Alexander Bachmann: powerful strong leadership that drives admitad success


In my 15 years of affiliate marketing I have known many top affiliates that had a “hot moment”.  People that have made up to 7 figures a month. I would say 50% of them are broke, 45% are still affiliates, and about 5% of them make a run at their own business.  Businesses of all sorts.  Some start an offer and even some have started brick and mortar companies.

But there is that 1%… or probably less than 1%… that took what they learned by being a top affiliate and created their own networks.  People like Eli Aloisi,  Scott Richter,  George Avery, and Alexander Bachmann.

Despite being only 17, Alexander took his experience from being a top affiliate and decided to not only make his own affiliate network, but build it to have all the features the current platforms were lacking.

Prior to admitad, Bachmann contributed by working for Zanox & Affilinet as a publisher. These platforms are considered to be the European affiliate marketing giants. Instead of going head-to-head with Zanox, Bachmann discovered a gap in the Russian market in the niche of Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) affiliate marketing.

“I decided not to reinvent the wheel, I just wanted to improve the existing platforms, and excel at customer service” says Alexander.

After the surging it success of admitad he decided to take it globally, establishing 6 offices across the globe and will be continuing to grow their marketshare,  including Asian region.  Truly making them the global leader as an affiliate network.

I love stories like this.

Despite the large size of the company it still sticks to Alexanders affiliate roots of catering to the needs of affiliates and publishers by offering leading industry features like:

  • A global one stop place for all clients world wide. This is huge and gives them a giant edge over affiliate networks let alone world wide affiliate networks.
  • For advertisers there is no initial cost of entry and also no extra cost to promote the offers to top affiliates.  This is because admitad vets all advertisers to make sure they have the right offer and great payouts for their affiliates.
  • admitad has a very transparent system and is known for paying affiliates before they even get paid from the offer owner / advertiser.
  • A very impressive in house developed platform which allows them to quickly adapt as  offers,  affiliate needs, and tracking features evolve.  They always have cutting edge features and do not have to wait for the “network in a box” platforms.

If you are an affiliate / publisher looking for a network with global top paying offers, than I highly recommend admitad.

You owe yourself to signup and check it out now.

Another thing that I really like is that even though they have a very large company with a global presence, their CEO, Alexander Bachmann, still plans a hands on role where there is no job beneath him.  Yes, obviously he leads the company as the chief executive officer but because of his past as a top affiliate, will also works a lot with advertisers and affiliates.

With Mr. Bachmann at the helm admitad has grown by leaps and bounds.  His employees cant speak highly enough about him as well as affiliates. We have several friends in common on Facebook and I enjoy his posts (the ones I can make out in english lol).

Also under Alexander Bachmann’s leadership he established European “must attend” events.  There is one coming up in September that you can’t miss.

 



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Why Your Marketing Plan Can’t Be Set It and Forget It


Marketing plans are like stir fry. If you toss everything in a wok, set your burner to high, and then walk away, you’ll end up with burnt food.

But a lot of people treat marketing plans like this. They’d like to think all they have to do is throw the ingredients in, add water, and press a button.

This could be the most disastrous thing you could do to your marketing efforts. You’re likely to lose sight of your goals and end up in the weeds.

Instead, you need to treat your marketing plan like a living document. Something like the Constitution of the United States of America. It should be flexible and continually present for guidance.

But how do you keep your marketing plan fresh? How can you keep it ever-present for both yourself and your team?

Read on to get the answers you’re looking for.

1. Write Your Marketing Plan On Your Forehead

Ok. You probably don’t want to literally write it on your forehead.

But ancient literature used the images of writing something on your forehead or on the back of your hand as a metaphor for never forgetting.

You aren’t likely to memorize your marketing plan verbatim. But, if you’re like most small businesses, you might forget your marketing plan amid everything else you’re doing.

You may not even have a dedicated marketing team. Your team might know a thing or two about marketing, but maybe nobody is specifically in charge of marketing.

That’s ok. But you should still hold marketing meetings regularly to keep your plan on track and make sure someone on your team is making efforts toward your goals.

Forgetting your marketing plan is akin to forgetting where you were heading on a road trip. You might end up in the middle of nowhere where the hills have eyes…no bueno.

2. Don’t Write Your Marketing Plan On Tablets of Stone

Stone is a pretty good medium if you want something permanent. But your marketing plan isn’t permanent.

Marketing plans should be as alive and ever-changing as the seasons. Why? Because the marketing scene changes every day.

And it’s absolutely possible to keep up with your marketing goals daily. Analytics software can run in real time making marketing management simple.

If you see that your goals aren’t being met, simply change your methods. If you find that your goals are unrealistic, you can dial them back at any time.

Micro adjustments might be needed on a weekly basis until you hit your stride. But it’s completely possible to keep adjusting your plan according to the data.

Remember, hindsight is always 20/20. And while most people only remember this in hindsight, it’s best to keep in mind continually. Always look back before looking forward.

3. Write Your Plan Like A Roadmap, Not a List Or a Novel

If you want to make sure your plan stays fresh and malleable, do not write a whole novel about it. Or even make a list.

These things, like the massive tombs that contain them, gather dust and encourage stale behavior.

Instead, work out a timeline or a road map to success. Give your plan visual space. And like a road trip, you can stop off along the way or reroute when you want.

If you write out all the strategic steps or thinking, you’ll likely go into task mode.

Task mode is another name for tunnel vision. If you’re solely focused on “getting it done” you lose sight of the big picture while honing in on your originally perceived target.

