Signs You’ve Found the Right PR Agency

July 5th, 2018 | Posted in Marketing, Uncategorized

Finding the right PR agency to help you reach your targets as a business is so important. A strong online presence is essential, and doing the right things online can make all the difference to your success. So, how can you be sure that you’ve found the right PR agency? Here are some pointers:

They Aren’t Vague With You

So many PR agencies can be vague with clients and potential clients. Why? What sort of secret magic formula are they trying to hide? There isn’t a secret magic formula, so if they are being vague with you, you should probably get rid of them. You want a PR agency to be open and honest about how they plan on achieving your results. If you feel you’re having things hidden from you, this isn’t a good sign.

They are Honest About What You Can do

Some PR agencies will try to get you on board by lying to you about what you can do in terms of success. If what they’re telling you sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Their results with other companies should speak for themselves. They should be honest about where they think they can help you, and what will be difficult to achieve. Then you know you can trust them.

You Get Along With Them

You don’t need to be best friends with them, but you should have a pretty good feeling about them. If you get on with them to an extent, and you like the vibe they give off, this is a very good sign. Sometimes you get a bad feeling about working with a company, and I’d usually tell you to go with your gut.

They Suit Your Budget

You probably have a budget that you’re willing to spend on this kind of thing. Being cheap here is not the way to go; it’s an investment that all businesses need, so you shouldn’t try to save or cut corners. Be generous with your budget, but sensible. You’re not looking for the cheapest company to help you, but you should be searching for value for money. If you have value for money, you know you’re getting the most for the amount you’re spending.

They’re Happy to Answer Your Questions

If you get a feeling is getting annoyed with you asking so many questions, then they aren’t for you. You’re spending money here, so it’s important you’re happy with the answers you’re getting. If they seem happy to tell you what you need to know, this is a good sign.

They don’t Try to Upsell

Most businesses offer multiple products and services. However, many of them will offer them to you when you don’t need them, just to try to make a quick buck. A company should only try to upsell to you if it’s obvious you need it. If they are constantly encouraging you to spend more money with them and you’re not sure why, don’t do it.

Have you found the right agency? Leave your thoughts below!


Expert Advice On Improving Your Customer Service

July 3rd, 2018 | Posted in Marketing, Uncategorized

A business relies on its customers for a lot of things. Firstly, they provide the money a business needs to stay afloat. Secondly, customers can decide on the reputation of the business. If customers are satisfied, your business will earn a good reputation.

This means you have to pay close attention to your customer service. By providing good customer service, you keep your customers happy. Here are some ways you can improve customer service:

Keep It Local

It’s a good idea for you to keep your customer service local. By this I mean, make sure your customer service team are based locally. This doesn’t have to mean they need to be in the same city/town as you. Just make sure they’re in the same country. Many people get frustrated when they ring up customer service and are put through to someone in a different country. Lots of businesses tend to outsource customer service to companies in Asia. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing but outsource locally. People feel a lot more comfortable if they can understand the person on the other line. So, ensure that your customer service staff all have excellent English speaking skills.

Improve Telecommunications

There are a few things you can do to improve customer service that revolve around telecommunications. Firstly, you can change the way you speak to customers over the phone. Make sure you use a calm and friendly voice at all times. Speak to them with a voice that makes them feel like you’re listening and happy to help. If you’re all boring and mopey, then no one will want to talk to you.

Secondly, improve your telephone service. This can be done by improving the line connection you have. You can buy hosted telephone systems, as seen on the Hosted VoIP UK website. A hosted system is normally provided by a secure internet connection. Which is different to a normal telephone line. By using an internet connection, the quality is a lot better and crisper. This means you won’t have to worry about hearing a horrible static sound when on the phone. The connection will always be clean and clear. This will make things a lot better for both you and your customers and improve your customer service.

Be Diverse

Don’t just focus on the telephone side of customer service, be diverse. There are many other tools out there that can be used to deliver great customer service. For example, use your website to provide help to customers. You can have online customer service agents that will speak to customers on your site. It works a lot like an instant messaging service. There will be a text chat on your site that customers can click on and ask questions to a customer service advisor. It’s quick, easy, and can improve the overall service.

Also, think about using social media as a form of customer service. You can use sites like Twitter and Facebook to speak with your customers. It gives them an easy way to ask questions and speak about problems. If you’re more active on social media, your customers service can become a lot better.

 

 


Revealed: The Easy Way To Direct More Traffic To Your Website

July 1st, 2018 | Posted in Marketing, Uncategorized

The world of business has changed forever. A strong online presence has become one of the main priorities. Subsequently, the battle to gain followers and customers in the virtual arena is fierce.

A company’s website is one of the most powerful tools in marketing. Sadly, it won’t count for anything if you aren’t generating a steady flow of visitors. Creating a nice looking website is easy, it’s that fight for traffic that is hard.

Here are the easiest ways to bring more visitors to your website.

