Scribe SEO Deal Closes November 5

Scribe SEO‘s special Step Up deal is about to close. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, time is running out.

According to Scribe, “SEO is not rocket science … You know you have to create valuable, reader-focused content, and also:

  1. You’ve got to do keyword research.
  2. You’ve got to optimize your reader-focused content.
  3. You’ve got to build links to your site.”

While it can’t create valuable, reader-focused content on your behalf, Scribe (a great Plugin for WordPress, Joomla and Drupal) can help you with the other three tasks in this list.

Until Friday 5 November, you can get better value on Scribe for less: “step up” your number of monthly Scribe content evaluations and keyword searches without paying the higher price for the next-level plan.

That means you get a higher value Scribe plan for the price of the plan below it. A good deal? We think so. Have a look for yourself. The promotion code you’ll need to get the special offer is STEPUP.

Has Scribe helped you attract search traffic to your blog?

Which Domain Is Right for You?

This guest post is by Karol K of newInternetOrder.com.

If you’ve ever wondered about domain name selection, you probably already know that there are basically only three main types of domain names. And they are:

  1. semantic names
  2. unusual names
  3. combined names

Which will be best for your next blog? If you’re not quite sure yet, read on! In this post, we’ll consider each of these options in detail.

A semantic name

This is a name created from one specific word, or several words put together. What’s important is that the domain uses existing, well-known words. Here are a few basic examples:

  • Cars.com
  • Pizza.com
  • Toys.net
  • VintageElectricGuitarBlog.com

There are a number of advantages to using such a name:

  • It specifies the theme of the website/blog.
  • It clearly defines the niche which the blog touches upon (everyone knows what they can expect to find at toys.com).
  • It’s easy to memorize.
  • It makes your job easier when it comes to getting good ranking in the search engines for the keywords that are included in the domain name.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to using a semantic name:

  • Many basic semantic names are already taken.
  • There’s often no direct connection between the domain name and your company brand, which can make the task of brand-building more difficult. Blogs using this type of name can be literally replaced overnight with different blogs on the same topic and many people wouldn’t even notice.
  • A semantic name makes it hard to expand the theme of the blog to other areas. It’s very unlikely that we’ll see a catalog of garden furniture on pizza.com anytime soon.
  • Semantic names don’t assist with building trust, since they don’t define a brand: they’re usually very generic. For example, if I name my website WeWillStripYouOfAllOfYourMoney.com, I probably won’t gain as much trust as I would have if I’d given it band named like BWin.com. The difference is similar to making a statement like, “we’re a sports betting site” rather than “we’re BWin.com, a sports betting site.”

An unusual name

Unusual domains usually employ a brand name. Think of domains like:

  • Google.com
  • Amazon.com
  • Yahoo.com
  • Mashable.com

To create such a name, you need to find or create a semantically empty word—a word that has no meaning among the target audience—and give meaning to it.

As you can see from the list above, some of the biggest players in the online game use semantic names.

So there are, obviously, some advantages to this type of domain name:

  • It’s characteristic. It can’t be confused with the competition. Google is Google, and Bing is Bing—there’s no way of mistaking these two even though they both do the same thing.
  • It doesn’t create a brand—it is the brand!
  • It’s easy to get good rankings in the search engines for the name itself. And if the word you’ve chosen doesn’t already exist, the competition won’t be too strong for the domain name itself.

As you’d expect, there are disadvantages to using this type of name:

  • It doesn’t define the niche, nor the theme of the blog. If this kind of name is attached to a new blog, and no one really knows about it, it can easily be overlooked by a potential visitor—even if they’re looking for the kind of content that the blog publishes—simply because they won’t be able to guess what the blog’s about.
  • Since it’s usually harder to say or communicate the name orally, it’s easy to get it wrong. When my friend first told me about ebay.com years ago, I fired up my browser and typed “ebuy.com.” I’m sure I wasn’t the only person who made this mistake.
  • It’s harder to gain good rankings in the search engines for specific keywords using an unusual name than it is with a semantic name. If you write about computer hardware, then it would probably be a little easier to get good rankings for the keyword “computers” if you had a domain like “computers.com” rather than “compunationgeorge.com.”

A combined name

  • Facebook.com
  • Problogger.net
  • Friendfeed.com

…are all combined names. These domains combine semantic and unusual names. Although the name may have little meaning on its own, as soon as you visit the site, you grasp what’s going on—and recall the domain—very quickly.

