Category: Helpful Info For New & experienced Affiliate Marketers

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Say What!

I can’t count how many times I get asked the question, is Affiliate Marketing Dead? The reason that I am writing this post was spurred on by a question I received through a forum that I contribute to. A member on Quora asked me if it was too late to start affiliate marketing? I am going to answer that question for you right now.

Let’s Start With What Affiliate Marketing Is

If you didn’t already know, Affiliate marketing is the promotion of online products or services for commissions. An affiliate marketer will enter into a contract to market an online merchants products or service for a pre determined commission.

Why You Would choose Affiliate Marketing

The benefit of being an affiliate marketer is, you don’t touch or carry any inventory. You don’t facilitate sales, you simply direct traffic to your affiliate products using an affiliate link that identifies you as the person responsible for bringing that customer to the merchants website.

Usually cookies (  your affiliate id) goes with your traffic from your content or promotion to the merchants offer. Cookies are good for 30 days in most cases, sometimes this can be longer depending on the merchants desire to sweeten the pot to get more affiliates. I have seen 90 day cookies which is pretty nice. If that potential customer lands on another affiliates site and uses their link, you lose out. The last affiliate link used recieves the commission if a sale is made.

You get no commission if a sale isn’t made. This is why there is usually a 30 day window for your affiliate cookie. If a customer takes time to think about their purchase, as long as that customer comes back within that 30 day window with your affiliate link intact, you will get credit for the commission if that sale goes through.

Contracts that you enter into with online merchants aren’t your usual contract.  Affiliate contracts are in place to ensure you are using ethical methods to drive traffic to the online merchants products or services for the most part.

An affiliate contract isn’t anything binding in the sense that you are locked into promoting a merchants product or services.  If an online merchant changes conditions on you, such as commission structure, payment methods that you don’t like, you simply move on. You have no commitment to the online merchant, other than to follow their guidelines for promoting their products or services.

Why Affiliate Marketers Are Important To Online Sales

There are literally thousands of online merchants and more coming every year as they start to see the opportunity that bringing their offer online presents.

Online retail sales continue to rise year over year. The US Commerce Department stats show that online shoppers spent $517.36 billion online from US online merchants in 2018, up 15.0%  from 2017. The trend for dollars spent through online shopping continue to increase at an insane rate and doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

There are more and more people buying online with more and more merchants opening online storefronts. The problem for merchants is still the same as it was 10 years ago when online shopping was really starting to roll.

Online merchants are struggling to get exposure for their products or services online. Amazon for example accounts for roughly 40% of all online sales in the US, even with that exposure, Amazon still uses affiliates to promote products. Selling online is becoming even more competitive and online retailers are looking for every advantage they can get over their competition, using affiliates gives online retailers that advantage!

Using Affiliates Makes “Cents”

As I mentioned earlier, online retailers use affiliates to get their products and services maximum exposure, a presence in the niche that their product or service speaks to. An online retailer would need to expend considerable resources and energy to market their own products online using in house marketing or contacted out marketing services , with no guarantee of sales. Online retailers of all sizes use affiliates for this reason

Affiliate marketers get paid only if a sales transaction occurs, in other words, this offers a guaranteed sale for the online merchant. Affiliate marketers push hard knowing that they only get paid when the retailer gets paid. You can start to see why online merchants like using affiliate marketers and why affiliates are needed more than ever.

Online Retailers Have Limited Contact With Their Affiliates

One other reason online merchants love using affiliates is, they are completely hands off when it comes to dealing with affiliates. Many online retailers use affiliate market places to take care of  the promotion of their product/service.

Affiliate market places like ShareAsale, Commission Junction, Market Health, Rakuten, Amazon Affiliate Program, Clickbank, ImpactRadius, Partnerstack, Refersion Makretplace, Awin and Avangate offer online retailers a hassle free way of promoting their offers online.

There are lots of affiliate programs offered by online merchants that are run by affiliate managers or independent affiliate management contractors. Online merchants really have very little to do with affiliate management, all they do is sit back and count the money from their online sales. The biggest risk that online merchants have when dealing with affiliate marketers is the risk that an affiliate will tarnish their brand by using less than ethical marketing techniques, this is why they have contracts to ensure their brands are protected.

If Affiliates Are Needed, Why Is Affiliate Marketing Dead?

We have gone through what purpose affiliates serve and how important they are to online retail sale for merchants. So why are people asking if affiliate marketing is dead?

There’s really a simple answer to this.

In the old days, yes, when I first started out, affiliate marketing, just like the internet, was a different animal all together. Affiliate marketing has gone thorough many changes as the internet and online shopping evolve. The people who are saying that affiliate marketing is dead are the affiliate marketers who wouldn’t or didn’t change. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, if you don’t believe in the old adage “the only thing certain in life is change,” then you will eventually be sitting on the outside looking in.

I can tell you from experience, affiliate marketers who think they can throw up crappy sales funnels, cheesy one page sites or offer completely bias product reviews and still make a killing like they used to, are just fooling themselves. Online shoppers are more informed and savvy than ever.

Over the years as the internet has grown so has the access to knowledge and information. Having access to all this new information has made online consumers more knowledgeable. The people who are providing this information to consumers are the people who have the best opportunity to facilitate a sale.

Is Affiliate Marketing As Profitable As It Used To Be?

Affiliate marketing for some is even more lucrative than it used to be, for others, it’s definitely less profitable. There are good reasons why some affiliates are still making great affiliate commissions and some are starving themselves out of the game.

For affiliates to find success moving forward they need to establish themselves as experts in their niche, they need to have the ability to persuade an educated buyer that their knowledge is superior and their opinion can offer value and be trusted. Affiliates that are struggling need to start putting the effort into learning all they can about their affiliate products and also learn how to leverage their new found knowledge.

 Invest In The Right Training!

If you want to stick around and play in the affiliate marketing sandbox, or get started in affiliate marketing, the you had better be prepared to get some decent affiliate marketing training. Not just any training, affiliate marketing training that will prepare you for what participating in affiliate marketing in this day and age requires.

  • An affiliate marketing training that teaches you how to create engaging, SEO friendly content, content that will rank high in search engines.
  • Training that sows you how to write informative and un-bias product reviews
  •  Training that will teach you how to use social platforms to leverage your content
  • A training platform that can teach you how to create ebooks for free giveaways to build your email list
  • Offers training that shows you how to build a blog that fosters visitor engagement, looks professional and has a good flow
  • Training that teaches you how to build a brand for your self
  • Training that re-enforces the need to build trust, be ethical and demonstrate expertise

 

There’s not enough time in this post to list all the training that you should look for in a good affiliate marketing training platform. Here’s some info I created to help people find the best affiliate marketing training platform.

If I could Tell You One Thing!

In my 10 or so years working as an affiliate marketer, I have seen quite a few changes to how affiliate marketing techniques have adapted so that one could keep generating income. What I have noticed is of late is, there is a big emphasis on putting as many high priced tools in your tool box so that you can get that edge over other affiliates. In my opinion you are missing the mark. The one tried and true method of achieving continuous affiliate commissions is by investing time where it should be invested, that is in providing your niche audience with engaging, thought provoking and informative content, it doesn’t take a big tool box to accomplish this!

I hope you enjoyed this post and encourage you to leave me your questions and comments below, have a good one Mike.

 

 

Tips That Will Increase Your Website Traffic For Free

Tips That Will Increase Your Website Traffic For Free

Generating healthy volumes of website traffic can be an elusive endeavour if you don’t know what you are doing. For businesses on a tight budget or website owners who aren’t comfortable or had a bad experience trying to generate website traffic using paid advertising methods, not to worry, there are solutions that can easily be implemented to get traffic from free sources that are very effective at increasing website traffic.

Using paid sources to increase your website traffic is undoubtably the easiest method as far as time invested is concerned, but it can be a costly method that doesn’t always guarantee results.

In this post I am going to lay out for you at least 10 proven ways to increase website traffic that are absolutely free. I hope you enjoy this post. Please leave any comments or questions you may have at the bottom of this page and I will get right back to you,  cheers Mike.

1) It All Starts With engaging Content

There is no substitute for writing engaging content. If you think that you are going to get by writing short Un-informative content for your website you might as well quit right now. Informative and authoritative content is what you will repeatedly leverage to increase free traffic to your website, so you had better have some. You will see as we move on to other traffic generation techniques, content is a big part of implementing these free traffic generation techniques.

2) Become A Social contributor

OK, you have gone through the tedious task of creating  engaging content for your website,  it’s now time to share your content on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Sharing your content can be as easy as installing a social sharing plugin on your website that will share links to your content on social platforms that you choose to participate on. Social sharing plugins are usually free but do offer premium paid options. I have personally have never paid for a premium social sharing plugin, free does the trick for me! You can also share your content manually by copy and pasting links to your content on social platforms.

