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Is Branding Important For Affiliates?

Contrary to popular opinion and belief, affiliate marketing and branding do go hand-in-hand. The common misconception is that affiliates don’t need to make an effort with branding because they don’t actually sell any products or services. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The lowest-earning affiliates tend to skip the branding side of their business. It’s probably a contributing factor to why they’re lower-earning affiliates in the first place.

Branding and beautiful logo design can have a huger impact on your affiliate marketing business. For one, it helps establish authority and build credibility with your readers, resulting in more leads and affiliate commissions. There are plenty of logo maker services (such as Juicy) out there that don’t cost a bomb so there’s no excuse not to get one designed for your business.

Why You Need Branding As An Affiliate

What was the last major thing you bought online? Let’s say it was a vacuum cleaner. I’m sure you did a little bit of research online before purchasing something. Even if you did end up buying it from the store, you probably pre-sold the product to yourself online.

My first point of call would be Amazon (it pretty much is for most things). Why? Because I know the reviews are legitimate. Looking on Amazon prevents me from wasting my money on products that won’t stand the test of time. Amazon also has a great returns policy and fantastic customer service. This makes me happy to return to the site time and time again to purchase products.

What has this got to do with branding my affiliate site? Actually quite a lot!

Picture yourself being new to the world of body-building. You’re intrigued by it but you don’t know much about it yet. You’re eager to learn more! You come across a website that’s all about nutrition and lean muscle gains. The site is unbranded and fairly plain looking but the content is great. You check out some great articles, read some product reviews and decide to buy something.

After this, you shut your computer down and open it up the next day. You remember that you wanted to order BCAA’s too but you can’t for the life of you remember what that site was called. Before you know it, you’re back on Google but this time you end up on someone else’s website. You go on to purchase your BCAA’s from another affiliate website.

This other website was a little different. It has a clearly defined brand that stands out. It has a striking logo of two dumbbells crossed together. You decide to sign up for the newsletter to get more bulking tips straight into your inbox. Over the next few weeks, you receive emails from this memorable affiliate site with insightful information on bulking and nutrition. This affiliate site becomes your new favourite. You visit the site time and time again every time you need anything fitness related.

This is the site that gets the repeat sales. They establish their brand with a strong, striking logo. Their site has personality and they incentivise you to sign up to their email list so they can continue sending you valuable information.

This is why your affiliate site needs branding. It puts you well ahead of the competition.

Best Affiliate Sites For Branding

best affiliate sites for branding

Branding tends to work best on sites that cover a general niche. If you have a niche site like “Quest Nutrition Bar Reviews” you’ll struggle to establish yourself as a brand because you’re clearly promoting one brand of product.

This also puts you in a negative light as you’ll look super-biased towards that one brand. Readers will feel like you have an incentive to write positive reviews about the products you’re recommending. Visitors don’t like this type of site and Google doesn’t either.

Another good thing about having a more general affiliate website is the opportunity to include more brands in your reviews in the future. This is great for future growth of your affiliate website and it avoids you having problems if your main brand goes into administration or stops their affiliate program.

Logo Design Fundamentals

Let’s talk about logos.

There are logo design services for all types of businesses. Some companies specialise in creating logos for certain industries. Others cover more of a broad range of services. One of our favourite logo design companies’ is Juicy logos. They create all kinds of beautiful logo designs. From riveting restaurant logos to fashion and photography. There’s something for everyone.

Picking a Name

Before you think about getting in touch with a designer, you need to think about a name for your domain. Come up with something catchy and memorable. Make sure the domain name isn’t too long and doesn’t contain any swear words, or words that people might spell wrong.

The next thing to decide is whether you want to incorporate your domain name extension into your logo. You should also check for any trademarks that exist on the name you’ve chosen. You should consider whether you’d like to submit your own application also.

Brand Messaging

How do you want your brand to be portrayed? What type of emotions do you want your brand to invoke? Do you want it to appear humorous, professional, quirky or something else altogether?