I think that these are the hardest types of names to come up with. You really have to think outside the box to find an existing word or several words, and then give them a unique meaning that binds them somehow with the theme of your blog.

If you succeed, you can expect some benefits:

  • A combined name defines the brand in a unique way that’s similar to an unusual name, only better.
  • Visitors can quickly grasp the concept of the blog even though it’s not as obvious as it is with semantic names.
  • A combined name clearly differentiates your site from the competition.
  • It’s usually easy to memorize.

And as for the disadvantages:

  • A combined name can make it harder to get a good search ranking for specific keywords (similar to having an unusual name).
  • It’s easier for your competition to imitate this kind of name. This usually happens when we’ve used an obvious framework to  create the name. For example, if our car-related blog is called “4wheeldrive.com” then somebody could try to copy our success with a domain like “rearwheeldrive.com”.

Which one is the best for you?

Here’s my advice. If you want to create a small blog targeted at the members of a small, precisely defined niche, then I think it’s probably best to use a semantic domain name. You have a better chance that interested people will find your blog in the search engines, and that they’ll actually visit it, because the URL itself will tell them what the blog is about.

If you’re aiming at taking over the world with your blog, then you should probably choose an unusual or combined domain name. As I’ve already said earlier, the biggest players in the game use such names, and we can learn from them. There’s nothing better when it comes to building a brand than a good, unique name that’s easy to memorize.

So go on and try to choose one of these three types. And if you’ve already done it, congratulations. You’ve just started a marathon in which your domain name is the first step. This is just the beginning.

What do you think about this classification? What’s the type of your blog name?

Karol K provides blogging and marketing tips at newInternetOrder.com.

Awesome WordPress Plugins to Empower Your Visitors

This guest post is by Jeff Starr, co-author of the book Digging into WordPress.

Helping your visitors get the most out of your site benefits everyone. Visitors get more relevant and useful content, and you enjoy better statistics and more exposure. Unfortunately the game is set up to keep people away from your site. Think about it:

  • Search engines are used to find your content
  • Feed readers are used to read your content
  • Social media is used to share, tag, and organize your content

These are major obstacles, certainly, but they don’t have to work against you. People use search engines, feed readers, and social media because they provide functionality missing from most websites. By integrating some of that same functionality into your site, you empower your visitors to maximize its usefulness. This may sound like a tall order, but if you’re using WordPress, improving your site couldn’t be easier. Let’s look at some awesome WordPress plugins to make it happen.

Google-power your search results

People will always use external search engines like Google to find content on your site. That’s a good thing, but you also want to empower your users with the best possible search results. WordPress’ default search is limited in several ways:

  • does not do “exact-match” searching
  • only searches posts and post titles
  • only searches your current WordPress installation
  • can be painfully slow, gobbles resources

Fortunately, we can harness the power of Google and empower your users with the most accurate, comprehensive, and speedy search possible. Integrating Google Search into your site provides the following benefits:

  • exact-match searching (i.e., using quotes to match specific phrases)
  • searches your entire site plus any other desired sites or directories
  • usually works pretty quickly – much faster than WordPress default search
  • optional additional revenue through Google’s AdSense program

Sound good? Here are some of the best plugins to make it happen:

Google Search for WordPress

This beautiful plugin works silently behind the scenes to replace WordPress’ search results with Google’s search results. You simply install the plugin and enter your Google API Key in the Google Search Settings. If you don’t have an API Key, it’s free and easy to get one. The only other requirement is to include “Powered by Google” next to your search form and on the search-results page. Once it’s installed, all search results will be replaced by those from Google. No code-wrangling required.

More information and downloads are available at the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Google Custom Search Plugin

The Google Custom Search Plugin is another excellent way to integrate Google Search into your WordPress blog. Instead of signing up for an API Key, visit Google Search and create your own custom search engine by walking through the steps. After setting up your own form, grab the generated code and paste it into the plugin’s Settings page.

More information and downloads are available at the WordPress Plugin Directory.

More from Google

The More from Google plugin works a little differently by adding to your default search results instead of completely replacing them. After installing and configuring the plugin, your search results will include matches from both WordPress and Google. If Google has yet to index your entire site, this may be the perfect way to ensure that visitors are getting the best search results.

More information and downloads are available at the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Other Ways to Improve WordPress Default Search

If Google Search isn’t for you, don’t fret. Here are two additional plugins that will vastly improve WordPress’ default search:

  • Search Everything – literally searches everything in your database, based on your preferences
  • Better Search – highly customizable solution for improving WordPress’ default search

Regardless of how you do it, improving your site’s default search functionality is a great way to help your visitors use your site and find the content they crave.