3) Participating In Forums Is A Must!

Forums like Quora and Medium are increasing in popularity year after year. Diversifying your traffic source away from relying totally on search engine traffic is always a good strategy.  Taking the time to answer questions or participate in conversations in forums such as Quora offer a great opportunity to drop a link to your website or relevant content with little time or effort needed.

Lately a new advantage to participating in forums has emerged, high visibility in search engine results. I know I have talked about diversifying away from search engine traffic but why not take it while the free traffic is there. I have noticed of late that questions and answers from Quora and Medium are frequently reaching the first page of search results. Reaching the first page of search engine results is like having the winning lottery ticket. Only 7% of all search engine traffic search past the first page  when searching.

4) Make Your Content Title Enticing

If you want your content to garner the traffic it deserves, then you need to make people want to read it. Don’t make the mistake that Many bloggers make by using generic titles that are designed for ranking in search engines. You always want to keep in mind that the goal of the content is to create conversation and engage your readers. This all starts with an intriguing title and snippet, if your post is going to be indexed. I like to create my own snippets for my website posts. This can easily be done close to the bottom of the page while you are in the edit mode. Here is the snippet I wrote for this post which should show up with my title in search engine results.

5) Use A Keyword Tool When Writing Your Content

One thing I have learned over the years when training new affiliate marketers is, don’t take anything for granted. I would never write a piece of content for my website without checking for keywords and the commotion and traffic they will attract. A good example of this is this post on” Increasing your website traffic for free”. First thing I did when I came up with the idea to write this post I turned to my keyword tool to find high traffic, low completion keyword phrases I could use in this post. Below is a search that I did to prepare for this post.

You can see I used in my title “increase your website traffic for free” which looks pretty good as far as the keyword tool shows. Traffic is good and better yet, the competition for this keyword phrase was very low. Using a keyword tool is critical to getting your post ranked higher in search engine results which will drive more traffic to your website.

6) Don’t Rely Solely On Your Websites SEO

Unfortunately when people start out in affiliate marketing or Blogging they think that just because they have installed some type of SEO plugin like “all in one SEO” or “Yoast” that presto, any content they create is ready for the internet. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to take the time to brush up on the basics of SEO to best optimize your content and your site for search engines such as Google. Organic traffic (search engine traffic) can vary depending on how good you are at other sources of traffic generation,  but the average website has roughly 50% of its traffic generated from search engines. When you look at the opportunity that SEO offers for traffic generation you have to make this a priority.

7) Create A Content Marketing Strategy ASAP!

It took me a few years to realize the importance of sticking to a realistic content marketing strategy. A content marketing strategy includes all aspects of promoting your content including setting a writing schedule and much more. A good content marketing strategy includes everything I have mentioned here so far and much more. You can look at my content marketing strategy here, modify it to meet your time constraints and needs.

8) Page Loading Speed Means Everything These Days

Search engines such as Google have made page loading speeds a priority. A page loading speed is simply how fast your page loads so that internet users can view it. Google has really dialled down on this metric when they look at ranking your site and its contents. There are lots of tools out there including Google Analytics that will tell you what your loading speed is for any given page.

9) Get Visual

As much as I have resisted it, getting in front of the camera is looking like the smart thing to do. The Traction that Youtube is getting with Google has made creating your own Youtube channel worth the investment in time as long as you have the quality content on your site to back up your videos. Youtube is getting some preferential treatment from Google as far as exposure on the search engine goes. I guess this is understandable seeing Google owns Youtube. The power of that face to face connection that Youtube offers a great opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

I hope you found this post of value, please leave me your comments or questions below and I will get right back to you, cheers Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

Content Marketing Strategy That Delivers

Content Marketing Strategy That Delivers

Content Marketing is not only my go to marketing technique to build a loyal following and grow my brand, but online and offline businesses in general are increasingly using Content Marketing to improve their online brand while building a strong following. Stats reinforce the importance of using a content marketing strategy for your online promotions. In 2018 over 80% of all US businesses of medium size relied heavily on Content Marketing to reach their audience and build their brand. It doesn’t matter if you are a large business or an individual blogger/affiliate marketer, content marketing should be the main component of any online marketing strategy.

Content Marketing has proven itself over and over again as a powerful tool to build online awareness for products, services and businesses alike. Content Marketing isn’t just about creating content for the masses, it is used to target a specific audience, engaging with that targeted audience to eventually produce a desired action. I have compiled feedback and data from some of my fellow affiliate marketers/bloggers that rely on content marketing as the basis for their affiliate marketing business strategy. A good content marketing strategy is for anyone that wants more traffic and exposure online. It doesn’t matter whether you are a blogger, affiliate marketer, business big or small, a good content marketing strategy is a necessity for future growth.

I hope you find value in this post. You can help me write a better post by leaving your thoughts and questions at the bottom of this post. I look forward to your feedback, cheers Mike.

Where To Get Started Building A Content Marketing Strategy

There are a few things that you need to establish upfront before you can create an effective Content Marketing strategy. Here are key questions that you will need to answer so that you can start building a content marketing plan that drives targeted traffic to your offer or business.

  • Who will you target with your content?
  • How will you deliver your content?
  • How will you measure the effectiveness of your content?
  • What value do you offer your readers with your content?
  • What can you do to make your content stand out form competitors?
  • What problem does my product or service solve?
  • How can I highlight my product or services value?
  • What do I need to stand out from other content creators?
  • Why should readers choose to follow or read my content?
  • What kind of content are my competitors creating that is popular?

Answering the above questions will go a long way towards helping you put together a content marketing strategy that will establish who your audience is, and how you will reach that audience with content while building trust.

Write Your Content Marketing Strategy Down

It is a well known fact that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them, the same goes for your content marketing strategy. As we move into 2020 you will want to review your content marketing strategy, are you on track? Analyze your content marketing strategy. Where can you find areas for improvement?

Find The Appropriate Content For your Intended Audience

If you are pulling your hair out looking for content that best resonates with your target audience then there are a few things you can look at to help you in the process so that you can drive that traffic to your website.

Try using a topic research tool that identifies trending topics in your niche. Topic research tools will help you identify what questions your audience is asking, identify what headlines are having the biggest influence in your niche, and what articles your audience are interested in searching for.  Semrush is a notable platform that offers a very good topic research tool.

Create SEO Friendly Content

The latest numbers that have come down show that over 50% of all website traffic comes from organic searches via optimized content published on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.

I wrote a post on how to write content that ranks that offers some good tips and insight into how to write content that is search engine friendly. Creating content that is SEO friendly is essential, if your content isn’t SEO friendly you are wasting your time. Content that isn’t search engine optimized will inevitably end up in the basement of search engine results, even if it offers the best information for your readers.

Accept Your Followers Contribution

Adhering to a content marketing strategy takes up a lot of your time, you will feel under pressure to create new content on a set schedule and still hit forums to answer questions and other important functions of implementing your content marketing strategy. You can relieve a little of that pressure by involving your website followers in the process.

Sourcing out guest writers can be an easy way to get relevant content for your blog with the only cost being a link to another site. There is only one caution, your brand is at stake so make sure that the guest bloggers site is of the highest standard. I receive requests quite often for some of my websites but only choose the best applicants to contribute. Look to your peers to see if they are willing to contribute, your not only getting high quality content but you are building your credibility by associating with high profile personalities in your niche.

Be Social, Share Your Content!

Sharing quality content is one of the simplest acts that you can perform that has the biggest impact. The simple addition of a  free social sharing plugin to your website will skyrocket your contents reach. Over 70% of all consumers rely on social media to form their decision to make a purchase. Over 80% of consumers trust peer recommendations. If this takes the form of a like or a reference by an influential tweeter for example, this is a big win for you. I like to share my content wherever I can. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Instagram. This only takes one click of a button and it’s done. The benefits of sharing your content are massive and it all happens without you even knowing it. I never usually check my Twitter data, but when I do I am always blown away by the reach of my content and the new followers it attracts.

Participation In Forums Pays Big Dividends

A really good way to create content that is targeted that addresses problems that your audience is looking for answers to, can easily be found by visiting relevant forums. Use the talking points that you find in forums to form your next content subject matter. I frequent forums all the time and get valuable ideas for content from these forums. Quora is a forum that provides me with lots of subject material. I routinely get asked questions in Quora that I turn into posts for my website. As you can see from the image above I tweet my answers. I get quite a few new followers and retweets.

When I first joined Quora as a contributor many years ago I honestly questioned if my participation had any benefit to my online business. Fast forward to today and I can tell you participating in Quora was one of the best content marketing components I added to my overall marketing strategy.

In any given week I am asked multiple questions that I answer and tweet which offers more reach and followers. Not only will these answers garner more exposure for my business, but they offer more topics for content for my site. I know that these questions are very relevant to the people who are in my niche.

