Oct 30 2011

Week In Review: College Football & Haters

This week in review covers quick paydays, exclusive pre-game football parties with Shoemoney, affiliate marketing investment and much more!

  • Ultimate College Football & Internet Marketing Experience – If you’re a college football fan and an Internet marketer, you’ll want to check this out. Doesn’t dinner with Shoemoney, an exclusive pre-game party, a football game, a tour of ShoeMoney Media Group’s offices and more sound great?
  • Should You Take the Money and Run? – Acquisitions are all over the news lately. Would you keep your company or take the money? Does taking the quick payday make you a terrible entrepreneur? Let’s find out using some seriously high profile examples.
  • 2 Biggest Mistakes New Affiliates Make – With so many mistakes to be made, what are new affiliates’ biggest offences? It turns out that these two common missteps go hand-in-hand with one another.
  • How Much Do I Have To Spend To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing? – Ah, the age-old question of how much investment is required for profit. There’s just simply no hard and fast rule that will provide a definite answer. Learn all there is to know about the variables involved instead.
  • Blackhat Tactic: How to Use Trusted Heuristics to Get Clicks – How can your campaign benefit from the positive reputation of another brand? More importantly, how can you benefit without infringing on trademarks? It’s a fine line.
  • GAME OVER: Affiliate Marketing Is Dead – Why does it seem like everyone and their dog hates affiliate marketing at its very core? In the words of Mac Miller, “We gonna take over the world while the haters gettin’ mad.”
  • PPC Affiliate Marketing Update: 2 Weeks Later – A lot can happen in just two short weeks. Unfortunately, the changes we see might not be the changes we were hoping for. Click here to check in with Tyler Cruz’s PPC journey.
Oct 29 2011

2 Biggest Mistakes New Affiliates Make

Think back to when you first tried your hand at affiliate marketing. What was your first campaign? Was it a success? The fact of the matter is that new affiliates make tons of mistakes. Heck, even affiliates who have been in the game for years make mistakes. There are two very common, very dangerous affiliate mistakes that shine above the rest though.

1. Too Many Campaigns

It’s natural, especially when you’re new to the game, to want to move on and multiply. If things aren’t working out, you’ll want to try a different offer, a different niche. If things are going great, you’ll want to expand and build campaign after campaign.

The problem here is that most campaigns aren’t successful from the get-go. It usually takes quite a while to perfect a campaign and really make it work for you. While it’s important to fail fast to succeed fast, you want to make sure you’re not in too much of a rush. Like all things in life, it’s about balance.

2. Too Few Campaigns

Of course, there’s the opposite approach. That is, sticking to one or two campaigns for too long. Whether or not they’re profitable for you is irrelevant. Putting all of your eggs in one basket, regardless of the industry, is not a good idea. What if one of those campaigns takes a nosedive?

Remember, affiliate marketing is not a perfect science. It’s true that most affiliates have seen the majority of their success from approximately 10% of their campaigns, but that other 90% is important. You have to try new things and experiment if you want to reap the rewards.

Plus, this is not a predictable industry (for the most part). There are ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs. What happens if you’re only running two campaigns and they’re both going down at once?

The moral here is to find a happy medium between too many campaigns and too few campaigns. Leaning too far in one direction could mean the difference between affiliate success and affiliate failure. Often, it is hard for new affiliates to master this delicate balancing act, which is the real barrier to entry in Internet marketing.

Oct 25 2011

Lonely at the Top

Most people will tell you that it’s lonely at the top. They’ll tell you that isolation and alienation is the price you pay for success. It makes sense, right? You spend all of your time working, you don’t get to see friends as often as you’d like, you give up some of your favorite social hobbies – the list goes on. But is that the only (or the best) route to business success?

Work-Life Balance

First of all, running a business is time-consuming. Of course, you will need to give up some of your favorite activities to focus on your business. Maybe you have to cut that third TV show out of your schedule. Maybe you have to reduce the nights you go out with friends each week. There will likely even be some weeks you don’t see your friends at all. These are all reasonable compromises. They’re expected compromises.

At the same time, owning a business (this includes affiliates) doesn’t mean giving up everything you love. It’s all about creating a balance. Some weeks the weight might lean more towards business or personal, but it should even out in the end. If you’re going to the bar 4 nights a week, you need to make a change. Likewise, if you haven’t seen your family in 14 days, you need to make a change.

It can be hard, but find a balance and stick to it. Pick a few things you really love and refuse to give up on them in favor of your business. You’ll thank yourself later! Plus, maintaining relationships and other interests will make it a little less lonely once you get to the top.

Good at Everything

No one is good at everything. If you’re an awesome snowboarder, you likely aren’t an awesome ice-skater. If you’re an amazing baseball player, you likely aren’t amazing at basketball. The same goes for online activities.

Don’t go into affiliate marketing, or any other business, thinking you’re going to be good at every aspect involved. You might be a total design rockstar and a total flop when it comes to copywriting. You might be a programming genius and a PPC noob.

You’re not going to be good at everything. Don’t waste time trying to be!

Good at Something

The trick is to find the something that you’re good at. No, great at. Find the one thing you do better than anyone you know: PPC, SEO, social, design, programming, copywriting – whatever. Then, go to town and get to work!

