5 Little Talked-About Tips for Succeeding As an Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate marketing is no doubt one of the super-easy ways for anyone to start making money online. Whatever your online marketing experience you can get started today as an affiliate marketer.

There’s no doubt that building and growing a successful online business requires some form of work however affiliate marketing is unlike creating and launching your own products. Definitely that requires much more time and commitment plus a greater level of risk!

Why is affiliate marketing that less demanding?

While there may be different reasons for this basically, as an affiliate marketer the products are already there for you to promote and make the money. There are a good number of fairly known brands for you to choose from. Most of these brands are not so hard to sell since they have already built some form of goodwill in the market. You only need to know how to sieve through the numerous products on offer to get a slice of the cake.

How affiliate marketing works

Affiliate Marketing Definition

To really make the best of your affiliate marketing efforts it is important that you have a good understanding of what affiliate marketing is and how it works. For this I will want us to turn to Wikipedia.com.

And here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

“Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer.”

From this definition one thing you must note is that unlike programs like Google Adsense that pay you per click affiliate marketing pays per performance. That is, you are only paid for results. This way both the merchant and affiliate marketer wins!

To learn more about how affiliate marketing works, watch this video:

Now, let’s discuss some little talked about affiliate marketing tips that will help you succeed with your online business as an affiliate marketer.

How to Succeed With Affiliate Marketing

1. Choose Wisely

How to win with affiliate marketing

To get started, you may want to choose something that you are familiar with. This product or service may not be the hottest thing in the market right now nor make you a millionaire, but you will come off more confident and sincere with something you know and believe in.

Besides, if you’re already running your business online, incorporating it into your existing business will be much easier since you may be running a business that is in sync with your talents and desires already.

Something familiar will allow you to be more personal and creative.

Trying to build your home business around something you know little about will soon become boring and tedious. Working with something familiar will also give you some experience in the program. You can always expand at a later time when you are more familiar with how things work.

Remember, in the world of affiliate marketing there is no such thing as the perfect program. Any particular program will be stuffed full of varying testimonials. Some will be great while others not so great. You need to decide for yourself and not get put off by a few bad experiences. In the end it is down to you and how much you want to put in.

2. Identify the Demand

With affiliate marketing programs you’ll likely be given a range of products to sell. Check out the demand of these products. You should try to stay away from trendy items. They’ll sell like mad one minute but you’ll be giving them away the next.

You need to sell things that you know people want and need. That way your long term sales objectives will get met.

Start your affiliate business by first identifying the demand

3. Never Limit Yourself

Don’t limit yourself to just one product. Try to offer a variety of affiliate products. Many affiliate marketing programs offer a selection and it is best to go with these. Basing your business on one product may work in the short term. However, someone will eventually come along with something better or cheaper.

4. Set Yourself Apart From Other Affiliates

You are not definitely the only one marketing that affiliate program! There are hundreds and in most cases thousand others doing just that. You need to establish what makes you and what you offer different from others. What do you offer that sets you apart from other affiliates?

You should always use tact when talking about your competition. Putting them down or being rude will only backfire on you. Talk up the advantages that you offer and leave it at that.

Stand out as an affiliate marketer

5. Do Everything You Can To Keep Your Customers

Finally, keep your customers happy. The happier they are the more likely they are to come back. Offer your customers incentives such as savings on their next purchase. It may cost you more but only in the short term. Keeping your customers happy will result in them referring you to others.

Conclusion

Starting an online business as an affiliate marketer requires much less risks than creating your own business to sell online. However, everything else is like any other business. You need to work very hard and be dedicated.  How much you put in will determine the level of success you achieve. There are no surefire ways but there are of course good tips that can be of help. Use the above tips and you can be sure of success today.

Over to you: If you’re an affiliate marketer I will love to hear your thoughts on this. How do you choose your products/services to promote? What one thing do you do that you think many affiliates are not doing? Share with us in your comments below.

Website Checklist: 5 Critical Things Your Small Business Website Should Have

When planning on creating a new website for their business, many small business entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed. Now that is understandable as creating a new website for your business is not something that should be taken lightly.

