28 Sep

5 Step Content and SEO Strategy – Case Study Results and Penguin 4 Thoughts

In this post I am going to share some recent results we have had with our off page strategy outlined below and also share my thoughts on Penguin 4.0.

Basic Strategy We Have Been Having Success With:

  1. Identify what the site is already ranking for
  2. Complete additional keyword research
  3. Content Creation (this step can be skipped if the sites content is already awesome)
    1. Build the best content for the given query. Google wants to rank the best #1 so be the best!
  4. Competitor Backlink Analysis
    1. Determine the number of links we need to beat our competition
  5. Build a mix of links to the site to close the gap with the competition
    1. Blog Commenting + Guest Posting
    2. Use My PBN Links
    3. Done For You PBN Links
    4. Editorial Links – Contact me for details on how to get these
    5. Outreach links (anything Brian Dean at Backlinko talks about)

Case Study Results:

Case Study #1 – Local Criminal Lawyer Serving 1 million person population City/surrounding area

Step 1: We first found out what the site was already ranking for by using SEMrush.com

Step 2: We then looked to see which keywords were most fitting to the site and were ones worth ranking for. If they are on the 2nd-3rd page that is even better. We Found out which page we’re already ranking for those keywords (which was the homepage) and got 5 Use My PBN links pointed to them. The results from getting these links created resulted in substantial ranking improvements.

Step 3: We wanted to find other keywords related to this niche so we took some of the keywords the site was ranking for as well as a few other relevant keywords and inputted them into LongTailPro. This will help us find a lot more relevant keywords as well as check the competition for each. We try to look for keyword competition under 30 as they are easier to rank for.

Step 4: We sent the keywords that we thought were relevant to the customer to get articles created around them (we usually create the articles but due to the niche it was better for the client to create them). Once they are completed they will send them to us and we will get more Use my PBN links pointed towards them to help boost their rankings.


A little up front analysis identified some great opportunities for easy wins. This has resulted in the client looking like a hero to her client!

Want Me & My Team to Help Execute This Plan for You?

If you are looking for help to execute this plan we have a couple options…

You can either do the majority of the analysis yourself and use my teams services to get links built… or if you are looking for a complete analysis, strategy creation plus execution we offer some higher touch SEO consulting/strategy execution as well.

  • Done For You Offering: (follow this strategy yourself and use my team to help with links)
    • Use My PBN (get links from my personal PBN)
    • Done For You PBN Creation (let my team build you an exclusive PBN)
  • Full Support: Want a full-service solution with my team doing the analysis, content creation and backlink creation? Fill out the form here

Case Study #2 – 7 Figure Affiliate Marketer Very Happy With Results in a Competitive Niche

This case study is a summary of what we did for one of our bigger clients who is having A LOT of success online generating millions of dollars a year through organic traffic and affiliate sites.

Step 1: We first found out what the site was already ranking for by using SEMrush.com

Step 2: We looked at the keywords the site was ranking for and also talked with the client to see which keywords they are most interested in ranking for so that we can concentrate on getting them to rank better. We then got…

  • 10 Use My PBN links and split them up amongst those keywords to give them some ‘juice’ along with a
  • 3 editorial links (Huffington post etc) – Contact me for more info about how to get these links

Step 3: We also did some keyword research using LongTailPro and sent suggested article titles to the client and asked if they were okay. Once we got the go ahead we got the articles completed and the client posted them to their site. Next month we will be able to target these URLs to help push them up in the rankings.

Penguin 4.0 Thoughts – Overhyped?

Penguin 4.0 has rolled out live and I have received a few emails about what the impact has been for me and my clients sites.

Like most updates from Google I believe there is usually a hype fuelled hysteria followed by a more rationale approach. Penguin 4.0 is no different.

Changes to Consider:

  • Backlink cleanup should be able to be measured faster
  • Penalties are applied to a specific page vs the entire domain (the implications of this are interesting!)

So I think the bottom line is that we will see changes to rankings occurring faster when sketchy links are being built and when they have been removed sites should recover faster.

Although Sep according to Moz had the most fluctuations since they started tracking SERP position movement we have seen very little

From – https://moz.com/blog/penguin-4-was-it-worth-the-wait

Impact on Mine & Client Sites

Despite all the movement we have seen no sites penalized and across the board there has been a solid increase for a hand full of sites. What is interesting is most of those ranking movements occurred at the start of Sep and not as a result of Penguin 4.0.

It will continue to be interesting to watch and I, as a fan of being able to test things, will certainly like the faster feedback on link cleanup efforts and when a site has crossed the threshold with Google into the un-natural link profile territory it will be apparent faster and easier to limit the damage.

Overall I am happy to see no negative movement and some positive movement while at the same time I think these changes are definitely a move in the right direction.

Unfortunately, Penguin has not been so kind to everyone, I received this email yesterday and I know how much losing your hard earned efforts overnight can hurt! So if you have been affected I certainly feel for you!

PBN Guide being referred to above is here

Have you experienced much negative movement with your site in Sep? If so I would love the opportunity to have a quick review of your site to both learn and ideally provide some insights.

Want Me & My Team to Help Execute This Plan for You?

If you are looking for help to execute this plan we have a couple options…

You can either do the majority of the analysis yourself and use my teams services to get links built… or if you are looking for a complete analysis, strategy creation plus execution we offer some higher touch SEO consulting/strategy execution as well.

  • Done For You Offering: (follow this strategy yourself and use my team to help with links)
    • Use My PBN (get links from my personal PBN)
    • Done For You PBN Creation (let my team build you an exclusive PBN)
  • Full Support: Want a full-service solution with my team doing the analysis, content creation and backlink creation? Fill out the form here

Source: affiliate4

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19 Sep

1 Plus 1 Equals 3 – Post and Homepage Upgrade for Improved Rankings

It has been too long since I shared a detailed post showing you a specific strategy and case study results.

In today’s short and hopefully actionable post I am going to share how I helped push one of my sites from the middle of page 2 to the top of page 1 for my target keywords within 1 week!

Stay tuned for some more tests and results.



The website had both the homepage and a post ranking on page 2 for the same target keywords.

Neither the homepage or any post/page were ranking on the first page for the target keywords.

The problem was the site was not ranking as well as I would have liked for the target keywords and I wanted to boost the rankings.


Having 2 results on page 2 is not worth nearly as much in terms of traffic to a couple top results on page 1 as shown in several studies such as Catalyst CTR study shown below…



The basic strategy was to create a better post using some of the content from the post already ranking ok for the target keyword and 301 redirect the post to the homepage where the improved article will be live.


  1. Create a MOSTER 4k word VERY useful post formatted to look awesome with Thrive Themes
  2. Move some of the content from the post already ranking ok for the keyword to the new article
  3. Post the new article as the homepage content
  4. 301 redirect the post that was ranking for the target keywords to the homepage
  5. Get a couple Use My PBN links built to the homepage



  • Keyword “Best DC’s” Household Product – 5,400 volume keyword moved from 10 to 3 & settled at 7


  • Keyword “Best GDC” Household Product – 590 keyword moved from 7 to 3


  • Keyword “Best DC” – 5400 volume keyword moved from 17 to 3 & settled at 5


  • Conversion Rate Increase to 3.24%
  • Traffic Increase by ~40%


How to Implement:

If you are wondering how to tell if this strategy makes sense for you to implement here is how I suggest you analyze your situation and potential opportunity…

  1. Check Google Analytics for your top pages by organic traffic
  2. Enter each of your pages and homepage into SEMRush.com to understand which pages are ranking for what keywords
  3. IF you have a page/post that is ranking decent for the keywords your homepage is also ranking for and there is no reason for the 2 pages 2 exist, in terms of user experience, then look to consolidate the post and homepage into one upgraded article for the target keywords.

TIP – If you have a post ranking better than your homepage for your target keywords this is a good indication that this strategy would be worth using.

Another Variation on This – If you have a couple posts that are ranking both only ok for the target keyword then I would attempt a similar strategy where you upgrade the content, post it on one post and then 301 redirect the old post.



The end result has been a decent 40-50% improvement in organic traffic by making it clearer to Google what URL on the site should be ranking for the given keyword.

Although this strategy won’t be applicable to everyone I hope that it gives someone some ideas about how they can generate some improved rankings and results for their site.

Source: affiliate4

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19 Sep

Affiliate Beware: 11 Things NOT-To-Do With Amazon's Associate Program

Vector lightning symbolIf you’re at all active in the Niche Hacks Private Mastermind Group, you’ll probably know me as the website monetization guy.

What most people don’t know is that I’ve also done Amazon Affiliates for over five years and have actually sold quite a few successful websites.

Over at MonetizePros, my team and I have been teaching people how to create a blog and as a part of that, I’ve built up a huge list of Amazon Affiliate niches that we’ll soon be sharing with our readers (and Niche Hacks readers).

During the process of finding those 1,000+ niches and keywords, I manually visited and inspected over 2,500 different Amazon Affiliate websites and the majority of them repeat the same mistakes over and over again.



What You’ll Learn

  • The common mistakes Amazon affiliates make
  • How to avoid being banned from Amazons Associates program
  • The best type of content and call to actions for affiliate marketing
  • Branding yourself to look more credible and trustworthy


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1244 expensive Amazon products click here or the image below)


Here’s a NOT-To-Do List for Amazon Affiliates


1. Listing Prices

This is a big one.

