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What are the top link building methods?

Question: Which would you rather have -- more organic traffic or better rankings?It’s a trick question for most of us -- we’d actually rather have both. That’s because we know that both search engine metrics can make a huge difference in our businesses.As you probably already know, Google tends to rank pages higher in search results based on the authority of that page. In modern SEO, links build up the page’s authority and improve its SEO value. In the same arena, duplicate content gets penalized.The right key word search term can mean the difference in traffic and rankings.Recent data estimates that the link popularity of a specific page accounts for 22.33% of the components of Google’s ranking algorithm.What if you could access the most updated resources that would help you build the right links? You'd feel like the ultimate demon of search engine power, right? What difference would that make in your investment, considering that about 37% of business owners spend between $10,000 and $50,000 per month on link building?There is actually a submission SEO tool called Ultimate Demon to help build links to increase traffic. Do make sure you understand how a tool works because they often are a baseline that you need to tweak to get the results you really want: juice from search engines.Over the years, I’ve come to understand that a link building campaign with useful content and quality anchor text phrases is easier than most people think.If you can develop and document your strategy, you’ll ultimately generate more authority links for your pages. Both content marketing and link building are like those interconnected steel rings magicians use -- the ones that can’t be separated.In this in-depth post, I’ll show you 9 link building software resources that you can tap into any time that you want to.These resources provide scalable link-earning techniques, tips and best practices that are proven to work. When you implement them, your search engine rankings and site traffic will both improve.1. Broken Link Building Bible (source)All links are created equal, right? Actually, no.Link building used to be easy. You could set up a few PBN (private blog network) sites and get a bunch of links that’d push your organic rankings to the top. But does it still work?The honest guys says you shouldn’t do it. Ditch the idea of a PBN. Sooner or later, Google will catch up with you and push your rankings to page 107 or de-index your pages altogether regardless of how popular your search term is.Instead, to get links that’ll actually improve your search listings, increase your search term traffic and get you a higher click-through rate (CTR), you need to study the Broken Link Building Bible.Broken link building is a white-hat and scalable tactic for getting the right kind of links.At its core, it’s a content-focused strategy for any link building campaign. You simply find dead (or broken) links, analyze the page for relevance and create more valuable content to replace the broken content. This helps site owners, editors and webmasters improve their site user experience by replacing broken links with a link to your page based on a search term.With the right approach, you can create an link building campaign and automate broken link building, which will continually build momentum for your site with this simple link building software.As you go through the Broken Link Building Bible, you’ll discover why broken link building is perhaps the most effective white-hat link building strategy to come along in years.However, understand this: Your success at getting the right links will entirely depend on how willing you are to research and analyze or audit different websites.Broken link building is all about making an impact. It’s about helping webmasters and making the web a better place.Webmasters are always happy to fix broken links - if they find them. They know there’s a relationship between Google rankings and links but, on big sites, finding broken links isn’t easy.You'll also want to make sure you aren't linking duplicate content.A dead link -- that is, a link that no longer works -- doesn’t do the user or the site any good. In fact, too many broken links can have a negative effect on a site. Webmasters hate doing all the keyword search term work and link building to have this happen.Having too many broken links on a page is a sign of a neglected or abandoned site. The Google Search Quality Raters General Guidelines view broken links as one of the ways to measure a homepage’s quality. It's one SEO tool.According to Moz, broken link building is a strategy that constructively addresses many of the competing interests in our industry: content vs. links, link earning vs. link building and inbound vs. outbound.2. Advanced Guide to Link Building (source)I’ve had my fair share of SEO struggles. I struggled to get other sites to link to my posts. I struggled to keep up with Google updates. I struggled to reach the expected quantity and quality of links necessary to rank highly in Google.Those struggles taught me that achieving success online takes time. You have to be patient and you’ve also got to create content that’ll help people get closer to achieving their goals.One of the best steps I’ve taken since I started blogging is the creation of The Advanced Guide to Link Building, which I shared with the digital marketing world for free. This isn't link building software but helps you understand the steps necessary for success regardless of what building software you choose..If you’ve struggled to build the kind of links that Google loves, the way I did in the beginning, you should study this guide. It’ll show you:How to go about finding and getting those “perfect links”The right way to create epic search term content that’ll help you build relationships with the leaders in your industryHow to identify and approach the authority sites you can get links from in just a few minutesThe hidden secrets to getting hard-to-come-by .edu and .gov backlinksThe step-by-step method of link-building outreach that