Utilize The Power Of Youtube

Getting behind a camera may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t overlook the popularity of Youtube and it’s ability to go viral with your message.

Creating a Youtube channel is a great way to get user engagement and speak to topics that your niche is interested in. For many customers putting a face to the brand is very important in creating a sense of trust. Host a live webinar or share your content in real time. Live videos on Youtube provide the opportunity to interact in with your audience in real time. This offers an opportunity to create dialog with your viewers.

Create More Infographics For Your Website

Interactive content is all the rage these days. Studies done by the Content Marketing institute noted that over 80% of content marketers found that interactive content attracts more attention than text based content. Try and use surveys, contests, assessments, and quizzes on your site if possible to get engagement from your website visitors. You could even ask people to leave a comment and get a free ebook or bonus in return for their participation.

Publish Useful Guides And tips

In 2020 it is going to be even more important for you to offer valuable content. Think about the questions your audience may want answers to and provide these answers by developing guides that encompass these topics and answers. In 2020 try and produce a comprehensive guide that you can share that demonstrates your expertise and offers value to your audience.

Leverage The Latest Trends

There is a well known content marketing technique that is known as “newsjacking”. This content formulating technique is based on the creation of content influenced by the latest industry news and events. The goal is to leverage the popularity of the most current news trends to rank high in search engine results piggybacking on the popularity of the subject matter. You can tap into the latest news trends by simply signing up for Google Alerts.

Create An ebook

Ok, your at the stage where you have followed your content marketing strategy guide to the letter. You now have quite a few popular posts on various topics, now its time to leverage the popularity of that content by creating a resource in the form of an ebook.

Website visitors will appreciate more information in a handy format such as a downloadable ebook. You can use this ebook to build your email list, garner engagement or use it to sell your products by introducing products in its contents. Make sure that your articles are relevant and up to date

Do you have several high-performing articles with a similar topic? If so, combine these articles into an informative eBook. Website visitors looking for more information during their initial purchase research will appreciate having an authoritative resource available on the topic.

However, do not simply copy and paste the articles together as a shortcut. Your eBooks must provide a seamless content experience with a single narrative. In addition, make sure that your articles are up to date before including them in your ebook.

Make Sure Your Content Is Mobile Friendly

Technology isn’t slowing down anytime soon, voice search is the new frontier when it comes to searching for content. ComScore reported that voice search will encompass 50% of all searches made by 2020. If your content isn’t mobile friendly it won’t stand the test of time, in other words, it won’t be found by future internet users.

Keep Your Blog Post Current

Search engines such as Google are routinely updating their algorithms, it is imperative that you also routinely update your blog posts for the latest SEO requirements. I will be very honest, I find this a real pain in the -SS. It’s really hard to dedicate time to go back over content when you are hard pressed to create new content, but I can’t overstate the importance of keeping your old content up to date and relevant.

Monitor Your Content Marketing Strategy

You have put all the effort into implementing your content marketing strategy, now is the time to evaluate your efforts. It’s a really good practice to check your progress using analytics. Google analytics and webmaster tools are really good free resources to analyze your published contents performance. Check your social accounts for new retweets and followers. Evaluate how your participation in various forums is working for you and allocate more time to the platforms that are demonstrating more engagement for your business or website.

This is the content Marketing strategy that many of my fellow affiliate marketers/bloggers use to drive traffic to their websites and build brand awareness. If you follow the steps I have outlined in this post I am sure you will see some great improvements in your traffic volume and ultimately consumer sales.

I hope you enjoyed this post, please leave me your thoughts and questions below. I offer free advice and help so please don’t hesitate to ask if you need any assistance, have a great day Mike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyrocket Website Sales By Using These Tips

Skyrocket Website Sales By Using These Tips

Ok, you have done some training when it comes to building out your website. You have built the basic structure and even gone as far as writing content that ranks high in search engines, so you have a bit of traffic flowing to your website, but so far very little in sales to show for your efforts, what’s up?

I get loads of people asking me on a weekly basis to look at their websites, they are frustrated, have some traffic going to their website but are ready to throw in the towel. They haven’t managed to generate a single dime from their website yet. The fix for their “lack of sales blues” is really not that complicated. I see common mistakes made by new and seasoned affiliate marketers/bloggers alike that stifle potential website sales that can be easily avoided by adopting some basic practices.

Here are a few tips that I and many other successful affiliate marketers/bloggers use to ensure we maximize sales from our website traffic. Hope you enjoy this post,  by all means please leave me your thoughts and questions at the end of this post and I will get right back to you. If you need any help like a website critique don’t hesitate to ask, I am always willing to lend a hand, have a great day Mike.

Tip #1) Become a specialist: I know, your thinking what the heck is this guy talking about? Trust me, becoming a specialist makes a lot of sense, in this case “cents”. You tell me, who makes more money, a family practitioner or a specialist? It doesn’t just work that way for physicians.

Specializing in a specific area of your niche will eventually make you an expert or specialist in your niche. Many bloggers get traffic because they know how to write content that ranks high in search engines, doesn’t offer a lot of value, but is SEO rich. The problem with writing sub par content is, this content is a real let down to website visitors that click on that juicy snippet in search engines which leads to that post. It doesn’t take long for a reader to figure out your post lacks substance. You will find that writing content that is very targeted and packed with knowledge will convert any traffic like crazy.

Any blogger can write generalized content on a broad spectrum of topics and get some decent traffic, but this generalizing doesn’t convert traffic because it isn’t targeted. Specializing in a certain segment of your niche will be more lucrative,  it will convert visitors because it attracts the right audience and therefore will be of value if you do your research. In the short term you may not see the high volumes of traffic that you would see by writing generalized content, but it will increase your website sales instantly. Another benefit of specializing is demonstrating your expertise. This is crucial to building trust with your website visitors. The trust factor is a key ingredient to getting people to open their wallet.

A good example of what I just described came in an email form one of my affiliated products. Here’s what Getresponse, an email responder service I am an affiliated with had to say to it’s affiliates…

“Even email marketing may be too general when talking to your audience. Maybe you can specialize in email marketing for a special niche — restaurants, professionals, or consumer services. What are you interested in?”

This is advice from a major platform that has a lot of marketing resources to tap into, so you know if they are preaching to this to their affiliates it adds more credence to the fact that you need to consider specializing in modern day affiliate marketing/blogging to garner more website sales.

Targeting your customers with specialized content will weed out people that really aren’t interested in what you have to offer, this won’t limit your opportunities, in fact you will Start getting website visitors asking questions like, can you help me too? Of course you can, what an opportunity!

Tip #2 Grab your website visitors attention: Wish washy opinions achieve squat. You need to take a stand and put your thoughts out there. If your “honest opinion” runs contrary to mainstream thinking in your niche, thats not a bad thing. If your opinion is controversial in nature, it could spread like California wild fires, but in a good way!

Over the years I have written some product and platform reviews where I held back and wrote the reviews in a less confrontational manner. I thought if I demonstrated a little respect for these offers that my readers may feel a little more accepting of my opinions. In hind sight I wish I would have just said it the way I saw it. As it turns out, website visitors were more engaged when I wrote a honest straight up review, not worrying about the products creators. Some of my more controversial reviews that actually garnered me some legal threats from the owners were more popular and had hundreds more comments than less opinionated reviews.

Tip #3) Solve your audiences problems: Spend the time necessary to fully explain the problem or topic. Lots of affiliate marketers/bloggers have SEO in mind when they are writing their content, instead, they should be focusing less on word count and putting their focus squarely on explaining the topic. Just make sure you are explaining or solving an issue that your targeted audience wants to learn about.

Tip #4) End with a compelling (CTA) call to action: You have done all the hard work and completely discussed your topic and answered the questions you thought your audience wanted answers too. Now its time to seal the deal and make that sale thats why you need a compelling call to action. What you need to understand is, your website visitors need you to hold their hand and show them your offer. Don’t assume that your website visitors know what you want them to act on, that’s your job. Make sure you build a call to action that tells your audience what you want them to do and don’t forget to add your affiliate link! Here’s a post I wrote on creating the perfect call to action, “Click here” to read my pots on building the perfect CTA!

That was a real CTA by the way, it’s a post that explains how I create call to actions. You can see from the above example that I made the whole phrase a link, not just the “click here,” this way it really stands out. I could have used all cap letters or bold which would have made it pop, possibly grabbing your attention a bit more. Lots of little tricks to creating a good call to action.

Look forward to hearing your results after implementing the tips above, cheers Mike.

 

 

 

Link Building Strategies for 2019

Link Building Strategies for 2019

I think its safe to say that link building or more specific, back linking, has its fair share of critiques as well as proponents. There are quite a few companies out there that hang their hat on link building as an effective strategy for traffic generation. Ahrefs and Semrush are two main players in the link building software game that are counting on your buy in.