Channel The Power Of Your Customers

Your customers are the most important asset to your entire business. They are a powerful tool, especially online. If you treat them well then they will naturally start to market your business without even realising.

People are quick to shout out about good products or services, particularly on social media. Ensure that you always give a top class showing and word of mouth will soon spread. With this in mind, you could give out some freebies to popular Twitter accounts. In turn, they will praise your company and this message will be seen by all their followers. In terms of effective online marketing, it could be the best method around.

The key is to understand exactly who your audience are. Once you’ve done that, it will be much easier to target the demographic effectively. Get them behind you and the business is bound to thrive.

Go Viral

Millions of people use the internet on a daily basis. However, with so much content to filter through, they will only find yours if it’s worthwhile. The best way to achieve this is by creating something interactive and engaging.

By encouraging users to interact with your content, they are more likely to share it. When they do that, their friends get involved. If the content goes viral, your traffic will naturally shoot up.

Viral content often carries a sense of humour but not always. The most important part is to be creative and give users something they’ve never seen before. Capture their imagination and the awareness of your brand will grow beyond your wildest dreams.

Get Extra Help

Computers haven’t just changed the way we interact with customers. Technology has rapidly altered the way we deal with other businesses and employees. In today’s world, outsourcing tasks makes it easier to get work done quickly and professionally without the need for hiring full-time staff. It also saves on workspace and equipment too.

One area of your business that can benefit from outsourcing is your online advertising. By hiring a marketing agency to take care of your needs, rest assured that their years of experience will help determine the best solution in order to achieve your goals. Better still, they’ve done it all before and will know how to overcome any problems that may arise.

The experts can take care of pretty much any aspect imaginable, from SEO to content writing and social media. With all that extra time, you’ll be able to concentrate fully on doing the job that will make your business money.


5 Simple Ways To Make Money Online Now!

January 19th, 2018 | Posted in Loud Mouth, Uncategorized

If you are a savvy businessman, you may want to know how you can make money online. The internet is your best tool when it comes to profits. After all, with just the click of a button, you can have access to a broad range of people online. That means that before you know it, you could make some serious money. So, are you ready to make some cash for yourself? Then, let’s get started.

  1. Promote your business well online

How well do you promote yourself online? If no one knows about your company, you are unlikely to make any profits at all. You need to use social media, content marketing and online adverts to get your message out. Sure, it’s not as easy as you might imagine, but you can do it. If you are new to the world of online marketing, you should do some research. It won’t take you long to learn the basic techniques, and it could be a massive help.

  1. Learn about online profits

If you want to know how to profit online, you need to ask an expert. There are resources online that can help you along the way. If you wish to know about one of the newest resources you can try, you must read the Profit Academy review. Once you know which tutorial is right for you, you can get started. There are many unimaginable ways that you can make money, so why wait?

  1. Use PPC adverts on your site

Do you already get loads of views on your main page? If you have a popular site, you may as well profit from it. All you have to do is apply to take part in a PPC campaign. That means that someone will put adverts on your site. When users click those adverts, you will get a small fee. If you have thousands of views a day, that could mean that you can make hundreds of dollars. Try it for yourself and see whether it works for you.

  1. Take online surveys

Do you have some spare time? Then, why not take some free surveys online? When you start taking surveys, you will find that companies will pay for your opinions. Sign up to one of the primary survey sites and see how well it works for you. Most of these companies pay you a set fee for each survey you complete. If you can fill in a few forms per night, you will have yet another income stream.

  1. Accept sponsored content

Again, this trick will only work if you already have a popular page. If you want to make money for your blog posts, you might want to try getting some sponsored posts. For example, a large company may pay you to write something positive about their business. That means that you could make loads of profits just by writing a quick blog for your site.

Try these five simple tips for yourself and see whether they work for you. If you have money on your mind, you can be a massive success.

 


How Wearable Tech Could Spark A New Privacy Revolution

January 1st, 2018 | Posted in Information Technology, Technology, Uncategorized

Fears over privacy are nothing new. As users began to see the sheer availability of information online, and the amount of personal data being seen and used by tech companies, they became rightly concerned over how much information would be available to companies and individuals, and how that information would be used. The increasing stream of news about the scope and intensity of government-backed surveillance programs has only added to the paranoia.

As we enter a new era of technology marked bywearable devices like the Apple Watch and Google Glass, those fears — which have been simmering in the minds of consumers for years — may finally begin to boil over.

The Problem With Apps

When it comes to user privacy, there are two kinds of apps to worry about. The first kind is designed to gather information about a user. For example, social media apps go out of their way to draw as much information about their users as possible. This is advantageous for both users and companies — users get more involved with their networks, and companies get more information to sell to advertisers.

However, this can be concerning to users who do not wish their information to be sold or to be publicly available. The same is true for tracking-style apps like Xora, an app whose deletion prompted the recent firing of an employee who resented the idea of being tracked 24/7.