walks you through the process of initiating and building a relationship with influencers and pro bloggers3. Using Educational Linkbait to Get Valuable .Edu Links (source)This resource was written way back in 2011, but it’s been consistently updated to match modern SEO best practices. It’s not your typical long-form post -- it’s pretty short, actually -- but it’ll show you:Why educational links matterHow to create content that attracts .edu linksHow to build relationships that help you get these linksLink building has evolved significantly since 2011. Lots of tactics that used to work have since fizzled out -- e.g., article directories, duplicate or barely-rewritten content, etc.But educational sites have remained a viable source of high-quality links for any site.Incoming links from educational websites are often perceived as the most powerful links you can get and getting a bunch of these links can skyrocket your search rankings.It’s true that .edu links aren’t the only kind of powerful incoming links. There’s no proof that Google rates them universally higher than all other kinds of links. John Mu, a webmaster trends analyst at Google Zürich, clarified the issue:However, educational backlinks are powerful -- just like links from any other high-authority domain would be.Educational backlinks are hard to get. Your link building software can only help if you have high quality, respected content. According to Felix Tarcomnicu,The harder it is to get a backlink, the more value it will have.Sites with .edu domains typically have high authority as they’ve been around for a long time and have many trusted quality sites linking to them.That’s why many of these sites are viewed as authoritative by Google. Therefore, getting links from these authority top-level domains improves search performance.Wordstream’s guide on using editorial linkbait to get .edu links is a must-read. It uses anecdotes to explain the relevance of educational links and to show how you can create .edu link bait.Link bait is simply content on your site that other sites link to willingly because the content solves a problem. This is the type of content people will tag with a social bookmark.When people link to your content page on their own initiative, it means you’ve created a linkable asset. The intersection between link bait and linkable asset is your sweet spot for converting your prospects into customers.It can be a blog post, a viral podcast, an infographic or a helpful ebook. Ultimately, you want people to view your site with the same authority and want to tag it with a social bookmark as well.How to get educational backlinks: High quality links make the difference. After Google launched Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithm updates, quality became the defining factor of a link, as opposed to quantity.It’s no longer a question of how many links you need to rank. The challenge that most SEOs and site owners face is actually getting these quality links (e.g., .edu links). This is where high quality, easy to use, link building software makes life just a bit easier.The vast majority of educational sites from top universities and colleges don’t accept guest posts. The ones that do accept guest articles are stricter than you can imagine. You can’t just write any post you want and get them to publish it.Also keep in mind that guest blogger or contributor content may be available through various domain names as it could by syndicated. Check links to make sure it isn't duplicate content you are using and making a social bookmark with.So, guest blogging is perhaps not the best or most effective way to get .edu links. But there are other ways that are proven to work.You can use advanced search modifiers to find education sites in Google. Your goal is to narrow your results down to educational results pages. Some of the search strings you can use are:a). site:.edu - shows you search results containing educational result sites onlyb). site:.edu “blog” - returns search results for educational blogs onlyc). site:.edu “forums” - if you want to participate in an educational discussion boardd). site:.edu “comments” - for educational blogs with comments sectionse). site:.edu “log in / create account” - returns .edu blog extensions that allow you to sign up as a user for the purpose of commenting or other kinds of participationf). site:.edu inurl:blog “seo” - for educational blogs that understand SEO and would be interested in learning more about search enginesLet’s try one of the search strings:As you can see, the search result contains only educational sites. But, it’d be difficult to get links from those sites. It’s much easier to get a link from a blog than a static web page. This is the nature of almost any link building campaign.So let’s drill down our search to focus on blogs:These results are more specific to educational blogs related to marketing. If your site is related to sales or marketing, those educational blogs are your targets.Broken link building is the easiest way to get your links from educational portals. All you've got to do is find dead links on these blogs and suggest better content -- your own -- to replace it.Broken link building works. For example, Michael Chibuzor, founder of contentmarketingup.com, generated 27 links from .edu domains in 90 days.Brian Dean has taught broken link building and his students are seeing great results. Recently, one of his students, Emil Shour, set out to rank for his most profitable search engine keyword.He leveraged the skyscraper technique and created an in-depth, long-form article in the employee wellness niche, entitled “121 Employee Wellness Program Ideas for Your Office.”Richard researched industry blogs that are relevant to employee management, found broken links and sent outreach emails to all of them.By doing this, Richard was able to push his post into a number #1 ranking and generated $100,000 in revenue. Richard also boosted his organic traffic by 348% in just 7 days.So how do you find dead links on educational blogs that you can capitalize on to get incoming links?It’s easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. Here