marketing

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners

Affiliate marketing is an excellent opportunity to generate additional revenue, specifically from products or services you’re passionate about.

In essence, affiliate marketing allows you to earn a small commission for recommending products you love to friends, family, and larger audiences. Typically, a person becomes an affiliate through a business by either applying or reaching out and receives a special link to direct all prospective purchasers. Once a purchase is made, the affiliate makes a commission.

Different from multi-level marketing, there is no incentive or pyramid structure to limit your earnings or one specific type of product you must sell. Though some may argue that it takes a certain follower account or industry to make an income, even having a small blog can allow you to start generating passive income through this method.

Create a website

The first step to generating traffic to gear toward specific products or services is by creating a website. Create a brand based on a specific audience and provide content like photos, a blog, a podcast, etc, that can help you promote products or services.

Find products you love

Begin to search for products that are not only relevant to the type of media you create. Search for products you truly love and enjoy. Choose products and services you have experience with and that improve your quality of life.

Initiate successful partnerships

An affiliate partnership ensures that both the affiliate and brand are benefitting from an agreed upon arrangement. Though starting out this may be a bit of a challenge, there are plenty of existing companies that have not yet created an affiliate program. If you have a local small business you frequent, consider it as an opportunity to develop a partnership.

Consider Amazon Affiliates

One of the original affiliate programs in existence, Amazon does offer an affiliate program with up to 10% commission. What’s great about this program is that it’s free to join and because Amazon is universal, there’s truly a product for every niche interest.

It’s easy to sign up, so begin to look for opportunities with this platform.

Use Pinterest, Facebook Ads, and Email Marketing to build your list

These marketing tactics ultimately will be the foundation for building your online audience. Based on the product or service you plan to offer, research which platforms your target audience spends the most time on, and create content for them there.

Creating and maintaining an email list is one of the most effective ways to continue to keep customers in the door.

Ditching the 9-5: How to Find Remote Work Opportunities

Digital nomads use telecommunications technologies to earn a living. I’ve been working remotely since 2016 and have been a digital nomad since July 2018. I often work remotely from countries other than the United States, coffee shops, public libraries, and sometimes co-working spaces.

It’s starting to become the newfound “millennial dream,” but without hard work, it can be difficult to make it a reality. The daily grind, cultural norms, and rising student debt can also get in the way. Though landing a remote position may seem daunting, nearly 38 percent of workers will be able to work remotely in some capacity over the next decade, according to Remote.co.

Here are some easy ways to get started researching opportunities regardless of your background to begin settling into remote work.

Earn your way there with your current company

Though it may seem impossible to earn remote status with your employer, step out of the lens in which you view your position and ask yourself: “Is it possible to work remotely within my current role? Does anyone else at my company do this?”

Even if only one person works remotely, you may have the leverage to begin initiating conversations with your employer if you’ve paid your dues.

Though it may seem to be a risk, if you’ve been loyal to your company, nothing is impossible. Though it may mean moving to a different position or leveraging odd hours, be open to discussing new possibilities.

Pick up clients as a freelancer

If you’re interested in this workstyle but are unsure if working remotely may be the right lifestyle for you, consider taking on several clients as a freelancer, initially.

This way you can begin to establish work rhythms that will benefit you if and when you do make the decision to transition into remote work.

If you have a skill like graphic design or photography where you could grow your client base, consider starting your own small business.

Look for startups on websites like Angie’s List and note the companies

There are websites that can guide you on your search to finding the right remote positions, just like Angie’s List. Many tech companies offer remote opportunities directly from this website. As you search for positions online, Google also offers “work from home” as a filter as you aspire to search for positions as well.

Consider making a spreadsheet of all the companies you find that have these opportunities, and connect with hiring managers on LinkedIn. Though there may not be a position you qualify for immediately, begin scoping out companies you would like to work for and continue to check back for the right opportunity.

Look into creative circles

Creative Mornings and Creative Circle are great resources as you continue the search to help you land remote work, in addition to networking with like-minded digital nomads.

Co-working spaces are another creative outlet to network and collaborate with other entrepreneurs. Seek out any opportunity to cultivate relationships with people who currently work remotely and aspire to learn from them.

Take on multiple jobs and passions

Though some may find certain jobs unappealing, a compromise to obtain a remote lifestyle may mean sacrificing your full-time salary, in exchange for a lower paying job.

Therefore, taking on multiple passions – like your remote position that gives you work flexibility in addition to another revenue stream – may make this lifestyle possible for you a bit sooner. Explore different options and combine the passions that generate revenue.

Go all in! 