Your business website is essential to the success of your business in today’s highly digitalized and overly connected world. Before ever committing to building the website you need to think carefully about what your website needs to succeed.

Of course, you can get the services of an expert to help you with this. However, here are some of the essentials to get you started.

Steps to a successful business website

1. A Concise Address

The key to creating a strong web address is not making it more complicated than it has to be. It makes no sense to make the address long and complex. This just makes it more difficult for people to read and remember. Your web address should say something about your brand and what you do. It can be one word, or it can combine your brand name with a word that summarizes the service you provide. But try to keep it simple and on message for the best possible outcomes.

2. A Navigable Layout

A website that is too complicated and difficult to find your way around is always a failure. People have very short attention spans when they’re browsing the internet, so you need to satisfy their needs quickly. If you fail to do that, they will quickly leave your website and find a better one to use. You should take advantage of free web templates if you want to find out how to achieve an easy to navigate layout. This will take a lot of the work and confusion out of the process for you too.

3. Contact Information

Every business should see the importance of making it as easy as possible for potential customers to get in contact with them. If you don’t make it simple for them to ask you a question or contact you via email or phone, you could lose a customer permanently. It doesn’t take much time to include your contact details at the top of the page, so make sure you put them there. It’s also a good idea to create an ‘About’ section on the website, so people can find out more about the business.

4. Obvious Calls to Action

You should tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do when they log onto your website. That doesn’t mean only giving them one option; it means pointing them in the direction you want them to go in. Of course, they’ll make their own decision. But if you don’t make it clear what link they should click, they might not be sure where everyone on the website is. So, make sure you have a bar at the top of the page that makes it all clear. You could also use banner adverts that link to specific parts of your website.

5. A Friendly Design and Style

Making sure your content is simple to read and understand is only possible if you have a design and style that’s user-friendly. This means picking the right colors. They need to be clear and simple. Making them too bold and loud is never a good idea. And making sure the fonts stand out and can be read clearly against the background is also vital. The fonts should also be chosen very carefully for their readability. The simple fonts are always better. Classic, minimal designs are very popular at the moment, so you could consider one of these.

Conclusion

While there are a few other things that your business new website needs to succeed, at the very least, ensure the above is not missing. Your customers will love you for it and your business will be the better for it!

7 Success Capsules for Growing Your Online Business

Get the success capsules for your business
No matter where you at with your business, now is time for SUCCESS!

Believe it or not the end of 2014 is already here! In a matter of weeks we will be saying bye, bye to yet another year. The question is how much of your business goals have you achieved thus far? How much success are you presently getting out of the business? And, of course, how dedicated and committed have you been to the business?

There is no doubt that you NEVER started this lifestyle with the intention of working long hours, become stressed and have little time for your personal life. Right? But are you seeing the results you desire?

I think as the year is gradually rolling away it is time to re-evaluate again your strategies and make the necessary changes where needed.

This is why I took action to make a few changes to this blog recently. In the coming days you will see more of these changes.

One noticeable change is moving the sidebar to below the main content. This was engineered to focus readers’ attention on the content. Thus far this move has proved successful. Newsletter signup in the last few days have increased and visitors’ average time on the site has also increased.

Indeed a few changes can do wonders to your business if executed right. The following are a few principles that will greatly help you get more out your business.

Success Capsules #1: Seek To Know More about Your Target Market

How you approach your business marketing will most times be determined by what you know of your target market. The more you know of these people the more success you will achieve.

Many people will consider this a difficult thing to do. But if you will look inwards, if you will simply learn more about yourself, you’ll automatically learn more about the people you are targeting with your marketing. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and every other thing will fall into shape.

Success Capsules #2: Set Goals and Design A Plan For Achieving Them

Most times you need a WHY if you must understand the HOW and run with it. Setting goals will help you clearly lay out the WHY and the HOW. And this will help you strategize on how to improve your business operations. Though there thousands of strategies for growing a business your Business Growth Plan will help you choose the relevant and effective strategies that will make growing your business EASY!

Success Capsules #3: Build a TEAM around Your Business

Many online business entrepreneurs have the wrong notion that running a business online is an easy venture. Of course, many got in with the prospect of working 2 hours a week. Indeed, that is possible but you must understand that what you put in determines what you will get out of it.

