Instagram Marketing

IG Influencer Calculator | Influencer Marketing | Instagram Marketing

Instagram is a social photo and video sharing site, and Instagram marketing is one of the easiest and most popular ways to market your business. With over 1 Billion active users as of June 2018, IG is a rich source of customers. So it goes without saying that you need to create an IG account for your store/business.

To break it down by country, here is the IG usage:

instagram number of users 2018

USA leads Instagram usage with 120 million monthly users, followed by Brazil, then India. This is useful information when you want to target marketing by country.

What is Instagram Marketing

Instagram Marketing is relatively easier to understand and follow compared to Facebook Ads. For business, it comprises of posting your product’s images or videos related to your niche and using hashtags along with the post.

Using Instagram to Promote By Yourself

What hashtags are and how it helps your business

Hashtags are keywords wherein you will put the # sign before the word, for e.g. #fashionaccessories, #travels, etc.

You put these hashtags in your post along with the image or video of your product or related images. For example

instagram marketing

The purpose of Instagram hashtags is to let your post be discovered by others who have a similar interest in your topic.

How to choose your hashtags

Here are the 3 sites where you can get hashtag ideas:

Tagblender :

Instagram Tags


Instagram Tips

Engage with your followers and those that you follow. Like and comment on their posts.

Post regularly, consistently.

Spy on your competitors. Check their followers and follow them too.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer  from 50,000 to 300,000 or even 400,000 is the sweet spot. More importantly, look at the engagement.  A 5% engagement rate is good for a 50,000 volume of followers, tapering off as the number of followers gets bigger.

Here are the ways and tools to help you with Influencer Marketing:

Instagram Marketing Hub

This site will help you evaluate a potential influencer to pay for a shoutout. You can use these tools to evaluate an influencer:

Here is a general guide from for engagement rates both in Instagram and Twitter. From there you can have an idea if you want to get in touch with an influencer for a shoutout of your product:

Engagement Rate Calculator IG and Twitter

From there, on the same page, you will see this engagement calculator for Instagram, just type in the Instagram Username:

IG Influencer Calculator | Influencer Marketing | Instagram Marketing

Social Blade

It is important to check if one’s followers are legitimate (Oh yes you can buy fake followers!). You can check legitimacy of followers by using Social Blade. Any spike in the number of followers is suspicious and you have to dig deeper.

Best Time to Post on Instagram App

There are different opinions of the best time to post on Instagram app.  You can start with scheduling a post between 2am to 5pm. Experiment different posting times and eventually you will need to view your own IG Analytics. A good tool to analyze this is Iconosquare, although IG has its own analytics too found on your own IG account’s posts.


You can find Instagram accounts on related niche in Google by typing this on the search bar:

site:domain search term

For example travel

Google Instagram account search according to topic

Here you will see accounts related to travel, how many followers etc. From there you can use the IG influencer Engagement rate mentioned earlier.

The Price and Schedule of Shoutouts

Price varies immensely, sometimes one with under 10,000 followers will agree to an exdeal like a product. But a recommended guide is under 300,000 an offer of $20 is reasonable.

Sometimes an influencer will start off high and you can negotiate.

Assuming your target is an international audience, best bang for your buck is a 12-hour shout out from 9am  to 9pm PST , but best to keep track of your IG analytics too.

The abovementioned steps are the ways you can find influencers, then Direct Message them to negotiate with the shoutout pricing etc. Or you can skip all the steps and find it in one place: ShoutCart.


A good source to find influencers to do shoutouts is There you will see the influencer’s following, their Shoutcart score, success rate and the rate of their shoutout. If you are looking for a reliable source of influencers and the important details to determine if you want this influencer for a shoutout, check their profile at Shoutcart.

Use one influencer at a time for a product so you can easily track and trace who is delivering the sales.



SEO: Understanding Search Engine Optimization for Online Visibility

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is becoming more and more important for blogs, for businesses, with more people turning to the internet for information.

What is SEO?

In simpler terms, Search Engine Optimization is a combination of elements in one’s website to make it more easily found and discovered in search engines, especially in Google, but also for Bing or Yahoo.

The Importance of SEO

With billions of people connected to the internet, being highly visible in search engines is the way to crush the competition. Your business gets in front of these customers ahead of your competitors if your website has been optimized.

SEO Search Engine Optimization

The 2  Techniques: On Page and Off Page Optimization

SEO is actually composed of 2 main parts: On Page and Off Page Optimization. So what is the difference between the two?

On Page SEO

On Page Optimization is composed of elements that the website developer or webmaster can control or tweak. There are many elements to it but because this is an introduction to getting started online, this is a very simplified explanation, just to get your feet wet on SEO.

The following are just a few of the most commonly used elements of On Page SEO:

Keyword Research

When we search something, the first thing we do is type search terms, right?