Even if you hate your job, remember that no one is forcing you to work there. Be thankful for the income, development, and stability your company provides no matter your frustrations.

But when the time comes, don’t be afraid to take the leap and go all in to embrace remote work.

Why Millennials are Drawn to Multi-Level Marketing

We’ve all received the dreaded text message or DM from a person we haven’t spoken to in years pretending to catch up.  They mention the too-good-to-be-true promise of an extra $1,000 working from your phone and the “be your own boss” mentality that comes from a shiny new “business “opportunity…that comes with buying inventory and hosting parties.

MLM’s, network marketing, pyramid schemes, or whatever name you choose are becoming increasingly popular with millennials.

And though there’s nothing more frustrating than the way some MLM’ers approach sales, it’s helpful to understand the appeal and motive behind the decision to work for these companies.

Here are the top reasons millennials are chasing after these MLM opportunities instead of corporate careers.

Work from anywhere mindset

It’s no question that wanderlust consumes culture.

Unless you find a company that offers unlimited vacation time, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that 76 percent of private industry workers (who make up 84.7 percent of all workers in the U.S.) only receive 10 paid vacation days annually.

That’s about two weeks to squeeze in travel, so it’s no wonder why the MLM appeal of working from wherever you desire is appealing. Multi-level marketing companies are entirely commission-based, so distributors have the flexibility to set their own schedule.

Work-life integration

Unfortunately, many stereotypes peg millennials as being lazy, or without the desire to work. More often than not, the case isn’t necessarily that millennials don’t want to work,  they just want to work on their own terms.

Growing up immersed in technological development, many millennials inadvertently have become accustomed to constant stimulation. Likely, this has resulted in a preference for positions and companies offering work-life integration as opposed to work-life balance. Multi-level marketing opportunities integrate life and work in a way that enable partakers to cultivate relationships in the process – sometimes to a fault.

Can’t find jobs

With the job market becoming increasingly competitive, many struggle to find relevant positions within their field of expertise, or find themselves overqualified for given positions. As a result, many recent college graduates pursue such opportunities in place of full-time income. 

Full-time jobs aren’t enough

With crippling student debt and a lack of alternatives to pay off loans, finding high-paying jobs in a graduate’s given field is nothing short of challenging.

Most millennials have student debt hovering around $33,000, not including interest, and many are desperate to find a career where earning potential isn’t capped in order to find freedom from debt.

As a result, some look into network marketing opportunities as a side hustle to pay down monthly expenses on top of their current salary.

Social media

Stay-at-home parents have typically had the upper hand in this industry because of their engaged network of friends who help host “parties,” but millennials have replaced them because of their knack for social media networking.

Social media has become one of the most popular platforms for those in this industry to build relationships, and because millennials are the social media generation, they’ve adapted.

Community

MLM’s do bring community and connectedness because a distributor’s upline commission depends on the sales of the person below them. This creates a mentor-mentee relationship, in addition to a community of partakers within the same upline. And even though we live in a world more connected than ever, we all have experienced mindless scrolling while feeling utterly alone. It’s possible many millennials find that community within these industries.

Multi-level marketing companies have become a necessity for many millennials to live out their desired work styles and pay down debt with the ideals of owning their own business – just without equity and risk.

However, there are plenty of reasons working for these companies may seem desirable, but the return on investment might not be as good as it seems because of the amount of time spent, pyramid structure, and commission levels. Not to mention, the reputation amongst employers and peers.

Want these same ideals, but in a way that’s scalable, not commission based, and on your own terms?

Try freelancing instead.

10 LinkedIn Templates to Make Messaging Simple

Sending formal messages on LinkedIn can come with anxiety. But LinkedIn messages don’t have to be as stressful as they may seem. In fact, here are 10 LinkedIn templates to make messaging your connections a breeze.

New Connection Invite

If you’re looking to reach out to someone new to expand your network, bridge the gap for the reason you’re connecting, and make your connection a bit more formal.

Hello Erin! Your name appeared in my network as someone I should connect with, so I wanted to reach out and introduce myself. I look forward to connecting and learning about your company, and how we may be able to help one another.

Regards, Chloe

Former Coworker

Your former coworkers can be beneficial not only as references but also as connections to land your dream job. Be sure to keep these connections intact.

Hi Matt! It’s hard to believe how much time has gone by since our time at Lilly in 2013. You always had such a positive disposition that made the office environment enjoyable and I hope you’re doing well. If you have the chance, I’d appreciate the opportunity to learn more about your new role in the SaaS industry.