The second kind may seem counterintuitive: apps dedicated to preserving user privacy. Snapchat, an app supposedly dedicated to anonymity and user-data protection, was recently the victim of multiple information leaks. These types of apps are dangerous because they lull users into a sometimes-false sense of security, prompting them to allow more of their information to be used without realizing the finer details of each company’s unique privacy policy.

But the real problem with apps is in their nature. Because they’re installed on a device, and often running in the background, they can constantly draw in new information about a user. Compare this to a few generations back, when the Internet could only be accessed through a hard-wired machine for specific, designated periods of time.

Wearable devices exaggerate these problems in two ways. First, they’re increasing the popularity of apps over traditional web browsing experiences. Because wearable devices have smaller screens and more intuitive interfaces, users will begin relying on apps over any other type of function or service.

Second, they’re being used in real-time. Rather than relying on a stationary desktop device or occasionally checking in on a previous-generation mobile device, wearable devices are worn and used on the go. This means greater volumes of streaming information and fewer stopgaps for the end user.

Fears Already Manifesting

Wearable devices are already starting to worry some experts about the security of private user data. Every generation of technology opens the door to new possibilities, but also opens the door to new vulnerabilities. Security professionals argue that the Apple Watch is a relatively secure device, at least compared to comparable wearable devices currently on the market — but the potential vulnerabilities are still a major unknown.

The Chinese Army has already taken measures to ban the use of the Apple Watch entirely. While China’s acts of censorship and routine banishments of Western technologies aren’t exactly new, their take-no-chances stance reflects a very real, logical concern.

What This Means For The Future Of Users

As more people become aware of the privacy threats marked by wearable devices, there could be a very significant leap forward in security and user privacy in tech companies. Responding to public concerns, app developers can make greater efforts to secure their apps and clearly explain their privacy policies. Device makers like Apple and Google can go on record about the potential vulnerabilities of their devices and inform the public about the best ways to protect themselves.

Perhaps most importantly, government organizations can step in to create some much-needed regulations about user privacy and corporate privacy policies. Already, the European Union is stepping in to protect userprivacy concerns as they relate to Google’s search engine and core products — the next step would be formalizing those regulations across the board for any devices and technologies, and institute those regulations in countries throughout the world.

The trade-off is, of course, that increased regulations mean decreased liberties — both for individuals and corporations. While some will push for strict regulations and tighter privacyand security, others will maintain that personal freedoms are more important than a fleeting idea of safety.

What’s important here is not where the issue will settle, but the fact that the issue will soon be up for debate. Regardless of where these regulations and new approaches to privacyland, wearable devices are about to provoke a new revolution in user privacy.


10 Popular Affiliate Programs for Small and Medium-sized Blogs

December 27th, 2016 | Posted in Affiliate Marketing Tips

As we’ve already seen today, affiliate marketing is a relatively trouble-free way for bloggers and other website owners to earn money. In fact, these days, even social media sites can become lucrative platforms for affiliate marketing campaigns.

Because affiliate marketing doesn’t require affiliates to offer their own products or services for purchase, but only to place promotions on their sites for other merchants’ products, it frees affiliates from many of the responsibilities and complications of traditional sales models.

Affiliate marketing programs typically work by having the merchant handle all the logistics involved in selling products or services, processing customer orders and payments, and shipping merchandise—all while the affiliate sits back and collects a commission for each agreed-upon action completed by the visitors the affiliate sends to the merchant’s website via an affiliate link. As long as the affiliate has done her homework and chosen a trustworthy affiliate program, she needn’t worry about non-payment.

Affiliate networks administer programs for individual merchants, handling all the work involved, while generally providing tracking and reporting capabilities to their affiliates to help them keep tabs on their revenues and determine which products or services are producing the best returns. These tools can be helpful to an affiliate in fine-tuning the line of products she decides to promote on her site and, ideally, increasing revenues as a result.

However, all affiliate programs are not created equal. Which are the most popular programs available today?

1. LinkShare

Reportedly the largest affiliate network, with over 10 million affiliate partnerships, LinkShare took the number-one spot in the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for platform strength, support quality, and international capabilities.

LinkShare offers over 2,500 affiliate programs and lets you choose whether to have every aspect of your affiliate channel managed for you or whether you would rather manage your own program using the company’s various service and support options.

2. Commission Junction

Said to be the largest affiliate marketing network in North America (though it operates globally) and claiming the number-two spot in the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for being “the best at balancing the relationship between the merchants, the network, and the affiliates,” California-based Commission Junction, owned by ValueClick, Inc., offers affiliate, media, and tracking services and provides either a self-management or company-managed option for your affiliate relationships.

In addition to its regular pay-per-action affiliate program, the company also offers a convenient PayPerCall program to help affiliates “ensure they get paid commission for the leads they generate, thus further monetizing existing ad placements and having the opportunity to expand their promotional…online and offline campaigns.”

3. ShareASale

Claiming the number-three spot in the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks for being the “overall best performance marketing network in the world today,” Chicago-based ShareASale has over 2,500 merchant programs and features brands such as HootSuite and PS Print.

