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7 Useful Tips for Affiliate Marketing Beginners




Getting into any kind of a new field is always difficult. You start with little to no knowledge, and no idea where to even begin. That’s particularly problematic when the said field is very vague. Such is the case when we explore the wondrous world of affiliate marketing!

Unlike most beginner’s guides, this one will actually try to cover some important basic concepts that people often forget to mention, either because they simply forget, or just because they’re too wrapped up in being technical and giving concrete/actionable advice.

Think of this article as a bit of a staging ground. This is where you’re gonna become able to learn how to think about affiliate marketing in the first place.

Needless to say, it will point to a chock-full of more in-depth guides that’ll help you on your long and winding journey.

So, let’s tackle some basic concepts and issues:

#1 Understand what affiliate marketing actually is


What’s the difference between inbound/digital marketing and affiliate marketing? What is affiliate marketing, after all?


“Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products”

To put it simply, affiliate marketing is a specific type of digital marketing, in which your main goal is to generate as much traffic as possible on your website in order to promote services and goods.

Who offers these goods?

Other people!

Of course, this means that you have to point to that other site, have product reviews, and so forth.

The most common types of affiliate sites are blogs, product reviews, and coupon sites. The kind you’ll ultimately choose to use is completely up to you.

When a visitor from your site visits your client’s site, they know this, and then you get a commission based on what your particular deal happens to be. You can get money just for sending people to their site, or maybe you get a commission when the sale is done.

#2 You’ve gotta put in actual work


All the reading in this world won’t mean a thing if you don’t dive in. You’ve gotta get your hands dirty. Every niche is different; every product is different. What works for one, might not work for the other.

And you won’t know this, unless you try. And if it doesn’t work, it’s all good because you’ve learned something from it.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because, guess what?

I know you’re definitely gonna make them.

Of course, you should understand you’ll have to master SEO, and a lot of other marketing practices, if you really want to become an affiliate marketing hotshot in the future.

#3 Focus on one project at a time while using multiple approaches


It’s easy to get lost in all the options and possible markets available nowadays. You might see that your friend is making a killing with his weight loss blog, or that the tech market is insanely lucrative.

At the beginning, it’s super easy to get overwhelmed. One of the key things you must do is learn how to minimize that feeling of boundless info and become fully focused.

However, that doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to only one campaign. Far from it.

#4 Pick the perfect location/demographics


There’s a tough part of your new project that’s sure to give you a whole lot of headaches along the way.

Which one?

Choosing which countries and demographics you’re gonna be targeting!

It’s really important to have as clear of an idea as possible of who your audience is.

Where are they? What do they want?

This is how you’ll know what products to eventually pitch, and how to go about doing that.

Pay special attention to mobile users, as they now form a major portion (over 50%, according to some studies) of all internet users.

# 5 Become acquainted with analytics


Of course, no one expects you to nail all of this in your first try.

That’s what analytics tools and packages are for. Google Analytics is obviously one of the most popular and widely used.

Yes, it might be boring, but if you really want to do this, it’s an unavoidable part of it.

Learn what a/b tests are, how to measure various metrics, what’s a tracking software, and how to interpret all that data, later leveraging it to increase your profits.

I know this sounds like saying: “learn how to make money.”

It all sounds so simple and perfectly easy to understand and act upon!

No, it isn’t. As I’ve alluded to before, this business demands that you get dirty. You’ve gotta put in the long hours reading info, navigating and searching cool threads on online communities, checking educational platforms, etc.

Again: go and get your hands dirty!

The good news is that you have an amazing wealth of resources on this topic. Moreover, you’ve got some very easy-to-use tools.

Trust me: even the most tech-obtuse person can be an affiliate marketing kingpin!

#6 Select an ad network/affiliate program

Well, this one is self-explanatory.

In order to become an affiliate marketer, you actually have to do affiliate marketing. Luckily, nowadays, this is incredibly easy, as there are tons of different affiliate programs you can join.

The biggest issue is how to choose the one which best suits you.

My grown-up advice?

Do a bit of reading on what each one offers. Don’t be a lazy duck who goes for the first one that shows up in a Google search.

Invest time reading and preparing yourself for the battle ahead. Don’t be lazy. I can’t assert this enough times: preparation, study and continuous analysis are key to becoming an affiliate marketer. Simple.

