Hello, John here and I just want to share quickly with you today a site I use fairly frequently for a number of reasons. I am sure you are aware of the video screen capture tools out there on the market today. The obvious candidates are Camtasia, Screencast-o-matic plus many more. These are all premium, even though Screencast is only $15 for the year, there are not that many quick and free options.
Today I want to share with you Screenr – this is a free tool which allows you to record up to 5 mins of on-screen footage. This is great and is useful if you want to record a short explanation video to a customer or maybe a client. Maybe you have some outsourcing work you need doing and want to explain the job you want done showing the look and feel of some online material. Maybe one of your customers has a query from an email you sent them and would like to be shown how to do something.
Well, all this can be done in a very professional and excellent way now using Screenr. The whole thing is done online and is very simple to use. I made a short video showing you the tool.
Thank you for watching, I hope you found it useful. Please head over to our YouTube channel for more tips like this.
I write today’s post because if like me you are working from home or at least are planning to you will need all the tips and advice you can get. I know most of the bizzebee team work from home if not all of the day they do quite a bit at home when they are not in their offices.
And with so many employees now working from home it’s crucial to use employee productivity monitoring so that you can be sure that you are getting the most from those staff.
Working from home has a very romanticized sound to it. It sounds like we are free to do things as and when we choose to and that we can pop off here and there as we please and this can be true but there are some serious downfalls to working from home and they need to be managed.
If left unchecked and unmanaged it can be very easy to become distracted and if that happens nothing gets done. If nothing gets done your business will not grow and the worst case scenario is you do not get paid.
Working from home can be a lot harder than you think especially if you need to regularly earn money to maintain that lifestyle.
If you are a writer for example who is paid to write for a few websites and you do not finish off your articles on time you will not get paid it is simple as that. We all want and need money, without it we cannot live the life we want and if the life you want is to work from home let me tell you this…
…Working from home can be the very thing that destroys that dream and makes it impossible to continue.
I apologise if that sounds bleak but you must realise that you will be surrounded by the people and things you love and that means temptation to slack off and have fun is all around you all day!
When you work for a company in an office with a boss you wouldn’t dream of sitting around playing on the games console for four hours shooting Zombies would you? Change the office for your home and being self-employed then the story is very different, when you have yourself as your boss and manager it is easy to fall into the trap of doing the things you ‘enjoy’ and not the things that need to be done.
When working from home you still need to work, and for many of us, we need to work a lot harder and be more disciplined than ever before. Normally when working for other people we fear being sacked, when we work for ourselves we are not going to sack ourselves and can often bury our heads in the sands of pleasure and distraction.
Here are my 5 tips for working from home successfully
1) Find a quiet corner or area that you can set up as an office away from everyone else in the house if possible. If you have a spare room then fantastic, turn it into an office and work in it away from everyone.
You might not have a spare room and are forced into working in the lounge where people will be mulling around and watching T.V. This is not ideal but if that is the hand you are dealt try and create space in a corner where you can hide away a bit.
You have to decide what noise you can deal with best; I can handle T.V. better than people working in the kitchen. T.V. has a certain level and if the sound is not on too high I can block it out but if I am sat in a kitchen with people cooking, washing posts, putting pots away or having washing machines whirring away with different cycles I can easily be distracted and in many cases made to jump out of my skin. That really makes me lose my train of thought.
If you are forced into working in the main family room where everyone gathers then it can be a nightmare of a place to work in. It also isn’t fair on them, they want to play, chat and basically live a normal life without worrying about disturbing you all of the time.
2) If noise is an issue invest in some inner ear plugs to take away the sting of any distracting sounds there are in the room. These can be picked up cheap from chemists; I have a set in my drawer just in case. I don’t use them often as I generally work with music on, in silence when the better half is out at work or with the T.V. on low which doesn’t really affect me too much
If you are like me and able to work with music on then bury your head in headphones listening to some mellow music like instrumental chill out which doesn’t need your mental focus. Radio is not good because of the continual chatter that many D.J.s do throughout their shows which simply draws your attention to what they are saying which can be very distracting.
3) If you do not have a private office and are having to work in a room used by many people then plan your time and tasks around what other people in your house are doing that week. I often need to create videos and so I plan to do them when the better half is out at work or at friends. Sometimes she will tell me that she is popping out to a friend’s one evening and I will take a note of that in my weekly planner and schedule to use that time for tasks that require a quiet room.
Because we work from home and for ourselves it doesn’t matter what time we get work done as long as it gets done. Doing a few hours in an evening when I am alone can often give me that freedom to not rush to my computer the next morning when I can enjoy a relaxing cuppa with the family. But remember, I plan that time and I get the work done. It must be done.
4) Have a daily, weekly and monthly planner to hand and plan what you need to get done and want done for each day of the week and the month ahead. As I said in the 3rd tip about planning tasks when people are out you can have those times and tasks written down so you know exactly when to do them.
Having a schedule means that when you sit down at your computer at the start of the day or when you begin your work you know exactly what you are doing and you are not sat trying to remember or figure out what it is you need to do. Trying to figure out what you need to do can soon rob you of a lot of time and that time will add up.
I also recommend that you schedule in music time or enjoyment time. Yes seriously!, if you cannot last the day without playing games, watching T.V. or listening to music then set time aside to enjoy some ‘you’ time and be strong, stick to that time!
I am terrible for distractions, I can soon lose time trawling YouTube for music and so I decided to schedule time for ‘play’ around simple tasks. Fortunately I can work listening to some music but some styles can take away my focus. Taking regular breaks is good for positivity anyway and clears the mind so if you are prone to distractions it just makes sense to schedule them into regular breaks.