ShareASale has received excellent ratings, with the company’s reputation/security, ethics, customer service, and ease of commission payment receiving glowing reviews.

4. Amazon Associates

Placing fourth in the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks, for a reporting system that “far surpasses other big networks,” this is one of the largest and most diverse affiliate programs available.

As most people know, Amazon.com offers such a wide array of products that there’s bound to be something to fit your niche. In fact, they offer over a million products from which you can choose to monetize your website or blog. Amazon Associates is a pay-per-sale affiliate program.

5. Google Affiliate Network

According to the network’s Overview page, “Google Affiliate Network helps advertisers increase online conversions on a performance basis and enables publishers to monetize traffic with affiliate ads.”

Google Affiliate Network is a pay-per-action network that pays commissions to its affiliates for driving conversions (sales or leads). The network requires a Google AdSense account for posting ads to the affiliate’s website or blog and facilitating affiliate payments.

6. ClixGalore

ClixGalore is an Australian PPA (pay-per-action) affiliate network that also has offices in the US, UK, and Japan. The company offers various types of programs, including PPM (pay-per-impression), PPL (pay per lead), PPS (pay-per-sale), and PPC (pay-per-click). Many programs pay in US dollars.

Some well-known brands that use ClixGalore for their affiliate offerings are Bluehost, Time Life, Trend Micro, Citibank, and Fox Sports Shop. While not as widely known as some of the other affiliate networks, ClixGalore is a solid network that offers thousands of potential merchant programs. The network also offers a two-tier network. By referring other affiliates to the network, current affiliates can receive a portion of their earnings.

7. PeerFly.com

PeerFly is a PPA network with its own proprietary software system. The network made the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks, which stated regarding them, “They are courteous, helpful, and point you in the right direction.”

The network also took the number-four spot in the Blue Book of Top 20 CPA Networks, for its high popularity, great staff, and excellent platform. PeerFly accepts publishers from all over the world and offers thousands of merchant programs.

8. ClickBank

A well-known affiliate network, ClickBank features digital products, such as e-books, software, and membership sites. The program reportedly offers up to 75% commissions on its tens of thousands of products. Commissions are paid weekly, and direct deposit is available to its affiliates.

Over the years, this network has remained popular, though some have questioned a few of its practices. Despite this, the company enjoys an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau.

9. MaxBounty

MaxBounty came in sixth in the Blue Book of Top 20 CPA Networks, though it didn’t make a showing in the Blue Book’s top 20 affiliate networks. In business since 2004, the network was founded on the philosophy of paying its affiliates more.

MaxBounty pays affiliate commissions weekly, and the company appears to have a good reputation among its affiliates. In fact, the network is popular among many top affiliate marketers and has received numerous positive reviews and writeups and critiques over the past several years.

10. Neverblue.com

Neverblue is a pay-per-action affiliate program that pays its affiliates for lead, download, and sale generation, as well as for new affiliate referrals. While Neverblue didn’t make the Blue Book of Top 20 Affiliate Networks, it did take the number-one spot in the Blue Book of Top 20 CPA Networks.

Note: Neverblue’s parent company, Velo Holdings, Inc, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy earlier this year and now plans to sell the network at auction to pay its debts.

Despite this, the affiliate program has stated the following: “This filing will not impact Neverblue’s ability to meet client needs in any way—we intend to continue to operate business as usual without interruption. Neverblue’s business is fundamentally strong and we intend to make all affiliate payments on schedule, in a timely and reliable manner.”

Its management is just as confident that the sale will not affect Neverblue’s ability to meet its affiliates’ needs in any way. While this company tends to inspire high confidence among affiliates, you’ll have to decide whether to jump in now or wait a while to see how things go after the sale.

What’s your favorite network?

If you’ve been thinking of trying affiliate marketing to monetize your blog, consider testing these ten programs to see whether they fit your niche and audience. If you’ve used any of these programs, we’d love to hear your thoughts on them in the comments.


Blog Smarter: Turn Your Blogging Skills into Successful Affiliate Promotions

December 25th, 2016 | Posted in Affiliate Marketing Tips

Like most bloggers, you probably want to make some money from your blog. Chances are good you’ve tried things like writing product reviews or putting banners or links to affiliate products into your sidebar.

But while many bloggers have mastered the “Art of Blogging” (or at least the basic principles) successfully, earning money from your blog doesn’t seem to be that easy. So what could be better for you than to use your blogging experiences and skills to improve the results of your affiliate promotions?

In this post, I’ll show you how you can re-purpose three of the most successful blogging strategies to get more out of your affiliate promotions. As a nice extra, these tactics will also have a positive effect on your blog. But more importantly, you’ll learn how you can merge them into a combined and even more powerful strategy for your affiliate promotions.

While some of what I write may seem simple or self-evident to the more experienced affiliate bloggers, it’s this way of tying it all together into one strategy that will make the affiliate promotions on your blog really stand out.

Let’s look at the three important blogging strategies on their own first.