Do what you do exceptionally well and outsource to fill in the gaps. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. For example, if you kill it with the marketing strategy, look for expert designers, copywriters and programmers. Look for people who design, write and develop better than you could ever imagine. Work with them to establish a powerhouse.

If you follow this method, you’ll never get lonely at the top!

Oct 23 2011

Week In Review: SEO & Free Lollipops

This week in review covers two awesome SEO tricks, niche markets that will never fail you, creepy candy and much more!

  • Take This Lollipop….Please – Have you tried the lollipop yet? This incredibly creepy use of Facebook Connect is fascinating. It’s almost impossible to deny the power of social media.
  • How To Make Money On The Internet – It’s the tutorial millions have been waiting for. Well, the infographic millions have been waiting for, to be specific. Don’t miss this one!
  • SEO – XRumer – It Still Works! – If you think Google’s update killed XRumer, you’re in for a treat. XRumer, the god of link building, is definitely still alive and kicking.
  • Should I Change My URLs for SEO? – Dynamic URLs, unstructured URLs and long URLs – oh my! How do you choose the right format for SEO? By reading this post, of course.
  • Why I Hate Corporate Affiliate Marketing Events – What do you look for in an affiliate network? Style or substance? Jargon or results? Finch thinks you should choose the latter every time.
  • For Immediate Release – Must Read – If you think being an affiliate exempts you from the need for PR, you’re wrong. Check out this book that will help you master the PR world.
  • Five Niche Markets that Will Always Make Money – Think your niche’s time is limited? Here are five niches that are tried, true and here to stay. It is hard to go wrong with these markets.
Oct 16 2011

Week In Review: Holiday Shopping & Meltdowns

This week in review covers hoping for a big financial meltdown, preparing for holiday shoppers, selling millions with webinars and much more!

Oct 9 2011

Week In Review: Mad Libs & Affiliate Grind

This week in review covers the affiliate marketing grind, seven deadly dating sins, expert copywriting tips and much more!

  • Are You On The Grind? – When did working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week become a badge of honor? It’s time to really ask yourself if you’re productive or just busy.
  • This is Why I Work – This is PPV Playbook’s response to the affiliate grind trend. If you’re using work as an escape or to form an identity, this post will give you a serious reality check.
  • The 7 Deadly Sins of Dating Ads – If you’re not getting aggressive with your dating ads, you won’t be getting very far. Check with Finch to ensure you’re not committing one of these deadly dating sins.
  • Mad Libs vs Normal Form Case Study! – Does a normal landing page leave you with a 7% increase in your conversion rate or does a mad lib style landing page? Click here to find out.
  • 9 CTA Copywriting Tips – Ready to start writing the ad copy for your next campaign? Before you take the leap, check out these tips that are sure to improve your CTA.
  • Want To Start An Online Business? Follow These Two Tips – These tips are obvious, but overlooked. Are you reaching an active audience and looking beyond previous success? You should be.
  • 31 Days of Affiliate Campaigns – Day 5 – Cupid Dating Offers – Justin Dupre spends day five working on one of the hottest dating offers in the affiliate space right now. Find out what he did and how you can do it too.
Oct 4 2011

9 CTA Copywriting Tips

The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of a website. It’s what turns visitors into cash. So, before you write the copy for your next so-so CTA, take a look at these 9 tips. Take advantage of them and you’ll be increasing conversions in no time at all.

1. Use active words.
You see active words all the time. Think of all the action words you see in ads: buy, subscribe, download, register, call, etc. Why are they there? Because they inspire people to act, just as their name suggests.

2. Keep it short.
Notice that all of my tips here are short. They are to the point and do not have any unnecessary words. Use this philosophy in all of your calls to action. If you want to capture attention, don’t write a novel.

3. Use simple words.
Resist the urge to use complex words and sentence structures. If there is a smaller, more simple word to use, use it. The average person doesn’t read at a high level. Simple words have high conversion rates.

4. Convey urgency.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you could do today, right? Wrong. Everyone puts things off until tomorrow. Your job is to ensure that your call to action isn’t one of them. Convey “now or never”!

5. Use buzzwords.
They might sound cheap and overused, but they work. Think of all the buzzwords you read each day: unique, innovative, award winning, exclusive, solution, leading, etc. Don’t count them out.

6. Avoid spam signals.
There’s a thin line that you need to learn to toe. Avoid any language or punctuation that will send up red spam flags. For example, avoid the use of “!!!” or “!?!”

7. Use numbers.
It seems like everyone is creating lists these days, right? Right. That’s because lists involve numbers, which are more appealing to the human eye than words. Notice the number in the title of this post.

8. Advertise the value.
You can sell anything to anyone when you know this trick: promote the value. It sounds simple, but it’s overlooked. Put yourself in their shoes and focus on what’s in it for them. Show them the value right away!

9. Be specific.
Did you know that you miss out on leads because your CTA isn’t specific enough? They want to know exactly what is going to happen when they click through. Explain the specifics of what you want them to do and what will happen after.

Are you already using some of these tips? Which tips have worked best for you?

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