 “unique opens”.  This refers to the number of people who opened your email in HTML template form.

Notice that there were actually 169 total opens:  The 31 that can’t be measured most likely opened the email in plain text format.

But there’s one other explanation for some or all of the 31:  The “unique open” also discounts multiple opens by the same person.  As you can see when we scroll further down the page (a) you can see exactly who did and did not open your list (b) how many times each person opened them.


(Press the arrow to scroll through the complete list.)

What to look for:

One of the quickest ways not only to get a handle on analyzing your statistics but to correct a problem is to look for trends that are unusual.

For example, say it was extremely unusual to have nothing but $0 sales – this particular list usually brings you at least a 3.4% conversion rate.  You might want to then view your message to see if there is anything in it that could have:

  • Caused the email to open improperly
  • Resulted in a broken link
  • Repelled the reader

The first thing you need to do is see if there is anything you can do about your disappointing and unusual result.

The quickest way to view the message tied to the stats above:  Scroll a little further down and click View Your Message!


When you click the button, your message opens up in a lightbox (links, graphics and all) exactly as it appeared to your subscriber.


You can perform actions such as check the links, change the graphic or headline and date – and split-test to see if using a different graphic, headline or call to action will result in a response rate.   (Just use the second button to copy that particular message into a new broadcast, so you can work with it.)

You can also export your data (once you have closed the lightbox) by clicking on the button also on this page:


The biggest advantage of exporting your data:  You can see all your subscribers at one go.  There is no clicking a side arrow and waiting for pages to open.

The final action you can perform on this page:  Enable or disable Social Sharing.


But we can do even more with Aweber statistics…

Step 3.  Setting Up your Analytics

One of the first actions you’ll want to take, once your Aweber lists are all set up and populated: Setting up your Aweber analytics.

There are just three simple steps to take:

1.    Hover your mouse over the Reports tab and select “Settings”.


2.    Copy and paste the JavaScript snippet in the window into your website HTML on every page you would like to track.

Once you have copied and pasted your JavaScript code into your website pages, proceed to Step 2 in Aweber.


3.    Enter the main URL of your website (the one where you placed your JavaScript code).  You don’t have to do this for every page containing code:  Your main index file will do.


Press the green “+” button, once you have entered your URL.

You have now set up your Aweber analytics.  (For even more advanced options such as Sales Tracking, CPM and CPC, visit Aweber’s Advanced Analytics Help Section.)

Step 4.  Getting to Know Your Aweber Reports

If you simply click on the Reports tab, or hover over it and select “Reports”, you’ll be taken to a page that offers even more stats, with well over a dozen links you can click.


Each link you click on offers a wealth of data; and you can also export .CSV Excel files that will give you spreadsheets containing even more data about your subscribers.  (There’s no need for guesswork, when your Excel spreadsheet shows you data such as where they live; what was delivered and what was not; follow up percentages and more.


The scope of this guide is too narrow to allow us to explore every link in detail, but explore them yourself, download .CSV files, and you will quickly decide what data is important to you.

One time-saving tip it’s important to know, however:

  • Get into the habit of using your Dashboard


Your Dashboard performs a really useful function.

a.    Click on a report you’d like to access (#1)
b.    Click on the little Detail tab at the top right of your report (#2)
c.    When the area expands, click on “Add to Dashboard”


Your Dashboard will then display all the data you need from specific reports – all on one central page.

You will be able to see your most relevant graphs and charts at a glance – and that will really help you towards a focused overview.

Step 5.  Create a Broadcast Split Test

This report wouldn’t be complete without letting you in on how to quickly and easily create a Split Test for your Broadcast.

A “Split Test” means that you send out half your emails with Version A of one element in your broadcast (e.g. a Headline, a graphic, a color scheme, a provocative line of text, etc.)… And the other half, you send out with Version B of the same element

Four facts you need to know before you begin your Split Test:

1.    The most important rule of Split Testing:  ONLY test one element at a time, per Split Test.
2.    Lists should have at least 100 subscribers before you Split Test. (The results won’t be accurate enough with less than that figure.)
3.    Aweber splits your list at random.  You can’t assign specific segments.
4.    Split Tests only work per list.  (You can’t use the “Send to Multiple Lists” feature.)

If you change more than that – even two elements – you will never know which of the two made the big difference (providing there is one, of course) to the new variation.


Kindle Kwikky Broadcast Headline “A” Kindle Kwikky Broadcast Headline “B”
{!firstname_fix}, what do you say to your own kindle eBook? Hey, {!firstname_fix} – Ever thought of writing a Kindle eBook?

 Split Tests are one of the best ways to learn what your unique bunch of subscribers love – and hate.

For example, you could discover that your click-through rates went way up with a particular graphic… or way down!

As you track everything, it becomes easy to see trends.  For example, you could discover that whenever you put a negative graphic (even a humorous one), your click rates plummet – or soar.  Sometimes, the results can be surprising.  You think you know your subscribers well and all of a sudden, you are learning more and more about them.

How to Create Broadcast Split Tests

1.    Go to your Messages tab and select “Broadcasts”


2.    Scroll down until you find the “Split Test Broadcast” button.


3.    Choose what percentages you’d like to split your list into (you can divide the test components 2-4 times, providing your total adds up to 100%.)  When you are finished assigning percentages for the Split, click on Create New Split Test.
4.    You will then see the correct number of Broadcasts to edit, and your subscriber list will be split into random groups to fit those percentages.
5.    When you are returned to your Broadcasts page, edit each broadcast within the Split Test you have just created.


If you don’t have any broadcasts scheduled, your Split Test will still be created, but you will see the following prompt to create a Broadcast.  Once you have done so, you can apply your test percentages.

6.    Schedule your Broadcast


And you’re done!

The more you pay attention to and use your Aweber statistics, reports and analytics, the better you will come to understand them and how they can help you fine tune your business and increase your profits directly because of your email campaigns.

10 Common Google+ Branding Mistakes


One of the most surprising facts about Google+ branding mistakes is the number of people who still make them!