Where will your logo be placed? If you plan to use your logo in things like business cards, it’s a good idea to create a unique symbol that you customers will instantly recognise.

Will your logo have a slogan? If so what will it be? What feelings are they supposed to invoke?

You’ll want to start sketching out ideas for your logo. If you don’t feel creative enough for that you can always do some Googling to find some logo inspiration. After this, you’ll want to start working with a designer to create the logo of your dreams!

Symbols

If you don’t recognise any of the above brands, you’ve definitely been living under a rock for most of … Read the rest

What Factors Will Make Your Affiliate Site Profitable?

Putting together a quick product review and uploading it on your affiliate site is definitely not going to cut it these days. Creating a profitable affiliate site is a much more complex process compared to 10 years ago.

An affiliate site should be approached as a business like any other. You need to build a strong brand, a powerful online presence, accompanied by a gorgeous website, unique logo, tagline, social media profiles, and much more.

Legitimacy is the key to earning trust and a positive reputation. So being an expert in your industry should be a priority for all affiliates looking for profitability and a long-term business.

What Makes an Affiliate Site Profitable?

Content That Strikes a Chord with Visitors. Beautiful content is appreciated in the same way as beautiful design…

Brief and low-quality cntent won’t get you anywhere. You need to put effort into the content you put out into the world with the goal of making it unique and valuable for everyone that reads it. In other words, you need to notice what your prospects are looking for and what questions they really want answered. Then provide that information in a high-quality, detailed, and clear cut manner.

If you’re writing product reviews, for example, talk about the pros and cons of the product, and include the aspects of the product that your visitors will be curious about. Try avoiding reviews that just explain why someone should buy it. Doing this will make you come off as illegitimate. When you provide honest details and accuracy on the product, you’ll build trust. To give the best reviews in your industry, have well-researched information and experience the product yourself.

Also, the content you’re producing for your affiliate site should help your prospects make a profitable decision. This may seem obvious, but if your content is just an introduction to the product, you should have a whole sales funnel set up so the prospects can convert to sales down the road.

Many beginners in Internet marketing tend to rush into affiliate marketing and only have sales on their mind. When they’re only focused on the sales, they end up skipping the part of providing awesome value for their viewers. The bottom line is, the ones who take time to provide great content that prospects will connect to, will outperform the ones that are quickly trying to make sales by putting something subpar together.

By the way, if you aren’t that great at creating mesmerizing content that you think your customers will love, don’t worry. There are content writers that you can hire who will create great content while you practice your writing skills.

Does Google Hate Affiliate Sites?

Many people in the affiliate space are under the impression that Google hates affiliate marketers. This simply isn’t true. Google hates crappy content and it just happens to be that a high percentage of affiliates produce thin content that doesn’t provide any value.

The best way to build successful affiliate marketing websites is to create a brand and offer something unique and valuable to your audience. Offer something that isn’t already out there, provide a unique angle to a content topic and generally aim to help your readers by providing awesome information.

There are thousands of successful affiliate marketing websites that have established themselves as brands and enjoy very healthy incomes as a result of creating a website that provides genuine value to its’ readers.

Traffic & SEO

Good SEO goes hand in hand with quality content, but there are some other factors involved. Unfortunately, you can write the most amazing content, but thousands of people won’t automatically find it.

Traffic, for one is crucial for your affiliate site. Most affiliate sites are dependent on organic traffic, which means that if your site doesn’t have diversified sources of traffic, you risk your site losing all its readership by a possible search engine algorithm update.

Affiliate sites tend to be involved with PBN (private blog networks) which can help rankings significantly, but there is a risk of the search engine finding out, as they have gotten a lot smarter. Ideally, you should create a strong backlink profile through legitimate authority links. This is a safe way to maintain your rankings amid changing algorithms and changing search engine rankings.

Good SEO can provide the strongest form of longevity for your affiliate site and your exit strategy. SEO will increase the value of your site if you ever choose to sell your site down the road.

Choosing an Evergreen Niche

Some niches are buzzing for a few months and eventually fade away. They may be extremely profitable for a while, but as soon as the product is irrelevant, so does every company that tried to make a business out of it.

