Category Archives for "Online Businesses"

June 15, 2017

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners – Tools

Affiliate Marketing for beginnersWouldn’t it be a relief if there was a step by step plan in affiliate marketing for beginners that explained each part of the process in clear and easy to understand terms?  Here it is!

There are a thousands of sites and blogs telling you how you can make money online.  Many of them explain some of the steps but few give you all the information you need in one place.

In this earlier post I explained one of the options available.  I described its founder and how it came to be created.  It’s a course that continues to be developed and updated.

In this post I’m going to elaborate on those options and introduce you to the tools available.  I’ve used all of these myself so I can give you an honest description based on personal experience.

Affiliate Marketing For Beginners – Tools

Affilorama

This is the main site that contains all the other tools and training materials.  You can register as a member for free and explore its contents.  Free membership includes an affiliate marketing quick start guide, a downloadable road-map to success, and 120 video lessons in affiliate marketing.

Affiloblueprint

This is the step plan for those wanting to learn and apply this business model.  As the name suggests it’s a methodical map that leads you all the way through the jungle.  It’s ideal for those who have tried and failed and others who have never attempted affiliate marketing before.   Have a look for yourself and read the full description.

Affilojetpack

This is for those who want to skip the basic work and head for the more advanced side of affiliate marketing.  All the groundwork is done for you leaving you free to concentrate of fine tuning and marketing.  Check out the full description here.

If a long description don’t convince you then you can attend several webinars that describe the product and the process in more detail:

Free Resources – no obligation

  1. Start by downloading this free report on how to make thousands of dollars per month with affiliate marketing. There are no catches or gimmicks.  It’s totally free.
  2. In addition to the report you can also attend a free webinar that goes into more detail. Sign up here.
  3. There is another free webinar that describes seven ways in which you can send much more traffic to your website.  What good is a well designed and clever website if it doesn’t receive visitors?  Sign up here.
  4. Here’s another free webinar in which you’ll learn how it’s possible to start small and scale up your business into thousands of dollars per month.  Sign up here.

Affilotools

So you have one or more completed websites. You’re happy with the design and content but you have no idea how well they are performing.  Without this vital information you have no idea what works and what should be changed or discarded altogether.

That’s why you need Affilotools – all your monitoring and analysis in one place.  Check out the full description here.

Affilorama Premium Membership

This is an upgraded membership for those who keen to delve deeper into affiliate marketing.  There are advanced training videos, ‘over the shoulder’ videos in which the author describes how he spends his money and how he earns it back, and free web hosting for 15 sites.  It’s just $1 for a 30 day trial, so it’s worth signing up just for that alone.  Here’s the link to the details.

Affilotheme

Finally, there’s Affilotheme.  It’s a suite of WordPress themes designed specifically for affiliate sites.  Why try to create sites using themes that need edits and alterations to work as an affiliate site when you can buy a theme built by people in the same line of business?  The package includes the usual first rate support and a money back guarantee.  Go here for the details.

Conclusion

I expect you know the drill by now.  Persistence and hard work pay off in the end.  There are no short-cuts to online riches but if someone can show you the way then it does save you a lot of time and money.

February 21, 2017

YouTube SEO – How To Rank YouTube Videos

In this post I’m going to provide you with some easy to follow tips for improving your YouTube SEO.

I’m going to describe what changes you can and should be making to rank your YouTube videos for maximum traffic, views, subscribers, and interaction.

Before you go any further, download this YouTube SEO cheatsheet.  It goes into much more depth and contains a lot of tips that I haven’t covered here.

What is YouTube SEO?

YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google, and Google owns YouTube.

Video marketing is HUGE and is growing bigger but if you want your videos to be found among the millions that exist they need to be optimised for searches.

Just as we have to fine tune our websites for SEO purposes, we also have to ensure our videos are checked and tweaked to exploit every chance of being found and viewed.

YouTube SEO then is simply the processes of optimising videos so that they have the best possible chance of being found.

Found, not just in the search results but also in the list of suggested videos that YouTube shows you when you’ve viewed another video.

YouTube SEO Viral Videos

YouTube Videos – Keyword Titles

There isn’t room in this post to go into a description of keywords and phrases. I’m going to assume you’ve found your chosen keyword.

However, if you want a tool that helps you with keyword research then try Long Tail Pro.  I use it every week and have foundsome rich pickings using it.

Anyway, I presume you know to which search terms you want your video to appear in the search results.

For the purpose of this post let’s assume you’ve made one about horse riding for beginners.

