Do You Need A Website For Affiliate Marketing? No! But

Your android related questions here.

The place to get help for any problems you have related to your Android device and the Android ecosystem.
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eCommerce Entrepreneurs

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Joe Youngblood

a personal lounge for Joe Youngblood a noted Futurologist, Digital Marketer, Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, and SEO - in no specific order. I recently removed the NSFW tag as it was getting annoying.
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The Commission Hero Review and Bonus Offer

The Commission Hero Review and Bonus Offer
The basic concept behind this training program is to help students earn more than $ 1000 per day as an affiliate seller. Robby and his students tested and made significant progress before sharing this method.

https://preview.redd.it/qoopbow6mtl41.png?width=1253&format=png&auto=webp&s=975b994194e12fa5699dce310787886a58e859ff

The Commission Hero

The commission hero is a training program organized by Robby Blanchard. He is a self-made millionaire and the best affiliate marketer on the web. This program teaches students how to earn online through affiliate marketing. It is a 3-step program that uses the products of the Clickbank market and Facebook ads to sell.
You will undoubtedly have a huge success. Do not give up after a couple of campaign failures. Who knows if the next commission hero campaign is for you or not?
It is not a One-click solution. You require to invest some cash, and it will take time to make a revenue.
You are just one campaign far from your success!
submitted by Hiddenpots to u/Hiddenpots [link] [comments]

Here in the beautiful city for few days (till 1st april) looking to meet people around :) I am into affiliate marketing (amazon), SEO, Web & Mob App development. I can share whatever knowledge I have on this. Or can listen to whatever you speak :)

So if you are available lets meetup coffee/beer :)?
Or Idli Dosa 😗
submitted by techaddict0099 to bangalore [link] [comments]

Affilorama is one of the leading affiliate and internet marketing training portals on the web - and they're about to release a completely revamped 2010 edition of their Affilorama Premium membership - and it's bigger and better than ever

submitted by clarafaie to business [link] [comments]

How big of a risk is it to go full time?

I've worked as a freelance writer since 2015, so I think I've reached the point where I am unemployable in a conventional office job. I don't even think I want to work in an office anyway.
I am thinking about trying affiliate marketing as a full-time thing, for a minimum of 12 months. I have some experience in affiliate marketing, but I've never earned a real income from it.
On one hand, the fact I've managed to earn payouts of $20-100 in some months is a sort of proof of concept that if I scale my efforts up, I could reach my desired income levels and be successful at this. On the other hand, just because I've been able to earn small amounts doesn't necessarily mean I can earn a livable wage.
The only real advantage I have is that I can write good content. I understand the basics of SEO and I'm fine with setting up a website. But I lack the web design or development skills that can really make an affiliate website stand out.
I have $10k in savings from an inheritance, no debt, and $6k in my current account. I'm 29 years old and I have one child. My desired income is $2500-3000 per month.
How big of a risk would I be taking trying this full-time? The alternative I guess is to invest my time in upskilling, perhaps by learning Python or something, while working part-time in a retail role. Thanks for any advice.
submitted by throawayarsebiscuits to juststart [link] [comments]

