Archive for February, 2017

Should You Worry About Competition on the Internet?

Posted February 28, 2017 By Callie

Don’t shy away from a niche you’d like to get involved in just because you see the competition is plentiful. All that means is that you have a good idea and it’s a proven moneymaker according to how many others want a part of that pie too.

Competition is a good thing because it can also prove the track record of a niche. What you want to do is bring something to the table within that niche that your competition is not offering.

For example, plenty of companies jumped on the bandwagon after the Kindle was released and began to offer protective cases in a variety of designs and colors to the public who purchased the Kindle and other electronic devices.

However, one company decided to create a niche with safety from theft in mind and created a cover that resembles an old book – protecting the Kindle from scratches and from the view of would be thieves as well. They took a niche and narrowed it down and charged ahead of the competition and are now making plenty in profits.

Any product that is specifically focused will always beat out the competition. If you want to work a niche on weight loss, you’ll discover that the weight loss niche is saturated with websites, books and other products dedicated to the topic.

It’s easy for consumers to get what’s called ‘blind eye’ when it comes to anything new on the weight loss scene because of that over saturation. So what you would do is take the topic of weight loss and narrow it down to only one small aspect of the weight loss topic.

You could narrow it down by focusing only on organic weight loss products or information. You could also narrow it down by targeting only women who’ve given birth and now want to lose weight and get back to pre-pregnancy shape.

The trick is to take an old topic and give it a fresh twist. Think of all the magazine headlines that you read. You never see a new topic – just a fresh twist on what’s already been around for centuries.

This is the part where doing your homework pays off. Once you’ve selected the niche that interests you, research all the competition on that niche. What are they offering? What audience are they targeting? Which audience is being left out? How can you take that niche and make it more valuable to the consumer?

One way to discover what people are looking for in a niche is by doing keyword research. You can find free keyword tools online and go through the keywords that your audience uses when searching for information about the topic. That may help give you ideas on how to narrow your focus for your niche.

Setting Up Your Own Affiliate Marketing Blog

Posted February 28, 2017 By Callie

When you decide to embark on an affiliate marketing career, an affiliate marketing blog is a must have strategy. It can seem a little overwhelming to set one up if you’re not technologically advanced, but setting up a blog is actually pretty simple with a few easy steps.

First, you’ll need to register a domain. This is your website address – also known as your URL. Make sure you choose carefully when you choose your domain and see that it reflects the topic of the niche. You’ll have to pay a small fee each year to keep your domain name.

Second, you’ll need to set up hosting. Hostgator is one of the most economical and popular options for hosting and gives you great technical support. You’ll pay a monthly fee for hosting – unless you want to pay up front for a discount.

Once you have a domain and hosting, it’s time to set up your blog. The easiest way to do this is to use Fantastico. This is a program built into Hostgator that installs your blog on the website. It’s very user friendly and doesn’t require you to have a technical background.

You’ll need to choose a theme for your blog. There are many options – from very simple freebies to very detailed, paid custom designs. When you’re starting out, it’s best to choose a simple theme. Once you’re more comfortable with blogging, you may decide to install something more advanced.

WordPress offers free themes you can install onto your site. These are easy to use and you’ll find that you can be up and running with your blog in a matter of minutes. After using Fantastico to install your blog theme, you’ll need to set up the blog settings.

It’s important to make sure your blog is set up to be searched by search engines. Under Settings, you’ll want to give your site a title and a tagline, which tells people what the site is about. You’ll also want to assign an email address and set up your date and time zone. Then you’ll need to decide how you want comments and posts to be displayed on your blog.

Finally, you’ll want to personalize your blog. You’ll select a header that reflects your niche. You’ll also want to create an about page so that people can understand who the author is. This is known as an About page. Make sure you share a photo so that readers can connect more personally with you. Create a disclaimer page that helps you abide by any legal rules or terms of service.

As you write posts, you’ll want to make sure that you’re personal and friendly and work to develop relationships with your readers. This is the best way to build a community of devoted readers who will trust your advice.