Thanks, Chloe

A person who works at a prospective employer

Even though this approach may seem strange, you may just find a connection to help get your foot in the door at the company you’d like to work for. Try something like this:

Hi Jamie, I wanted to reach out because I noticed you work at Quip, and I have always heard rave reviews about the company culture and opportunities. Would you be open to chatting about your experience with the company?

Thanks, Chloe

Recruiter

There are plenty of them on LinkedIn, but sometimes reaching out to a recruiter can be intimidating. Get to the point, and try to find common ground if you’re able.

Good afternoon Jim, I came across your profile on the hiring and promotions hashtag and wanted to connect with you to discuss what it could look like to work together. With my marketing management background, I’d love to explore any opportunities you may have open and see if my experience may be a great fit. I look forward to speaking further.

Thanks, Chloe Anagnos

Colleague

Like coworkers, your colleagues from different areas of your professional life or in other organizations can help you make valuable connections.

Hey Tara, I’ve always enjoyed some of the projects we’ve worked on together in the past, and I’d love to learn more about what you’ve been up to recently. Let me know if there’s a time we can get together for coffee in the next few weeks to catch up!

Talk soon, Chloe

Networking Contact

Those who make the most out of networking events go into them ready to play the long game and continue building into those relationships over time. Be sure to keep up.

Hi Chad, I truly enjoyed speaking with you in regard to your work at Cummins last week. I look forward to the next Chamber event and would like to stay in touch.

Until next time, Chloe

Introduction

If your connection would like to be introduced to someone within your network, share the wealth and briefly introduce them. After all, you may need them to return the favor.

Hi Andy, my colleague Sarah is a brilliant manager and considering your sales development experience and her drive to find explore similar opportunities, I wanted to make sure I connected you both.

Best, Chloe

Reference

And when the time comes for you to take your turn being introduced by one of your connections to a secondary connection, you can use the prompt below.

Hello Jane, I noticed you are connected to James Hendricks, who is an account executive at a company I’m very interested in learning more about. Would you mind briefly introducing us?

Regards, Chloe

Someone who had a job you want

Though it may seem unorthodox, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you find who worked for your former company or in a position you may want. They could be more open than you think.

Hi Amy, I noticed that you’re also a connection of Bryce’s. He and I worked together at Salesforce for quite some time. I noticed that you used to work at Roche, and I’m wondering if you could give me some advice on the company culture, and share any feedback you may have had about your experience there. Is there a time at your convenience we could chat briefly?

Regards, Chloe

Someone to potentially hire

If you’re beginning to freelance or develop your own company, you’ll likely find better talent on LinkedIn than Fiverr. Though LinkedIn professionals may come at a higher price, asking can’t hurt.

Hi Andrea, I wanted to connect with you on the recent project you did for Chic Boutique. Your marketing campaign strategy was excellent, and I would love to chat with you in regard to hiring you for a project of the same nature. If you are interested, let me know when you’re available for a brief phone call.

Best, Chloe

Why Digital Will Replace Traditional Marketing

Digital marketing presents tangible ways to measure ROI through impressive data, brings more cost-effective strategies to the table, and allows for a more specific target audience range compared to traditional marketing. 

There’s no question that it is slowly but surely taking center stage in the marketing arena.

But will it replace traditional marketing in its entirety? Here are four reasons why it’s very possible.

More specific targeting

Taking into account traditional methods are more intrusive, digital strategies allow brands to connect and refine their target audience.

Think about it: Are you more likely to find a relevant ad in the newspaper going to everyone in your neighborhood, or on your Facebook feed based on a particular search you just conducted?

Digital marketing has established opportunities to create ads so specific based on online data that traditional marketing approaches will never be able to touch.

Inbound focused 

Essentially, inbound marketing is a strategy that brings clients in, whereas outbound efforts focus outward and use old school methods that tend to push out their product or service to prospects – whether a prospect is ready or not.

Inbound is focused entirely on providing value, further refining the audience and catering directly to customer need. With an inbound approach, prospects are more likely to opt-in based on their interest, instead of outbound methods that may not attract a company’s ideal target in the first place.

It’s more resourceful

Think about how much time and money traditional marketing approaches can exert. Traditional, promotional mail gets extremely expensive, while so much of it gets thrown away.

Cold calling leads take extensive time not only to call, but also to document, and typically has an extremely low ROI – or return on investment – compared to generating inbound leads based on interest. Digital efforts are resourceful and can be very quickly adapted at the click of a mouse, whereas traditional methods such as print can’t be modified quite so easily.

It’s data-driven

With digital marketing being, well, digital, everything is trackable and measurable. From clicks to time spent online, digital approaches make it easier than ever to monitor customer behavior and adjust according to that insight.