Perhaps you’ve chosen the title ‘Horse Riding Tips For Beginners‘ because that’s a keyword phrase that your target keyword phrase.

You get the general idea. So your keyword phrase should be used three times:

  1. It should be the name of your video filename before you upload to YouTube.
  2. It should be at the start of your video title in the editing area.
  3. It should be repeated at the start of your text description.

YouTube SEO – Video Description

So you’ve named your video by using your keyword first followed by other key terms to a maximum of 100 characters.

Next, add the description. You have 5,000 characters for this so use as much as you can.

Repeat the keyword title and then give a full and accurate description.

Treat this description with the same diligence and attention to detail as you would any blog post or article.

Proofread it for any spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors.

Be sure to include any links to your author or business sites but don’t over do the links.

Remember that Google looks for content that is relevant, useful, and original.

YouTube SEO Viral Videos

YouTube SEO – Video Tags

Once your description is complete add the relevant tags.

Don’t be tempted to add tags that are not relevant to your content. You aren’t going to attract more traffic by adding irrelevant tags.

Also, by effectively spamming your tag area you risk having your account suspended if you use this and other underhand techniques.

You have a total of 500 characters to fill up in the tag section so use it wisely.

YouTube SEO – End Screens and Cards

End Screens are often overlooked by those in a rush to simply upload their videos and hope for the best.

End screens are those small hyperlinked images that appear near the end of a video, about 20 seconds from the end.

You can add several of these if you wish. The options are:

  1. Video or playlist – yours, or someone else’s
  2. Subscription link for your channel
  3. A link to another channel that you want to promote
  4. A link to an approved websites

An approved website is one that Google/YouTube have identified as belonging to you.

This might have been verified through Google Webmasters site. If you need any help with that, post a comment below.

Cards are those little icons that appear throughout the videos in my channel. Look at the white circle containing an ‘i’ in the top right hand corner of the videos.

Click that and you’ll see the cards I’ve added to this video. There may be one or several linking to approved websites.

Like End Screens they could also link to playlists, videos, subscription links, or channels.

So, to summarise so far, you’ve added nice long title, a full description, relevant tags, end screens, and cards.

How else can you improve YouTube SEO?

– Add the video to a playlist.
– Share it on social media
– Encourage others to share it
– Respond promptly to comments
– Encourage interaction in the comments
– Be responsive and friendly, even to negative criticism
– Share your video in relevant forums, Facebook pages, Google+ communities

When sharing in forums etc respect the rules and don’t argue if your video is deleted.  The site’s owners have their rules and it’s best to abide by them.

Finally, if you want another handy way of working through all the YouTube SEO checks, analysing the results, and keeping abreast of how your videos are performing, I recommend VidIQ.

This is both a website dashboard that provides important data about how your channel, playlists, and videos are performing and a browser extension that analyses whatever video you happen to be looking at on YouTube.

So you can analyse your own videos and any others, including your competitors’.

Again, they offer a free trial so sign up here and install it in your browser.

January 9, 2017

Free Training In Affiliate Marketing Provided By Experts

Make Money Online with Affiliate MarketingI’ve been researching and experimenting with this area of online enterprise for some time so it was a pleasant surprise to find some free training in affiliate marketing provided by experts in this field.

Affilorama was founded by a chap called Mark Ling. He also happens to be a millionaire and he achieved this status through affiliate marketing.

Now he spends this time running a business that teaches others what he has learned. He is at the top of the ladder but he’s reaching down to help others up and the best bit about it is that some of those lessons are free of charge.

Free Training Provided By Experts

Mark started out on the ground floor, experimenting and learning as he delved into the world of affiliate marketing. He enjoyed some early success but like many who didn’t know what was ahead he was hit heavily by the Google algorithm changes. Sales dropped dramatically and success turned into failure and debt.

Dismayed and disillusioned he returned to the day job. However, the prospect of a lifetime at the coal face working for someone else was too depressing to contemplate so he gathered his energies together and launched back into the project.

Having applied what he’d already learned and added new techniques he found a way through and made his fortune.

So Mark Ling is like a pathfinder. He’s walked the whole route, found a way around or over obstacles, and now he’s ready to show you the way. What he has done others can do.

Not only that but a significant chunk of the material he’s put online is available free of charge. So now you’ve got now excuse for not starting your own journey into affiliate marketing.

Here’s the link to over 100 FREE lessons in affiliate marketing.

What’s in this Free Training in Affiliate Marketing?