You’ll be so driven to hit your goals and check things off from your list that you’ll forget to stop and look around at all the blooming data.

One other problem with a prose-heavy plan or a long list: nobody will read the thing. Who has time for that? Do you?

This ties into point one: if you want to keep the plan continually in your mind, don’t make it cumbersome.

It should be easy to remember and not so complex that you don’t know where to start if you wanted to change it.

If you make it too complex or too hard to remember, what happens when you send it to your team to review or you ask them to implement specific sections?

Don’t waste your team’s valuable time. They’re not going to appreciate it and it will slow your team’s progress in other areas.

Instead, keep it simple and trust your team to fill in the blanks. And besides, questions should always be allowed. Your team should be comfortable asking about the document and even poking holes in your plan.

4. Social Media Demands Flexibility

If you think social media marketing is the same as it was ten years ago, you must have a pretty short memory. The social media landscape doesn’t look at all like it did a decade ago.

In fact, what started out as an industry of two companies (Facebook and LinkedIn) has grown to a battlefield with a dozen armies vying for space. And social media changes every day.

So, how do you expect a static marketing plan to keep up with a social media campaign? I’ll tell you: you shouldn’t expect it to keep up with it. It just can’t.

If you’re doing PPC, you might end up paying for nothing if you’re not paying attention and modifying your plan. You might also end up with an audience that doesn’t care or an audience that’s even fake, resulting in zero outcomes.

The lesson here is simple. Don’t.

Don’t make your plan a novel. Don’t set it and forget it. And don’t set it in stone.

Are you working on a marketing plan right now? Have you seen success? How about failure? I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.



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5 WordPress Stats that Establish WP as the King of All CMS Platforms


WordPress has completely changed the way websites and blogs are created on the internet today. It’s tough to imagine the online world of content creation and the internet without WordPress. In short, there would probably be hundreds of millions of fewer websites on the internet today.

With WordPress now in its teenage years, the free CMS platform has made it extremely easy for anyone to get started with a website or blog of their own, with little to no technical experience required. At the same time, WordPress themes and plugins have also completely revolutionized the way websites not only create content, but also engage with their audiences.

Even the world of web hosting has been transformed thanks to WordPress. In previous years web hosting services were all about shared hosting and sticking as many websites on a server as they could. Now there are many web hosting services dedicated to WordPress hosting and making sure performance and speed are always a top priority. It’s even gotten to the point where users don’t even need to download and install the software on new hosting accounts, it’s already pre-installed and live for them to start using right away.

7 Surprising WordPress Facts to Blow Your Mind

With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at seven surprising WordPress stats and facts that you probably didn’t know.

WordPress was first released in 2003.

In the world of the internet, not many businesses can stand the test of time and the ever-changing environment. However, WordPress is one of the most valued and treasured names to come out of 2003, along with LinkedIn and Mozilla. Which of the three will last the longest?

It’s “WordPress”, Not “WordPress”

Everyone loves to be corrected on their grammar and to receive emails on blog post misspellings. However, few people have a hatred for misspellings more than the WordPress cult group. Make sure to always capitalize the “W” and the “P” in WordPress.

Want to Create a WordPress Resource Site?

One of the main reasons why WordPress has found so much success online is due to that fact that it’s an open-source platform and there are so many resources out there for it. WordPress doesn’t mind if you create a resource site and teach others how to use the software. Just make sure you don’t use “WordPress” in the domain name. Go with “wp” instead.

All Your Internet Belongs to WordPress.

When it comes to starting a new website or blog, WordPress is simply dominating every other platform out there. Right now the software is at 27%, in reference to how many of the top 10 million websites are running the software. The crazy thing is that these numbers and share percentage continue to increase daily.

More WordPress Themes and Plugins Please.

Along with everything else that WordPress has completed changed and revolutionized on the internet, it would be a huge mistake to not mention WordPress themes and plugins. With more than 50,000+ plugins and 4,500+ themes in the WordPress.org directory, millions of designers, developers, agencies, and organizations have created complete business models based around creating and updating plugins and themes for the CMS.

The Future of WordPress and Where We are Headed

It’s tough to look at WordPress today and say where it will be in a few years from now, although it’s likely that blogging won’t be going anywhere soon. This is especially true the internet still rapidly changing, and much of the world now using their mobile devices for internet usage. No matter what changes are to take place, we can likely say that WordPress is here to stay. Since it’s an open source platform, the community as a whole will continue to work together to make sure it evolves with the industry and makes the process of site building and content creation not only easier than ever before but also better than any other platform out there can do.



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Think all the good affiliate niche ideas are already taken? — think again


Whether you are experienced and thinking of ways to monetize a new blog or website or a newbie – picking a niche when it seems all the good ideas (or keywords) are snapped up can be a challenge.

Sure, competition in affiliate marketing is fierce and you can be left feeling there is no room or way in for you. If you’re stuck feeling this way, here’s a little therapy.

Why is picking a niche so difficult?

Here’s why – it’s important. You want to make a decision – and you want it be the right one.

If you are stuck thinking “there’s no room for me” or “the good ideas are taken” you are already admitting defeat.

The amount of ideas that can be translated into a successful online business or website are infinite from financial services such as those provided by LeadNetwork, which specializes in payday and personal loans (see https://leadnetwork.com/payday-loan-affiliate-program-network), health such as the dieting niche, to romance and sites dedicated to break-up advice. You can even stand out from the crowd in flooded markets if you take some time to think how you can elbow your way in.

“That’s easier said than done,” you’re thinking. Agreed, it ISN’T easy, but you shouldn’t give up.

