Affiliate Education

How do I build a website?

You don’t need to be a tech geek to design an impressive website, given that today there are multiple website platforms. All you need is a little creativity and some really good content.

Step 1: Choose a website platform, such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. However, given that different platforms offer different content management systems (CMS), you need to first decide which CMS will best suit your needs. WordPress is the easiest for beginners, or those who have limited experience with computers and websites. There are both free and premium (paid for) website templates available.

Step 2: Choose a domain name for your site. You can buy the domain name online from the various sites that offer them, such as GoDaddy. Following this, you should get a web hosting service. Of course, you could choose to have your website hosted for free on WordPress.com but this means that your URL will include WordPress.com (for instance: YourDomainName.WordPress.com), which makes the site look very unprofessional. The key to attracting traffic to a site is to give it an easy-to-remember yet catchy name.

Step 3: Set up and customize your site. This is where you can use all your creativity to come up with an exciting and appealing site despite having used a WordPress template. To be able to set up and customize, you will need to install the template, either through a one-click process or via manual installation. Following this, choose a theme that best suits your needs. This means you can choose the colours and other design elements on offer, including stock photos and fonts. On the other hand, you could choose to put in your own design elements to make your website stand out from the rest. It isn’t as difficult to do as it might sound. The online sphere is flooded with both free and premium images, illustrations, backgrounds, fonts and more that you can use.

Step 4: There are extensions or modules, called Plugins, that you can choose from on the WordPress CMS that can enhance the functionality and capabilities of your website. Through these plugins, you can add to the tools, features and usability of your site that might not be available with the theme you have chosen. You can turn your website into an online store, add a forum or photo gallery and more by installing plugins.

Yes, building a website from scratch can be that simple. Give it a try. If you are not confident, it is best to seek professional website development as well as content creation services.

How do I create good content for my website?

For years now, we have been hearing “content is king.” While it has begun to sound clichéd, the fact is that the best way to engage your target audience is through the content on your website. This is what will improve your search engine ranking, drive traffic to your website and keep them there for longer. Ultimately, this is what will lead to conversions and therefore revenue. So, how do you write good content for your website? Here are some tips:

  1. Ensure that the content adds value for the reader and is relevant.
  2. Ensure the content is original and unique.
  3. Optimise the content for the popular search engines – SEO is king here. Remember, copied content will adversely affect SEO.
  4. Ensure that what you have to say is fresh and new, rather than being a spin-off of existing material that is likely to be present on multiple sites.
  5. The first thing that grabs a visitor’s attention is the headline. People decide on whether to read further or not based on the headline. So, make sure you have a strong, interesting headline.
  6. Start with a bang. If you can start-off by capturing the reader’s attention, half the battle is won. Within the first couple of sentences, the reader should be able to see “what’s in it for me?”
  7. Check and recheck. Spelling and grammatical errors indicate a careless attitude and reflect adversely on your brand image.
  8. Keep the language simple, sentences short and information concise. If you ramble on, you will lose the reader’s attention.
  9. Make sure you create a strong call to action. Not only tell the reader what to do next but also what they stand to gain if they do take the recommended action.
  10. Create visual relief. Break up the text with icons, images, videos, infographics and more.
  11. Bring credibility to your content by giving credit to the source of your facts, numbers and even images.
  12. Use bulleted lists to draw attention to specific information. Less is more in content – crisp, concise communication.

And if you do not feel confident that you can write the content on your own, never hesitate to hire a professional content writer.

How can I add images to my website?

According to research, articles that included images received 94% more total views. With lower attention spans and a rising visual culture, the best way to make your website more appealing is by including graphics and images. However, the important thing to keep in mind is that many images available online are protected by copyrights and unless you check the usage rights, you might get into trouble for infringing the copyright.

The problem is that not everyone has the budget to pay for images, such as those offered by ShutterStock, or to hire a graphic designer to create custom images for their site. Fortunately, there are some excellent sources for free images online too that are in the public domain, not bound by a copyright. Some sites that offer good quality (and not cheesy) stock photos include StockSnap, UnSplash, Burst by Shopify, Gratisography, Picography, Pixabay and more.

However, remember that these are after all stock images and you might want to give a more personalised feel to your website. For this, you could consider taking several free images and then using Photoshop to create a customised image. Change the background, add text and make it your own.

Another way to avoid infringing any copyright is to go to Google images and check the usage rights. You will find the “Usage Rights” button in the dropdown menu of the “Tools” button. Click to view images that are either “labelled for reuse” or “labelled for reuse with modification,” depending on whether you will modify the image or not.

What should I do to prevent my website from being banned or blacklisted?

