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  • Mark “Real Estate” Jones Shares Online Marketing Strategy for Realtors

    Thursday, September 22, 2016 by

    Real Estate Website

    Mark “Real Estate” Jones knows the value of visibility and strong communication in a crowded market. Mark, a Realtor with Scottsdale-based HomeSmart, is a Phoenix native and ASU graduate who specializes in Maricopa County home sales and real estate investment. With Phoenix among the hottest residential real estate markets in the country right now, Arizona is also home to an increasing number of real estate agents, all looking for clients.


    A Great Website = A Lead Generation Hub

    Mark Real Estate JonesMark, whose background is communication and project management, has a web site ( that features personality, straight-to-the-point information, and tips on valuing and listing a home quickly with digital tools. The site helps him differentiate his services and experience in a market with “so much competition” and to grow his business by reaching new prospects – and it was simple to set up. Mark chose HostGator shared web hosting, based on “solid service at a great price,” and chose a pre-designed template to give the site a professional look without the cost of hiring a web designer.

    “My website is the hub of all lead generation activities,” Mark said. Most of his leads arrive through social media, followed by referrals from AdWords, Google’s pay-per-click search result advertising program. The real turning point in his website’s lead-generation role came “when I realized that adding value by providing great content will generate leads.”

    The content in Mark’s blog, which he started in May, features some attention-grabbing titles. “5 Reasons the First-Time Buyer Might Slap Her Realtor” walks prospective homebuyers through some common oversights. Investors, meanwhile, can learn “How Not to Lose Your A—in Real Estate.”

    Real Estate Blog

    Mark also uses his site to highlight his affiliation with HomeSmart, a fast-growing locally based real-estate franchise that is the regional sales leader and sells a home about every 1.7 minutes.  HomeSmart supports Mark and its other agents with completely paperless transaction management tools, which allows Mark to offer “interaction-less transactions” for sellers who prefer to do business via text message and email rather than on the phone and in person.

    Careful planning and ongoing relationship building are at the heart of Mark’s marketing model, and they’re what he recommends for new business owners and agents, too. “Lay out your strategy and then execute. Create a relationship with every potential client.” Mark accomplishes this on his site by offering useful content in a distinctive voice.

    Put Mark's strategy to work with your own real estate agent website.

    Get Started With HostGator!

  • Comedy Writer Finds His Way With Taoism Podcast

    Thursday, September 22, 2016 by
    [caption id="attachment_12418" align="aligncenter" width="1018"]What's This Tao All About The successful podcast's website is hosted on HostGator.[/caption]

    39-year-old Tod Perry is a busy man. The Long Beach-based freelance advertising copywriter and former CBS Radio host is a regular contributor to the popular news sites GOOD and Buzzworthy, and is a new father. He also co-hosts and produces What’s This Tao All About?, a popular podcast in which he and Taoist Institute founder Dr. Carl Totton discuss the philosophy of Taoism, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice that goes back more than two thousand years.


    About The Podcast

    Tod PerryDescribed as “a lighthearted podcast hosted by a Tao master and a curious writer,” What’s This Tao All About? works its way through the chapters of the Tao Te Ching (The Way and Its Power) and relates them to the challenges of modern life. The results are often enlightening and surprisingly funny. That’s not a small challenge--one of the central tenets of the philosophy is that Tao cannot be described in words. Perry and Totton released the first episode of the podcast series in August 2015, and what they originally planned to be a weekly 12-episode series is now entering its second year, with 24 episodes and counting.


    Getting The Podcast Started

    Perry describes What’s This Tao All About as a “labor of love that accidentally became successful,” based on his long-time interest in Taoism and the popular book, The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff. He took the time recently to answer questions about how he set up the podcast and to offer some concise advice for would-be website owners and podcasters. The first order of podcasting business was setting up a website for the podcast, because he needed a way to host the audio files, give listeners information about the show, and reach people searching online for information on Taoism. He chose HostGator's shared web hosting plan for his website, he said, because it offered a “good deal and great reputation.”