Choosing a niche is a long-term investment so it pay to choose wisely.

Here are some hints and tips to help out in the niche selection process that hopefully give you the best shot.

Don’t think about how to reinvent the wheel, think about how to make it better

To be a success online, you cannot do the same as everyone else – that’s when you will just get lost in the crowd.

The problem with this is you could interpret that to mean you have to create something totally new, something that has never been done before, to be a success.

That’s a pretty daunting prospect and it is full of unknowns.

A smarter approach is to forget about finding something new and look at niches proven to work and then think how to make it better.

People are always looking for something better, so give them something better

Forget about how much competition there is – if you think you can offer people something better then go for it.

The question is how do you know it is better?

The answer lies in thinking as a consumer.

Think of what you want as consumer of products or services in that market, think about your experience and then do the market research to get a good idea of the experience of others. Look at the feedback, read reviews, comments, take part in forums and get to know your potential target audience inside out. Glean all the knowledge you need to figure out what needs to be improved.

The key difference between you and everyone else in the market is you aren’t just looking for a solution – you are looking at how to make that solution better.

Specialize

Again this comes back to the competitiveness issue – the thinking all ideas are taken and there is no room for you.

When choosing a niche you can get better results, in faster time, by thinking about how to specialize.

This does not mean thinking smaller.

It means to think specialized.

Start with a market you are genuinely interested in – something you like – and do not think about the competition.

Then start to break that market down into components, even sub-components until you get to the point where you can identify there’s a need and you feel like you can create THE AUTHORITIVE RESOURCE or become THE AUTHORITY for that particular topic.

After a while you will gain traction and, ideally, whenever that topic is talked about you will be too.

Some refer to this as “niching down”, and while that technically is the case, if you think of it as specializing within a larger market that will drive your approach.

You will have a mission, a purpose.

By specializing you become an expert and you gain the reputation that follows making it easier to get your message out there to larger audiences.

And that leads to:

  • It will become easier to be found in Google because the more you specialize the less completion there is. When people search for something specific the more specific the search terms they use are.
  • It will become much easy to reach your target audience and gain a following.
  • It will be easier to gain conversions and actually sell something. Since you are THE authority or your site is THE authoritive resource).

In the digital age we have come to the point where an online business can be successful and make a decent income by specializing. You don’t need to own the market, you just need to own your own slice of it and that slice doesn’t need to be big.

Two things you need to do

Whatever way you come to select the topic for your new blog or website, there’s two important things you need to do:

Actually select your topic. You can conduct all the research you want, but truth be told until you have got something established online and until you start producing content for it, you’re going nowhere. It is a better idea to select a niche you may hold some doubts about then never pick one at all. This is hands-on and you will learn more by doing than theorizing.

Then go all out. You must dress to impress – no crap that doesn’t provide any value – where they may have worked in the past, those days are gone. Work hard to impress your end user, and Google will catch on giving you the place you deserve on the results page.



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What Westworld Teaches Us About Website Management


The world is slowly moving toward a gloriously automated age. A world of AI, robots, machine learning algorithms, infinite cloud storage, and more.

Soon, life will be so automated we could take month long vacations in exotic playlands filled with androids so real we forget they’re androids. Soon we will live in the universe of Westworld.

But, if you’ve seen the TV show, you probably don’t look forward to that future. Or maybe you really are ready for our robot overlords.

Whatever your hopes are for our future, the hit HBO TV show Westworld is rife with current societal satire and lessons for every area of life. We could even glean a little bit of truth about website management while we’re at it.

And that’s exactly what we aim to do today. Take a long hard look at what Westworld could teach us about website management. Keep scrolling for more.

These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends

Website security should be your first concern when it comes to website management. Your customers’ data is like platinum in the online economy. If you collect data for transactions and other purposes your website should be like Fort Knox.

A data breach can be devastating to any company. The average cost of a data breach is close to $4 million. But money is the least of your concerns.

The damage to a brand’s name could cost even more in hidden costs of lost customers and loyalty and trust.

In Westworld, data is even more important. Not only did Delos have the whereabouts and preferences and desires of every guest to protect. Delos possessed massive amounts of intellectual property and proprietary data as well.

The Delos Corporation did their darndest to keep a tight lid on how their “Hosts” or robots functioned and what data left the park. A massive security force, robots built on site and programmed only by vetted and trained individuals, and more.

But all of this security and precaution could not take into account one thing: internal rebellion from a dead man manifested by his creation.

The Real World Is Almost Scarier

You probably won’t have ghosts in your machine messing with your web security. And your website can’t shoot you in the head along with all your customers.

But you might experience human error or malicious code. And sometimes, as with most of the humans in Westworld, you don’t know it happened until it’s too late.

In fact, 86% of web sites include at least one serious vulnerability. And that vulnerability may not be very obvious to the untrained eye.

So, how do you mitigate your losses and keep your website secure?

The Reverie Updates

In Westworld, the Hosts received regular updates to their programming. The engineers physically brought in the Hosts, examined their behavior, examined their code, and ran updates.

These were called Reverie updates named after the little ticks that made the hosts seem human.

Someone was messing with the updates in Westworld, and that’s one reason why things went to hell in a handbasket. But your website updates should actually work for you.

If you’re using dedicated cloud hosting, you may not need to worry about updates. But your hosting service should keep you abreast of all the updates and security patches they’re performing.

This could come in an RSS feed or an email. Most services will inform you about updates as soon as you log-in to your backend.

