Tag Archives: Online Marketing

Freelancer.com acquires vWorker

freelancer logo

Hi everyone. I’ve got some news to share with you regarding another acquisition by the popular freelancing site Freelance.com According to the news release (below) they’ve just bought another competitor. This is good news for all of us internet entrepreneurs as it gives us an even bigger market of coding talent to dip into. Inversely it means an even bigger market for coders to offer their services to.

I encourage you my dear reader to start a project on Freelancer.com today. Start something. The road to internet entrepreneurship is not easy to follow but it is worth it in the end. I personally wish you success, and if you need advice or a helpful and supporting word I’m always available. You can find my contact info in the About section of this blog.

For those of you who are interested here is the official news release:

Freelancer.com is proud to announce that we have just acquired vWorker!

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, vWorker has over 2.5 million enterprise and professional users from around the world, who have been paid over US$139 million through the site from 1.3 million projects.

Founded by Ian Ippolito in 2001 originally as RentACoder.com, the marketplace was one of the earliest companies of its kind in the world. It rapidly developed an exceptional reputation for attracting quality programmers and grew at an astonishing pace. From 2007 to 2010 RentACoder.com was named by Inc. magazine as one of the 5000 fastest growing private companies in the USA. In 2010, Entrepreneur Magazine called RentACoder “one of the hundred smartest, most innovative, hands-down brilliant companies on our radar”.

Originally focusing on programming and IT-based work, in 2010 the site expanded to include a wide selection of work categories including graphic design, writing and more. To reflect this expansion, the company changed its name to vWorker – short for “virtual worker”.

Over the next few days, we will be migrating vWorker users onto Freelancer.com. This is great news for our existing users as it makes the world’s largest marketplace even stronger with over 6.6 million professionals! This means more employers, more freelancers, and more opportunities. Current employers will see greater variety and competition among freelancers in the marketplace, while current freelancers will see a marked increase in the amount of work available on the site.

To celebrate this milestone for the Freelancer community we’d like to offer you:

1 FREE Featured project upgrade + 3,000 Freelancer Credits

There has never been a better time to get work done on Freelancer, so why not post a project now!?
Post a Project FREE now!
Regards,
Matt Barrie

Make WordPress Easy

wordpress logo

Hi everyone.

I’m not sure if you know this but I like to use a popular blog/content management platform called WordPress for nearly all my sites and I love it. I’ve been using it for a long time and although I’m not a pro wordpress guy I am pretty proficient with it. I can typically put up a spiffy site in a hurry. I realize that I’m in the minority though. A lot of you online marketers really struggle with it. The typical online marketing websites that use WordPress seem to use boring themes and have poor social media integration, etc. If you find yourself needing help from a wordpress pro (hehe not me) I think I found the solution.

This solution that I’m talking about is a hot video training program that teaches WordPress and makes it fun and easy. So easy a 9-year-old can do it! Incidentally the name of this product is called “Make WordPress Easy” and it does precisely that. I’d suggest you check it out. It’s not expensive either – just $47 USD.

Good luck with it and if any of you need advice or some help (like finding web hosting, etc) feel free to comment below (make sure you leave your e-mail address in the comments box – there is  a spot for it).

Cheers,

Alan

Freelancer.com Acquires Scriptlance

freelancer logo

Hi everyone. I’ve got some news to share with you. Freelancer.com has acquired Scriptlance. I used Scriptlance quite a few times and they had a great platform in place. I can’t say that I’ve used Freelancer.com for any projects yet, but I did browse around their site and I do like their interface. I’ve referred a few developers and users to their site as well and so far nobody has contacted me saying that they were not satisfied with their experience, so I think it should be pretty safe to use Freelancer.

This acquisition means that the previous Scriptlance page will be taken offline and all existing Scriptlance Clients and Coders (developers) will be imported into the Freelancer.com site.

What this means for all you previous Scriptlance affiliates is that you’ll have to signup for an affiliate account with Freelancer.com now and change over your links. A bit of a pain in the backside but *shrug* what can you do, that’s life sometimes.