    [bctt tweet="#PodcastAdvice from @WhatsThisTao: Over prepare & allow plenty of room for happy accidents." username="hostgator"]


    Advice For Future Podcasters

    Perry said the biggest challenge presented by podcast itself is coming up with compelling and relatable topics. That’s not surprising, given Taoism’s long history, many facets, and nuanced philosophy, but Perry is apparently meeting the challenge just fine. What’s This Tao All About? listeners have left consistently great reviews for the podcast on iTunes. One described Perry as a “podcast genius.” Perhaps because he’s a genius, or a busy new dad, or a true student of Taoism’s focus on simplicity and clarity, he offered up a single piece of advice for podcasters-to-be: “Over prepare for your conversation topics and allow plenty of room for happy accidents.”

    Inspired by Tod? Create your own podcast website with HostGator. 

    Get Started With HostGator!
  • Direct Marketing Tricks To Drive Customers To Your Website

    Thursday, September 22, 2016 by

    Direct Marketing

    The goal of direct marketing is to get a potential (or current) customer to take a specific action related to your business. It could be anything, like signing up for your email list, watching an opt-in video, purchasing your product, or filling out a customer survey.

    When you’re looking to drive traffic to your website it can be difficult to decide on the right form of marketing medium to use. However, regardless of the medium you use, certain direct marketing principles hold true.

    Below we highlight six different direct marketing tricks you can use to improve your marketing efforts no matter if you’re going the print or digital route.

    1. Make Sure Your Offer Is Compelling

    It’s not enough to simply ask someone to visit your website. People have overflowing to-do lists and there just isn’t enough time for them to visit a site for no reason at all.

    You need to give them a compelling reason to actually visit. This can be something like a free trial, a free guide eBook, or even a free online course. Frame visiting your website as a beneficial thing in your visitor’s life.

    2. Use a Memorable URL

    This is especially true if you’re using any kind of print medium. If your reader comes across your ad, or piece of marketing material, and immediately forgets your URL, then they won’t visit your site.

    Your URL must be short, related to your offer, and memorable. You can even create a unique URL and redirect it to an existing page on your website.

    3. Track Your Traffic Sources

    How will you know which direct marketing methods are the most effective? There are literally dozens of means you can use to send more traffic to your site. However, some methods will work better than others.

    The only way to determine what’s actually working, so you can focus your efforts, is to track your clicks. You can do this by using Google Analytics, or trackable links through a service like Also, make sure to only run one direct marketing campaign at once, so you can be sure that your traffic is coming from that source and it’s easier to monitor the results.

    4. Have a Clear Call-to-Action

    You must tell your readers what to do next. If you want them to visit your site to complete a survey, then tell them. If you want them to go to your site and sign up for a free trial, then tell them.

    You must be very specific with your call-to-action. The clearer you can be the better.

    5. Use a Landing Page

    When sending traffic to your website make sure you send them to a very specific page on your site that’s related to your marketing. Don’t just send them to your home page. There are simply too many choices and it’s easy for your readers to get lost.

    Create a very specific page that’s in alignment with the offer and the action you want them to take. This will also help you gather tracking data to further optimize.

    6. Use the Power of Deadlines to Encourage Action

    If people don’t act immediately, then they probably won’t act at all. Make sure your offer is time sensitive, otherwise there’s a greater chance they won’t even act at all.

    When placing your deadline make sure that it’s near your call-to-action, so your users don’t gloss over it.

    We hope you enjoying our direct marketing tips that will help to improve your traffic efforts. Implement some of the tips above and you’ll start to see your website traffic grow.

    What are your favorite direct marketing hacks? Please share in the comments below.

  • Best WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Marketing

    Wednesday, September 21, 2016 by

    WordPress Plugins for Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing can be a great way to monetize your website. You already have the traffic and readership, but you don’t have something to sell. Instead of spending all that time creating a product, you can recommend similar products to your audience and receive a commission for each sale.

    Best of all, if you’re dealing with digital products, then the commission you receive will be much higher than the typical commission that’s offered from most physical product retailers.

    Yet, you might be struggling to find out the best ways you can actually sell and promote these offers to your audience. Luckily, WordPress has your back. There are a slew of great plugins you can use that’ll simplify your affiliate marketing efforts.

    Below we highlight five different plugins you can use to bolster your affiliate marketing efforts, or help to get them off the ground.

    Note: Whenever using third-party plugins, be thoughtful of your resource usage to avoid any surprises from your hosting provider.

    1. WordPress Referral

    WordPress Affiliate & Referral Plugin

    In some cases you might not be interested in promoting and selling others’ products, but instead have recruited people to promote and sell your own digital courses and guides. In this case, you’re going to need a way to track and manage the sales of your own affiliates.