Evergreen products will go through fluctuations just like every business, but looking at the long-term benefits, an evergreen product will provide a steady and plenty amount of income. Another benefit of choosing an evergreen niche, they usually have consistent growth and room for improvement. This gives you the ability to add new products within the niche to boost your revenue and differentiation.

Final Thoughts

 If you’re looking to get into affiliate marketing, but you aren’t sure which niche is best, one option is buying an affiliate site. This will give you the ability to enter a niche that is profitable as well as the SEO the previous owner build.

There are many ways to be successful in affiliate marketing. One of the first steps is finding great affiliate marketing training. Training that will teach you everything you need to know about generating an income through this popular business model.… Read the rest

What Is Internet Marketing?

Internet marketing means alot of different thing to a lot of people. Back in the day when the internet was still in it’s infancy, internet marketing was seen as placing banner ads on other websites. On the other side of the coin, there are companies that will try and convince you that you can make a quick buck with some sort of special “program”. These are mostly just all hype and hot air, all talk and no trousers!

In 2017, Internet marketing has evolved into a huge mix of components that people utilise as a way to increase leads and sales in a business. This applies to online as well as offline businesses. Many companies promote products online in order to make the sales offline in their brick and mortar stores.

The decision to use internet marketing as part of an overall company marketing strategy is an absolute must in today’s ever-connected digital world. For some businesses, online marketing is the only form of marketing they do and these guys are definitely on to something because online marketing allows us to leverage data to produce concrete results in business.

In contrast, with offline marketing, it’s pretty much a game of throwing things at a wall to see what sticks.

Components Of Online Marketing:

  • Setting Up a Website – websites typcially consist of blogs, landing pages and product pages (among many others). Websites are used as tools to provide value and build a relationship with a prospect. They are also used to directly sell products and services. Most websites have implemented some form of lead capture to build their email list in order to eventually market products to their subscribers.
  • Search Engine Marketing – This is a form of marketing that consists of ranking in the search engines such as Google & Bing. This is implemented by either improving a websites organic search engine rankings or going down the paid advertising route, otherwise known as PPC (Pay-Per-Click).
  • Email Marketing – Is a form a spreading information about a product or service via email. Most companies build their email list through their blog and subsequently provide value in the form of free content to their subscribers before offering products and services. Email marketing is similar to direct marketing in the “real world”.

Out of all elements of internet marketing, having a website is the most important one. Prospects expect a business to have a website, especially in this day and age. Not having a website could raise suspicions at this point. This still applies to businesses that only have local customers, like an independent garage or a restaurant, for example. These local businesses can greatly increase their search presence by implementing effect SEO strategies.

Internet marketing also has the advantage of being 100% virtual, allowing people to start and run their business from literally anywhere in the world. Most home based businesses don’t have a physical location and more people are becoming aware of the opportunities the internet provides to live this kind of lifestyle.

The internet has given the ability for home businesses to flourish in a massive way, because of a variety of factors. Partly because starting and maintaining a decent web presence doesn’t cost a lot of money. Home business owners are able to effectively attract targeted prospects to their business without spending big bucks on marketing and advertising.

Merging Offline & Online Marketing Strategies

Many businesses operate online as well as offline. In this case, a healthy combination of both online and offline marketing is required to maximise sales in the business. Many online businesses actually invest quite heavily into offline marketing strategies. Companies such as CompareTheMarket, Expedia and Monster.com invest in radio and TV advertising to generate additional traffic to their websites.

Some great marketing and online business resources to get you started:

Business Ideas With Low Investmenthttp://benguonline.com/business-ideas-with-low-investment

Free Online Marketing Courseshttps://www.futurelearn.com/courses/collections/marketing

50 Internet Business Ideas – https://wpmastery.xyz/50-internet-business-ideas/

Business Ideas For Womenhttp://benguonline.com/business-ideas-for-women

26 Free Online Marketing Courses – http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/08/19/free-online-marketing-courses

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5 Online Business Ideas You Can Start Today

Online business is a beautiful thing. The dawn of the internet has completely transformed the way we conduct business. Traditional methods of marketing such as print newspaper, magazines and direct mail are dying out, in favour of much more effective, measurable and scalable techniques that the internet now provides. Some of the biggest brick and mortar businesses are struggling to keep up with the e-commerce beasts that are absolutely dominating physical product sales.