I will be quite honest, I am not 100% convinced that link building is as effective as some might say. I do believe that there are some link building strategies that will help garner some extra traffic and give your site a little more authority in the long run, so I don’t discount link building altogether.

I do question a lot of the hype out there in relation to the effectiveness of link building and all the different techniques that are popping up. Think of it this way, if Google put that much store in link building, then I would just source out popular sites and pay for ads that linked back to my site. In this post I will lay out the link building strategies that I feel will help you get the traffic and authority for your site that you deserve.

Your feedback will help me continue to write posts that are informative. Please leave me your thoughts or questions at the bottom of this post, cheers Mike.

My Top Link Building Strategies For 2019

There is no substitute for creating engaging and informative content, without this you have zero ability to generate back links to your site. When you write a post, do your research. Producing quality content that offers a unique perspective or is informative enough that your visitors or fellow bloggers want to share is the key to link building. Here are my top strategies for getting people to offer links to your content or site.

Reach out to fellow bloggers and show them some samples of content you have created. Demonstrate to your fellow bloggers in your niche that your content has some value to them and their visitors.

A good way to find blogs that may want to offer links to your content are blogs that have a proven track record of linking to authoritative content. You can find these sites by simply doing searches on topics that you are writing on or similar topics to see who id linking to what. It doesn’t hurt to contact these sites and ask if they would take a look at your content. Of course this means your content needs to be top shelf.

Guest blogging

Guest blogging has been around for sometime now and widely used by many bloggers to get their name out there with different audiences. Create a post and ask if another site would like to feature it. If your post is informative there’s a good chance that someone may want to bite. In the past I have seen been asked to test write for ebooks and newsletters for other blogs and product launches. This is a great way to get your brand out there.

I have also had quite a few bloggers reach out to me over the years to guest write a post for my various blogs. In many cases if the posts are good I will incorporate these posts into my site. One thing you need to watch for is, make sure this isn’t duplicate content. This will hurt your site big time if search engines pick up on it.

You can find websites that want or need content by simply searching for these sites. I searched “guest bloggers wanted”. Quite a few results came up for site and blogs looking for guest bloggers. I came across one site sheownsit.com that was searching for guest bloggers. Not only will this site get prospects that will add relevant content to their site, but they will also get many back links to their site from people like me writing on getting quality links on popular posts.

Popular websites like Ahrefs, Semrush, Authority Hacker, Human Proof Designs and many more offer guest posting opportunities if your content meets their expectations.

Be really careful not to pitch posts that are full of affiliate offers, this is a complete turn off.

Forum posting

Forum posting is one of my favourites for getting good quality traffic from link building. You can get good traction from popular forums such as Medium, Reddit and Quora just to name a few. I routinely answer questions and write content for various forums. Write informative content and link to other relative content with in your forum post. You can get some great exposure and link to many posts on your site with one forum post.

Become a content predator

There’s no stopping you from searching relevant sites and really critiquing their content. If you find a site that has a less than informative post you can always reach out to the site and offer your post as a good option that they can offer their readers. This isn’t the best option by any means. How many bloggers have that much time on their hands to search other sites for poor content.

All of the above options take time and this is where the argument comes in if link building is an effective way to get traffic and build website authority. I am in the camp with the people who believe if you write quality content for your site on a regular basis and know a little about SEO basics you will be better off spending your time producing content for your own site.

Write relative and informative content and it will last for years to come, doesn’t matter what algorithm changes Google makes.

I hope that this post was informative and gave you a few things to think about when it comes to link building to drive traffic to your content. Please leave me any suggestions for further posts or feedback on this post below, cheers Mike.

How To Write A Good Product Review – Isle Jura Whisky

How To Write A Good Product Review – Isle Jura Whisky

I recently had dinner with a few friends, both of which are experts on whisky tasting. This couple run blog on the art of whisky tasting. We shared a great dinner and afterwards had a few dram’s of Whisky, didn’t get to sample any of the Isle Jura Whisky, one of the whisky’s I have been dying to try. We did have a few really nice substitutes supplied by another friend. After the fog cleared the next day my interest in whisky was renewed once again.

I am no expert on whisky tasting, but I sure enjoy a few drams of the finest Whisky now and again. I decided to check out a couple of whisky authority websites to see what experts had to say about the whisky that I had I have been dying to sink my teeth into, Isle Jura 12 year old whisky.

To be honest I was totally surprised by what I found.  I never came across a single authority whisky blog that knew how to write a good product review. Most of the reviews I read, I couldn’t find in search engine results. The only way I found the whisky reviews was by accident, I was stumbling around their websites and found 600 word reviews or less.

There were very few reviews on Isle Jura whisky, the whisky I was interested in learning about. When you write a good product review, its purpose should be to inform your current website faithfuls as well as have the ability to attract new visitors, it needs to rank high in search engine results, if not, why would you write the review in the first place, for a handful of current followers?

When writing a good product review your goal should be to attract new website visitors as well as inform existing followers. What I found as I scrolled through whisky related blogs were lots of missed opportunities. Product reviews that were written with zero emphasis on ranking in search engines such as Google. Most of the whisky related blogs were passing up tons of traffic and potential income revenue by doing so.

If the whisky sites I visited continue to write product reviews that have no focus on ranking in search engines they offer no chance of bringing in new visitors to their website, they will surely die a slow death. You always need to be looking for new blood. The only blogs that thrive are the ones that search for new followers. One sure way to do this is to write good product reviews that appeal to your existing website base, while optimized for search engines. Your goal as a website owner should always be to write informative content that ranks, this will go a long way to ensuring your blogs future as an authority website.

The importance Of Writing Product reviews?

If you want to build your brand as an authority website you need to get fresh traffic to your site, to do this you should be able to write a good product review will garner internet exposure for your website. Product reviews are usually what people look at before they make their purchase. Affiliate marketers call this targeting at the right stage in the buying cycle. A positive or negative review will in most cases be the deciding factor on whether a person will make a purchase or not. They have done their legwork and have decided on what route they want to go, now they just need that little bit of information that will help them make that final decision. A good product review will convert website visitors into customers.

Product Reviews Will Help You Become An Authority In Your Niche

Unbiased and thorough product reviews will establish your site as the place to go for product info in your niche, not only with website users but search engines also.

The benefits that will come from establishing yourself as an authority website are numerous, not to mention the revenue earning opportunities that running an authority blog offers. An authority blog that generates traffic can attract paid advertising from online and offline brick and mortar businesses. If you have the traffic you can set your own price when it comes to merchants wanting to buy space on your site. An authority blog can also generate affiliate commissions by promoting affiliate offers on their site. In the case of whisky related sites, you could tie in drams, cigar cutters, personalized bar towels, whisky, the list goes on and on. Commissions vary, one of the whisky affiliate programs I visited offered 6-10% commissions on a sales. These commissions can add up fast when consumers are purchasing high end whisky.

If you are thinking about creating an authority blog on your passion or own one now, I would definitely look at monetizing your blog right out of the starting gates, don’t wait, it will only make life more difficult for you when you decide that you want to start making money from your blog.

I would also look at investing in  a little training.  Training is very inexpensive and you will find that you can implement new techniques into your blogs development as you progress in your training. Affiliate marketers call it earn while you learn!

My approach to this article is to show you what I would look for in a good product review on a item like Isle Jura Whisky. You can substitute any product for the whisky. I hope this article helps you follow your passion and at the same time helps you create authoritative content that not only engages your current audience, but also brings in new website visitors. Please leave me any comments or questions at the bottom of this post, I look forward to chatting with you, cheers Mike.

Expertise In Your Niche Doesn’t Guarantee A Good Product Review

One thing I see quite often when I work with new bloggers is they feel they can just jot down their thoughts in a blog post and all will be good. For many a blog is an after thought. They have experience in a niche and then decide to blog about it. I know that most new bloggers have the best intentions in mind when they sit down to share their experiences with their website visitors. The problem with expertise on a topic is, it doesn’t make you an expert at blogging or affiliate marketing, unless of course, your niche is affiliate marketing.

Most experts in their niche have zero formal training when it comes to blogging/affiliate marketing. There really is no point writing material for your site if it won’t be seen. This is why it’s critical to have the basics down before you start writing a product review or post for your website.

This is not to say that you need to be an expert in your niche,  you “don’t!” A Bloggers knowledge in their niche grows as their blog evolves. As you research new topics for your site, your experience level expands. Every time you write a new post you learn even more on your topic or niche.

Before I jump right into this post, I want to throw a little plug in for a friend who puts on quite a few whisky tasting events. Greg who is well known for his world class Whiskey tasting events has an upcoming event scheduled for  shelter point distillery, on Vancouver Island British Columbia Canada. This guy knows his shit, I mean whisky!

Lets get started!

Establish Who You Are Writing A Product Review for?