are the step-by-step instructions:i). First step: Go to Google and search for educational resource pages. These pages contain lists of links to external sites and contents.This time, let’s find educational resources for small businesses.The search string I used is “site:edu “resources” + blogs + small businessAnd here’s the results screenshot:You can see that the search results are relevant to small businesses only. This makes them viable.ii). Second step: Choose one of the resources and click on it. Here’s the page, with all of the resources:Some of the outgoing links on this page may be dead, but you can’t tell just by looking and clicking on all of them one-by-one will take lots of time.Instead, use a tool designed for checking dead links ...iii). Third step: Go to deadlinkchecker.com. Copy the resource page address as it appears on the browser.Then paste the site address into the search bar and click the “check” button:Out of the 142 out-going links analyzed by the dead link checker tool, 8 of them are dead. Those are the links that return any of these error messages: 404 not found, 400 bad request, -1 not found, etc.Next, prepare your content. Remember that since you’re concerned about small business, your content needs to be relevant to that topic. Otherwise, it might be difficult to convince the blog editor or administrator to swap out the dead link for your page. Search term research helps here to ensure it is relevant in today's search engine realm.iv). Step four: Send a personalized outreach email. I’ve received several outreach emails that are obviously form letters. Sometimes, the exact same email I receive went out to 10 or more other bloggers.Don’t do that. Instead, personalize your email subject lines when reaching out to educational blogs. This is key to better email open rates.Often, these people are academics and any slight error or hint of deception will result in your email being deleted without being read.To “personalize” means that you give it a personal touch. If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, address them by their first name.Not everyone understands how to write persuasive emails to site owners and bloggers. If that’s you, don’t worry. Just use the email templates below and add the person’s name, if you know it.When using any email template, keep these things in mind:Write lowercase subject lines – I do this all the time because I want the email to seem casual as if it’s from a friend, not a robot.Be creative – emails that are boring and lack emotional appeal won’t get opened or responded to.Personalize – you have to include the person’s name and the website name in the email so it doesn’t come off as spammy.Here’s a broken link email template you can model:If you didn’t find any dead links on your targeted educational resource page, don’t give up. Instead of sending a broken link email, you can simply send a basic link request email.If broken link building seems like a lot of work, or too difficult to tackle, there are other tactics that I’ve personally used to get .edu authority links:Blog commentsCreate a case study that’s relevant to the subject matterBlogger recognitionLeveraging alumni newsLocal resource pagesUniversity discountsImprove a section of a siteAs you can see, link building software may help but isn't necessary.You can learn how to apply all these link earning tactics in Chapter 5 of the Advanced Guide To Link Building.4. Linking Out Instead of Link Building to Rank in Google (source)This helpful resource shows you why linking out is a strategy, not a tactic -- because when you build quality anchor text phrases to outsiie sites, you also get these benefits:Enhanced awareness for your site and brandOpportunities for other sites to link back to your pageSearch engine awareness that you have a timely and useful resourceMore helpful information for your readersAnd so on...Developing a link building strategy isn’t a cakewalk. Heck, even SEO experts sometimes fail at a link building campaign.Link building software and tools help, but you still need to split test everything.Outbound links or links that point to external web pages from your own site can actually impact your blog authority. Make sure the pages your links point to are relevant, useful and have good standing with Google.At the heart of effective an link building campaign is the concept of giving.In other words, you link to other sites, pages and case studies willingly.“Linking out instead of link building to rank in Google” is a helpful resource that doesn’t follow traditional advice. Rather, it capitalizes on the principle of reciprocity.According to Wikipedia, “reciprocity is a social rule that says we should repay, in kind, what another person has provided us. That is, people give back the kind of treatment they have received from you.”For example, if you’re writing a guide to SEO, you should link out to authority sites that have addressed the topic before. As much as you can, link out to pages with high page authority - it’ll have a dramatic impact on your search performance and online visibility. Use simple search term phrases for anchor text when possible.Reciprocity is one of the most vital of Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion. We humans are basically hard-wired to pay back our debts, help those who offered us a helping hand and generally treat others as they’ve treated us.I’ve applied the principle of reciprocity to grow QuickSprout to over 700,000 monthly visitors and generated tens of thousands of quality backlinks. I give away tremendous value in my content.When I write a post, I link out to anywhere from 5 to 20 external web pages that contain helpful and relevant content.I don’t claim to know it all - that’s why I include the views of other expert’s in my posts. It’s also helped me earn more links and increase revenue since 2007.Here’s one of my recent posts on Helping You Succeed Through Online Marketing!. I linked out to more than 20 external web pages that offer additional information to my readers.Linking out to relevant pages not only earns you editorial links, but it also