19 Jun

7 Time Management Techniques for Affiliate Marketers

According to Stuart’s scientific research into who the ideal NicheHacks reader actually is, most of you guys hold down full-time jobs.

Which is wonderful (predictable income is nice, after all), except for the fact that your job takes up 40 hours of your week plus any commuting time.

Leaving you with little time left over for your family, your social life, and building up your niche site for passive income.

Which is freaking hard.

When I worked full-time, I thought for the first few months that I could keep my writing business going on the side, but I was wrong. So, so wrong.

It once took me three months just to write one researched client article. Something I can now turn around in a week.

So you’ve got a challenge in front of you, for sure. But it’s not an impossible one.

Loads of people have built up sustainable niche businesses on the side of their full-time job.

The trick is knowing how to use your time properly and to not waste it doing things that won’t ultimately contribute to growing your bottom line.

Because let’s face it, you may see yourself with less than a full working day’s worth of hours to commit to your site per week.

The good news is, being time-starved will only get you down if you let it.

Because if you face that reality head-on and plan carefully to get the most out of the time you do have, you can accomplish way more towards your passive income goals than you ever expected.



What You’ll Learn

  • How to identify what needs to be outsourced ASAP
  • What systems to set up first so you save time immediately
  • Why “wasting” time planning is actually a time-saver
  • How far out to plan your goals so you never get lost or confused
  • How to stop the information overload and not feel guilty about it


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


1. Track Your Time, Implement the 80/20 Rule & Achieve More Success

Each niche is different, and so is the business model of each niche site.

Because of that, how you need to allocate your time to maximize your revenue is different, too.

But I can tell you that tracking your time with one of the internet’s many free time tracking apps will show you where you’re spending the majority of your time

And which of those activities are the ones that are actually tied to generating money.

And normally, once you identify those revenue-generating activities, you’ll discover you only spend 20% of your time on those activities.

And 80% of your time on “filler” activities that feel like work but don’t actually contribute to your bottom line.

Many times (in my case, even), those non-revenue generating activities can take up 90% of your time or more, if you aren’t careful.

Known as the Pareto principle, or the law of the vital few, it was named after an Italian economist who noticed in 1896 that 80% of Italy’s land was owned by just 20% of the population.

He also observed that in his own garden, only 20% of the pea pods grew 80% of the peas.

So when you know what those activities are that take up SO MUCH of your time, you can put them in a list and search for an inexpensive virtual assistant who can take care of those things for you.

For example, I noticed that I was spending way too much time (hours and hours, actually) on research for client projects.

And even though that activity was technically profitable, it didn’t help me grow my site or my business in any way, and it was something I could easily outsource, allowing me to work on even more projects.

So even if I spend $10 per hour for 5 hours of research… at only $50, I still make a decent profit on my work and opening the floor for more to come in.

Another entrepreneur realized that going to networking events wasn’t getting her any clients, but speaking engagements (which were much fewer and far between) got her loads of work.

Instead of continuing to bust her butt to do a good job with networking events, she cut them out and foucsed on speaking engagements instead—cutting her working hours by 60%.

Tweet this time management technique.


2. Set Up Systems That Work While You Do Whatever You Want

Doing business online is the default for almost every single business that exists… whether it’s considered an “online business” or not.

Social media management and posting, email lists, staying on top of trending topics, and even keyword research are things that can all be done with free or paid software.

For example, posting randomly to Twitter and other social media channels usually isn’t something that directly generates revenue for any business.

But it does create a nice brand resonance and build loyalty among your existing fan base.

But something like Buffer only costs $10 per month plus time it takes to set up.

And once the setup’s done, it keeps posting to social media for you, without any active involvement from your part.




Buffer lets you schedule your social media posts in advance so you don’t have to log in multiple times every single day just to keep your social media presence strong.


This is a great way to spend a few hours on one task, and to make sure you keep “doing” it in the future without actually spending any time on it.

Tweet this time management technique.


3. Plan First & Accomplish More

When James outlined how to build a niche site in just 10 hours per week, he suggested that you always use the first hour to plan.

It might sound silly and a little extravagant (especially when you’ve already got so little time to work on your niche site as it is), but it will absolutely set you up for success.

Because when you spend time planning first, you naturally focus on things that will steer your niche site towards growth, and not things that bury your productivity… like responding to emails.

In fact, James suggests, limit your admin work (like email) to just one hour per week… or approximately 1/10 of the time you spend working on your niche site.