There’s two reasons you should avoid this.

First of all, it can get you banned from Amazon Associates.

They change their prices very often and most affiliate marketers don’t update old posts on their niche sites as often, so products get misrepresented.

That’s why Amazon has made it a rule that you’re not allowed to state exact prices in your content.

It’s tempting, because they sometimes offer crazy discounts – but it’s not worth the risk.

Secondly, one of the best ways to get click-throughs is through curiosity.

The majority of my Amazon Affiliate clicks come from review posts, where I’ve added a button after listing all of the pro’s of the product, asking to “check the price on Amazon.com”.

If you mention the price right away, they’ve lost one reason to click to Amazon and you’ve lost a potential 24-hour cookie that might lead to a sale.


2. Not Linking to Amazon

I cannot even believe I’ve got to list this but it’s an extremely common problem.

We’ve all started to write “skyscraper” content as our homepages but many marketers seem to forget to link from the products listed on that page.

Every time you mention a product name, every time you have a picture of a product and every time you’ve said something amazing about it – include a call to action and a link to Amazon.

I know some people are afraid of getting penalized for having too many affiliate links but it’s really not that big of a problem, especially if you nofollow the links.

In an average product review I tend to have at least one link to Amazon per 100 words and that’s fine with Google.


3. Not Nofollowing Affiliate Links

Doing SEO for niche sites is pretty tough (unless you’ve read this post) because links tend to be harder to obtain.

That’s why it’s critical to have your on-page SEO in perfect order.

Even though we really can’t take this guy seriously, Google’s Matt Cutts has stated again and again that all of the affiliate links on your website should be nofollow.

Well, screw him, that’s not the main reason why we’re doing it.

The problem is that in Amazon niches you’re often competing with Amazon product pages themselves and as you probably know – there’s nothing worse than linking to your competitors!

Nofollow your links and stop making Amazon’s product pages more powerful than your own site.


4. Not Investing In Design

Just because we have this amazing opportunity of starting a business for only fifty dollars a year, doesn’t mean that it’s the smartest way of doing it.

Amazon affiliate websites have been popular among marketers for 7-8 years now and trust me, the average person is starting to recognize them.

Stop using the default WordPress theme and text-headers or Fiverr logos.

Stop copy pasting your iWriter articles in the editor and hitting publish.

Think about the design of your website, the design of your content and the “image” of your site.

Whether this means investing in a good, premium WordPress theme or hiring an actual designer is up to you, but something needs to change.

Having a professional-looking affiliate site will help you:

  • Get higher conversion rates
  • Attract more backlinks
  • Give you more opportunities for link-building


5. Leaving Dates On your Articles

This is a much bigger deal than you may think.

You should hide the dates on all of your reviews and articles.

Most of the stuff you’ll post on the site is evergreen, but that’s not the way the customer will see it.

If you’re looking to buy a new keyboard and read a glowing review from 2013, that’s not going to convince you.

In those three years, hundreds and hundreds of better, upgraded keyboards have come out and your stuff is irrelevant.

Delete the dates and most people will not even question it.

Your content is taken seriously.


6. Posting Too Short Content

Back in 2012, affiliate marketing was super easy.

You order a 500 word article for $5, add a picture and your affiliate link and with a little bit of effort, you’ll be ranking for your super-secret longtail keyword.

In 2016 this doesn’t really work anymore, yet so many people are still doing it.

Why are pillar articles as homepages so popular? Because it works?

Just look at The Wirecutter, likely one of the biggest Amazon Affiliate websites. Every single review and post they write is upwards of 4,000 words, sometimes even over 10,000.

Put your longtail keywords into groups and write one big 2,000 word article on the subject and do some link-building.

Your traffic will increase substantially. (See Stuart’s 101 traffic hacks for more traffic)

No post should be under 1,000 words and when you do a content audit on your site, you’ll see that it probably makes sense to go in and delete a lot of the crap you posted a few years ago.


7. EMD Instead of Brand

Exact match domain names still work in 2016, there’s no doubt about that.

Even after Google devalued them, when you look at the top results for low competition keywords, the benefits are still obvious.

In spite of that, it’s still a short-sighted approach to creating an Amazon Affiliate business.

First of all, it makes it super obvious to a customer in 2016 that you’re just doing it for the affiliate commission and your content cannot be trusted.

Combine it with a few other mistakes from this post and you’ll be seeing a conversion rate around 2-5%.

Secondly, it heavily limits the potential of your website.

An EMD locks you down in one niche and there’s not much you can do about it.

Go with a brand name and once you’ve dominated your initial niche, you’ve got plenty of room (and authority) to tackle other markets.

For example, if your initial niche is electric guitars, don’t start with “electricguitarjudge.com” but go for something like “Musicious.com”


8. No Social Proof

Social proof is huge when you’re doing research on something.

If you see that other people trust a resource, you’re more likely to trust them as well.

When you’ve created a Facebook fan page for your niche site and have three likes on it (you, your mom and your dog) then please don’t add it to the sidebar of your website.

It’s basically screaming to the reader that they’re one of the first people to ever listen to you and it makes them insecure.

The second social proof aspect is comments.

A lot of niche sites show their most recent posts in the sidebar and there’s a little bubble showing the amount of comments – it tends to be zero.

Getting legitimate comments on niche sites is pretty hard until you’ve hit #1 for your main keywords.

There’s an easy work-around for this.

Go to your WordPress comments manager, click edit on any spam comment that someone has left and delete their website link, change the comment, add a new name and write your own comment!

Try to add at least 3-4 fake comments for each post you publish and people will not only trust the site a little more, they’ll also be more likely to leave a comment themselves.


9. Keyword Stuffing

Yes, it’s great for SEO to have your big pages named with keywords and it’s even better to have them in the menu with keywords as internal links.

But it’s not worth it.

Sure you may get a little better rankings from this little “trick” but it kills the user experience of the site in most cases and makes it look spammy for a visitor. (Stop users from bouncing off with this copywriting technique)

Stick to the basics and use categories like “Start Here” “Price Ranges” “Brands” “Reviews” “How-To” “Accessories” and so on and so forth.

Getting more visitors is great but there’s no point in it if your site is impossible to navigate and looks spammy – we’re after sales not traffic numbers, after all.


10. Not Having Affiliate Disclosure

This is another easy way to get your Amazon Affiliate account banned.

Every single website that promotes even one product from Amazon has to have the affiliate disclosure.

I usually add it to the footer of my website in a small font, but it’s also okay to create a separate “disclosure” page.

Here’s the text you have to add:

[Insert your name] is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to [insert the applicable site name (amazon.com)].”


(P.S. If you’d like to download a free list of 1244 expensive Amazon products click here or the image below)


11. Only Having Reviews

If your website looks like one long sales page instead of a resource for buyers, most people are going to hit the back button immediately.

Make sure that you’ve also got educational content about your niche.

For most of these, you still have the option to monetize the post but through other methods (i.e. Clickbank).

If you’ve got a website about digital pianos, write a few posts about how to play the piano.

Explain it as much as possible and in the end you can promote a piano playing course through Clickbank.

This makes your site look like a legitimate resource, shows Google that you’re an authority and not just posting about products and it’s an opportunity to generate more traffic in your niche.

Although these visitors will not have high buyer intent, a lot of them will still end up reading your other articles and getting your Amazon cookie.


Final Words

While it may be easy to break these rules, it’s definitely not worth risking your associates account over.

Many have gone through the horror of reading that email from Amazon “We regret to inform you…” (You can imagine the rest).

These are simple to follow, but yet common mistakes that many affiliates make.

Leave your questions, comments and what you plan to do after reading this post…


Karl Kangur runs MonetizePros.com, the biggest resource on website monetization and display advertising. He has over 8 years of experience in the game and loves playing with Google.




The post Affiliate Beware: 11 Things NOT-To-Do With Amazon’s Associate Program appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate8

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16 Sep

7 Eye-Opening Niche Marketing Lessons from Pokémon Go

Unless you’ve been living on another planet or completely disconnected from the internet…

I’m sure you’ve heard about Pokémon Go .

It’s the addictive smartphone game that has taken the world by storm.

You might even be a Pokémon addict yourself.

Since its global launch on July 6th 2016, Pokémon Go has more than 100 million app downloads and almost 21 million daily active users who’re using it close to three-quarters of an hour every day.

And bringing in more than $10 million in daily revenue.

To give you some perspective, that’s more daily active users and daily usage time than apps like WhatsApp and Twitter.



Source: SimilarWeb


As a niche marketer, you should be excited about this.

Because Pokémon is very much a niche topic, and its success once again proves that if you target a very specific niche and offer them something they value, there’s lots of money to be made.

But there are many lessons to be learned from it as well.

Whether you’re doing affiliate marketing or building authority sites to sell digital products in your niche, you can learn a lot from this viral success story.


What You’ll Learn in this Post

  • How to approach a saturated niche from a unique angle
  • The secret strategy Pokemon Go developers used to turn it into an addictive app
  • The scientific formula for creating viral content
  • One small change that will dramatically increase your niche site opt-ins and conversions


1. Approach a Proven Niche from a Different Angle

If you’re a millennial, you’re likely to have fond memories of the Pokémon cartoon series and Game Boy edition released in 1996.