improves your search rankings. A survey of major newspapers on the web found that those who link out tend to outperform others who don’t on several performance metrics.Check popular sites like Digg, Reddit, Twitter & Tumblr - they all link out excessively, and yet they still have millions of visitors coming back again and again.If you’re worried that linking out will harm your rankings, do you have any proof of that?I’ll keep looking, but so far I haven’t seen any proof that linking out to relevant and informative sites/pages that users will benefit from actually hurts my long-term rankings and revenue.5. Low Hanging Fruit: Linkbuilding with Screaming Frog (source)To a large extent, valuable content makes it a lot easier to convince webmasters to link to you. According to MarketingSherpa, “53% of businesses view content creation as the single most effective SEO technique.”There are lots of opportunities to grow your site, if you just study your Google Webmasters Tools data and pinpoint the links coming in to your site.Go to Traffic > Links to Your Site:Next, go to “More”:Finally, download latest links (limit is 100,000):Getting the right links may seem difficult, especially when you’re not producing enough content.But if you consider the impact those links will have on your search rankings, you’ll invest in content creation and promotion.The old way of creating content and expecting customers to just show up is no longer feasible. You need to spend about 70% of your time and resources on promotion - that’s the new and better way.“Low Hanging Fruit: Link Building with Screaming Frog” is an in-depth post that reveals opportunities for getting the right links using Screaming Frog, a premium SEO tool for link reclamation and link analysis.Screaming Frog is invaluable as link building software for architecture research. You can also use it to initiate relationships with bloggers and reporters, among other things.The tool can analyze your links and show you ways to pass more SEO search term value to your web pages.Knowing when to increase your link building efforts or slow down with that mission is critical. This is the whole essence of link velocity, which measures the rate at which other sites link to you.There’s no single rule on how fast you should get links to your site. SEOs have differing opinions, but Google hasn’t commented one way or the other.The best approach is to create more content and increase your site authority. Content growth can solve your link velocity problems.For example, it doesn’t matter how many links SEO Software, Tools and Resources for Better Marketing or HubSpot | Inbound Marketing & Sales Software generate this week; Google won’t view those links as manipulative, because both sites have good authority and thousands of pages already.6. Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson (source)Link reclamation is the easiest way to earn editorial links to your pages from referring sites that mentioned your brand but didn’t link to you.Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, there are three sources of links you need to reclaim:i). Brand mentions: This means aspects of your brand such as your site, events, courses, etc. Other sites could be mentioning your site, without linking to it. Brand mentions are the future of link building. Through link reclamation, you can request actual links be added to mentions that already exist.ii). Product mentions: Several sites, media portals and discussion boards could be mentioning your product without linking to your sales page or homepage.If you’ve got a great product, I can almost guarantee that you can reclaim 10 or more unclaimed links today. You don't need link building software for this. You can use the Rank Tank’s brand unlinked mentions finder tool to find these product mentions across the web.iii). Personnel mentions: What about your team, your name, your nickname or your professional title?All of these provide another opportunity to reclaim unlinked personal mentions and boost your search rankings based on your company or you being the search term. You want people to view your site with the authority to use you as the social bookmark.If you want to dominate social media and claim brand mentions easily by building relationships with social media power users, site owners and bloggers, this guide -- “Your Link Reclamation Sucks Like Irene’s Dyson” -- will help you.In an earlier Whiteboard Friday video, Ross Hudgens showed that that you can reclaim links from brand misspellings, brand monitoring and moving links to primary domain, etc.7. Ultimate Guide to Link Building (source)Without a doubt, links connect the web together. Links exist because there are websites, pages and portals that need to share information with users, rank pertinent content, push the drivel aside and prevent plagiarism or duplicate content where possible. That is the job of search engines and every SEO tool must play in their realm.Who links to your site and how they link to it are more important to Google than virtually any other Google ranking factor. Data from Searchmetrics suggests that the number of backlinks is the third most important factor in the UK Google ranking factors.In this book, Ultimate Guide To Link Building, Eric Ward shows you:How to build linksHow to gain authority and credibility for your websiteHow to increase your site traffic and rankingsWard teaches with a deep understanding of link profiles, what makes them good and how to maximize the quality of links that point to your site. Understanding this means you won't need expensive link building software but you may still take advantage of tools to make you more efficient.Ward uses illustrated case studies, expert interviews and helpful resources in this book to drive his message home. You’ll find that getting backlinks can actually be fun, once you master the art of networking with bloggers.Using some of the outlined whitehat backlink techniques, Dom Wells, founder of Human Proof Designs, built 59 quality links to his new site in 10 weeks.And Inflow used email outreach (a tactic for connecting with site owners and getting them to reference and link to your page) to gain 96 links from 43 domains.8. Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale (source)Most startups waste time trying to get the right links when there’s a far more accessible opportunity right under their noses.More links will improve your search performance, increase leads to your business and increase your revenue. If you don’t get links to your site, your search rankings, traffic and leads will suffer. Your startup will fail.If you’re a startup entrepreneur, you’ll agree with me that you need to contend with a lot of competition.According to Club Z, about 80% of startups fail to see projected return on investment, frequently due to a lack of planning and experience.Before you can drive targeted visitors from Google and benefit from your site, you need to build quality links to your pages.Guest blogging is a viable and free way to do just that. As you contribute to industry blogs, you can speed up your rate of getting links by simultaneously reclaiming your brand mentions.For example, I could cite your domain name (e.g., iPad Cases & Covers for iPad Air, Mini & more | DODOcase) without linking to it. Before someone can visit that site, they’d have to copy and paste it into their browser or look for it via a search engine.But if the domain name was hyperlinked, when someone clicks on it, they’ll visit the startup site.If you’ve been consistently creating fresh and useful content and promoting your site through social media, there’s no doubt that other sites are mentioning your brand name. Don’t let these mentions be a waste; reclaim them and be your own best search term.And that’s exactly what you can learn from “Link Building for Startups – Find Unlinked Brand Mentions at Scale.”9. How to Get Links on Resources Pages (source)One of the most effective methods I use for getting links is through resources pages. With this tactic, Startup Company Lawyer got a link on the resources page of Johnson Cornell University.Although contextual links are desirable and powerful, you still need to diversify anchor text, If all your links appear within the content, this may not seem natural.I am a firm believer that there’s no single one-size-fits-all approach to link diversity ratios.Depending on the domain authority and page authority of referring pages and their IP diversities, Google can use these factors to gauge and pass value to your links.Different niches require different approaches to getting links. For example, building links to a niche site (e.g., a site focused on a specific topic or product) is a delicate process, because you've got to be mindful of the linking site - making sure they’re relevant even if they’re not too popular.But for an authority site, it doesn’t matter where you get your links from. It could be from an entirely unrelated web page, but provided your site has some authority Google will likely not view this as spammy.“How to Get Links on Resources Pages” is a helpful guide that gives you vital information on how to get the right links by capitalizing on resource pages - pages with plenty of linked-to resources (e.g., blogs, books, papers, resource works, images).Matthew Barby used the resource linking tactic to find link building opportunities for the travel blog he created with a group of friends, Melted Stories Travel Blog: Stories, Advice & Reviews for Backpackers.He got 15 new links from the sites he contacted, generated a decent amount of traffic and grew his blog.ConclusionAt the heart of every link building campaign is email outreach. Whether you’re involved in guest blogging, broken link building, social media networking or blog sponsorship, you need to connect with people.However, you can’t simply blast scripted emails to hundreds of people and wonder why only a handful of them read it and replied to you. You also need to learn how to write high-converting emails.Get personal. Your target audience wants to connect with you on a personal level. They should want to make you a social bookmark.That’s the quickest way you can build a loyal audience, get referral traffic, improve your search traffic, increase your email subscribers and grow your sales.

How do I find the best products to sell on Amazon via FBA?

Find products with demand, but relatively-low competition. I identified 100 such products, and listed them all here:And if you’re still at a loss after that list, here’s the process we use to come up with new product ideas. Ready?Follow these steps exactly and you will (without having to think very hard) come up with 5+ brilliant product niches that most people miss.(1) Excel.Open a spreadsheet.(2) Now, stand up.Take a walk around and find 5 objects around you that fit private label standards. What’s got PL potential?- no bigger than a shoebox- lightweight- profitable to sell (cost leaves you margins)- brandable, customizable- category not dominated by a household name- the design isn’t patented- oh yeah, and it makes money on Amazon with a good RPR. More on thathere.I’ll see you in a sec.(3) Input products.Enter the 5 items in cells B1, C1, D1, E1, and F1 respectively. Here are 5 PL-worthy things I found around the office:cell B1: Microphone (which I use for our YouTube videos)cell C1: Straw (who has time to tilt their head these days?)cell D1: Whiteboard (if you don’t have one, get one. Great for brainstorming)cell E1: Push Up Bars (if you work for too long, you get groggy. Push-ups cleanse the mind)cell F1: Mouse (I’ve got a gaming mouse)(4) Input modifiers.No matter what your products are in the 1st row, input these exact modifiers in Column A.cell A2: minicell A3: largecell A4: personalcell A5: industrialcell A6: singlecell A7: bulkcell A8: for mencell A9: for womencell A10: for kidsHere they are, so you can just copy/paste into your document.minilargepersonalindustrialsinglebulkfor menfor womenfor kids(5) Fill in the matrix and search the terms on Amazon.Fill in the cells of the matrix exactly as they appear. Some of the combinations won’t make any sense, but don’t worry. A laugh is your reward.Actually, can you do me a favor?Leave a comment with your funniest