Google is fairly stringent about what it likes and what it doesn’t. Therefore, if you have a website, it is crucial that you understand what should and should not be done not just while developing your site but also when you promote it. Otherwise all the money and effort that has gone into creating a beautiful site would have all gone to waste. For instance, “black hat” marketing techniques is a sure way to get your site banned. The first thing to do is to read and understand the Webmaster Guidelines provided by Google. Here are some things that you should keep in mind:

  • External linking: While there are some good sites you can exchange links with, there are types of linking that are a sure-fire way to get into Google’s bad books, such as buying links or selling them, using blogs that designed specifically to create backlinks, irrelevant linking, etc.
  • Duplicate content: Spamming sites often duplicate content and publish it on multiple pages or sites. So, firstly, make sure your own content is original and unique. Secondly, if you find that someone has duplicated your content, report it to Google.
  • Cloaking: The aim of creating a website is so that it is indexed by Google and your site appears on the search engine results pages. However, you can also design your site so that some of the stuff is ignored by the Google bots. This way, what the search engine sees is different from what a visitor to your site sees. This is called cloaking. Needless to say, no search engine likes to be tricked.
  • Scraping content: This is the same as copying content from other sites, leading to copyright infringement, or worse, being caught by Google!
  • Poor quality content: Using robots to create content, keyword stuffing, hidden links or text, redirects that are cloaked, etc., should be avoided. Unique content that is relevant to your target audience will always be worth the investment.

How can I build my contact database?

There is no doubt that email marketing is effective. It is a targeted campaign that can help increase brand awareness, while giving you cost-effective and measurable results. However, for your email to be effective, you need content that will engage your existing and potential customers. After all, people should look forward to receiving your communications. So, first take care of the content and then follow these easy steps to increase the size of your email database:

  • Encourage your existing email contacts to share your communication by adding buttons that can allow the email to be shared on social media platforms as well as via email to friends. However, for this, you need to ensure that the content is share-worthy.
  • Contests are a great way to engage your target market. So, run online contests where people fill in their email address with you to participate.
  • Within the email, link your signature or the name of your company that appears below the signature to your website or landing page, where people can enter their email address to receive further communications from you.
  • Freebies are always welcome. So, offer giveaways online, which people can access by entering their email address. You can choose from a variety of online and offline freebies, from eBooks to registration for webinars and more.
  • Use social media to promote your products and services and encourage people to like your social media pages.
  • Make sure you put in a strong call to action on your website, including signing up with their email address. You can use pop-ups on your webpage for subscriptions to newsletters, promotions and more.
  • It always helps to have a “Thank You” pop up or page, which encourages people to share your information with others or to forward to their contacts.

Once you have a list of contacts, make sure you enlist the services of an email platform, such as AWeber, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp and more. As long as your email content is engaging and not spammy, they will get you results.

What is Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)?

Multi-level marketing or MLM is a legitimate strategy to sell goods and services, using a wide network of distributors. The distributors earn by making direct sales, as well as by recruiting new distributors. This is because when a distributor successfully recruits new distributors, they receive a percentage of the income of these distributors. Possibly, the most well-known name to use this business strategy is Avon, which launched its MLM network in 1986, and recorded annual sales of $11.3 billion and more than 6.5 million sales associates as of 2016.

While this is a business strategy that works, you should be careful to distinguish businesses that actually use MLM versus those that say they are MLM companies but actually use the pyramid scheme. You can learn more about this here.

Will social media help me as an affiliate?

Absolutely! In fact, some of the most successful affiliates have used social media. However, whether you wish to only use social media or use it as an add-on to your website, is completely up to you. Here are some effective social media channels to attract potential clients:

  • Facebook: All you have to do is create your official “trade online” page or affiliate page. Make sure you also join several forex pages and groups, to increase your network.
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a good way to attract professionals. So, make sure you showcase your affiliate status on your LinkedIn profile and regularly publish articles and updates about the affiliate program.
  • YouTube: The world loves videos. So, if you love making them, you can create your own market new commentary, reviews and recommendation channel on YouTube.
  • G+: GooglePlus is a good resource for affiliate networks, offering multiple communities you can interact with.
  • Twitter: Tweet the latest market news regularly. Also share tweets from @easyMarkets, so that we can interact with and support you.

How can I promote myself as an affiliate on LinkedIn?

Given that there were a total 467 million users, of which 106 million are active monthly users, you gain access to a huge population of professionals via LinkedIn. The factor that sets this social platform apart from the rest is that you get to target the thinking professional. So, make sure you start with creating a profile or company page for yourself on this network. Following this, you can ask your contacts for testimonials as well as recommendations for others to build contact with.

To make yourself visible and attract attention, make sure you post regularly on LinkedIn, whether as status updates or as articles. This is where you can share a lot of information about how others can gain through the affiliate program, what the financial markets have in store for investors, etc. Make sure you also join and participate actively in various relevant groups, to portray yourself as a thought leader in your field. Give people a call to action to view your profile or page, such as, “for the latest market news, join me at….” However, keep this to a minimal or you might get thrown out of the group for spamming. Build your credibility as a thought leader by click on the “More” and “Answers” buttons on LinkedIn. This will help you look for relevant topics and put in your thoughts as answers to questions asked by others on the network.