Here are ten of the most common – and most often repeated…


Posting sporadically

It doesn’t matter if you made twelve posts last week:  If this week you’re so busy that you forgot to update your company Google+ page completely you’re going to come off as unreliable. Worse, people who had been enjoying “the conversation” will feel suddenly let down.

Keep them waiting too long – or repeat “feast or famine” posting too many times – and you will actually lose followers.  And hurt your brand.


Not paying attention to search engine results

search-resultsIf you stop and run searches for your keywords and competitors, you may be surprised to realize how many top spots are held by those with Google+ Profiles and Pages – and how these show up. Besides, if you don’t take advantage of Google+ branding opportunities yourself, you are ignoring the power of graphics and photos in boosting credibility and capturing interest.


Posting empty links

What’s an empty link post? It’s one that does not include a comment and the title seems irrelevant to your followers. Provide your readers a reason why the link you are sharing is important or at least the topic of the article or the title of video.


Forgetting to include calls to action

targetThis is something you see time and time again – it’s not unique to Google+, but to all social media channels.  Nevertheless, it’s included here because so many companies seem to make this really inexplicable mistake.

Include calls to action:

  • In your Google+ Page posts
  • On your website and blog
  • With your Google+ badges and icons
  • In your Google+ ‘About’ section

Forgetting to install Google+ badges

This one is really inexcusable.  If you don’t make it easy for your followers, they won’t bother to share and engage – it’s as simple as that. Only slightly less understandable is installing a Google+ badge on your website – and not including a G+1 button so people can endorse your posts.


Copying your competitors

It’s great to analyze what works for them on Google+. Just make sure you put equal time into figuring out why. If you take those extra steps to get to the bottom of what seems to be obvious, it will be easier for you to apply critical thinking to your own brand strategies on Google+.  You’ll grow surprisingly good at knowing what you are doing, what your audience is craving – and why your strategies are going to work.  (And that’s most likely what your successful Google+ competitor actually did.)


Forgetting to test and track

Most people don’t actually forget this. The real excuse is usually ‘I’m just too busy!’ If you genuinely are – or you have trouble applying and understanding metrics – it’s worth outsourcing this to a social media expert. Just make sure you have regular meetings while they explain your results – and make recommendations that reap good results when later implemented.


Not having a clear Google+ strategy

5 - Strategy

You will get much stronger and better-branded results if you put preparation and study into what your strategies are going to be.  (Also give yourself a time frame in which to implement them.) Pick one area in Google+ and make it your central platform (but don’t neglect the others). For example, become known for your company’s amazing Hangouts; or brilliantly unique blog posts; or gorgeous, sumptuous original photographs that prompt spontaneous sharing.

Just make sure that whatever you decide to become known for, it is relevant to your business, your products or services, your company’s areas of service or expertise – and, above all, your followers.


Not making use of branding keywords or Google+ hashtags

You’d think people wouldn’t forget these two very basic essentials.  But apparently they do – all the time.

Hashtags (unlike comments) definitely increase your searchability and rank.  And keywords provide the foundation.  (Another big no-no:  Forgetting to use actual keywords in your hashtags!)


Forgetting to acknowledge, thank or just plain talk with your followers

commentsYes, this happens on other social networks too – but it’s never excusable.  And it’s a sure-fire way to ensure that people quickly stop trusting you.  They’ll simply lose interest.

Finally, remember that everything you do online affects your company brand.  If you are focused on your audience, know your business mission and goals, use the unique and exciting tools provided on Google+ and – most of all – have made a strong commitment to build your brand through excellent service – and content – you will be well on your way to Google+ branding success.

Online Survey Tools – How to Use Them Efficiently


Ask Database

The Ask Database is an online survey tool created by internet marketing guru Alex Mandossian. It features a multitude of survey options to choose from, including open ended responses as well as multiple choice answers.

The power of Ask Database really comes in when it comes to aggregating survey data. With other survey services, you have to read through all the open ended answers to get data.

With Ask Database, it instead uses its keyword analytics software to determine what the most common phrases are and then displays that data for you in an easy to see manner.

For example, if you asked the question “What features do you want to see most in version 2?” and received 5,000 responses, instead of going through them one by one Ask Database could just tell you that the most common phrases were “longer posts” and “in text HTML.”

The service costs $29.95 a month, but comes with a free 21 day trial for $1.

Here’s how to sign up for and use Alex Mandossian’s Ask Database.

Step 1 – Sign Up

Visit http://www.askdatabase.com to get started on the signup process.

First, enter your name and email to get to the sales page.


Find a purchase button and click on it.


Go through the signup process until you’ve completed everything and have your account ready to go.


Sign in to continue.

Step 2 – Fast Question (Optional)

Ask Database offers perhaps the fastest way to create a survey on the internet. All you need to do is enter a question into the instant campaign box. With one click, you’ll have your survey up and ready to go!


Once you type in your question and click enter, you’ll be taken to the preview page for your instant campaign.


At the top will be the link you can use to link to the survey. Below is a preview of what your survey looks like.

That’s the simplest way to create a campaign in Ask Database. Now we’ll go into a more in depth look on how to create more diverse campaigns.

Step 3 – Create a New Campaign

Click on New Campaign to start the campaign creation process.


You’ll be presented with a multitude of choices on what kind of campaign to create.


On the left hand side are the relatively simple and standard questions that you might expect in a survey.

On the right hand side are more complex questions like written responses or extra comments. You can also setup questions that automatically redirect to another question or website after they finish the survey.

If you have any questions about a specific type of survey, just click on the question mark next to the survey type. A pop up box will appear explaining the specific survey.

We’ll continue using the example of a multiple choice question.

Step 4: Fill Out Campaign Details

Select your campaign’s title. Then fill out the question you’re asking with the survey, along with where you want to send people after they finish the survey.

Name your submit button and name your header. Click Step 2 when finished.


You’ll then be presented with the option of sending an autoresponder message after they finished the survey.

Perhaps the most important option is along the bottom, which allows you to automatically have Ask Database send an email to an external autoresponder which will automatically add the people who responded to your autoresponder database.