How To Leverage Long Blog Posts To Build Your Brand

You guys were not joking with the amount of shit posts that are ending up on this sub lately.
So, in order to change that, I thought I would throw out something that I have done in the past and am still seeing success with today.
Leveraging your blog posts/articles to build a BRAND.
I did it, you did it, almost everyone does it. They get started, they crank out some content, and they expect money to come in. You can make a great living doing this, but you will find it almost impossible to hit the "next level" unless you focus on building a brand. You see the rare comment here of people hitting 20, 30, 50k+ per month....I would bet almost anything their site is a brand that people actually CARE about.
In order to actually get there, you have to create value, have a strategy and create trust with your audience. But how the hell do you create value and trust with an audience that does not yet exist?
One of those ways is utilizing a platform that people already trust: Amazon.
The basic idea before we get into the actual guide is twofold.
1: You are going to take your longest article or articles, and turn them into an ebook. You will create a coveinterior and publish this on Amazon via the KDP platform. Chances are, no one will actually want to buy your 99 cent ebook, so you are going to make it FREE (with a work around) and use this as a lead gen for your website/email list.
2: You are then going to take your longest article/articles, and turn these into an AUDIO book, which again acts as a springboard from Amazon to your content to build trust, educate and let them know about your website.
Step 1 brings you no money up front, but if you do this right can net you a LOT of affiliate income and build your list at the same time. Step 2 actually surprised me when doing my taxes. I currently have a single audio book live and it brought me in a few thousand dollars in royalties the past year and I havn't looked at it or touched it since.
Here is a bit of proof that this works and has led to hundreds of thousands of downloads:
So, let's first go over the free book, and then the more exiting method the audio book.
Creating A Free Book On Amazon With Your Blog Posts
I am not going to go into detail on how exactly to create a book (this is fairly straight forward), but you will need two things.
1: Get a KDP Account (free): https://kdp.amazon.com/
2: Get a Smashwords account (free): https://www.smashwords.com/
Create your book, format it, and get it uploaded to KDP. This is so straight forward (Google it)
In order to get your book perma free on Kindle, you need to get your book free on other major retailers that Amazon actually has some respect for. The one that I used was Barnes & Noble and this took about a week. Here is how to do it!
Smashwords
Smashwords is another retailer of ebooks. What makes this service so powerful is that its free, and they also distribute to major retailers such as Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, iBooks, and Kobo.
Upload your Book and set a price of free
It will almost immediately go online at Smashwords as a free book. On your dashboard, you will see that it has been submitted for premium status. This is where the magic happens. A real person will take a look over your work, and if it has followed all of proper formatting, then it will soon show up in the big retailers mentioned above.
It is VERY important that you follow their style guide. It can take a few days at a time for Smashwords to review your book. If it is not up to par, they will deny you, give you a list of things you need to fix, and then you can resubmit it. One of the things that I did wrong was do my table of contents a different way than they wanted.
Another reason I was denied was that my book had links back to Amazon, so remove those as well if you want perma free status.
Premium Status Achieved
Once your book has been looked over and has achieved premium status on Smashwords, it is just a waiting game from here.
Eventually, your book will show up on Barnes & Noble. This is one of the only online retailers that Amazon seems to care about. I tried to ask Amazon to price match me as soon as it was free on Smashwords, but it seems they have no respect for this service and I had to wait.
Emailing Amazon
Now, you could wait and wait and eventually Amazon should pick up on the fact that your book is free somewhere else. If you are not in the business of waiting for months on end, it is time to do something about it!
What I did was take the URL from Barnes & Noble, and email Amazon from inside my KDP dashboard. At the very bottom of your dashboard, in super small text, you should see Contact Us.
Click on Contact Us –> Pricing & Royalties –> Price Matching, and send them an email asking them to help you out. I told them I had a reader on my blog disappointed that he could get my book for free on my website as well as Barnes & Noble but had to pay for it on Amazon. A few hours later I got an email back stating that while they can decide to price match or not, they had forwarded it to the correct department and a few hours after THAT it was priced to free!
Do keep in mind that this is going to be geo dependent. If you want your eBook free on All Amazon TLDs you need to give them links from all GEO URLs from the major retailers
Note: There are a million and a half Facebook groups for free books. Go post in a few of them to get the ball rolling. Once you have those initial downloads, everything should take off and remain a stable stream of downloads and traffic back to your site if you put links in your book. ALSO, make sure to put some sort of ask at the end of your book for a review, a subscribe to the email list, or give the reader something if they visit your site.
Now, let's get into how even more money is made, by taking that same book/books and turning them into audio books spreading your brand around the internet.
Making Money Selling Audiobooks (ACX) Through Amazon
Note: I am going to be copy and pasting images from my own site because there is no way I am downloading a rehosting these. Feel free to complain about self promotion in the comments XD.
In order to be a successful internet marketer, you always have to be testing new ideas and markets. Time and time again I see people who want to make their first dollars online actually succeed in doing so but after many months or many years, it all dries up.
Why?
Because these people were not willing to adapt and keep learning. This is the number 1 reason that people fail. They do not want to test the market but keep doing the same thing over and over again, getting stuck in a vicious cycle.
During some downtime a while back, I stumbled across a video of a guy doing thousands of dollars through audiobooks. What really perked my interest is that these books are being sold through Amazon, or more importantly, Amazon’s audio book platform audible.com.
This is one of the biggest audiobook portals in the entire world and I myself have purchased a few during some long road trips.
When I first started selling t-shirts online, the driving factor and where most of my success came from is that they are being sold on Amazon where the customers already are. I did not have to drive traffic at all, only give an existing audience what they wanted. This opportunity looks EXACTLY the same and the competition is so low, its crazy! Chances are, your blog posts will fit right in.
Why Audible.com (Amazon’s Audiobook Platform)?
The very first thing I did was take a quick look at how much traffic the platform was getting. I was seeing people put up some pretty impressive numbers (into the 10 figures a month range) so before I dove in, I wanted to make sure the market was actually there.
What I did was take the domain (audible.com) and run it through similar web. This website is incredibly helpful in estimating the amount of traffic that a platform receives each and every month. It is WILDLY inaccurate, but gives a brief overview.
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/audible.png
As you can see at the time of writing this (I wrote this ages ago), there is almost 22 million visitors per month with an average duration of close to 5 minutes.
This is exactly what I want to see!
Lots of traffic, and relatively little competition because there are not that many books out there.
I was down to give this method a try and to my surprise over a year later, it actually worked.
Getting Your First Audiobook Published on ACX
Before you attempt to put up an audio book at all, you need to make sure you RESEARCH the niche. Just as with everything else when it comes to internet marketing, you need to make sure that there is customer demand, but that you can break into the market in the first place.
The way we do this is pretty simple.
Audiobook (ACX) Niche Research
First, you want to look at Amazon.com for books (NOT audiobooks). For the sake of this example, lets use the first niche that came to my head “merch by amazon”.
Head on over to Amazon.com and just type in the niche you are interested in. If you are pulling back results that are not books, just follow it up with “book”.
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/amazon-page.png
At the very top of the image, you can see that there are over “10,000” results for this niche. This is a good sign, that means there is customer demand there! Customers want to read and learn more about this niche.
I also happen to hold the first and third position for this keyword (those are my books) so it makes this experiment a little easier to start!
Even if there are a lot of results, you want to make sure to click on the first page of products, and look at the BSR or best sellers rank of an item. The lower the rank, the better it is selling.
You can see this in the product details section of the product page:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/product-details.png
The best sellers rank is dependent on the category you are selling in. In this particular instance, this book gets about this many downloads per day:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/merch-by-amazon-book.png
NOTE: Old screenshot but this book still averages almost the exact same downloads per day even over a year later.
Now that we have determined that there is customer demand here, we need to check the competition on Audible.com
In the upper right hand corner you will see the search box. This is where you want to put the same search term that you checked over on Amazon.com.
Click on search and see what comes up!
In this particular case there are ZERO results (note: there are now more than a few results). That means that there is definitely customer demand over at Amazon.com and there are literally zero books on this subject on the audible platform that Amazon owns (and gets 20+ million visitors each month). There is clearly an opportunity here.
After you get good at searching, you will realize that almost every niche under the sun has very very little competition.
What you want to look for is where there are lots of results with a good BSR (under 100k on Amazon.com) and you want to see that there is less than 100 results on Audible.
The opportunities here are almost endless. Remember, it is all about niching down!
Vegetable Gardening:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/veggy-gardening.png
Sleeping better:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/sleep-better.png
Make Money Online:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/make-money-online.png
If one of the most competitive niches on the internet (making money online) has such small search results, then you KNOW this is an untapped gold mine.
NOTE: Screens are from when I published the book. Numbers are changed, but go check. Still stupid low competition in most niches that your blog posts are in.
Getting Your Audiobook Created
Now that we have a niche, we need an actual book! Any one of you reading this has the ability to write their own books. It does not matter if you are a great writer. However, if you are NOT a writer, no interest in being a writer, and simply want to get a book up to test this method, there is an easy way to do that.
Outsource!
I will be going over how to outsource the actual book creation as well as the audio voice over for that book once it is complete.
Your book can be as long as you like or as short as you like. However, how long it ends up being is going to determine what kind of royalty you get once the entire process is complete. Because of this, I would recommend about 20-25k words per book. This should put your final audiobook at just over 3 hours in length and this is where you make the best money. To hit this, you may want to take a few of your articles and combine them.
We have a niche, we have a target length for the book, now we just need to find someone to actually write the thing!
Go hire someone or do it yourself. This is pretty self explanatory.
I find that having a general outline for your book is the easiest way to get a good quality product. You can do this by looking at the chapter headings of some of the best sellers. Compile a list of all the headings, and then formulate your own online so that your book will be the most comprehensive book on the market for that niche.
Upload Your eBook to Kindle (if you didn't previously)
Before you can actually create your ACX book, you will need to upload your book to Kindle. This is a platform for ebooks that sell on Amazon and ANOTHER avenue for you to make money with your book (outside of audible sales).
Head on over to kindle here: https://kdp.amazon.com/.
Sign up for an account and enter in all your information so that you can get paid.
Now that you have an account, you need a few other bits before you can actually upload your book.
First, make sure you familiarize yourself with the cover requirements here: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201113520
You now need to get a cover for your book created. The idea image requirements for kindle for your book cover are 2560 pixels by 1600 pixels.
Your book cover is important!!
I know everyone always says not to judge a book by its cover but we all do it. You do it, I do it, and your potential customers are going to do it too!
Because of this, head over to upwork and post a job for an ebook cover designer. There are a lot of very very talented artists out there and you should get an amazing cover for your book for $20-$30 dollars.
You can see here the cover that I went with that sticks out on the page:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/blueprint-cover.png
Now that you have your book and your cover, let’s upload to Kindle!
Log in to Kindle and click on the Kindle new title button:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/create-a-new-title.png
After you are done adding the Kindle eBook, I would highly suggest adding a paperback as well. We will not be focusing on the paperback, but this is just another avenue that you can make money from your book.
Give your book a title (what is on the book cover), an author, and a description.
Make sure your description is long and detailed. I like to tell a little bit about what is in the book as well as outline the chapters and what the customer will be learning when they read the book.
After you have filled those out, it is time to enter in some backend keywords. These are keywords that you want the book to rank for. Think like a customer here. Whatever they might search for, enter these as your back end keywords.
You have 7 boxes of keywords to fill up here. No need for any punctuation. As long as the keywords are relevant, enter them in.
Once you have your keywords selected, choose a category for your book, and then click on continue.
Now all that is really left is to upload your book, the cover, and pick out pricing:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/manuscript-.png
You do not need to enter an ISBN so go ahead and click save and continue at the bottom of the page.
Set your book at $2.99 or above, and select the 70% royalty share. If you price below $2.99, you will get a much smaller cut. Since we will not be focusing on the actual ebook, every time it sells, we want to maximize our profit. (This is if you are just doing audiobooks and not the free book method mentioned above)
Now all you have to do is scroll to the bottom and click on publish your book!
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/publish-your-kindle-book.png
It can take a while to publish, but I typically see all my books going live within 24 hours. You need to wait for your book to go live, so in the meanwhile, I would suggest publishing the paperback version as well!
Publishing Your Book to ACX (Audible)
If you have made it this far and are still with me, impressive.
So far you should have a book with a cover, and it is published on Kindle meaning it is for sale on Amazon.com.
This means we can FINALLY start creation of our audiobook!
To begin, head over to ACX.com and sign up for an account. This is the dashboard for audible.com which is where we want to publish our book.
Again, fill out all your information and take the tax interview. Once you have done that, click on “Add Your Title” from the upper right hand corner.
Search by keyword and find your book on Amazon.com. Once you have found it, click on “This is my eBook”.
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/my-ebook.png
Once you select your book, you will see a popup that asks what you want to do with your ebook:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/produce-ebook.png
Now the fun part starts!
You can either upload audio for the book you already have (which I assume you don’t), of you can find someone to narrate the book for you. This is not going to be free, but you can find some real talent out there that will read your book and allow you to publish audiobooks without ever using your own voice.
Select the first option and click on continue.
Accept the terms and conditions, and click on continue.
The next page is where you want to fill out your book information. Since your book is already on Kindle, most of this is going to be selected for you.
The interesting parts are these:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-deetz.png
This lets you say that you want to receive auditions from narrators but also lets you describe the voice you are looking for. I like to select this based on the topic of the book and what would fit best.
After you upload a test piece of your book for your narrator auditions, click on next.
The next page is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the entire process. You can pick how you pay the person that is narrating your book.
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/pay-narrator.png
By default, the first option is going to be selected (Royalty Share) but you do NOT want to do this! If you have a successful book, that means you will giving half your royalty away for many years to come.
Instead, select pay for production and pay your narrators up front. I have found that the lowest level of $0-$50 per finished hour (PFH) works well and you get some quality people applying to narrate your book.
For a book of 20,000 words, you can expect to pay a little over $100, but you do not have to do any of the work yourself!
You will start getting auditions almost immediately over the next few days and you will be able to see this in your top menu.
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions.png
Make sure to go through all the auditions and listen to each one of them as everyone has their unique style and some attach specific notes about the project to their audition:
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/auditions2.png
Once you have someone selected, all you have to do is then make an offer, and they will do the rest!
The narrator you chose may send you a few questions over messages, so make sure you are watching your email whenever those come in.
Once your narrator has finished the book, you have to approve it. After you approve it, you MUST pay your narrator before the book will go live on audible. This is not very clear for a first time user.
I was expecting the system to use my card on file, but had to follow up and actually send the narrator the money over paypal. After that occurs, they will also approve the book, and it will get final approval from the ACX team!
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/approval.png
Once you receive that email, it is just a waiting game as the book is pushed out to retail!
https://neillassen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/book-to-audible.png
TIP: If you email the ACX team and ask nicely, they will give you 25 codes for free books so that you can give them out to people for review. This is a good way to bump your book inside of audible and start getting downloads.
Wrapping It Up
When building your business, use every tool at your disposal to drive traffic and build up your audience.
Focus on building a brand and not just a website.
submitted by W1ZZ4RD to juststart [link] [comments]

How I Pull 3k+ Monthly As A Nomad Selling Other People's Fiverr Services...