Yes, you can decide to work two hours a week from the comfort of your own home or take the plunge and build a truly awesome business online. If you will rather take the latter option, then creating a team of dedicated workers around your business is the wise way to go. You can engage the services of virtual workers.

To ensure that they meet your expectations, set a time aside to train them until they can effectively do what you are doing presently doing. Doing this will relieve you and give you more time to yourself instead of being stressed, tired, and working longer hours.

Success Capsules #4: Build Foundations That Guarantee Growth

No one will build a skyscraper without first digging a big hole! A strong foundation is necessary if you aim to build something substantial. A whole lot of wannabe entrepreneurs long for that business that will give them the great lifestyle they desire but over look the importance of foundations.

A solid foundation for your business requires a documented system. This is simply a way you have found to do things more effectively in your business and you have taken the pains of writing it down. It will help your team to be consistent and more efficient in their work. Of course, everyone will be accountable to the systems and not just you the owner. The result is that you save time checking on everyone!

Success Capsules #5: Test and Measure Everything

As an entrepreneur it is important that you know how your business is standing. You can only do this if you are testing and measuring your strategies and operations. You should know your Key Performance Indicators and find ways of improving them. A constant moving forward in this direction will help improve everything you currently do and the result will be greater success.

Success Capsules #6: Implement EFFECTIVE Sales and Marketing

You have your sales and marketing strategies and tactics, right? But how effective are they?

One way you can know this is when you don’t have too many price shoppers. If you can put your prices up 20% and still increase your conversion then your marketing is indeed effective! To achieve this is it imperative that you take responsibility for your sales and marketing. Invest in learning more about this and you will love yourself for doing so.

Success Capsules #7: Manage the Business

There is no doubt that many online business entrepreneurs want businesses that run on autopilot. As much as this is a great idea you mustn’t forget that a business needs managing if you must get the best from it.

You need to make decisions. Design and work with documented systems. Measure and make decisions based on numbers. Set goals and help your team to achieve them.

Beware that you are not taking the idea of running your business on autopilot too far else as this is a pipe dream!

Conclusion

Succeeding with your online business requires your dedication and commitment. The above Success Capsules are great for any business. If implemented correctly, you will be able to increase your monthly turnover and grow your business without any stress. Remember, what you put in will determine your results. So, if you desire to grow at a rate of 50%-100% a year then you should make these Success Capsules the bedrock of your strategies.

So, what other principles or strategies are you putting into your business for it to give you what you want?

How to Create a Budget for Your Small Business [Quick Tip]

Creating a small business budget

As a small business entrepreneur you definitely wear different caps.  One such cap is being the financial expert who is able to make the right financial decisions that will help the business stay healthy and prosperous. To effectively wear this cap you should be able to create and analyze a budget for your business.

But, Is A Business Budget Really Important?

Many small business entrepreneurs do not see a budget as being important. Of course, this may be as a result of ignorance or sheer laziness. The fact is that a business budget is something you must commit to preparing as a small business entrepreneur. This is for several reasons amongst which include:

1. It helps you better fulfill your business objectives and strategies

2. It provides you with a good picture of the expected income and expenses for a particular period

3. It enables you to compare your anticipated financial goals with the actual numbers

4. It helps you to make key decisions with confidence and keep you on course in the months ahead

5. As a web entrepreneur having a budget will greatly help you stay disciplined and not waste your money on the many shiny objects being sold online as “sure killer!”

Related Reading: How To Use Social Media Marketing To Acquire Loyal Customers!

How Do You Create A Business Budget?

If you’re a small business owner you don’t have to hire some expensive CPA even if you have no prior knowledge of how to create a business budget. No matter the type of business you are running, your budget can be created to suit you and your business. And, the good news is, you can do this by yourself. You simply need to understand the core components that go into making an effective business budget.

Creating Your Small-Business Budget Step by Step:

Step 1: Design a spreadsheet with a column for Income, Expenditure, Budgeted amount and Actuals respectively – For every income and expenditure item you will need to record the budgeted amount and then the actuals.

how to create a business budget

Step 2: Determine and enter your expected income – Do this after taking a look at your past actuals. If however you are just starting out and do not have previous figures to work with, simply take a look at what the average figure is in your line of business and use that. Please note that the success of your budget will mostly depend on your projected or estimated income. You must therefore be realistic and rational when determining your expected income.