keyword combination.Some gems from my batch include “whiteboard for men” and “single mouse”.Next, copy and paste each cell into Amazon, hit search, and see what you get. The mindset is key: reserve all judgement. At this stage, there are no good or bad ideas.While you’re conducting the search, run JungleScout or some other market analysis software on the results. Look at the amount of sales versus reviews. You want high sales numbers and low review counts (i.e. there’s demand but it’s not too competitive).Let the search results, images, and Amazon auto-complete suggestions stimulate your mind. It’s hard to be creative without external inputs. Write down any cool opportunities you find. Here are the results from this round, written stream-of-consciousness style…MicrophoneMini + Microphone = after searching this, I realized a “mini mic” is more commonly referred to as a “lapel mic” — a great niche! So, I wrote that down.Large + Microphone = introduced me to the microphone parts called “shock mount” and “pop filter”. I don’t know what these are, but suddenly it dawns on me: there’s a whole niche of audiophiles shopping online. Microphones and sound quality for creatives, musicians, and podcasters is a great little niche to start with. Small, high perceived value, easily identifiable audience.Boom.You’re welcome.Get it? Boom? Boom mic? Fine, be that way.Personal + Microphone = lapel mics with voice amplifiers. Pretty interesting.Industrial + Microphone = this search led me to electric earmuffs. Which, while it has a 7k review player in it, may not be too bad.Single + Microphone = I was introduced to “patch cords” through this search, a product pulling $5k monthly and 42 reviews (Revenue per Review = $119.04). And again, RPR is a niche evaluation statistic that I invented. It’s revenue divided by the number of reviews. A high RPR is good.Bulk + Microphone = the search “bulk microphone” gives us HUGE spools of microphone cables. This would be a pain to import, but the RPR’s are splendid. So if you’ve already got a sea shipping operation and you’re in tech, it’s worth considering.The rest of the modifiers in the microphone category weren’t as eventful. It occurs to me is that you could sell accessories for karaoke. That’s a big, but targetable customer base.Industrial + MicrophoneMens + MicrophoneWomens + MicrophoneKids + MicrophoneLet’s move on to straws.StrawMini + StrawLarge + Straw = I love this one. What an opportunity: selling large straws made for bubble tea. It’s a bulk play. It’s beautiful. Top listing makes $29k/mo with 241 reviews at the time of writing, which makes the RPR $120. This search also introduced me to reusable stainless steel straws which, while I’ve seen them done as PL before, aren’t totally played out.wasPersonal + StrawIndustrial + StrawSingle + StrawBulk + StrawMens + Straw = produced mens straw hats, which (I now know) isn’t a profitable niche.Womens + Straw = see above.Kids + Straw = a little noise being made by silicone drinking straws doing $9.3k with 142 reviews. Not bad. Normally, fighting for space in silicone products is like Rose and Jack at the end of Titanic: someone falls off and dies. But silicone straws for kids are alright.WhiteboardMini + Whiteboard = boring.Large + Whiteboard = unveiled a new product category: whiteboard sheets. The top seller pulls in $17k monthly with 8 reviews (?!). We’re done here.Single + WhiteboardBulk + WhiteboardIndustrial + WhiteboardMens + Whiteboard = there’s a huge double-sided whiteboard there. It’s huge. $20k/month with 50 reviews. RPR is great, but is it a good PL play? No. Shipping is prohibitive.Womens + WhiteboardKids + Whiteboard = there’s a kids easel play here. But only if it’s a physically small easel. Be careful.Push Up BarsMini + Push Up BarsLarge + Push Up BarsPersonal + Push Up BarsIndustrial + Push Up BarsSingle + Push Up BarsBulk + Push Up BarsMens + Push Up BarsWomens + Push Up BarsKids + Push Up BarsThis one sucked because push up bars lack diversity. Sometimes you’ll strike out. Just keep going.MouseMini + Mouse = aside from pics of Mickey’s significant other, it seems mini computer mice are popular (and cut shipping costs). Win-win!Large + Mouse = this exposed me to keywords like “gaming mouse” and something called a “penguin mouse”, which an ergonomic mouse. Pretty cool! Tip: don’t stop with the top results. Scroll down the page. It’s rewarding.Personal + MouseIndustrial + MouseSingle + MouseBulk + MouseMens + MouseWomens + MouseKids + Mouse…the rest were dull.So there you have it. After using the matrix, we have 8 actually good ideas. No brain racking, no frustration.Here are the cells that produced results.Mini MicrophoneLarge MicrophoneLarge StrawStraw for KidsLarge WhiteboardMini MouseLarge MouseAnd here are the extrapolated product ideas.1. Lapel mic2. Audiophile accessories e.g. shock mount, pop filter3. Bubble tea straws4. Silicone kids straws5. Whiteboard sheet6. Kids easels7. Mini computer mouse8. Penguin mouseDone.Once again, the steps are:(1) Excel. Crack open a new spreadsheet.(2) Now, stand up. Take a walk and find 5 PL-worthy products.(3) Input products. List them in Row 1.(4) Input modifiers. List the modifiers we give you in Column A.(5) Fill in the matrix and search the terms on Amazon. Use product research software to expedite. Be open to all ideas.Once you choose an idea, it’s time to source. Check out my full super-awesome sourcing guide complete with negotiation templates and examples.PS —Want even more ideas?Expand Row 1: tour a Wal-Mart for more PL-worthy items.Expand Column A: here’s a modifier expansion pack for you:premium, luxuryold, vintage, retroreusablefor dogs, cats, fish, reptilesaccessory (works especially well with big-ticket items like tech and appliances)kit, set, bundle, boxcountry or culture (e.g. Japanese, Swedish, American)DIYplastic, metal, wood, bamboo, siliconepre-built, pre-madehandmade, made in Americagreen, sustainable, ethicalsubscription, one-time-useHere’s the video version of this answer:Email me at [email protected] when you launch your Amazon product. We’ll make sure you win.

How can I start a business in college?