Once you’ve selected your market and affiliate partner, make an ally of your affiliate manager. They have a lot of inside knowledge that can definitely help you.

In fact, if you manage to foster a good relationship with them, account managers can give you awesome tips on the best GEOS you could invest on, or on how to take advantage of dayparting, for example.

#7 Bring your own knowledge and experience into play


Just because there are popular methods that work, it doesn’t mean that they’re the ONLY methods that work.

Try to keep your creative juices flowing! Always make sure to include your own personal experience when possible.

For instance: if you know you’re investing in India and you’re also aware that Hindi banners convert much better than English banners, avoid making that classic rookie mistake and adapt your banners to the audience that’s actually gonna click on them and produce conversions!

There’s nothing worse than a banner which has been duly and beautifully designed but then makes the cringeworthy mistake of featuring a language the targeted audience simply won’t understand.

Be careful, be smart, get some experience, and then do your thing without risking seeing a silly mistake cut your affiliate marketer life too short!


I know that this article might sound a bit like saying “water is wet”, but I think it might be necessary to take a step back and just look at the basics. After all, you don’t build a house starting from the roof down.

Plus: I’m not advocating that you should completely ignore what’s out there, or that reading and research is not important.

Far from it! I just want you to grasp the fact that nobody is flawless, and that all these methods that have been proven to work have come about due to a lot of trial and error.

The fact that you shouldn’t repeat evident mistakes doesn’t mean you’ve gotta be frightened of trying something new!

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André Beato is a mediabuyer on Mobidea that started working in this area as many of you did, not knowing much about this business. But with personal taste for logical thinking and mathematics, He learned and adapted strategies to get the best results possible.

Making Money

5 Ways Freelancers Work Hard But Aren’t Productive



There are many great reasons to be a freelancer. Unfortunately, there are also some challenges you must be prepared for as well. Knowing how to manage your time well is one of the biggest issues you will need to figure out.

Being good at the services you provide isn’t going to be enough to make a steady income being self-employed. You must also know how to manage your time wisely. You don’t have the luxury of having a boss provide the structure you need to meet your goals. This is something you’re going to need to figure out on your own, which requires you to identify ways that you are using your time inefficiently.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always clear when you are wasting your time. Many freelancers spend a lot of time on tasks that keep them busy, but don’t help them reach their long-term professional and financial goals. They often rationalize dedicating time to these tasks, since they keep them busy.

One of the biggest lessons that you were going to need to learn is that your priority should not be keeping yourself busy. You need to focus on improving productivity and meeting your milestones.

Here are some ways that you may be wasting time without even realizing it.

Marketing to the wrong potential clients

There are two types of potential clients that you will run into:

  • People that will eventually have a decent amount of paying work for you.
  • People that will never actually hire you, but like to talk a big game and waste your time.

Sadly, the second category of potential clients is a lot more prevalent than we would like. These people may not genuinely intend to waste your time. A lot of them are simply in denial about how fast their business is growing and how much they are going to need to outsource. You may also want to focus on clients that you know have money, or are already in a profitable niche.

Otherwise, you may end up dealing with potential clients will sit down with you for a couple of lunch meetings and talk about how great your relationship is going to be in the future. Some will boast about how fast their company is growing. Others won’t have even officially launched their company yet, but will be convinced that they will have lots of customers and need to outsource a lot of work for you as soon as they open their doors.

Here are some things to look for during your conversations to avoid this mistake:

  • Avoid clients that talk too much about their success. They are usually overcompensating for the fact their company really isn’t growing as fast as they would like.
  • Talk to clients that have projects they need you to start working on right away.
  • Get clients from referrals that you trust. If one of your contacts has a good track record for referring paying customers, you should put those referrals at the top of your list.

You need to keep in mind the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of your business is going to come from 20% of your clients. You will have a lot more time when you avoid working with people that waste your time with endless meetings and email exchanges without delivering any paying work.

Avoid networking events that do not pan out for you

I don’t mean to knock networking events in general. They can be a great way to drum up business. However, they are not equally beneficial for your business. Some of them will be a great investment, while others will be a total waste of your time. Also, just because they work well for some professionals does not mean they are appropriate for your business model.

A number of self-employed professionals have said that they get over 70% of their business from BNI networking groups. They have a proven track record of helping people get high quality leads. But does this mean they are worth your time?