We bizzebee’s have a collective schedule of when we publish posts and when to get projects done for. We also have a flexibility clause so that if one of us is struggling someone else can jump in to help out etc but we all follow a plan. We all write our own daily plans and schedules to include our monthly bizzebee plans and commitments. If we didn’t there would be chaos and believe me, we need it. It works well.
5) This one is often the most controversial tip as it could be taken the wrong way. It shouldn’t but sometimes people are sensitive to comments. When you work from home in the presence of your loved ones it is very easy for them to forget that you should be working.
When you work for a company whether it is in a factory, in a shop, in an office or on a building site you are expected to do a set period of time like 8 hours without a lot of family interaction and distraction. Many companies ask you to lock mobile phones away and maintain that you are only connected to the outside world via the receptionist at the front office.
When you are home and ‘about’ it is very easy for people to come chatting. There is nothing wrong with this and having a flexible approach to work is good, I mean after all we do work from home because we enjoy being at home but it can soon become a habit that robs you of productivity.
You could be in the middle of some deep focus and in the zone when in walks someone with ‘oh I forgot to say…’ so it has to be understood by your family that you are at work and you have work hours like you would if you were working for anyone else.
As I said earlier a certain amount of flexibility is great but if you worked for someone else you wouldn’t get so much contact and it is unfair and in many cases disrespectful for people to think that they can take your time up because you are at home.
If you have your own office then it isn’t so bad but people can still come in. All parties must need to understand and agree that you should be left to get on for a set amount of time with as little disturbance as possible.
At the end of the day, you are working from home so you must get the work done and to do that you need to be very disciplined and plan your tasks well if not you are just making it harder for yourself. If you are not disciplined working from home will not become the relaxed pleasurable experience you were looking for but instead could turn into a terrible financial nightmare of your own making.
To help you plan your working times and tasks please download our free bizzebee planners below, open up the PDFs and print them off so you have them close at hand.
As we know Google have recently done another update and several people are reporting changes in their rankings. I cannot say for definite whether they had been doing any unnatural link building or not, sometimes when Google do an update, good sites are affected and then they are returned to the original place if not better when the dust has settled.
When you consider that good sites are being affected even if it is just temporary you realise that you cannot risk being punished by Google by doing anything slightly fishy. Google want to give people quality content and it is their search results that we want to be ranked in so what is the best way to keep them happy? Create good quality useful content and plenty of it.
There are many benefits to creating quality content, if it is useful then people will share it and promote it for you. They will share it on social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. They will link to it from their own blogs and reference your work creating a natural link network. Google loves natural link networks and they love quality relevant content, none of that spun article rubbish many people use.
So, if you write a proper post of 1000 words or more what happens? You naturally create long tail keyword phrases that are relevant to the post subject. You cannot help but write sentences that will develop into and include long tail keywords that you can be ranked for.
Imagine you wanted to rank for the keyword phrase ‘Ice Cream Parlour’, while writing the post you can easily have sentences that have ‘the best ice cream parlour’ ‘the best ice cream parlour in Lincolnshire’ ‘the best tasting ice cream’ etc. All of these phrases could be searched for and you can become ranked for these if the article you write is of a serious and informative nature unlike the spun articles people use.
If you have other articles on your site that match the content and other people share your posts and reference them with connecting links you could easily find yourself ranked in Google for keyword phrases you didn’t expect. Sometimes keyword research can throw up keyword combinations that when added together in an article can be hard to understand. Writing a proper post will generate proper good relevant keywords that Google will love.
I remember writing an article about people having a certain type of mindset and I used a man I called ‘Ibiza Bob’ as my example. The article was about people wanting to do something but instead of doing anything about it they sit around and moan. Ibiza Bob always wanted to go to Ibiza but couldn’t afford it, he blamed the Government and the economy as the reason as why he could never afford to go yet he spent most nights down the local bar, drinking smoking and having a kebab on the way home.
For 20 years or more he wanted to go to Ibiza and for those 20 years he spent his money on beer, cigarettes and food, if he really wanted he could have stayed in 1 or 2 nights a week over a year or two and have enough money to go to Ibiza for a long enjoyable holiday… but he didn’t.
After I wrote the post I notice that I was getting traffic for keywords like ‘the story of Ibiza’, I was on the first page of Google for that keyword phrase for quite some time. The people searching were not really my targeted audience but they were coming and I was ranked. The actual post had very little to do with ‘the story of Ibiza’ but Google rewarded me without my intention.
What happened was that I spent time to write a long quality post which generated a series of natural links which were being picked up and ranked by Google. I was not in any way trying to manipulate Google by engaging in keyword stuffing or article spinning. I was just writing about a topic that I was interested in and knew about.
Obviously I wrote a follow up post that talked about my findings and reinforced the keywords, this time the post included the keyword phrases that Google had ranked me for which were not originally planned keywords in the first post. Again this was a long written piece from the heart and mind and not designed to have keywords stuffed into it.
Keywords and Google have a natural tendency to attract each other and if they are generated naturally in a long well written piece then they will have more power. With Google’s recent updates they are looking for the relevance and quality and that is what your articles will give them.
Now we are not saying do not do any keyword research or include relevant keywords that your research gives you, far from it, I want to get across that you will generate good quality keywords when you write a proper full article, keywords that Google will pick up on.
Sometimes you should not fear or worry about your articles having or not having keywords in them, the main thing you should concentrate on is to create good quality useful articles and plenty of them. Patrick Meninga did keyword research, when he had his chosen keywords he went to work creating loads of articles that he placed on his site and shared with other sites as guest posts.
These articles were connected passing relevance to each other and when he had finished he was ranking for more keywords than he had planned. He wrote the posts himself, they were not spun nor were they outsourced on the cheap, they were written from the heart as he knew the subject matter well. As he wrote the articles the long tail keyword phrases wrote themselves.
