Does this sound like you? You have your website, your products and are pretty well established in your market. Sales are good, but you’re reaching a bit of a plateau when it comes to business growth. The big question is how you move forward.

One good option is certainly to create more complimentary products that you can then sell to your existing customer base. Today, I want to mention a slightly different strategy though. Instead of creating more new products, why not take what you already have and tweak it for a different niche.

Why Moving Into A New Niche Is A Good Idea
The main reason I like doing this is because I can leverage the time and effort I put into the original product. I don’t have to write and market something else from scratch. Instead I can simply edit what I already have and use it again. Let me give you an example to illustrate:

Let’s say you wrote a guide for restaurant owners on how to promote their business online locally. Why not take that same guide and rework it for flower shop owners or dry cleaners?

When Is It Time To Move Into A New Market?
A word of caution – it’s not always the right time to move into a new market. You want to make sure your existing business is well established and your sales are steady. It may be easy to rework an existing product, but it will take some time, energy and focus away from what you are already doing.

If you are just entering a market, this is not the time to expand. Work on what you’ve got until you reach a point where no matter how much more effective marketing you do, you’re not seeing a lot of results.

How to Tweak Your Products
Now, let’s talk about how you would go about entering a new market with your product. I like to start by brainstorming with anyone and everyone that might benefit from my product. Take those ideas and write them all down on a list.

Then go back to your list and decide who would benefit the most and would most likely buy. Another thing to consider is how big the new market is and how easy it would be for you to tweak your product for that particular market or audience. Once that decision is made, it’s time to get to work.

Start by going through your product and marking what content can stay as is and what you need to change. The things I find myself changing are the name of the product, how I address my audience and the examples I use. Sometimes I also need to slightly tweak different strategies that I am teaching.

Make the changes as needed, give your product a new title and create a new cover or packaging to indicate the new brand. Don’t forget to set up a new sales page as well.

A Crucial Step – Make Sure You Move Into A Profitable Niche
Before you get to work tweaking your products, I need to make you aware of one more very crucial step. You have to make sure the new niche market you are moving into is profitable. No need to do all this work just to find out weeks later that your product isn’t selling. 

Have you ever bought something on the recommendation of another? This word-of-mouth technique works online as well. Here, it is called viral marketing. Get your own viral campaigns moving by offering free reports.

The reports we are talking about are special reports. They are usually around five to ten pages in length. In them, readers will find a wealth of information on a topic of interest. For you, the topic has something to do with your business niche.

Viral advertising only works when the product that you offer has mass appeal. This means that people will want to share it with others once they see it. It can be a unique twist on an old subject, something funny or something interactive. With reports, they can present a new twist, make someone laugh and provoke thoughtful discussion.

Hey, where can you find a report like that? You are going to write it. You don’t have to be a great writer to produce a free report worth reading. The best tool that you have is the fact that you know a lot about your niche. Your business is your passion and whatever you write needs to convey that passion. The most interesting reports are those that offer something that the reader doesn’t already know or something that they need.

What do you want to accomplish with the free report? It can be a list of potential clients, a bigger sale or even a sign up for something else free like a trial membership or trying out a new product. Your answer to this question leads to your landing page. This is where you advertise your free report and give reasons why the reader needs to opt-in to receive it.

Your free report will touch off a viral storm but you need to let people know about it. It’s like using promotion to help you interest people in a product that will further promote your website. It sounds complicated but actually isn’t at all.

Are you familiar with article marketing? That’s when you write articles about your niche and submit them to article directories. At the end, you’ll include a link in our bio box that leads to your website business. With the free reports, you’ll write articles about the same subject as the report and link to the landing page so readers who like your article and find the free report.

How about your existing customers? They have already bought products from you and know how great you are. Send them an email with the link to your landing page. Do the same for your friends, associates and, if you have an affiliate program, your affiliates.

People like to get free items, but they also want them to be worth their time. Use interesting free reports to jumpstart a viral marketing campaign and drive traffic to your site.

Promoting your online business almost always depends on others. You use family and friends to get the ball rolling when you are just starting out. If you have some customers, you count on them to pass the word. Cross promotion helps you do the same thing but with other businesses.

What is cross promotion? In a nutshell, it is working with other businesses both large and small to draw attention to your products. Cross promotion is different from affiliate marketing in that it is an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both people in the same way. With affiliate marketing, the affiliate gets a percentage of the pie based on an agreed upon amount. With cross promotion, both partners are looking to receive the same amount of compensation.

With that said, cross promotions can begin with your business associates within your niche. No doubt, you have found some kindred business souls on niche forums and social networking sites. Niche associations are another great place to find businesses that operate within your chosen business niche.

The key here is to find someone who is not in direct completion which is much like affiliate marketing. They already have their finger on the pulse of the niche so any leads or sales you get through their promotion are targeted. They have shopped with your partner and are also likely to buy from you.

Why Cross Promote?

The easy answer here is that you want to increase your sales. That is the goal of business after all. You would be doing less than your absolute best if you didn’t pull every rabbit out of your magic marketing hat to help your business perform even better.

Another reason is to increase your visibility among your business peers. When you partner with a bigger more well known business, you increase your credibility. After all, those large companies wouldn’t waste their time with someone who couldn’t bring something valuable to the table.

Types of Cross Promotion

So what does cross promotion look like? Well, you can post advertisement links on each other’s sites. This gives customers a chance to check you out. When businesses are compatible this is more likely to be rewarding. For instance, if you sell party supplies, partnering with a party planner makes good business sense.

Write website content and blog for each other. This gives your customers and their customers a chance to see and hear from the person they are talking about. Allow links within the text and a bio with links for your partner so the visitors can click on it for more information.