One freelance writer was invited to review a couple BNI groups, but found they wouldn’t really help with their business goals. This freelancer primarily worked on retainer for large marketing agencies. They had enough clients to stay busy for long periods of time. It didn’t make sense for them to invest so much time and money in BNI when they already had as much work as they could handle.

You also need to keep in mind that many networking groups are really more focused on building social connections. Rotary and 20-30 our groups don’t typically have a great reputation for bringing in paying customers. It is fine to join them if you want to make social connections, but you are likely to be disappointed if you sign up solely for growing your business.

A better alternative to this might be to simply run your own online webinar and connect with potential clients through more detailed and longer one-on-one sessions. When you think about webinars, you likely think of the ones you commonly see on Facebook that are always pushing products and sales. However, there are actually several webinar meanings and how each of them can be setup and used to a freelancers advantage.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before joining a networking group:

  • How well is this networking group working for people in a similar line of business? If your colleagues aren’t able to get paying clients from them, then they probably aren’t worth your time.
  • What types of clients are you looking for? If you specialize in serving companies in a specific industry, then you are going to want to find a networking group that caters to them. For example, some web designers specialize in designing websites for wineries. It might make more sense for them to spend time at networking events for wine professionals than other web professionals that have never talked to a winery owner.
  • How many long-term clients do you already have? If you are already on retainer with enough clients to keep you busy for the next few months, then you shouldn’t waste your time going to networking events to meet potential clients that you don’t have time to serve.

Joining a networking group may or may not be a good use of your time. Don’t be afraid to walk away from one that isn’t worthwhile.

Webinar tools

Reading all emails in detail

Poor email management is one of the biggest times sinks for any business owner. According to a survey by OfficeTime, the majority of business owners spend over an hour a day going through emails. Nearly a quarter of them spend at least two hours a day.

You need to have a sister to minimize the time you waste with emails. It isn’t a good idea to read every single word in every email you got. Know how to categorize them and delete any that clearly aren’t worth your time.

“Marketing” on social media

You have probably read statistics about how great social media can be for expanding the reach of your business. While these statistics are certainly on point, you can also spend more time than is necessary on social media.

Its not just about how much time you are spending on social media, it’s also about how effective your content is as well. For example, if you are marketing on Twitter, it’s best to focus on their current trends. With Instagram, it’s all about using popular hashtags.

You may find that you only need to spend half an hour a week composing posts and replying to social media replies. If you are spending more time creating too many posts or commenting on feeds that don’t get any visibility for your business, then you are simply wasting your time.

You also need to be objective about how many leads you are getting from social media. It can be great for some freelancers, but others find that almost all of their business comes from face-to-face marketing. If engaging with people on Facebook or Twitter isn’t paying dividends for your company, then you may not want to spend any time on it at all.

Writing daily blog posts

When you are a professional blogger, your blog is obviously your business. You should be creating a blog posts every day to increase traffic to your website. However, you don’t need to be a business to have a profitable blog. Take a look at any of these success stories and you will be amazed at how some individuals have found success through blogging.

That same rule does not apply for freelancers. Freelancers often don’t make money from their blog itself. They are going to see diminishing returns from additional blog posts. It may be worth writing a post every other week or even once a month just to keep it fresh.

When looking at your options with content creation and blogging, you need to decide if you want to write and build a blog for the long term, or write for others and make your earnings up front.

Be Productive. Not Busy.

We live in a very fast-paced society. People pride themselves on working long hours and even boast about how much time they invest in their business. The problem is that clocking long hours doesn’t necessarily bring you in more money, especially if you are self-employed and wasting your time on non billable work. You need to recognize tasks that turn out to be a waste of time and avoid them like the plague.

The world of freelance writing is a fun, exciting, and profitable one — but you need to make sure your content and writing is better than the competition, and that you are putting in the time and effort to acquire new clients. With so many freelancers in the world today, it’s way too easy to fall into the crowd and find your side business suffering in the process.

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Making Money

3 Steps to Remember Before Launching a Digital Product



I used to work with a bootstrap startup that was launching a new dashboard that would be used for remote teams needing to coordinate across international lines. It was a solid final product, with great features and no noticeable bugs. It had been UX tested, AB tested and performance tested. Early release users had been thrilled with it and were already looking forward to the next version and what new features might be coming along in the future.