Setting up your own affiliate marketing blog is actually quite simple. As you go through the process, it will get easier. The more you work with your blog, the more you’ll understand about how it operates and how you can use your blog to promote products in your niche.

Shiny New Object Syndrome Versus Being Too Stubborn

Posted February 25, 2017 By Callie

Working from home can be one of the most exciting ventures you’ll ever undertake. It can also create the kid in the candy store effect. You see so much good stuff that you can’t pick – so you buy and buy and buy.

You get your goodies and you open them all up and take the first step. But it ends there. You never take the second step. You might feel overwhelmed or see another hot and trendy product to buy.

So those opportunities sit like beckoning lights that you learn to ignore. This is known as the shiny new object syndrome. When this happens, it means you were intrigued by a product or an idea enough that it took the place of the one you’re currently implementing.

You loved the way it was presented, loved the thought of making money using the product, you wanted it – so you got it. But then the newness wore off because you didn’t keep focused on what enticed you to buy the product to begin with.

You won’t ever succeed when you continually buy products if you don’t actually take the practical steps of using them. Do you have this syndrome? How many shiny new objects have you bought in the last year? The last six months? Did you give any of them a fair effort before moving on to the next?

On the other side of this picture is the mindset of, “I’ll make this work if it kills me” and those people never reach out to try anything new because they get stuck vowing to achieve the same results that were promised on the sales letter. They’re going to go down fighting despite the writing on the wall that tells them they need to move on.

Instead of being caught between two extremes and trying to force yourself into a mold, create what works out of what you get and do things your way. There is no rule police squad that will come bang on your door if you don’t follow step by step what marketer A did to reach success.

You’re a unique person with personality gifts and traits that marketer A doesn’t have. So gather what you’ve learned and the products that you’ve bought and take a hard look at your efforts.

Did you really give it all you had? And it still didn’t work? Then there’s no shame in moving on. But if you have product after product and you’ve never genuinely attempted to work them, put the effort into it and you might be surprised at the results.

Reviewing Tangible Products as an Affiliate Marketer

Posted February 25, 2017 By Callie

If you choose to review tangible products as an affiliate marketer, there are a few things you should know that can help you have more success. First and foremost, you want to make sure that you’re promoting good products.

If what you’re promoting isn’t high quality, then you’ll have trouble making money selling it and establishing a long-term client base. Make sure that you don’t promote any products that you don’t believe deliver what they promise.

When you begin your actual review, you’ll want to convey specific details to your potential customers. Discuss the features of the product, what it includes, and what it doesn’t include. You should also give a detailed description of what it does and the results that are promised.

It’s also important to pay attention to customer reviews. Read as many as you can to get a general idea of what consumers are saying about the product. You’ll want to highlight the positive things that you see.

You shouldn’t be afraid to highlight some criticisms as well. But when you talk about something negative, you’ll want to try to follow up with a solution to the problem or an alternative to it. When you do this, you’ll gain more trust from your own customer base.

You’ll also want to discuss some of the other products that are similar to the product you’re promoting and explain the benefits of choosing this particular one. Or, if you’re an Amazon affiliate, you can promote several products that are similar and outline their distinct features.

When it comes to choosing a product to review as an affiliate marketer, you also need to think about search volume. For example, if you have a category with a low search volume, then you’ll want to choose a product that has a higher price so that you get a higher commission.

But if you’re looking at an area with a high search volume, you may want to go with a lower priced item that will have more sales. This will help increase your money making potential from promoting tangible products.

By choosing the correct product and being honest about both the good things and some of the negatives, you can create interesting and truthful reviews that translate into sales. If you’re selling to the same group of people over and over again, you’ll establish a reputation for honest and thoughtful reviews.

Understanding the essentials of reviewing tangible products as an affiliate marketer can help you grow a successful affiliate marketing business.

Setting Up a Squeeze Page and a Blog Opt In Box

Posted February 22, 2017 By Callie

Regardless of whether you’re new to marketing or you’ve been around for years, you’ve inevitably heard the term “squeeze page.” You may also have heard the term “landing page.”