Back in those days, kids were mad about Ash, Pikachu and the other characters in the Pokémon series. Catching those Pokémon characters and playing with them in real life was every child’s dream.




Niantic Inc. the developers of Pokémon Go, targeted this niche and created a product that took millennials like me back in time.

The developers of this game simply tapped into a proven niche, with a different approach.

The nostalgia associated with the Pokémon series did the rest.

What does that tell you about niche marketing?

You don’t always need to come up with a totally unique niche to find success.

People are already spending money in proven niches.

You only need to come up with a unique angle to claim your market share. (Stuart’s report on “1781 Profitable Niches” is a good starting point)

Take NicheHacks, this very blog, as an example.

The things we write about are pretty similar to several other blogs in the “Make Money Online” or the IM niche (blogging, social media, content marketing, traffic generation, SEO etc.)

Proven niches with lots of competition.

But the niche marketing angle in all of our blog posts, eBooks and products, makes it unique and appealing for a very specific group within the internet marketing niche.

And this can be done in ANY niche because there’s no limit to the angles you can approach a niche from.

Healthy diet and weight loss is probably the last niche you’d want to enter since it has so much competition.

But one marketer identified that there are millions of devout and overweight Christians in the United States. So he created a weight loss program based on the lifestyle and meals described in the Bible.

salvationdiet-ebook Other marketers have replicated the same approach in the Muslim niche (example 1example 2)

As I said, you can choose a proven niche and keep coming up with as many new angles as you want.


2. Validate Your Product and Idea With Real Audience Before Launch

Have you ever launched an eBook, a membership site, a coaching program or any other digital product and made good money from it?

If yes, I’m sure you realize how important it is to validate your idea before creating a digital product.

That’s what Pokemon Go did as well.

They approached a proven niche from a unique angle, but they still needed to find out if their product would appeal to their target market.

So instead of launching it all over the world, they started with a very low-scale launch in Japan, the birthplace of Pokémon, and invited local gamers for field-testing.

They ran the “user feedback-improvements-testing” cycle several times and fine-tuned the game for their mega launch that took place several months later.

That’s exactly what niche marketers need to do when launching/promoting a new product or starting from scratch in a new niche.

For example, instead of promoting a product to all the subscribers on your list, choose a small segment first and analyze their feedback.

Similarly, when launching a product of your own, start with a minimum viable product and group of beta testers from within your email list to validate the idea first.

It’s not wise to create and launch a 100-hour coaching program only to find out that no one’s interested in buying.


3. Take Advantage of the Herd Mentality and FOMO to Create Viral Content

Here’s how Wikipedia describes the herd mentality

Herd mentality, or mob mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors. Examples of the herd mentality include stock market trends, superstition, and home décor. Social psychologists study the related topics of group intelligence, crowd wisdom, and decentralized decision making.”

Pokémon Go is a classic example of this, and several other psychological concepts and theories, in action.

It is heavily integrated with social networking platforms and also encourages the players to spread the word and share their progress on their social profiles.

It also takes advantage of a human behavior described by psychologists as FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

Studies show significantly escalated levels of FOMO among social media users. It also found that smartphone users can’t last a minute without checking their phones




Pokémon Go used this tendency to its advantage perfectly.

Wouldn’t you feel left out if all your friends are running around hunting Pokémon with their smartphones?

It’s impossible not to get involved when everyone else is having fun around you.

As a niche marketer, you can use the same psychological triggers to create more viral content.

Viral Nova became a $100 million company by creating intriguing content with click-bait headlines that thousands of people shared with their friends on social networks.




This viral post by Marc and Angle that got more than 500,000 Facebook Likes, 20,000 Tweets and several thousand shares on other social networks, is a great example of making content viral by using fear.




It’s a simple headline, but makes you wonder if you’re doing something to yourself that you should not. Maybe you’re losing out on something.

The result? Lots of clicks and shares!


4. You Can Repurpose Old Content To Target a New Audience

Content creation is one of the biggest challenges for most niche marketers. Not only is it hard to come up with new content ideas all the time, it also costs a lot of money to hire good writers on a regular basis.

Repurposing old content is an effective solution to this problem.

If you look loosely, Pokémon Go is a repurposed idea.

There’s no difference between the characters and the storyline of the original Pokémon series and Pokemon Go.

The core idea isn’t new.

They’ve taken the same characters but placed them in a different environment and a different context.

And it has taken the world by storm.

You can do the same to your blog content that’s rotting in the archives.

For example, Darren Rowse of Problogger did a blog post series called “31 Days to Building a Better Blog” in which he published new blog posts daily for 31 days covering almost every aspect of blogging.




The series got so much attention and fanfare, that Darren eventually repurposed the series into a proper eBook. In fact, he even published a second edition which is still on sale.




And he didn’t stop there.

He went on to repurpose more of his blog content on Slideshare and found a lot of success.




There are so many ways you can repurpose a blog post.

Convert it into a Slideshare presentation, an infographic, a YouTube video, an audio file, an eBook or a Webinar.

You already have the content, you just need to use it in different forms to increase its life and usefulness.


5. Content Rarely Goes Viral by Accident, There’s Science Involved

“It took us 6 years and 51 failed attempts to make Angry Birds an overnight success”

That’s what the CEO Rovio Entertainment had to say about creating one of the most popular games of all time.

Viral success often appears to happen by accident. But that’s rarely the case.

Just like it isn’t with Pokemon Go.

The world started going crazy about Pokemon Go just a few months ago, which makes it look like an instant success.

In reality, though, the developers of the game had been testing its features and finalizing its gameplay for months.

They launched a beta version to small groups of gamers in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, and kept on making changes until they were certain the game would be a big hit.

The same approach works for creating viral blog content.

BuzzSumo studied the most viral posts of 2015 and found that all of them had certain common elements that were responsible for making them viral.


Predictably, intriguing and attention seeking headlines were the biggest reason for making a piece of content viral.

For example, this post by BuzzSumo, which received more than 2.6 million views, has a perfectly optimized headline.


In short, viral content and headlines have the following characteristics

  • They have intriguing and attention grabbing headlines.
  • They drive strong emotions
  • They say something unexpected and carry a strong element of surprise
  • They inspire people to bring positive change
  • They make readers dream
  • They contain images, snapshots, and visuals

But above all, content rarely goes viral without a strong marketing push at the start.

This blog post by Jon Morrow is a great example




And this one on Copyblogger




Both were outstanding posts that deserved to go viral.

But they got the initial momentum because they were published on high authority blogs that already had massive audiences.

But again, not every post on Problogger or Copyblogger goes viral.

The content was great and ticked all the viral content boxes.


6. Strong Branding is the Key to Successful Marketing

Do you think Pokémon Go could’ve achieved this success without being associated with the Pokémon brand?

The game itself is great, but it couldn’t have gone viral without the characters, the story and the overall environment of Pokémon – a brand with more than 20 years of history

In fact, very few people know that Niantic Inc., the developers of Pokémon Go, released a similar game in the past called Ingress.

It had similar gameplay and features, but it did not have the brand power of the Pokémon series.

The fan base of Pokémon Go is driven by a deep sense of association and nostalgia. Ingress had none of that.

Branding is the key to successful affiliate and niche marketing as well.

If your target audience trusts you and considers you a niche expert, it’ll listen to your advice and purchase the products you recommend.

It’ll become much easier for you to convert complete strangers into customers and even advocates.

According to Nielson, 77% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company when they hear about it from someone they trust.



Source: Kredible

So the formula is simple.

If you want people to buy the products you recommend, you need to build a trust-based relationship with them.

This is especially true with high ticket affiliate commissions where people buy because of your brand image and credibility.

I covered branding for niche marketers in much more detail in my previous post, but in short, it comes down to the following points

As Zig Ziglar said, “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you”


7. Adding Continuous Value To Your Existing Subscribers

The biggest niche marketing lesson I’ve learned from Pokemon Go is to keep your customers motivated through rewards and added value even when they appear to be satisfied with your product.

As niche marketers, we’re always trying different ways to make visitors stay longer on our sites, opt-in to our lists and use our links to purchase products.

This can only happen if your content keeps the readers engaged and interested.

Achieving this objective can become significantly easier if you learn from how Pokémon Go keeps its users engaged.

It offers small rewards and bonuses to players for taking different actions, for example finding a new Pokémon or walking to a certain place on the map.

This added value acts as an incentive for the players to take these actions.

You can apply this strategy to niche marketing in several ways.

For example, you can start offering blog post specific content upgrades as an incentive for opting-in to your email list. This approach helped Brian Dean increase email sign-ups by almost 786%.




But you don’t stop offering value once a visitors turns into a subscriber.

You keep on sending them valuable, actionable and authentic content.

You stay in touch with them and regularly offer resources in the form of blog posts, eBooks, webinars etc. that can help them excel in their business.

Doing so would keep your subscribers engaged with your blog all the time which makes it easier to convert them into paying customers.


Ready to Apply Pokémon Go Marketing Hacks to Your Business?

Whether you’re a Pokémon Go fan or not, there’s a lot you can learn from how it has captured the imagination of millions of people around the globe.

You might not be in a position to replicate everything they’ve done, but you can certainly apply a few of their strategies to your own niche marketing business and reap the benefits.