Step 5: Fill Out Question Details

This step varies for each type of survey. Basically, you fill out all the required information to ask the question you want to ask. In this case, you fill out the different selections you want for your question and choose “Add / Remove Selections.”


Step 6: Save and Get Code

Once you click save, you’ll land on the HTML Form Codes page.

Choose the type of codes that you want to get. You can get a quick link, which is basically a link to the survey. Or you can get a full page survey, a popup survey, a survey with audio and more.

Again, click the question mark box to the left of the types if you have questions about a specific type.


Once you copy and paste the code onto your website, then you’re finished with the setup process!

Step 7 – Using Word Density

One of the unique features of Ask Database is its search keyword identification tool. You can access it by clicking “Word Density” under Campaign Tools.


You’ll then see a list of the most commonly typed words for your survey. It’ll display data on one word, two word or even three word phrases if you have enough data.


That’s the basics of how to setup Ask Database, create a campaign and use its unique word density features. Ask Database has a lot of other tools that you can use to optimize your campaign. The best way to learn is to just experiment with all the different tools available.


Easy Internet Survey

Easy Internet Survey (EIS) is a 100% free online survey system. You have an unlimited number of responses to your questions.

EIS specializes in single-question surveys, rather than large multi-question surveys. If you want to setup a complex survey, chances are you’re better off with another system.

However, if you just want to setup a simple survey for free and collect an unlimited number of responses, then Easy Internet Survey is a great choice.

Step 1: Get an Account

To register for an account, go to: http://www.easyinternetsurvey.com

Click on the link under the test drive section to get started.


You’ll need to go through a signup process that involves entering your email address, confirming it and then getting a password from your email.


If you don’t get an email within 10 minutes of registering, check your spam box.

Once you’ve completed the registration process, log in with your email address and password.

Step 2: Start a New Campaign

Click on “New Campaign” along the navigation bar to start your new campaign.


You’ll be taken to the campaign creation page.


In the top section, select the type of questions you want to ask, give your campaign a title and tell EIS where to send your visitors after they finish your survey. You can also opt to collect user email addresses and names from the survey.

In the bottom section, you can choose to send users an autoresponder message when they finish the survey. Set this up here if you want to do so.

Click “Save and Next Step” when you’re ready.

Step 3: Enter Your Question

Enter the question you want to ask for your survey.


Click “Save and Next Step” when you’ve finished.

Step 4: Select Your Page Template

Choose how you want your page to behave. Should it be a pop-up? Or a full page survey?

Click on Preview once you’ve finished. Alternatively, you can click Customize to change the default template.


Step 5: Preview and Get Code

You’ll be shown a preview of what your survey will look like.


If the preview looks good, then click one of the code boxes to get the code. A code box will pop up with your HTML code on it.


Use this link to send your users to your survey.

Step 6: Retrieving Responses & Data

Once you’ve got responses to your survey, go to Reports to view your results.


The most basic data you’ll get is the # of responses and the # of impressions. For more details, click on “See Responses” to see exactly what your users said.

That’s how you setup a campaign in Easy Internet Survey. EIS is a powerful free way of collecting one-question responses from your users. Unlike other services, they don’t cap your responses and won’t charge you a dime no matter how many responses you get.


Online Survey Comparison Chart

Comparison chart was created based on available information and features are subject to change. 



Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is one of the oldest survey websites on the internet, founded before the internet bubble in 1999.

It has both a free version and a paid version. The free version allows you to create unlimited surveys, but only allows you to ask 10 questions per survey. Each survey can only handle up to 100 responses before you need to switch to a paid account.

The paid accounts can handle unlimited questions and responses. In addition, depending on your plan, you can also get access to A/B split testing, random question insertion, SSL-encrypted surveys, advanced analytics and more.

Here’s a walkthrough on how to use Survey Monkey to create a survey.

Step 1: Register for Survey Monkey

If you don’t already have a survey monkey account, register for one at http://www.SurveyMonkey.com


Step 2: Name & Create Your Survey

When you land on your home screen for the first time, in the middle of your screen will be the survey creation page.

Come up with a name for your survey, then click “Create Survey!” to get started.


Step 3: Choose Your Survey Theme

Your theme determines how your survey will look. In general, you should choose either colors that match your site or colors that match the “vibe” that you want to survey to convey.

To use a pre-set theme, click on the drop down box. A list of available themes will drop down.

If you want to create your own theme, click “Create Custom Theme.


The box below the theme box will display a preview of what your page will look like with that theme.

Step 4: Add or Edit Page

If you have a multi-page survey, click on “Add Page” to add each page. If you have just one page, click on “Edit Page Options” to edit the page.

This is what a page creation or edit page looks like.


Repeat the process for each page you create. Here’s what a finished page should look like in your “Design Survey” tab:

Step 5: Add a Question


To add a question, click on “Add Question.” To add text or an image, click the drop down box next to “Add Question.”


Note that random assignment is a pro-only feature. It allows you to add questions that automatically randomize themselves.

When you add a question, you get to select from a drop down box of many different question types. Look through these types for the type that best serves the data you’re trying to get.


You’ll be taken to the next page to supply the details for the question. For example, with the multiple choice (one answer) option, this is what the next page looks like:


Step 6: Repeat Then Preview

Keep on adding pages and questions until you’ve completed your survey.

Once you think you’re finished, click on the “Preview Survey” button in the upper right corner to go through the survey.

You’ll see the survey exactly like how your end user will see the survey, so you can get a sense for whether or not the survey is showing up the way you like it.


Step 7: Save and Publish

Once you’ve finished your survey, click on “Collect Responses” to generate a link to your survey.


A number of choices on how you want to generate your link will come up, including emailing a link, having Survey Monkey email the link or have it posted on Facebook.

Select the one that best suits your needs. In general, most people just select the first option.


When you click Next Step, your survey link will be displayed.


Congratulations! You’ve learned the basics of how to create a survey with Survey Monkey.

Play around with the interface and get used to the system on the free account first. Then, if you need more capabilities, upgrade to Pro to use all that Survey Monkey has to offer.


Top 10 Web Stats Tracking Programs


In order to run a successful web business, you need to know your stats. You need to know how many visitors you’re getting, where they’re coming from, how long they’re staying on your site and so on.