Starting up is hard, and is even harder while you are doing it in college. You are not working full time on it, and have no idea how to run a business. Most of the times, you don’t even know how to start. You see a lot of your colleagues and seniors casually starting their start-ups only to add a bullet point to their resume.One of the biggest problems faced by college entrepreneurs is that ‘you do not know what you do not know’. You are unfamiliar with basic terms like idea validation, market sizing, product-market fit and go-to-market. In your head, you are your own Mark Zuckerberg and you are in a hurry to build your Facebook. While there’s nothing wrong about being excited to solve a problem, it’s equally important to be curious about knowing whether you are doing it right or not.Before you even start working on your idea, ask yourself why do you want to start-up? If it is for money or fame, you are likely to be wasting your time. You have more chances of winning a lottery than building the right start-up. A good start-up takes years to build, and you can’t have a backup plan if you have to get it right. You’ll have to go through sleepless nights and a roller-coaster of emotions, and until and unless you actually enjoy doing it, there’s no way you can make it to the other end. However, if you are confident about doing it, and are waiting for the best time to start— Do it now. Starting up in college is a very sensible thing, and is going to teach you more than anything else if you are dedicated enough. This answer by Balaji Vishwanathan should tell you better— https://www.quora.com/How-sensible-is-it-to-start-a-startup-while-you-are-still-in-college1. Do the hard part — Start Reading :‘Learn from the mistakes of others, you cannot live long enough to make them all yourself.’ Keep your billion dollar idea aside for a second, and learn the basics. Look up for the Youtube channel ‘How to Start a Startup’. Follow start-up founders and topics on Quora and Medium and try to go through as many of their answers as you can. Do not be hesitant to ask questions. You are doing it for the first time, you don’t have a MBA. It’s okay to not know things. But it’s not okay to not ask. Google and Quora anything and everything that you are even slightly unsure about. Stay brutally honest with yourself about how much you know. A few good entrepreneurs who have written a lot of answers on Quora are Michael Wolfe, James Altucher, Auren Hoffman, etc. In fact, even this can be asked on Quora , right?— https://www.quora.com/Who-are-good-people-to-follow-on-Quora-in-the-startup-sceneFurthermore, use Twitter and LinkedIn effectively to stay updated about all the news and trends in the start-up community. If you are in India, you might want to follow YourStory, Inc42 and LetsVenture for starters. You’ll also find a lot of founders and investors to be quite active on all these platforms, and you’ll be able to avoid a lot of basic start-up mistakes if you go through their blogs and articles regularly. A few good people to follow in the Indian startup ecosystem are Rajan Anandan, Kashyap Deorah, Avlesh Singh, Kunal Shah, Punit Soni, Aakrit Vaish, Sampad Swain, Vijay Anand, Vani Kola, Gaurav Munjal, etc.2. Time to validate your idea :‘Build something that a hundred people love, not something that a thousand people kind of like.’ Before you even start working on your idea, it is important to ‘validate’ it, which means — You have to do a mini-MBA of your sector, and analyse whether what you are building is worth building or not. As you start reading about startups, you will realise that more than 90% start-ups fail at the product-market fit stage, which simply means — They are building products that are not needed. Identifying problems is easy, but finding the right solutions— not so much. For good idea validation, you will need to calculate your market size and do a thorough competitor analysis. You’ll also need to learn a thing or two about barrier-to-entry and go-to-market strategy, which play quite a role in determining your success. It’s good to start off with solving a problem that you have yourself closely encountered in life, since you’d be knowing more about it. Try avoiding the most common mistakes that people make — https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-most-common-mistakes-first-time-entrepreneurs-make-4/answer/Michal-Ugor?srid=O2HbI’ve personally seen most people mess up while doing their competitor analysis. You cannot always build a new business altogether if you think your competitor has a ‘X’ feature missing. Trust me, there are high chances your competitor has thought through all the features that you can think of, and either dropped ‘X’ intentionally, or saved it for the right time. You need to first identify the ‘core’ of your solution, and then think of the features around it. If your core cannot be explained in a few simple words, there are high chances you are doing it wrong. Most good businesses are built when you try to bring a substantial change in user behaviour regarding the problem you are trying to solve. Again, go through as many idea validation articles as possible while finalising your idea. You’ll be working on this for the next 2–5 years at least for it to receive sufficient traction, and you cannot afford to pick something that you are yourself not confident about.3. Create a very basic business plan :You can find multiple business plan templates online. I found the one on Indian Angel Network and LetsVenture to be quite good. You are too young to reach out to an investor, but this is just to give yourself a clear understanding of your product and roadmap. All this will further help you to take a more knowledgeable decision of whether you want to go ahead with the current idea, or pick a new one. You might also want to go through the Business Model Canvas for a deeper analysis — https://www.quora.com/What-should-everyone-know-about-the-Business-Model-Canvas/answer/Balaji-Viswanathan-2?srid=O2HbSince you cannot work full-time while you are in college, try choosing an idea that does not involve too much initial capital for it to reach the first few users. You won’t be able to receive funding from external investors until you reach a decent number of users, with some revenue. Also, it’s good to stay away from things that you don’t have any idea about. For example, building an Amazon today might not be a very good idea for college students, since it would be an operations-heavy startup and you won’t know a lot about business development and won’t be working full time on day-to-day operations. Pick something that