Good luck to you all,

Alan out

Three Constants in Affiliate Marketing

Written by: Guest author, Simon Slade

Those of us who have been involved in the affiliate marketing world for a while are all too aware that it is an industry prone to change, and lots of it. A website that makes you money one day, might literally disappear from the search engine rankings overnight, and leave you struggling to find a reason why. The terms of service (TOS) on one of your favorite Web 2.0 sites might change in the blink of an eye, and you suddenly find yourself losing an important traffic or income source. Wouldn’t it be nice just to have some reliable marketing constants for once? Well today, you are going to learn about the three constants in affiliate marketing; these are the things that won’t change any time soon, and they should form the foundations of your affiliate marketing efforts.

1. Content is King

You’ve probably heard this term referred to many times before, without actually paying too much mind to it. However, one of the constants of affiliate marketing is that search engines and readers alike reward quality content. Not only are you going to rank higher in the search engines by creating original, well-researched content that provides value to readers, but you will also build trust. This trust factor will help you to achieve better conversion rates and more sales, since people are far more likely to buy from someone they trust.

Creating quality content IS actually an exact science, and there really isn’t much guesswork involved at all:

  • Find a problem that people in your niche have
  • Research a number of different ways to solve the problem
  • Write it out in a clear and logical fashion
  • Make sure your content contains good grammar and spelling
  • Teach what the headline of your article/content piece promises to teach (this is by far the biggest secret to creating quality content)

Many websites provide free and informative lessons on creating quality content.

2. Keyword Research

I used to have a high school history teacher who swore by what he called the “5 Ps” system – “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” Not only was this great advice for passing exams, but it relates directly to affiliate marketing as well. Proper keyword research is going to help you prevent poor performance (i.e. not making any sales).

For as long as people have been searching for information online through search engines, keywords have been relevant. According to Wikipedia, Google receives several hundred million searches per day, and with more people coming online every day, this number is only going to increase. It seems unlikely that search engines are ever going to disappear as one of the cornerstones of the Internet!

Keywords are at the very heart of search engine queries, so it makes sense that keyword research – getting to the bottom of what people are actually looking for – is a constant in affiliate marketing.

Look out for keywords based around the following:

  • Urgency (‘fix bad credit score quickly’)
  • Crisis/desperation (‘how to get ex back’)
  • Product name + review (‘The Truth About Abs review’)
  • How to/learn (‘how to fix a broken Xbox 360’/ ‘learn to fix a broken Xbox 360’)
  • Product type (‘dog training DVDs/eBooks/guides’)

To find keywords you could try the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, or get a free copy of Traffic Travis (a little bit of self-promotion there!).

3. Proven Affiliate Products

The final constant in affiliate marketing is making sure you promote proven products. There is always a massive temptation to jump on board and promote the latest products from the Clickbank Marketplace that promise huge commissions and launches, and then fade to nothingness after a while (leaving you stuck promoting a product that isn’t really going anywhere).

As an affiliate, you want to avoid promoting “fly by night” products if you plan to build a reliable income stream that has good growth potential. Instead, focus most of your energy on promoting products that have been around for a while and have a proven track record.

Our SaleHoo affiliate program, for example, has been running since 2005, and provides plenty of resources for affiliates, with new ones added regularly. Look out for affiliate programs of this nature, which provide consistent support and potential on a going forward basis. Take your time when picking products; research here will save you potential headaches down the track.

Some things to look out for are:

  • How long has the product and affiliate program been around
  • Does it offer free resources to help you, the affiliate, do your job properly
  • How easy is it to get in touch with the product owner/affiliate manager
  • Are customer reviews of the product largely positive (look for unbiased reviews in forums or blogs)
  • Is the product high quality (consider asking for a review copy first)

In conclusion, you can see that there are some constants in affiliate marketing – a world that usually evolves at such a rapid rate it can even give experienced marketers a headache. Quality content, solid keyword research, and promoting proven affiliate products; these are the three “bedrock” constants in affiliate marketing that are unlikely to change any time soon.

About the Author

Simon Slade is the CEO of Affilorama, an affiliate marketing training portal that offers free video training, education, and affiliate tools to both beginning and advanced affiliate marketers.