The Upload Link

Someone wanted the Delos Corporation’s data and implanted a Host with a transmitter capable of emitting data out of the park. It also made the Host act in erratic ways leading to its eventual demise.

One major vulnerability in your website works in a similar fashion. The transmitter in the Host’s brain is very much like an SQL injection in your website’s code.

An attacker essentially uses a web form field or a URL parameter to get into your data base. This happens when someone accidentally placed rogue code into your query.

This rogue code can be used to get information, delete data, and change tables.

How do you stop this from happening? Simple. Parameterized queries.

Essentially, you pre-compile an SQL statement so that you just have to set the parameters.

Cease All Motor Functions

The Hosts in Westworld responded to verbal commands. These were the verbal passwords used to control the hosts.

To examine or modify a Host’s code, a technician would merely say “cease all motor functions” and the Host would become inactive.

Of course, only qualified individuals could use these passcodes. And no one without authorization could gain access to a Host.

This kind of security should be your gold standard.

Secure passwords may seem like a basic concept. But most people don’t follow excellent password security protocols.

Anyone who has access to your website’s backend should follow password best practices. And you should insist on this no matter what.

And password protection doesn’t stop with the human element. Passwords should be stored as encrypted values. Preferably using a hashing algorithm.

Hashed passwords are extremely difficult to decrypt. Brute force is the only method possible for decrypting hashed passwords. A hacker would need years he doesn’t have or a supercomputer to crack a hashed password.

By hashing your passwords, you essentially make them worthless to the hacker. They will most likely move on to easier prey.

You’re New. Not Much of a Rind on You

One of the resident Hosts commonly spoke a fairly ironic line throughout the show. It was scripted and pat. But it spoke volumes about the vulnerabilities inherent in the humans who visited Westworld.

So too can you tell whether a website is completely vulnerable or not. If it’s not secured with HTTPS protocol, you know its back door is wide open.

And there is no excuse to having an unprotected website. Let’s Encrypt provides completely free certificates and tools to encrypt your website properly.

You Write the Narrative

It’s not worth it. Don’t let your website get overrun.

You can learn from the mistakes of others. And you don’t have to live out the narrative set by your own hesitation or laziness.

How do you keep your website secure? Are you a fan of Westworld too? Let me know in the comments below.



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The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing


“With great power comes great responsibility” is probably one of the most misused quotes in the English language. And I’m about to totally abuse it right here.

Are you popular? Even marginally so?

Do you have connections? Know some of the most influential and awesome bloggers and social media elites in the world? Then you’ve got the power!

And I’m going to hold you accountable for that power. Because there is no excuse as to why you’re not making money off your power.

But if I’m preaching to the choir here or the future choir, then I say keep reading. I’m going to lay down the law on influencer marketing. So you better be paying attention.

1. Don’t Be Aimless

You wouldn’t create a PPC campaign without a goal to increase traffic or sales or leads, right? That’d be plain stupid. No benchmarks? What?!

Somehow, people think influencer marketing is too nebulous for goals. But it’s not.

You can measure specific KPIs. Indicators like website views, referral visitors, brand buzz on social platforms, and social media reach of your influencers.

Decide on a metric or two to track. Set benchmarks. Then set goals.

You’ll know pretty quickly how valuable your influencers are or how realistic your metrics are.

2. Don’t Rub Shoulders With the Wrong Crowd

Like mama said: if your friends jumped off a bridge, would you? And the inevitable smart-ass answer: depends on the bridge.

But if your influencers are dragging you off a bridge, you chose the wrong influencers. It doesn’t matter how many followers they have, if they don’t align with your brand’s values, don’t give them the light of day.

Do you want a great example? Ever heard of PewDiePie? He’s a YouTube star of great repute. At least past great repute.

He said a few inflammatory things about Jews and Nazis and his sponsor dropped him like a bag of feces.

Who was his sponsor? None other than the mighty Disney, of course.

This wasn’t a good thing for either Disney or Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg. So learn from Disney’s mistake. Investigate your influencers thoroughly before taking them on.

3. Don’t Make Followers the Sole Qualifier

Yes, you want influencers with a lot of, well, influence. But that has to be genuine influence.

Fake followers or uninterested followers are a real thing. It could be that El Vlogger made a ton of videos once, gained a lot of YouTube subscribers, and mostly quit.

Maybe they make a video every year or something. They’re resting on their laurels and don’t even keep up their social media presence anymore. But if you were to merely look at their subscriber count, you’d think they were a great influencer.

Don’t bite. They’re a bad investment.

You want someone who produces often and gets a lot of engagement on either social media or the influencer’s main media platform.

Also, beware of fake followers. While major platforms like YouTube penalize fake subscribers and views, some places don’t.

The best way to know if you’ve got a real influencer: engagement. Look at whether they actually respond on social media or in the comments section. This will tell you if they’re at least active.

4. Do Make All the Links

If you give an influencer a link…they’re going to want a cookie. Or your business.

Maybe even both.

But getting an influencer’s attention, especially if they’re majorly popular, can be difficult. But if you’re giving them loads of traffic through your links to their content, they will notice.

Even if they don’t notice right away, it’s a nice thing to do. And if you keep at it, they will have to notice.

If they are a blogger, link to their blog. If they are a YouTuber, link to their videos.

Don’t link out to other mentions of the influencer. This will not get their attention.

Only direct links will work.

5. Do Reach Out Without String Attached

If you’re a popular influencer, you most likely get tons of annoying queries a day. And when someone messages you with a “Hey [Influencer]!” You probably say, “Gee, another query.”