Whereas traditional efforts can be difficult to monitor and track, digital tactics allow for analytics that demonstrate when sales were made and where leads were driven. Such data makes it easier than ever for marketers to prove their indispensability.

Though traditional marketing won’t disappear overnight, it may with a generation. Knowing Generation Z and future generations will never know a world that isn’t digital, one may wonder if traditional methods will begin to significantly decrease in the years to come.

How to Monitor Your SEO

Though it may not seem very glamorous, carving out time on a weekly or monthly basis to monitor your SEO can help you shift and refocus your efforts drastically.

Considering that in 2017 Google changed its algorithm 13 times, it is critical to stay up to date on SEO trends so you’re not left behind.

Here are six easy steps to monitor your SEO, and stay on track with your marketing strategy.

Use Google Analytics & Search Console

Google Analytics and Search Console will allow you to begin tracking data for free, so take advantage. Google Analytics is extremely user-friendly and offers extensive tracking data and different options to report your traffic.

Understanding these tools will enable you to quickly spot trends on your website based on your target demographic, click through rate, and other important data that we’ll continue to discuss below.

Google Search Console will provide more extensive reports not found in Analytics, like your keyword queries.

Monitor your organic traffic

Your organic traffic is based upon the people who are finding you in a search engine by looking for your brand, offer, or product – and not by paid ads. Therefore, it’s important to know who’s visiting, where they’re visiting from, and how much they engage with your website.

Look at your data and study how many people are on your website, how long they stay, and what they’re searching for. All of these data points will help you analyze and adjust accordingly. Ask yourself, “what changes can I implement to be more visible and engage my audience longer?.”

Review your conversion rate

Organic traffic is critical, but once you’re past that milestone, your focus should be on selling.

Your conversions should not be limited to just selling, however. Depending on where you are in your business, your conversion rate could simply be having users take one designated call to action on your website. Maybe it’s taking the action to sign up for your email list, or following your directive to read your blog.

You won’t be able to monitor what you don’t measure, so setting up goals will allow you to see your conversion rate. On the GA or Google Analytics Dashboard, select Conversions > Goals > Overview, and set up goals just like the tab directs below.

Whether it be a destination, duration, or event goal, setting up these objectives will help you measure and define success.

Know your top pages for organic traffic

What pages are performing well? What pages does your target audience spend the most time on? Where is most of your traffic being directed? Take note, because these are the pages that are performing well.

But then, what pages are your lowest ranking pages, or exit pages? It’s critical to note at what point your audience is becoming disengaged, and thus leaves your website. If they’re becoming disinterested on your blog, be sure your calls to action are updated.

If your sales page isn’t converting, redefine your funnel. Knowing your highest and lowest ranking pages will help you celebrate your wins, but also retarget and reframe your losses.

Review your keywords

Using a free tool like SEMrush will help you stay on top of your keywords – because they can and will change over time, based upon what your audience is searching.

Are there words you would like to rank for but just haven’t yet? Then you can adjust your content marketing strategy. Try publishing blogs based on those keywords, or creating a free guide based on your audience’s search queries, and analyzing the results after a month of posting them.

Check your click through rate

Your click through rate is the percentage of people clicking your link once they see it rank in the search engine. You’ll want to revert back to Google Search Console, and here you’ll be able to view your total clicks, and the queries used to visit your website. Knowing your CTR, or click through rate, will help you understand once again how your target audience is finding you. But before you jump to changing all of your content, note that your titles or page descriptions can also have a high impact on your CTR.

Regardless of whether you’ve monitored your SEO for the first time after reading this article or if it’s your 100th time, stick with it. Continually monitoring your data and reevaluating your goals will set you up to continue ranking higher over time.

A Beginner’s Guide to Meta Tags

Simply stated, a meta tag is a snippet of text injected on your website to boost your SEO.

Essentially, meta tags are your opportunity as a content curator to describe what your content is about for the search engines, so you can allow your content to be more widely seen.

So, how do you create meta tags that ultimately enable us to achieve a higher ranking, and allow our content to be more widely seen? Here’s a quick guide on where to start.

Write Google-worthy meta tags

Though other search engines like Bing are significant, Google is still king. Focus on writing descriptions that are worthy of the platform. What do you want to communicate about your page in 150-160 characters or less? What keywords need to be present?

Note that in some cases, Google won’t display your meta description at all, and in many other cases, Google will only display a small portion of your description. Choose your words wisely so that no matter what is published as your description, it accurately depicts your work, and boosts your ranking.