It is very difficult for brick and mortar businesses to compete with online businesses. The online businesses don’t have the costs associated with running a physical store. Things like paying for staff, rent and licensing for music, among other things. This is the reason why you’ll almost always find a better deal for something online, because the profit margins are much larger, businesses can afford to reduce the price of goods.

Online businesses are booming in our increasingly connected, digital world and it is becoming easier for anyone with the right work-ethic to start an online business themselves without having to jump through many hoops at all.

Here is a short list of interesting online business ideas:

  1. Freelancing – This is something that has grown in a HUGE way over the past few years. Did you know that over 30% of the American work force is now freelancing. We are seeing huge changes in the way people work. Freelancing provides the opportunity for you to be your own boss and write your own pay check. You’ll find that the scope of work available is absolutely huge. Any job that is performed in an office environment is now being completed by freelancers. From customer service support agents to PHP developers and digital marketing managers – its not just photography and writing! With that all being said, freelancing is definitely not a walk in the park. You will be competing for projects against many other seasoned freelancers. You will have to build up your reputation and your brand. This involves you constantly having to sell yourself to people and with the ability to confidently demonstrate that you can provide some great results for the end client.
  2. Affiliate marketing – This is a business model that has been around since the dawn of the internet. It is a form of referral marketing where an affiliate gets paid a commission if anyone purchases a product/service via their recommendation. This could be someone who blogs about digital cameras and writing a review about various models. The blogger would then have an affiliate link to the cameras he is reviewing. Anyone who goes ahead and buys a camera through the this link will mean the blogger gets paid a commission. Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest ways to get started with business online. It is also a business model that has one of the lowest barriers to entry. You can get start with certain affiliate programs for pennies!
  3. E-Commerce – As mentioned above, the e-commerce business is absolutely huge and it has only been growing over the past few years as more and more people use the internet and adopt the idea of buying things online. E-commerce can be a fantastic business to start on the internet. There are many platforms that offer pre-built packages for you to use and get started in a matter of hours. These platforms have websites that have payment systems and inventory technology all built in so you can focus on listing and selling your products! Again this is a business model with a low barrier of entry, you don’t need to invest thousands of pounds to get started. Unique variations in this business model also allow you to sell products and only pay for them when someone else buys them! This is called dropshipping.
  4. Franchises – You may have assumed that franchises are only present in traditional brick and mortar businesses but this is simply not the case. There are many online franchise opportunities that are typically very low cost as you only need to invest in the website and hosting. The benefits of online franchising are reduced up front investments, branding advantages and the ability to follow a proven framework that has worked many times before. With that being said I should mention that some online franchise opportunities are all talk and no trousers. Please make sure you do your research to ensure you aren’t caught out by a company that just wants your cash investment and thats it.
  5. Website flipping – Websites are big business in the internet world. Especially sites that have a lot of SEO value. There are sites out there that go for hundreds of thousands of pounds a pop! Many people buy websites at a cheap price, make a few tweaks and sell it on for a handsome profit. You need to be highly versed in everything to do with domains as you need to know what to look for and what to improve on the site so you can sell it on for a profit.

If you want to learn more about why online business is becoming so popular, check out my recent article “Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Turn To Online Business

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Why Affiliate Marketing Is The New Age Business Model

Affiliate marketing is a business model that has actually been around since before the internet. The invention of the internet sparked the exponential growth of this type of business. In 2016, most companies operate some form of affiliate program. Affiliate marketing is everywhere and you probably don’t even know it.

You know all those price comparison websites? All those things you compare online, credit cards ,loans, insurance, they all operate on the business model of affiliate marketing. It’s the same with flight bookings as well as with e-commerce giants like Amazon, eBay and Rakuten group.