But what if that message were just a friendly hello? What if it were just small talk with a fun little compliment sandwiched in? How do you think the influencer will feel?

Refreshed, I’m sure.

If you’re looking to grow your social influencer network, do nice things with no strings attached. Strike up conversations. Leave the asking until you actually have a real relationship.

Relationships are the only sure-fire way to gain someone’s trust. So build those relationships to gain the trust of influencers.

They’ll be more willing to promote your business if they know you’re trustworthy.

6. Do Be Open About Your Relationships

Not your romantic relationships. That’s none of my business. But your influencer relationships should be public.

Besides, they’re promoting you. How do you think you’re going to keep this thing a secret?

Most influencers are open and honest about who pays them to promote. It creates trust with your followers.

You too should be honest about who you’re paying to promote your brand. And honesty will actually boost your brand name.

How?

If you’ve got truly influential influencers, then naming them is a commendation. Doesn’t matter if you’re paying them. These people like your brand enough to wear it on their bodies or use it in their own content creation.

If they didn’t somewhat like your brand, they wouldn’t promote it, period. You can only be a brand influencer of a crummy brand for so long. It wears on your soul and eats away at your conscience. And someone will probably call you out eventually.

Conclusion: Hard Work and Ingenuity

Influencer marketing might be tough to break into. But gaining influencers and being successful are two real possibilities for your brand.

Yes, it might take a bit of luck at times. But mostly, it’s hard work and ingenuity that gets the worm in this case.

Do you have any tried and true ways to find and keep influencers? Let me know in the comments below.



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3 Ways to Make Money with a Niche Market Blog


Blogging is one of the most popular methods for creating content and building a business online. Thanks to the power of WordPress, it’s now easier than ever to not only create a website or blog, it’s also now possible for anyone to start making money online through the use of content creation and providing value to their audience. Blogging is better than ever, but the common problem people are having with making good money on their sites these days is that they think it’s all about the ‘content creation’… when it’s really not.

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, ‘creating content’ will only get you so far. We already have more than enough of that on the internet today, so what makes content creators think they are going to benefit from throwing even more clutter in and getting lost in the mix? Instead, it’s all about getting as niche focused as possible and providing the best content for an audience, while also giving them a call to action while they are on your site.

So, what does this mean? In short, ONLY create content that answers a question, provides a solution or recommends a method for your audience to get what they need. This is the best way to create content for a site that will actually generate leads and revenue.

Sidenote: Granted, there is a ton of content online that doesn’t fit into this category, but most of that content isn’t making much money or getting much traffic. There is always going to entertainment and general information sites out there that do well, but the number of these sites that actually make money is quite small. Not to mention, this isn’t the type of content or focus we are talking about right now.

Treat Your Blog Like a Business, Not a Hobby

If you want to make money with a blog, you need to treat your blog like a business. Just because WordPress is free and a domain name and hosting is only a few bucks per month, it doesn’t mean this is going to be easy. Even before getting started, you need to map everything out and look at your blog like a business. Don’t create content and hope to make money with — create content with the focus and goal of targeting an audience and getting them to take action while on your site.

The best way to approach this is simply by choosing an industry focus, then niching down as much as possible. When creating content for your site, it’s important to not just rely on organic search results, but also ways that you can send paid traffic to your site and make money from it in the process. Trying to rank a new site in Google (even for long tail keywords) is going to be quite tough, and it will take time for your site to actually have the domain authority, references and ranking power behind it.

When it comes to pre-planning your site and niching down as much as possible, always have a monetization play in mind. A great example of this process would be to take a generic topic like “basketball”, then niching down a level deeper to “basketball skills training”, and even one level deeper to “basketball jump training programs”. If someone searched for “basketball”, they could be looking for anything (i.e: scores, videos, highlights, products). However, if someone searches for “basketball jump training program”, you know exactly what they want and how to create the best content for them. And when it comes to monetization, there are a number of jump training courses on ClickBank, with many product creators earning nearly six-figures in monthly sales. Again, since you know your audience is looking for information and courses on jump training, it will be easy to create content around this subject with a great call to action in place as well.

3 Ways to Make Money with Highly Targeted Site Content

With all of this now covered and have given you an idea on how you can take a generic topic and niche down to a profitable market, let’s also take a look at some of the best working methods to actually make money with your site and content.

  • Review Sites are Cash Cows!
    One of the best ways to target an audience and get them to take action is to get to them while they are in ‘buying mode’. A great example of when and where this takes place is when someone is searching for online coupons or reviews for a product or service. If you are looking for such content, you are already looking to buy… you just want some savings or feedback before doing so. With this in mind, creating high-value niche sites around individual products or services is a great way to make money with your content. The monetization here would be through the use of affiliate marketing, where you would earn a commission on each coupon given away or a percentage of each referred sale. As always, if you want this to work, you will need to create the best content out there and then promote the heck out of it.
  • Adsense Works Very Well Sometimes…
    Google is the “go to source” for information in the world today. However, it’s really only the sites that are ranking at the top of Google for these questions and search terms that are benefiting financially from the process. This leaves a great opportunity for anyone to create a site based on the needs of audiences searching for answers online. Once creating a site and getting it to rank in Google, such monetization methods include Google Adsense, Media.net Contextual Advertising or even placing direct ad campaigns right on your site. When it comes to making money with Google Adsense, it’s usually ‘hit or miss’, however, with more advertisers buying remarketing advertising through Adwords, some general information sites are seeing a much higher CPM than they have in previous years.
  • Creating Your Own Product or Service
    Affiliate marketing and programs like Google Adsense are generating billions of dollars for bloggers and site owners every year. The problem with both of these methods is that you are still only earning a percentage of the full sale or ad revenue. If you are already finding success with your own site and making good money off either of the methods mentioned above, be sure to consider your options with creating a new course or service of your own. This way, you can earn 100% of the revenue and create a ‘real business’ for yourself. This works in markets of all sizes and even when 
    niche markets might seem small, they are extremely focused and audiences within each of them know exactly what they want.

