Top 7 reasons affiliate marketers should be using StumbleUpon

This is a guest post written by Mike.  Mike Smith is a regular guy who designs blogs for a living at Blog Theme Machine and is currently trying to shift into a full time social media marketing career through his website iamMikeSmith where he blogs about social media, marketing and blogging.

Stumble Upon can be a beautiful thing, especially when used by the right affiliate marketers, for the right reasons. Some people over-do it and abuse the system, but when it’s done right, its a piece of artwork. For those of you reading this blog right now that want to diversify your income streams and learn how to leverage social media websites like Stumble Upon for your affiliate marketing needs, this post is going to cover it all for you.

I’ve compiled 7 must read reasons why you, as an affiliate marketer should use stumble upon. In the end, it’s up to you to follow the road to added exposure and profits, but if you do read the reasons below and put them into practice, you’ll be improving your affiliate marketing profits in no time.

For those of you who already leverage social media websites for your affiliate marketing, drop a comment below and let us know. And for those of you reading this who think that mass spam to 1,000+ people is the right way, please leave now and never come back 🙂

  1. Networking – Affiliate marketers tend to stick to themselves or a real close knit group of people and like to keep their secret niches to themselves. But by leveraging your network on stumble upon, you can gain some added thumbs up to your articles (tip – don’t network with other affiliate marketers or else they might steal your ideas haha).
  2. Watching trends – Always wanting to stay ahead of the curve is a great way to run your affiliate marketing business and stumble upon is great for that. Check out the stumble upon tag page and see recently hot tags as well as the all time hot tags. Click the tag and see what websites and topics are hot in that area and start an affiliate campaign on the ones you think would be profitable.
  3. Targeted (FREE) traffic – You use PPC because it’s targeted traffic. If you’re a blogger, you buy ads on other peoples websites because they’re in the same niche as yours and the traffic is targeted. Why wouldn’t you want the free, targeted traffic that stumble upon can send you? One article I wrote on my blog has received over 100,000 unique visitors in the past month, all because the post went popular.
  4. Watching competitors – Keep your friends close and your enemies closer right? Well, with social media sites like Stumble upon, you can see what your competitors are doing. When you’re logged into your account, you can search a specific topic and find sites related to them. You’ll stumble across some genuine sites that are built by passionate people in that niche, but a lot of them are definitely affiliate marketers websites. Find out what they’re doing, see how many reviews they’re articles got on stumble upon and build your site 10X better 🙂
  5. Increase influence – Do you run a lot of campaigns in the same niche? Stumble them all and increase your influence over what the people searching for your niche find when they click the search button. Instead of only having 1 page for them to see, try getting 10 in there. If you’re a blogger as well, you could also get more reach by getting popular on stumble upon and gain the exposure and traffic benefits like I mentioned above.
  6. Quickly test niches – Got a niche you’d like to test out but not sure if dumping 200-300 dollars into it is worth it? Stumble your page and shoot a message to some of your network in stumble upon asking them to review it. If they like it, you get two positive results; you get their thumbs up vote which helps get it exposed to more visitors and you also get the possible sale from the original network people you sent it to.
  7. SEO benefits – I am not sure I’ve seen other people mention this before, but I know for the few posts on my blogs I’ve had hit the popular page on stumble upon, it’s also done crazy things for my rankings in google. All for the low, low price of ZERO 🙂 and usually in far less time then it would normally take to rank for the keywords I’m #2 and #6 for

Still wondering if stumble upon is worth your time? Well, go sign up, put these things into practice and if it doesn’t work well over the next week or two, come back here, cuss me out and let me know how much of an idiot I am. But I doubt that will happen, because I, as well as many others have seen the benefits that stumble upon and other social media websites can bring.

If you liked this article, would you like me to run through other social media websites like Twitter, Delicious, Reddit, ect? Drop a comment and let me know and if Derek approves of it, I’ll write up some follow up articles for you.

Portfolio Diversification in Affiliate Marketing

This is a guest post written by Jim Liu.  Jim Liu resides in Los Angeles, California.  He is a member of the Click Consultants Forums and other Affiliate Marketing Forums.  Jim worked on the Wall Street for nearly 13 years before deciding to move to California.  He is also a black belt martial arts instructor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

One of the benefits, of being a member of Click Consultants, is that I have the ability to ask questions and get responses from super affiliate marketers such as Mystickcal, Artamon, and Kellix. One of the key points I have learned is that it is extremely important that there is portfolio diversification within your affiliate marketing business. especially with my 1- on- 1 session with Derek Salyers (owner of Click Consultants).