Meta tags need to be unique

For starters, duplicating your meta descriptions is an absolute no-no. Right along with keyword stuffing, this sends the message to the search engine that the page is a duplicate, or that maybe you do have too many keywords and are just trying to use them to rank.

Try using schema markup, or creating rich snippets of relevant text, in your descriptions. Include ideas like customer ratings, reviews or product descriptions on a given page to start.

Think about your keywords

Keywords matter. Even if every other description or piece of content was taken away, your audience should be able to understand the basis of your website based on keywords alone. Because of keyword stuffing, keywords won’t affect your ranking as much as in previous years, but based on clarity for your audience and attracting your target market, they are still extremely relevant.

Title tags are relevant

In short, a title tag names your site. The meta tag, or meta description, does just that: it describes your website. Your title tag perhaps has the most important impact on your SEO ranking, and so for chloeanagnos.com most people will search for “Chloe Anagnos,” considering it is a personal brand. Therefore, a title tag is formed.

Data matters

Most people will stop after the above steps are completed, but the most success you’ll have with your SEO ranking is by paying attention to your data over time.

Remember, ranking doesn’t happen overnight, and just like your workout routine, you’ll see performance if you are consistent over time. Every month or so you should be revisiting your data to see if your ranking has improved, and if your pages are being clicked directly from the search engine. Use a tool like Google Search Console, Google analytics, or your website’s built in analytics to monitor your performance and make adjustments as needed.

How to Create Passive Income Online

For most normal people, working 9-5, Monday through Friday can really start to feel like a dead end.

To put it bluntly, most of us hope for a little more in life than working 40 hours a week for the next 30 years or so to maybe retire and have enough money to be sustainable.

So instead of promising another get rich quick scheme, or slipping into your Facebook PM’s to share a special “business” opportunity with you, let me introduce you to the idea of passive income.

With passive income – money never sleeps. So quite literally, passive income is a financial opportunity that anyone and everyone can, and should, be putting into practice.

Here’s the part with passive income most people won’t share with you – it takes work. Passive, income regardless of the form, is an investment, and investments take time and effort. But at the end of the day, if you want to build wealth, quit your day job, and invest your resources wisely – check out these ways to create passive income right now online.

Online Courses

Online courses can be an extremely effective way to generate passive income. Depending on what you desire to accomplish, creating a course and curriculum can be as easy or as challenging as the effort you put into it.

If you have a lower budget and don’t have an established audience just yet, you can use a free platform like Loom to screen record tutorials and host your course on a platform like Udemy that will market it for you. Otherwise, reach out to your email list, and use a hosting platform like Teachable or CourseCraft that will help you launch your curriculum.

Membership Site

Instead of continuing to bust your tail trying to sell content – consider batching it for membership. Batching your content simply means creating multiple pieces of content in one sitting – and with a membership website, you can generate monthly revenue doing just this. Charge a lower price to get clients in the door, and watch your money accumulate over time.

Affiliate Marketing

Different than multi-level marketing, affiliate marketing simply gives affiliates, preferably in a company’s target audience, a code with a discounted rate. The affiliate is paid commissions for the sales they make on your product, and as a result, affiliates drive more traffic to your website.

There’s no pyramid structure or contractual compensation agreement here and the affiliate is paid commission off of their sales. Basically, think of affiliate marketing as selling your product at a lower rate (to pay the commission) to sell more products.

On the flip side, you can also make passive income by becoming an affiliate. If you have a product you love and truly believe in, consider asking that company for an affiliate code to give to your family and friends to give them a discount, and receive a portion of the sale. Just don’t get spammy.

YouTube

Everyone loves YouTube, and you don’t have to be the next big influencer to generate passive income here. Though curated videos and excellent content can be desirable, think of YouTube as a search engine. How often do you find yourself on this platform looking for a tutorial?

To generate passive income on this platform, it’s as simple as creating a channel filming tutorials or explaining concepts relevant to the things you’re passionate about. Then, you can pocket the extra income over time on ads.

Have a family member that needs help refurbishing furniture? Film it. Got a college degree in film or literature that you’re not using? Teach some YouTube course on that subject. Working on a project for a marketing client? Film a tutorial of the steps you take to do it.

Amazon

Amazon does just about everything now – including more affiliate marketing. Their Amazon Associates program is essentially just a broader form of affiliate marketing that allows you to advertise products relevant to you in order to monetize your website. It’s easy to join, and if you’ve got a passion project type of blog, this would be a great place to make some extra income.

Sell Your Own Product

You used to only be able to generate passive income by selling physical products – but thanks to the internet, you can sell digital ones too. Whether it be an E-Book, template, script, spreadsheet, song, movie, or tutorial, you can sell it online.

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