Everything sounds perfect, right? Sadly, no. It wasn’t the product itself that had a problem, it was the digital marketing strategy that was poorly planned and hence weakly executed. The result? Obviously, the launch went largely unnoticed and hence the tool enjoyed little to no attention and coverage.

It’s sad when a great product doesn’t get the exposure it truly deserves.

My client could have really benefited from double checking that particular step, but he was too focused on the primary product. Had he put more attention onto the digital marketing strategy he could have avoided a disaster.

Here are the steps to take prior to launching your digital product, be it an eBook, a course or an online tool:

1. Research Competitors and Their Weak Points

You may have already done this (prior to deciding to create the product), but don’t stop there. Monitor your competitors, identify their weak points and adjust your future marketing strategy based on that.

Use BrandMentions to get alerted whenever your competitor is mentioned on the web. It is an awesome tool that looks at every single corner of the web and pulls out even more obscure mentions that you might have missed the first time around with other tools. For small businesses that only need to mention a single brand they start at $49 per month. As you grow you can escalate to new plans with more features.


Another great tool to use here is GoFish which is a custom Google Search Engine allowing to search 40 (and counting) complaint websites at a time. Run your major competitor’s name through the search and see if there’s a marketing opportunity for you. What problems does your future product solve that are being most actively discussed by your competitors’ customer?

MeWe is a great example of the launch with solving major competitor’s problem at the base of their marketing. Being launched right on the wave of Facebook privacy scandal, the startup talks about privacy on all their social media channels:

MeWe Instagram

2. Set up an Effective Landing Page

Set up your landing page in advance, prior to the actual launch. Think of how your best selling points will be clearly explained on it. Avoid the clutter but make sure you can answer the question: “Why would anyone want to download / give it a try?”

Let’s take a look at some statistics:

  1. A survey found that 92% of marketers asked found landing pages to be at least somewhat effective, and around half of those found them to be very effective.
  2. The Whole Brain Group has reported that they see sustained conversion rates of around 45% monthly from their landing pages.

Sadly, getting landing pages built is one of the top challenges faced by B2B marketers and most businesses are finding it hard to optimize their content on landing pages, which means most aren’t seeing the benefits they want to through these handy tools.

Get inspired by an example: Take a look at this landing page that is very minimal while bringing several important points across. It distinguishes between three actions very effectively:

Example of landing page

Further reading: Learn more about calls-to-action over at Digital Eagles blog

This site is a great example of a content-based landing page that does a good job engaging customers:


Note: While CTAs are important, don’t forget to optimize your landing page for search engine traffic!

One of the most effective ways to generate more leads from your landing page is to generate more search engine traffic to it.

You need to do a basic SEO inspection to make sure you are getting the most out of your optimization. Has it been created to really attract search engine results?

Keyword usage is especially important on landing pages because there is less content for it to attract people with. Just look at a blog with its constant update of new posts, each of which can be optimized to draw in traffic. A landing page is a single page that has to utilize fewer words that are updated far less often.

Get your SEO planned, then make sure your landing page is following it.

3. Plan Your Marketing Strategy after the Launch

All of the above is about that time just before launch. What happens after that has been done? These are the beginning and middle periods of your launch and they are just as important as the preparation for it. You could do everything perfectly and still fall flat if you don’t keep up your momentum.

You need to plan your budget, time investment, delegation tactics and overall team schedule before the launch, because after that you are hopefully going to be too busy for that!

Some tips for getting through those beginning and middle bits include:

Think which additional platforms you’ll be using to sell your digital product

Your own site must be all set at this point but how about additional channels that may bring in extra sales? There are platforms like E-junkie and ClickBank that aim at helping you reach wider audience.

Follow up with new customers

Your product has been bought and too often the buck stops there. You shouldn’t leave them alone… follow up! After a few days send an email (or provide an in-product message if you have a system in place) asking them to fill out a small survey of their experience so far.

Address concerns

Not everything will have run smooth for everyone. If your follow-up brings on concerns from the customer make sure you address them personally. That personal touch can make all the difference in how your brand is perceived and your ability to build loyalty from the very beginning.

Search social media for mentions of your product

Reputation management is crucial at this stage. You have been hyping up your product for weeks, you don’t want word of problems to get out. But beyond that, it is a chance to thank people for saying good things, as well as offer the curious a chance to try your product themselves (this is a great time to offer influencers free access).