But I must confess.

I’m not an expert Pokémon Go player.

So I’m sure some of you can identify more lessons that can be applied to a niche marketing business.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The post 7 Eye-Opening Niche Marketing Lessons from Pokémon Go appeared first on NicheHacks.

Source: affiliate9

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13 Sep

Gardening Affiliate Programs: Like Growing Money On Trees?

Growing money on trees. What a wonderful, magical idea. It's not possible in a literal sense, and even figuratively, the idiom is "Money doesn’t grow on trees." But I think gardeners and farmers will be quick to disagree.

Money can come from trees. If you’re smart and hardworking enough to put the effort into planting and growing them.

And so this week, I point the spotlight for the first time ever, on the gardening niche. Can gardening be more than a hobby? Can knowledge of horticulture help you earn extra money?

Websites like YouGrowGirl.com and Chiotsrun.com, both popular sites on gardening, seem to prove that gardening is more than just a hobby. It’s part of daily life that you can definitely make a living from.

So let’s dig deeper, and see if the gardening niche is worth getting our hands dirty.

Gardening as an Industry

Horticulture has grown from the science of cultivating plants into a multibillion-dollar industry

I didn’t really think of gardening as an industry until I did some research for this post. Farming did cross my mind, but farming is not gardening. Farming is growing crops (usually corn, wheat and other edible plants) on a large field for consumption. Gardening is planting herbs and flowers in a yard, usually as a form of relaxation or art.

The statistics on GardenResearch.com prove that gardening is more than just a pastime, though. It seems people spend both time and big money on their lawns and gardens. Americans spent about $36 billion USD on their lawns and gardens in 2015. That breaks down to about $400 per household on average, for the year.

Google Trends indicate a consistent market interest in gardening, with major markets in Australia and the UK, as well as the US. It’s good to note that interest in this niche drops in December (when it's winter in the northern hemisphere) and peaks during the spring and summer.

Gardening - Google Trends Gardening Market - Google Trends

Keyword “Garden”

There’s plenty of keywords in the gardening niche. But you won’t be picking them off trees. You need to get in there and dig them out.

Before you start picking keywords at random, it's a good idea to do some niche research. Get to know the gardening niche and see what others are talking about. That will clue you into what keywords could be most profitable target. 

In the gardening niche, for example, you can find keywords from popular gardening websites, and on sales pages for gardening products. The most common keywords I came across are “garden,” “gardening,” “perennials,” “lawn,” “lawn improvement,” and “garden tools,” for starters.

Gardening Keywords - Affilotools Results


AffiloTools came back with a long list, but the keywords worth going for are highly competitive, such as “garden tools,” “gardening gifts,” and “perennial plants." It’s great that more than 50% of the keywords in the search results have high monthly search values. The downside is they are mostly competitive.

Gardening Keywords B - Affilotools Results


Good thing there’s the “Related Keywords” tab in AffiloTools. There’s plenty of how-to keywords you can use on your gardening website. The monthly search values aren’t that high, but the competition is way low.

Gardening Related Keywords - Affilotools Search Results

It’s best to have a combination of both high-competition and low-competition keywords on your list. At most, you’d need only 20 to start your website, with so don’t let difficult keywords stop you. Also check out Ubersuggest and KeywordSpy for additional keyword suggestions.

Garden Affiliate Programs

As always, I checked out the ClickBank Marketplace before searching online for gardening affiliate programs. The site does have a couple of gardening affiliate programs, and they are the first on the list below. However, being first on the list don’t make them the best. These ClickBank digital products on gardening are good quality, but the commissions aren’t as high as others I've seen.

There are plenty more affiliate programs on gardening online, but I've handpicked a few that are good quality and offer respectable commissions. And of course, there's always Amazon.com, which has its Amazon Associates affiliate program that you could incorporate into your site.

The Shoestring Gardener - Gardening Affiliate Programs

1. TheShoestringGardener.com

About The Shoestring Gardener
The Shoestring Gardener is a gardening eBook packed with budget-friendly gardening tips.

How much can I make?
50%, or around $4.55 USD for each sale.

How do I apply?
The site has an Affiliates Page, or you can go directly to ClickBank.

Garden-Rack.com - Gardening Affiliate Program

2. Garden-Rack.com

About Garden-Rack.com
Garden-rack.com offers another eBook with gardening tips, but this time, with a focus on teaching you how to build garden racks. This is a great option for people who love to garden but have back problems.

How much can I make?
Also 50%, but average sale is higher, at $13.35 USD.

How do I apply?
Again, the site has an Affiliates Page as well as a ClickBank program.

MyPocketGarden.com - Gardening Affiliate Programs

3. MyPocketGarden.com

About MyPocketGarden.com
“Stretch, bend and reap the harvest!” That is MyPocketGarden.com’s tagline. It sounds dubious, but it makes sense in a way. Gardening brings you outdoors, and all that digging and moving around still counts for physical activity.

Like the first two ClickBank products in this list though, this is a gardening eBook.

How much can I make?
75% per sale, which is about $3.66 USD.

How do I apply?
This program is available through ClickBank only.

FamilySurvivalGarden.com - Gardening Affiliate Programs

4. FamilySurvivalGarden.com

About FamilySurvivalGarden.com
This is a product that you could even feature in a Survival-related niche website. FamilySurvivalGarden.com shows you how to survive food shortage by planting and growing the right food plants.

How much can I make?
75% of each sale. Roughly $4 USD.

How do I apply?
This is available through ClickBank only.

Gardeners Supply Company - Gardening Affiliate Programs

5. Gardeners.com

About Gardener’s Supply Company
The Gardener’s Supply Company is a large online shopping site for everything gardening. The company started back in 1983 and has since grown to be one of the top gardening supply stores online.

How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 8% per sale. The prices on their website range from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars, so the commission you earn for this affiliate program may end up being more than the other ones on this list.

How do I apply?
The site has an Affiliates Page, or you can go to LinkShare.

BloomingBulb - Gardening Affiliate Program

6. BloomingBulb

About BloomingBulb
BloomingBulb, as the name suggests, sells various flower bulbs and perennial plants. The company has been around since 1991 and ships internationally from its fulfillment center in the US.

How much can I make?
As an affiliate, you get 15% for each sale. This may not be as big a commission as you might think, as prices on the website range from a few dollars to $20 or $30 USD at most. Still, gardeners may buy more than just one plant so this can still get a fairly decent payout, especially if you have a lot of high-converting traffic. 

How do I apply?
The affiliate program is managed through VigLink.

Crocus - Gardening Affiliate Programs

7. Crocus

About Crocus
Crocus is an online store similar to Gardeners.com. It is based in the UK and offers flowering bulbs and other plants along with gardening tools and accessories.

How much can I make?
Affiliates earn 15% per sale, like with Gardeners.com. The prices range from a few pounds (the site uses UK currency, not US) to a hundred or more depending on what is purchased, so you could earn good commissions through the program.

How do I apply?
The site has an Affiliates Page. You need to be a Tradedoubler affiliate to join the program.

SeedsNow.com - Gardening Affiliate Program

8. SeedsNow.com

About SeedsNow.com
The tagline on SeedsNow.com’s About page says it all: “Grow your own food. Support Local. Eat healthy. Be happy.”

The site provides you with all the plant seeds you need to grow your own herb or vegetable garden.

How much can I make?
20% for every purchase. This may not amount to a lot, as prices range from a dollar to about $20 USD for every pack of seeds.

How do I apply?
Sign up for the affiliate program through the form on the site's Affiliates Page. The affiliate program is managed by Refersion.

Inviting Bees: Getting Traffic to Your Gardening Website

You need to have a good strategy on hand to draw the people to your website

As soon as your website is up, the next step is getting traffic. This is where most new marketers get stumped, and with good reason: There are plenty of methods to generate traffic, both paid and free, and no one method is proven to work better than others. Success depends on a variety of factors. 

You can and should consider trying different inbound marketing methods. Not all of them will apply to your website though so you need to decide for yourself which ones to attempt first. Making up your mind can take considerable time (and oftentimes people get stuck in “analysis paralysis”!) so drawing up a strategy in the early stages of niche research and site building helps to avoid wasting time in deciding which course of action to take.

Some tactics you can apply in your link-building and marketing strategies include:

Amazon Kindle eBooks

You, or someone you hire, can write an eBook on gardening like these ones on Amazon Kindle, place links to related pages on your website within the eBook, then upload it to Amazon. When people download the eBook, they are referred to your website.

It’s straightforward enough, but this method requires a bit more time and effort than most inbound marketing methods. It also requires considerable financial investment if you’re not keen on writing your own content. Still, it’s traffic you don’t need to rely on Google for, so it can be worth the effort.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with Amazon.com's rules on publishing eBooks so you know what is and isn't allowed on the Kindle marketplace.


This link-building method is similar to getting an eBook up on Amazon Kindle. Like the eBook, you can have someone create the infographic for you for a fee, or you can save money by creating your own using graphics websites like Canva.com. Either way, you end up with content you can share on your own website and on social media (including Facebook and Pinterest).

The only catch is there’s plenty of gardening infographics available, like these. Have a look around at what’s already available, and see if there is any new way you can present the information or a topic that hasn't been covered that might be of interest. However you decide to do it, make sure the result is something people would consider helpful or entertaining enough to share.