The old adage “what you track improves” applies to the web. When you track specific numbers, you’ll be able to systematically improve those numbers. For example, when you track how long people spend on your website, you can try out different things to see if it increases the time spent on your site.

Every business needs at least one web stats tracking program. If you’re running a complex operation or if you don’t quite trust one method of tracking, you could run two.

Here are the top 10 web stats tracking programs.

Program #1: Google Analytics


Site: http://analytics.google.com

Google Analytics is by far the largest stats tracking program on the net. It’s 100% free, provided by Google. Google Analytics can track all the basic stats, including page views, unique visitors, bounce rates, time on site, return visitors, the country people come from and more. Unless you have a reason not to use Google Analytics, it’s a pretty good bet for a basic and all-purpose stats tracking tool.

Program #2: Piwik


Site: http://www.piwik.org

Piwik is a self-installed web stats tracking tool that works a lot like Google Analytics. It’s open source and 100% free. A lot of people who don’t want to use Google Analytics use Piwik instead. The interface is similar, as are the data gathering methods. Note that you do need to have slightly more technical skills to install Piwik than Google Analytics. With Google Analytics, you only need to install a line of code. With Piwik, you need to upload the Piwik files, set permissions and make sure everything’s installed properly.

Program #3: AWStats


Site: http://awstats.sourceforge.net

AWStats is a log file analyzer that often comes with cPanel installations. In other words, there’s a good chance you already have AWStats installed. Unlike Google Analytics which works based on firing a script every time someone lands on your page, AWStats gets its data by analyzing your log files. Your server logs every visit and page load when people visit your site and can tell you a lot about who’s coming to your site and what they’re doing.

What’s odd about server log analyzers versus pixel / JavaScript tracking is that you’ll often get very different data. For example, AWStats might say you’re getting 3,000 visitors a month, while Google Analytics might say you’re getting 2,500. This is one reason why people choose to use two stats programs – So they can get a more accurate sense of the picture.

Program #4: Clicky


Site: http://www.clicky.com

Clicky is one of the most popular private web stat programs on the web. It offers all the data that Google Analytics brings to the table, plus a few unique features. First of all, Clicky provides stats data on videos and on Twitter usage. If you do social media marketing of any sort, the data Clicky provides can be a big boon. Clicky also gives you data in real time. Data from Google Analytics on the other hand can be delayed by as much as half a day. You can check your stats with a mobile app, so you can watch your traffic on the go.

Program #5: Alexa


Site: http://www.alexa.com

Alexa isn’t a traditional web stats program. Instead, what it allows you to do is compare yourself to other sites on the internet or other sites in your niche. It also provides demographic and keyword information about virtually every indexed website on the net. However, approach with caution because some rankings can be deceptive. It’s entirely possible for a website to rank highly for a search term, but still get less traffic than a site that’s ranked lower. That’s because data is based on visitors that Alexa is able to track, not all the visitors to a particular website.

Program #6: Statcounter


Site: http://www.statcounter.com

Statcounter is a simple and easy to use stats tracking program. The program is free for small users and paid for higher volume users (250,000 pageviews and up.) The tool tracks all the most important data points, including unique visitors, return visitor percentage, popular pages and more. They have a number of tools that can give you more detailed data if your client has JavaScript enabled. They can show you the exact path each visitor took through your website, so you can learn more about how people like to browse.

Program #7: Sitemeter


Site: http://www.Sitemeter.com

Sitemeter is a very simple and straightforward stats tracking program. It doesn’t do anything fancy or give you in-depth statistics. The program basically tells you how many visitors you have and when they visited your site. It’s the ideal solution for people who aren’t very web savvy. If you’re building websites for clients, Sitemeter can be a good way to give your clients access to traffic data without overwhelming them to other statistics.

Program #8: W3Perl


Site: http://www.w3perl.com


W3Perl is a Perl based log file analyzer. It’s more complex to install than anything we’ve covered so far and is primarily meant for system administrators who want highly in depth statistics. If you’re technically savvy and can do the installation and management, this software can be a very powerful tool. W3Perl can read data from emails, FTP servers and web visitors. It can give you all the standard data, along with advance data like session analysis, heatmapping and filetype breakdowns.

Program #9: Tracking 202


Site: http://www.tracking202.com


Tracking 202 is one of the top programs for running PPC affiliate campaigns. Note that this is not a tracking tool you want to use unless you’re doing paid marketing. It’s 100% free. Tracking 202 runs based on SubIDs that are tagged at the end of each affiliate URL. It allows you to track each sale back to the keyword that generated the sale, as well as to the affiliate network and the affiliate offer. Furthermore, Tracking 202 has a “Spy View” that allows you to see traffic flowing in as people visit your site. If they convert, you’ll see that live as well. As far as free PPC tracking solutions go, Tracking 202 is definitely in the running for the top spot.

Program #10: Klout


Site: http://www.klout.com

Klout allows you to track your social media ranking. It analyzes your Twitter and Facebook accounts and tells you how much clout you have with people in your social network.Your Klout score shouldn’t be used as an indicator of your business overall. However, if you’re doing social media marketing, it can be a great way to track whether or not you’re doing well in terms of increasing your social influence.

These are the top 10 web stats tracking programs. We’ve covered programs for affiliate marketers, for beginners, for advanced sysadmins, for social media marketers and more.

Top 10 Video Marketing Mistakes


Video marketing is an extremely powerful yet often overlooked channel of marketing. People often (mistakenly) think that succeeding in video marketing is a matter of luck. That you just put out a video and cross your fingers and hope that it “goes viral.” That’s not how video marketing works at all.

Just like any other marketing tactic, video marketing involves taking systematic steps to create a desired result. Video marketing, when done properly, can bring in thousands or even hundreds of thousands of visitors. This happens deliberately, not by accident.

Yet most people who try their hands on video marketing don’t ultimately succeed. Why is that? It’s because they make one of these ten traffic-destroying mistakes along the way.

Mistake #1: Relying on One-Hit Videos

If any part of your business plan relies on your videos “going viral,” you’re out of luck.