If you have any experience already in this subject then you will probably already be aware of the basic formula; finding profitable products to promote etc, so this list of categories will come as no surprise.

While they may not seem a revelation the important thing to remember is that they are the essential fundamentals. If you can master these then you can build a successful business.

* How to research and choose products that are worth the effort that goes into promotion
* How to design and create websites that will keep visitors on the page and engage with them
* How to optimise those websites for on-page and off-page search engine optimisation
* How to generate instant pay per click traffic with the right keywords and ad groups
* How to hire talented people who will grow your business by taking on the tasks you delegate to them

The videos are clear, concise, and not too long, so your focus and attention is maintained. This is the secret to absorbing knowledge piece by piece.

Affiliate Marketing lessons for beginners and up

Free training in affiliate marketing

The training videos are categorised and displayed in such a way that you can work through them one by one if you’re a complete beginner. Alternatively, if you already have some experience you can cherry-pick and only watch those you feel are relevant to you.

However, I would suggest you use all of them for revision. All to often, what we think we know and what we actually remember is not what was originally taught. It’s easy to become complacent and revision is a way of filling in blanks or reminding us of things we have forgotten.

This is a course that would suit people with or without affiliate marketing experience.

Active Community Forum

By signing up you also get access to the Affilorama forums. Here you can ask questions and read the answers posted in reply to those from other students. It’s a mine of useful information and one of the richest you’ll find and the Affilorama staff often drop in to add their opinions and comments.

Is it enough?

Free Training in Affiliate MarketingThere’s a lot of free material here to get your teeth into but sooner or later you’ll probably want to change gear and move into more advanced topics. You’ll want to use the sort of tools that the full time affiliate marketers use.

As you might expect (this is a business after all) there is a subscription fee for these other sections of the Affilorama site but they do occasionally offer one dollar trials of the Premium subscription. You won’t know about these unless you’re already signed up as a free member so register now and stay tuned.

Free training in affiliate marketing provided by a millionaire and his team who have walked the walk.

==> Sign up here!

January 6, 2017

Affiliate Marketing Tips You Can Learn From My Mistakes

Affiliate Marketing Tips You Can Learn From My MistakesThere are thousands of sites and videos providing affiliate marketing tips.  I’ve made some mistakes and also enjoyed a few successes in this area, so here are a few additional tips you may not have seen.

When the full blown web began to emerge in the 1990s I was already employed in IT.  I saw it as a time of opportunity and began to look into networking and websites. As a result I have enjoyed over two decades of gainful employment as a Network Engineer and Webmaster.

Unfortunately though, learning how something works isn’t as lucrative as figuring out what to do with it.  That’s why I’m writing this when it’s -2 degrees outside in England instead of sitting at my laptop in a holiday home in the Caribbean.

Anyway, I count my blessings, and although I haven’t become a dotcom millionaire I have learned a fair bit by trial and error.  Most trials end in error and that’s part of the process of reaching a goal.  The trick is to keep going.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

money in your pocket

Affiliate marketing is the art and science of creating websites (and/or mailing lists) and using them to promote goods and services in such a way that visitors click on links and make purchases through links provided on the site.

You promote a product or service, link to it, and the website visitor clicks on that link and buys from the supplier.  In return you are rewarded with some commission on the sale.  This can be anything from 1-12% or even more.  It all depends on the affiliate agreement.

Simple really, isn’t it?  Except it’s not.  For this to work you have to achieve the following:

  1. Find a product or service that is in demand and for which there are not already too many high ranking websites.  It needs to be something that people are searching for in high enough volumes to justify the time, effort, and expense of building a website and nurturing over several months so that it has a chance of reaching the top of page one on Google search results for the given search term (the keyword).
  2. Assuming you have succeeded and have a site that is attracting visitors in enough numbers your site then has to convince them to make a purchase using one of the affiliate links in body of the text in your site or embedded in the images (the conversions).
  3. All this needs to be done while paying close attention to your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and without breaking any rules, be they in Google’s search algorithms or in the affiliate agreements.

Affiliate Marketing Tips – Errors and Lessons Learned

My First Mistake – Too Much, Too Soon

I have built websites that convert but in my eagerness to develop the idea I have built too many, too fast.  This soaked up resources (time and money) so what little was gained from the successful ones was being spent on others that did not succeed.

It’s so easy now to setup a website.  Most hosting companies provide packages that will register your domain name, install WordPress, and give you a working website with a few clicks.  The temptation is to extrapolate your imagined success too far with unrealistic expectations.