    The WordPress Affiliate and Referral plugin will enable you to easily manage the affiliates who are promoting your products. This plugin has features like:

    • The ability to manage and track affiliate performance
    • PayPal integration to easily pay affiliates
    • Integration with your existing eCommerce system, such as, WooCommerce
    • The ability to setup referral banners and links for promotional use

    2. EasyAzon


    If you’re planning on selling Amazon products for an affiliate commission, then you need to be using this plugin. EasyAzon will save you a ton of time when you’re trying to create a link for the Amazon product.

    This plugin is a must-have if you’re promoting Amazon products, just look at a few of the features this plugin has to offer:

    • Add Amazon affiliate links to your pages and posts without leaving the WordPress dashboard
    • The links will automatically adjust to the visitor’s geographic region
    • The plugin allows readers to automatically add a product to their cart, which can increase conversions

    3. Thirsty Affiliates

    Thirsty Affiliates

    Thirsty Affiliates can be seen as an all-in-one affiliate solution. Essentially, it’s a link-cloaker, which allows you to create affiliate links that don’t look like affiliate links.

    This increases the chances of your visitors clicking on the link, as it doesn’t resemble a spam link, or a link from an untested source.

    Some additional features of this plugin include:

    • A tool to choose the correct affiliate link for your product
    • Allows you to add media files to your links, such as images or video that pop-up when the link is hovered over.
    • An automatic link-shortening feature
    • A lot more, there are additional add-ons that can be purchased to extend the functionality of this plugin

    4. Pretty Link Lite

    Pretty Link Lite

    Pretty Link Lite allows you to shorten and cloak any affiliate links you’re using across your entire site. This is a very small and simple plugin that does this task incredibly well.

    Plus, there’s a nifty tracking feature built into this plugin, so you can see which links are garnering you the most clicks and if any links are underperforming. Since this plugin isn’t specifically created for affiliate website it has other useful features like:

    • Allows you to create 301 and 307 redirects
    • Can export the link data into a CSV file to more easily analyze
    • Automatic creation of URL slugs for each link

    5. Custom Sidebars

    Custom Sidebars

    If you have a sidebar ad that you’re trying to use to sell affiliate products, then the Custom Sidebars plugin will help you reach your goals. Most affiliate programs will come with a set of image-based ads you can use to promote their products.

    All you have to do is install the plugin, upload your ad images with a tracking code, and you’re all set to begin generating revenue. This plugin comes equipped with a ton of useful features including:

    • Display custom widgets and sidebars depending on page or post type
    • Easy WordPress integration
    • Well-coded, so it won’t slow down your site

    WordPress is a great choice when you’re building an audience to sell and promote products to. The plugins above will help to more easily manage and promote your digital goods.

    Did you know? HostGator has an award-winning affiliate program! If you're interested in earning up to $125 per qualifying signup, click here to learn more.

    What WordPress affiliate plugins do you recommend? Share your favorites in the comments below.

  • HostGator Mystery Sale!

    Monday, September 19, 2016 by
    Sherlock Holmes SnappyCalling all Scooby Doos and Nancy Drews... are you ready to solve a cyber mystery? This mystery is the first of its kind, and Snappy needs your help. Here's what we know. The scene of tHe crime is on a website. It invOlves a very Special producT, ...known for powerinG successful blogs, businesses, And applications online. Snappy the alligaTor is involved. YOu have until Friday at midnight to solve the mysteRy.     If you've guessed that it's our first-ever HostGator Mystery Sale, offering mega deals on web hosting all week long, you are a super sleuth! HostGator Mystery Sale That's right! From today through Friday, September 23rd, we are hosting a mystery sale on all of our shared web hosting plans for terms of 12 months or more! Your mystery discount will be revealed at checkout. Enjoy up to 65% savings off your new website! Whether you're starting your first blog or need a professional website that will grow with your business, HostGator's shared web hosting plans make it easy to succeed online. Enjoy the following features and more:
    • One-click installs of the most popular blogging and e-commerce platforms, including WordPress, Magento, Drupal, and Joomla
    • Unlimited email addresses tied to your domain name
    • Unmetered storage and bandwidth
    • $100 Google AdWords credit and $100 Yahoo/Bing credit
    • Free website builder
    • 24/7/365 support
    Unlock your mystery discount now!

    Solve The Mystery!