So what exactly do I mean by portfolio diversification?  Quite simply, I’m talking about making sure you are running several different niches like ringtones, dating, weight loss, etc and not just running one offer!  The reason for this is because you can never be sure what’s going to happen in this business and what offers or niches may start to die or disappear.  (Ringtones for example)

I worked as a systematic trader in the currency markets for nearly 5 years. I had to carefully place my bets in the markets by doing research on past trends, and patterns in the currency markets. I understood, at that time, that portfolio diversification was an important component to keep volatility down and increase profits.

In affiliate marketing, portfolio diversification is also relevant. Having been out of the currency business for nearly 10 years, I am constantly reminded by Derek that I need to diversify my keywords (especially making it broad–instead of deep) and marketing niches.

When I first started my debt campaign, I took it to the extreme, and wrote a php script to  parse the  80,000 keywords into 3000 separate groups. When I turned on the campaign, I realized that tuning the portfolio was more than I could handle. I would regularly get IP blocked, by Yahoo, for too much activity, and had to go to the local gaming shop where they had 30 IP’s available to use.(I only used 3 in one session). Derek warned me about how many I should start with, and or course, he was right.

What I eventually saw, with a manageable portfolio, were the patterns within the keywords. I also saw how some of the long tail keywords were contributing to the overall profitability of the campaign. For me, the portfolio, as a whole, is much stronger than the few keywords that make the most money. I am beginning to think of the portfolio as an organic structure that will keep growing in profitability with time (with constant tuning).

Building portfolios in different niches, I think, is essential to survive in affiliate marketing. There is so much change due to advertisers dropping in and out, laws changing and etc., That is probably one of the reasons, why most successful affiliate marketers are younger, since they are able to change at a moment’s notice.

10 Steps to Build Your Money Machine on the Internet

The following is a guest post written by Jim, the author of TheNetFool.com. Over at The Net Fool, I focus on ways that the everyday man can make money online, with a bit of a bias toward the economical side of things. Check out my blog if you are interested!

Those who want to add to their income by putting up their own business can do so with very little investment required on the internet.  Affiliate marketing programs are always on the lookout for people who would like to join their programs as marketers.  Depending on the type of deal you end up entering into, a person engaged in affiliate marketing will be compensated for visitors they lead to the affiliate’s site and for actual sales that the visits consequently generate.  When the entire affiliate business is up and going, all that is left for you to do is to wait for your “money machine” to start churning out the residual income cash for you day in and day out.

Building up a residual income that builds on itself can be a daunting task. Because of this, I have organized a clear-cut 10 step program to start your very own money making monster!

  1. Build your own website
    You have to have a website to go into affiliate marketing.  The website shall be the platform
    for all of your content, including the ads from your affiliates.  Through your site, you can draw visitors to your affiliate’s site.  You website should be attractively designed and easy to download such that visitors will find it easy to find the information they need and explore the entire site without leaving out any pages or sections.
  2. Specialize on your own niche
    The internet’s target audience is virtually the entire world.  The global community is so diverse in characteristics, demographics, and psychographics making it almost impossible to find one product, or
    one promotional approach, to appeal to all audiences.  Focus everything in your website (from layout, to articles, to products advertised) on a particular target niche market whose needs and preferences you wish to address.
  3. Find affiliate partners
    Knowing what market you would like to appeal to makes it easy for you to find affiliate partners.  It will be a waste of time, effort, and space to advertise something for which you will not get anything.  Anything that is irrelevant for your target niche market will not be likely to get the attention of your site visitors.
  4. Write content
    Interest your target niche market with articles about the products you are advertising.  With short articles, you can tell your target niche market about the importance of particular products or services you are advertising.  In a more subtle way, you can sales talk your marketable clients into wanting to find out more about products and services from your affiliates.
  5. Be pro-active
    Do not just sit back and wait for money to come in.  It doesn’t really take much effort to try and analyze your site’s performance.  You want to maximize your site’s profitability.  Try and analyze the visitor traffic of your site.  Take an active marketing stand point to see what else you need in your site to make it more attractive to current and future visitors.
  6. Update your site regularly
    New content every so often would keep visitors coming back to your site.  If they know that they will possibly see something new the next time they log into your site, they are more likely to come back again soon. As an added bonus, Google LOVES it!
  7. Go for multiple programs
    Do not just affiliate with one affiliate program.  See if there are related products or services you can advertise together and affiliate with those programs.  If you are serving a market of homemakers, you might choose to advertise household cleaning implements, self-help books, home and health subscriptions, and so on.
  8. Build your own list
    Collect contact information from your site visitors by offering free additional material or free newsletters and auto-responders.  You can use this list to send future promotions and follow up initiatives. It’s truly one of the best ways to make money online.
  9. Spread the word
    There are submission sites where you can submit material that is relevant to that site and that you can use to direct their readers to your site or your affiliate’s site.  Write one or several short articles, add a link to your desired site, and then distribute the articles.
  10. Stay in the cycle
    When you are already reaping earnings from your money machine, do not be complacent.  Keep going through the cycle.  Maintain your site with current material and new affiliates.  This way, your money machine will never stop churning out money even if your deals with some affiliate companies fall out.