Tip Number 1:  Learn how to nurture and grow a tree before you plant a forest

Tool for this tip: Your brain, lots of free advice online, and a business plan.

Second Mistake – Keyword Research

The second error is one of the fundamentals.  Get this wrong and everything that comes after is a waste of your time and resources. Keyword research is essential.

It can be exciting to come up with a new idea and allow yourself to be carried along in a rush of enthusiasm.  You start to convince yourself that you’ve found the next hot seller with low competition and high demand.

You build the site, fill it full of content, and wait for the money to roll in.  As time goes by your hard work pays off and surfers begin to find your site. However, sales are zero you realise you’ve made as website that attracts visitors who are not buyers. They were seeking information but they were not ready to buy anything.

Tip Number 2:  Keyword research is half the battle.  If you’ve succeeded here conversions and commission will follow.

Tool for this tip:
Several keyword research tools, like: Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Google Trends,  and Long Tail Pro.

Third Mistake – SEO, Audits, Reviews

The web is evolving all the time.  Google updates its algorithm, trends and tastes change, technology evolves, and websites that once looked new and fresh begin to appear out of date.  It’s surprising how quickly that new design tires and you begin to view a site as a relic.

While all this is going on there may be other sites competing with your own for the same keywords.  If you don’t keep an eye them they will get ahead of you and start to take more and more of the traffic.

Tip Number 3:  Stay current and informed. Audit and review regularly.  Keep an eye on the performance of not only your own sites but of you competition too.

Tools for this tip:
Google Analytics, Google Webmasters, Bing Webmasters, and SEO Powersuite (Product Info | Free Trial Download).

Fourth Mistake – Time Management

Entrepreneurs and business coaches often remind us of the one essential thing that unites us all:  we all get just 24 hours per day.

Another common piece of advice they offer is that we should cultivate the habit of doing our essential tasks first, before we check emails and social media.  By doing so we ensure that day after day we get some productivity out of our time, even if it’s followed by more time wasting.

How often are you distracted?  How many times during the day do you pause the work you know you should be doing and instead click on anyone of several social media accounts to check for; updates, likes, responses, news, current affairs, comedy, controversy, disasters, or some other way of wasting your time?

Social media has many positive uses but are you using it or is it using you?

Resist the temptation to scroll through your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram feed.  The chances are you’ll check once and get sucked in again.  You might even start with something that seems valuable, like an update in your business related Facebook group or a video about SEO, but then you realise another hour has gone by and now you’re watching a guy shark fishing in the Philippines or wondering why your friend shared that particular post.

Tip Number 4:  Become and expert in time management.  Develop the self discipline to avoid distractions and get on with taking steps toward your goal.

Tools for this tip:  It’s a habit you have to develop, so this one is down to you and your own self discipline.  You could set up reminders and alarms to nag you each morning too.

Fifth Mistake – Endless Training

Audit and improve your website SEOTraining is very important, there’s no doubt about that, but there comes a point where you have to complete the course and get on with some productive activity by putting what you’ve learned into practice.

However, what sometimes happens is that somehow you learn of another course and you begin to wonder if this one reveals more information and more important techniques.  Before you know it you’ve paid another fee for a series of lectures and video modules which will take you another month to complete thoroughly.

At the end of this next month you realise that you’ve not got any closer to your goals, you’re a month older, and your bank balance is further diminished.

Tip Number 5: Make use of the free material online and choose one good course in: affiliate marketing, internet marketing, and SEO

Tools for this tip:

Plenty of FREE material about affiliate marketing available on these sites:

I’ve suggested these three because you can choose which accent you prefer!  There are other reputable and reliable sites too.

Recommended training for affiliate marketing, SEO, and internet marketing:

  • Affilorama – AffiloBlueprint
  • Udemy – Top Marketing Courses-Affiliate Marketing – there are lots of short courses on there on all subjects related to your affiliate marketing goals. Go through the reviews, check the feedback, and check for the latest versions. Sign up for their mailshots and you’ll be notified of periodic discounts and offers.

Final Word – Video Marketing is big!

I end this post by pointing out one important thing I learned in 2016 and that is the fact that video marketing is growing fast and in 2017 it will continue to grow.  Even if you build well designed, responsive websites which look good on desktop and mobile devices you should not underestimate the importance of adding video marketing.

This may seem like a expensive and difficult new skill to master but it’s actually quite easy.  You can turn a blog post or article into a video in a matter of an hour or two using a tool called Content Samurai.