You can check out FastCodeDesign.com's simple tutorial on how you can create your own infographic.

Blog and Forum Commenting

This is one of those “staple” methods: a link-building tactic that you should always incorporate into your strategy, and one that applies to any website in any niche.

In addition to websites, you'll find there are many forums on gardening, such as HelpfulGardener.com and Gardening-Forums.com. Engage your target market by responding to inquiries on these forums. Join the discussion, and get to know the people in this niche by involving yourself in the community.

A word of caution: Blog and forum commenting take time. You won’t be able to build your online presence right away, but once you’ve done so and have gained your market’s trust, you’ll see a steady stream of traffic from these blogs and forums. It’s a win-win.

This article from the SocialMediaExaminer.com on to power of forums and how to engage in them offers a few tips you can use.

Gardening Affiliate Programs: Can You Really Grow Money From Trees?

Like with any tree, there are seasons to the gardening niche. Be ready for dry spells.

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This is a question we answer for every niche we look into: Can you really make money out of it? The answer is always a “Yes,” but it’s never with the same degree of confidence. Some niches are easy to go into, while others are not. In the case of the gardening niche, the answer is a strong “Yes!”.

Yes, you can plant your gardening website, grow it and make money off it like a metaphorical tree.

But like in any gardening endeavor, you need to take the time to raise it. Weed out which link-building methods don’t work. Nurture your users with good content. Plenty of people are interested in the topic. 

Keep in mind, though, that the commissions in this niche aren’t all that big. They have the potential to add up, but this is a seasonal kind of niche where there is a boom during certain times of the year, and a drought during the rest of it. Even if the interest is there, people don't buy consistently. 

If you are a fascinated with this niche, or already into gardening, then go and build that gardening website. You’ll have fun growing your own gardening website, and reaping the eventual fruits of your labor.

And with at that, I conclude this week's Niche of the Week. Do you like gardening, and is this a niche you'd go into? Did you like this week's feature? Any niches you want us to look into? Leave a comment and let us know! Don't be shy! 😉

Running out of marketing ideas to promote your website? AffiloBlueprint has got it covered!

Source: affilate6

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13 Sep

Your Two First Hires – How to begin scaling your business with a VA and a writer

If you are building a website with the goal of generating traffic/making money your two most important hires are a VA and a Writer.

After some recent discussions with a couple people I am helping coach/consult with it became clear that these are the 2 most critical first hires!

This post will share with you how to find, hire, fire and manage both roles.

What This Post Will Cover:

  • My 5 Simple Rules for effectively hiring and managing a virtual team
  • My experience (including the number of hires I have had via UpWork)
  • How to Hire a VA
  • How to Hire a Writer

5 Simple Rules for Hiring and Managing a Virtual Team:

  1. Hire Fast (no interview)
  2. Hire more than you will eventually need (hire 3 if you need to fill 1 role) 
  3. Fire Fast (as soon as it is clear they are not an A player whether it is 1hr or 1week cut them loose ASAP) 
  4. Keep them consistently working
  5. Have a system to track and manage their output with clear expectations of results expected of them and a way to feedback to them their performance

My Experience:

Over the past 9 years me and my team have hired A LOT of people via upwork (1,539!!)

But it all started with my first VA and a writer.

Here is a snapshot of what is reported via UpWork…

How to Hire a VA:

Hiring your first VA is a crtical step that I believe everyone looking to build a substantial online business should pursue.

The benefit of having a skilled VA that works closely with you to help with your business is huge! I have many that have been with me for A LONG time and I would not be able to operate without them.

I have mentioned it before but…

  • One started at $0.5/hr and rose to $6/hr!
  • One I was recently named as a god-parent for (among about 15 others)
  • Here is my refined approach to hiring a VA which I first shared over 3 years ago here

Of course you know I love sharing detailed tutorials and not just theory…so here it is… something that people have been asking for…exactly how I go about hiring virtual assistants.

Step 1 – Sign up at UpWork

The sign up process at UpWork.com is straightforward. You simply sign up and attach a credit card to your account.

Even though they have raised their fee structure the talent pool and management systems still have me using it.

Step 2 – Post a Job on UpWork

Post a job on UpWork. For me I used a very simple job posting in the administrative general category.

Some people like to use hidden keywords to qualify applicants or say no form cover letters. To me it only makes sense people would use form cover letters when the success rate of job posting has to be around 1/50 so who would spend time creating a unique cover letter. I wouldn’t so I don’t punish people who don’t. The bottom line is I don’t want to hire the VA with the best application I want the best VA at their job so the more applicants for me to select from the better! The ability with UpWork to see who is serious and who is not is easy with their previous work history so I don’t use the cover letter to judge how serious an applicant they are.

See Example Job Posting Here

Step 3 – Wait 1-24 hrs no longer!

For most job postings dozens will apply in only a few hours.

I like to keep the momentum going of someone who just applied and hire them as soon after they applied as possible.

This momentum when managing VA’s is critical right from the start. When I hire someone I want to ensure they continue to progress through the work without a break…if a great VA has a 1-2week break from being assigned work they often are hard to get restarted.

When I have hired someone who applied to the job longer than 24hrs ago I notice a decline in their responsiveness. My focus in this phase is to keep the momentum moving and the cycle time from application to hired short.

Step 4 – Sort through the List of Applicants

Here are the 4 measures I use to find the best possible VA.

  • How many hours has the person worked on UpWork (~30% weighting) – The more hours the better, what often can occur is someone will sign up on UpWork, apply to a job but then never follow through on the assignment. Someone that is making a living on UpWork will be certain to deliver results for you and protect their positive feedback.
  • UpWork Feedback (~30% weighting) – Reviews are not good enough to sort out the top 50% but they can be reliable on cutting out the bottom 25-50% of applicants. If someone is below a 4 rating I would stay away. However, someone that has a 4.91 is not necessarily better than someone with a 4.78…reviews just are not to be trusted that much in my opinion.
  • Matching Skill Set (~20% weighting) – In my case I am looking for someone who has done similar work including WordPress, research and some SEO work. If they have another bonus skill I can’t efficiently teach I consider that as well such as graphic design or the ability to code.
  • English Skills (~20% weighting) – I want to find someone who does not have any broken English in their application. Whether it is selecting a category for a post or crafting a tweet their English skills need to be decent enough to put together a non-broken sentence.

Step 5 – Hire the 2 Best VA’s for the Blind Experiment

Based on the criteria above hire the 1-3 best potential VA’s with no interview. Simply select the 2 best and hire them.

Here is where the blind experiment method comes into play. Without an interview I just go ahead and hire someone then in the next steps there is the “experiment” to prove who is the best VA.

When the cost of making a hiring mistake is high (such as in real life) it makes sense to be as thorough as possible… however, in the online world where ending a contract costs only the few hours the candidate was working you can save yourself a TON of time bye not doing any interviews.

Step 6 – Assign Short Term Research Assignment

Once the VA’s have been hired it is time to send them their first assignment. It is important to follow up with the instructions right after you have hired them. The assignment I am looking to assign is something that is simple and will prove to me if they have what it takes.

Example of the 2 assignments I am going to assign…

  • Research Assignment #1 – Find 30 scholarships for College students in the US who are from China. Create a Google spreadsheet and share it with JonHaver11. I would like you to include the name of the scholarship, the URL of the scholarship and a copied short description of the scholarship. Please confirm you have received these instructions by emailing me at jonhaver11 immediately after being hired and send a very brief email daily with your progress (# found) and any questions you have. I would like this research completed within 2-3 days.
  • Research Assignment #2 – Find 30 scholarships for College students in the US who are from Canada. Create a Google spreadsheet and share it with JonHaver11. I would like you to include the name of the scholarship, the URL of the scholarship and a copied short description of the scholarship. Please confirm you have received these instructions by emailing me at jonhaver11 immediately after being hired and send a very brief email daily with your progress (# found) and any questions you have. I would like this research completed within 2-3 days.

That is it! I like to provide more detail on all future assignments but this clear enough but not too detailed job will show me what kind of person they are.

Step 7 – Review Work Completed by the VA’s

The review of their work starts with their communication, I like to see the confirmation come shortly after being hired saying they understand the job. If I get a ton of emails asking simple questions like “how do I create a Google Document” or anything they could easily learn with Google then I know they will be a burden on me or my team leads time and not free it up. If they are crisp with their daily communication and deliver great results in an organized fashion within the timeline then I know what kind of worker they are.

Using this test assignment has been a huge help to me and my team in terms of weeding out low performers before they have been a drain on my team.

The 4 basic skills I am looking at during this phase is…

  • Speed of communication
  • Quality of communication
  • Quality of questions they ask
  • Quality of final piece of work (did they “get it”)

Step 8 – Fire Lowest Performing VA

In the past I have spent time trying to train up low performers to make them high performers. However, I am now very convinced my time is far better off training up my best performers and churning through VA’s until I find some stand outs who can be top performers.

WARNING – You will get many emails after you end the contract of the VA asking to be re-hired and providing many passionate pleas why you should hire them. It does hurt to say no to some people. If I think I gave them a fair opportunity I can’t get too worked up about ending their contract but it still sucks. So if you plan on following my no interview hire 2 fire 1 strategy be aware there is pain associated with it.