Yes, a small (miniscule) amount of videos do go viral every day. But the amount of videos that make this mark are so tiny that shooting for it at all is completely unrealistic. If you’re spending any amount of time or energy on trying to go viral, you’re running yourself in circles.

If you’re going to get into video marketing, expect to be in it for the long haul. Yes, you can and will drive a lot of traffic. But it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to happen from one video.

Mistake #2: Not Developing a Channel

Having a YouTube channel allows anyone with a Google account to subscribe to your channel. It allows you to build your brand by customizing your background. It allows you to sequence your videos however you like. It allows you to lay out your page in many different formations.

Each of your videos should be a part of a larger plan for your entire channel. Don’t just publish standalone videos. It’s impossible to “follow” a standalone video. If you’re just publishing single video after single video, you’re not going to build an audience.

Work towards building a channel. Spend time perfecting your channel’s layout and design. Your channel’s followers are your core viewer base.

Nicole Munoz Youtube


Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Fancy Effects

Fancy special effects are a fantastic add on to your videos. If you want to add a flashy intro sequence, if you want to “blur in” your subtitles, if you want to “explode” out of your video at the end, that’s all great. But special effects should never become to focus of your video.

You should also never let special effects hold up the production of your video. If it’s going to take forever to get a special effect intro done and you’re ready to launch now, then you’re probably better off just saying “go” now.

Special effects, more often than not, are done primarily for the video creator’s ego. They don’t truly add any value to the end viewer’s experience. Focus on the content, not the effects. If you can get effects in without too much time or money, go for it. But don’t let your product get delayed special effects.

Mistake #4: Getting Hung Up Over Video Equipment

Video2The world of video equipment can be incredibly confusing. Should you get a wide lens camera or a long lens? What about telephoto? Should you get a condenser microphone or a dynamic microphone? What about wireless – Should you go with a lavaliere mic or an over ear mic? How do you avoid static? What about lighting? How many lights do you need and do you need to purchase a lighting kit?

The questions go on and on and on. You could literally spend days researching the perfect video setup and still have questions leftover.

The reality is, for most people who’re doing their own video setup, a simple setup will do. You can go very far with just an iPhone 5 camera and a dynamic microphone. Your whole setup can be done for under $200.

Give yourself a deadline. If you’re setting up a studio from scratch, give yourself two days to do all your research and buy what you need to buy. No more. Don’t spend weeks and definitely don’t spend months figuring it out.

If you really want quality high enough to warrant months of setup, you’re better off hiring a professional to shoot for you than trying to set it up from scratch yourself.

Mistake #5: Not Knowing Your Audience

checklistThe kind of content you think your audience wants can be very different from the kind of content they actually want. For example, you might have a YouTube channel geared towards real estate agents. You might share some of your personal best tips for closing sales and feel great about sharing. But your audience’s main problem might not be closing sales – It might be getting leads in the first place.

If you don’t know where your audience is at, it’s very difficult to produce the kind of content they’re looking for. So how do you know where your audience is at?

Ask. Ask them what kind of content they want. Respond to their comments. Better yet, respond in the video itself. Acknowledge them by name, read their question then answer it for them.

Get to know your audience. Don’t just share what you want to share. Instead, aim to actually figure out what your audience wants and needs and give it to them.

Mistake #6: Expecting Results Too Quickly

It’s quite rare that a new channel starts up and instantly gets hundreds of millions of views. Instead, you’re more likely to start off with just tens or a couple hundred views. Then your second video will get a few more viewers. Your third will get even more.

As you publish more videos, more and more people will join your audience. Your reach will have a snowball effect. A few months or years down the line you’ll be able to publish a brand new video and have it get hundreds of thousands of views instantly. But that takes time.

Expect your video marketing efforts to take at least six months to pick up.

Mistake #7: No Call to Action

Does your video tell people what to do next, or does it just give them the content then leave them there?

When you create a high quality video, you create a lot of goodwill. But in order for that goodwill to translate into clicks, into leads and into sales, you have to have a call to action.

Your first call to action is probably going to be to “click here” or to direct people to an address on your website. Make your call to action as clear and as powerful as you can. Then use other call to actions to move people through your sales funnel.


Mistake #8: Being Afraid to Spend Money

money-fitnesIt’s very hard to create a high quality video without spending any money. Here are just some of the things you’ll probably want to invest in:

  • Getting a professional intro sequence done.
  • Video editing.
  • Having slides put in.
  • Editing software (if you’re doing it yourself)
  • Audio quality enhancement
  • Etc

Yes, it is possible to do it all yourself and not spend any money. But the result will probably be a lot of wasted time and an inferior video. Trying your best to spend as little as possible is a terrible way to create a video.

Instead, focus on how to intelligently invest your money. Invest in things that’ll really make a big difference.

Mistake #9: Not Tracking and Analyzing

analyzeYouTube offers a fairly comprehensive analytics package. It can tell you how far along people watch in your videos before leaving, it can tell you what your traffic sources are, it can tell you about who’s watching your video and more.

A lot of people completely ignore YouTube’s analytics. Even people who’re fanatical about website data for some reason seem to ignore YouTube data altogether. This is a huge mistake.

YouTube’s analytic package is a gold mine waiting to be explored. Using this data, you can hone in on exactly what’s working and what’s not. This will help you create more home run videos in the future.

Mistake #10: Not Promoting Your Videos Enough

Another mistake is thinking that you just put your videos up on YouTube and they’ll promote themselves. That’s not how it works.

In the early stages, most of the traffic that comes to your video is going to come from you and your existing audience. In time, your YouTube audience and YouTube’s traffic will bring you a lot of people But when you’re first building up your following, you have to be the driver of traffic.

Promote your video(s) on your website, on your list, on your Twitter feed, on your Facebook page and on anywhere else where your audience is. Get the word out about your video(s) and start driving those view numbers.

These are the top 10 video marketing mistakes people make. Video marketing can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you approach it right and give it the time and energy it needs to flourish.

How to Shorten Links and Analyze Their Stats

linkBit.ly is a great little free tool that allows you to shorten long URLs such as affiliate links so you can more easily insert them into emails, tweets and such. Bit.ly also allows you to track your clicks as well.