First thing you need to do, decide on is who your audience is. What audience do you want to reach with your product review? When I look at a product like Isle Jura Whisky I would write a review under the assumption that my audience knew very little about Jura whisky. You may get the odd whisky connoisseur, but for the most part your target audience will be the whisky novice. This goes for any product, assume your audience knows zilch about the product you are reviewing. Your post needs to be educational, informative, complete!

Know A Little SEO Before You Write An Affiliate Product Review!

Knowing a little SEO (search engine optimization) before you write a product review will go a long way to getting your post in front as many internet surfing eyes as possible.

The first thing you need to do before you write any product review or post for your website is, use a keyword tool. This will help you find the proper keywords to use in your post and title. Keywords are very important when trying to get your post to rank high in search engine results. I am not going to go into too much detail on this topic, only to say that keywords are important and should be the building blocks for your product review or post.  Here is a keyword search that I did before I started this post. I used a keyword tool called jaaxy. You can get 30 free searches if you want to try it out here!

This is where I got my tile, look at the traffic and low QSR score

What this screen shot shows is that, “How to write a good product review” is a great keyword phrase to have in your title and in the body of your product review. On average there are 104 monthly searches and a very low QSR score of 58 ( QSR is the competition for these keywords). When your blog is new you want to choose titles for your posts or product reviews that have low competition, this competition comes from other relative searches. You can see if you go too broad with your title “How to write a good review” the competition goes through the roof with a QSR of 172. I used “How to write a good product review” in my tile as well as “Isle Jury Whisky”. I did this with the hope that I might also rank for someone searching for a product review on this particular whisky. As your blogs authority grows with search engines and you start to see your posts rank higher you can start to choose higher traffic and higher QSR competition keywords.

In the event that I were to write a product review on Jura whisky I would start with a keyword search for the tile of my review or post. I wouldn’t just assume that Jura – 12 year whisky would be my title. Below is the search I would have done before I sat down to write a product review on Jura 12 year old whisky. See I even spelled whisky wrong in my search, lol. This is actually a strategy that affiliate marketers use, wasn’t the case here, I just screwed up!

Here is a screen shot of  my keyword search for “Jura  whisky”

In the case of Jura – 12 year old whisky, it didn’t have any traffic, it actually didn’t even come up on my search, obviously this won’t make for a good keyword phrase or title, people don’t search this phrase. What my post should use for keywords is something with “Isle Jura Whisky” in the title and through out the body of the post. I would write a product review that used the words that the keyword tool stats showed were preferable. Isle Jura Whisky had 135 searches per month with a low QSR score of 47, this is an insanely low for a QSR, makes me drool, lol. A title I would consider for my product review on Jura – 12 year old whisky would be something like” Isle Jura Whisky – How does this 12 year old whisky compare?”.

What you want as the main part of your posts title is your main keyword phrase, which is Isle Jura Whisky. You then want to  follow this with something that is descriptive, makes a person want to click on your snippet in the search engine results to find out more. Only 7% of internet users search past the first page, that’s why it’s so important to use the proper keywords in your title and body of your post to achieve that first page ranking. You also want your search to look enticing, that’s why you add the descriptive part to your title. Don’t get too crazy with the descriptive part of your title, in some cases search engines will use that part to rank you in some obscure search in their indexing, a place where your post or review will never get seen.

Use Internal and External Links

You will also see I have used quite a few internal and external links in this post. Internal links are used to link to other product reviews with in your site. For example, I might make reference to another whisky that has the same characteristics as the Isle Jura – 12 year old whisky. This would be considered an internal link. An example of an external link would be when you link to the Isle Jura distillery. Linking to an authority website elsewhere, just like I linked Isle Jura to wikipedia. where you could find some information on Isle Jura is always a good SEO strategy. Linking externally to authority sites or information to support your post or review is welcomed by google and other search engines, they love this stuff and reward you for it with higher rankings.

If you want to learn more on SEO I recommend Wealthy Affiliate for some FREE SEO training. Another good resource to get the basics of SEO is Neil Patel’s site where he goes over the basics of SEO.

You’re The Expert, Inform Your Visitors

Don’t make the mistake that lots of experts in their niche’s make, teach, don’t assume your website visitors know squat about your product or service. Make sue your product review demonstrates your knowledge. A good product review should be at least a 1000 words, even at that, it may be hard to get your point across in an authoritative manner. Google wants athorative content, words matter! Answer questions that you feel your visitors may want to know. Here are some questions I would ask if I was interested in Isle Jura Whisky…

  • Where was Jura whisky made, region, process. Who makes it, nuns, child labour?
  • Some history on Isle Jura distillery
  • What are some comparisons (link to more product reviews)
  • Discuss how the price correlates to value
  • Where can you buy Isle Jura whisky
  • What are the attributes of Isle Jura whisky, smoky, Petey, expand on this!
  • Is this a good, bad or ugly 12 year old whisky? How does this stack up, give it a rating?
  • Use your keyword phrase Isle Jura whisky, but don’t over use it. Over use is keyword stuffing, pisses Google off!
  • What’s the best way to try Isle Jura whisky, dram on ice, add a little water, naked by a fire, tasting while on the back of a goat, ok, that was a stretch even for me.

I am definitely not an  authority on whisky, but these are some of the questions I would have liked to have answers to, I am sure my readers would also. What I like to do is scratch all these questions down when I am doing a product review and simply input the answers, at the end I have the bulk of a goof product review done.

To Summarize What A Good Product Review Entails

Here are few key elements of a good product review…

  • Always assume your audience knows nothing about your product or service, it’s your job to inform them.
  • Lay your product review out in a cohesive manner, title, topic headers, answer the questions
  • Add images that help tell your story, maybe not like the goat one above lol, couldn’t help myself.
  • Show your audience you are the authority in your niche, they need not go anywhere else
  • Link internally and externally to other relative topics that pertain to your product review, support your product review with relative content.
  • Teach, teach, teach!
  • Always ask for comments or questions, google sees comments as content and your visitors will also see that your blog is fresh by the comments and questions that you get. Answering questions is also a good way to interact with your visitors and demonstrate your knowledge. Visitors love to give their opinion, let them!
  • Don’t get too technical, talk to your audience in a manner that they can relate to. Use a little “slang in your thang” if you know what I mean!
  • Use an image optimizer like Kraken. Having images that are too big on your site will slow down your site speed, something Google will penalize you for. Kraken is a free plugin for WordPress sites. WordPress is a website building platform I  highly recommend using if you are looking at starting a blog.

Isle Jura whisky is a good example of a product review that could be a winner for any authoritative whisky site.

I really just scratched the surface with this post. One thing I hope you do take away from what we have discussed here is, get some training, it’s not expensive and it will pay off big time as your blog develops.

Just a note, this post was over to 2700 words which I wrote on a day where I went grocery shopping, made a big pot of spaghetti sauce, did the recycling, went to the gym and watched a debate for prime minister of my country Canada (boring). Don’t want a pat on the back, just a few credits from my wife lol.

Na, just letting you know it doesn’t take that long to put together a post that is somewhat informative and has the potential to rank high in search engine results.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Make Money Affiliate Marketing? (Find Out here)

Can You Make Money Affiliate Marketing? (Find Out here)

Affiliate marketing is a strange animal, a very diverse discipline with many applications that people don’t realize it offers. In this post “Can you make money affiliate marketing” I will break down the different aspects of affiliate marketing, and answer the most obvious question, can you make money affiliate marketing? I will in the process answer questions like…

  • How much Money can you make affiliate marketing?
  • What is affiliate marketing?
  • How fast can you make money affiliate marketing?
  • How easy is it to do affiliate marketing?
  • What do you need to do affiliate marketing?
  • Do you need any experience to do affiliate marketing?
  • Can you use affiliate marketing in your network marketing business?
  • What does an affiliate marketer do?
  • How does an affiliate marketer make their money?
  • Who does an affiliate marketer work for?
  • Is affiliate marketing a legitimate way to make money from home?
  • What do you need to participate in affiliate marketing?

These are just a few questions that you will find answers to within this post on whether you can make a legitimate income from affiliate marketing. Enjoy the post, and by all means, please leave your comments and questions at the bottom of this post and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

What Is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a host of techniques that are used in unison to drive traffic to an affiliate offer. Online merchants hire affiliates to funnel traffic to their products and services, without affiliates, online merchants would have a hard time getting their products in front of the internet audience. There are so many products and online merchants scrambling for consumers attention that the competition for online customers is extremely high, an affiliate helps lessen that competition by getting more exposure for online merchants. To put it simply, affiliate marketers are salesman that work for online merchants, no, there are no contracts or anything like that. Affiliates choose what products and merchants they want to work for. If they don’t like the merchants commissions, relationship or conditions, they simply move on. I have changed products and merchants many times over the years based on my relationship with the merchants.

 

Is Affiliate Marketing A Legitimate Way To Make Money From Home?