No matter what niche market you go after, or the method of monetization, it’s all about your content value and providing a call to action for your visitors to act upon. At the same time, you need to niche down as much as possible — as this will make the content creation, marketing and monetization process so much easier and more effective. A good example of this would be “social media tools for businesses”. While “social media” is massive in itself when you niche down even further into a small sub-group, there is a whole new industry in itself and you know exactly what they want. By creating a blog and content around such topics, it’s quite possible to establish yourself as an industry expert and build a business and brand around your expertise.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to not only ‘niche’ down a website or blog content, but also plenty of ways to monetize such content and audiences as well. The most important factor when attempting to accomplish this is to make sure you have a solid platform (WordPress site) and content in place that provides value to your audience. Once this is accomplished, it’s simply a matter of getting your content in front of the right audiences and improving your rankings in the search results.

For anyone that has been thinking about starting a blog or making money with affiliate marketing, stop “thinking” and “start doing”. Take action right now and map out a business model for your blog.



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Customer Relationships: Are You a Targaryen?


Relationships are already hard enough in one’s personal life. But customer relationships add a whole new level of complication to the mix.

Which is probably why you feel like a king running a kingdom rather than a business owner. And sometimes, maybe, you feel like you’re going mad talking about loyalty and branding.

Maybe you wish a dragon would come and burn away all your problems so you could start fresh. Dragons are useful. Unfortunately, they’re only the stuff of fantasy.

But we can learn a thing or two about customer relationships from fantasy. Particularly from the Targaryens in Game of Thrones.

So, let’s take a look at the Targaryens and what you should — or maybe shouldn’t — emulate in your business practices.

1. The Madness of Aerys: Are You An Inconsistent Mess?

For King Aerys II, customer retention wasn’t particularly important. I mean, when you burn your constituents alive just cause the voices in your head tells you to, you obviously don’t care much for your image.

But that’s not the only reason we don’t want to follow the example of the late rightful king of the Seven Kingdoms. The man’s madness had no rhyme or reason to it.

And that’s what I want to zero in on today. Inconsistency.

Customers expect a brand to be consistent. Starbucks is a great example of this.

If you walk into any Starbucks in the world, their caramel macchiato will taste exactly the same. Thus Starbucks retains customers through consistency and reliability.

But not only are their products consistent, their customer relations are consistent. At every stop, you hear your order called by your own name. They hardly get your order wrong. They let you stay as long as you want.

Essentially, customer relationship consistency goes all the way down to the little things.

And you can transfer this over to any business. Even B2B businesses can take note.

Is your communication consistently at the right level? Are your procedures and protocols ensuring that every customer is treated fairly every time and in the same manner?

Customer retention should be your number one priority, even above customer acquisition. In fact, you can increase your profitability by 75% if you up your customer retention by only 5%.

So make sure you have strict customer relations policies in place. These will ensure your customer relations are consistent.

2. You Will Bend The Knee

Daenarys is a proud queen. She is the rightful heir of the Seven Kingdoms.

But she would probably make a terrible customer relationships manager.

When you demand that even the man you’re in love with “bends the knee,” you’re probably not going to treat your customers any better.

But where does the line lie between “the customer is always right” and “you will bend the knee”?

The customer can’t ALWAYS be right. They’re not the experts in your field. You are.

But you can’t just lord your expertise over your customers like you would a misbehaving child either.

You do have a responsibility, however, to educate your customers gently. And many businesses actually do this without losing business.

Consider the healthcare field. If doctors always gave patients exactly what they wanted rather than what they needed, would people get better or worse?

The best b2b marketing strategies set your business up as The Expert in whatever product you’re selling. Yes, the customer uses the product and they might be The Expert in the field. But you specialize in your product. And you know it best.

So, in this case, “you will bend the knee” might actually be appropriate. As long as you don’t actually say “you will bend the knee.”

How does one go about communicating to the customer that they should submit to your expertise?

First, acknowledge the customer’s concerns. Their concerns are always valid.

And then lay down the law…gently. Nicely. As if you were talking to someone you love dearly.

3. Dragons Solve Everything

Sometimes dragons do solve your issues. For one, Daenerys dragons are extremely effective at slaying massive armies in one burb.

Dragon fire is one of the great persuaders in the Game of Thrones universe, and Daenerys holds all the dragons, literally.

But I don’t recommend you take Daenerys approach to her problems, especially when it comes to customer relationships.

While, yes, consistency is key to customer retention, you shouldn’t treat your customers like cardboard cutouts either. That’s another thing Starbucks excels at: customization.

While your experience at each Starbucks should be consistent. I should be personal as well.

If you hang out in a cafe and the employee says the exact same phrases to each customer without changing a word, you know they don’t understand consistency and personalization.

The Human to Human Interaction

The key to personalization is erasing the concepts of B2B or B2C. Replace these terms in your head with H2H or human to human.

Even if someone represents a whole business, they’re still a human being. And over time you will build your relationship with that person and their business.

If you are observant, you will begin to see how to customize each customer’s experience. If you’re a B2B, then this will change over time. You will garner lasting business relationships if your customer relationships are dynamic.