Lastly, check out paid advertising. It is comparatively cheap on LinkedIn. You could also check out upgrading to a paid membership on this network, to gain more contact options.

Does Facebook Work for Affiliate Marketing?

With 2.01 billion monthly active users (as of June 2017), Facebook is definitely a brilliant avenue for affiliate marketing. Businesses all over the world are using this platform to target their customers, so it can definitely prove to be a lucrative resource for affiliates too. However, you need to know how to attract attention.

Firstly you’ll need to create your affiliate page. Make it look professional and inviting, with your official partner logo and a good cover photo. Once your page reaches a certain number of likes or fans you can apply for a custom URL so the name that appears in the browser is more meaningful to your brand. At this stage, you might want to invite a few friends to like the page and once you have it well branded start promoting it wider.

Make sure to post regularly and join multiple FB forex groups to grow your network. Images attract much more interest than simple text. So, make sure you include lots of images in your updates. And always be careful not to spam any conversation thread, page or group.

What is the best way to advertise on Facebook?

To be able to advertise on this social network, you need to link your personal Facebook profile to your affiliate page. Although all ads will be run through this page, it needs to be linked to your credit card or PayPal account.

However, before you start any ad campaign to draw people to your page, make sure it looks professional and enticing, with good content and images, and well branded with your logo. Make sure your profile information is complete, and don’t forget to include your contact details.

Through your ads, you can either boost one of your posts or drive traffic to your website or landing page. Remember, before choosing your campaign, ascertain your budget and decide on a specific end-date before confirming your order. Check all links in the advertisements. If you choose Cost Per Click (CPC) ads, you might end up paying even if the link to your site or landing page is broken. And a small but useful tip – do not add text to images, given that there will be text in the ad itself.

Is it a Good Idea to Purchase Followers/Fans?

Did you know that you can buy as many as 5,000 fake fans on FB for just $50? So, it shouldn’t cost you too much to get, say, 40,000 Facebook fans and 50,000 Twitter followers. However, what you need to consider is not the monetary cost but what it actually costs your business to have these zombie accounts on your social networks. Yes, it does seem tempting to a beginner, to establish themselves as a legitimate entrepreneur. However, it has its drawbacks.

  • Facebook EdgeRank: Facebook, just like Google, uses algorithms to see how good your timeline is. However, with thousands of fake fans, you have people who are not interested in your content and, therefore, your page represents low engagement. This will immediately bring down your EdgeRank, which, in turn, will mean that your posts will not reach your actual target audience.
  • Trust: This is the biggest cost. If your official page has 50,000 likes but each of your posts gets only the smallest fraction of those likes, it will raise eyebrows. The consumer today is very net savvy. And if they begin suspecting you of having bought those fans, they will never trust or respect you ever again. So, there goes your chances of succeeding in affiliate marketing.
  • High Quality Information: When real people interact with you on your social media pages, you can get high quality, user-generated content, which is held in high esteem by every social network and search engine. On the other hand, with zombie fans and followers, you might just get spammed or worse.
  • Cost of Advertising: This is going to rise if, for instance, you need to buy fake likes to boost a post on Facebook. And all you get for all that investment is fake users who aren’t interested in your offering.

Are There Any Free Tools that can Help Me Manage My Social Media Presence?

There are many free tools to help optimise your time and post across all your social media. These tools can help you coordinate posts across multiple networks at once, find and engage with influencers, may include scheduling features, analytics and reporting and even RSS feeds. Many companies offer free versions of their more sophisticated paid-for versions. If your social media needs are small then the free versions are probably all you need. Here are some to look into.

  • Google Analytics is free and helps you monitor your efforts on social media, allowing you to see what works and what doesn’t, and modify your strategy accordingly.
  • Hootsuite allows you to connect to up to 3 social profiles for free, from among Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Google+. You can schedule posts, respond and monitor your feeds and profile on any one of these platforms. You also get analytics.
  • Hubspot offers multiple tools, helping you monitor and publish posts, as well as obtain closed-loop reporting data. Through this you can see which channels are driving the maximum engagement, as well as track posts and channels that drive leads and sales.
  • Buffer has gained popularity due to its ability to schedule recurring posts. You can also track fans, get a browser extension, integrate with a mobile app and more.
  • SocialOomph is a great tool for beginners. It works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, blogs, RSS feeds, and even App.net.
  • Tweetdeck is great for in-depth management of your Twitter account, allowing you to stream your feeds in real-time, and set notifications to respond in real-time.
  • SocialFlow offers algorithms that help you analyze user behavior so that you can optimize your posts based on real-time data that tells you the best times to publish content for maximum impact.
  • MavSocial is allows you to manage multiple social networks, not just by scheduling posts but also receiving advanced analytics.
  • Raven provides reports based on data from pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media channels. It also allows you to access data and schedule posts on multiple digital media channels.