Write (and promote) for your audience

You know that well enough—if you want your stuff to be read, it has to match your audience’s interests. The same is true for your affiliate promotions, in particular for the products you choose to promote: they have to be relevant for your audience.

This sounds self-evident, but frankly I’m stumped at the number of bloggers who have an affiliate banner for a hosting company on their blog—even though their audience clearly isn’t thinking about computers or internet when visiting their blog.

So instead of promoting your hosting company on your garden blog, why not try it with an affiliate link for garden tools, or link to an ebook about gardening?

Publish (and promote) quality

You know the game… Quality content attracts real readers which are interested in the topic. An excited and engaged audience. (Just look around here on ProBlogger if you don’t believe me.) It also makes people stay on your site longer, come back for more, engage with you and others, and recommend you to friends.

Just the things you want for your blog.

The same holds true for any products you promote: choose quality. Again, this seems to be self-evident. But take a look around at some blogs and see what they promote. (Or take a close look at your own blog, just for good measure.)

A lot of times, I see just the same banners or “product reviews” for the same old products. It seems that a lot of affiliate bloggers don’t bother to pick a product by its quality. Nor do they care about the “quality” of the vendor, i.e. about his integrity, and about how much he cares about his customers.

In the long run, your readers will notice the difference. And they will trust your recommendations just because they know you watch out for them.

Even the quality of the affiliate program should matter to you as affiliate. After all, you can and should expect a fair treatment for your efforts. Affiliate promotions are a business deal between the vendor and you, the affiliate. If a vendor doesn’t care about the success of his affiliates, why should you bother to promote his products?

So, again, be picky. Choose the right kind of products to promote.

Establish expertise—not only for yourself

This powerful blogging strategy has several facets which can all play together:

  • You can establish yourself as expert on your own blog by posting the right kind of content.
  • You can establish yourself as expert to a wider audience by guest posting on other blogs.
  • You can establish other people as experts on your blog by publishing their guest posts.
  • And you can establish yourself as a “meta expert”, as the go-to guy/girl of the experts in your field, by publishing a selection of guest posts by recognized experts in your field and/or by interacting with them on your blog, e.g. through interviews.

Again, you can make use of the same strategy in your affiliate marketing. If you want your readers to buy the products you’ve selected for them, they need to do two things: trust your judgement, and trust the vendor to deliver quality. A big step towards the first is if your readers see you as the expert. That will make them much more likely to trust your recommendations.

But don’t forget about the second part, about trusting the vendor. Before somebody buys from a vendor you recommend, they have to be reasonably sure that this person will be honest, and that (s)he will deliver quality.

To some extent, you can establish that trust towards the vendor with your recommendation: if readers see you as trust-worthy, your recommendation carries some weight, too.

But you should also consider establishing expert status for the product creator on your blog. Then when a reader clicks on your affiliate link, he will already be prepared to trust the vendor whom he sees as expert.

Tie these strategies together for even more power

Just by using these three strategies, you can improve the results from your affiliate efforts a lot. But there’s a very simple, though rarely used way to combine these strategies into something even more powerful:

Publish guest posts by product vendors on your blog, and include your affiliate link in the byline.

Now, just to be clear about it: I’m not talking about promotional content or “product reviews”. I’m talking about guest articles with real, quality content. And about establishing the vendor as the expert (unlike a product review, where you are the “expert” who reviews). And, of course, about picking and promoting the right kind of products in the first place.

To fully understand the power of this strategy, put yourself in the shoes of your readers for a moment:

They come to your blog. They know you publish good stuff, and you’re an expert in the field—you’ve done your best to establish that status. On your blog, they read a guest article by another expert. It contains great content, is helpful, informative, and entertaining.

They like the style and want to read more of the same.

Do you think they’re likely to click on the link (your affiliate link) in the byline? And do you think they might be willing to spend money on a product by this expert?

To achieve this, you only need to re-purpose and tie together the three simple strategies you’re already following when you blog: write for your audience, publish quality, and establish expertise. Do this by choosing the right products, and then publishing informative guest posts by product vendors with your affiliate link included.

In return, you get more out of your affiliate promotions for everybody involved:

  • Your readers get to read great content.
  • You recommend a good product which will improve your readers’ lives in some way.
  • You make it easier for your audience to trust your recommendation, to buy the product and thus to improve their life.
  • The vendor has a chance to make more sales and get happy customers.
  • And you? You benefit from fresh quality content. You have a chance to enhance your reputation even further. And of course there’s the thing with the affiliate commissions…

In short, it’s a win-win-win. What I like most about this strategy is its simplicity. Despite being a really powerful strategy, it’s also about as simple and easy as it gets.

To show you just how easy it can be, I’ll give you the outline again in eight simple action steps. Why don’t you just give it a try and actually do the steps while you read along?

1. Choose a few good products to promote

By “good”, I mean quality products from trustworthy vendors with a quality affiliate program. And of course products which fit the interests and needs of your audience.