Step 1: Shorten Links

When you log into your account, you’ll see a box as shown below where you enter the long URL that you’d like to shorten. Simply enter the long link and click the “Shorten” button.


Below the box you’ll now see a shortened link as shown below.


Copy & paste this short link on your website, social networking sites, email or any place you want to share it.

Step 2: Custom Link

If you don’t like the look of the shortened link, you can create a custom link. To do this, click  “Customize” next to the bit.ly generated short link. Enter the letters/word you’d like to use for the link & click the “Customize” button as illustrated on the page below.


If the link is available, it will be updated. If someone else has already used that customized set of letters or words, then you’ll have to choose a different word/letter combo.

Once you have a unique letter/word combo, your new link will generate.

Copy & paste this short link on your website, social networking sites, email or any place you want to share it.

Repeat for each link you want to shorten.


Step 3: Short Domain & Tracking Domain (optional steps)


With the Pro version of Bit.ly, you can enter a short domain and a tracking domain. To do this, in the upper right corner, next to your username, click the down arrow and select “Settings”.


Custom Short Domain

A custom short domain is used in place of the bit.ly.com domain when creating short links For instance, if you owned the domains all-baseball-card-deals.com and abcd.com you could enter http://aplc.com here and your shortened bit.ly links would look like abcd.com/aQ7tz rather than bit.ly/aQ7tz

Just enter the short domain into the box and click the “Add Short Domain” button.

Note: Adding a custom short domain requires you to edit your DNS settings before it will work.



Tracking Domain

This will allow you to gather data on how your domain is being circulated across the web. If you own the domain all-baseball-card-deals.com and set it as your dashboard tracking domain, all of the bit.ly redirected traffic to all-baseball-card-deals.com would show up in your stats.

You simply need to enter your root domain and click the “Add Tracking Domain” button.


You’ll then be asked to verify your domain one of three ways…



Step 4: Sidebar Bookmarklet


Bit.ly has a sidebar bookmarklet that allows you to tweet, watch your stats and see who is talking about the linked page on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and blog comments right from your browser’s sidebar.

To set this up, navigate to the upper right corner next to your username & click the down arrow and select “Shorten Everywhere”.

The page will show you an outline of how the bookmarklet will look. At the bottom of the page, there’s a yellow box that tells you to drag the link to your browser toolbar to get started.

If you already have links set up in your dashboard, once the bookmarklet refreshes, you’ll start to see your stats.

You can add your Twitter and Facebook account details so you can quickly post directly from this bookmarklet.

You can find similar tools that work pretty much the same on this page:



Step 5: Reading Stats

Once you’ve had your links published to the web for a while, you’ll be able to view your stats. To do this, log into your account and click “Analyze”.



The Metrics Summary will give you a breakdown of your stats in graph form for the past 30 days, as shown below.



That’s it! You can now easily use short links and track the stats for each one. 

Sprout Social: A Team-Friendly Approach to Social Media & Analytics




Sprout Social is a social media integration service that integrates with Twitter, Facebook pages, Gowalla, FourSquare and LinkedIn. They have a 100% free trial, where you don’t even need to give them your credit card number to subscribe.

They have two plans that are catered to small business owners: The “Standard” package, which comes in at $39 a month, or the “Deluxe” package, which comes in at $59 a month.

Here are some of the things that Sprout Social has to offer:

  • Message scheduling. Instead of having to post your updates live, you can schedule them to be posted at a later time.
  • Google analytics integration. See your traffic stats all in one place, instead of having to log into Google separately.
  • Custom branded reports. If you need to send a client a report, it’ll have your logo on it rather than Sprout Social’s.
  • Social media integration. Integrate many different social media accounts all in one place.
  • Live support. Have a question? Sprout Social is there to answer your questions.
  • Tools for collaboration. Work with your team to get the most out of your social media campaigns.

Here’s how to use Sprout Social to integrate your social media.

Step 1: Begin Your Trial

Click “Start Your 30 Day Trial” to begin the signup process.


Step 2: Select Your Plan

Select the plan you want to use. If you’re a small company, usually the “Standard” version is enough. You can always upgrade later.


Step 3: Create Your Profile

Create your account. Sprout Social will tell you when your trial account is good till on the right hand side.


Step 4: Sign In on Your Twitter Account

Click the “Sign in with Twitter” button to connect your Sprout Social account with your Twitter account.


Authorize Sprout Social to use your Twitter account.


Step 5: Business Details

Enter your business details.


Once you’re done, click “Continue” and you’ll be taken to your main dashboard screen.

Step 6: Adding More Profiles

If you want to add more profiles, click on the “Add Social Profiles” button in the next pop up screen or simply go to the right hand sidebar and click “+.”




Sprout Social will pop up a box allowing you to choose which social media profile you want to link up.


Step 7: Add Team Members

To add more people to manage your account, click “Invite The Team” on the right hand side.


Enter the name and email address of the person you want to add. You’ll need to pay extra to add team members. You can add each person as either a standard user or as an administrator.


Step 8: The Dashboard

When you first log into Sprout Social, you’ll be presented with your dashboard. Here you can view your new Twitter followers, new Facebook fans, Interactions and so on.


Step 9: Messages

To access your messages, click the “Messages” tab in the top navigation bar.


Your messages will be displayed in the center. If access messages from different accounts, click the account on the right hand side. To compose a new message, click “Compose” in the upper right corner.

Step 10: Feeds

To access your feeds, click the “Feeds” button at the top. By default, you’ll see your Twitter’s feed. You can also add a LinkedIn feed or an RSS feed.


Step 11: Scheduling

To schedule a message, click “Schedule a new message” in the “Publishing” tab.


The scheduler will pop up. Here you can attach images, write your message and pick a time for your message to be posted.


Step 12: Discovery

Want to discover new people to follow or get in contact with? Click the “Discovery” button along the top navigation bar.

Sprout Social will then give you a list of people that they recommend you connect with. Take a look at their profile and if it makes sense, follow them or send them an @mention.