So like a year ago, I lost my remote job whilst traveling.
The SaaS company I'd been doing customer support for closed down (Death Clock)...
(Incomparable to COVID today for some people, but a difficult period for me nonetheless...)
So, I needed to make some money quickly to pay the bills...
One problem though – no sell-able skills nor any sell-able product nor am I one of those web entrepreneurs that can make 10+ figures from a laptop.
I thought about testing Drop Shipping but then a better idea struck me...
Maybe I can sell other people’s services?
I noticed that there are literally hundreds of thousands of talented freelancers selling their skills on freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork & PPH.
Plus they are all looking for freelance work...
So, why not get clients for the service they offer and outsource the work to them?
I didn't know it at the time, but I was stepping into service arbitrage, hence what you see others call Drop Servicing today...
Here’s how it worked for me (if you want to replicate...)
First, you find in-demand services that freelancers are already offering at low prices on freelancing websites.
You then market their services to businesses that need it.
Once you get the sale, you hire the freelancers to deliver the work for you.
Through-out delivery you act as a bridge between the freelancer & the service buyer.
You make your money by quoting a higher price to your clients than what your freelancers quote you and pocket the price difference as your profit. -MARK UP :)-
It can be considered the brother of dropshipping.
The sister of the agency model.
You name it...
The main difference is that you are outsourcing the work to other freelancers instead of doing the work yourself.
Important to also note that many agencies are already doing this due to unpredictable deal flows and their reluctance to expand in house capabilities with all the long term contracts included.
---ELI5---

Step 1: Find a profitable service to offer to the right niche.

Most people seem to think that if you want to succeed in your business, you need to come up with a business idea that no one has ever thought of before.
BS!
The key to starting a successful service arbitrage/ Drop Service business is to identify a service that is already trending (through Google Trends & other keyword volume tools) and pair it up with an industry (niche) that reciprocates well with your offer.
The reason we're niching down is to move away from competition/market oversaturation, which is absolutely essential considering the low entry barriers for ANY online business!

Step 2: Find Clients/TEST.

Once you have decided what service you want to offer for your service arbitrage/drop service business, it’s time to get clients/test your service x niche hypothesis.
Two ways of doing that:
The method I had working best for me (right at the beginning) was automated Lead Generation through tools like Phantombuster & We-connect. They allowed for an automated outreach across Linkedin & Facebook at an extremely low price (sub $100/month)

Step 3: Double Down (Scale) / Retest.

Once you've identified your service line and niche, it's time to double the F%$* down on it and scale it beyond the side hustle capacity. (if you intend to, of course)
Should your initial test fail, however, it's then advisable to get back to the drawing board and retest either by changing the service, the niche, the price point, or whatever other variables you see necessary.

-------------------

Up to this point, it's been working quite well for me with Copywriting services. (won't state my niche as there's already enough competition as is.)
THIS WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOU: Most important thing is to pre-vet the providers to make sure that you're working with competent freelancers that can meet the requirements.
Hope this helped)
Feel free to ask any questions below.
----------------------- As demanded in the comments section below. *Not affiliated with anything. Top Resource to learn more regarding service arbitrage is this group I am part of: https://chat.whatsapp.com/DwnUvoW9afV4v55rwOvBHg
We basically discuss, network and reteach this stuff to each other for free.

submitted by ImportantAbalone3 to digitalnomad [link] [comments]

What web hosting solution would you recommend for a Wordpress blog about a niche hobby? I was going to go with Bluehost until I read the horror stories on here.

I have a domain through Google Domains, and I'm going to be setting up the blog via Wordpress. The idea is that it's a niche hobby blog that I'm hoping to for Amazon Affiliate link marketing, and I don't expect a ton of visitors. It's more of a "writing reviews of products I think people would like, and if I can make some money on the side that'd be great" kind of thing. I know a very basic amount of programming, and none of it is related to web development so I'd prefer not having to write any code myself, at least at first.
Most of the people I've spoken to recommend either BlueHost, and it looks like according to Reddit they're pretty bad, so I'd like to explore some other options as well.
submitted by Repulsive-Divide to webhosting [link] [comments]

What am I? Webdesigner? Developer? Photographer? Fool?

I'm freelancing since 2016. I never studied anything that has anything to do with Web Development or any creative field.
At first i started making websites for myself (Affiliate Blogs) and earned some money of it. This was about 2008. Then i started to get interested in photography and getting more creative in customizing themes with wordpress. Then a friend asked if i build websites, i said yes, not knowing if i would actually be able to. For the first website i received about 200€. At the time i was still studying, but somehow people kept coming and asking if i could make them a website, every time i didn't know if i would be able to, but was surprised by myself that i could do it, with help of the internet and youtube tutorials of course. As time passed on, people came and asked for different stuff, like can you edit this pictures, can you make this image into a vector, etc. and every time (again, not knowing if i could actually do it) i said yes and so i learned, depending on the project different programs like Adobe Indesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Lightroom, After Effects, Premiere Pro, etc. .
Website requests got more complicated, shops, booking systems or multilanguage websites had to be made, so again, i got nervous but i got shit done. Every time getting a little more confident in my work i started to wonder if i could make my living with freelance work. So again, i just said yes, and everything kind of worked out. I do have enough projects, but not enough to have kids, and our dream is to have kids.
My idea is to get a part time job and still do my freelancing on the side. I'm about to start searching for agencies, but i don't know what i could actually tell them what i do and what i am. Here are some of the things that i have done:
Those are just some of the things i have done. I feel like i can do a lot of stuff but i can't do something 100% perfectly. What i enjoy most is talking to clients, listening to what they actually want and then giving them ideas, either with words or with sketches and them making the actual website/menus/posters/etc. I enjoy most of my work but i don't know how i could be someone to start working in an agency in a normal position. If someone is looking for a webdesigner, am i a webdesigner?
I feel like a restaurant that offers everything from pizza to hamburger and then some asian food on the side.
submitted by dudeins to web_design [link] [comments]

Our own step-by-step startup/project launch checklist

Hey guys! So my co-founder and I launched several projects/businesses over the past 2 years (incl. our marketing agency, local tour agency, and a bunch of other stuff). We usually go through the exact same process for every project launch, so we decided to turn it into a checklist, both for ourselves & the internet people on Reddit.
You can check out the complete checklist here, and here's a Reddit-format-friendly post:

Step #1 - Research Phase

Before you start planning your launch, you need to figure out your overall product and marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to think about:

Step #2 - Slap Together a Website

Time to get things rolling. The next step is to create a website & lay the foundation for your marketing.

Step #3 - Do Some Pre-Launch Marketing

If you have the extra time and resources, you can start marketing your product way before you’ve even launched. Usually, this involves:

Step #4 - Get Some Initial Traction

Once you have an MVP, you want to validate 2 things: that your product works, and that it can drive conversions (and hence, revenue). Here’s how to do it lean:

Step #5 - Prep For Launch

Every startup gets one “launch” in its lifetime. Here’s how to make sure you get it right:

Step #6 - LAUNCH!

Time to hit that big, shiny red button and LAUNCH!
submitted by DrJigsaw to startups [link] [comments]

[For Hire] 🎨💻 Web Designer/Developer | UI/UX Design | Wordpress | Angular/React Apps | SEO | Next.js 3+ Years Experience

About

Hey, I'm Pedro. A Web Designer & Developer. With over 3 years of experience in the field and a degree in multimedia, I'm here to help you bring your next idea to life.

Services

Development

WordPress Development - WordPress design, development & optimizations.
Web App Development - Web Apps/PWA's using Angular or React
Static SSR Development - In case you're looking for a more Modern solution. I can build your website using JAMStack with Next.js

Design

UI/UX Web Design - Design your project from scratch using Figma.
UI/UX Redesign - Redesign and modernize your current website
Graphic Design - Posters, Infographics & Icons

Other

SEO & Speed Optimizations - Help you reach the front page of SERP's and increase your website's speed.
Affiliate Marketing - Need help getting into Affiliate marketing or optimizing your current website? Let's talk.

Latest Public Projects

Pedrospective - My Personal Blog built with Next.js
Hoi An Now - Redesign, Wordpress Development
Calisthenicz - Redesign, Wordpress Development & Speed Optimization
Here's an experimental version of my portfolio built with notion!