Socialize and communitize your WordPress site

Bring the excitement of social-media to your WordPress-powered site! There are so many reasons to empower your readers to favorite, share, and rate your content directly on your website, and just as many awesome plugins to make it super-easy to do. Here are some of the best plugins for making your site fun, social, and more interactive.

WP Favorite Posts

WP Favorite Posts is a popular, five-star plugin that enables your visitors to add favorite posts to their own list of favorites. Installation is easy, and the plugin is straightforward and easy to modify and customize to fit any design. I use the plugin on my Angry-Birds fan site. You can see the “Add to Favorites” link in the upper-right corner of any post. There is also a link to “View Favorites”, where each user can view (and delete) their favorite links. And even cooler than all that, you can display a list of everyone’s most-popular favorites, very similar to how Delicious works.

More information and downloads are available at the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Star ratings and reviews

Post ratings are a fun and informative way to engage visitors and promote content. And there are many post-rating plugins to choose from.

In terms of functionality and customization, the GD Star Rating plugin can do just about anything, but the endless configuration options may be overkill. On the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got the elegant simplicity of the Vote-the-Post plugin, which is lightweight, flexible, and easy to customize code-side for tight design integration. I use this plugin to enable voting at Angry-Birds.net (see any post for example).

These plugins also enable you to display lists of top-rated posts anywhere on your site, so you can uninstall that most-popular-post plugin you no longer need.

Chat forum

Chat forums aren’t for every site, but when done right they’re great ways to build community and facilitate conversation. As with post-ratings, there are many chat plugins available in the Directory, but there are two that stand above the rest:

Both of these plugins are popular, highly rated plugins that provide flexible, customizable chat functionality. WordSpew is great because it uses Ajax to refresh everything automatically, keeping the chat window flowing in real time. Pierre’s Wordspew works without AJax, but it also uses a Flash .flv file that prevents it from working on devices like the iPad and iPhone. You can see a highly customized example of the WordSpew plugin at Dead Letter Art.

Show online users

Just like showing off counts for feed subscribers, Twitter followers, and Facebook fans, you can also show off the number of users currently online. An excellent plugin for this is WP-UserOnline, which provides several templates for easy configuration of how and where the user-online count is displayed. You can also set up a “Who’s online?” page that shows detailed statistics of where your visitors are on the site, who they are, and where they came from. This awesome plugin takes only minutes to implement using template tags and/or widgets.

Social media

Even after socializing your site, you want to make sure that visitors can easily share and bookmark your content on their favorite social-media sites. I tell you the truth, there are a gazillion plugins and widgets for adding every social-media site under the sun, but you really only need one plugin to do the job. Just install and configure WP Socializer and done. Any combination of social-media buttons, icons, links displayed virtually anywhere on your site. Tons of options yes, but they are all well-organized and easy to configure from the comfort of your WordPress Admin.

Wrapping up

No matter how awesome your website, there’s always room for improvement. With the techniques and tools described in this article, empowering your visitors to get the most from your WordPress site is as easy as installing and configuring a few choice plugins. As you go, keep an eye on site performance. Loading up with too many plugins can burden your server and slow things down for visitors. All the functionality in the world means nothing on a slow-loading website. A good strategy is to cherry-pick a few choice plugins and watch the results. Remember the goal is to help visitors get into your site and really use it for all it’s worth.

Jeff Starr is a web developer, graphic designer and content producer with over 10 years of experience and a passion for quality and detail. Jeff is co-author of the book Digging into WordPress and strives to help people be the best they can be on the Web. Read more from Jeff at Perishable Press or hire him at Monzilla Media.

October Trends + The 10 Horrors of Blogging

For those celebrating Halloween, it’s the spooky season, with haunted houses, terrifying costumes, and creepy decorations around every corner. What better time to look at the horrors that plague bloggers? Gruesome typos and grammatical errors, ghastly headlines, confusing echo chambers, dreadfully empty comments sections, and more!

