The term Inbound Marketing is a type of marketing used to gain visitors to your site through the creation of high quality content. Blogs, video, social media and SEO are all forms of inbound marketing.
So there’s a good chance you’ve been doing Inbound Marketing without knowing it.
Hector started building websites in 2008. He knows the ropes of how to get your site set up and has mastered many promotional techniques.
Inbound Pro shows you how to get traffic, write valuable content for your visitors, and build a list. All very important to the success of your website.
I wanted to interview Hector because I really liked something I read on his site. The saying was, ‘When in doubt: create something useful and help someone in need’.
That’s a great quote and something I believe in as well.
Let’s jump into the interview …
Hector Cuevas Interview
Lisa: Who’s inspired you?
Hector: There are a few people who really got me going and taking action. Mike Dillard is a big deal in the internet marketing/MLM business community, and I first stumbled upon how to market online through one of his products. That one product introduced me to a ton of other people who I blame for most of what I know today:
Jeff Walker, Frank Kern, Brian Clark… then Pat Flynn, Corbett Barr, and Lisa Irby. All incredibly successful and incredibly inspiring.
Lisa: What made you decide to start inboundPro.net?
Hector: It wasn’t always called InboundPro.net – I started this site as HectorJCuevas.com after reading a ton of articles and ebooks on personal branding and starting a business online. The domain change happened around March 2012, because I wanted to try a different approach. I wanted to start a site that focused solely on Inbound marketing strategies.
The idea behind the site is to document and share how these inbound marketing strategies work. I talk about SEO, blogging and social media tips and I wanted to show people how to use these ideas to grow an audience without having to spend a single dime.
Lisa: What suggestions do you have for new businesses?
Hector: 1. Whether you’re starting an online information business, marketing your services, or marketing an offline business on the internet, everything revolves around content. We live in an era where great content gets shared and remarkable content goes viral. Use that to your advantage by creating entertaining, educational or inspiring content that people want to share with their friends.
2. Focus on building an email list from day one. Here are the steps I take when creating a new site (or one for a client). Get a domain, hosting, install wordpress, install wordpress theme, then add an email newsletter and autoresponder.
If you wait until later to start building your list of subscribers, you’ll be leaving a ton of money on the table.
Lisa: Do you think every business should have a blog?
Hector: Yes and no. I think every business should find a medium that makes sense to them. I believe that every business can educate their customers, or potential customers, on making a more informed buying decision. A blog helps you do that. It helps you showcase what you know, what your business stands for and what makes you different from the rest.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog. It could be a monthly electronic newsletter that is sent via email. Whatever medium you use, be sure to keep your audience in the loop. Educate them and entertain them and you’ll be front of mind when it comes time to buy.
Lisa: What do you think are the biggest mistakes new online business owners are making?
Hector: A huge mistake is building their audience on someone else’s platform. For example, there are people who are building large followings on Facebook. That’s great. I recommend using Facebook pages (or Twitter, or Google+) to grow your audience, but only if that audience follows you back to your own site.
Why? Because they don’t own that Facebook page. Facebook can change up the rules at any moment, and they have. They can deactivate, cancel or completely delete those pages whenever they like. This is why I use Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as loudspeakers. They help me spread the word about my business and website.
Another big mistake is worrying about traffic before figuring out what your website’s purpose is. Take the time to plan out what you want your visitors to do before trying to get visitors. It doesn’t make sense to try and get 10,000 unique visitors from Google+ if they won’t remember who you are or convert into subscribers.
Lisa: Where does most of your traffic to inboundpro.net come from?
Hector: Currently my top three traffic sources are Google, Twitter and Pinterest. After the Panda 3.4 update that was released on March 23rd, I started getting a ton more search engine traffic to posts that were written months and even years ago.
Twitter has always been a high traffic source for me, more so now that I’m using Triberr to expand my reach. Building tribes and helping others spread their message is key to getting people to retweet your content and help you spread yours.
Pinterest was a no brainer for me. Being an avid Photoshop user I started creating images that were high in quality, highly relevant to the articles I was writing, and “pinterest ready”. By “Pinterest Ready” I mean an image that was likely to be repined by my followers.
Lisa: Would you say that every small business should use twitter?
Hector: I think every business can benefit from using Twitter. Like I stated above, Twitter helps you distribute your content, which puts you’re business in front of new people. But even if it’s not being used as a distribution vehicle, it can still help you connect with other industry leaders that you can collaborate and share ideas with.
Lisa: What do you think are the top 3 methods a small business should use to start driving traffic to their website?
Hector: I would start with the three that have proven to be effective time and time again.
1. Guest Blogging
Other bloggers have already spent the time building an audience that will read the stuff they put out, you can take advantage of that and get in front of that audience and see visitors at your site the day your guest post gets published.
2. Great Content – Social Sharing
Crappy content gets ignored. Put the time and effort to create something worth sharing with others and you will see visitors coming from sites you didn’t even know existed. For example, I get visitors from a paid membership site that apparently links to one of my articles. I don’t know which one, I just know where the traffic is coming from. Doesn’t matter to me. I think it’s awesome.
3. Email Marketing
This one gets overlooked very often. It’s not considered a traffic generation method because you need to build an email list before you can use it. However, once you have a list of 200 – 500 subscribers, they can help you build your list to the 1,000’s.
Think about it. One email that is sent to a few hundred people letting them know about an article you’ve written will guarantee more social sharing of that article. It’s like a snowball effect. Your second thousand won’t take as long to build. Trust me.
Lisa: What are the top 3 tips you can give online businesses as far as what to include on their site?
Hector: Tip 1. Include a “Start Here” page or give your visitors something to do once they land on your site.
Tip 2. Don’t forget your “About” page. This page gets visited very often. New visitors want to know what your site is about, so be sure to tell them.
Tip 3. BUILD YOUR EMAIL LIST. Include an opt-in form on your homepage, sidebar and under every post to help you build your list of subscribers. This is one of the smartest things you can do as a online business owner.
Lisa: What have been your key lessons learned that you’d like to pass onto to others getting started?
Hector: Always be helpful and don’t give up. Focus on doing ONE thing every day that will move you towards your goal. When I started, I didn’t know how to get a domain, install wordpress, use photoshop, record a podcast, design a site or get traffic. All of these skills came from months and years of trial and error.
Remember, when in doubt, create something useful and help someone in need.