So there you have it, the ten step method to dominate across the board in affiliate marketing. There are many other specifics that can get you tripped up, so remember to keep this layout in your head at all times and you can stay in the game. Derek here with Click Consultants is an expert in his marketing niche (ringtones) and probably went through this same step-by-step process to start dominating his own arena.

Is an Affiliate Marketing Blog Hurting You or Helping You?

This post is written by Mattaw of Moneybites.com. Moneybites shares tips and tricks about how to earn online. If you have a second check out the Moneybites RSS feed as well.

As an affiliate there is the potential to make a lot of money. After you’re making that money, you may try to make more by blogging, or you may get into blogging just to share knowledge. What I want to ponder with you, is, is affiliate blogging just shooting yourself in the foot, or is it something more people should do? I want to lay out some pros and cons for you to help you make up your mind:

The Pros

One big pro is referral income. Affiliate companies almost always have a referral program. Being an affiliate blogger can give you lots of sway with a crowd that has the potential to generate you a ton of passive income. Think about it! If you can refer even one successful affiliate to a CPA company, you’ll be making some decent passive income for zero work (they’ll be doing the work, and you’ll be reaping a %).

Even if you’re just writing for profit, you’re going to help people. By sharing tips and tricks about the affiliate industry you’re helping others and that makes a lot of people feel good.

You’re also going to make some cold hard cash off your blog. If you have any kind of audience, you can probably sell ad space to those companies dying to get at the affiliate market. What companies am I talking about? Well the ones that make affiliate products, CPA networks that are trying to reach out, or general companies trying to get new affiliates to push your product. The money is definitely there to be had!

Finally, you build a loyal following. By building a blog, you’re making other projects outside of the affiliate industry whether you’re a super affiliate or just a new affiliate blogging, is your blog hurting your revenue? I know what you’re thinking, how can blogging about affiliate marketing be hurting my revenue? Well the fact is you can argue it could!

The Cons

One way it can hurt your revenue is by simply letting people know about the industry. Let’s be honest, right now the industry is still small(er). By letting others know about it, they make create more competition for your campaigns and profit margins may shrink. Think of it like putting more potential hazards on a driving course. You’re increasing the chance that you’ll slip up and crash your car (or campaigns).

Another way it can hurt your revenue is someone that reads your blog might actually be running in the same niche as you. By helping them you may actually be arming your competition more effectively to steal away some of your leads and/or sales.

Finally it can hurt your cash flow because people will be looking for your campaigns. You will be better known so people will think you’re banking it in, and will therefore look to copy you. You’ll have to hide your work better. While you may have made lots from the shadows before, a blog increases the need for secrecy.

These cons can be looked at as selfish or unfounded fears but they should be considered. I may be 100% wrong here, but each person to his/her own.

Your reputation can also be a problem with the blog. People can form an opinion of you as a person. The same way as it can be a positive it can be a negative. People and companies may take a bad view of you if your blog takes a bad light to it.

Wrap-Up

So, there are some facts for you on the table. I’m not going to say for a fact having an affiliate blog is a good thing or a bad one. I purely want to open your eyes a bit and come to your own conclusions.