Pricing

Rate: 25$/hour, but I prefer working on fixed price projects.

Contact

Message me on Reddit if you need more info and to talk about your project or email me at [email protected]. Timezone: GMT+0/Lisbon
submitted by ThePlancher to forhire [link] [comments]

READ THIS FIRST: Official Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - Important Up to Date Information You Need To Know about EIDL

\*LAST UPDATED 7/14**)

OFFICIAL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR EIDL


PURPOSE:
This post will be a master thread with everything we have collectively learned on EIDL about the loan and the application process. It will be updated on an ongoing basis and will always contain the most current information. Things change frequently at the SBA with policy and you should check back on this thread on a regular basis.
Please post any questions not covered and I will respond and add them here.

INDEX OF QUESTIONS:

  1. How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
  2. What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
  3. I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
  4. How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
  5. What is the maximum loan amount?
  6. When will I get my portal invite?
  7. I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
  8. I understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
  9. Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
  10. I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
  11. I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
  12. Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
  13. My loan as obligated or already funded, I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
  14. How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
  15. I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
  16. I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
  17. What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
  18. What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
  19. What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
  20. I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
  21. What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
  22. I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?



1. QUESTION: How do I get in touch with customer service phone support?
ANSWER: The highest level of official customer service is known as "tier 2" and can be reached by calling 1-800-659-2955 and asking for Tier 2. (NOTE: As of 5/29 the previous direct number is currently out of service) They are unfortunately, a very limited means of support. They are able to check your application status and see the current "stage" and leave notes in your file, but unable to directly make any changes or escalate anything in a meaningful way.
Most are very nice and well meaning people but are usually poorly informed and often provided contradictory information between calls. The important thing to understand is that notes left by T2 do not actually notify a loan officer or anyone, they are simply waiting to be read if someone happens to open your file and takes the time to review the case notes. So if a T2 says they requested a change do not assume it was or will be made.


2. QUESTION: What are my chances of being approved for this loan? Can I know in advance?
ANSWER: The loan is relatively easy to get approval for by loan standards. The exact underwriting criteria the SBA is using was leaked by some helpful people (hat tip to u/Sbaleaky) and thus you can have a good understanding what your chances are.
Underwriters look for the following:
-Minimum Credit Score of 570. They will pull from experian. Close to Vantage 3 model found on nav DOT com or TransUnion numbers on credit karma. They do NOT use FICO. Credit score is largest factor for approval for this loan and no exceptions are made for under 570.
-If economic injury was sustained based on formula described in QUESTION 4. If this is a negative number you will be auto declined. (SEE QUESTION 5) The SBA does not consider potential revenue lost or general expenses in the loan amount.
-Tax liens or tax issues are NOT a disqualifying factor or taken into consideration for COVID19 disaster.
-Business start date must be prior to 1/31/20
-open bankruptcies = Declined. Closed OK.
-Arrest for felony < 5 years = Declined
-Arrest for misdemeanor < 5 years = Declined
-Sole proprietors with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Any business principals with 50% or more ownership with delinquent child support > 60 days = Declined
-Your business must pass verification in some way that it is a valid operation. If they can find it on google it will suffice. Otherwise you may have to provide documents to prove it's a legit business.
-Your business type must not be on the list for ineligible business activity. See list on FAQ.
-All owners on application must be either US citizens or Permanent Residents. E-2 Investor visa is NOT eligible and any attempts to appeal or add a co-borrower who is a citizen or LPR will be unsuccessful. Corporations, Partnerships, and Limited Liability Entities (LLE): Alien-owned corporations, partnerships, and LLEs properly registered and licensed in the state where the disaster occurred are eligible. If any member, partner, or shareholder, owning 20 percent or more of the applicant business is in the USA they must be a qualified alien. If the alien resides outside the USA an exception may be made.


3. QUESTION: I received a decline letter for “Business activity not eligible”. What can I do?
ANSWER: EIDL has a list of restricted business categories, if your type is NOT on this list and you still received this letter you may have been improperly classified.

The following applicants are not eligible for EIDL assistance.



4. QUESTION: How is the loan amount calculated? How can I request a specific amount?
ANSWER: There is no way to request a specific amount, the eligible amount is calculated automatically by formula based on your inputs. There are three known formulas:
  1. Standard Small Business: Revenue minus COGS divided by 2 minus advance, subject to maximum of 150K
  2. Not for Profit: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
  3. Business that collects rental property income, your offer is calculated by lost rents due to the disaster, not the standard formula. If your offer is lower than expected you may have been wrongly classified into this formula.
  4. Agricultural businesses: 6 months operating expenses year prior to 1/31/20
If the formula results in a negative number or less than your advance you will be declined for "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED"

5. QUESTION: What is the maximum loan amount?
ANSWER: As of last update it is currently 150K cap. This will not change anytime soon and there will be no way to request more at present. The only way to avoid the cap is if your loan was already being obligated prior to the change by the SBA from 500K. If I hear anything new on this it will be updated here.

6. QUESTION: When will I get my portal invite?
ANSWER: Portal invites are a fully automated process and not strictly sequential but follow general group patterns. If you see someone that has a higher number than you get a portal invite it does NOT mean you were "passed over".

7. QUESTION: I finally got a portal invite and accepted and submitted an amount. My application says it is "processing", now what?
ANSWER: This is when the actual loan process starts and underwriting begins. Your application will be assigned a loan officer for review using the criteria listed in question 2. The exact process is as follows (hat tip u/sbaleaky and u/LOL_Face_69) with the actual stages from start to finish. Keep in mind that once you accept in the portal a number of things are going on behind the scenes, which is why "processing" can take a great deal of time. Once you see a loan amount in your portal, this is NOT an approved offer. It is simply a potential amount you are eligible for based on the stated formula if you pass underwriting.

[The following takes place behind the scenes and will not reflect in your portal, but will still say "processing"]
Note: The exception to this process is that some applications which are considered easy (based on unknown factors) to approve are subject to full automation and may go straight to approval bypassing the above steps. This only happens in rare cases.
You may also see a status that says, "On-Hold" Amount $0: This status typically is when your loan was temporarily declined and is still in the reconsideration department pending possible reconsideration approval.


8. QUESTION: I now understand that processing really means "underwriting", but how long will it actually take? What is the normal amount of time?
ANSWER: The amount of time it is normal for your portal to say "processing" is highly variable as a hundred different factors are involved behind the scenes. As of 6/10 we are seeing extended delays in processing time and obligating stage specifically. The average we are seeing is around 14-16 days total in processing. If your application has been in underwriting for greater than 14 days it may merit investigate, but not necessarily indicate a problem with your chances of approval. Do NOT panic if it seems "stuck" with no communication from anyone. This is normal.


9. QUESTION: Does contacting my congressmen or senator actually work?
ANSWER: Yes, the SBA treats congressional inquiry very carefully and will flag and sometimes white glove your application. Often they will assign a special case worker during the process. The important thing is when your local congressional office reaches out they do NOT contact the local district SBA but this email: [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]). This email is NOT for use by applicants but only official government purposes.


10. QUESTION: Help! I accidentally entered the wrong revenue or COGS on my application and my offer amount was lower than I expected, is it possible to change this?
ANSWER: Yes, but two factors are important:
  1. You should NOT have already accepted an amount and submitted for processing in the portal. *If you already did see note below.
  2. You have documentation to backup the changes such as Federal Tax Returns 2018 or 2019 or P&L Statements. Tax returns are strongly preferred if available.
****The important thing here is DO NOT accept the offer in the portal if you need to revise your numbers.****
*IF YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCEPTED THE OFFER: Call tier 2 support as soon as you possibly can and ask them to make the following note in your file: Loan Officer, DO NOT approve this file without calling me, the applicant, because my (revenue or COGS) figures are wrong. I have supporting docs to make the changes. Please contact me ASAP.
If you meet the above two criteria contact me via email at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your Reddit username in the subject and put COGS REVISION REQUESTED in the subject line. I will respond and give you private advice on the matter.


11. QUESTION: I need to change my Rev or COGS and I already accepted an amount in the portal, Tier 2 told me to do it! Is it too late?
Answer: Unfortunately tier 2 is currently giving absolutely terrible advice in this situation. They are telling people to accept the offer in the portal to speak with a loan officer to make the revision. The problem is that once you accept you set the process in motion and then it gets obligated by treasury it is impossible to adjust. The proper time is prior to accepting. Often times loan officers never are needed, never reach out or even read these notes. I see it every day and people are stuck its the "kiss of death" advice. If you already accepted you may have time but would need to work quickly from date of submit.
UPDATE: As of 6/15 there is now a way to fix this. See question 13.