It is natural and cannot be avoided, that is the beautiful thing about the English language, well any language really, whatever it is you are writing about, the subject matter cannot be described without creating other good natural keyword phrases. Go and give it a try, write something big and useful about any topic and then look at the keywords that are formed. You might be surprised at how keyword rich your articles can become naturally.
Creating an online directory is no easy task, but with sufficient aid, you’ll be able to avoid mistakes from time-to-time. Mistakes can even be a good thing if we learn from them, but to save you the hassle, I’ve put together a list of some common website mistakes to avoid to help you.
1. Unresponsive Website (Not Mobile Friendly)
You are making a BIG website mistake if your site is not “mobile friendly”. More and more people are connecting to the internet via their smart phones and tablets, which is why it is vital that your site is responsive across multiple devices. If it is not, you are simply limiting the number of people that can visit your site.
There are plenty of WordPress themes that you can install that are ‘mobile responsive’. Sites like StudioPress have a wide variety of responsive themes for all types of site that you can use. There really isn’t any excuse for people not being able to access your site on their mobile devices, so make sure that yours is good to go.
2. Bad Website Navigation
You can spend all the time in the world creating fantastic content for your site, but if no one can find it once they get there, then what is the point!
Bad website navigation stops people from finding all the great content on your site. Whether you have only a few pages or hundreds of posts, you want people (and search engines) to be able to find them easily. Only then will you get visitors staying on your site for longer, which helps to increase your pageviews.
Think about the menus and links that you display on your site. Are people able to find the different sections/categories of your site? Do you display a search box? Can people easily find your search box? Which are your most important pages/posts? These are the types of questions that you need to be asking yourself in order to improve your site navigation.
3. Not Building An Email List
An email list is a very powerful thing for a site to have, which is why you should be building one. You see, the people that signup to your site (whether it’s to an eCourse, newsletter, to receive offers, etc.) are your best customers. They are the ones who are interested in what you have to say on your site, allowing you to send them offers, promote products or just encourage them back to your site.
AWeber is the market leader for email marketing software where you can create and schedule a set of emails to be broadcast automatically once people subscribe. You can create signup boxes, newsletters, broadcasts and much more by using them, helping you to grow and manage your email list.
4. Not Posting Enough
Every website needs regular content published as that helps to drive traffic. People (and more importantly search engines) will see that the site is active, which will encourage them to come back again and read more.
If you don’t post enough, then your site can become stagnant. A lot depends on what your site is about, but you wouldn’t keep coming back to a site if nothing changed.
Make a list of all the things that you can write about and keep adding to it when you get inspiration. If you end up struggling for ideas, it may mean that your niche is too small, in which case you may need to broaden out a bit. I think a lot though comes down to getting into a regular routine. Try to update your site regularly (perhaps once or twice a week) and stick to it.
5. Posting Too Often
Some people go to the other extreme and post far too often. Like we said, regular content is good, but too much can be overwhelming for your readers. If you are publishing 4, 5 or even more posts a day, then you can’t expect visitors to keep up. Sites that post this frequently tend to be massive news sites with lots of writers and millions of visitors. That is certainly something to aim for, but you certainly can’t do that on your own.
You also have to consider the quality of what you are posting. Publishing 1 high quality post is MUCH better than lots of little mediocre posts. As the saying goes, “It’s quality not quantity!”
6. Doing Zero Social Media
Social media is a fantastic way to market your site, so it makes sense that you should be using it. Make sure that you have an active presence on all the major social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.), particularly the ones that relate to your site.
Just having a page setup on each of these networks will help people to find you, but by engaging with your audience, it is such a great way to build a following for your site that you shouldn’t overlook.
7. Doing Zero SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an often understood practice that seems to confuse and petrify people at the same time. It may sound complicated and unfathomable, but it’s really not too difficult when you get to know it.
SEO is simply a way of getting your website/content seen by search engines so that they can index it and present it to as many people as possible. Search engines, like Google, are by far your best bet to get traffic to your site, so it’s best to work with them.
By using On-Page & Off-Page SEO techniques, your content can rank highly on search engine result pages (SERPs). The higher you appear on the SERPs, the more traffic you will get.
Essentially, all it involves is making it clear what your posts are about. This is done by including keywords in your post/page titles, meta descriptions, sub-headings, alt-tags, etc. That way, when the search engines find your content, they have a better understanding of what it is about, allowing them to show it to people who are looking for that information.
If you are doing zero SEO for your site, you are essentially sticking your head in the sand. Spend some time learning about SEO and actively doing some for your site. It’s not as scary as you may think.
If you’re marketing to a local audience, there are more tools available than ever to help you. Naomi Marks finds out how you can use online services as well as traditional marketing techniques to attract local customers. Appealing to local customers is easier than ever. And it’s not just about flyers and local ads; technology can also be used to market at town or even postcode level. If you are attempting to get more locally based customers then you should use local seo agency in Melbourne.
8. Not Interacting With Your Readers
If people spend the time leaving comments on your site, sending you emails or asking questions via your social media channels, you should make sure to respond to them. Not only is it good manners but it is also good for business. If people see that you are happy to interact with them and help, they will be much more likely to keep coming back for more. It also shows that your site is an active one, which again can encourage people to keep visiting your site.
Admittedly, this can become a problem if your site is very popular (can’t reply to everyone), but you should at least try to reply to as many as you can, we suggest to contact the team at https://webdesignottawa.com/digital-marketing/ for further information.
I have in the past made changes to my sites, only to find that they were not displaying correctly on another browser that I didn’t use regularly. Once you know about the problem, it’s usually very easy to fix, but you need to test it to find out.