Yes, yes, yes! Affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make money from home, I have been earning a nice income as an affiliate marketer working from home for quite a few years now (since 2010). Yes, affiliate marketing is a legitimate way to make money from home. As you previously read in this post, affiliate marketing is a proven method for driving traffic to an online merchants website, services or products. Affiliates make the online merchants world go round. As an affiliate you are paid a pre determined commission from an online merchant who you have entered into an affiliate relationship with.

What Does An Affiliate Marketer Do?

As  I mentioned earlier, an affiliate marketer drives traffic to an  affiliate offer by using various tools, services and techniques at their disposal. There are a number of different ways to reach the internet audience that affiliate marketers may use…

  • Content marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Attraction marketing
  • email marketing
  • paid advertising
  • blogging

Each of the above disciplines target potential customers.

Content marketing is one of the most productive methods to reach your intended audience and offers the longest shelf life the it comes to directing customers to your affiliated products.

Social marketing is the use of social media to help reach your intended audience. Content marketing can be used in conjunction with social marketing to reach your intended audience. Your content can be leveraged by sharing it on social platforms making for a nice strategy for attracting customers for your affiliate products.

Attraction marketing is simply a combined strategy that uses content, social media and various techniques that allow you to brand yourself in your niche.

Email marketing is a technique that many affiliates use these days. You have probably been bombarded by emails after signing up for a newsletter or a free trial. Building a list by using landing pages or blogs is an effective way to garner emails of perspective customers or leads that may convert into sales.

Paid advertising is commonly used by affiliates to attract customers to their affiliate offers. Affiliates place ads in various areas of the internet and social platforms such as facebook. These ads are targeted focusing on certain keywords that affiliates identify as relative to their affiliate products or services. A good example of paid advertising would be when you search how to make money affiliate marketing? Affiliates or merchants will place ads that show up at the top and bottom of search results trying to get the leg up on their competitors by getting their ads from and centre. Here is an example of paid advertising below (Google Adwords) that features an affiliate marketing training platform. The individuals below purchased ads that direct you to their sites where they then divert you to Wealthy Affiliate where they will get a commission if you purchase something from Wealthy Affiliates platform.

The above ads will vary in cost depending on the popularity of the keywords chosen, and Goggle Adwords fee for these ads.

Blogging is by far the most effective and sustainable way to get traffic to your affiliate products. Blogging offers the longest shelf life for your affiliate business. Blogging can be used in conjunction with social marketing and email marketing to get even more exposure for your affiliate products.

How Easy Is It To Do Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing success doesn’t come easy, but I saying that you need absolutely no experience to make money as an affiliate marketer. When I first started in affiliate marketing I didn’t even know how to send an email. I was a hands on type of guy who worked various jobs that were primarily labour related.

A computer to me was an alien species, I knew they existed but had never had the chance to meet one, yes I believe in Aliens lol!

It’s easy to get started in affiliate marketing if you find a good platform that offers quality training. Look for an affiliate training platform that offers step by step training with everything under one roof. You want a platform that offers good support and “no up selling”. The one thing I see all the time is,  affiliate marketing training platforms that look inexpensive on the surface but ends up costing you a fortune after they add in all the extras that you actually need. When you are starting out in affiliate marketing it is imperative that you keep your expenditures as low as possible, only adding tools and services as your affiliate business income grows.

Hey, if I can do it with no prior computer skills, anyone can do it!

What Do You Need To Participate In Affiliate Marketing?

This is a great question that I am happy to give the answer too. Far from what affiliate marketing services and tool providers will tell you, there is very little you need, or should I say, need to pay for. Plus there is no need to take out a loan on your house to pay for what you need, $29 a month max is all you need to run an affiliate business. If you find you are being asked to pay more you’re getting ripped off. This price includes up to date ongoing affiliate marketing training, multiple websites, hosting, keyword tool and more…

The tools and services I have used over the years participating as an affiliate marketer have been minimal. Here are the tools and services that I use to make money online as an affiliate marketer.

Keyword tool – This is a necessity in affiliate marketing. There are many paid and free keyword tools on the market that all work well but offer a few different features. Jaaxy, Google, Wordtracker, Semrush all offer good keyword tool options.

Website – Lots of affiliate marketers don’t use a website, they simply use landing pages and paid for ads to drive traffic to their affiliate offers. Not having the use of a website in my opinion puts you at a disadvantage and takes up a lot more of your time and offers a much shorter shelf life for your promotional campaigns. I feel it is important to use a website to make the best use of your time and affords you a more hands free approach to affiliate marketing, you’ve heard of make money while you sleep, well, this is affiliates who have websites. There are many website building platforms on the market,  WordPress I feel offers the best platform for building a professional and versatile website.

Social media graphics generator – Creating call to actions, facebook ads, Twitter headers and so much more can be done for free through platforms like Canva.com. I like to make call to actions for my websites to have my prospective customers take action. You can use Canva to create professional looking ads that you can place on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Another great platform that I just started using to create stunning headers for my blog posts is a graphic design platform called  Design Wizard. I love the functionality and simplicity of design wizards platform. You have the ability to create videos, social media graphics and so much more for your affiliate/blogging business. Here’s the great part, you need “zero” graphic design knowledge to make some pretty impressive graphics. Design Wizard offers a host of free tutorials (15 in total) on everything from choosing the right text, colour, shape, design and downloading your designs to your website. Design Wizard offers a free membership which I use, but they also offer a pro version if you want access to perks like thousands of free professional images for your graphics.

Autoresponder – Most affiliate marketers use an autoresponder to create and manage email campaigns that they can focus in on their leads. Aweber, Mailchimp and Icontact are popular autoresponders suppliers. Mailchimp offers a free service for email service under 2000 subscribers which you can get away with using until your list and income grows.

The above services and tools are all you really need to make money affiliate marketing, don’t let anyone tell you different.

What Is An Affiliate Offer?

An affiliate offer is any product or service that you enter into an agreement to promote for an online merchant. This can be an MLM or network marketing opportunity that you are involved in, anything you can make money off of by directing traffic to. There are hundreds of thousands of online merchants that offer affiliate programs that you can join for free, please don’t pay to be an affiliate! You can find any affiliate offer by doing a quick Google search of a product or service and add “affiliate program” to your product/service and you are off to the races. Here is a search that I did for affiliate programs for watches….

There were many more where these came from, it’s really that simple to find affiliate programs for any product or service. An easy way to find affiliate products to promote are through affiliate market places like ClickBank, ShareSale, JVzoo and commission Junction just to name a few. You can find some great affiliate products with sweet commissions by checking affiliate market places out.

 

How Much Can You Make Affiliate Marketing?

Four, five six, seven figures, you hear this crap being thrown around all the time when it comes to how much you can make affiliate marketing. I am not saying these numbers can’t be a reality for you, it’s just that these numbers are thrown around and associated with using various affiliate marketing tools and systems which is just pure bunk! What will get you any of these figures is commitment and perseverance and good support where you can find answers to your questions, not tools and gadgets!

Your income capabilities as an affiliate marketer are endless if you have the proper work ethic, it’s really no different than any other career, work hard, you get rewarded. This also goes for how fast you can start earning money as an affiliate marketer. Not going to sugar coat this, it’s not the system or style of affiliate marketing you use, it’s how hard you work at it. Affiliates can make a great income, hundreds of thousands a year if they commit to their affiliate business. I have seen new affiliate marketers make money in their first month and others on average 4-6 months before they start generating income. There is no set time frame, it is performance based as well as how competitive the niche you are participating in is.

Well, I hope this post answered any questions you may have had on whether you can make money affiliate marketing as well as how affiliate marketing works in general. Find yourself a good affiliate business building platform as your home base and get started, it will be the best decision you will have ever made. Any questions or comments please leave them below and I would be happy to answer them, cheers Mike.

 

 

 

Affiliate Marketing Forums: Best Forums For Beginners

Affiliate Marketing Forums: Best Forums For Beginners

If you are an experienced affiliate marketer or you are new to affiliate marketing, forums are a big part of finding success online.  When I first started out in affiliate marketing I know I couldn’t have done it without all the help I received from fellow community/forum members.

I was one of the lucky ones that was in the right place at the right time and stumbled upon a forum/community that best suited my needs when I first started out in affiliate marketing. I know from experience how invaluable being part of an affiliate marketing forum can be to an affiliate when they are struggling to find success online. Not only can you find support from fellow affiliate marketing forum members, you will find that, you learn from their failures as well as their successes. Trust me, this will save you a lot of time and more importantly, money. I can’t stress enough how valuable an affiliate marketing forum is to an affiliates success. I haven’t talked to one successful affiliate marketer that didn’t belong to an affiliate marketing forum at one point or another. Hopefully this post will help you find the best affiliate marketing forum/platform and improve your chances of making affiliate commissions. Please leave me your comments or questions below or contact me directly through the contact me page on this site, have a great day Mike.