If you need to hire an assistant or set up software to make sure that’s what happens, then do it.

Planning is so valuable, in fact, that according to research done by Bplans, businesses who take the time to plan are twice as likely to succeed in achieving their goals.

And in the same vein of this sentiment… I’d suggest making your to-do list the day before and sticking to it.

This is the biggest productivity hack I have for myself… to the point that I use a small weekly planner, so the stuff I can add to my daily to-do list is limited.

Making sure I knock out my most important business-based and client work every single day.

Tweet this time management technique.


4. Make a 90-Day Plan for Reachable, Achievable Growth (Don’t Get Sucked Into ‘Hacks’)

One of the biggest problems we have when trying to grow a niche site is reading about how others used a “hack” to grow their niche site.

And decide we need to drop whatever strategy we’re working on to implement the exact same steps they’ve done.

But the thing about “hacks” that no one ever really talks about (and I hope Stuart won’t smite me for writing this on his site, which is called NicheHacks) is that they don’t really exist.

When you hear of massive, explosive growth from a strategy like guest posting, for example, it’s either a total unicorn of a situation

Or the author is really underplaying the careful strategy he used in approaching the “hack” that got him all the growth.

And either way, none of it happened by pure, dumb luck.

We all want instant gratification, but we’ll never get it by seeking it.

Instead, it’s best to plan what you want to accomplish with your site in the next three months.

Break it down to a weekly basis of tasks, and commit to knocking out those tasks steadily.

So even when there are times where you feel like you’re grinding through without any results, you’ll be able to look back on the progress you made the next week to easily see that it wasn’t all for nothing.

It was all for a goal that you’re working towards and will accomplish.

So besides keeping you from wasting your time by chasing trendy ideas, this strategy ensures you use what little time you have towards accomplishing your big-picture goals.

And, because it’s only 3 months, ensures you don’t get too overwhelmed by working with a year-long timeline.

I do this for my own business and it’s totally revolutionized how far come on a month-by-month basis towards my major goals.

I even surprised myself by tripling my revenue from March 2016 to April 2016 and launching a YouTube channel—things that would have never happen if I hadn’t planned them in advance. (So, yeah, it works.)

Tweet this time management technique.


5. Limit the Time You Spend Communicating

Sending emails, doing Twitter shoutouts, and commenting on blog posts and forum threads can feel like work.

But unless you’re actively closing a sale or implementing growth of some sort, it isn’t.

If you work with a support team, let them know in advance that you’ll only be checking your email once or twice a day.

So you don’t get sucked into chatting with them for 45 minutes. You’ll both know that communication needs to be brief, so you’ll get to the point even faster.

And even if you don’t have a support team and you’re building your site totally on your own, only allow yourself to do these types of activities once per day, and limit your time window surrounding them.

This forces you to get to the most important messages more quickly.

And discard the clutter that stops you from focusing on the most important things… like the things that will drive more affiliate sales.

Tweet this time management technique.


6. Set & Keep Working Hours to Guarantee Higher Productivity

“When you tell your brain that you can work at any time and from anywhere,” said Jawad in one of his posts, “it loses focus and doesn’t know when to actually get in the working mode.”

If you’ve got a window of available time where you can work on your site every day or every other day, give yourself a hard stop time and STOP working when that time rolls around.

Stop working even if there’s still a few things on your to-do list.

It can be tempting to just keep working until you’re finished.

But if you stick to a hard stop, it trains your brain when it needs to be in a highly-productive working mode.

“Without structure,” said Joel Runyon on Lifehack, “it’s easy to let non-essential things get in the way of actual work.

Because you haven’t designed exactly how you want to spend your time, it’s easy to let other people come in and steal 15 minutes here, and 30 minutes there.”

But with a set routine, he says, “you don’t get the luxury of indulging people in things that distract you from your goals because you know exactly what you must do in order to get the end result that you desire.”

Tweet this time management technique.


7. Stop the Information Overload to Get More Finished

I know, I know. I run an online business too.

I wish I could sit and listen to every single webinar produced by every single successful online business person, but I simply can’t.

I’d learn a lot, but I’d never get anything done.

So I have to pick and choose… which means that every few months, I go through and unsubscribe from different lists to keep the information overload to a minimum.

So if there are blogs you read only because you know ‘everyone else’ is reading them and you ‘should’ too because they’re ‘popular’ and ‘full of good advice’, it might be time to actually stop following those blogs.

Don’t feel bad about it—it’ll actually be better for your business in the long run.