Get into the habit of testing your website on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari (the 5 most popular web browsers) whenever you make any changes to your site. That way, you can see whether there are any issues that need fixing. Take a look at the trusted testers Boston, they provide regular structured and dedicated testing for ongoing product and project requirements.
10. Thinking That Your Website Is Finished (Biggest Website Mistake!)
This is probably one of the BIGGEST website mistakes on the list that many people fall victim too. The minute you think that your site is “finished”, you may as well pack up and do something else.
The internet is constantly evolving and there is always competition looking to overtake you. You should always be looking to update, reinvent, add new features/products/content, etc. to your site to keep it fresh. This is one of the things that I absolutely love about what I do, there is always something new to learn about and improve on your site that you should never find yourself standing still. Keep pushing yourself and striving to create a better site for your visitors. That is the best way to run your site.
What website mistakes have you made on your site and how did you go about fixing them? What other common website mistakes would you add to this list? Please let us know below by leaving a comment.
“Saturday, it’s a Saturday, It’s a Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturday, Saturday, it’s a Saturdayeayeayeayaaay, Five days you work, One whole day to play, Come on everybody, Wear your roller skates today”
Sorry folks, I cannot say the word Saturday without singing the lyrics to De La Soul’s – A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays.
That is one great tune and here is the video to it so you can listen to it while you work your way through this week’s great articles.
I hope you have all had a great week, have you been doing much?
Anyway, let’s get into this week’s roundup, as always we have 10 great articles for you to read this week including the fun bonus post at the end which is always light hearted and non-online business related.
The first article is one that Matt read this week and it was written by Michael Dunlop and can be found at the excellent IncomeDiary website. Here he lists seven lessons he has learned from the top 50 articles he has that send him large amounts of free traffic.
This is a great post if you really want to learn how to write articles that can bring you great free traffic. For example out of the 50 articles 35 of them started with a number, isn’t that a powerful little trick to know? Also, many of his most read posts name people, if you can write an article about a case study that names well known people it could get you a lot more free traffic than your standard posts.
This post was suggested by our resident social media star Clair. Written by Ken Myers it gives us 9 steps on how to use Reddit successfully as business owners.
Some people class the front page of Reddit as the front page of the internet, I have even seen someone on TV talk about reading something on Reddit and they called it the ‘Front Page of The Internet’ When something gets that kind of notoriety it makes sense to use it even if it looks like a teenagers playground.
Seriously, Reddit doesn’t look like the kind of place you expect to see businesses but many do use it. In fact the US President Barack Obama has used Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) free-for-all question and answer sessions. This really is an interesting and informative article that is well worth reading.
We like Kim Castleberry here at bizzebee HQ, she is a font of all WordPress knowledge and information and in this post she shares with us another video by Google’s head of spam Matt ‘The Spaminator’ Cutts.
Matt answers the question, ‘How can I guest blog without it looking like I pay for links?’ I could have just shared Matt’s video but as we say we like Kim so we are happy to send new readers her way.
Guest posting is a great way to get traffic and it does go against Google’s terms and conditions as it is in fact exchanging content for links. Google do not like paid links manipulating their search results and guest posting can be seen in that same way. The payment is giving a website content for a link to your site, but the good news is Google generally over looks this and accept that it happens and that it is a great way for sites to keep adding quality content.
In the video Matt explains what are the best practices for guest posters so they are not seen as doing nothing more than ‘buying links with poor content’.
This is an excellent post written by Anna Fox over at Socialable. If you were not yet aware, Pinterest is an excellent social media network that can drive traffic to your site. It is also a great place to go and find top blogging tips from many of the top bloggers in the industry.
Here Anna lists 8 great bloggers Pinterest accounts to follow for learning blogging tips while including their own as a bonus number 9. So if you are a blogger this article is for you and if you are not a blogger you should also take a look and learn a little why Pinterest is a great free network to use.
This time we go to Loz James’ blog ContentChampion where Loz who is an established content marketer and copywriter discusses why 90% of content that is published on the internet is rubbish.
Something we agree with here at bizzebee HQ. We try our hardest to publish content that is useful, thought provoking, inspiring and educational. If not we feel we have let you the reader down.
Businesses that sell products using written content online but do not use quality writers can be doing more harm than good. To make sure you are not doing the same damage to your business pop over and take a read of this great article.
Our blogging friend Fabrizio Van Marciano owns a great site called Magnet4Marketing.Net and here is a post I read this week explaining why it is harmful to your business and blog by removing the dates from your posts.
Many bloggers and writers remove them to make it appear that the content is new whenever someone new sees it or that it is evergreen content that isn’t time restricted. Writing about SEO methods today doesn’t mean it will work next year or even next month so that content is time specific.
Some people will remove the dates in an attempt to stop people leaving their sites when they see the content is ‘old’. This method isn’t as good as it sounds and Fabrizio gives us reasons why we should keep the dates on our posts when we publish them.
Linking out to other websites with a lot of authority and high Page Rank is a powerful method to get Google to take your site more seriously and push you up the rankings. Wikipedia is often the first choice as it is a huge site with a Page Rank of 8. If you could link to your own Wikipedia page that would be excellent but you cannot or at least should not create your own Wikipedia page.
It is for information only and not promotion but surely a business and successful person has an informal history that could be shared? Well if you want to create your own Wikipedia page and why shouldn’t you? Here is a great article on SocialTimes.com telling you exactly what you need to do and how to prevent it being removed by an administrator.
This is a post suggested by Sam the bizzebee architect. It is a short post by Mike Allton about an interview he gave to Troy McLaughlin’s interview show ‘The Art Of Giving’ Mike discusses blogging and social media for which he is well known for.