Cross promotion between similar businesses are both a way to network with new business people and also a way to increase profits for both of you.

Website promotion gets the word out about your online business. If you are already making sales, using other, more advanced promotion methods can increase your targeted list of potential buyers and hopefully sales too. Affiliate programs are designed to do just that.

The idea behind affiliate programs is simple. You use other businesses and websites to promote your products on their website. They are doing the legwork while you reap the benefits. But, they also get a piece of the pie when people click on their link and head on over to your website.

For the business owner looking to increase their visibility among their target market, starting an affiliate program is a win-win situation. For one, your affiliates (those are your promotion partners) are not paid unless they fulfill your agreement. Some affiliate programs pay per lead, click or per sale. Each link is coded so that you know which affiliate link has been used to access your website.

Secondly, when you achieve those leads, clicks and sales through affiliate promotion, your business is getting exactly what it needs. Here’s an example: Let’s say that you are trying to build your list. If five affiliates each have ten people click and sign up on your website – that is fifty more names for your list. But, these are not just any names. They are people from your target market who are already interested in your type of product since they accessed you through a related site.

To get the desired results from your affiliate program, you have to put in some work. It all begins with choosing the right businesses to advertise your products for you. In reality, if you choose poorly, then you haven’t lost any money but you have lost time and energy and most of us don’t have that to spare when we are trying to grow a business.

Look for businesses that have at least two things in common:

  • Lots of traffic
  • Great reputation in your niche industry

What you want is to put your product in front of people who have made their business a success. It is a smart choice to get companies with similar interests involved in your venture. You don’t want them to be in direct competition, but if they operate within the same niche, you can be pretty sure your products will interest their visitors too.

Offering top notch tools in your affiliate toolbox will attract just the kind of people you want to promote your website. Include graphics, website content, brandable reports and eBooks, banners and other nifty items to help them to help you make your business an even bigger success.

Affiliate programs are one way to promote your website and leverage the power of others to do it. By working with your affiliates and giving them the tools and knowledge necessary to be successful, you’ll not only promote your business more, but also increase sales.

What do you know about keywords? They improve how the search engines perceive your content. But, too many can also get you a bad name. Learn about keyword density and how to mix and match for the perfect combination.

A Keyword Myth

Common sense is not always the best approach especially when thinking about keyword use. Your mind says that if such and such keyword is the one you should be using to attract customers, then it should appear everywhere. So far, you are right.

This next part is where many veer off the track. Putting them everywhere doesn’t necessarily mean stuffing your content like a keyword burrito. At one time, you may have gotten away with that but search engines have evolved much like anything else. They are smart enough to know that a keyword is not going to appear in every third sentence as the normal course. This is keyword stuffing.

Keyword Density

A search engine is a complicated mix of algorithms that the average person won’t ever hope to understand. All we know is that it tells the bots to do their thing and they do it. They search for keywords that are entered into the search box on thousands and thousands of sites, blogs and the lot indexed all over cyberspace.

Keyword density is a measure of how many of those particular words appear within text. For instance, if your article is around 500 words, bots will calculate how many times a certain word appears within that text. Internet gurus used to always say that a safe keyword density was anywhere from 3-10%.

But, search engines have their own ideas about what constitutes the proper density for their rankings. Now, it can be as low as 1-3%. For a 500 word article, that would be 5-15 occurrences for any keyword. Most err on the lower end just to be safe. Besides, in 500 words, encountering the same keyword fifteen times may seem a little banal depending on your subject matter.

Keyword density also takes into account the number of words in your target keyword. Long tail marketing has become popular and can further focus your content and website for a larger, well-defined market.

But keyword density also works for your website in general. Using keywords in picture tags, as anchor text within content and as subheadings as well as headlines will also get you noticed. The content will get people to visit you over and over, but your entire website will be the linchpin that can help you gain and stay on the first page of search results.

By now, you have heard of search engine optimization (SEO). It is the process of using keywords to draw targeted traffic to your website business. But what about keyword phrases? They can bring in even more lucrative traffic.

Keywords are used in content, webpage headlines and the like to gain interest from the major search engines. Once you register your website with them, their little soldiers (bots/spiders) go to work checking out what you have to offer. Use words that your customers will choose to search for your website; your content can then rank within the first page of results. This means that you will be the first link anyone sees for those words.

But, there are other ways to optimize besides just keywords. You can use keyword phrases. Nowadays, many keywords have become commonplace. Entering “chocolate” into a search engine, brings back millions of results. Someone can wade through the first ten pages (highly unlikely) and still not find exactly what they are looking for.

Now, they will try a different tactic. Instead of one word they will enter something like “chocolate peanut butter cookies.” This is definitely more specific. If you sell recipe books, it would be more beneficial to you to choose the latter phrase instead of just the former single keyword.

Importance of Keyword Phrases

If you have used any type of keyword tools, not only will you get keyword results but also phrases. It is harder to use phrases in an article and appear natural. But, you can use those targeted phrases in another way – create unique WebPages on your site.

Some people miss out on all that keyword optimization has to offer by simply listing all of their products on one or two pages. Let’s say that you sell cookbooks. Well, there are several different types of cookbooks: desserts, main dishes, appetizers, drinks and ethnic fare to name a few. You could have a link that says “Cookbooks” and links to that section of your shopping cart.

To make use of keyword phrases, though, you could also create a unique page for each keyword phrase. On the home page, include links to each page using that keyword phrase. You will get credit for the phrase appearing on the home page too. You can also pepper your content with the keyword phrases where appropriate and use it as anchor text for a link to the corresponding page on your website.

Keyword phrases are just as important as single keywords. Use them throughout your website to improve your search engine ranking.