Sometimes, they’re one and the same, but a landing page can be anywhere that the customer enters your site. A squeeze page can be used as a landing page and that’s what smart marketers do.

On the squeeze page will be a way for them to put in their email address in order to get a free bonus product or to sign up for a newsletter. That’s what an opt in box is on a website. That’s the very purpose of the squeeze page. You want a way to have further communication with the people who visit your site.

To set up a squeeze page, you need to make sure that it does what it was created to do and that is to help you build a solid email list. This page is where you want some action to take place.

This is also the page where you need to make sure that you make it worth the visitor’s time if they opt in. The text for your squeeze page should not have a lot of sales copy. You want one or two headlines that draw attention and capture interest.

You also want to talk about how you or your product can make their lives better, using a shortlist of the top bullet points that will convince them to share their name and email address.

Keep in mind as you write, what your squeeze page should do for you – give you a way to further contact the people who visit your site. If you have a lot of site traffic but people aren’t opting in, then you need to revamp your squeeze page and begin testing various elements from the headlines to the bullet points to the offer – even down to the color scheme of the squeeze page.

The squeeze page should keep everything “above the fold.” This means that there’s no scrolling required to see all of the copy on your site. You want the opt in box visible. This isn’t the place to try to convince them to buy something – that’s what the sales letter will do when you direct them there once they’re confirmed as a subscriber to your list.

For your offer, try testing a variety of items to see which helps you build your list better. It might be a simple 5-page report. Or it could be the promise of weekly newsletters. Split test to see which one works and then tweak it until it performs at its very best.

And don’t forget to add the opt in box to other pages, such as your blog. Just add a text widget to the sidebar of your blog and paste the opt in HTML code into that area, ensuring the width and height works well for your blog theme. And always make sure you test the opt in boxes to see if they’re working properly.

Quick Affiliate Marketing Research Tips

Posted February 22, 2017 By Callie

Sometimes when you’re launching a new business, especially online when you’re doing it all alone, it can feel overwhelming not knowing how to find the best path to profits. You have to know how to research niches and products and people and keywords. It’s enough to make anyone throw up their hands in frustration.

There are some easy tips that can help you conduct your research online. Researching niches is a piece of cake. What you’re looking for is competition. Some people will look at competition and feel like there’s no way they could go up against the other sites.

But competition actually means it’s a healthy niche – with room for everyone. If you find a niche that no one’s selling in, then it probably means there’s no interest in – and that should set off warning bells for you.

Look on bookshelves in your local Barnes and Noble and see what non-fiction topics have plenty of resources. Glance at the covers of the women’s magazines at the checkout stand the next time you buy groceries.

You’ll see everything from insomnia to nutrition and more. They’re good about showcasing trendy topics, too – niches that are just now growing big enough for major publications to pick up on them.

News sites give lots of good insight into trends within a niche, too. Most major news sites like FoxNews and CNN have categories for science, technology, health and more. Look at those to stay abreast of what’s happening in your niche.

Also, set up a Google Alert so that you get news and information delivered straight to your inbox whenever something happens – or in a digest version if you want to check it sparingly.

Product research is sometimes a bit more in depth. You first want to go to sites like Ubersuggest and see what kinds of things your audience wants to know about the product. Type in the product name or niche topic and get hundreds of results that help steer you in the right direction.

Then, go to the manufacturer’s website and see what the specs are on the product. You can even download instruction manuals to read more details about it and share that with your visitors.

If it’s something you can find locally, don’t be afraid to go into your store and look at the product and jot down some notes. You can even take some pictures or a video to put on your blog.

Researching people is easy if you trace their social media accounts. Look at their blog and the interaction they have with people (if you’re promoting an info product). Look at their Twitter account, their Google Plus and Facebook, too.

Keyword research is a cinch with free and paid tools that are available to you. Ubersuggest again is a great tool, but you can also invest in paid tools like Market Samurai that show you the competition and profit potential of a niche.