Step 13: Reports

Want to get more details about how your social media campaigns are working? Click “reports.” You’ll be able to view data on both your Twitter accounts and your Facebook Pages accounts.


You can view data on your retweets, incoming messages, new followers and even compare the performance of multiple Twitter accounts.
That’s how to use Sprout Social to manage your social media. Sprout social makes it easy to manage feeds, messages, scheduling and various social media networks from one easy to use interface. They also make it very easy to involve the rest of your team in your social media plans.

Postling for Monitoring, Analytics and Easy Updates


Postling is a social media integration service that ties in reputation monitoring, blog updating, analytics and traditional social media networks all in one easy to use package.

Through Postling, you can update your status or see who’s talking about you. You can track how many posts you’ve made in a certain time period and how many comments those posts have gotten. You can post to all your social networks in one easy to use interface.

Postling was co-founded by Chris Maguire, the co-founder of the popular art marketplace Etsy. It’s raised $700,000 in venture funding, according to TechCrunch.

Unlike other social media integration services, Postling is a paid service. The monthly rate is astoundingly low: $5. If you only want to use social media integration, then Postling might not be worth it. However, if you want to tie in reputation management, analytics and blog posting all in one easy to use interface, then Postling could be the perfect solution.

Here’s how to use Postling to integrate all these different areas of your internet business.

Step 1: Begin Registration

Start by entering your email, name and password


Step 2: Setup Payment

Setup the credit card you’ll use to get your $1 trial. You’ll be billed $5 a month automatically if you don’t cancel.


Step 3: Choose How You’ll Use Postling

Choose how you plan on using Postling. Specifying the type of business you own will help Postling locate reviews for your business on sites like Yelp or Citysearch.


If you select “business,” you’ll be asked for your business’ name and your business type.


Step 4: Add Your Social Networks

Select which kind of social media account you want to add.


Then choose to grant access to Postling when the social media permission box pops up.


Repeat this for each social media account that you’d like to add.

Step 5: Add a Blog

Adding a blog to Postling will allow you to post to your blog from Postling and monitor your results from Postling’s analytics systems.

To add a blog, click the blogging platform you use.


Then give Postling the login credentials needed to log in and post to your blog.


Step 6: Setup Tracking

Setup your tracking here. Postling will automatically monitor social media and search engines for mentions of you and your brand. They’ll also monitor Yelp and Citysearch to help you find new reviews about your business.


Select any one of the tracking options available. You’ll need to give Postling the exact keyword(s) or business name(s) that you want to track.


You can use Boolean search operators in these trackers. For example, you can use a search phrase like “Fishing rod review OR recommendation” to track either people who’re looking for reviews or recommendations.

You can learn about all the search operators you can use here:

Once you’ve setup all your trackers, click “Done! Start Using Postling Now” to continue.


Step 7: Tracking Screen

The main screen of Postling is your tracking screen. Here you’ll see all the latest results from the keywords you’re tracking.

You can change what kind of content you want to view in this feed through the drop-down “view” menu at the top.


Step 8: Publish a Status Update

To update your social media status, click “Update your Status” under “Publish” on the left hand navigation.


You’ll be taken to the status update box.

To shorten a URL, just put the URL in the URL shortener. It’ll automatically generate a bitly link for you.

Type in the message you want to send to your social network. Check the social network(s) you want to post to on the right hand side. Then either click “Publish” or “schedule for later” to post your update.

There’s a character count in the upper right corner to help with Twitter posts.


Step 9: Create a Blog Post

To create a new blog post, click “Create a Blog Post.”


A WYSIWYG editor will pop up. Use this editor to create your blog post.


Once you’re ready to post your message, check the boxes next to the blog(s) you want to post to. If you want to post the blog post to your social media networks as well, you can check those boxes too.


Step 10: Analytics

To access your analytics, click “Analytics” in the left hand side navigation bar.


Select the time period you want to see data for, as well as the account you want to see data for. Then use the checkboxes to check which data points you want to see.


The data will be graphed out at the top of the page. You can also scroll down to see the data laid out in text.

That’s how to use Postling to integrate social media, blog posting, analytics and reputation management. If you’re just using social media, Postling may not be the best integration solution. However, if you want to integrate a whole suite of web management tools all in one place, Postling should absolutely be one of your top choices.

Top 10 Benefits to Integrating Your Social Media

social_media_integrationIf you’re serious about social media, you need to be using social media integration tools. If you’re not using these tools, you’ll be wasting a lot of time while inefficiently managing your social media. You’ll have a harder time connecting with your followers and won’t be able to build your connections as easily.

The reality is, using the default settings on tools like Twitter and Facebook work for the majority of social media users, but aren’t terribly effective for a business with a strong social media strategy.

For example, Twitter and Google’s tools won’t natively allow you to schedule your posts. Instead, you can only post only the moment you post a status update. That makes it impossible to “pre-send” your messages for the next few days at one time.

Still not convinced? Here are the top 10 benefits to integrating your social media.

Benefit #1: Post across Multiple Social Sites at Once

Instead of having to log into your various Twitter accounts, your Facebook pages, your Facebook accounts, your LinkedIn accounts and so on to post status updates individually, with social media integration you can just post to all of them in one place.

This can literally save you dozens or even hundreds of hours over the course of a year.

With social media integration, posting one status update to 5 different social media sites takes just 30 seconds. Without integration, just loading up and posting that update to 5 different sites will take a few minutes. However, if you have to log out of Twitter and into a different account every time, it could easily result in 5 to 15 minutes wasted per update.

If you’re updating several times a day, or even just several times a week, this very quickly turns into a lot of time saved.


Benefit #2: See Your @Replies, Direct Messages and FB Messages in One Place

With social media management, you get to see all your messages in one place. You can then reply to all your messages in one place as well.

If you had all your messages scattered over numerous Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts, chances are responding to all the messages would simply take far too long.

Furthermore, they would weigh on you psychologically. You won’t ever really know if your inboxes are empty, because it’s too much effort to log into all your accounts to check.

With an integrated social media strategy however, you’ll know exactly how many messages you have at any given time. They’ll be visible from your feeds.