12. QUESTION: Who are you, cue378? Can you help me?
ANSWER: I am a small business owner who is a full time volunteer offering to assist in the EIDL process. I have experience assisting hundreds of other business owners in applying for and getting approved. I am sharing the information, strategies, and general knowledge I have gained over the course of 2 months. I do not work at the SBA nor do I have any affiliation with the SBA.
Do to an extreme flood of requests for help, I may not be able to answer PM's or chat requests. I have setup an email you are welcome to contact me on, but due to the volume I may not be able to respond right away or at all. My email is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
Some people have asked how they can support my efforts. While I do not ask for donations, our subreddit founder decided to setup a tip jar in case people want to show their support. To be clear I do not ask for donations for my help, but if you decide to spare anything I do appreciate it greatly. The tip jar can be found HERE.


13. QUESTION: My loan was obligated, already funded, or I already accepted the amount in the portal. I made a mistake with my COGS or revenue and I am not happy with the amount. Can I change it?
ANSWER: As of 6/12 loan modifications are now being allowed. You can contact [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) and request a "Loan Modification increase". It is a 3-4 week process that requires documentation. A second loan will be given for the difference from the first one. It will be processed as a 20xx series loan in the old system/portal. For more details email me. Note if you have not yet accepted the offer the normal process is much faster.


14. QUESTION: How do I show support for the volunteers and moderators for EIDL
ANSWER: For supporting Cue378, there is a tip jar listed above. If you wish to show support to our community moderators, a separate tip jar can be found HERE. Proceeds for this jar will be split between u/innocul8 and u/Scorpio14534. Donations in this jar do NOT go to Cue. Any amount is very appreciated. It takes a great deal of time and effort run the community and they are putting in a near full time effort.

15. QUESTION: I received my portal link, but when I go to create an account it just takes me to the login page. What can be done?
ANSWER: Follow these steps:
  1. Open the email to create your portal account. Right click on the green button that says, "create your account". Click "copy link address" or "copy hyperlink" depending on your browser.
  2. Use a VPN service, such as NordVPN or ProtonVPN (free), to connect to a VPN server in different state than yours, preferably on the opposite coast you are located.
  3. Open an incognito browser window, or private browser session if on firefox.
  4. Right click on the URL/web address field and paste the link you copied. Hit enter.
  5. You should then successfully be able to create a login, enter the portal, and accept your offer.
Alternately if you don't have a VPN or want to use one you can use a mobile phone to login incognito, with WiFi off on a cellular network, to create the account.

16. QUESTION: I was declined for "unsatisfactory credit". What are my options?
ANSWER: You have a few options.
  1. You can bring your vantage 3 score over 570 by paying down cards, when you are ready you can request the SBA re-pull your report and reactivate your account via [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
  2. You can request to add a co-borrower that has a higher score than 570 with no open bankruptcy and run their credit to reactivate your application.
You can expedite your request for a co-borrower by having this ready to go. You can also do this preemptively if you expect to be declined for credit. The co-borrower does NOT have to be involved with the business and can be anyone. The form is available here:
SBA Form 3501 - Adding Co-Borrower
Only fill out the following:
Line #14 - Add the co-borrowers information under owner #1
Line #15 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Line #16 - Answer question for co-borrower.
Sign page 10, co-borrower signs.
Ownership percentage can be 0% if co-borrower is not part of business.
Attach and send with your co-borrower request to [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with your application number.
NOTE: If you have an urgent need to have your co-borrower request expedited, please email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject line: "ADDING CO-BORROWER REQUESTED URGENT" I will respond within 24 hours.

17. QUESTION: What documents are required? Will a loan officer contact me?
ANSWER: In most cases no documentation is required and everything is self certified. In some cases a LO will need to contact you to clarify some things about your business or request specific documents. In most cases you will never be contacted by or communicate with a loan officer.


18. QUESTION: What is the status of the Advance/Grant program? Can I still get a grant?
ANSWER: As most of you already know, the EIDL Advance/Grant program has ended and the full 20 billion in funding for the advance has been exhausted. The option has been removed from new applications. Getting funding for the advance as a new applicant at this time will not be possible.
For older applications please see this post for more information:
https://www.reddit.com/EIDL/comments/hr3l41/eidl_news_714_update_regarding_the_current_status/

19. QUESTION: What are the eligible uses of EIDL funds?
ANSWER: These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. What are all the possible uses of the funds? The wording ‘obligations that are unable to be met due to lack of revenue’ seems to be a catch all, but how much so? The EIDL working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion.

20. QUESTION: I received a denial letter for the reason "ECONOMIC INJURY NOT SUSTAINED". What does this mean and what can I do?
ANSWER: This occurs when the numbers entered on your application for COGS are greater than your revenue. The SBA calculates economic injury based on the formula in question number 4. You can also be denied for this reason if the resulting number is less than your advance amount. Please note that the SBA is only taking into account revenue earned prior to the disaster date of 1/31/20 to calculate your economic injury. If your only revenue was earned after that date as a newer business you may not qualify.
If the numbers on your application were correct, you would not be eligible for an EIDL. If you made an error you can request an amendment and request reactivation of your application. I can assist with this process. You need at minimum Profit and Loss statements for the period 12 months prior to the disaster starting 1/31/20. Email me at [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected]) with the subject: COGS DENIAL REVERSAL REQUESTED. Include your Reddit username. I will respond with instructions on how to file this amendment.

21. QUESTION: What is CAWEB and how can it help me track my loan disbursement and other status?
ANSWER: You can use the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding. It allows you to see disbursement status and other details related to your loan.
****Hat tip to u/tahoechick36 for this amazing write up*\*
Using the Capital Access Finance System to track your EIDL after your documents have been signed and submitted through funding.
Visit caweb.sba.gov or click the link at the top of EIDL
Setting up an account:
You need a SBA Loan # to set up an account - for EIDL it appears on the first page of your documents, in the upper left hand area, and says "SBA Loan # XXXXXXXXXX.”
SBA loan #'s are 10 digits. Your Application # will NOT work for account set-up.
If you have a PPP Loan, you can use your SBA # for this loan to set up an account. Sometimes this # is easy to figure out, sometimes not. That has to do with an intermediary (like your bank) being involved, but if you can track down an actual SBA Loan #, you can go ahead and get registered without your EIDL loan number.
  1. On the home page click on "Not Enrolled?" in the top left. This takes you to a screen to enter info. You may come to hate this screen, this process is very finicky.
  2. Look at the rules for creating a User ID and Password by clicking on "Rules..." next to the fields.
  3. Write your exact ID & password down somewhere - if you ever get locked out and call the SBA for help, they are going to tell you that Borrowers are not supposed to be able to access CAFS CAWeb. Apparently we still can, so don't make this a big deal or maybe that will change!
  4. For user type - select "borrower" from the drop down menu.
  5. Fill in the highlighted fields with your info. Click on the "ZIP LOOKUP" button after you enter your zip code. This auto populates some other boxes, and registration won't work if you don't do this.
  6. For the country code in the phone number section enter "1" for the United States.
  7. Financial commitment ID is your Loan # - 10 digits.
  8. If you don't have a landline, it has been reported that just entering your mobile number in both fields works. You will have to select 3 of their security questions, enter the Captcha image info, then hit "submit" at the bottom.
If it didn't like the info you have entered, it will give you an error message for what part it didn't like, and you will have to try again, which requires re-entering quite a bit of the information. It's a pain.
But if it takes it, you're in! There may be a verification step now as well.
Finding your loan on CAWeb
  1. On the caweb homepage, login (if you aren't already), it will be personalized and show your name. You have to scroll down and check the "Agree to Terms" box when you are logging in.
  2. Click on "Borrower" in the top left, then click on "Borrower Search". This should take you to your "Loan List" showing the loan #, borrower name, loan type, amount, and loan status.
  3. PPP loans typically appear as "Active Un-Disbursed" - if your PPP is already funded don't worry about that. Your EIDL will show up as "Disbursed Current" if funds are on their way. It may say something else if you look immediately after you send back you Docs, but it should change pretty quickly. Logging out and back in again will sometimes refresh the status. Loan status will say "Active Un-Disbursed" until Treasury send the funds to your bank, then it changes to "Disbursed Current".


22. QUESTION: I received my portal invite link, however when I go to create an account I just get the message: "The user account has not been confirmed yet. Please confirm using the link in the e-mail". What can I do?
ANSWER: This is a known bug/error normally relating to either getting the invite ahead of schedule or other missing information in your file that would prevent the account creation from moving forward. Tier 2 cannot solve this and it need a special approach to resolve. Please email me with the subject line: "USER ACCOUNT HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED". Include your reddit username in the email somewhere. My address is [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])



submitted by cue378 to EIDL [link] [comments]

A new Affiliate Model

Hello everybody. I would like to share my attempt at Affiliate marketing with the community, get your thoughts, and maybe inspire some others.
I created a gifting web app called NifterGifter.com
Thank you for allowing me to post this. I'm trying not to spam and promise to only post this once. I truly value this community's opinion and I would love to hear any thoughts you guys have on the idea. Thank Guys & Stay Safe!
submitted by Vincentrose13 to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

What's the best "Marketing Fluff" you've seen on a webhosting site.