It is an interesting interview, but I have to say that the post was written and published by Mike himself and is written in the 3rd person which I always find odd. Why would you do that? Maybe so much of the text was copied from the post the interview originally came from. That makes sense now, anyway, that aside it is a really great interview.
This comes from two of my favourite people of the moment, Pat Flynn and Alex Becker. It is an interview Pat did with Alex regarding SEO. For those who don’t know SEO is something Alex is really good at, and he can land websites on the first pages of Google’s search results much to their dislike. Alex is an SEO Jedi and Google Slayer.
Pat Flynn is a well-known blogger, writer and speaker who every so often does the Niche Site Dual where he and a friend build separate websites and try their best to land the site as high in Google and make money from them as part of a fun competition.
Here Pat asks Alex what he can do to help him rank his site fast. This is powerful stuff and I recommend you to watch the interview and download the PDFs Alex has done for Pat’s site.
For our final must read article this week we have a great post from our friend Ambika Choudhary over at her great website MyMagicMix. In this post Ambika explains not only why you should use Buffer to share your posts on social media networks but also how to use it.
Unfortunately Buffer only shares with the 5 main social media networks but it is great as it allows you to share your content when you are either poorly, too tired or cannot simply get to your laptop as long as you set them up and schedule them to go out early.
There is an extension for Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari similar to the Hootsuit Hootlet which allows you to schedule your posts to be shared at set times so if you set them at the start of the week they will be shared over the week even if you never turn your laptop on again.
Ambika is a great writer and her website covers many different topics but I especially lover her posts on blogging and social media.
Today’s fun post is from our good friend over in Australia Catherine Holt who has a great website that focuses on creating wonderful themed parties and gifts. The website is called Smart Party Planning and today’s post is about creating a wonderful Halloween Crafts For Kids Party.
It is coming to that time of the year so if you need some Halloween inspiration for keeping your children entertained then we recommend you pop over, take a read and say hello.
Catherine has many great party ideas, printables that you can print off and use and also has many wonderful images to look at. We love Catherine’s site and we are sure you will too.
Today I am going to talk about the tremendously powerful traffic method that is AFFILIATES. I wrote this as a follow up post to Matt’s great one The Beginners Guide To Affiliate Marketing. If you are a product creator or are thinking about creating a product for the online marketplace then you need to know this amazingly free traffic source. I have released a few products into the marketplace and am planning more – but the products would not have been half the success they were if it wasn’t for the affiliates that promoted the product.
Affiliate marketing has been around for years and many people make a living off of doing this without ever producing a single product of their own. The two largest affiliate networks I am aware of are Commission Junction and Amazon. Yes, Amazon – you can promote anything on Amazon and they will pay you around 4% for your conversions. Does not sound like a lot but if you are successful at it and you make a large volume of sales this can soon add up.
So, What is An Affiliate?
So, to summarise then as Matt covered it as I said with his post.
An affiliate is somebody or a company that will promote or offer to sell your product in the return for a commission. This is a fair and great way to do business. So, essentially you make the product and the affiliates will do all the marketing and selling for you. This is great because you can get amazing hits to your product page all for free, so you would not mind paying them a commission of say 50% for this would you? I know I would not, in fact I offer up to 70% in some cases as a “thank you” for driving the traffic, the sales and potential further leads onto my email list.
Some affiliates may have huge lists that you are unaware of, in fact just recently one of my products started to fade off with sales and then a certain Andi Leeman put in an affiliate request which I naturally accepted and then he promoted it through the leverage he has with another marketer and the sales took off again!
So here you see a classic example of the benefits of having affiliates drive traffic to your product. It can be and should be win-win for both parties. Your affiliate makes some nice commissions through the front end by promoting your product and you also get a slice of the profits, but you also get buyers onto your email list which you can promote to on the back end. You set the affiliate commission, bear in mind that you have to make it worth their while or else people will not be interested.
Also, make sure your product is top quality and serves some great purpose. Once you are ready to recruit some affiliates you should always offer them a free copy of your product. Straight away this shows that you trust them and often has a positive effect when trying to get them to promote your product. Sometimes people will buy your product and then decide to promote it, other times people will just ask to become an affiliate. I have had all three – it’s usually the affiliates with a proven track record that have the most success.
What kind of results can you expect?
Obviously you cannot expect all affiliates to have the same success as one another. In fact, every time I have released a product to the marketplace I have had affiliates come on board and do nothing, not make any sales. Some new, inexperienced affiliate marketers may just think that sending a tweet out to their 300 twitter followers is enough – usually this method has weak results. If you are lucky or if you have created such a buzz about your product that you have got some big affiliate marketers on board you could make a lot of money very quickly. Imagine an established marketer has a list of over 10,000 subscribers and he sends out a weekly newsletter with a recommendation to check out your product. Even with a low click through rate of just 5% that would be 500 visitors to your product, now even if your product coverts at a low 2% this would be 10 sales from one email.
Let’s go through those numbers again, which by the way are very modest. You need to understand the power of this. Let’s say your product sells for $37.
Your product is recommended on an email list of 10,000 subscribers
Only 5% click on your product link (the affiliate’s link) = 500
Your product converts at 2% = 10 Sales
10 x $37 = $370
You pay the affiliate 50%, you both make $185
From ONE email. All the traffic to your product was not driven by you at all. In fact you did not do anything.
Where can I get affiliates?
Well, first of all you probably have people in your direct marketing circles who will be keen to promote it for you, ask these people first. They are your closest allies and will most probably support your product.