 Attributes That I Look For In An Affiliate Marketing Forum?

Affiliate Marketing Forums are not all made equal. There is a wide range of affiliate marketing forums you can choose from. Here are some of the most important attributes I feel you will need in your forum to get the best out of your forum…

No up selling allowed: No up selling is a critical component to finding the best forum that will help you find the best success as an affiliate marketer without the risk of being scammed. The last thing you want or need is to find out that you are taking advice from someone who is steering you in a direction solely to earn themselves an affiliate commission from some product or service they are affiliated with.  You need to know that the help you are receiving is genuine, not profit driven!

Number of members: When looking for the best affiliate marketing forum, numbers do matter. You need to have the membership to ensure you get the best cross section of answers to your questions.

There’s no substitute for Experience: I find with a lot of forums, you either get newbies that have very little to offer in the way of advanced knowledge. On the other end of the spectrum you may have forums full of experienced affiliate marketers. I have found that forums dominated by experienced affiliate marketers don’t seem to ever find time or have the appetite to help a newbie or less experienced marketer, you really do need a nice cross section of experience levels that will complement each other. The affiliate marketing forum I belong to, has affiliate marketers at all stages on the experience scale, you get a variety of skill levels helping each other which I find so cool.

Forum diversity: Diversity of knowledge I feel is one of the most important aspects that make or break an affiliate marketing forum. Having members that are experts in various disciplines of affiliate marketing ia an important resource for less experienced members. For example, I excel at writing content that ranks high in search engines, but I suck at programming the back end of my websites, so I rely quite heavily on fellow forum members to walk me through the process of setting up my affiliate sites. In exchange I find myself giving members quick lessons in writing content that will rank high in search engine results. It’s a really nice way for everyone to find answers in areas of affiliate marketing they may be a little weak in.

Lets face it, no one is an expert in all areas of affiliate marketing, anyone who tells you they are, well, their full of s–t, that’s why every affiliate marketer looking to find success needs the support of a great affiliate marketing community or forum.

Activity of membership: You go to some affiliate marketing forums and you can tell there quite stagnant, something you don’t want in your forum. What you do want to see is a plethora of questions, answers and engagement, these are all signs of a healthy and vibrant affiliate marketing community.

My Top Rated Affiliate Marketing forums:

Here is a list of my top rated affiliate marketing forums and some of the reasons you may want to choose one of them. I have ranked these forums based on price, diversity, membership, experience levels, activity and overall effectiveness.

#1) Wealthy Affiliate: This affiliate marketing training platform offers the largest community of aspiring and experienced affiliate marketers. The cost to join this community is $29 a month if you purchase a yearly membership. The community is very active and members are given incentives to help fellow members which works very well. The owners Kyle and Carson are very active in the forum answering questions. Questions I found, get answered in minutes. The community has roughly 1.5 million members which makes it the largest of its kind in the internet marketing world. There are many advantages to joining this community, live chat,  lots of relevant affiliate marketing training created by Wealthy Affiliate and its members. Website hosting, free access to WordPress website builder, weekly live webinars and all the tools you need to run an affiliate marketing business. Tools like keyword tools, writing platforms and templates and so much more all under one roof for a very low monthly fee. Here’s a snippet of what goes on in WA’s community. Members share their success so others can follow in their footsteps which is really cool. You can see live chat going on to the right. You can see my profile here in WA where I have been a member since 2010 and the amount of followers I have within the community. What does it mean to follow someone, this means that if you follow me I get notified if you ask a question, this gives me the opportunity to know when you need my help. You can see with close to 6000 visitors the forum keeps me extremely busy lol. Members post not only on their success but offer new training for other members which they also get incentives for doing. Great forum for newbies!

You can check out the Wealthy Affiliate community for free Here, Follow Me And Get My Personal Help!

#2) Affilorama: This affiliate marketing platform offers a forum or community with a nice mix of experienced and new affiliate marketers. The community consists of roughly 200,000 strong. The group is very active and questions get answered very quickly. Affilorama is another forum I am a member with and frequent on a regular basis. My passion is helping emerging affiliate marketers so I do my best to help where I can.

Affilorama offers a different experience than WA. You have free access to the forum and their blog, but that’s it, still a great forum in my opinion, and it’s free to join. You don’t have access to tools or services, these you must pay for on a one off basis. Training is extra, tools are extra, hosting for websites is extra. You do get access to Affiloram’s blog which offers information on some pretty interesting and helpful topics related to affiliate marketing. Below is an older post in Affilorama ,but it gives you an idea of topics covered. I have been a member at Affilorama for quite a few years and participate in their forum on a regular basis. Great forum for newbies!

Take A Tour Of  Affilorama’s Forum For Free Here!

#3) Affiliate Fix: This is an affiliate marketing forum that has a pretty active membership. Affiliate Fix has roughly 100,000 members and from what I can see there is a pretty good cross section of experience levels on the forum. This forum is free and offers an upgrade to a paid membership where you are offered a little more flexibility to drop links and such. You really need to be careful using a forum like Affiliate Fix, although there are some great topics covered I wouldn’t recommend it for a newcomer to affiliate marketing. There were a few answers I saw that were more like affiliate product up sells rather than authentic answers. Up selling can be problematic for new marketers. It’s hard to tell what is valuable info  and what is purely added for the up sell.  Here is a screenshot of a survey that I found when researching the Affiliate Fix forum. As you can see the reviews are split mostly between good and bad which isn’t a great result in my opinion. I won’t show you the comments associated with these ratings because they are R rated, lol.

You can get a free membership into Affiliate fix here!

#4) Wicked Fire: Not sure on the size of this forum but there are quite a few threads pertaining to affiliate marketing. Once again I wouldn’t suggest this forum for newbies. I read quite a few threads that looked safe on the surface but had the undertones of an affiliate product endorsement.  I joined a while back to check the quality of content out, some of the topics covered and the content looked pretty fresh. You will get prompted to go premium so that you can view threads in more detail and have more posting rights. Sign up was easy and the forum is pretty easy to navigate, not a forum I would frequent for insightful affiliate marketing info.

You Can Get A free Membership Into Wicked Fire Here!

#5) Warrior Forum: This is a similar forum to Wicked Fire in the sense that it isn’t that safe for newbies in my opinion. Warrior forum is very commercialized in my opinion, which means it’s hard to tell what is an authentic response to a question or a prequel to an up sell for an affiliate product. Warrior forum has been around for quite a long time, over 10 years I would estimate. No numbers on the size of the forum but its pretty big from the threads that are on the site and views. You can usually find some good topics covered in the Warrior Forum, just remember to keep an open mind about what you are looking at.

You Can Join Warrior Forum Here For Free!

My Advice To You On Choosing A Forum

Nothing is free in this world, this is also true for forums/communities, so be careful. You’re either going to pay a certain amount up front to get access to knowledge that will help your affiliate marketing career, or you’re going to take your chances that a free platform will offer authentic answers to your questions without steering you towards an affiliate product, it really boils down to what you want out of your forum/community.

My choice would be to find a reasonably priced affiliate membership/community that doesn’t allow up selling, this way you get real answers without risking your chances of being targeted by an affiliate. Look for communities/forums that give you the most for your money.

Hope you enjoyed my post on finding the best forum for beginners. Have any questions or comments please leave them below this post. You can contact me directly through the contact me page here on this site, have a great day and best of luck in your affiliate marketing success.

How To Write A Call To Action: Make Your Website Visitors Take Action

How To Write A Call To Action: Make Your Website Visitors Take Action

You do all that work, research your keyword phrase, Write content that ranks, research your topic and write engaging content. Best of all, you get lots of search engine traffic. That’s everything you did right, but you still have squat for conversions and sales!

Why?

You forgot one of the most important aspects of creating a popular post, get your visitors to do what you want them to do! This can be a tricky endeavour for any bloggers/affiliates unless you know how to write a persuading call to action. You can turn that well earned website traffic into affiliate sales by knowing how to create a call to action that will make your website visitors take notice and ultimately take action.

In this post I will lay out how to create an irresistible call to action that will have your website visitors eating out of the palm of your hand, enjoy the read and by all means leave me your comments or questions at the bottom of this page, or contact me in private through the contact me page on this site. Have a great day Mike.

Lets Start At The Beginning: What Is A Call To Action?

Call to action is simply a word or phrase that asks your website visitors to perform a task Like “Click” or “Click Here to Receive This Free eBook, Start Here, buy now, call now or get your free trial here. These are just s few examples of common CTA’s or call to actions.

A Call to action can be used for a variety of reasons, such as, have your website visitors look at a certain offer, share your content on social platforms, Give up their email address, make a purchase, really the reasons for call to actions are numerous. Call to actions can come in all shapes and forms. You can create a call to action as a button, image or even just a simple link in the body of your text. One of the main reasons websites are not converting visitors in to sales are weak call to actions.