Setting Up a Blog Using WordPress

Posted February 19, 2017 By Callie

Setting up a blog using WordPress doesn’t have to be challenging even if you don’t know the first thing about blogging. With just a few simple steps to follow you’ll be blogging away in no time.

The best and fastest way to install WordPress software is to use Fantastico. Fantastico is software included with most hosting companies that allows you to install applications like WordPress on your site easily. If you’re not sure if your hosting company supports Fantastico (most do), then contact their customer support.

If you see a Fantastico icon when you log into your hosting account, click on it. You’ll be taken to a page with many options. Look on the left side and you’ll see WordPress. Click the link and you’ll be brought to page with a few options.

These are easy options to fill out. Choose the correct domain name that you want to install WordPress on. Don’t worry about installing in a directory. Leave that blank and it’ll post the blog on the home page of your site. If you’d prefer, put the word blog there and it will install on yourdomain.com/blog instead.

Come up with an administrator name. Don’t use something like ‘admin.’ It makes your site easy prey to hackers. Choose your password. Write down your administrator name and your password in a secure place.

Enter your admin nickname. This will be your display name and can be changed later if you don’t like it. You can use your name, your company name, or your initials. Enter the admin email.

This should be a working email address you have access to. Be sure to double-check it to prevent errors. Next, choose your site name. Your site name can also be changed later in the administration settings.

Enter the description of your website. This is your tagline or slogan. Once you’ve done that, click ‘install WordPress.’ A page will come up prompting you to review your choices. If they’re correct, click ‘finish.’ If not, hit the back button and correct any errors.

Once you install WordPress, it will take a few seconds to a few hours depending on your site and system before the site is set up and you can begin customizing it. You can log into your WordPress website when it’s complete by going to www.yoursite.com/wp-login.php. Enter the administrator username and password you chose earlier.

On the left side, look for a box that says ‘Settings.’ In that box, there will be multiple settings you can tweak including your site name, slogan, your local time, your email address and more.

If you have questions about these settings, consult with your customer support or read the WordPress Codex which contains a WordPress for Beginners section that answers the most common questions from new users.

Picking Products to Promote as a Tangible Affiliate

Posted February 19, 2017 By Callie

For a beginning affiliate marketer, one of the first struggles you might encounter is not knowing which products to promote. If you plan to promote products through Amazon, the first step you want to take is to make sure that the product isn’t on the “excluded products” list.

This is a list that Amazon puts out that will list exactly which products won’t deliver a commission, when that excluded commission time began and when it will end (if ever). You want to keep up with this list because Amazon has the right to change what’s on the list of excluded products.

You’ll see things on there like certain GPS units, some brands of televisions, certain Apple products, XBox 360 gaming systems and even coffee makers.

Read all of the fine print in the compensation overview. Look for caps on your commissions for certain items. Also be aware that a changed order means no commission if it’s changed before the item ships out to the customer.

When you’re choosing a product, pay attention to the customer reviews that are listed for the products. These reviews count. Amazon counts the reviews according to the star rating.

Getting a three start on a product means that the product is considered average and didn’t exceed expectations. The product is seen as average. So pay attention to the stars because Amazon does.

Next when picking a product, you want to make sure it’s a good fit for your target audience. You don’t want to promote a product that isn’t going to end in sales for you because it doesn’t fit what your customers need.

Another thing you want to pay attention to is whether or not it’s a good price point for commission. If the item has a low selling price, then you want to make sure that the search volume is high because even if it’s a high priced product without a lot of sales, just a few sales can earn you more on commission than many low priced products.

Try to promote what you would personally use in your own life. This way, you’ll be interested in the product and that enthusiasm will show. You want to make sure that you pick products that aren’t already overwhelming the market because too many other marketers are promoting them.

Look for evergreen items. These are items that people are always going to need. For example, if you promote baby items, you can look for the items that aren’t already crowding the market and focus on those.