Step 9 – Manage and Train Your VA

This step deserves its own section but here are some basic instructions that will ensure you are effectively managing a VA…

1. Require daily updates via email…

  • What has been done
  • What the plan for tomorrow is
  • Any issues that have come up

2. Use a Google Document that includes training, tasks and work completed

3. Provide consistent feedback both positive and constructive. Aim for a ratio of 4:1 positive to constructive.

How to Hire a Writer:

Much of this is the same as I wrote back in 2012 and although the cost per article has increased the principles still hold.

3 Hard Earned Lessons

  • Good writers are typically “flakey” and will disappear without notice so always have some backup
  • Native English writers is an absolute requirement
  • Paying promptly and communicating well will help reduce the churn typically experienced with good writers

My System for Hiring Writers…

Getting high quality articles written for a very low cost is a key strength for my online business. In this article and for the first time I share exactly how I get high quality articles created cheaply.

Here is how I get a 500+ Word High Quality Article Written for $8

ONE – Identify Articles to Be Created

I have a ONE simple Google Document spreadsheets for my various projects with a typical list of…

  • Website
  • Title(target keyword)
  • Type of content (Pillar 2000-4000 word article or 750 word blog post with a little bit of information added here to help guide the writer)
  • Link to eventual Google document of the article (for when the article is created)
  • Link to published URL (either on my site or another page online)

TWO – Post a Job on UpWork

The job on UpWork doesn’t have to be anything special. The key to hiring good writers is understanding what they are looking for and providing it.

My ideal writer is looking for an opportunity to get 5* feedback and steady work. I am looking for someone who is…

  • A Native English Speaker (USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia)
  • Has writing experience
  • College educated
  • Newer to ODesk and looking for experience/exposure
  • Returning to the workforce and hungry to prove themselves
  • Stay at home Mom’s have proven to be exceptional!

Example of Content Tracking Sheet

These qualities typically reflect themselves in a stay at home mom or recent college graduates who are looking to get experience.

Here is my article writing job posting I like to use…

Article Writer Post

I have a quick 5 article writing job if you are interested in getting some 5* feedback on your ODesk profile and potential long term work.

I will provide you with the article titles and would like you to research them and then write 750 word articles

– Native English
– Interested in completing this job quickly for the fixed bid amount and receiving 5* feedback
– interested in potential longer term writing assignment after the successful completion of this job
– Bid at or below the $40 for 5 articles

THREE – Hire 2-3 Writers for Each Group of Keywords

No need to interview since there is very little you can learn to better inform your decision. By not interviewing you take on 2 risks…

  • Writer is not serious and does not complete the work – However, I don’t believe interviewing would reduce this risk and the consequence of not getting your articles is minor since you are hiring 2 writers for each group of keywords.
  • You receive of sub-par quality content – Again, this risk is minor since you have 2 writers working for each group of articles and if the content is decent(which it almost always is) but just doesn’t add enough value it can be used as an article on my Private Blog Network.

Many people will disagree with me on this but hiring them right away without an interview saves me a lot of time!

If schedule is not important to you and you have a lot of articles ready to be written it can be a good strategy to assign articles 1-5 for one writer and 6-10 to another. By doing this if you do end up with 2 great writers you can use all the articles on your money site.

FOUR – Send Them a Message with Instructions

Here are the instructions I send via UpWork as soon as I hire them, this email is nothing special but lays out what deliverables are expected and when they are expected.

A great podcast if you are interested in running an efficient team is Manager Tools who teach the basic principle of project management is defining “who is doing what by when”.

One change I made to this template that improved the number of writers that completed their articles was asking for a small action right away “email me confirming you have received and understand these instructions”.

—- Email Template —-

Welcome to the team. I really look forward to working with you!

My name is _____ and I am the team lead here, please email at _______ to confirm you have received this email right away.

If you ever have any questions or concerns you can get in touch with Jon the owner at _______

Here are the 5 articles each article needs to be 750+ words and 100% unique…

Title 1

Title 2

Title 10

Following the general instructions provided at the link below (specifically section 4)


Please send all articles in one email in individual .doc form to the emails above.

Hopefully you can complete all 5 articles in 1 week, 5* feedback and more work will follow.

If you have any questions please contact me.

Thanks and I look forward to speaking with you more.

_______ (Team Lead)

FIVE – Receive Articles

Once the articles have been received they should be checked for the following…

  • Quality – Review the article to see if it is good enough to go onto the website, again if it’s not it can be used at a Web 2.0 property or private blog network.

I then have my team leader move each article to a dropbox folder and share the link on the google document.

SIX – Publish Articles (more to come in future posts)

Once the articles required are available (uploaded to dropbox folder and added to the content tracking spreadsheet) my content publishing VA is triggered to get the articles published on the given site.

Another complete post could be created on the different ways to ensure quality content is published.

For me I use Thrive Themes and Content Builder extensively to help ensure my posts formatting is of a very high quality!

Depending on the quality of the writer, me and my team manager will move them onto bigger assignments as required.

So that is it, six steps showing how I get cheap articles written that are of high quality!

Hiring Your First 2 Positions – Summary

So that is it… an updated version from my original posts talking about hiring a VA and hiring a writer.

The basic concepts have stayed consistent in my business for the past three years.

If you are starting out and looking to grow your team I hope my hard earned lessons and the strategy I have refined now over the years is helpful!

If you have any tips/tricks when it comes to your first hires please share in the comments below.

Source: affiliate4

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06 Sep

August Income Report – Record Revenue and Exploding Expenses

August was a great month on a lot of fronts with record numbers (revenue and costs!). However, a few of the risks I had identified with full-time entrepreneurship are starting to be realized.

The schedule flexibility of full-time online entrepreneurship is fantastic and I have been able to adjust my schedule when needed to enjoy the summer with my family.

Many exciting growth projects for Q4 I will discuss here.

In this income post I will try to share what I have learned and failed at over the last month and the performance of the businesses!

My Business Focus Points:

  1. Passive Income Website Portfolio
  2. AuthorityWebsiteIncome Blog
  3. SEO & Expired Domain Services:
  4. Amazon FBA Business
    • Brand #1
    • Brand #2
    • Brand #3
    • New Web App Project

Key Successes

  1. Growing Team with a Great Hire – A new project manager will be starting with the growing team in house in a week and I am certainly expecting it to be a great fit!
  2. Small Website Acquisitions – After talking last month about how to sell your website fast there were a few quality deals I was able to make for some smaller websites.
  3. Growth of New Sites/Projects – Seeing the tangible growth numbers of a couple new projects is very promising!
    1. listingeagle.com = 30% month over month growth for 3 straight months
    2. Affiliate Site to Drive FBA Business = 100% month over month growth for 5 straight months

1 - 100 percent month over month traffic growth

Key Failures

  1. Too Many Projects – One of my concerns when I was going to start working full time was the risk that I would try and run with too many projects. Although it hasn’t come to that point yet (I don’t believe) I have certainly had a harder time saying no to projects now than I did before. Many of the projects are very exciting and will definitely pay off in the long run but it is a concern!
  2. COSTS! – Another concern was that with the majority of my income coming from at least partially passive income the more time I put into work the more money I will spend for future income. That is definitely the case with RECORD costs in August and no signs of it slowing down in Sep!


2016 Business Goals

Below is my businesses main goals for 2016…

2 - goals

Download This Easy to Edit and Printable Goals Template – FREE

(Note – FBA Brand #2 Has Been Replaced With my SAAS Business)

Part 1 – Passive Authority & Niche Website Income Profit/Loss

3 - passive income portfolio

3 Goals in 2016 for my Website Portfolio Business

  1. Systematize Top 20 Sites in Portfolio

Aug Update – Good progress made with a hire of an in house project manager and the creation of the framework she will be building out.

  1. Buy 1 Site Per Month

Aug Update – With my how to sell a website post there were 2 decent deals that came from that effort.

  • GOAL = 1 Website
  • ACTUAL = 2 Great Website Purchased

4 - Website acquisitions

If any readers are looking to sell their profitable site(s) VERY QUICKLY let me know by emailing me. I can let you know in 12hrs if I am interested and complete the purchase in 24-48hrs – Contact Me Here

I have found the right sellers are those…

  • Looking to sell FAST (under 24hrs has been accomplished!) (shorter time for due diligence on my end increases risk for me)
  • Not wanting to spend a lot of time on the sales process (analytics and income proof is all I need)
  • High quality sites making over $500-1,000/month often make sense to sell via other channels (EmpireFlippers or FEInternational are great places)
  • SEO done to the site can be questionable and that increased risk will be reflected in the sales price
  • Understand that the benefits of the bullet points above means the sales multiple will be lower

If you have a website you are looking to sell fast please let me know


  1. Sell Websites Strategically for $100k Total

Aug Update – The unique website lease/sale deal is still on track.



5 - Passive Income Portfolio Monthly Income

Aug Update – With the goal for a big September and then moving into Q4 the passive income portfolio which is improving in rankings/traffic is setup to perform well in Q4.


Part 2 – Authority Website Income Blog Profit/Loss

6 - AWI goals

6 - AWI goals6 - AWI goals

3 Goals in 2015 for AuthorityWebsiteIncome.com

  1. Post Once Per Week

Aug Update – Achieved the target of once per week publishing but did not start catching up yet.