Since it’s the end of the month, it’s also time to unveil October’s most-blogged-about stories, according to Regator.com’s trends. They were, in order: Halloween, Windows Phone, Brett Favre, Chilean Miners, Breast Cancer, ‘The Social Network’, Jon Stewart, World Series, Kanye West, and Nobel Prize. We’ll use posts from Regator about these top stories to illustrate how you can avoid the ten horrors of blogging…

The Horror: Typo terrors
Save Yourself:
As The Huffington Post found recently with “The Funniest 2010 Internet Meme Hallowen Costumes,” (a repost of a post by Nerve), not even the largest blogs are immune to the occasional typo or grammatical error. It’s a horror we all succumb to now and then. Take extra time to run a spell check and review your post before hitting publish, especially your headline. Once you’ve hit “publish,” your post takes on a life of its own, appearing in aggregators, RSS feeds, and on social media. Many of these do not reindex your post if it’s altered. If you use a platform that automatically creates permalinks and you fix a headline typo after it has been published, you could end up with a headline that’s spelled correctly, but a URL that is not. If possible, have another person read over your copy before you publish and be aware of words that you consistently misspell.

The Horror: Layouts that scare your users
Save Yourself:
Broken RSS feeds, difficult-to-find email subscription boxes, a lack of contact options, or an overly complex layout can send readers fleeing. Boy Genius Report’s “Live from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 launch!” is an example of a post with clear tags, author information, and date information. And, like ProBlogger, BGR features prominent RSS and email subscription options that encourage readers to stay engaged via feed reader or email. Could you simplify your layout? Have you checked recently to ensure that your RSS feeds are working? Content may be king but the way you present it matters too.

The Horror: Uncannily familiar content
Save Yourself:
Though it’s not clear whether SNL’s recent Brett Favre sketch was indeed based on Funny or Die’s sketch, Warming Glow’s “More Plagiarism? SNL Favre Sketch Mirrors Funny Or Die Video” proves that even the suspicion of swiping someone else’s content is enough to get you called out, and nobody wants that. Put simply: Never republish another blog’s post without permission. You wouldn’t want someone to take the content you worked hard on and claim it as their own or monetize it, right? Just apply the Golden Rule.

The Horror: Dreadfully dull headlines
Save Yourself:
A good headline needs to stand on its own and scream, “Click me!” in an RSS reader, aggregator, Twitter feed, or email subject line. Headlines that create curiosity and intrigue, such as The First Post’s “Chilean miners ‘not ready for the outside world,’” are effective because they make readers want answers (why aren’t they ready for the outside world?). Using words such as “secret,” “discover,” and “easy” can also make titles more interesting, as can asking a question, creating controversy, and, most of all, conveying a benefit. The best headlines tell readers what they’ll get out of reading a post, whether it’s entertainment, knowledge, or a new skill. Quantifying the benefits by using a list format (e.g., “Four reasons the Chilean miners are not ready for the outside world”) often works even better.

The Horror: Sinister swiping of photos
Save Yourself:
Not every photo you find on the internet is yours for the taking, and as a blogger, intellectual property is something you should be familiar with. The Big Picture’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” acquires the rights to some truly amazing photos and then provides clear photo credits for each. If you can’t afford or don’t want to spend money on images, there are plenty of free or cheap options.

The Horror: Ghost-town comments sections
Save Yourself:
Does your comments section look like Reason’s “Aaron Sorkin’s Facts and Fictions [About ‘The Social Network’]” which has 129 comments and counting—or more like a ghost town? If you said, “ghost town,” don’t lose heart. Start by making it easy to comment. The Reason example above has an inviting, clearly structured comments section that requires nothing more than a name. Forcing users to create an account will reduce the number of comments you receive. It’s also vital to keep spam comments to a minimum so the actual discussion around your content doesn’t get buried in a sea of self-promotion. Consider ending posts by asking readers to give an opinion or add to the conversation. It’s surprisingly effective.

The Horror: Frightfully useless content
Save Yourself:
Darren says it again and again: Be useful and solve a problem for your readers. And he says it for a reason. If you aren’t solving a problem, whether it’s giving readers a laugh, information they’re interested in, or a new way of doing something, they won’t have a reason to return to your blog. GigaOm’s “Where to Watch Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Rally Live” is a great example of a post that gives readers something they want. As you write each post, ask yourself what readers will get out of it and have a good answer to that question before hitting “publish.”

The Horror: Eerily silent blogging schedule
Save Yourself:
You need not be as prolific as Bleacher Report’s coverage of the World Series (“World Series 2010: Why the Giants Won Game 1” is one of nearly 250 posts on the subject in the last month), but you should maintain a fairly regular posting schedule so that readers know when to expect content. Whether you choose to post twice a day or once a week is up to you and should be determined by how much time you’re willing to devote to your blog and what you ultimately want to get out of it. Going on holiday? Line up posts ahead of time or consider using guest posts to maintain the schedule.