You’ll be able to respond to messages faster, which creates more of the impression that you really care about the people who communicate with you.


Benefit #3: Schedule Posts

With just about every social media website, you can’t schedule posts. You can’t tell Twitter to post tweets every two hours. Instead, you have to log into the site and post your tweets exactly when they want to go out.

This is fine for the casual user, but terrible for a serious social media marketer with a lot on his plate. One strategy you’ll often want to use is to sit down for 30 minutes and hammer out all your posts for the next few days.

With an integrated social media strategy, all you need to do is go into your tools and create the new posts. You can drip-feed your content at any rate you choose. You can schedule posts for multiple social media accounts all at once.

This capability alone is really enough for any serious social media marketer to use social media integration.


Benefit #4: Integrate Blogging and Email Marketing

Your social media strategy should be integrated with your blogging and email marketing strategies.

That means that whenever you post a new blog post, you should send out a tweet about it. Whenever you send out a new email, if there’s high quality content in that email, you should probably post a status update or send out a tweet as well.

This also works as a two-way street. If you regularly post valuable content to your social media communities, you should try to find a way to bring that content to your blog. For example, you might use widgets to put your Twitter feed on your website so your website visitors can see your latest 10 tweets.

Treat your whole social media, blogging and email marketing audience as one whole community, rather than segregated marketing tactics. Using social media integration will allow you to integrate blogging, email marketing and social media into one seamless strategy.

Benefit #5: Manage Social Media as a Team

Trying to manage social media as a team and execute a complex, multi-tiered strategy without social media integration is extremely difficult.

With integration tools, you can easily all stay on the same page about your social media strategies.

Various team members can schedule posts ahead of time and other team members can see what’s going to be posted in the future and adjust accordingly. Reports and analytics can inform a whole team’s decisions and the team can work as a whole to respond to follower inquiries.

Without social media integration, the time wasted on logging in and out of various sites is compounded. Each team member wastes a few minutes here and there logging in, which at the end of the day translates to massive wasted time for the company.

Furthermore, there’s no inherent way to work together in native social media platforms. Facebook isn’t really built for a team to execute a strategy together; but most social media integration tools are.

Benefit #6: Competitive Research & Feed Management

Social media integration tools will allow you to track a number of different feeds in a very simple manner. This is a fantastic way to stay on top of what’s going on in an industry.

For example, let’s say you’re in the electronics industry. You might want to regularly follow a couple different feeds about the latest electronics discoveries. You also want to follow feeds from your competitors to see what they’re offering.

You want to follow these feeds across Twitter and Facebook. If you had to use just Twitter and Facebook, you’d have to visit the individual pages or hashtags every time you wanted to check up on these companies or technologies.

That takes a lot of time. Chances are, you just won’t be able to keep up that level of research on a regular basis.

On the other hand, with social media integration tools, you’ll be able to keep those feeds all on a dashboard for easy viewing. You can easily observe new trends and see when new big topics are being discussed.

Social media integration makes competitive research and staying on top of an industry much, much easier.

Benefit #7: Unique Analytics and Reporting Capabilities

Different social media integration tools offer different reporting capabilities. These reporting tools can often report cross platform, giving you unique data that none of the sites couple independently give you.

For example, let’s say you wanted to explore the clickthrough data from your Facebook page. You want to know what kind of posts and what kind of media generates the highest clickthrough.

That’s something that Facebook’s insights can give you. However, what Facebook’s insights can’t give you is data on how those customers then behave once they’re on your website. They can’t tell you if they stay for longer or shorter than the typical browser.

Social media integration tools can give you this kind of data and more.

Furthermore, if you’re managing social media for clients, you can even brand the reports so it looks like it was generated internally rather than through external tools.

Benefit #8: Share Relevant News and Breakthroughs Quickly

Sometimes getting the edge in business truly is time sensitive. If you run a financial advisory firm and Google’s stock suddenly takes a 10% nosedive, the very first firm to be able to put out a comprehensive analysis is probably going to get a whole lot of traffic and backlinks.

With something like this, the difference of just 30 minutes can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Often time’s responding to big news can be crucial to your business. If you’re in the music business, Michael Jackson’s death should have been considered big news that you should have responded to. It would have generated a lot of discussion and connection with your audience.

Sharing these kinds of news responses and big breakthroughs is extremely difficult if you had to log into and post manually to all your social media connections. On the other hand, if you’ve integrated your social media platforms, you’ll be able to quickly and easily respond to urgent situations all in one place.

Benefit #9: Discover New People to Follow

Using social media integration is a great way to find new people to follow. There are both formal and informal ways to do this.

Some tools, such as Sprout Social, actually have deliberate tools designed to help you find new people to follow. They’ll explore feeds of people who you’ve interacted with in the past, as well as feeds of influencers. Then they’ll determine what kind of topics you tend to be interested in and make recommendations if there’s a match.

This is great for finding new sources of advice, news and interaction. It’s also a great way to find new influencers to reach out to, in order to see if there’s a way you can work together.

Even if you don’t use these deliberate tools, social media integration can still help you find new people to follow. By integrating your feeds, you’ll be able to spot “super fans” who’re interacting with you across multiple media.

You’ll also start to recognize names that are showing up across different feeds frequently. For example, if people are regularly talking about the ideas of Joe Smith, you might want to check out Joe Smith’s feed to see what he has to offer.

Benefit #10: Updates by Email

What if you don’t want to spend ages on social media? What if social media is only part of your overall business plan and you don’t want to dedicate too much time to it?

Social media integration can definitely help there. Instead of having to log into your various social media platforms to make sure your networks are alive and healthy, you can use email updates instead.

Tools like Nutshell Mail will mail you reports about how your social media networks are performing. If problems arise or if your engagement levels are trending downwards rather than upwards, you’ll be able to quickly spot it. If they’re going up however, you don’t need to spend too much time checking on it. Instead, you just receive a quick email daily.

These are some of the many benefits of integrating your social media. The message is clear: If you run a business and plan on using social media as part of your strategy, you’ll probably want to seriously think about integrating your social media. There are immense benefits and very few drawbacks.