You also want to be able to point out (when you’re doing your blog or posts about the items) what makes that item unique from the other products just like it. For example, babies always need sippy cups. By promoting ones that are unique (no spill, BPA free, etc.) you can have an edge over the competition.

A Facebook fan page is like having a Facebook profile dedicated to your business. While you could make a profile for your business, Facebook will likely flag it and remove the profile, leaving your customers and prospects without a way to connect with your brand on Facebook.

Instead of a profile, you want a fan page for your business. Fan pages are a way for your customers and prospects to identify with you and associate who you are with your brand as well as share the page with others.

Take a moment and define the purpose of your fan page. If you define the purpose of your page as only to sell more, then you need to take a step back. While social media does help businesses promote their brands and sell more products, consumers can always tell when that’s the only reason a brand is online.

Like all forms of social media, your potential ‘fans’ are looking at your page and asking themselves one question, “What’s in it for me?” What you have to figure out is how to best give something back to your Facebook fans. Some fan pages provide coupons, resources or helpful tips. Knowing what you’ll provide your clients in advance will help guide you as you create the page.

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your fan page, it’s time to build it. You can start building your fan page by signing in to your Facebook account. You want to sign in with the one that will be associated with your fan page. After you’ve signed in, visit: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.

Choose your brand name carefully to appeal to your target audience. For instance the company Victoria’s Secret didn’t create a fan page for their brand. They created one for their new line Victoria’s Secret PINK. By doing this, they targeted the audience most likely to purchase their products (college age females).

Now that you’ve chosen your page name and category, make sure you upload a high resolution photo of your logo or one of your most popular products. The goal here is to choose an image that will instantly spark brand recognition in a consumer’s mind.

Next, add some text to the information tab. Hint: you can use text from your about page or any other page on your website. You can even include testimonials for your business. You can import your company blog to the notes section using RSS feeds.

This means new blog posts are automatically posted on your page’s wall. If you want to create a custom landing page, then try Static FBML. Use the search bar to find it and on the left hand side, click ‘Add to My Page.’

This will add an application to your page that allows you to post raw HTML code and have it display correctly to your fans. After your page is set up, make sure you update it two to four times a week so your fan base will continue to grow.

Ongoing Affiliate Marketing Training

Posted February 16, 2017 By Callie

Learning affiliate marketing is not something that happens after you read one blog post, or buy one course, or absorb and implement a video tutorial. It’s an on-going process that evolves over time.

You want to think of affiliate marketing as a continuing education system where you’re always learning, always bettering, and always improving your conversion rates. And that will help your earnings soar.

Learn from a wide variety of people. Yes, over time you’ll have your favorite teachers to learn from – but it’s important t see what kind of golden nuggets other instructors can share that might resonate well with you.

Tackle different styles of affiliate marketing. If you’re only in tangible marketing, why not try to learn how to add digital affiliate marketing to the mix – or vice versa? Or if you’re only using Amazon, why not figure out how to add Commission Junction?

Learn how to advance and tweak your strategies. Never just stick with a beginner’s mindset. You want to learn how to really click with your visitors. So let’s say you feel like you know how to write a product review.

You might be doing just fine with it. But wouldn’t you like to add more conversions, regardless? Who wouldn’t? So learn about how to connect with customers, how to build trust with an audience, and so on. Really expand your learning process to the outer edges.

Test the results of more than one method. Don’t stick with making comparison tables in blog post after blog post – even if it’s working for you. Branch out and learn other methods, like top 10 lists for example.

Understand that the web changes. What may have worked to get you traffic and sales two years ago could be highly obsolete today. You want to keep your pulse on the market and see how trends have evolved.

When video marketing hit the scene, it was an incredible edge some affiliates had over their text-only affiliate competitors because they were able to build trust quickly and easily – and reach more prospects because of YouTube.

Try to invest in several different styles of teaching. A downloadable course is one method. But have you looked into affiliate marketing memberships where you can interact with other affiliates and share strategies?

Or how about paying for a few sessions with an affiliate marketing mentor or coach? That way they could specifically analyze your efforts and help you make headway with your promotions and profits.