  • Plan = 5
  • Actual = 5

7 - posts at awi

  1. 10x my Outreach

Aug Update – Moderate success with a couple more podcast interviews.

  1. Site Redesign – Completed!

July Update – Already Completed


8 - traffic at awi

Aug Update – 18,327 uniques’ which represents a +72.5% year over year increase. I believe if I can achieve my weekly posting plus my 10x outreach I can achieve this goal by the end of the year!


Part 3 – Services Business Profit/Loss

9 - services

  1. Systems Overhaul/Refresh

Aug Update – We have kicked off a team re-org and change in tracking system which is the first move in completing this system refresh.


  1. Improve email marking and sales automation

Aug Update – Falling behind in achieving this goal…it is embarrassing how bad I am on this front!


  1. BrandBuilders.io Becomes The Go-To Resource for Done 4 You Amazon FBA Private Label Websites and Done 4 You Amazon Affiliate Sites

Aug Update – Great month for BrandBuilders again



Part 4 – Amazon FBA Business

10 - fba goals

  1. Sell FBA Business for 30x with 3+ Solid Months

Aug Update – SUCCESS


  1. Launch Brand #2 – Personal

Aug Update – I am exploring how to best leverage my skills/resources using partnerships on a couple new brands. We are working on moving quickly to get in front of the Q4 push.


  1. Launch Brand #3 – Investors

Aug Update – The first Sea Shipment just arrived (finally) and Sep will be a big month for this business!


  1. ListingEagle.com – Hijack Monitoring Service

Aug Update – Similar update for June with GREAT metrics and user feedback but our ability to accelerate our customer acquisition has been tricky! Because the service is very useful but not tightly integrated into peoples operations of their business the churn rate has been higher than ideal and a paid traffic customer acquisition plan has been unsuccessful. But 30% month over month growth for 3 straight months is definitely promising.

11 - listingeagle

Overall Income Update


Original Monthly Net Income Target (original goal $15k/month reliable income by age 35)

  • Target Net Income = $9,525
  • Actual net Income = $25,405.88
  • 2016 Average Monthly Net Income = $29,635 (stretch goal is 30k average for the year)

Gross revenue is a vanity number for my business and I do not share it.

12 - income

13 - income split by division


Final Comments

Aug was a good month with record revenue numbers but with all the growth projects on the go my expenses have also skyrocketed!

The most important thing for the rest of this year is for me to stay focused on my goals and manage my growth projects through the critical early phase while ensuring my costs don’t get out of hand.


Source: affiliate4

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05 Sep

eCommerce Affiliate Programs: Fill Your Cart or Go Window Shopping?

If you are a follower of our NOTW (niche of the week), you may have noticed that we cover a LOT of niches with great products that you can sell online. That includes travel (including cruises), food and winehealth and more! Sometimes they're digital products available through ClickBank and other affiliate marketplaces, sometimes they're retail sites that have products in that week's niche. But this is the first time that we are covering affiliate programs offered by other eCommerce retailers as a niche in and of itself.

Personally, I find this niche an interesting topic to discuss because it opens up a wide range of marketing techniques that can be applied to a website (I will be discussing all these marketing stuff in the latter part of this post), maybe more so than some of the other affiliate niches we've looked at. 

If you are a creative person who thinks outside of the box, then this niche is perfect for you. Here's why: 

The Niche Defined

Trying to definite "eCommerce affiliate programs" can be a challenge just because there's so many interpretations of the word "eCommerce." However, this is the definition we're going with:

E-commerce affiliate programs are affiliate websites that promote online stores. This niche covers all web stores that allow a seller offer digital and/or physical products.

Do not confuse this niche with an e-commerce store setup or a dropshipping website! You do not need to put up a full-functioning e-commerce site for this niche. You could have nothing but blog posts on your website, and then choose one of these programs to feature on your website to recommend products they might be interested in. Remember in affiliate marketing, you only need to lead your visitors to the landing page of the product (or, in this case, website) that you are promoting through your affiliate link. You don't necessarily need them to buy specific products.



eMarketer reports that in 2015, online retail sales comprised the 7.4% of total retail sales worldwide. This percentage, while small, still amounted to $1.671 trillion US dollars.

Furthermore, the report claims that by 2019, retail sales will jump to $3.578 trillion.

And despite that huge number and huge increase, that would still only be 12.8% of the total retail purchases.

The graph here shows the increase in eCommerce sales from the year 2014 to 2019. However, even though there is a rapid growth in the eCommerce sales every year, and it's projected to keep growing, the industry only makes up a small percentage of worldwide sales, still leaving a huge percentage of sales to brick-and-mortar businesses.

So even though eCommerce is only a small percentage of total retail sales worldwide, it's still raking in the money. And by raking in the money, we’re talking about earning more than $1 trillion dollars in 2015….more than $2 trillion in 2016, and more than $3 trillion by 2018! Because let's not forget, this industry is also growing constantly. 


Examples of Websites Promoting eCommerce Affiliate Programs


1. Cool Camping Gear (cool-camping-gear.com)


What It's About:

By its name, Cool Camping Gear features camping-related equipment: tents, lamps, hammocks, knives, outdoor cookware, etc.

The site has a very simple layout. With regards to content, this has nothing much to share. The only content that you can see on the site are the product descriptions.

Products Promoted:

Most of the products promoted are, unsurprisingly, from Amazon. The rest are from direct vendors like Sundance Solar, Bubbletree and Field Candy.

I noticed that the products promoted are quite unique, not the run-of-the-mill items that you would expect to see in a conventional retail store. However, I cannot see any products that are on sale here. The website only chooses to promote products that are one-of-a-kind, which makes them stand out in the camping/survival eCommerce niche.


Overall traffic count (3 months): 26,500

Monthly traffic: 8,800

Top 3 traffic sources: 1. Social (39.53%)  2. Organic Search (29.7%)  3. Direct (28.01%)

The traffic for this site is quite good, even though it has very little content on it. Based on the top sources for traffic, the website gets most of its visits on social media shares (39.53%). Surprisingly, the website markets pretty much exclusively through Pinterest. It has some referral traffic from Stubleupon, but Pinterest is the primary source.  

Organic traffic (search engine/Google traffic) is second to social traffic (29.7%), though this is not surprising since the website is not optimized for SEO and based from the organic traffic data, not optimized for offsite SEO either. The referral keywords include "cool camping gear," "coolest camping gear" and "camping gifts for kids."

The amount of direct traffic for this site isn't bad at all (28.01%). A large percentage of people keep coming back to this site, and I am guessing it is because of the unique products being promoted.

What We Learned:

This website is a good example of how choosing a sub-niche helps a lot in terms of competing with other affiliate marketers out there. Featuring unique products helps you get traffic even if you are competing in a very fierce market. More importantly, you also gain direct traffic (people remember your website!) over time.

Room for Improvement:

1. Content: There's no ifs, ands or buts about it — this site lacks content. Adding a blog section could help the site get more organic traffic, even without proper SEO, just because content is (still) king. People want to read interesting articles and lists, or watch intriguing or entertaining videos. 

2. Email marketing: Even though the site has a good amount of traffic, it is still losing customers because it has no way to capture email addresses. Cool Camping Gear has good direct traffic but without a list, it also loses its chance to build a solid customer relationship.


2. Stuccu (stuccu.com)

What It's About:

Stuccu has practically everything. Gadgets, apparel, sports, home, toys, baby products, etc. — name it and you can probably find it on the site. 

Although the website has a lot to offer, the many products do have something in common: They're all sale items.

Products Promoted:

The website features sale items from Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Target and Best Buy.


Overall traffic count (3 months): 12.1 million

Monthly traffic: 4 million

Top 3 traffic sources: 1. Paid Search (59.03%)  2. Organic Search (22.60%)  3. Direct (13.85%)

Stuccu is a well-established site with millions of visitors monthly. Most of its traffic comes from paid search; perhaps more interesting is the fact that a large percentage of paid traffic comes from Bing, not Google.

For organic traffic, the site has few referring keywords, which tells us that the site is mostly spending money on paid ads; there's no SEO work. The top referring keyword for organic traffic is its site name: Stuccu.

Surprisingly, the site has low direct traffic.I have checked the bounce rate for this site, and it’s quite high. So even though the website has a good amount of traffic, it doesn't necessarily keep all of the traffic it earns.

What We Learned:

From the layout, content and traffic, Stuccu is exceptional. However, the site has low direct traffic and a high bounce rate, which tells us that there is still something that needs improvement. Traffic isn’t everything. You need to make sure that the numbers count by looking at conversion rates. How often are consumers buying a product? 

Room for Improvement:

1. Vary the traffic sources: It is no doubt that paid traffic will get you a lot of website visits in no time. However, in Stuccu’s case, a high bounce rate and a low direct traffic may mean the paid campaign needs to improve or the paid ads are not the best sources for conversion.

The site can improve on conversion by seeking out new traffic sources. For example, the website’s traffic is mostly from Bing search. Getting traffic from Google could make a difference in terms of conversion. Also, social media traffic is insignificant or nonexistent for Stuccu. The website could benefit from adding social channels (we’ve already seen that social media works well for Cool Camping Gear).