There’s plenty of good, free advice to go around, so “missing out” on one blog really doesn’t mean you’re missing out at all.

Plus if anything’s that good, it’ll go viral and you’ll see it anyway.

Tweet this time management technique.


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


Make the Most of Your Time

I may have said earlier in the article that I don’t believe in “hacks,” but I do believe in working smarter towards your goals… which in many ways, is a “hack” in and of itself.

And one of the best ways I’ve found to work smarter is to learn from people who’ve already been there and done it.

And with running a niche site, traffic is crucial. (Because especially if you’re an affiliate, no traffic = no sales.)

So, to help you make the most of your time and not have to “pay your dues” by learning from lots of your own mistakes, Stuart’s put together a guide on 101 smart traffic strategies you can employ to get the traffic you need to sustain your site

And much quicker than if you were trying to figure it out on your own.



The post 7 Time Management Techniques for Affiliate Marketers appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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11 Jun

[Step by Step Guide] How To Use ShareASale to Find a Niche That's Profitable

We’ve previously talked about how to use Amazon’s product category and ranking system to help you find a niche, but today we’re going to explore how to do that on ShareASale.

ShareASale is different from Amazon, in that it isn’t a B2C consumer marketplace.

Shoppers can’t go to the ShareASale website and make purchases.

In other words—it’s a site and a service set up exclusively for businesses and affiliates to work together.

It’s been around since 2000, and is the marketplace lots of trustworthy brands use to connect with affiliates wanting to help sell their products.

Brands like Wayfair, Shutterfly, Gymboree, ModCloth, Cricut, and Reebok all use ShareASale.

And while the company itself decides what rate of commission they’ll offer to affiliates who sell their products, the rates are often much higher than Amazon.

On Amazon, you have to sell 3,131 products or more each month just to get an 8.5% commission.

On ShareASale, most commissions fall in the 10% to 30% range, with some as high as 80%.

I’m an affiliate for Freshbooks via ShareASale, and can say that it’s a decent platform to use.

So today we’ll look at how to use this platform specifically to sort through product offerings to figure out what your next profitable niche should be.



What You’ll Learn

  • How to identify ShareASale’s most successful affiliate programs
  • How to uncover category-based products that sell well
  • What numbers to look at to make sure an affiliate product makes sense for your new site
  • How to find a new profitable niche you’d love to work on.


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


1. Understand Our Approach to Sorting Through ShareASale’s Offerings

Since ShareASale has considerably fewer products than Amazon, it isn’t as easy as taking the same top-down approach as we did when we were using Amazon to search for a cool new niche.

So what we’ll focus on instead is first finding a small handful of cool products that sell well and resonate with a niche area you’d personally like to work with.

Then, with those few vague areas in mind, we’ll search the rest of ShareASale to see if there are any other products that match up with the items on your original list to help you identify a profitable niche.

Note: Yes, you may only find a small number of products on ShareASale that match up well with a certain niche market. The idea is to get proof of profitability from this site and find a few products to start off with, so you can expand into other areas of niche profitability. 


2. Check Out the Top 100 For ShareASale’s Most Successful Products

After you go through the signup process and log in as an affiliate, hover over the “Merchants” menu item on the top of the screen and click on “Search for Merchants” to the left.




In the center area, you’ll see a section labeled “Popular.”

Under that, click on the “Top 100 Power Rank.” These are affiliate programs ShareASale’s labeled as the most successful 100 programs on their platform… so you know they’re selling… and selling well.


merchant search


Scroll through this list of 100 (it’ll be on two pages—50 programs per page), and note down any program names that jump out at you for niches you think would be interesting to work in.

(Because, as Jawad points out, it is possible to turn even hobby interests into successful niche sites.)

For example, I wrote down:

  • Shutterfly
  • Gymboree
  • Wayfair
  • ModCloth
  • Identity Guard
  • iTech Deals
  • Reebok
  • Shop.MLB.com
  • Viator
  • The Snore Reliever Company
  • Weebly
  • Freshbooks
  • Nest Bedding
  • The Color Run
  • NBAStore.com
  • RoseGal
  • WP Engine
  • Fresh Direct

From these 18, I can already start to see some patterns I could latch on to: sports fans, runners, online businesses, or some niche where women’s clothing would be relevant.

It’s good to note the themes you see coming up, but don’t get too attached to them yet.

For example, Viator is a really cool travel product, and there may be some wonderful travel-based commission programs on ShareASale outside of their top 100. I just don’t know yet.