you find implementable, and identify a micro-market to grab your first set of users. As they say — ‘Start small. Nail it, then go big.’4. Form the most amazing team :Your team is everything. It’s good if you don’t realise this the hard way. You don’t want to have the wrong people for a journey that is going to last for years. Try keeping the team as small as possible. Identify the most important skill-sets you need to run the business, and accordingly choose the co-founders. Choose dedication over talent when it’s tough to decide. A talented person might or might not get the work done depending upon his dedication, but a dedicated person can learn anything over a period of time and always get the work done. Don’t take that best friend of yours, if he is not needed. You’ll be anyways getting a few small tasks done by interns and friends. One wrong person in the team can have a huge impact. Even though you are going to do a lot of tasks together in the early days, it’s good to clearly define the basic responsibilities of each co-founder. It’s okay to not get your start-up registered in the early days (if you are not getting too much into legal) but make sure you are clear about the equity-splits and the responsibilities of each person in the team. You might also want to read a thing or two about vesting.Furthermore, when you are dealing with interns and part-timers, try to know more and more about their work, so that you can lay out very specific expectations from them. The best managers have a basic understanding of all roles, and are able to put them together in the best possible way. For example, if you want a design intern to design the UX for your website, sit with them and discuss with them the features and pages that you think are crucial and should get more visibility than others. Decide together upon the call-to-actions and user-flows that could have a substantial impact on your conversion rate and do not leave everything for them to figure out. Try to give every single intern a phenomenal learning experience, above everything else. Do not pick those who are doing it only for the money. Make the designer and coder sit together, instead of working independently, so that they can take a combined decision upon the feasibility of the things being built. Everybody in the team should have a similar vision of your final product, for them to feel involved and work passionately for it.5. Build & Sell your MVP :Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the minimum set of killer features that you need to launch your product to its first set of users. Building the right MVP can be a time-taking process, and you don’t want to build a bad one. Your MVP’s response is eventually going to decide your product-market fit, and whether somebody should invest in you in the future or not. Again, there are tons of articles on the web on how to build a good MVP, but just be careful about managing the team well. It’s important for the coders and designers and marketers to come together to create the best product. A well-designed product reflects all of that and could turn your world upside down. Have your user-flows figured out very well, before you even start coding anything. If you are building a website or an app, the following link might be helpful : https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-go-about-making-an-idea-into-a-finished-website-What-are-the-steps-you-take/answer/Quincy-Larson?srid=O2HbDo not under-estimate product design if you have a good idea in mind. Building a great product is the key to building revenues, and you really want your customers to be talking about it. Word-to-word marketing from your customers works better than everything else, and it can only happen if you have put in good amount of time and effort in building your product. Go through a lot of product design articles and make sure you don’t make any of the common mistakes that can affect your conversion. Try using the awesome set of productivity tools in the market to get more work done in lesser time — https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-best-productivity-tools-for-entrepreneursAcquiring your first set of customers is going to depend a lot upon your market. Choose the best set of marketing channels suitable for your business, and try nailing each one of them. We, at Zaffingo, launched a social media campaign in our first month that was shared thousands of times on Facebook, and covered by all famous blogs like ScoopWhoop, MadOverMarketing, StoryPick, Buzzfeed, etc and helped us in getting our first few customers. If convincing people to use your product is proving out to be tough task, there are lesser chances you have built the right thing. Take their feedback, and re-iterate till you get it right. Build a mind-blowing customer experience, and try to give your users more than what you promised. Thank them when they use your product, and ask them for their feedback. Be totally obsessed about customer satisfaction and make each customer feel loved all the time. Again, there are a lot of hacks that can help you acquire your first few customers, if you have already built a fantastic product — https://www.quora.com/What-are-key-strategies-to-acquire-first-100K-users-with-zero-marketing-budget6. Reach out to mentors :Don’t be afraid to reach out to people for feedback. If you’ve built the MVP, a lot of good people in the Indian start-up ecosystem will be happy to assist you. I myself have been able to find the best of my mentors this way. Connect with them on LinkedIn, send them e-mails, do whatever it takes to gather feedback on what you’re building. Most good people will appreciate this, and it will help you to build a long term relationship with them over time. If you are reaching out to good names, make sure to keep your query as specific as possible. Nobody has the time to give you generic lessons that you can easily find on the internet.Final words— Try nailing every little thing and don’t be in a hurry to just complete things. Be it your landing page, your social media campaign or your marketing emails, you can always find ways to do it more effectively. At the end of it all, your customers should be your fans.That is it. If you’ve reached this far, you’ll be able to figure out yourself what to do next. Here is another great answer from Michel Wolfe that you might want to read — https://www.quora.com/Im-a-student-creating-a-start-up-What-do-I-do-now/answer/Michael-Wolfe?srid=O2HbGood luck with what you are building!

Why Do Our Customer Select Us

Seems like a decent low cost replacement for Adobe Acrobat

Justin Miller