Keyword Research

For keyword research, since there are so many sub-niches to pursue within the eCommerce affiliate program niche, we will be using using one of our example sites to study: camping.  

Since I have no idea yet on which keywords to target, I referred to Ubersuggest for keywords ideas. The tool suggested 289 keyword ideas that I could use for my website.

Here are my top 5 keywords:

Then, I went to Affilotools to research keyword competition. I started with 5 keywords from Ubersuggest, which led me to a total of 118 keywords. The screenshot below shows that most of my potential keywords have high competition. I did find several medium- and low-competition keywords, but they were not the majority of my results.  

If I planned on using and promoting high-competition keywords through blogging and content marketing strategies, I am confident that I could rank well for these keywords.

But if you want to start off with low- to medium-competition keywords, I suggest you spend a LOT more time doing your keyword research. There are many great keywords for a specific niche of eCommerce affiliate programs; you just have to figure out what terms people are using to find what they want.

Using the camping niche again, if you wanted to look for more easy-to-rank keywords, you could go to your list of affiliate vendors and check their products first. Make a list of the product names or even the manufacturer (if available). You can use the product and brand names as your keywords, which I think are easier to rank for compared with some of the keywords you get from Ubersuggest. Once you have a solid list of potential keywords, you can go back to Affilotools to check the competition.


Choice Pickings for eCommerce Affiliate Programs

What's great about promoting eCommerce affiliate programs is that you do not have to look very far to find some well-respected programs. You already have a lot of big, already established eCommerce stores that you can choose from, including these ones here:

1. Amazon Associates


“The number one e-commerce website”: I think most people know that Amazon is one of the leading eCommerce sites today; I'm not sure how many know that it also has an affiliate program. This marketplace has almost everything you could imagine, and it won’t be hard for you to find niche-specific products to promote on your website. 

How much can I make?

The highest commission that you can receive for a sale through Amazon is 10%. You can check out the complete list of advertising fees for Amazon here. Also, it merits mentioning that there is no required quota for affiliates.  

How do I apply?

You can sign up here.


2. eBay Partner Network



Another well-known eCommerce store that provides you with huge list of products; another more obscure but potentially lucrative affiliate program. 

How much can I make?

eBay commissions start from 40% and can reach as high as 80% depending on the category level. Additionally, you can earn extra cash (a 200% payout) from new and reactivated buyers.

How do I apply?

You can sign up here.


3. Aliexpress Portals



Aliexpress is the retail version of the Chinese wholesale site Alibaba.com. Aliexpress gained popularity because of its cheap and extensive inventory of products.

How much can I make?

The highest payout for Aliexpress commissions is 50%. 

How do I apply?

You can sign up here.


4. Etsy



Etsy is not your average eCommerce website. This marketplace specializes in handmade and vintage items, though it also allows craft supplies. If you want to focus on supporting independent craftspeople and work in a niche such as home decor or fashion, then this affiliate program is perfect for you.

How much can I make?

Etsy only pays you $4 per sale. That's quite low compared to other affiliate programs (especially those that might offer more than 50% on some times) but I think there is also a huge market for people who are interested in handmade, vintage, and unique items. Etsy may give you a low payout per item, but the conversion rate may be high, which could make it a moot point.

How do I apply?

You can sign up here.


5. Best Buy


Best Buy is a well-known US store for electronics. The company also operates an eCommerce store, where you can access a wide range of electronic products, including all sorts of trusted brand names.

How much can I make?

Best Buy offers commission rates from 1% up to 10%, depending on the item category. That may seem low, but big-ticket items could be especially lucrative depending on the exact percentage that you earn. 

How do I apply?

You can sign up here.


Marketing Campaign

So we've looked at some keywords and highlighted a few well-known options for affiliate programs. Now begins the exciting part (to me, at least) the marketing process. I know that for some people marketing and promoting a website can be challenging, especially when the numbers do not convert well.

But when it comes to marketing any product online, you need to remember two things: One, make sure that the landing page offers content that you audience is looking for. Two, know your audience well and always focus in marketing for the right market.

As I previously said, promoting eCommerce affiliate programs allows you to experiment with a lot of marketing techniques, mostly because you aren't limited to the techniques that work for one specific niche. 

Marketing Ideas You Can Incorporate In Your Campaign:

1. Content

Plan ahead

At Affilorama, we always suggest you create your own content if possible, but quality is important, and if you can't do it yourself, be sure to explore other options. However you choose to get your content, it makes a huge difference if you plan it out ahead of time, preferably during the website-building process. This is crucial to making sure you choose the best tactics for a specific niche or line of products and that you can also maximize the effectiveness of any SEO work. Planning your content means creating a content blueprint where you map out the topics to cover, along with the keywords you’ve chosen for the site.

Incorporate user-generated content

When it comes to improving your sales conversions, don't overlook the power of user-generated content. Any type of content — blogs, wikis, forums, social media posts and reviews from users — can be considered user-generated content if it's made by your fans and customers.

A good testimonial or review post about your product improves your credibility. Verified reviews help in attracting more buyers, since this type of content comes directly from users who already bought from your website, and the system can't be gamed with false or paid-for reviews.


Another effective way to create powerful, compelling content that wins you customers is to use a contextual marketing strategy. This strategy is all about customized content based on your market’s behavior. A good example of contextual marketing is Google Adsense, where ads are personalized according to the keyword searched for.

You can use contextual marketing in your email campaigns. For example, this might involve creating segmented lists and sending out newsletters that are tailored to a specific list based on their interests or shopping habits. Not only will this strategy minimize the number of people who opt out of your subscription; it will also likely lead to an increase in sales because you're reaching the best audience for the campaign. 


2. Optimization

Always make sure that you optimize your pages according to standard SEO practices, even if you do not plan to build links. On-page optimization is very important, since a well-optimized page alone helps your website rank on search engines, especially Google.

Free traffic from search engines referrals is a good way to increase sales. Even if your conversion rate is just 2%, you can make more money if your traffic jumps from 1,000 visitors a month to 2,000, assuming that rate stays the same. But of course, this is not the case all the time. You still need to consider quality traffic to really make good and consistent sales and improve your conversion rates.

For example, good SEO means that when someone is searching for a topic highly relevant to a page on your site, you have a better chance of appearing in the first few results. If your page is what customers are in fact looking for, they're likely going to stick around and might even make a purchase when they're ready. So really, SEO is partly about using the same keywords consumer are, and partly about making sure Google sees those keywords in the right places, along with some other standard optimization practices.


3. Social Media

Social media can be a very important factor in sales conversion. In addition, it's well documented that sharing content with good photos works well on social media to drive traffic and engage customers. You don't need to limit your social media campaign to one or two social media platforms, either. Create a social media account wherever you think your potential customers might be hanging out. It doesn't hurt to experiment with different sites for your campaign. Also, tracking your results on these social platforms will help you assess which networks are most popular with your niche. If you are able to tell which sites bring you good-quality traffic, you can also properly manage your social media campaign. For example, you can put more hours into building a Pinterest following if you're receiving most of your traffic and sales there.

Final Thoughts

I would not think twice about promoting an e-commerce affiliate website (yes, go fill that cart!).  Although the payout is not that high compared to more traditional affiliate products (10% on an average, compared to potential commissions of 30% to 80%), I still think that there’s a good chance of earning a decent income from this niche. Here are my reasons:

1. The Rise of Smartphones is a Game Changer 

The popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is changing how people interact with the Internet, and even how they shop. They're even comparing prices and reading reviews from eCommerce websites while they're standing in a store! New technology allows websites to track a customer when they browse a site on their mobile phone and later look at it on their desktop to make a purchase, or vice versa.

Google is now factoring mobile-friendliness into its search engine rankings as well. So if you have a mobile-friendly site and Google's cross-device tracking enabled, you've got a leg up on the industry. Aside from this, you can also market your e-commerce affiliate site through mobile ads, not just traditional advertising media. 

2.  You Can Still Earn Big Money, Even with Low-Payout Items

With a 4% or 10% payout, you may still earn a decent amount of money from marketing eCommerce affiliate programs, if they are expensive items or you have a very high conversation rates. Learn to optimize your conversion rate with some solid marketing strategies and tactics and you could boost your profits even more. 

Remember that most of the time, low payouts are from low-cost items where the margins are slim to begin with. But at the same time, cheap items are also easy to market and sell online. These items also have a low refund rate, because well…they’re cheap. The best strategy to earn big money on low-cost items is to sell in huge quantities. You can achieve this with a well-planned marketing and a solid branding campaign.

3. Contextual Marketing and Social Media Put eCommerce Almost on Par with Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

The eCommerce industry still has a lot of room to grow, but even now it's still a huge part of retail on the whole, and becoming more important by the day. Two of the biggest contributors to the increase in online sales are the use of contextual marketing and social media. Since most eCommerce sites sell physical products, it is easier to market them on social media sites. Applying contextual marketing to your content strategy also helps in sales conversion because you're personalizing your outreach to the most interested customers.

That’s a wrap! I know most of the members here are promoting digital products, so it’s refreshing to hear from members who have built their websites based on physical products. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Share them below!


PS: If you have not started your journey in affiliate marketing yet, now is the time to start! Get AffiloBlueprint for a step-by-step course in building your own powerful, money-making affiliate marketing website. Do not miss this great opportunity to earn money from home.

Source: affilate6

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