I do affiliate marketing in the web hosting space and as part of that I have to write a ton of reviews on different web hosting companies. I've seen some pretty egregious examples of maketing fluff. Things like:


You guys got any entertaining examples?
submitted by _fat_santa to webhosting [link] [comments]

CASE STUDY: Transitioning my niche site to ecommerce using Shopify

Disclaimer: My site is very small and I don't purport this to be a gamechanger for, well, anyone. I just wanted to share something that is seeming to work well for me.
I started my niche site in 2018 -- it is focused around a particular type of vehicle that has a hobbyist following. Initially the site was monetized through a combination of Google Adsense and the Amazon Associates program. At some point, I started trying to diversify the income as much as possible. For me, this meant adding the eBay Partner Network for some items and applying for Ezoic as soon as I met the requirements.
I also experimented with some small affiliate programs but didn't have much success -- I had to get very creative to find them as most of the stores I really wanted to refer sales for did not offer an affiliate program. I reached out to them multiple times seeing if there was something we could arrange. I even offered to just sell display ads to them, but no dice. The result was signing up for a couple small affiliate programs with low commissions and low sales volume proructs. This frustration was the start of my desire to curate my own store of products I genuinely want to sell.

Shopify and subdomaining
I use Shopify to host my online store. I am a software engineer by profession so I generally don't consider ease-of-use and setup to be the most important factors when choosing software -- I just want whatever is the most effective. There are other options like WooCommerce that I have heard great things about.
However, for me, Shopify is almost magically easy to use and offers everything I have needed or wanted so far. Following Warren Buffet's advice to "buy what you like" I actually bought as much stock in the company as I could after using it for a month. Everything just works exactly how I expect it to. I have never struggled to find any answers or documentation about anything. The support is phenomenal.
It's just a great product -- to me I think they could be a bigger company then Amazon in a few years because it allows anyone to create to sell online and maintain a lot of control, something retailers lose with Amazon. I signed up for the Shopify affiliate program because I want to refer people to it, not to refer people to it. I helped my cousin set one up for his beef jerky business and it took 20 minutes before he was online and it has been a gamechanger. The small independent grocery store across the street from me is surviving (probably thriving) through COVID-19 because they allow online orders through Shopify and window pickup. But most importantly, it's great to get the little notification when you make a sale, especially when the margins are so much higher than affiliate, but I'll get to that later.
For me, I used a shop.mydomain.com subdomain for my Shopify site. It's great because there are no conflicts with your Wordpress site and it's a very clean looking link. Shopify has some documentation on this if you would like to try it.

Profit Margins
Selling items yourself is great mainly because you get to choose and experiment with your profit margins. Want to experiment with razor-thin margins because you know your visitors will shop around a lot? Try it. Want to raise the price so any one sale is $80 in profit but you don't have to pack and ship as much? Might work, try it! Between Google Analytics and Shopify's analytics stats, you can measure anything you need to.
Here's a concrete example of one item from my site. I sell a particular type of spark plug that is used on a vehicle that my site is partly focused on. This is an item I have sold/referred in one way or another since the beginning of my site in 2018:
This is a small item that is extremely easy to buy in bulk and pack/ship quickly.
I actually averaged more clicks to this item when the destination was Amazon, so my conversion rate actually went up when I moved away from Amazon. I charge a few dollars more than Amazon and many other online retailers for this item. I could probably do some experimenting to find the optimal price/sales ratio, but I think those numbers speak for themselves.
One of my early fears was that the trust people have for Amazon and their affinity towards Prime is hard to challenge, but my opinion is that the trust you gain by writing well-researched, meaningful articles and being an active participant in the niche you serve makes people want to support you.

Dropshipping
Dropshipping has negative connotations because of the bastardized "buy cheap small items from overseas and make 4000% profit while the user doesn't know that the item wont arrive for 2 months" format that is shown by YouTube influencers and the like. However, dropshipping is simply collecting a sale yourself while having an underlying price agreement with a supplier who will pack and ship the item for you. The first item I sold through my Shopify store I actually sold on a dropshipping basis.
This was a line of products within the $200-300 price range, and I also sold these through the Amazon Associates program before. It was nice to make $10-17 for one sale, but I felt like I should be making more. I called the company that produces this item and asked to buy 3 or 4 to sell myself, but he suggested dropshipping instead which I was interested in as these items are rather large. I agreed to buy the items for around $160-200 and now I profit around $60 per sale -- the only effort required on my end is sending an email (gave them a card to have on file) and adding the tracking number to Shopify when it is available. The credit card points are nice too!
One other thing about this that I think is important -- It's really nice to have personal relationships that this kind of business offers. The guy that answered the phone was the owner of the small business and he's the nicest guy, great to deal with and it feels good to get him some sales, especially during a crisis like this. I actually met up with him at an industry event and we talked for a long time. He's an older guy and at some point I want to get him setup with a better online presence especially as he sells a lot of other products over the phone that I can't necessarily refer in my niche, but could definitely benefit from a real online store and web presence. I am building similar relationships with other suppliers and personally I love it.

Item Selection
If you go the route of stocking and shipping items yourself, the scope of products you can monetize through your site broadens drastically. For me, there was always a certain type of item that I wanted to sell, but I could never find a good version of this item on Amazon or anywhere that offered an affiliate program. This was actually one of the retailers I reached out to asking for an affiliate program to no avail. Then I asked for a dropshipping agreement -- the answer was still no. However, it's a lot easier when you ask to buy 50x of one item. They processed my distributor account in a day and had my items to me by the end of the week. It is now my best selling item!

Shipping Logistics and Tools
One of the things that I think could be a dealbreaker for people is something I personally really enjoy -- stocking, packing, and shipping items. My inventory is small enough to fit in a walk-in closet in my apartment. I love the process of getting the Shopfiy "ca-ching" notification, packing the order, and dropping it off at the mailbox. Here are some tools I have used to make this process more efficient:
Here is part of my dedicated "ship-station" where I manage my store and print labels/packing slips.
https://i.imgur.com/TdRfvEK.jpg
I would probably wait to receive the items you're selling before selecting the packaging you're going to use. That way you can take exact measurements and consider alternative sizes/types of packages. One of my items is a collection of smaller items. I throw away the box that my supplier ships it in, and put it in a bag that goes inside my small mailer box. I use a particular size of bubble wrap which was also specifically chosen to protect the item, while also taking up all of the surrounding space. It's much easier to make all of these choices when you have the item in front of you.
Here's the previously mentioned item (spark plugs) in the box I chose (bubble wrap not shown!) There is no wasted space when it is packed.
https://i.imgur.com/IXgTxm0.jpg
For me, I use USPS for nearly all of my orders. It's usually the cheapest option and very fast for the size of item I have. I live in an apartment complex and I can just drop my packages in the mailroom and they get picked up daily. Shopify will show you all of the available shipping options with speed and price. For international orders, it's only a few dollars more, and I think it goes from USPS and gets picked up by DHL.

Item Presentation
Another benefit of this approach is that you have infinitely more opportunity to make a good impression on your customers which is huge if your items are the kind that might be reordered, or if the customer may be interested in other items you sell. For me, item presentation is also important because as I said, I am operating out of a spare closet in my apartment, so I want to look as professional as possible.
Here are some ways you can do this:

Advertising
I have not yet started experimenting with any form of ads. All of my sales thus far have been the result of organic traffic from the content on my website funneled through to my store. This month I am going to experiment with Facebook and Google Ads. Obviously this may not work but if there is a decent enough margin after the increased customer acquisition cost I will continue. I will report these results later!

Legality and Relationship to Affiliate Marketing
Keeping in mind that we in this business typically operate as affiliates, the golden rule is to make sure you are recommending the absolute best products to your site visitors. Thinking back to the Casper mattress affiliate drama, there should be research and thought behind your recommendations. Selling the items yourself does complicate this. I have used all of the items I sell on my store. When I moved my links over from Amazon, I kept the notes indicating that I have used the item, but I also added a link to an explanation of my store.
I think it ends up being an extra vote of confidence when I explain to users: I have tried the items I sell and think they are the best in their category. I used to sell these items as an affiliate and would receive a commission, but I believe in them strongly enough that I now stock and sell them myself. I am not the only one who sells them and you can certainly buy from others if you find a better price/shipping speed.
I'll restate what I said before because I think it is extremely illuminating: My conversion rates went up when I moved items from Amazon to my own store!
The bottom line is that you need to be explicit about these things to be safe and honest. I think my niche works particularly well for this as people are looking for a.) What exact version of the item do I need? and b.) How do I use it? I know many niche sites are focused around "Top 10 X" type content and this may become a lot more difficult within the honesty/legality context. Something to think about.
As a final note, I still operate this as a sole proprietorship. Eventually I want to get an LLC for it. I have been upfront about this with all of my suppliers and none of them have required this for a distributor agreement.