2. Sign up for the affiliate programs of the vendors

Make sure you read the terms of the affiliate programs, and are happy with them.

3. Check the existing promotional material

If the vendor offers promotional material for his affiliates, browse through it to check if there are any suitable articles you could use.

Don’t be disappointed if there aren’t any, though—usually vendors provide what is most asked-for by affiliates, and most affiliates don’t use this strategy… (bad for them, good for you!).

If you find ready-made articles by the vendor anywhere, make sure you’re allowed to enter your affiliate link. If in doubt, ask. If no suitable articles are readily available, go to step 4.

4. Get in touch with the vendors

Introduce yourself, and give them the URL of your blog. Be professional: you’re contacting a potential business partner.

Ask for suitable articles, and explain what you want to do with them (establish the vendor as expert on your blog, give your audience good content, and generate sales for both of you). It should be clear that you’re not looking for purely promotional material, but for actual content.

Make sure it’s absolutely clear that you will use your affiliate link in the resource box and/or the article content—you don’t want to risk any misunderstandings about this.

To increase your chances of getting suitable material, you can also point out that the articles could have been published elsewhere before. Most vendors, especially the more established and successful ones, won’t provide each affiliate with a different set of “unique” articles.

I’m not going into the depths of the “unique content” discussion here, but since this is not primarily an SEO strategy, it may not matter for you whether the guest articles on your blog have been published in other places, too. The quality of the articles is much more important! The internet is a huge place, and chances are very high your readers haven’t seen them before.

5. Read between the lines

Not every vendor will send you suitable articles. But regardless of that, their replies might tell you a lot about how they do business, and how they treat their customers and affiliates. Even if somebody can’t provide you with articles, he/she might be a great guy or girl, and there might be options for other business ventures in the future.

Just be open for ideas.

6. Check the material you get

Seriously. You want to feature the vendor as expert. So to make this strategy work, you have to stick to your standards. Make sure you only publish articles which:

  • are a good fit for your audience and topic
  • contain real content, are entertaining, informative, or helpful
  • aren’t promotional
  • meet your quality standards

A good test is to ask yourself if this article would be worth publishing without your affiliate link. If an article doesn’t match your requirements, don’t use it.

7. Insert your affiliate link

Insert your affiliate link for the vendor in the places you two agreed upon. Then double-check the link, just in case.

8. Publish

To add even more leverage, don’t just publish the article on your blog. We’re talking about serious, quality content here—about guest articles you could and should be proud to anounce to your audience and to the world.

Use social media to point people to the article. Link to it in your newsletter, or publish it in your ezine. Add it to an autoresponder sequence for your mailing list, so that any future subscribers can read it, too. Or link to it from your “thanks for opting in” page.

After all, if you’ve chosen the right kind of guest article, your audience will love you for the pointer to the post! Once you’re done with all the steps, go back to step 1 and start over.

The biggest enemy of success…

We’ve all been there: you read about a great new strategy that would move you forward quite a bit. You’re very excited about the idea, and make plans to implement it as soon as possible. Only “asap” usually turns out to be tomorrow. Then next week. Then next month. And then never.

Sound familiar? Why don’t you do it a bit different this time? I’ve given you eight action steps above. Take a piece of paper or open a file right now and start a list of suitable products and affiliate programs. If you’re already signed up for such affiliate programs, go straight to step 3. Check the available content for suitable pieces. And if you can’t find any, don’t pass go, proceed with step 4 and send a note to the vendor(s). Right now.

Worst case is you’ll spend the next hour getting in touch with potential business partners—not the worst thing that can happen to you today, is it?

Editor’s note: tomorrow, our final posts in this series look at blogging smarter (and more profitably) with WordPress.

Regine Becher is an affiliate manager and JV broker. To help affiliates and bloggers get more out of their affiliate promotions, Regine runs a service called Syndicated Partners, where affiliates can download quality articles and publish them with their affiliate link inside.


Git: Presentation of a Practical Versioning Program

December 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Technology

Today on the blog of Web design, a presentation of Git and some resources to get you started

Git, as its name does not indicate, is a version control software. You may be familiar with svn, bazaar, …, and well it fulfills the same functions (only better ^^).

If you do not know, let me explain the concept with three situations.

Go back to a modification

Have you ever lost a file by mistake, or want to go back, just before the last changes made? This is possible with Git.

Git will allow you, once installed in a folder, save all changes made ​​to files in the form of commit. You choose the files you want to include the changes, you put a little comment message, and you save the commit. You can then return to the state of the file before the commit, then reapply. A kind of ctrl-z / ctrl-y in short.

Do tests without duplicating his record

Have you ever wanted to try something that might break your project, while hoping to do in the main folder, without having to copy and paste the full dossier? Git can do that too.

Git allows you to create branches in your file. To test your functionality, create a branch. If the test is successful, you can apply some or all commit performed in the test plugs into your main branch. Otherwise, it removes the branch and talk about it more.

Collaborate

Have you ever worked on a two FTP, on the same file, and crushed changes your colleague without purpose? This can not happen with Git.