How to make money from Google+

google plus

Google+ is finding itself in a somewhat disadvantaged position of a latecomer to the social media world. Despite the fact that online marketers are always willing to get their hands on any new technological development that could help them promote a business online, they often make a mistake of trying to use Google+ the same way they would use Facebook or Twitter. While it is similar to the other two in many ways, there are some key differences that you need to consider if you want to turn your Google+ into a powerful online marketing tool. The main strategies and steps for launching your successful Google+ campaign are as follows:

1. Create a Google+ business page

It is common sense: keep your business and personal lives separate. Not only will you avoid the embarrassment of accidentally sharing a personal update with your professional circles, you will also be able to take advantage of multiple Google+ features geared towards a business audience. Ability to create professional circles and virtually meet with customers via Google Hangout are the two most practical features Google+ offers. That being said, your business page does have to be linked to your personal account – you can’t create a standalone page the way you would on Facebook.

2. Expand your circles

This is simple, and very similar to any social media platform you want to use for marketing – you do need to make your content visible to as many people as possible. Work on building your audience prior to overwhelming them with affiliate links and product offers – let your circles get to know your company first. Ability to create multiple circles is a great way to segment your customer base and only share specific content with particular groups, thus minimizing the “spamming” effect.

3. Focus on the quality of your content

This applies to all your online content, but it’s even more important for your Google+ page. Research shows that the average age of Google+ users is higher than that of Facebook users, which indicates that your Google+ audience is probably more mature and won’t necessarily be compelled to buy your product if you post a Tinkerbell picture next to it. Keep your stream updates relevant and to the point.

4. Cross-post content from other sites

If you are running a business, you probably already have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and perhaps a company blog or a YouTube channel. Share the content that you publish on your other sites on Google+ – it will create perception of consistency in your customers’ minds and generate more interest in your Google+ account among users who are already following you on other platforms.

5. Add a +1 button anywhere you can

Encourage people to share your content anywhere on the web with a +1 button. Put the button on all the pages of your website and all the posts that you would want your customers to see and share.

6. Capitalize on the fact that it’s a Google product

As an owner of an online business, you know all about the importance of search engine rankings. You have probably done a good amount of SEO for your website. Google+, being a Google product, makes this a little easier. Each +1 share of your content automatically turns into a backlink to your original post. This feature has been implemented very recently – prior to this update, clicking on shared content would take you to the author’s profile, but not the post. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

My name is Nisha Sharma. I represent a site called http://www.comparelogbookloans.co.uk. I love to write, especially about travel, finance and offer business advice.

Why an Engaged Audience Beats PPC or SEO for Affiliate Marketers and How to Get One

Written by: Guest Author, Danny Iny

Affiliate marketing is the ultimate level playing field.

Anyone can get started, and if they’re smart and hard-working, they can be making money in a matter of days.

All you’ve got to do is find a good offer, run some good ads, and watch the traffic convert into sales.

Right?

Well, maybe that used to be true, but it’s not anymore…

The Low Hanging Fruit Is Gone

It was definitely true in the early days of affiliate marketing, for several reasons; first of all, there was a lot less for sale in the online world, which meant that any affiliate marketer had a much larger share of voice just by virtue of being there.

The regulatory environment was also a lot more lenient, which means that it affiliate marketers had a lot more room to maneuver in selling their offers (it’s good that this has changed, otherwise the whole industry would have been in trouble!).

Most importantly, though, there was a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to advertising opportunities; keywords and phrases that had a lot of buying intent behind them, but that weren’t very competitive yet, and could be had for mere pennies per click.

And yes – when you can buy high-converting keywords for cheap, it’s hard not to make money.

But times have changed, and you can’t do that nearly as easily as you once could; most of the low hanging fruit has already been pulled off of the online tree, and the affiliate marketing game of finding the next hot opportunity has changed into a different game altogether…

It’s an Optimization Game

Now the game is about optimization – finding an offer that converts, and then optimizing every factor that you can control until you max out your deal value. Here are some of the factors that smart affiliate marketers will do split-testing on:

  • Lead Sources – This is where the leads are coming from in the first place; you’ll find that your Google AdWords traffic converts differently from your SEO traffic, which converts differently from your Facebook ad traffic, and so forth. Not only that, but your cost per lead for each of those lead sources will be different. With enough testing, you can find the lowest cost per conversion.
  • Ad Copy – The actual text of your ads will change both the cost of running the ad, the click-through rates on the ad, and the likelihood of the clicking-through traffic to actually buy whatever product you’re promoting.
  • Landing Pages – The landing page is where the most testing is traditionally done. You can test everything, from your headline, to the page format, to the colors, to the trust seals, to your affiliate disclaimers, to when the buy buttons are presented on the screen – they can all make a difference to your conversion rate, and to your bottom line.
  • Affiliate Offers – Finally, you can try swapping out the actual offer for something different. Maybe your leads are more interested in one brand of affiliate product than another, and maybe the second brand – even though the deal value is lower – will end up delivering more profits by virtue of a higher conversion rate.

