technology

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.

How to Build Your Own Website (Without Code) From Scratch

With so many easy to use web development platforms in existence, building a website is easier than ever before. Since many web platforms offer more drag and drop features and e-commerce options for one price, many creatives and business owners have chosen these platforms for the sake of time and convenience.

However, when determining your website’s goals, it is important to consider that not every web development platform is created equally.

For instance, providers like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress.com (different from WordPress.org) may not be as ideal depending on your goals. For established businesses and brands, web ranking may not be as significant as an objective, but if you’re looking to generate traffic this way, you may want to reconsider.

If time is on your side and you’re looking to grow your traffic, here is a simple strategy to build your own website to increase your creative control, SEO, all while decreasing your spending.

Consider implementing your own domain and hosting strategy

More often than not, we are drawn towards an all-inclusive option that provides the domain, hosting, blog plugin, template, and many of the essential features of a website. Otherwise, we invest large amounts of capital into hiring a web developer and spend a fortune relying on them to update a website.

Both of these alternatives leave us without an understanding of how our website actually functions.

If you have the time, it’s worth it to buy a domain from a website like GoDaddy, and update the DNS, or domain name server, settings to send it to separate hosting – something that can also be done through GoDaddy. In my experience, they’re the easier provider to work with and will even set up your WordPress admin account if you call customer service.

Create a plan

Begin to write or type out the plan for your website.

What pages will you need? How do you want your site to appear? What type of theme or brand should it convey? Do some research, and write out your own sitemap and structure to ensure it includes all you’ll need. Look at other personal blogs, businesses, influencers, and consultants for examples.

Write out your content

Instead of writing your content while designing your website, do this beforehand so you aren’t developing directed attention fatigue (or exhausting yourself doing multiple tasks – in this case, tasks which are very different). Research content that will increase your SEO ranking, and explore other responsive websites that implement content features you enjoy.

Choose a responsive theme for desktop and mobile

Just because you’re hosting your own website doesn’t mean you have to learn code and become a Javascript or HTML expert. Instead, look for an easy to use, responsive theme. You’ll get a clean and optimized template while still being able to control many of the features of your website.

Build your site

Once you have everything in place, begin putting each piece together. If you’re using WordPress, you can install different drag and drop plugins that simplify the process for you and customize your website.

Include calls to action

An important rule of thumb to follow is ensuring each page and piece of content has a goal. That goal should include the call to action, or action step, you desire your target audience take. Whether it’s clicking a button, reading a blog post, learning more, or making a sale, always ensure that your website is calling your audience to do something.

Add the bells and whistles

Now that your website is almost complete, incorporate additional features such as analytics, shopping carts, and lead magnets. These tools will take your website to the next level, enabling you to gauge your traffic and generate more revenue over time.

Though this process may seem tedious, remember it will not only save additional revenue in the long run but also give you complete creative control and authority over your website.

Pro tip

Always, always, always have the technical side of your website created first before you design. This means hooking up your domain and hosting before you design.

If you need help with your website or need one quickly, let me help you.

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.

Chrome Plugins You Need to Be More Productive

plugin is an additional piece of software that can be added to a given program to enhance that program’s function.

If you’re not using plugins on Chrome, you’re missing opportunities to make your life even easier. No matter your industry, here are some universal plugins that can boost your productivity on a daily basis.

Block Site

If you’re spending too much time on social media or can’t seem to stay out of your inbox, then Block Site is the plugin for you.

To use this plugin, visit the websites you’re spending too much time on, and schedule times that you can’t access them. Block Site will work its magic and make sure you stay away from these websites and stay focused until the time you designate passes.

Facebook Pixel Helper

For all of you marketing junkies, this plugin will enable you to see any Pixel from Facebook installed on a given website. This plugin helps you check to see if the pixels on your websites are working and make sure they are collecting data.

For nonmarketing junkies, this plugin will help you to see which websites are gathering your information to remarket to you, and note the websites that are tracking you as you click on certain links. When you see a pixel detected, consider this plugin your friendly reminder to clear all your cookies, or forever be haunted by increasingly targeted ads.

Smallpdf

Smaller images enable your website to load more quickly, and with large file types, sometimes certain pages on your website may not load at all. Use this plugin to optimize your visual content and make sure your file sizes are up to par with the correct file format. This plugin can also come in handy if you’re emailing a photo or video content to your colleagues, and allow you to upload more content at a time to an email or file.

Loom

Loom is a plugin that allows you to record yourself and your screen in real time. It’s perfect for tutorials for YouTube, your employer, or for your colleagues to share skills and learn how to do something quickly and effectively.

Even if it’s something as simple as how and why you save a document in certain file format, this plugin quickly creates high-quality videos that can come in handy when you may least expect it.

Keywords Everywhere

Looking to boost your SEO? This plugin will allow you to see the cost per click of keywords on Google, YouTube, Etsy, and even Amazon. Instead of toggling back and forth from Keyword Planner, this plugin will help you stay up to date on what’s trending online, and allow you to adjust accordingly.

Even if you’re just looking to curate the perfect social media caption and see what’s trending, this plugin can help.

Todoist

Todoist makes staying on track with your to-do list easy. If you don’t need a comprehensive project management solution, Todoist serves as an excellent tool to keep track of everything you need to do during the day.

It easily syncs from your browser to your phone as well and can be used from anything as simple as chores and grocery lists you need to finish to complex projects you’d like to have on your radar.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

This plugin loads the LinkedIn profile of any contact you’re corresponding with via email directly onto your screen in a pop-up tab. No need to remember all their personal data if you’re not in a CRM platform because this plugin will quickly show you a given contact’s photo, company name, and location as you’re drafting an email from your inbox.