My Stats
Here are my income sources over time. I apologize for the colors used in the line charts of individual sources, I could not figure out how to configure those.
https://i.imgur.com/bkeK6PJ.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8ES9cG5.jpg
As you can see, my site is very small. However, the relationship between the decline these past few months in display advertising revenue (Ezoic literally sent an email saying to expect lower rates) and the Amazon Associates rate cut charted against my growing Shopify revenue really opened my eyes to the benefit I gained from diversifying towards ecommerce/Shopify. I still keep the older sources of revenue, but I actually think I will consider eliminating them in the future, especially display ads. Diversification is necessary when the revenue source lacks control -- Amazon Associates can slash rates willy-nilly, eBay Partner Network can apparently just decide to not pay me for a large sale I made, who even knows what these display ad networks are actually getting paid for our clicks or if every click is considered, etc.
Selling the items yourself gives you a lot more responsibility, but a lot more control. One of the primary reasons I'm so excited about this is that my inventory is still VERY small. I am working to add new items and it's wonderful because even if I only sell a few, the profit margins make it so much easier to spend the time to create the content and stock/ship the item -- a luxury I never had with Amazon.
Please feel free to ask any questions! I'd love to help if I can.
submitted by Mark-JST to juststart [link] [comments]

How I Outranked & Took The 2nd & 3rd Spots on SERP - $100 Earnings

Hi, everyone.
I'm an affiliate marketer who has seen a bit of success and I'm not here to tell you that it's easy unless you are willing to put in the work.
I still make money with Impact Radius from 2 of my affiliate articles ranked #1 on Google. That is where the Impact Radius money comes from.
More so, I make relatively a handful of hundreds of dollars from my blog in local currency. The blog had less than 1,000 visits last month - June, from Search Console.
For this one, I reviewed 1 project and make money off it - ranked Number #2 and #3 for the keyword term.
If you look at my profile you'll see the struggle to outrank my competitors and take the first spot.
Gracefully, this blog has been making at least $100 since May 2020 and it's never crossed 1,200 readers a month.
This is just one of my niche sites.
I have 4 with different strategies but I just got another strategy that can help anyone make $900+ ( I haven't done this yet but I've written a free Case Study and how it was done guide or course of 5,000+ words with definitive images to give to whoever is interested.

With it, you don't need - SEO, KEYWORDS RESEARCH, TOPICS TO WRITE ON, or even worry about traffic.
The question is if this works then why I'm not doing it? I am quickly saying this to answer some questions I know some good people will ask.
As I said, I have 2 strategies with 4 niches sites. I use the first with the 4 which requires literally no backlinks to rank, geo-location targeting it is... Just 2 is making some money now, mostly the one to be discussed.
And the second strategy is worth even more but I can't focus on it now that's why I am giving it out - for my YouTube subscribers, new visitors, whosoever is interested.
Altogether, I think I have more than 20 free guides and courses I give out, so, if you're doing affiliate marketing and you're not getting traction yet with your blog then you can test this 2nd method and see how it will help you - you're paying for nothing.
You just check it out if it's worth it then you try out if you can make your first income online via blogging. But if you have success already, then you can forgo.
Again: zero backlinks needed, no SEO or optimized articles, no topic research, nothing except writing content around the strategy which you can hire writers.
If interested, I will link the free course to you - again. No email opt-in.

Away from that. Let's see how I moved from #6 to the 2nd & 3rd.

From #6 to the 2nd & 3rd.

There was a competitive keyword I targeted. It was, or it is a money keyword.
Since I only bought the domain name in November 2019 and wrote the article the same month, the DA is I think 4... and less than 5.
Over time, I was ranked #6, and I saw that my competitive strength to outrank others was almost impossible.
I had no option than to I hack the process - what is common to savvy SEO guys here on Reddit and the experts you know.
With no traffic as expected, I went to my favorite keyword research tool - I used SEMrush.
I got a lot of long-tail and relative keywords, plus Autosuggests from Google, and also, Related Terms below the page on Google.

The action part.

I settled down and wrote optimized content for each subtopic and published it as due.
Over time, the article moved to #5 as I was even ranking first for certain queries - featured Snippet made possible with H2 and H3s.
When I updated and shifted the date of publication to July 2020, the article moved to #4 on ranking.
In my last post, I shared how I lost the snippet which I'm still fighting to get it back - seems Google won't forgive for now. No worries though.
Since ranking on number 4 was like a birthright. I had to do more. Here is what I did.
I built different web 2.0s backlinks to it and used the same targeted keyword to interlink other posts on the site.

Some Web 2.0s I used - Blogger, Medium, WordPress, Pinterest.
For Pinterest, I pinned different keywords to the same articles. For instance.

Top states in the USA
New York - Backlinked to the article.
Washington - Backlinked to the article.
Nevada - Backlinked to the article
So, I created 3 more sub-articles with a long tail from the main Keyword which helped the more in interlinking.
That's how the result was achieved.
Just to note. I think the number 1 spot is now impossible. Why?

It was a branded keyword
As I checked 2 days ago, I discovered that the brand keyword or parent website - like Clickbank or Amazon built 150,000+ backlinks to the site, and out of no ranking in the 1st-3rd page on Google, moved to the number #1 spot pushing me to 2nd and 3rd.
Well, I am contented with the 2nd and 3rd spot as it relatively brings at least $100 a week if not bad, and if bad $70 with less than 1,000 visits a month.
This for me has helped hone my SEO knowledge since blogging or struggling over 3 years.

Quick Note

  1. Try something out and fail - you'll learn a ton from it based it must be based on what is working.
  2. Go for long-tail keywords if the main one is taken, you can still rank #1 for the long tail with featured snippets.
  3. Know how to extract keywords (I've got a short video if anyone wants)
  4. Updates your articles to current months - Google loves it - as in, updated articles.
  5. Build Web 2.0s backlinks if the competition is too much for you.
  6. Guest post for higher backlinks if the competition is out of the roof-top or buy backlinks.
  7. You don't only need a 5,000, 10k, or 50k visits blog to make your first $100.
  8. You can still outrank DA of 30 with a DA site of 4 - but your article must be well optimized.

I'm glad that these few dollars help gives the motivation to blog and explore more. With the earnings, I've been able to invest back to the site, buy affiliate programs, and check then out before reviewing to my audiences and more.
Still from this project, I was able to sub for SEMrush and extract a lot of keywords for my 4 niche sites.
I have free short videos of how I used them section by section. (Only for anyone interested else other free tools like AlsoAsked, AdWords, Google Planner, UbberSuggest will help for a start.
I hope this helped anyone.

PS: I'm not a guru but I'm open to learning from my seniors here as well. And if you don't know much, you can ask your questions and I will answer you.
Shout out to Shaun. Another good niche blogger here on Reddit.

Lastly, if you want the free course, I will leave a free link everyone can download and use... Google Drive will do the work.
Disclosure: Just want to keep everything clean. If you need the free resources – Course and short videos, then, I will link it to you. You can comment.

To everyone struggling out there. I was there.
Keep on grinding but with the right strategies.
I'm open to image proofs should anyone doubt the process.
Have a blessed day.
submitted by isuawealthy to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

8 Blog Posts with first Earning

Okay, I just received my first earning for an affiliate product for a sub blog with just 8 articles.
The thing is, I have many niche blogs and I wish to achieve 100 posts for each of them, but this one is interesting as any beginner could use this and get started with Affiliate Marketing if too afraid to try it out.

Case Study: Clickbank

  1. Top selling niches on Clickbank: Romance, Heath, Self help and Wealth.
  2. Niche down to select product (go for a low gravity product; less competition).
  3. Build a niche site. You can use a good WP theme like Astra or OceanWP.
  4. Basic SEO set up. Use Yoast.
  5. Publish 9 articles. 8 will be supporting articles while 1 a review of the product. The 8 will link to the 1 review on every post using the same keyword anchor text (SEO tactics).
  6. Crawl them on Google.
  7. Get ranked and make your first sale.
Between, while you wait, begin promoting the articles as well.
And yeah, I ranked a new blog with 2 articles on Google 3rd page after 11 hours. It went to page 2 in the next 2 days.
Hack: niche down to beat competition.
That is all.
You can ask any questions if you have one, and if on low budget you can use free web 2, blogs.
submitted by isuawealthy to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]

How I Outranked & Took The 2nd & 3rd Spots - $100s Earnings/Week - Case Study

Hi, everyone.
I'm an affiliate marketer who has seen a bit of success and I'm not here to tell you that it's easy unless you are willing to put in the work.
I still make money with Impact Radius from 2 of my affiliate articles ranked #1 on Google. That is where the Impact Radius money comes from.
More so, I make relatively a handful of hundreds of dollars from my blog in local currency. The blog had less than 1,000 visits last month - June, from Search Console.
For this one, I reviewed 1 project and make money off it - ranked Number #2 and #3 for the keyword term.
If you look at my profile you'll see the struggle to outrank my competitors and take the first spot.
Gracefully, this blog has been making at least $100 since May 2020 and it's never crossed 1,200 readers a month.
This is just one of my niche sites.
I have 4 with different strategies but I just got another strategy that can help anyone make $900+ ( I haven't done this yet but I've written a free Case Study and how it was done guide or course of 5,000+ words with definitive images to give to whoever is interested.