Step 3: Categorize your expenses – While you may decide to put your expenditure items into different categories, the simple way to go is to divide them into Fixed Costs and Variable Costs. Expenses that will be entered in the Variable Costs column are those that change in proportion to the activity of your business. Items like electricity and wages. While items like rent goes into the Fixed Cost column.

Step 4: Calculate and post your actuals at the set time – This may be weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on your choice. Using your daily figures calculate the actual figures for both income and expenditures and post these in the Actuals column.

Step 5: Calculate and analyze the differences between budgeted amounts and the actuals – There is the need to continuously monitor your budget. You need to compare your budget with what actually happened. Is there a difference between the actual numbers and the budgeted figures? To do this, create two ‘difference’ columns – one as a figure and one as a percentage. With these two columns you will be able to analyze the budget.

This is important as it will help you monitor your business progress and ensure that your finances are not being wasted on unessential items. Also where the business is overpaying for economic resources, this will be revealed so that measures can be taken to remedy the situation.

Recommended Reading: How To Create A Cult-Like Following For Your Business, Just Like Apple!

Conclusion

An effective business budget will greatly help you run your business more smoothly and profitably instead of just running on guesswork.  It will help you as a small business owner to determine whether you have enough money to fund your operations, expand the business and generate more income. It will ensure that you have enough money to keep the business going even at a time of an emergency.

Over to you: Are you presently running a budget for your business? What other business budget tips can you share with your fellow small business entrepreneurs?

5 Simple Business Tips For Online Success!

I’m an entreprenuer blogger and I believe every blogger who desires to make money with thier blogs should pursue blogging with the mind of an entrepreneur!

And talking about blogging for money, many who rush into blogging to make money online because of the ease of starting a blog, soon give up when reality dawn on them. The initial excitement not withstanding.

But that shouldn’t be. There is a path which anyone can follow to be successful on the net. This route requires understanding what you are undertaking, how and where to start; and when to avoid the traps that leads to failure.

I know your aim online is to succeed and attain an appreciable level of profitability. But to achieve this in the midst of the sweeping changes on the net you must be able to apply an action-ready approach. Besides, this action must be thought through and done with direction, method and purpose.

Most of the problem is at the point of starting out when every thing seem so “vague”. But you should know that this is where the phase of learning the “how to” matters most.

Credits: Yuri Arcurs Website

Having observed the trend of things on the net and having learnt my own lessons at the school of hard knocks I put forward the following tips as a guide to those who are just starting out.

1. Learn: A common mistake I see online is that of eager and gullible prospects who desire to build a successful home-based business online. A good number of these never take the time to really learn what it takes to make money online. Enticed with the prospect of big returns for a little effort, they rush online to make their millions. But too bad! They end up with scotched fingers.

If you truly desire success online the first essential is to first be a learner. Now in your learning remember that the internet is constantly changing. So learn not only what works now but what will tomorrow!

2. Plan: Success online is not gotten on a platter of gold. Successful business entrepreneurs know how to plan their work and how to work their plans. Think about the future. What do you want to achieve? How do you expect to get there and when?

Planning to achieve your dreams goes beyond systematic planning and writing down of specific goals. You must be ready to roll up your sleeves and put your shoulder to the wheel. It is a continuous process as new problems are faced and new things are learnt.

3. Be energetic: There is nothing like over night riches on the internet. Yes the time frame of success may be shortened but just like any business, businesses online are built on very substantial energies on the part of their owners.

You must be ready to put in a lot of work and in most cases long hours especially when you’re just starting out. And this you must do with the mind of faith in your self and you work.

4. Be a problem solver: Be on the look out for problems and deal with them promptly. Your business must be aimed at providing solutions to identified problems. Also any problem that will stall your operations must be dealt with alacrity. Be a fire fighter and a crisis manager in your operations.

5. Be flexible: One sure way of succeeding in any business venture is the ability to be flexible and responding quickly to both problems and opportunities. So in your planning and implementation be flexible. Let your business venture be as unstructured and free-form as possible especially when it is still small.