You can also list your digital products through JVZoo, Clickbank, PayDotCom just to name a few. These networks are also very good at getting affiliates to promote for you, I often find if I use these networks the affiliates come to you rather than you having to pitch to them.
But the real “gold” comes if you can get on a well known marketers list. No doubt you are already on a few marketing lists, well if you are start engaging with them. Buy some of their products, give them some good testimonials. Then when your product is due for launch ask them if they would not mind promoting it. What is the worst that is going to happen? They will say, sorry – not right now.
Remember though – your product has to be top quality and relevant to what they do. They are recommending you and your product to their hard earned list of subscribers so they do not want to promote any old rubbish.
So there we have it, I hope this post has given you a good insight into using affiliates to drive traffic to your offer.
If you want any more advice on the topics mentioned above contact me here on the blog. Do you have any other networks you like to use? We would love to hear from you in the comments section.
I want to discuss something that came about from an experience I had two weeks ago with a hosting company here in the UK. Something that I believe could have been losing them money because they were not pandering to ego and focused more on the technical aspect of their business.
I wasn’t going to name the company as I intended not to dis them just use them as an example of what I believe a business should and shouldn’t do but after re visiting today I see that there have been some changes and I know understand more of what they do and what a customer will get.
The company is screenflowhosting.com and whether it was my email that helped or not I really don’t know but what I do know is that they have made some excellent positive changes. So the article is to also big them up and give them so extra exposure.
Today’s post came about from listening to the legendary Slipmatt radio show the World Of Rave. I am a lover of all things Electronica music. I am especially a big fan of the music that was around in the late 1980s and early 1990s. That was when I was in my teens & early twenties and clubbing and there is a big ‘old skool’ movement happening now with radio shows and rave nights dedicated to the music from that era.
As part of the DJ Slipmatt’s show he does the usual call out to his sponsors and help including the guy who deals with the technical side of the radio and the hosting company responsible for the running of the radio show.
I have a website that is loosely dedicated to the music and have thought about having my own online radio show for it. I have in fact been in talks with one online radio station DanceRadioUK that also hosts Slipmatt’s show to do a late night show for them about all forms of Electronica called ‘Everything Starts With An E’ (Will keep you posted if it comes off!)
Online radio is great because many different radio stations can connect and broadcast the same show so for example ‘The World Of Rave’ which is Slipmatt’s show is broadcast on a Friday night between 5 and 7 on several online radio stations as well as direct from his own website. Below is a recording of one of his recent shows.
When I heard Slipmatt call out the name of the hosting company I went over and took a look. After looking around the site for several minutes I rightly or wrongly decided to send them an email sharing my thoughts. Not to criticise or bash but to say from a customer’s point of view how I was left dazed and confused at their site and services.
Offering the best service and equipment is one thing good businesses should do but the best businesses generally think from a customer’s point of view and if a customer is not tech savvy it doesn’t matter if you supply the new ‘Mega 4000 Max Power Kyrptonite Processor, NRA Based Server’ or ‘40 Tonne Kilowatt Bandwidth’
What I as a customer needs to know is will it do what I want, I need to know the results I will get from system and as it was music related many DJs will be ego driven and want to know ‘How many listeners can I have and will it cost a lot’
As part of the system requirements and package specifications was a button, ‘Learn More’ which when clicked took me to the ‘order form’. I didn’t learn anything new and was not sure what I was paying for and whether I wanted to pay for it.
As a DJ (potential DJ lol) I saw that I could have 100 listeners as part of a £10 a month package, this didn’t sound a lot to me, I wasn’t sure how this worked whether it was a bandwidth thing or something at my end or what. All I know is that I would want to be set up and have the potential to broadcast to thousands if possible and at what price. Now having a Radio 1 size audience is probably well out of my price range but I really do not know.
Getting only 100 visitors doesn’t sound a lot and worth bothering for £10 a month: that is me simply thinking like a customer. I could be completely wrong here with other radios all being able to tap into radio streams it could be possible to be like Ibiza Global Radio and broadcast around the world connecting to different services and set ups.
As I said StreamfloHosting.com have changed their site and added some new information that has helped increased my knowledge and understanding within a few minutes of reading. My email might have helped or it might have been nothing more than a simple coding error and the information was there all the time just I was unable to connect with it. Whatever it was, I know understand far more than I did before which is great.
Whatever your business is, you must stop and think from your customer’s perspective and think ‘What is it I would want to know, look for and buy if I was the customer?’ Think about the ‘X Factor’ for a minute (I know it is an awful show but please just try J)
Imagine Simon Cowell said to a group of teenage wannabes…
‘I will get you into a large studio with Reason, Cubase software, Akai and Roland equipment, big microphones and record a song’
…the teenagers would be stood with a semi excited fixed grin thinking…
‘I have no idea what you just said really’
but if instead Simon had said…
‘I will make you stars, with millions of adoring fans, millions in the bank and a life of mixing with celebrities’
I can guarantee the teenagers would be jumping around in joy screaming and whooping.
The desired results they want are stardom, adoration, money and a celebrity lifestyle. They are not interested in or understand the technical aspects of a recording studio or equipment. I am not saying they won’t develop an interest along their journey to stardom but that isn’t why they go on the ‘X Factor’
Unless you are a real geek, when getting website hosting you are more likely to be interested in what it can do for your business, brand or popularity and not what the actual software or hardware is and it is the same for any business.
Drug dealers know this well, that is why they never sell the drug, they sell the experience, the high, the happiness and the effects the drug can have. Obviously there is a place for system information and technology specifications and I am not saying you should become a ‘Willy Wonka’ style character only selling dreams all the time. That can fall into the dubious realms of copywriting which can be as unethical in the way it sells dreams as selling drugs.