When you’ve maximized your conversion rates and deal value, and minimized your cost per sale, you’ve got a smoothly humming affiliate marketing machine. And yes, doing that does take time, money, patience and skill – but once you’ve got it, boy is it a sweet deal!

That is, until Google stops liking you…

Until Google Stops Liking You

The trouble is that most of the major lead sources that most affiliate marketers rely on are owned by bodies like Google, Microsoft, or Facebook.

What does that mean for you?

You can work your way to the top of the affiliate marketing world through diligent split-testing, until you’ve got sales streaming through your marketing system at bullet-speed… until someone’s algorithm changes, and their engine stops liking you.

Then your affiliate business is dead in the water, and you’ve got to start from scratch if you’re lucky, and work your way off of Google’s blacklist if you aren’t.

So what’s an affiliate marketer to do?

The answer lies in the old adage that “the money is in the list,” but with a twist…

The Real Money is in the ENGAGED List

If you have a list of eager buyers, then you don’t have to worry about Google messing with your traffic sources – whatever happens, your followers will continue to follow, as long as you maintain the relationship, and keep on living up to your end of the bargain.

With a list of eager buyers, you don’t have to keep working off of one-off traffic, because you can sell more than one thing to the same person – and research shows that someone who has already bought something is eight times as likely to buy from you again!

You probably agree that a list of eager buyers is a good thing to have… but where can you get such a list?

The answer is that you’ve got to build that list yourself – and for that list to be as eager to buy as you want them to be, they need to be engaged. In other words, you need more than a list – you need an engaged community.

You need an audience.

How to Build an Engaged Audience, from Scratch

Building an engaged audience from scratch is part science, and part art. You don’t have to learn it all through trial and error, because others have already done that, and you can learn from their mistakes, and from their successes.

To get you started, here are three things that you can do to convert your one-off affiliate traffic into a loyal list that will stick with you for the long-haul:

  1. Start blogging and showing your true nature. The days of the anonymous affiliate marketer hiding behind a copied landing page are over; too many people have been burned by false claims, and for your prospects to trust your recommendation, they will have to know who you are. So tell them – start blogging, and give them a reason to keep coming back, so that even if they aren’t ready to buy now, they can start following you, and buy from you in the future.
  2. Create a value-adding auto-responder sequence. People are justifiably careful about who they let into their inbox – so don’t just offer some PLR e-book and start marketing to them non-stop. Instead, give them something that they will get real value out of, and that will demonstrate to them just how trustworthy and credible you are (like we do with our free video course about how to Get More Cash Out of Any Business, Website or Blog).
  3. Offer an incentive to buy through your link. Instead of just recommending your affiliate offer, why not give people an incentive to buy through your link? This is great for improving conversions, but the best part is that it gives you a good reason to keep on interacting with your prospects after they have made the purchase – which means that you retain control of the customer relationship, and you will have the opportunity to sell to them again in the future.

Of course, this is just the start, but if you start with this, you’re already three steps ahead of most affiliate marketers, and that much closer to the pot of gold at the finish line.

Yours Free: Engagement from Scratch!

All of these ideas are expanded with pages upon pages of details and ideas, which I compiled into my new book called Engagement from Scratch! How Super-Community Builders Create a Loyal Audience and How You Can Do the Same!

Today, the book is launching, and I’m very excited to be able to share it with you – for free!

Yep, that’s right – the book is free. You can download the entire book without paying a cent. Just visit the book’s website, click on the download link, and tell me what email address to send it to, and moments later you’ll the full-length PDF waiting for you in your inbox.

Prefer a hard copy? Spend a few extra bucks and get the paperback version so that you can read on the couch or in bed, and write notes in the margins.

About the Author

Danny Iny (@DannyIny) is an author, strategist, serial entrepreneur, expert marketer, and the Freddy Krueger of Blogging. Together with Guy Kawasaki, Brian Clark and Mitch Joel, he wrote the book on how to build an engaged audience from scratch.