The Horror: Echo chamber of terror
Save Yourself:
While 90 percent of blogs covering the story were repeating (almost verbatim…I smell a press release) the news that Kanye West’s new album had a release date, Vulture took the opportunity to get creative with “Ten Album Titles Culled From Kanye’s Twitter That Are Better Than ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,’” a choice that made this post stand out from the crowd. Finding an unconventional way to cover a popular story can be the difference between getting lost in the echo chamber and getting significant traffic. Take the extra time to get an exclusive interview, add your opinion, delve deeper, or explore unanswered questions.

The Horror: Hauntingly boring (generic) voice
Save Yourself:
One of the best things, in my opinion, about blogging is that you have the ability to express yourself, not just through your opinions but through your writing voice and style. Wired Science’s “Nobel Worthy: Best Graphene Close-Ups” could have been a dry, boring explanation of graphene, but is, thanks to a humorous and conversational tone, quite engaging. Let your personal voice—whether it’s serious, humorous, conversational, or academic—shine through your posts until your writing sounds like you.

That, brave souls, is the end of our blood-curdling jaunt through the horrors of blogging. We made it out alive. Which of these horrors haunts you most frequently and how do you deal with it? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

See you next month with more blogosphere trends from Regator. In the meantime, you can get your niche’s trends or other free widgets for your blog at Regator’s new widget site.

Kimberly Turner is a cofounder of Regator.com, Regator for iPhone, and the Regator Platform, as well as an award-winning print journalist. You can find her on Twitter @kimber_regator.

Review: Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps

For the beginning blogger who has limited experience, but lots of enthusiasm, Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps makes an ideal primer.

Written by Annabel Candy, from Get In the Hot Spot, this twelve-chapter ebook (lucky thirteen, if you count the bonus chapter) touches on all the basics, from choosing a blog topic to using social media to support your blog.

I found the structure of the chapters very clear: each chapter starts with a goal — this explains in a single sentence what you’ll learn from the chapter. It’s followed by a discussion of the relevant information, and a series of action points — practical tasks for readers to complete. The checklist that ends each chapter ties together the goal, learnings and actions so you can easily identify what you’ve learned, and anything you need to research further.

Annabel’s skills in web design and copywriting give this ebook a richness that others lack. She discusses issues like branding, website design and layout, and the basics of WordPresss. She also offers three chapters on writing: writing your blog’s static content, writing blog posts (which pays special attention to the all-important headline), and writing for the web.

The author covers all the key blog-promotion techniques in chapters on social media, online networking, search engine optimization and guest posting. Importantly, she stresses the value of understanding your blog’s statistics, and using these to help direct your blogging and promotion efforts.

This isn’t a detailed how-to guide for those with some blogging experience under their belts: Annabel keeps things fairly general and approachable. Her writing is, of course, great, and the ebook has a friendly tone that makes her advice seem eminently doable. If you’re squaring up to the challenge of running your own blog — for fun or financial gain — this ebook is a sound place to start. For more information, visit Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps.

The Dark Art of Product Pricing

This post was written by the Web Marketing Ninja — a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger. Curious? So are we!

One of the most common questions I get asked is how much I’d charge for a given product. I guess the reason I’m asked this so much is it’s one of the hardest questions to answer, but the importance of price should never be underestimated.

Here’s the process I go through when I’m trying to arrive at a product price.

1. Your existing readers

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first product, or your tenth. If you know your audience, you should have a feel for their propensity to pay for things—and to what degree. If you’re unsure about this, look at the sorts of affiliate campaigns that are more successful with your readers. Do low-cost/high-volume campaigns deliver your highest revenue? Or do high-cost/low-volume promotions boost your bottom line the most?

Outcome: My existing customers have a propensity to buy cheap/expensive products.

2. Market perceptions

The general public has trouble valuing things—and brands have been exploiting that for years. But what you need to determine for your specific product is this: is there a market-based status quo when it comes to the price people expect to pay? If you’re selling music, or books, ask if there’s generally an accepted price range for these products.