If you are a B2C, you might not have the luxury of longer relationships. Some companies see different customers every week.

You might have initial impressions to use as a template for each interaction. And this is a skill you can build over time.

But as you practice tailoring your customer relations to each person, you’ll find it’s easy to pick up on what people enjoy hearing from you.

And you can actually leverage data to boost your abilities and enhance the customer experience. Utilize leading technologies like predictive analysis to upsell and cross sell to customers.

All of this can be done while keeping in mind your company’s policies and your expertise.

Conclusion

While it’s tempting to either adopt a one-size-fits-all/dragons solve everything or a mad and inconsistent customer relationships approach, it’s not wise.

Ditch the Targaryen way and start treating your customers like people. You’ll quickly find that your customers actually stick around to find out what you have to sell.

Are you a Targaryen? Have you found ways to improve customer relationships? Let me know in the comments below.



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What You Should Learn From These Horrific Logo Fails


Logos are a tricky thing. You want it to look professional, but you want it to catch someone’s eye.

If you’re not too careful, you could catch too many eyes for the wrong reasons. And that’s not what you’re setting out to do. Or is it?

We’ve collected some of the best logo fails on the internet right here. Let’s take a look at what was “really” wrong with these logos.

1. The 2012 Summer Olympics Zionist Conspiracy

When you upset a whole country with your logo, you should probably fire your graphic designer. But when you spend $400,000 on a logo like the London Olympic committee, you’re kind of stuck with your decision.

In fact, Iran threatened to boycott the 2012 Summer Olympic Games because they thought the logo spelled “ZION,” a reference to a Jewish holy state. Of course, the poor (albeit, rich) graphic designer for the logo probably intended nothing of the sort.

But it’s a good reminder that if you make a logo, test it on your audience before publishing it. You don’t want any unintended political connotations.

2. Bloody Sherwin Williams

We live in a world of bloodshed, certainly. But this is not the ideal we strive for.

If you took Sherwin Williams age old logo and decontextualized it, you’d think it was some warning about the ills of war and violence.

Now here’s the thing: This logo has been around since 1905. It’s obviously not a logo fail…right?

Well, it depends on who you ask.

In an age where environmentalism is popular, a logo depicting a paint can covering the world in paint isn’t chic. And if Sherwin Williams were a new company, I’d certainly call their logo a fail.

The outrage would be real in the Twitterverse if a new company came out with this logo today. But in 1905, this was actually cutting edge surrealism. It’s remained a classic symbol for generations.

So, what can we learn from Sherwin Williams?

Find something that is cutting edge today and perhaps it will be a classic tomorrow. Even if what is cutting edge today would be mildly offensive in the future, it’s more likely to stick around and represent you well.

3. The Pepsi Bloat

Cartoon logos can be effective. They harken back to a time when you played outside all day and then came inside to watch cartoons and eat grilled cheese and tomato soup.

But you have to be very careful with cartoon logos. There is a certain line you could easily cross where professionalism instantly disappears.

The Pepsi “bloat” logo is a great example of a simple cartoon logo gone horribly wrong.

We all know sugary sodas aren’t good for you. And it might be better for us all if a soda’s logo reminded us of this fact.

Way Too Bold

But we’re quite certain that Pepsi never intended on reminding people of the effects their soda could have on your body. Yet, in 2009, they accidentally created a logo that looked like a large individual wearing a shirt that’s too small for their belly.

A blogger even drew in what they saw when looking at the Pepsi logo. It’s comic and sad all at once.

Pepsi understandably changed their logo. And now it’s not really as weird.

But the lesson here is plain. Test your cartoon logos for an extended period of time on many focus groups before making them yours.

4. A Gap in Decision Making

We all remember when The Gap was popular…or maybe I imagined that. But whether you were a fan of khakis and polo shirts or not, The Gap is still a well-known clothing brand.

In 2010, The Gap made a horrific mistake. They changed their classic logo.

Now, when you change your logo, it can go one of two ways. Incredibly or horribly.

The Gap’s Change Went Horribly

What was wrong with the logo? Nothing offensive, unless you’re a graphic designer or someone with a sense of style.

The Gap changed their typeface from Spire Regular, a classy font designed by Anne Pomeroy, to Helvetica.

Presumably, The Gap was merely attempting to emulate the success of their competitor American Apparel. The problem is, American Apparel chose Helvetica not to attract customers but to make an ironic statement about branding.

Helvetica is old. It was popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

The Gap obviously did not get this little caveat.

Their other faux pax comes in the form of a little gradient square. This was 2010, not 2001. Gradient squares belonged on early versions of the Windows operating system, not on a major brand’s logo.

The effect was akin to printing out a blurry JPEG and calling it a logo.

In The End

Suffice it to say, The Gap returned to their classic logo and didn’t look back. But we can learn from their mistake.

Plenty of fonts exist today that will propel you into the next 20 years. Don’t settle for what you find in your word processor. Do your research.

And be sure to avoid any graphics a fifth grader would have used in a science presentation back in 1999. It just makes your logo look cheap.

5. The Black Metal Effect

Most black metal bands use DIY Logo design and they turn out pretty awesome. But if you are a business that doesn’t pierce body parts or inscribe works of art on a skin canvas, then you don’t want to emulate black metal bands.

Why?

Their logos are the most illegible things in the world — beautiful in their own way sometimes — but indecipherable most of the time.

Just because you think Celtic lettering looks cool doesn’t mean you should use it as your type font. There are plenty of ways to convey classical or romantic without completely confusing your audience.