11 WordPress Plugins You Need

If you’re building a WordPress website, WordPress Plugins can transform your website easily without relying on a developer to do the work for you. Though there are many to choose from, here are 11 you should use. 

JetPack

Though many WordPress providers offer this plugin automatically, JetPack fulfills almost every need you may have with your website. JetPack allows you to build your website with built-in themes, helps you gather more organic traffic through social sharing, and additionally helps secure your website. If you’re hosting your own WordPress website, you’ll definitely need this plugin.

Yoast SEO

Yoast continues to be one of the most popular plugins for self-hosted websites. This plugin enables you to optimize your SEO, offers page analysis, allows for social integration, and even enables you to create sitemaps.

Google XML SItemaps

Though Yoast does enable you to create sitemaps, Google XML Sitemaps serves as a more optimized index for the search engines. This plugin makes it more simple for crawlers to search your website and has more sub sitemaps than Yoast.

Broken Link Checker

With Broken Link Checker, you can monitor every link on your website, and ensure none of them are broken. From links in your post pages, comments, blog, or even images, this plugin will notify you via email, and allow you to edit your links without going to the actual page itself directly from the plugin.

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder serves as an easy to use drag and drop page builder for your website. Instead of having to use code, this website builder simplifies the process by providing content modules, different layouts, and photo/video backgrounds, in addition to responsive layouts.

WooCommerce

This plugin will help you monetize your website and start generating revenue through sales. Woo Commerce integrates easily to WordPress, and powers nearly 30% of all online stores. Unlike other platforms like Shopify and Big Cartel, you have complete control of your store.

Editorial Calendar

The Editorial Calendar plugin enables you to keep up with your content and be able to see just precisely when your posts are going out.

With this plugin, you can see your blog at a month’s glance, see when your content is scheduled to go out, and drag and drop posts to different days to reschedule them. If you’re blogging regularly, this is a must.

Code Snippets

PHP, a code that can be embedded into HTML, is essentially what powers your WordPress website. Considering this can get extensive and messy, Code Snippets will help you better manage certain snippets of code. Like plugins, snippets of code can be activated and deactivated, and this plugin will help you do just that.

Print, PDF, Email

The Print, PDF, Email plugin title says it all. Essentially, this plugin reads your site and allows you to download and preview your content as a PDF, and then, of course, print it. If you’re hands-on and like to edit your content by hand, this plugin can help.

Smush Image Compression & Optimization

Having a responsive website that loads quickly is important to continue generating more traffic, and having optimized images that still maintain quality but load quickly is important for this reason.

Smush Image Compression & Optimization includes helpful features like optimizing 50 images in one click, creating automation to optimize your content, size detection, all while preserving image quality.

WPForms

WPForms is an easy way to build contacts, collect payment information, create quizzes, surveys, and more from your website. Providing responsive and mobile friendly forms, this plugin is extremely customizable and eliminates the stress and bulk of creating great forms.

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 Cure Online Slacktivism

This article was originally published on October 5, 2015.

We’ve all experienced it. Profile pictures changed to colored ribbons. Cartoon characters assigned to timelines. Multiple “shares” and “likes” for non-profits on social media.

Since the dawn of the internet, your hippest and most politically active Facebook friends have been able to fill you in on the latest online gimmick to raise “awareness” for whatever is cool at the time. (Remember #KONY2012, anyone?) The idea behind the posts, likes, and shares is all fine and dandy. But, the slacktivism isn’t and it needs to end.

Slacktivism is defined as, “actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g., signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website.”

…Or saying something like, “like my status in support of…” You get the picture.

Slacktivism is easy. It requires mindless clicks to make others think that you’re super involved. (A colleague of mine wrote an article recently that summed up my complete feelings on the subject. You can read it here.)

What’s even worse than the laziness that causes slacktivism is the low-information slacktivists that spread around misinformation.

For example, yesterday the dreaded Facebook copyright hoax went viral again. When it originated in 2011, most telecom junkies like myself thought that by 2015, people would realize that Facebook is free and always will be. Alas, it was back despite the countless news stories that were circulated regarding the hoax.

Not to mention the countless “click-bait” stories that get shared about everything from the 2016 election to abortion and beyond. One would think that in an age where information is at our fingertips, it would be unheard of to not have the truth immediately.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Take any example of a high-profile legal battle, a politician’s speech or a viral video and you’ll surely find conspiracy theorists and “Facebook lawyers” that have stated their opinions about the “facts” before the story is even a day old. (And the year 2015 has had plenty of those kinds of news stories to go around.)

Believe it or not, there is a way to cure slacktivism.

First, get off your computer. Second, make a list of the causes you actually care about and/or have donated money to in the last year and actually get involved in them. Run (or walk) a 5K, volunteer on the weekend or have a bake sale to benefit said cause.

Lastly, actually research what you share on Facebook. Is that news story actually true? Did Donald Trump really say that?

Find out what the other side of the aisle thinks. If you’re interested in a more complex issue that can’t be fixed with a 5K or a bake sale, contact your Congressman or Congresswoman and ask them to help. March in a rally. Attend a school board or city council meeting.

Just “liking” a photo of the disaster relief efforts in Nepal solves nothing. “Sharing” a post from the World Wildlife Fund of a sick koala does nothing.

Getting informed and getting involved solves everything.

Instagram

Instagram did not return any images.

Copyright © 2019 Chloe Anagnos · Theme by 17th Avenue