What issues have you encountered in running your business on the net? Are there some tips you will want to add to this list? Let’s hear your take in your comments.

Keep on Keeping On – Motion is everything!

Athelets understand very well that there is a world of difference between a 100 dash and a marathon race. Building a business could be compared to a marathon race rather than a 100 dash. You shouldn’t therefore approach your online business with this mind and not with the mind of instant success. Many wannabe online entrepreneurs not understanding this quickly up when they do not see the quick returns they have been promised.

As we begin the second part of the year 2010 I’ve the urge to make this post as an encouragement to someone out there. This may just be you! Possibly you’re overwhelmed by the tide of things. Maybe you’ve looked at you endeavors for the past 6 months and realized that you’re much far away from you dreams now than when you started. Or you’re just concerned that you’re not making enough progress. Whatever that may be, my encouragement to you today is never give up. Keep on keeping on!

It doesn’t matter if you’ve achieved some level of success in the past 6 months, you can not afford to remain at that level. The law of motion demands that you continue with your progress or you will soon regress! So, keep on keeping on!

Let me offer you some simple tips to help you stay motivated while you’re driving towards your goals:

1. Upgrade Your Knowledge

Knowledge they say is power! And in today’s knowledge economy except you constantly upgrade your knowledge you’ll soon be downgraded! Except your thoughts are updated you would become outdated! You must take this seriously.

Ensure you constantly upgrade your knowledge especially as it pertains to your area of business. Read books, attend seminars, network with others in your area of business. Seek to know what others are doing that you can somehow apply in your own business. Constantly doing this will help you stay “green”.

2. Look For The Honey In Your Experience So Far!

Many online business entrepreneurs are more focused on the areas where they are missing it. Because of this they are always looking for that magic tactics or secret that will turn their fortunes around. However, if you’ll spend sometime and take a look again at what you have been able to do very well you may just find your area of competence. And building on your competence will drive you more quickly towards your goals. Take your sights away from the 101 secrets and tricks that are being laundered all over the place. Look inward and build on what you have.

3. Put On Your Thinking Cap!

Most importantly, putting your mind to work will not only motivate you beyond your dreams but also help you achieve your dreams more faster. In #1 above I mentioned you upgrading your knowledge. As much as this is important you’ll discover that working on what you learn and then putting a twist of your own will quickly differenciate you from the millions on the net. Never think it can not be done. Follow your mind. Simply be creative. I respect those who are called experts. But I refuse to always follow what “experts” say. Know that if you’re a thinking person you will prove the experts wrong over and over again. We’re in a world of limitless possibilities. So do not limit yourself to what the experts say. Moreso, with the rate of change experienced in our world of today’s internet, by the time you come to know of a particular thing some thing else may have replaced that. So finding ways of adapting what you learn to better your lot is very important.

4. Learn A New Skill

The final tip I’ll leave you with today is for you to learn a new skill. Of course this should be a skill that will help be a better person in your area of business. If you’ll do this there is no way that you will not increase your profits in the coming months and years. Over these few years that I’ve been online one skill I believe every online marketer should learn is copywriting. If you already know some thing about this skill then brushing up your skill is something you should do. If you can write effective sales copy, not only can you make a lot of money by writing the sales letters to promote your own products or affiliate promotions, but you can also charge an arm and a leg for your sales copywriting services.

You could also brush up your article writing skills and simply doing that will profit you in at least 3 ways:

1. Writing articles for yourself to promote your products/services, etc.

2. Saving money by not having to outsource ; and

3. Selling your article writing services for even more profit.

How about learnig how to create your own product and marketing it online? There are of course various skills you can learn in the days ahead. Come up with anything creative that you can do to enhance your online business in the months ahead!

CONCLUSION

Motion is important. Stagnation is detrimental. You must keep on keeping on! It is clear that we can all enhance our business and increase our profits in one way or another, no matter how successful or unsuccessful we have been in the past. The past is over and done with. What matters is the present, which is what shapes the future. The future is important because it determines where we will be in a year, two years, five and ten years down the road. What you’ll be is up to you in a lot of ways.

I wish you all the best of success!