Git allows you to synchronize the status of your project between several computers and servers. So you can work on your local and push your changes to the server once they are tested and they work. If someone pushed   its own modifications, it will “merger”, ie blend the two branches of the project. Most of the time the operation is transparent.

(Note that svn & co can also help in these situations, but they are less well (trollolo))

Start with Git

So, want to try? The first thing to do is install it. If you   are on a * nix, I think I can say without worry that your package manager known as the git. If you summers on windows, you will find a version for you here: http://code.google.com/p/msysgit/ .

For the rest, I give you some resources to get you started.

Resources

Git Immersion

A very good tutorial to learn git.

 

Github

Github is a magical place, a sort of social network encoder. Here you can create your git repositories for open source projects, and participate in existing projects.

 

Le.git

Legit is a small program that aliases some rather hairy git commands into something easier to remember for an average human being.

 


Blog Smarter: 5 WordPress Plugins to Help You Make Money From Your Blog

December 21st, 2016 | Posted in Affiliate Marketing Tips

Why do we blog? Perhaps you feel you have things to say which the world would be interested in, or maybe you’re very passionate about a topic and your friends are sick of hearing you talk about it! I have a blog like that; it’s simply a sounding board for me to jabber on about a particular hobby of mine which none of my friends take part in.

But the main reason for blogging, I think, is to make some money out of it. Let’s face it, we all enjoy blogging and we all enjoy making money, so why not combine the two? But as we all know, it’s not that easy to make money from blogging, at least at first. So I did some research and found some plugins which could make monetising a blog just that bit easier. Please note that I haven’t used every one myself yet, so I’d welcome your feedback in the comments if they’ve worked (or not) for you!

Amazon Associate

I use this one myself and it’s invaluable if you have an Amazon affiliate account. Once the plugin is installed and set up with your access keys (found on your Amazon affiliates profile) it’s really simple to add in affiliate links to your posts by way of a simple search box on the New Post screen.

Simply highlight the text you want as the link, enter the search term relevant to the post in the side widget, select the category and hit search. It will bring up a list of products from Amazon and you just click on one of the insert buttons to put it straight into the post you’re writing.

You can also enter sidebar widgets as easily as setting up any other widget; on your widget page you’ll see several available widgets that just need to be dragged and dropped into the relevant sidebar panel. You can set up product carousels, favourites, product clouds, MP3 clips and there’s also a search widget. Each one can be customised to match your site and is linked to your affiliate ID, generating revenue each time a user clicks and purchases.

The money you earn from this plugin can be sent to a bank account or as an Amazon gift certificate. Sadly there’s no PayPal support yet but this will hopefully be implemented in the future.

Ad Rotator

This is one I’ve recently been trialling and so far it’s working well. Once installed (in the usual way) it gives you a widget which looks like the default text widget box. You put your ad codes in here and use <!–more–> to separate each block. Each time your site is refreshed the ad will change.

You can have more than one Ad Rotator block in your sidebars so you could have static ads too. The widgets can go in sidebars and footers and work with any ad size.

As there’s no CPM system with this plugin you can charge for ads in whatever method you like. I personally charge more for a static placement than a rotating one but it’s whatever works for you. The best thing about this plugin in the flexibility it offers you.

Kontera

I installed this on a site I run which doesn’t use sidebars. As Kontera places contextual ads within the text of a page, the absence of sidebars didn’t matter. You need to register for a Kontera account first but that is quick and easy, and gives you your published ID which is then entered in the plugin setup. From there it’s simply a matter of choosing the colour of the links you want and adding the generated code into all the pages you want the ads to appear on.

It can take up to 24 hours for ads to appear within your site text, so don’t do what I did at first and deactivate in frustration because it didn’t appear to have worked!

Kontera works in multiple blog platforms, so if you’re a fan of Blogger or Drupal you can also use this nifty plugin. Payments can be made via PayPal for best security.

MediaPass

If you have content on your website which you’d rather keep behind a pay wall, then this plugin would seem to be an easy answer. I say “seem” only because I haven’t used it myself.

Once you’ve registered for a MediaPass account and the plugin is installed, it’s as simple as highlighting the content that you want to put behind the pay wall and choosing the subscription option to apply.

MediaPass take 35% of the revenue the plugin generates, which sounds like a lot, but you do get a lot of support and behind-the-scenes processes for that commission. Their technicians handle all the merchant fees, database management and all the other techy stuff so the blogger can just concentrate on the actual content.

Skimlinks

If you want to earn your money through affiliate marketing, Skimlinks looks to be the tool to go for. The plugin will convert any product links and references in your posts into affiliate links, which can be from any one of over 17,000 merchants on the Skimlinks database.

The advantage of using Skimlinks is that it allows the busy blogger to free up the time otherwise spent seeking out affiliate schemes, setting up tracking codes and maintaining the accounts. Skimlinks does all this for you, and you only need the one account with them to get access to all those different merchant programs.