It’s surprising when you realise how many companies use this form of marketing as their main source of income.

But how does it work?

Affiliate marketing works by referring a customer to a product or service. Take Gocompare.com for example, their service is built around helping you find the best deal with things. They recommend the cheapest offers for whatever you’re searching for and in turn they receive a commission from the company you buy the product from.

It’s a pretty simple business model. The affiliate refers the customer and gets paid a commission if that customer goes on to make a purchase.

Some of the top affiliate programs offer higher paying commissions. This is where the affiliate is rewarded a higher percentage of the product value for each sale. Typically digital products offer the highest commissions for affiliates as they don’t have the same small margins that physical products do.

Affiliate marketing is an attractive business model because it allows anyone with basic computer skills to start an online business and become self-sufficient, without the traditional barriers of entry.

Let me explain: 

  1. You don’t need to invest thousands of pounds to get started. Many affiliate programs are free and you can literally get started with marketing on the same day.
  2. You’re not tied down to any particular location. Affiliate marketing is internet-based. Meaning you just need a laptop and internet connection for you to be in business. This is huge!
  3. You don’t need to create a product! The beauty of affiliate marketing is that it allows you to leverage the products and services that other people have created. You don’t need to spend all your time and money on coming up with an awesome product because so many people already have! Another thing that is beautiful is that you have the ability to align yourself with something you genuinely care about. So you can promote something you actually like yourself – not just trying to sell something to your readers.
  4. The earning potential is unlimited. There are affiliate marketers out there that are making seven figures a year just from promoting other people’s products. This is big business.

Something to bear in mind: 

Affiliate marketing might sound like the perfect business model. In my opinion it is superior to everything else out there. However, this isn’t some push button solution. Affiliate marketing requires hard work and dedication, just like any other business would. You need to empower yourself with the training that will  allow you to effectively market products online. Finding the right training program is essential. There is so much out there that you can absorb but one of the most important things to bear in mind is to not allow yourself to get stuck in “learning mode”. Pick one training program and stick with it until you master it. Once you start producing solid results then you can move on to the next strategy. This is how people succeed in affiliate marketing. Consistency, dedication and focus are an absolute must for success in any business.

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Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Turn To Online Business

In today’s world of opportunity, any business idea, market need, or new product could be turned into a fully-fledged business in months, even weeks, due to the ability to reach prospects worldwide using one special tool:

The internet.

Every business is not the same in regards to the cost of creating a start-up. The traditional brick and mortar model has many costs but the average is approximately $30,000 and increases when considering office space, utilities, equipment, employees, insurance and a number of other factors before there is a return on investment which normally occurs in a time frame of 3-5 years.

In an online business, regardless of which business model it is, the start-up investment is substantially lower due to low operating costs, limited fixed expenses and the ability to have the business up and running in a short amount of time.

One of the biggest expenses in an online business in the past was website creation but recent developments in top website creation platforms have created user friendly platforms that have the ability to make professional websites for a few hundred dollars, in one day.

Owning an online business does not require many employees in the beginning stage compared to brick a brick and mortar business. If needed, there are many freelance platforms that have exceptional professionals to do tasks needed without going through a long serious phase of hiring people.

Employment online can be brief and efficient with one-time payments or ongoing relationships which make expenses much lower, and eliminates the concern of benefits for employees. After the startup phase is completed, (which could be as short as a few weeks) online marketing like SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing gain instant results when done effectively which lead to a quick ROI.

One of the biggest reasons entrepreneur’s find online business most attractive is because of the freedom that comes with having an online business. An online business is running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be taken to every corner of the world. Stress level is lowered substantially when a business owner doesn’t need to stay in a single physical location to keep an eye on how the business is doing or if employees are doing their job. Business can happen any hour of the day and the numbers show instantly to analyze performance.

The internet is changing the business world and more importantly giving entrepreneurs the ability to sell their service or product while slowly eliminating the traditional nine to five work day.