What Makes A compelling CTA

A call to action needs to be relevant to your marketing message or contents message. Your CTA needs to pique your visitors interest, speak to your visitors wants and needs, and above all, needs to be inspiring and motivational. If you have a home renovation blog you might use a call to action that plays to your visitors interests and desires, something like “enter here for your free book on designing your own dream kitchen on a budget”, or click here to receive our free design tips for small bathrooms, Read this and save thousands by avoiding 10 common mistakes that every DIY renovator makes. Subscribe here for our free newsletter. Its endless what CTA’s you can create, it really boils down to making your CTA’s relevant and enticing. Make sure that your CTA’s are concise and to the point, visitors need to know what they will get by taking action.

Words You Choose For Your CTA Make All The Difference

Action words: can be very helpful in getting your audience to take action. Words like, Read More, learn more, Signup here, start here, subscribe here, start a free trial now, are just a few action words that you will find in many call to actions that suggest that a certain action needs to be taken. Below is a call to action that follows information from human proof designs an affiliate marketing platform with done for you affiliate sites. See how they give you some relevant info and then prompt you to act on it.

 

Limited Time verbiage: Using words that instil a sense of urgency can be very effective when creating call to actions. Words like, limited time, limited space available, while quantities last, going fast, last chance. Words like these can make a website visitor feel a sense of urgency or feel like they may be missing out if they don’t act fast. Here’s an example of a CTA used in a  program that I reviewed a few weeks ago called affiliate bots.

Sensitive words: Words you may want to avoid are words that add a sense of unwanted pressure like, buy now, order now and submit are just a few words I would avoid using if possible. Words that create a sense of unwanted pressure could have a negative phycological impact on your visitors. There is a good read on soft selling on the Harvard Business Review site that speaks to how “low pressure marketing” has it’s advantages over high pressure marketing, not quite apples to apples because it deals with more face to face selling, but the principles are the same.

Create A safe environment: Use words like zero risk, 100% guarantee, no obligation, no risk free trial. These words will help to send a message to your visitors that they are safe performing a task you require. Here’s a CTA off of Wealthy Affiliates home page where they offer a free membership with no risk, no credit card providing a sense that you are entering a safe environment, which you are with Wealthy Affiliate I might add!

Offer value: Offering your website visitors something that is relative to your topic or product that is free or has some value can be a great way to gather emails or funnel your audience down a funnel that will eventually lead them to the purchase of your affiliate product. Offering a free subscriptions to a news letters, free eBook, free downloads, free product samples can be a great way of getting email addresses or simply getting people to take that first step that keeps them moving in the right direction. Here is a CTA from Authority Hacker an online affiliate marketing training platform…

Not everyone can give a way a free starter membership, but a good example of offering value while leading someone down a sales funnel would be Wealthy Affiliates and Affilorama’s free starter membership. These starter memberships offer great value for people looking at getting into affiliate marketing, but also have an ulterior motive,  giving people a taste of what a paid premium membership offers is the goal . These free starter memberships create an enticing call to action and at the same time buy the platforms time to pitch their premium products while offering something that their leads were looking for. This really is a win, win for everyone involved. Like I said, you may not have a free program to offer, but I am sure you can find something of value to give to your website visitors that will lead them towards doing what you enviably want them to do.

Invite your visitors to participate: Asking your website visitors to engage in something is a good way to make a connection and make them feel part of something like taking a survey, leaving their opinion, join our community, or even enter to win.

Give the personal touch: Encourage comments and one on one interaction by asking people to contact you in private through your” contact me page”.

I have received multiple enquiries through contact me pages over the years. This is always a great opportunity to connect one on one with your website visitors, many of which take this opportunity to tell you what they couldn’t in public. Participating in the make money online niche puts you in the unenviable position to correspond with people who have fallen on hard times they have turned to the internet to find answers to their financial woes. This offers an opportunity to make a personal connection with your website visitors, yes this is still a call to action, people still need to click on the contact me page, but for me it’s much more, its personal. I always make a point of telling people who are in a precarious financial position to look to more traditional offline sources for financial relief, the net isn’t a good place for the vulnerable. I have seen too many dubious online money making opportunities prey on the most vulnerable. Many of these people I find come back after they have gotten both feet on the ground and are more than happy to work with me and my affiliated products, given my honest approach. Short term gain isn’t worth your integrity, ah! I digress, affiliate marketing rules to live by, this is for another post lol.

Where Should You Place Call To Actions?

Call to actions come in all shapes and sizes, links in text, images, buttons, pop ups and sidebar widgets.  It only stands to reason that call to actions should be placed where they make the most sense. If you have a body of text ad a relevant CTA at the end, whether it be an image, or a button, if it is text add it to the body of text. The bare minimum you would want to add call to actions would be, towards the beginning of your web page, in the middle, end and sidebar. Other than these places you can place call to actions where they make sense. Many websites use a combination of text and image call to actions. hope you got something from this post on how to write a call to action, leave me any comments or questions below. Here is my example of a relevant call to action…

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10 places I Find Free Images For My Website

10 places I Find Free Images For My Website

When creating a website images in many cases tell a story better than words. Images are essential to providing an interactive environment for your website visitors. If you are surfing the internet looking for that special image that may spark conversation or tell a story I am here to give a word of caution, don’t!

Most bloggers find it convenient search for images through Google images or Wikipedia common, there right at your fingertips which makes it easy just not right. Unfortunately this convenience could potentially put you at risk of legal action or for lack of better words blackmailed for what you can afford to pay. Bottom line is, you are taking a unnecessary potential risk by turning to areas of the internet where images you use may not be royalty free.

Below are 10 places I feel are safe for images and where I find free images for my website. I like the convenience and piece of mind that I use from these sites will not get me into hot water down the road.

Here are my favourite 10 places that I go to find free images for my website, these are not listed in any particular order….

Unsplash

  • easy to find free images,
  • not pressured to buy royalty free images,
  • good quality images
  • Large inventory of free images to choose from
  • Clearly identified “free from copywriter restrictions”
  • Simple to sign up
  • Quality images
  • Easy to use platform for offering free images
  • Lots of categories to find free images
  • Some really interesting images to relate to almost any topic
  • Clearly state whether they are free without restrictions
  • Offer black and white images
  • Free videos are also available for free
  • By far my go to free image site

Stocksnap

  • Lots of selection to choose from
  • High quality images
  • easy to navigate
  • Sign up take seconds
  • images are sorted by relevance to your search
  • Some pretty interesting images can be found on this site
  • Over 100 categories to choose from
  • Easily identifiable free images

Reshot

  • One of the best places for that unique image
  • Clearly stated free without restrictions
  • high quality images
  • Easy to navigate
  • lots and lots of categories
  • no pressure to purchase premium images
  • In Beta right now so no membership options at this time
  • Hang their hat on being “non-stocky” which I feel they have done quite nicely

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Pixabay

  • Pretty ease to use platform, not as easy as some, but not bad
  • Clearly states free and what use the images are free for
  • Great quality images
  • lots of unique images
  • large inventory to choose from

Gratisography

  • Some pretty interesting images to choose from “quirky” is the word they use to describe images you will find on Gratisography!
  • Easy to navigate their site
  • weekly images emailed to you free
  • New images added to their inventory weekly
  • Large inventory of specialized images
  • High quality images
  • A little more complicated site for downloading images

Picjumbo

  • Great site to find free images for your website
  • Good quality images
  • Lots of variety
  • Some uniques images to choose from
  • Easy to navigate site
  • No membership required

Kaboompics

  • Easy to navigate
  • Free images are clearly marked
  • Restrictions on images are clearly stated
  • Good quality images
  • Quite a few categories
  • Not as much variety as some free image sites

Epicantus

  • High quality images
  • Easy to navigate site
  • No membership or signup required
  • Clearly marked free
  • No restrictions
  • Unique but not a large variety of images

Burst By Shopify

 

  • Easy to navigate site
  • Lots of categories
  • Large amount of inventory
  • Unique images to choose from
  • Not complicated to download images

All the sites I have mentioned above I traditionally use to find my free images for my websites offer. In most cases these sites offer free images to be used for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer. In most cases you are allowed to edit and alter the images. For example you can make Facebook or twitter posters or landing pages for your websites.

Finding free images for your website is just one way to keep your costs as low as possible when operating a blog. There are many cost saving services and tools you can tap into if you know where to look and know what actually works as advertised. I belong to a community of over 1.4 million members who share ideas on every aspect of blogging and affiliate marketing. Everything from monetizing your blog to having people right at your fingertips that know how to write relevant content for your blog if need be. Checkout the community that I joined over 10 years ago that helped me save literally thousands of dollars in blog related costs over my years of blogging. You will trade info on everything related to blogging/affiliate marketing, the latest trending niches, tools, services, search engine optimization and so much more!

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