Can I use Social Media for Multi-Level Marketing?

Social media platforms are a great way to recruit for multi-level marketing (MLM). This is one way to expand your exponentially, not bound by demographics or geographic boundaries. However, given that you are not meeting these people face-to-face, you need to put in extra effort to position yourself as an expert and your proposition as a trustworthy opportunity.

For this, you need to focus not just on growing your network but on building strong relationships with contacts. The way to do this is through putting up high quality, informative content on various social media networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram. Make sure you post and update posts regularly, with text and images. Include videos too, since they attract many more views than text.

The key to success using social media is to build your brand. So, make sure your profile and affiliate page is professional, with your partner logo and images. You can also consider investing in creating images, rather than using stock images, to make your posts more personal. It is very important to engage the user before you can sell them a concept.

Does Instagram Work Well for Affiliate Marketing?

Although Instagram isn’t the type of platform that comes to mind immediately when one thinks of promoting an affiliate program on social media, it is rapidly gaining popularity. Here are some tips to help you find recruits through Instagram:

  • Build your network: The first step is the same as what you would do on any social media platform. Comment on posts and draw attention to yourself.
  • Hashtags: The key to using hashtags is to ensure that it is relevant to your needs. So, don’t go simply by the trending hashtags, choose ones that relate to your work.
  • Videos: This is a great way to draw attention on any social media platform. However, on Instagram, you have only 15 seconds to make an impact. So, think the video through carefully to provide one strong yet simple message in one video.
  • Create your own images: When you use your own images, even if they’ve been created by using photo-editing software, it gives a personal touch. Make sure you add your affiliate partner logo and name to brand these images for more impact.
  • Promote on other platforms: Use your profile/page on other social media platforms to promote your Instagram posts, and vice versa.

How Can Google Plus Help Affiliate Marketing?

Google Plus (G+) might not share the same popularity as Facebook or Twitter, but don’t write it off yet, given that the most recent statistics show that it has 375 million monthly active users and a total of 2.2 billion profiles! You can access targeted demographics through this platform. There are some major advantages of using G+:

  1. Your content on G+ immediately gets indexed by Google and will therefore appear in the search results. So, this platform is not just great for SEO, it is great for online visibility.
  2. There are some very popular and powerful communities on this platform. Statistics released in 2016 reveal that there are 1.2 million new community joins on G+ daily. So, check out relevant communities and join them, become an active participant to gain exposure.
  3. Did you know that each time you send out an email using a Gmail account, it will show your G+ profile on the right hand top corner? So, you can cross-promote your G+ profile through email marketing, increasing your reach.

How Can I Use YouTube for Affiliate Marketing?

With over 5 billion videos being viewed on YouTube every day, this might be a good social media platform to reach out to a huge number of people. However, with 300 hours of video being uploaded on this platform every hour, you need to make your video stand out from the crowd if you want to use it for affiliate marketing. Here’s how you can do so:

  • Choose impactful topics: However, make sure they are relevant for you. How-to videos and reviews are the most watched types of videos, so you can consider content for these.
  • Place affiliate link: To ensure that the video is affiliate friendly, you should place your affiliate link within the video itself, as well as in its text description.
  • Grow your audience: The only way to do this is through high-quality, relevant content. So, if your videos are interesting and add value for the viewer, they are more likely to turn into leads or buyers.
  • Market your videos: Use your profile/pages on other social media networks to market your YouTube videos.

How can I Increase My Leads via Twitter?

Like all other social media platforms, you content on Twitter also needs to be relevant for your niche. After all, would you click on a link that was completely unrelated to the tweet the link was on? Here are some more tips for Twitter success:

  • Personalized content: High quality, relevant and personalized content is the best way to engage your target audience. Make sure your tweets are unique, interesting and with a personal recommendation to the reader.
  • Trustworthy recommendations: Don’t simply recommend your affiliate products. Become a credible resource for people, with genuine recommendations on various related products, positioning yourself as an expert in your domain.
  • Stay conversational: This means you need to pay attention to your followers. This is a great way to understand your target audience, its needs, desires and problems. Your tweets can then take the conversation forward, responding to their tweets or offering just the right product to take care of their problems.
  • Indirectly link your affiliate products: A hard sell rarely works on social media, unless of course it is an advertisement. Rather than directly tweeting your affiliate link, place is within your content, in a way that does not feel forced. For instance, you could review a product and put in the link. Moderation is key. People get turned off when they see someone repeatedly marketing themselves or their products.