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The History Of E-Commerce

Over the last 10 years, e-commerce business has absolutely exploded. The internet has given companies the ability to advertise their products and services to a global audience. This is in stark contrast to the days prior to the internet. Companies now not only have local competition but have to deal with other companies from all over the world that are targeting the same people.

The internet has completely changed the way we buy and sell things for good. We’re literally able to push a few buttons and have a box of goods arrive at our home the next day. We can book a plane ticket, buy a training program or order some food by pressing a few buttons.

The definition of e-commerce is essentially buying or selling goods over the internet. According to the Pew Internet project, 66 percent of American adults  have purchased something over the internet.

Electronic transactions between businesses were happening as far back as the 1960’s. At this time, businesses were using primitive computer networks to conduct electronic transactions. They used something called Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). With this system, companies were able to share business documents, order forms and invoices.

In 1979 the American National Standards Institute came up with a new forms of communication. It was called the ASC X12 and it became a universal standard for sharing business documents.

In the late 1980’s personal computer users were sending emails and participating in newsgroups as well as sharing documents via networks like BITNET and USENET.

In the 1990’s a researcher by the name of Tim Berners-Lee proposed a hyper-text form of communication that a user could navigate using something called a web browser (sound familiar?!). He called it the WorldWideWeb and in 1991 the National Science Foundation lifted a ban on businesses using the internet, paving the way for web-based e-commerce.

In 1993 Marc Andreesen introduced the worlds first widely distributed web browser, called Mosaic. A few short years later in 1995, the first third-party services for processing credit card information over the internet was invented. This marked the start of e-commerce business all over the world.

E-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay have set the standard for buying and selling goods online. They are outselling traditional brick and mortar businesses by a long shot and company expenses are much lower than their brick and mortar competitors due to not having to rent physical shop floor space and hire staff. The profit margins for e-commerce companies are much higher than traditional brick and mortar businesses.

This video from Shopify highlights the unexpected story of how E-Commerce started:

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5 Technologies That Have Changed The World

Technology. Like it or hate it, its definitely here to stay.

Technology has rapidly shaped the world around us and completely changed the way we do pretty much anything nowadays.

Here are five technologies that have transformed the world:

  1. The Transistor – Was invented by a team of scientists working for Bell Telephone labs in the mid 1940’s. Without transistors, we wouldn’t have any of the technology we have today. They are the building blocks of all things technology.

What do they do and how do they work?

A transistor is a very small electrical component that has two main functions. It can be operated either as an amplifier or a switch.

As an amplifier it takes a tiny electrical current and transforms it into a much larger electrical current on the other end. Its like a form of current booster. This is the simplest way of explaining it without getting into electrical jargon!

As a switch a small electrical current flowing through a transistor can make a much bigger current flow through another part of it. Put in the most simple terms a small current switches on the larger one.

2. The World Wide Web – The internet is probably one of the most important inventions of our time. The internet took off in 1993 with the release of the Mosaic Browser and was invented by a man called Tim Berners-Lee. Berners-Lee could’ve made an insane amount of money from his invention but he chose to give it away!

3. The Apple iMac – This might not seem like a very important invention but look at how Apple have influenced the world with their innovative products. The original iMac was one of the most influential designs of the last decade. At the time of release, computer were big, bulky, unsightly objects. Apple showed companies a better way of doing things, by combining beautiful design with intuitive functionality.

4. Text Messaging – SMS messaging has transformed the way we communicate. You might be surprised to learn that SMS was actually invented by accident! It was initially invented to let people know they had voicemails but it quickly changed the way we all communicate with each-other. One of the first text messages was sent by a Nokia engineer in 1993. Several years later texting replaces speaking as the most popular form of wireless communication.

5. Bittorrent – Was created by a programmer called Bram Cohen. Torrents have changed the way people share files forever. Bittorrent took peer-to-peer file sharing to a whole new level. As soon as you have a piece of a file, you’re able to share it. It is a highly efficient way of distributing large amounts of data!  The downside to torrenting is that most of it is done illegally as people have the ability to download almost anything they want at the touch of a button.

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