Five Reasons Your Website Design is Killing Your Profits

This is a guest post written by Mike Smith from BlogThemeMachine.

If you would like to write a guest post and see it on Click Consultants please email us with the post at clickconsultants [at] gmail [dot] com. We will then let you know if we would like to use your post or not. Thanks.

So, you write custom content, but your website design is plain, dull and uncustomizable? This is the number one issue I’ve seen with affiliate marketing lately. You get your quick website up and running, flood a bunch of PPC traffic to it and hope it sticks. Guess what? If you website design doesn’t give the feeling of “quality” your traffic will notice. It’s not 1990 anymore, so why are your websites looking like it? Ok, so maybe they don’t look like a blast from the past, but why would you consider using free templates or wordpress themes when 1,000,000 other websites have the exact same template? Odds are, your website niche is being covered by 10 other websites with the same exact theme. Doesn’t really do much for your custom written content now does it?

There are a laundry list of reasons why your website design can kill your profits and I wanted to touch on the 5 biggest in this article. I’d suggest studying this post closely and see how many of these items can be checked off your list on any website you run. If you can think of more, feel free to leave a comment and discuss it with us.

1. Most People Do Judge A Book By It’s Cover!

Yes, regardless of what anyone tells you, your book is judged by its cover alone. Your first impression is supposed to be memorable. Why would you waste your chance of giving off a positive vibe with an outdated or overly simple / overused website design? Most visitors are surfing through the search engines, or clicking ads on websites in hopes to find what they’re looking for, and if your website looks nothing like the content they’re searching for, they will instantly leave. For example, if your template is
a basic red/black/white business style layout, but you’re affiliate marketing is aiming towards a dog-lover crowd, you’ve missed your target instantly. You need something fun and pet related to grab the visitors attention for longer then 5 seconds.

2. Your Article Titles Are Laid Out Horribly!

This is more along the lines of the number above, but if your website article titles are laid out in regular blog format, and you do not have a section that the visitor can quickly overview, they’re likely to leave. Also, if your blog titles are the same size as your website text, but only colored differently, this makes skimming the page extremely hard, and your visitor will definitely leave. Grabbing the users attention is more then just with your header image or cool ‘web 2.0 graphics’. It’s all about creating a user experience and giving your visitor the ease of navigating your website easily.

3. Your Free Template Offers Limited Ad Placement!

So you’ve got the titles done to grab your visitors eyes, but now you’re stuck with a template that offers limited ad placement. sure you can toss up 5-10 ads on the page to make sure every area is covered, but wouldn’t you agree that proper blending of advertisements gets better Click-throughs compared to a bright blinking ad right in the center of the page? Your free template is built to offer certain layout size, certain space for ads, and limited room for improvements. Some ads won’t fit on certain free templates, while others have the total opposite ad space of what you’re looking for. Instead of making your ads work with specific
templates, why not make a template work with your ads?

4. Cheap Templates Do Not Invoke Trust!

Your visitor sees a cheap, free template and will immediately feel like they’re on another MFA website. Alternately, if you’ve got a custom design for your website, it will give the visitor a sense of comfort that they’ve come across a website that is actually built for their needs. If you come across a website that looks exactly like the one you just left, would you find it to be trust worthy? Especially if the website you just left was horrible?

5. Lacks Room For An E-mail Newsletter Sign Up Box!

If you’re in the business of marketing to your visitors through email, and sending out newsletters with ads, sponsor links and so on, why would you want a free template that doesn’t even offer a highly visible place for this? And if you do get your template to fit this in, 9 times out of 10, it could probably be placed much better and in a way that doesn’t seem out of place and spammy. Click Consultants is a perfect example of a great placement of the rss subscriber sign up box. Directly in the top middle of the page. The choice of where you want to have the sign up box wouldn’t happen with a free theme.

Again, I don’t know how important it is to stress this, but if your website is full of custom content, why don’t you have a custom blog design to go with it? Take a second and look over your current website. Could any of these things be hindering your profits? If you were to hire someone to design a new layout for your website, would it increase your profits? I bet it would.

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Mike Smith is a blogger and likes to create custom blog designs for a living. You can view samples of his work at Blog Theme Machine. If you find yourself agreeing with any aspect of this article, make sure you write Mike and find out what he can do to help you increase your profits.