Tweet this to your followers.


3. Search by Keyword Based on Trends & Cool Programs You’ve Already Found

Navigate back to the main search screen by clicking on “Keyword” at the top of the PowerRank list.

Then, type in a keyword that relates to something you’ve found by browsing through the PowerRank list.

Since I mentioned that I thought Viator was cool but I didn’t find anything else related to travel, I typed in “Travel.”




Once you type in your keyword, make sure you actually click on the “Search” button to the right.

Then navigate back over to the results tab to see what results you come up with.


travel results


Wow, over 33,000 products and almost 800 merchants just related to the word “travel.”

Now we’re really starting to uncover the true power of what ShareASale has to offer.

If I were to start a travel website, I could work as an affiliate for luggage, hotels, destinations (like Florida or India, just to name a couple), and tour booking sites.

But what if I’d gone the route of following the ModCloth and RoseGal trend and searched “millennial women” in my first try?


millenial women


With only two results and not much to really round out a niche with, I’d obviously have to either think of that trend from another angle (like “women’s fashion”) or leave that idea to pick up on another trend altogether.


4. Browse by Category to Uncover More Niche Affiliate Program Options

If you didn’t have the best luck searching by keyword.

Or if you just want to continue to round things out in a couple of your uncovered niches with new ideas, browse through ShareASale’s affiliate programs based on the broad categories they’ve already outlined.

Just click on the “Browse By Category” tab and click on the category you see that resonates most with your original list of items.




Travel aside, based on the other programs I noted down while I was searching through the top 100 list, I could check out these categories for more ideas:

  • Accessories (to go with those clothing websites I thought were a dud)
  • Art/Music/Photography (to go with Shutterfly)
  • Business
  • General Web Services
  • Home & Garden
  • Sports/Fitness

Tweet this to your followers.


5. Run Some Numbers To Make Sure The ShareASale Niche You’ve Uncovered is Worthwhile

Now it’s time for the not so fun part… which is running numbers.

While it’s awesome that ShareASale’s affiliate programs offer much higher commission rates (or some awesome flat fees), don’t get hung up on just that.

You need to also consider data points like return rates and how long the cookies last.


finding data

Find the commission offered and cookie duration under the “Commission Structure” and “Cookie” labels in the affiliate program listing. To see how often refunds are requested, click on the “Stats” tab and look at the “Reversal” percentage.


So even if a company offers a $100 commission fee each time you sell one of their products, if their cookies only last for 12 days, that may not actually be enough time for a potential customer to decide if that purchase is worthwhile for them.

Especially since we tend to take more time thinking about higher-priced purchases than we do thinking about buying a $13 book from Amazon.

Another red flag would be if 20% of the people who buy a product are returning it or asking for a refund within a seven-day time span.

It might be something you could stomach profit-wise as an affiliate, but if you market a product to your niche site fans that one in five people are not happy with?

It’s not going to bode well for your niche site or your fan base in general.

My personal rules of thumb would be to make sure the cookies last for a minimum of 30 days and that return rates are 5% or less.


6. Compile At Least Five Products That Meet Your Requirements

If you’re going by my rules of thumb, make sure the new niche you’ve uncovered has at least five ShareASale products that have cookies greater than 30 days,.

Return rates of less than 5%, and offer a commission you feel good about.

Ideally, it’d be higher than Amazon’s 8.5%, but that’s up to you.

When you have at least five solid products that sell well and that customers are happy with (the more the better, of course).

You can feel confident that you’ve found something with a recurring customer market that will be willing to read your site and make purchases based on your recommendations.

Tweet this to your followers.


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 101 expensive affiliate niches click here or the image below)


Find a Niche You’ll Love Today

The truth of the matter is, finding a cool new niche to start working and making money in doesn’t take much time.

Even if you got super technical, used a spreadsheet to track different data pieces, and explored every possibility that piqued your interest on ShareASale, you could have a new, awesome niche (or two) within an hour.

In fact, finding a niche is the easy part.

It’s the work you’ve got to do after you determine your niche to lay a foundation to successfully grow your profits.

If that’s where you’re at, consider joining NicheHacks’ members-only area, where you get advanced reports on more niches than you could possibly imagine, checklists, cheat sheets, and tools and resources to help you grow your revenue quicker than you’d previously imagined.



The post [Step by Step Guide] How To Use ShareASale to Find a Niche That’s Profitable appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate7

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