Keeping your typeface clean is a must in business logos. If not, how will your customers know who you are? And how are they going to even remember your business?

Logos aren’t there to impress. They’re there to remind. Clean and simple is the motto. Follow it.

Logo Fails Don’t Have To Happen To You:

Your logo is the first thing the public will see and remember you by. Your tagline and website will always be secondary.

Make sure you heed my warning and keep it clean and professional.

Do you have any logo fails you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.



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What House of Cards Can Teach You About Sales


GUEST POST: Anchor: Bidrick business plan template   Link: https://www.bidrik.com/Why do we love Frank Underwood? He’s a veritable villain. He’s killed people in cold blood (RIP Zoe Barns). He’s stolen from people. He’s cheated. He’s lied. The list goes on.

Why would we possibly want to emulate him or anyone associated with him?

Yet, even for all his faults, this contemporary Richard III entreats our souls and makes us root for him and his family.

If you’re in the world of sales, you understand what it takes to get ahead of the competition. Like Frank Underwood, you also understand that it sometimes takes a little more than just “a gentle touch.”

Today we’re going to delve into one of the most popular shows on the Internet. So, don’t stop reading now. You’ll miss out on all the fun.

1. “If You Don’t Like How the Table is Set, Turn Over the Table”

Rules are a good thing. They help us play nice. When driving down the road, if we play by the rules, we’re less likely to get into an accident.

But there are times when the rules just get in the way. Frank Underwood would most certainly agree.

Sometimes he would just “find a way around” them. Like he did when, in Season 2, he forced a quorum by kidnapping senators and placing them in the senate chamber.

You see, when the rules didn’t go his way, he forced them to bend to his will. When the abstaining Senators refused fill the quorum, they didn’t expect physical action.

The 80/20 Rule

There is a rule in sales that ties us down. It’s called the “80/20 rule.”

20% of sales force tends to garner about 80% of business. You’ve probably heard it before.

This rule seems to be a self-fulfilling prophecy at times. We avoid pain, and procrastination comes from it. A lot of times, we only put in about 20% of the effort — because to put in 100% would just mean more work.

The way to get around the 80/20 rule is to stop wasting time on unproductive activities.

Think of the stuff you’re avoiding. Would it help you drive sales?

Yes. So do it. Grow up. That’s 20% of your day you could be using to your advantage.

The difference between someone who actually drives sales and someone who wants to drive sales is that 20%. The best salespeople identify the 20% that will drive 80%. And they work that 20% to death.

It took Frank Underwood only two Senators to swing the vote. And he got around the quorum rule another way. Essentially, Underwood used the 80/20 rule himself. Take note.

2. “There’s No Better Way to Overpower a Trickle of Doubt Than With a Flood of Naked Truth”

Frank Underwood is a liar. There is no doubt about that.

But Frank Underwood is also honest…at times…when it serves his best interest.

Do sales people lie? You want to spin your product as the best in the world, right?

But what happens when a business is caught lying through their teeth? The public strips them down to size. A lot of people think sales is a liar’s game. And it’s true — there are some sleazy salesmen out there.

But the top 10% of salesmen don’t lie. They know how to use the truth to their advantage.

Your product isn’t going to be for every person on the planet (unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg). So, why pretend it is?

Instead, find the real things about it that will appeal to your customers. Showcase those things. Tell the truth effectively.

3. “I Love That Woman. I Love Her More Than Sharks Love Blood.”

Frank and Claire are basically one person, right? They’re the dynamic duo that swept the Senate, the White House, and even the nation off their feet.

Frank Underwood would be nobody without Claire. She is his shining star. His balancing act.

The point is, you could learn from this relationship. Maybe not for your own personal relationships, but definitely when it comes to your business partnerships. Sales are best done with a partner. Whether that’s two sales people going in together or two teams joining up.

If you work with someone rather than against them, you achieve more. You sell more.

One of your greatest assets will be marketing.

What?

You don’t like the marketing team?

Get over it.

You’ll close more leads if you work with marketing rather than against them. Marketers can give you insight into what information the buyer needs at every stage of the sales journey.

Market research will give you an edge on the competition who refuses to work with a marketing team. So, it’s time to make up with the marketing team and get a proposal together.

You’ll quickly learn to love them like you love your own flesh and blood. You’ll also close more leads and drive more sales.

4. “There Are Two Types of Vice Presidents: Doormats and Matadors. Which Do You Think I Intend to Be?”

Frank Underwood played the long game. He went from being a Southern Democratic Senator to being President of the United States.

He didn’t do it by being satisfied with Senator or Majority Whip or Vice President. He planned from the beginning to win the nation.

He laid out every step and destroyed every obstacle. And he succeeded…for now.

Which kind of salesperson is a top-of-the nation salesperson? Someone who knows their end goal, or someone who only focuses on the short-term?

I can tell you that the Frank Underwood approach (without the backstabbing and the murdering) is the better approach. There are two things to be learned here: never be satisfied and know the long-term goal.

If you expect quick results, you should go flip burgers at Burger King.

But if you’re in it for the big payoff down the line, you should have a plan and stick to it. A bidrik business plan template is my favorite way to keep track of my long-term goals.

Instant gratification is nice, but a big payoff is better.

Conclusion: Don’t Be Frank Underwood, Learn From Him

Underwood is petulant and violent as well as smart. I would never advocate you actually act like the man.

But some of his tactics can and should be applied to sales. If you heed this advice, you will go far.

If you enjoyed my analysis of House of Cards, check out the rest of our “What You Can Learn From TV Shows” series.



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