What I am trying to say here is that when you are offering a service or selling products, do not get too wrapped up in the specifications of the technology or service. People buy things for a reason and often that reason is driven by an expectation of a result so you should be selling results more than a service or product.
Besides, the average Joe Public know what they want as a result but they probably do not have a clue about the technology and hardware. You could soon leave them dazed and confused with information overload and quite possibly scare them off from making a decision losing you the sale. And I know you do not want that, do you?
If you are interested in running an online radio and they are very popular and powerful please check out Streamflowhosting.com and if you simply want to hear some cool sounds both old skool and new please check out my recommended list of online Radio stations.
Also if you want to be a superstar DJ like Slipmatt he is soon to be doing a special online training course covering all styles old and new. I am ok with the old but need serious help with the new technology so I shall be signing up!
You are probably aware that there are many ways to make money online, many of the courses and marketers are telling you that you need an email list and that you should be selling information products and yes this is true.
Creating products showing people how to make money online and then selling them to your own email list can be a very fruitful business model. The biggest problem is that product creation can be quite time consuming and labour intensive.
That is if you try and create the bigger products like a 12 month training course which you can sell for big money. These bigger products mean they can be too costly for some people but on the flip side you can sell less to make a good profit.
There are however other great products that you can create and sell that more people can afford and that you can create quicker and more regularly. When you look at people like Ryan Deiss they create a lot of little reports which they give away for free as a teaser for bigger products that they promote later.
The reason I use Ryan as an example is that the reports he has created are really good quality and crammed full of good information that could be sold as small eBooks in their own right.
There are people who do exactly that, I was on Imram Naseem’s email list for few years and he was one of many people who would create a new report each month and sell them for the price of $5-$7 each. These reports are easily affordable by most people and he probably went on to sell quite a few. I know I bought a few and was not disappointed either.
These small reports only need to be about 15 pages long, as long as you have enough useful information and ideas then there is no reason why you cannot sell them and make a good profit. If writing or creating screenshots is not your strongest skill you could easily outsource the writing and graphics to people on Odesk, Elance or even Fiverr.com.
Let’s say that you get a report created for $100 all finished ready to promote, at $5 you only need to sell 20 to break even, an email list of 500 highly targeted people should easily give you at least 20 sales. Once the reputation of your quality reports start to grow as well as your email list you will increase your sales.
You are not limited to just eBooks or reports; you can create short video tutorials or even things like sales page templates for WordPress. It can be anything really. At $5-$7 it isn’t hard to over deliver on quality.
For example, if you created a short 20 minute video that you sold for $5 in which you showed people how to make $20 a day profit for free, by promoting Amazon products on Facebook or Twitter for 5 minutes work, already the cost of the product is overshadowed by the value it delivers and the potential profit it can generate.
If you are not yet able to afford screen capture software like Camtasia which is not cheap you can use excellent free online software like Screencast-O-Matic.com which allows you to record 15 minutes of high quality video for free.
If you really want to push the boat out you can pay $15 to have access to Screencast-O-Matic’s whole editing suite which will allow you to fully edit your recording and give you longer recording time. $15 for a whole year? That really is nothing these days.
The idea is that you create these reports or videos and sell them to your own email list, but if you do not have a large email list yet as it is early days then why not offer these reports to people who have established email lists and do a joint venture offer where you give them half of the money generated?
Yes you lose money but then again, you will sell more than first expected so you will make more also you will add people to your email list if you set up an opt in box where people hand over an email address to access the product.
Finding ideas for your reports isn’t hard either, sign up to a lot of email lists from the big marketers, read some of the bigger blogs and find out what they are promoting or what advice and ideas they are giving out. You can soon formulate ideas and methods from the works of these people. Obviously I do not need to tell you not to copy them, at least re word them and add some new information to them to make your own.
This business model can be grown into one that requires very little work on your part by paying someone to create the reports and videos for you and then you simple upload them to your own site, write and send an email and then profit.
Let’s say that your reports are averaging $100 each to have made. When you sell them you make $500 a month from each report; it isn’t bank breaking but it’s a good profit. Look at it this way…
You didn’t spend your time creating the reports, someone else did
You profited from the work of other people
The profit is extra profit made on top of the day job if you still have one
You would not make that profit each month if you put $100 into a bank account
This business can grow and grow into different niches with several reports sold each month
Seriously, stop and think about it, you can put $100 a month into a bank account and not get any return these days. Some accounts will cost you more than you make unless you are banking big money each month.
Even at a profit of $100 a month after the investment of $100 will still be $1200 a year that you didn’t have. That will pay for your holiday or rent for a few months. That is looking at it from a very reserved point of view; there are no reasons why you cannot build this business up to a very, VERY profitable business if you decide to create a business plan and stick with it.
In reality you will sell more reports at $5 than you will at $97, yes people attach quality to a higher priced product and you need to only sell a few to be in profit but it can also back fire on you, if you sell an eBook at $97 and the information is poor, the value of the product is less than the price, then you will have to give refunds. You can upset people very easily and they will remember, they will also warn people about you meaning that you will need to find new people to join your list which can be a costly exercise.
At least with $5-$7 reports, if people are dissatisfied with them, which they won’t be because the value will always be more than the price, they are more likely to shrug their shoulders and not worry about losing the price of a beer. At $97 however, that can be the price of a grocery shop so over charging at that price but delivering a book worth only a quarter of the price will not do you any favours.
Remember, it is a lot easier to create smaller 15 page reports, you can sell more and the refund rate will be less. This really is a viable publishing business. Look around you will see offline publishing houses have been doing the same thing for decades.