Outcome: The community perception is that my type of product will be priced between $____ and $____

3. Where it fits in your product/customer life cycle

If this is your one and only product, then this perhaps doesn’t have much of an impact, but typically, products fit into three key life-cycle categories: entry level, standard, and premium. Once you’ve slotted this new product into your product life cycle, you want to apply one simple rule: make the step from entry level to standard small, and the step from standard to premium high. For example, you might offer an ebook as your entry-level product, a webinar series as your standard product, and one-on-one consulting as your premium offering. An example price structure might look like this:

  • ebook $19.95
  • webinar: $49.95
  • consulting: $5000

Outcome: This product is my Entry / Standard / Premium offering in my product portfolio.

4. Competitive market research

When building a competitive profile, aside from the prices my competitors charge, I document five key items:

  1. Influence of the brand (High, Medium, Low)
  2. Perception of the product (reviews, sales volumes)
  3. Core problem the product is solving
  4. History of discounting
  5. My product’s key point of difference from the competition

What I’m attempting to find with this research is where there is an under or over representation in terms of high/low value and high/low price. You’ll also get a good understanding of the caliber of your opponents’ products in the particular subsection of the market you choose to enter.

Outcome: My product has (high/medium/low) value and a (low/medium/high) price, and my closest competitor is…

5. Defining the real cost of the product

Bloggers often fail to figure out the cost of selling the product. You need to factor in things like transaction fees, the likely overhead of affiliate payments, and, if you’re selling a physical product, delivery, storage and other costs. While you may be likely to sell electronic products, you’re still going to have to pay money for every sale that’s made. How much?

Outcome: On average, my product costs $____ to sell.

6. Correlating feature relevance with customer value

Things can get tricky at this step. You need to make a realistic assessment of how relevant your #1 feature is to the customer problem that your product solves. Don’t get caught adding up the ten different features your product might have—focus on the top one. Then, make a call about the value people put on the solving this problem.

Outcome: My product has a (low / medium / high) relevance to solving the customer problem (___________) and people are willing to pay (a little / some / a lot) to solve it.

Other considerations

Okay so that’s the first stage done. Since you’ve answered some critical questions, you should now have a feel for what the market expects to pay for this type of product, and where yours fits into that spectrum. Now there are just a few more considerations to keep in mind as you choose a price.

Don’t be the cheapest.

It’s easy to start a pricing war by offering the cheapest item, and if you’re after a short term windfall, then it’s and option. But rarely does the cheapest win when if comes to competition.

For me this was summed up when I heard a five-year-old kid say to his mother, “We need to get that one, it’s more expensive, so it must be better”. The innocence of youth — saying what we all think!

Discounting is dangerous.

Lately, many successful product launches have initially offered a special introductory price that’s discounted. That’s fine, but try to avoid any ongoing discounts. It’s actually more advantageous to offer outrageous 50-60% discounts than smaller 10-20% amounts, as the customers’ perceptions of returning value on higher discounts are a lot greater. But if you can, avoid discounting at all.

The smaller the price, the more important it is to get it right.

If you decide on a low-priced product, keep things in proportion! The difference between $5 and $10 is 100%. So if you price your product at $5 you’ll need to sell twice as many to earn the same amount of income as you would if you sold the product for $10. Worse, a product you sell for $5 needs to sell four times as much as it would if it was priced at $20. When working with small numbers, finding the sweet spot is extremely important.

Don’t get stuck in middle.

Those irrelevant middle prices do nothing but cost you money—especially at the high end of the market. If you’re thinking of an $800 price tag, and your product has a unique selling point, charge $999. For a $325 product, go for $399 or $499. Your competition might seem to drive your price downwards, however I’d be working the other way. If you’re competitor is $999 try $1499—as long as you can prove why your product is better.

Throwing caution to the wind

As this post’s title attests, pricing is an art. Pricing can be so hard that sometimes you just need go with your gut, pluck a number, throw it out there and see what happens. Remember though, that it’s easier to drop the price of something than to increase it.

What techniques have you used to price your products? Have you had any pricing disasters?

Stay tuned from most posts by the secretive Web Marketing Ninja — a professional online marketer for a major web brand, who’s sharing his tips undercover here at ProBlogger.

Productivity Systems: Do they Really Help You Blog Better?


More and more I’m noticing bloggers asking for advice on how to be more productive. We’re operating in a space where we need to produce great content consistently, but where we’re also being bombarded with input and having demands made upon our time.

I’ve grappled with this myself over the last few years and have tried all kinds of productivity systems and tools. But recently, I had the realization that all most of them really do is make me more efficient at shoving more into my life.

Perhaps there’s another way! This video shares some of what I’m discovering about myself—and being productive.

[Read more...]