So it is thus very important that when we are writing articles, setting the meta titles and meta descriptions of every post, page or the whole website, we know the keywords to use.

meta title and meta description

We should use the search terms that are high in search volume and popular for our niche, yet low in competition. By low in competition, it means not too many websites are using that particular search term.

There are Keyword Tools, both free and paid to find these high search-volume, low-competition keywords. One of the most popular paid tools is Long Tail Pro. It is a very user-friendly tool that shows information such as monthly search volume and competitiveness of a particular keyword (measured between 0-100, with 100 being the most difficult to rank).

In this particular screenshot, it shows the easier keywords in green, such as “best darts in the world”, which has a keyword competitiveness of 27 (green – low competitiveness), plus a monthly search volume of 880, as compared to “best dart board”, which has a competitiveness of 38 (yellow – moderately difficult) and a monthly search volume of only 10.

Long Tail Pro

For all the value you can get from Long Tail Pro, it is more than worth the price.  Check out Long Tail Pro here.


After knowing what keywords to use, it helps to know how to write content – using these keywords – in a manner that is friendly to search engines. Some of the elements in good content writing include using the properly researched keywords in the article, in the subheadings, images with embedded keywords.

Google loves valuable content, so make sure you write content that offers great information, but at the same time, is easy on the eyes to read.  Click this link for SEO Writing.

Page Loading Speed

One should make sure that the loading of one’s web pages is fast, lest the website visitor decides to just exit for a slow loading page.

Having images and videos help engage a customer, but to make sure it does not drag down the page loading, compress images and videos before loading them to your website. The suggested tools to use here are:

  • for compressing videos.
Mobile Friendliness

Unless your website is hardcoded (coded from scratch), most CMS or website builders are already mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendliness of a website has been a Google ranking factor since April 2016.

Off Page Optimization

Off Page Optimization is comprised of factors that measure the popularity of a website. After all, Google wants to give importance to the needs of the searching public, and give quality search results by way of the most popular websites.

That being said, the two ways that Google measures a website’s popularity are: (1) Website Traffic (2) Backlinks.

Website Traffic

The higher the number of unique visitors your website has, and the longer they stay on your website, the higher you will rank in Google.

Ways to Drive Traffic To Your Website
  • 1. Content Marketing – using the right keywords and proper SEO writing
  • 2. Search Engine Marketing – When you advertise in Google with Google Adwords using a Cost per click marketing in Google.
  • 3. Social Media Marketing – Ads in Fb, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter; Influencer Marketing ( for example, pay an influencer with 50k-300k followers for 12 hour shout outs)
  • 4. Forum Marketing – Participating in forums e.g. Reddit, Quora
  • 5. Guest Posting – Writing for websites that accept guest posts
Bounce Rate

It is not enough that you have a lot of website visitors. Google also measures the length of stay of a visitor on your website. This is measured as a bounce rate between 0-100%.

Why so?

When after typing a search term and a searcher finds your website, but exits soon after, to Google it is a bad sign. It means that finding your website for the searcher’s query was a wrong result.

The lower the bounce rate, the better. Lower than 45% is great, 45-55% is average, and anything higher than 56% is a bad bounce rate.

How do you reduce bounce rate? Here are some suggestions:

  1. A slow loading site will make a website visitor leave.  Thus, make sure your website has a fast loading speed, to begin with. You can do this by compressing your images, PDFs, and videos. Check your website speed with You can also use content delivery networks (CDN) such as CloudFlare to reduce travel time from server to user.
  2. Write your articles in a way that is easy on the eyes and interesting. Check out our previous article on SEO-Writing.
  3. Have engaging content. Aside from great information, have visuals like images and videos.

So how do you see website traffic, bounce rate, and other valuable data? the answer. Google Analytics.

Google Analytics

Once you have a website, get a Google Analytics account. Add your website in your account, and Google will give you a code or script to add to your website’s header to prove ownership of your submitted domain. If you are using WordPress, there are plugins available to do this.

Once your website has been verified, you will now get valuable information such as website traffic, bounce rate, your website’s top pages, demographics, geolocation of your visitors, error pages, and more. It will look something like this:


Aside from website traffic, backlinks are another way Google measures your website’s popularity.

What are backlinks? This is when other websites mention your website. Let us say a food blogger made a review of a restaurant and mentions the restaurant’s domain name in his review. The food blogger just gave the restaurant’s domain a backlink.

To Google, a backlink is a vote of trust, a vote of confidence. So the more websites linking back to you, the higher you will rank in Google.