I thought it was about time we got down to talking about something that all of us Bizzebee’s do with our own sites – affiliate marketing, which can be a fantastic way to monetize your website. In this post we will talk about what affiliate marketing is and try to answer some of the questions that you may have. Let’s get started…
So, What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way of earning money on your site by promoting other people’s products. You get a commission for every sale that is made via a referral from your site. Many websites like productexpert.com use affiliate marketing as a way of monetizing their website (as well as other methods) as it can be quite effective when done properly.
What Products Can I Promote On My Site?
Short answer – more than you think!
Many people new to affiliate marketing think that there must only be a handful of affiliate products that they could promote, but in fact there are vast amounts that are available for you to promote.
Think about it – if someone has a brand new product that they want to sell, instead of selling it themselves, they setup an affiliate program for that product and pay a commission (let’s say 30%) to everyone that helps to sell it. This can help that product reach a much wider audience than would have been possible by doing it themselves, which in turn helps them to earn more money.
For this reason alone, many current products, in a wide range of industries, have some sort of affiliate program that you can sign up too. All you have to do is find where the affiliate program is.
OK, So Where Can I Find Affiliate Programs?
There are a few different places to find affiliate products to promote.
The first place you should try is a product’s official website. You may find a link somewhere (usually the footer) where you can join their ‘affiliate program’ or ‘become a partner’ – something along those lines. If you can’t find one, it probably just means that they don’t have an official one.
The second place you can try is a dedicated affiliate product website (like clickbank or commission junction) and search for them there. These affiliate marketplaces have thousands of products available for you to promote (though admittedly they aren’t all worth promoting), in a number of different niches.
The third place you can try is big eCommerce sites. Sites like; Amazon, iTunes, WallMart, etc. all have their own affiliate programs that you can sign up too, allowing you to promote and earn commission on the products that they sell. This method can really help you to find the type of product that you want to promote for your site as they literally have thousands to choose from.
The best bit though is that you can signup to as many different affiliate programs as you want and promote multiple products on your site, all of which can earn you a commission if a sale is made.
What Are The Highest Paying Affiliate Programs Then?
This is a question that comes up time and again and frankly this is the wrong question to be asking!
Instead of asking “what the top affiliate programs are?”, you should be asking yourself “what products would my readers be interested in?” Only then will you truly be able to make the most of affiliate marketing.
For example – Let’s say that we found an amazingly good, high paying affiliate program for an airline and we wanted to promote holidays with them here on Bizzebee. This simply wouldn’t work as Bizzebee is a business site. People aren’t visiting our site looking to book a holiday, they want to learn about ways to help their online business. It wouldn’t matter how much we got paid for a commission as we likely wouldn’t make any sales because our readers aren’t interested.
When thinking about what to promote, ask yourself;
What are your readers interested in?
What products do you use that you could recommend?
So If I Pick The Right Products, I’ll Make Loads Of Money?
Affiliate marketing “can” potentially make you lots of money, HOWEVER a lot depends on the traffic your site is getting. Remember, you only get paid for every sale, not click, which is a result of someone buying via your affiliate link. The more people you get to your site, the more chance you have of people buying.
Affiliate marketing is simply one way that you can monetize your site, but just like any other method, you need to work on building up your traffic. This is not some “get rich quick” scheme, it requires lots of hard work to make it work, but if you do, it can be quite rewarding.
Do you use affiliate marketing on your website? Where do you find products to promote? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.
Some time somewhere in your blogging career you might feel the urge to promote your old blog posts which can be very helpful to your new readers. And in this way you can promote your ever green post more often to your readers and the search engines to have a great domain and page authority. But if you have to do it manually by changing the dates then it will be tiresome and in most case you will give up.
Besides, if you choose to re-post then as duplicate content , even if it is on your own domain – you will be penalized by major search engines like Google. Plus it won’t reflect to your feed which might be connected to your newsletter so your subscribers wont get any updates at all.
If you think there is no solution for this issue, ah well I have good news, nothing is impossible in this world! There are many different methods you can use for promoting your old blog posts. I am going to share 2 of them with you now! This handy dandy tutorial shows you two different methods for promoting your old blog posts automatically. Let us get started folks.
Old Post Promoter (OPP)
Old Post Promoter is a free WordPress plugin that automatically promotes your old blog posts. It randomly selects an old post and resets the publication date to now and hence promotes older posts from back to the front page and also in your RSS feed. So your post automatically notifies your subscribers and gets shared on connected social media accounts.
After activating the plugin go to its options page from within the admin area. The plugin lets you set minimum interval between old posts promotion, randomness interval, post age and more. You can even set the post position where the old blog post appears after promotion.
If you’ll be needing help with your WordPress hosting, you can get help from the professionals at Iran هاست وردپرس. According to them, با میزبانی وردپرس ایران هاست آسودگی، امنیت و سرعت را در وب سایت وردپرسی خود داشته باشید.
Tweetily – Tweet Your Posts Automatically!
Second best plugin you can use for promoting you old blog posts is “Tweetily – Tweet Your Posts Automatically!“. It allows you to promote old posts by tweeting them to Twitter automatically with hashtags. It provides you many useful options where you can set it and forget about it.
Install and activate the plugin, then go to Dashboard -> Tweetly. Connect your Twitter account to the plugin and select your options. It lets you set tweet interval time, number of tweets to do, maximum and minimum age of post, categories to exclude, additional text before or after the actual text (you may use this for adding ‘RT’ and ‘via’ etc), you can even set it to automatically create hashtags from post tags or categories.
I hope you liked my post. Please share with me your favourite tool that does the same. Feel free to ask me any question regarding this.
This post may be useful for people looking to know:
How To Promote Old Blog Posts Automatically In WordPress ?
Promoting old WordPress blog post
How can I promote my blog post automatically in WordPress