With it, you don't need - SEO, KEYWORDS RESEARCH, TOPICS TO WRITE ON, or even worry about traffic.
The question is if this works then why I'm not doing it? I am quickly saying this to answer some questions I know some good people will ask.
As I said, I have 2 strategies with 4 niches sites. I use the first with the 4 which requires literally no backlinks to rank, geo-location targeting it is... Just 2 is making some money now, mostly the one to be discussed.
And the second strategy is worth even more but I can't focus on it now that's why I am giving it out - for my YouTube subscribers, new visitors, whosoever is interested.
Altogether, I think I have more than 20 free guides and courses I give out, so, if you're doing affiliate marketing and you're not getting traction yet with your blog then you can test this 2nd method and see how it will help you - you're paying for nothing.
You just check it out if it's worth it then you try out if you can make your first income online via blogging. But if you have success already, then you can forgo.
Again: zero backlinks needed, no SEO or optimized articles, no topic research, nothing except writing content around the strategy which you can hire writers.
If interested, I will link the free course to you - again. No email opt-in.

Away from that. Let's see how I moved from #6 to the 2nd & 3rd.

From #6 to the 2nd & 3rd.

There was a competitive keyword I targeted. It was, or it is a money keyword.
Since I only bought the domain name in November 2019 and wrote the article the same month, the DA is I think 4... and less than 5.
Over time, I was ranked #6, and I saw that my competitive strength to outrank others was almost impossible.
I had no option than to I hack the process - what is common to savvy SEO guys here on Reddit and the experts you know.
With no traffic as expected, I went to my favorite keyword research tool - I used SEMrush.
I got a lot of long-tail and relative keywords, plus Autosuggests from Google, and also, Related Terms below the page on Google.

The action part.

I settled down and wrote optimized content for each subtopic and published it as due.
Over time, the article moved to #5 as I was even ranking first for certain queries - featured Snippet made possible with H2 and H3s.
When I updated and shifted the date of publication to July 2020, the article moved to #4 on ranking.
In my last post, I shared how I lost the snippet which I'm still fighting to get it back - seems Google won't forgive for now. No worries though.
Since ranking on number 4 was like a birthright. I had to do more. Here is what I did.
I built different web 2.0s backlinks to it and used the same targeted keyword to interlink other posts on the site.

Some Web 2.0s I used - Blogger, Medium, WordPress, Pinterest.
For Pinterest, I pinned different keywords to the same articles. For instance.

Top states in the USA
New York - Backlinked to the article.
Washington - Backlinked to the article.
Nevada - Backlinked to the article
So, I created 3 more sub-articles with a long tail from the main Keyword which helped the more in interlinking.
That's how the result was achieved.
Just to note. I think the number 1 spot is now impossible. Why?

It was a branded keyword
As I checked 2 days ago, I discovered that the brand keyword or parent website - like Clickbank or Amazon built 150,000+ backlinks to the site, and out of no ranking in the 1st-3rd page on Google, moved to the number #1 spot pushing me to 2nd and 3rd.
Well, I am contented with the 2nd and 3rd spot as it relatively brings at least $100 a week if not bad, and if bad $70 with less than 1,000 visits a month.
This for me has helped hone my SEO knowledge since blogging or struggling over 3 years.

Quick Note

  1. Try something out and fail - you'll learn a ton from it based it must be based on what is working.
  2. Go for long-tail keywords if the main one is taken, you can still rank #1 for the long tail with featured snippets.
  3. Know how to extract keywords (I've got a short video if anyone wants)
  4. Updates your articles to current months - Google loves it - as in, updated articles.
  5. Build Web 2.0s backlinks if the competition is too much for you.
  6. Guest post for higher backlinks if the competition is out of the roof-top or buy backlinks.
  7. You don't only need a 5,000, 10k, or 50k visits blog to make your first $100.
  8. You can still outrank DA of 30 with a DA site of 4 - but your article must be well optimized.

I'm glad that these few dollars help gives the motivation to blog and explore more. With the earnings, I've been able to invest back to the site, buy affiliate programs, and check then out before reviewing to my audiences and more.
Still from this project, I was able to sub for SEMrush and extract a lot of keywords for my 4 niche sites.
I have free short videos of how I used them section by section. (Only for anyone interested else other free tools like AlsoAsked, AdWords, Google Planner, UbberSuggest will help for a start.
I hope this helped anyone.

PS: I'm not a guru but I'm open to learning from my seniors here as well. And if you don't know much, you can ask your questions and I will answer you.
Shout out to Shaun. Another good niche blogger here on Reddit.

Lastly, if you want the free course, I will leave a free link everyone can download and use... Google Drive will do the work.
Disclosure: Just want to keep everything clean. If you need the free resources – Course and short videos, then, I will link it to you. You can comment.

To everyone struggling out there. I was there.
Keep on grinding but with the right strategies.
I'm open to image proofs should anyone doubt the process.
Have a blessed day.
submitted by isuawealthy to Blogging [link] [comments]

How to achieve explosive startup growth!

Here is the summary of the book Traction: How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!

Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.

How to think about Traction?

Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:

Phase I: Make something people want

In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.

Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham

Phase II: Market something people want

Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.

Phase III: Scale your business

As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.

Traction for funding

When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.

To pivot or not to pivot

Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.

How to get traction? The Bullseye framework

The Bullseye framework helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:

Find what’s possible: The outer-ring

The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.

Find what’s probable: The middle-ring

Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
  1. What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
  2. How many customers are available?
  3. Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.

Find what’s working: The inner-ring

The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky.

How to test traction?

Middle-ring tests: You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be.
Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
  1. Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
  2. Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.

Tools

To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
  1. How many people landed on the website?
  2. What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
  3. Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available, conversion rate, the cost to acquire a customer, lifetime value of a customer for every given strategy.

How to focus on the right traction goals? The critical path framework

Define your traction goal

You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.

Avoid traction biases

Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.

Targetting blogs

Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.

Publicity

Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.

Unconventional PR

Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.

The publicity stunt

Customer Appreciation

Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site.
Cost per Click (CPC) The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad.
Cost per Acquisition (CPA) How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage

SEM to get early customer data

You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew the market would want.

SEM strategy

Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.

Keyword research

Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.

Writing ads

Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%

Tactics

Social and Display Ads

Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.

Display ads

The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.

Social ads

Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.

Offline Ads

Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.

Magazine ads

A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.

Direct mail

You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)

Local print

You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.

Radio and TV

Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head and long-tail.
Fat-head: These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called.
Long-tail: These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.

Fat-head strategy

To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.

Long-Tail strategy

Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.

How to get links?

Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:

Content Marketing

Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.

Tactics

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.

Email marketing to Find customers

Email marketing to Engage customers

If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?

Email marketing to Retain customers

Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.

Email marketing to Drive revenue

You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.

Email marketing to get referrals

Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.

Tactics

Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.

Tactics

Engineering as Marketing

You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.

Business Development

With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.

Sales

Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.

Structuring the sales conversation

Situation questions. Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
Problem questions. Use sparingly.
Implication questions. Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
Need-payoff questions. Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.

Cold calls

Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:

Tactics

It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
I removed the last sections because of the post character limit. Here are two:
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I hope that looking at these affiliate marketing examples will give you some inspiration with your own sites and will show you that affiliate marketing doesn’t have to be cheesy. 1 - Nerdwallet Nerdwallet is one of my favorite affiliate websites, and I’m sure plenty of affiliate marketers would tell you the same. The affiliate marketing of Jason Stone, otherwise known as Millionaire Mentor, was responsible for as much as $7 million in retailer sales just in the months of June and July in 2017. What Is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is the process by which an affiliate earns a commission for marketing another person’s or company’s products. Affiliate marketing is essentially just earning commissions for sending buyers to companies. When someone buys a product/ service through your affiliate link, that company pays you a commission. Some companies even pay you just for the lead itself, so no sale is required. The US affiliate marketing industry generates almost $5 billion dollars in revenue each year, and by 2021 it's set to double. It seems like now is a perfect time to get involved. However, before you start, you need is a website that drives traffic and converts your affiliate links. So What Is Affiliate Marketing? Affiliate marketing is, essentially, a performance based marketing strategy businesses use to compensate or reward affiliates for each visitor or customer brought to the site by their marketing effort.

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