Important Notes About Backlinks
  1. Your backlink must come from websites related to your niche;
  2. The higher the Domain Authority [DA] of the website linking back to you, the better quality it is as a backlink. Domain Authority is a measure from 0-100, with 100, of course, being the highest domain authority.  You can check a domain’s DA with any Domain Authority checkers online.
  3. Googe prefers a slow, natural buildup of backlinks, hence the term “link velocity.”
Ways to Acquire Backlinks

There are right and wrong ways to acquire backlinks (whitehat vs blackhat)

White Hat Techniques

1. Writing valuable content that others would like to link to

2. Guest Posting – write posts in related websites and you can put your link in the article to your website (contextual link)

3. Broken link technique – spy on your competitors for broken links (those Error 404s or “Nothing Found”), reach out to the website owner that has a broken link to your competitors and offer your content to replace his broken link.  You can find your competitor’s broken links through SEO tools such as, The top choice among SEO tools is SEMRush.


4. Skyscraper technique – offer a better content. Let us say you saw a competitor’s article, 10 Ways to Lose Weight Fast. Write a more comprehensive article, 20 Ways To Lose Weight Fast, and in a nice way reach out to the website owner and let him know of a great content you wrote that he can link back to.

5. Influencer write-up – Feature an influencer of your related niche and contact the influencer to inform him/her of your feature write up, in the hope that he will put a link in his website to your feature write up about him.

Grey Hat

(not necessarily illegal) e.g. Link exchange. When website owners of related niches agree to link to each other.

Black Hat (illegal)

  • Private Blog Networks – buying expired or expiring domains which has existing backlinks and traffic and then posting new content which links back to your main website
  • Link buying – There are sites that offer links for sale.  Not advisable!

Final Note

On Page and Off Page Optimization do not have the same weight as far as ranking is concerned. Google gives more weight to Off Page Optimization because it is the true measure of a website’s value to readers.

Nevertheless, getting good with website traffic and backlinks will not be possible without a good On-Page Optimization, to begin with. So get the basics of On Page right and getting good at Off Page will be easier.

Another thing to remember is that SEO on your website is a consistent, ongoing process of monitoring and auditing your site. The most popular tool of choice for a good SEO audit is SEMRush. It will discover all errors, warnings, and overall website health.


An Introduction to Digital Marketing

From the very start, we have talked about getting started online because of its endless opportunities, especially for business. There are hundreds of millions of people going online every day and the whole world is an opportunity. Of all the online skills when going into online business, the most crucial and yet the most difficult of all is digital marketing.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital Marketing involves the promotion of brands, products, and services through digital devices, whether online and other channels like electronic display and video-based content.

Digital Marketing Examples/Types of Digital Marketing

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Pay Per Click Advertising
  3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  4. Email Marketing
  5. Forum Marketing
  6. Guest Posting / Content Marketing
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Influencer Marketing
  9. Offline Marketing – Radio, TV. Phone Marketing, Electronic Display Boards

For purposes of online businesses, however, we will focus on online means of marketing.

digital marketing

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in plain language, is how to make a website rank high in search engines, most notably in Google since it enjoys the usage of 80% of internet users.

SEO is important because based on studies, most people searching for something on the internet usually choose from the first page of Google only.  Hence when your website lands organically (not via paid ads) on the first page of Google, you have a high likelihood of getting more website visitors and hits.

More of SEO in a separate post.

Search Engine Marketing/Pay-Per-Click Advertising

SEO is actually a part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), but with SEM, you use Google Ads and employ Pay-Per-Click advertising.  Your website gets on the top of the  Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and you will be charged according to the number of clicks on your entry.The rate of pay per click on your ads widely varies.

Social Media Marketing

This is mainly creating paid ads shoutouts in social media especially FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest. Another option is via influencer marketing wherein you pay an influencer (someone with tens of thousands to million followers or more).

More about this in a separate post.

Email Marketing

Email marketing or List Marketing is when your website visitors have signed up for your mailers/newsletters.  You send emails whenever you have something new to promote to them. This is relatively easier because they are already your receptive, warm leads.

Forum Marketing

You can participate in forums, answer questions being posted, and from there drive traffic to your website. Two most popular of these are Reddit and Quora.

Guest Posting/Content Marketing

There are many websites wherein they welcome guest posts since they do not always have the time to write new content. When you write a guest post, you are allowed to put a link to your website. Hence, you gain a backlink and at the same time, you get new traffic from that website’s readers.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is wherein you promote other people’s products or services and you earn a commission. When your website visitor buys that product or service through an affiliate link that the product or service owner gave you, you earn a commission.

Or if you are the product/service owner, you can create an affiliate program to help you market. Offer commission for those bloggers who would like to promote your product.

Influencer Marketing

In Influencer Marketing, you look for influencers with thousands of followers for your niche. For example, you can look for travel influencers for your travel and camping products.

The sweet spot for influencers is from 50,000 to 300,000 or 400,000 followers with about a 5% engagement rate.  A following higher than this sweet spot can ask a high price for a 12-hour shout out and might not be a good idea when you are just starting.