With practice you can get this down to under an hour.  Briefly, all you do is copy and paste your text into a dashboard.  The software scans it and creates slides.  You can edit them then add pictures from their repository or upload your own (and video clips, if you want to).  You can then add a narration of your own or one that’s been done for you, or none at all.

They offer a free trial so register at their site and try it for yourself.

Conclusion

I hope you found this article useful.  Please add your comments below and share it with others if you think they will benefit from it.  Thank you 🙂
Save time on SEO tasks

December 21, 2016

11 Ways To Audit and Refresh Websites For 2017

Time to audit and refresh websitesThe web is continually evolving and changing fast.  Websites that seemed to be state of the art a few years ago now look dated.  It is good practice to put some effort into a continuous cycle of improvement so with that in mind here are 11 ways to audit and refresh your websites for 2017 and beyond.

Websites are like plants, trees, and animals.  They need to be nurtured, fed, and given regular health checks. It’s not a difficult task but it does need to be part of your routine.   Happily, there are some easy and free ways in which you can increase traffic to your websites.

Website Audit and Review

The first task is to take a detailed look at your website and audit it.  Before you can make any improvements you need to baseline it to establish the current status so that you can measure any progress.

Things to consider in this review:

  • Keywords.  Is your site designed to attract traffic from particular search terms?  Are these terms still relevant?  Should they be updated based on changes in the way people search and the terms they use?
  • Content.  How much new text and media has been added in the past 12 months?  Was this too much or too little?  What would you change about the schedule in the coming year?
  • Quality. How satisfied are you with the quality of the content added so far.  Have you ever hired a proofreader to have the site checked for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors?
  • Appearance.  How about the site design?  Does the current them look dated?

Next, audit the site for technical errors that could effect its performance:

  • Broken links. Are there any broken links, missing images, and videos that don’t run?
  • Code errors.  Is the HTML, CSS and other code error free?  How could it be improved?
  • Mobile friendly.  How does your site load and display on smart phones and tablets?  Put your URL into this free mobile friendly Google tool and test it.
  • Forms and functions.  Are all the contact, mailing list and other forms working correctly?
  • Reporting.  Is your Google Analytics code reporting correctly and accurately?

Finally, don’t forget security and backups:

  • When did you last backup your website?  Is the process automated?  Where is the backup stored?
  • How secure is your website?  Are you plagued by spammers, spam comments, and spammy registrations?

Website Improvements

If you’ve checked all of this and found the site to be over 80% error free then well done!  It’s in very good shape and only needs a few other tweaks to optimise it.  However, if there are obvious areas for improvement then it’s time to work out a plan and implement it.

You can make these improvements in any order but you might prefer to start with the design first and then rearrange the content.  Once you’ve decided on a new theme you rearrange and amend the existing content.  You’ve then got a fresh looking site that might inspire you write more articles and blog posts.

You’ll need to address all and any of the items listed above.  If this is beyond your expertise or if you’re in any doubt about how to do it then hire someone to do it for you.  I would be happy to give you a no-obligation quote too.

Strengthen your site’s SEO

Audit and improve your website SEOIt’s easy to become obsessive about SEO and forget that the priority is simply to create interesting and informative websites that answer your target audience’s need, and which inspire visitors to return and to share your content.

Take care of that task and your site’s ranking will improve naturally.

  • Creating a site that is error free, loads quickly, is mobile friendly will help.
  • If you’ve audited, refreshed, and renewed it then you’ve already improved the SEO to some extent.
  • Adding fresh and original content that people like and share will attract backlinks.
  • Writing articles and blog post, or creating videos, that are shared on social media will also help.

However, you an dive much deeper into this subject and use tools that will analyse the site, suggest improvements, and give you the means to implement those changes.  Again, you can learn to do it yourself or hire someone to do this for you.

Conclusion

As with houses, businesses, life habits and more, websites need annual audits, reviews, and refreshment.  You can make some or all of these changes yourself and the SEO Powersuite is an excellent collection of tools which, properly and regularly used will pay for itself many times over.

Alternatively, outsource the task and look forward to seeing a gleaming new website for the year ahead.

Save time on SEO tasks

Website Audit and Review Tools

  1. Google Analytics (FREE)
  2. Google Webmasters (FREE)
  3. Google Adwords (for the Keyword Planner) (FREE)
  4. Google Mobile-friendly Test (FREE)
  5. W3C CSS Auditer (FREE)
  6. W3C HTML Auditer (FREE)
  7. SEO Powersuite (suite of tools that audits, checks ranking progress etc)
  8. Content Samurai (create videos to draw traffic to your site)
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