Skimlinks takes a 25% commission from the merchant, but because of their standing with the merchants they can often negotiate a better rate so overall, you’d probably end up getting more money than if you’d set up all the links yourself. Plus, all the time it saves you means you have more time to write great content!.

Again, I haven’t yet used this one but I am thinking of trying it; has anyone has experience with this?

I’d love to hear feedback about all of these plugins, and if there are any which work especially well for you that you feel should be included. Please let me know your opinions in the comments!

All images taken at the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Louise is a financial writer for MoneySupermarket.com and a freelance copywriter/web designer. In her spare time she runs her wrestler husband’s website and blog. You can find her on Twitter: @louisetillotson.


New study shows that the ‘Zero Day’ on Facebook is closer to being a reality

December 19th, 2016 | Posted in Loud Mouth

Changes in the algorithm that regulates what is seen on the Facebook news feed have made ​​what at first was a theory and a fear of the brands that use the social network to reach consumers is increasingly becoming a unquestionable reality.The Zero Day on Facebook or Faceboocalypse, as have been baptized some other analysts, is increasingly at the door.Brands fear the time when updates are no longer actually visible in their publications reach less likely to feed their followers and which therefore face the feared situation to be preaching in the wilderness (unless you spend per box to position their post).

A recent study has shown that the Zero Day is closer to being a reality of staying in only a fear of brands.An analysis of NewsWhip, you just compare the data of the media in English (usually on the other hand the starring elements and most viral stories) in January and February this year, has shown that its contents were shared much less in the second month in the first: the reason for this decline is that fewer consumers have seen their links in your news feed and, therefore, they have shared (or comparative) less.

What he has discovered the study?The truth is that the decline has been widespread and therefore can not be attributed to contextual elements.As pointed out in the analysis of Newswhip, weekends volume falls shared by netizens on Facebook items, although this decrease in activity is usually temporary and marked by the calendar quickly recomposed once again begins the week.For the month of February, however, there was a fall earlier this month and never recovered.The activity graph of the top ten online media in English on Facebook was maintained throughout the month of February in discrete levels.

In fact, the situation can quickly translate into numbers.According to data NewsWhip, the 100 most shared stories in January 2015 moved 16.4 million shares in Facebook.The 100 who managed to position itself at the same level in February only succeeded, however, 10.2 million shares.

Facebook has come out of these data indicated that the situation was actually due to a bug.”We have experienced a problem with logging in Page Insights in February that affected how they had correct some organic powerful way, “they said in statements submitted to the US media, noting that although the ratio range of publications was not did affected other counts of the same (ie, the contents were far beyond those shares that have been counted). Explanations of Facebook, even giving a key to understanding what happened, not silenced, however, existing widespread fears that the pages lose their organic visibility in the near future.

In the list of affected (considering what the test measures the impact of the news media more viral in English) is very popular headers, and often taken into Facebook a great ally for dissemination, such as BuzzFeed,The New York Times orThe Huffington Post.The study points out, though, that these media continue to have high shares of engagement and have recovered some positions during the first days of March.However, the survey results are used to thinking a lot about how Facebook is affecting the communication of brands and consumers.

A warning to mariners?

The results also can be understood in two ways.The first is the interpretation that has always given this type of analysis: the marks are, to some extent, slaves to the Facebook algorithm changes that make updates more or less visible and have an impact that goes far beyond what they can control.

But on the other hand, the new situation may be a kind of notice to mariners that things have to change, or that the media have to find new levers to reach readers.Some people seek alternatives to Facebook tracks and some are using Facebook in a different way.Buzzfeed, recall from NewsWhip is publishing and content directly on Facebook (see, for example, the video of Barack Obama doing things that everybody does in everyday) life and getting high success rates.Given that Facebook is leveraging content created or published directly to the network, such as the case of video, the situation can also be an early warning of a change in trend and a new gaming environment.Do not forget that the rumor mill (solvent) notes that Facebook wants to publish content directly.

A Brief History of Zero Day

Be the situation of something marked by a failure of an accountant, it is certain that the fears of Facebook Zero Day go far beyond this measurement and have a much longer history means.The alarmist forecasts of analysts have appeared in recent years, noting that high dependence on Facebook as an element to position it to be shown could be a double-edged sword.Facebook could change the rules of the game and what he was seeing and reaching consumers stop.

That is what has been happening over 2014. Facebook has been tweaking its algorithm throughout the year and has been changing playing conditions, making it harder for brands to get positioned to form organic.There are those who already speaks the twilight of the I like and the need to invest in new ways to achieve consumer engagement.An analyst at Forrester noted even that brands should forget about Facebook as a tool to reach their customers.And a study pointed out that the marks come really only2% of his followers on the social network.

The changes have been accumulating throughout the year.First detected loss of range after Facebook said it would make advertising pages were dispenser scope, later than would prevail now and then to penalize the click-baiting.At the same time, Facebook has been promoting other content, such as videos, which are becoming the kings of the organic range.The rules have therefore changed and so have massively.