Give them something unexpected

I knew a founder who had created fifty small gift baskets. After the launch he took the first fifty sign-ups and sent them a basket as a thank you. It didn’t cost that much, was full of promotional material and it got a fair bit of buzz on social media because the first twenty of those adopters had been individually invited influencers. No one expected the baskets so they had a real impact.

Have you ever launched a digital product? Share your experience in the comments!

Featured image source: Pixabay

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Making Money

5 Ways to Improve Your Print-On-Demand T-Shirt Design



As bloggers and content creators, we all have likely seen the massive growth in the world of online t-shirts, printing them, and also making some money in the process. It doesn’t matter if you are an affiliate marketer, a brand, or even someone who is considering the idea of printing and selling tshirts online, it’s a great business and market to be in.

However, just because you have an idea or concept of a few shirt designs, it most likely won’t be a straight line to success. Starting a business online is tough and more often than not, it’s harder than you thought it would be, right? There’s so much competition out there that you really have to stand out to get those sales.

You need to make sure that you have a top-notch product. Your t-shirt designs can’t be just okay, they have to be amazing. But how can you make people go “Wow!”?

#1 Know who your target audience is

You are an artist, but now you are running a business, and therefore you have to think as an entrepreneur.

Your first impulse probably is to create t-shirts that appeal to the broadest possible audience. That’s a big mistake. Things that are supposed to appeal to everyone usually appeal to no one.

That’s why it’s important to clearly define your target audience. What is their gender, age, and interests? What kind of a person would buy your T-shirt? How can you reach them? Knowing all these things is the key to selling a lot of t-shirts.

#2 Explore each t-shirt concept in-depth

Creating t-shirts that sell well is hard work. You might be tempted to just quickly sketch something, put it on your website, and call it a day. That is not the right way to approach it if you want to actually make money with this.

First, brainstorm potential t-shirt concepts, and write them all down. Then go through the list with your ideal customer in mind. Remember, you are not creating t-shirts for yourself, you are creating t-shirts for your customers, so you have to always ask: “Would my ideal customer like this?”

Then, once you narrow down to concepts that you think your ideal customer would like, start sketching them out. Don’t put too much thought into the first drafts, just get them out on paper or on the computer screen. Once that’s done, take a break, or even better, sleep on it.

Then, come back to your sketches with fresh eyes, and try to refine them. Are the colors right? What should you add and what should you remove? Is there a way to improve your concept? Don’t be half-hearted about this. Really push yourself to create the best t-shirt designs that you can. Treat it like art.

#3 Get feedback on your t-shirt concepts

You might guess what your customers want, but that is all that is, guesswork. In order to know for sure you must go to them and ask them what they think. You need to validate your concepts before you start selling the t-shirts.

So go where your customers hang out, show them your t-shirt concepts, and ask them what they think. Which one do they like the most? Which one do they like the least? Why? Really listen to their feedback. Only sell those t-shirts that got approval of your customers.

Keep in mind that it’s very important to collect the feedback from your customers, not just from friends and family. I know, you love your grandma, but her opinion on your black metal t-shirts is useless, unless she’s a metalhead herself. So don’t be shy, go out there, and ask questions. This will help you make t-shirts that people love!

#4 Follow the latest trends

T-shirts are often impulse buys. This means that they have to catch someone’s attention and be relevant to them somehow. The easiest way to do that is to ride a trend.

So observe your customers. What is popular among them right now? For example, if you are targeting atheists, then t-shirts with Christopher Hitchens’ quotes will never go out of fashion. However, at the moment Rick and Morty is a show that’s popular among them, so you can capitalize on that by creating some Rick and Morty t-shirts. Always keep your eyes open for the latest trends among your customers.

Keep in mind that trends fade away quickly, and if you are too late, it will be a waste of your resources. So once you have noticed a trend, act fast, and get few designs out there asap.

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

#5 Use a reliable print-on-demand service

There are a lot of print-on-demand services out there. However, not all of them are made equal, and some of them are better than others.

I recommend you to go with reputable companies like Printify that provide best print on demand services at reasonable prices.

Do your research on this, and find an option that works for you, because going with the wrong service might lead to low quality t-shirts which will cripple your business.

How to Create and Sell Your Own TShirts Online

Selling print-on-demand t-shirts is not as easy as it looks. You can’t just quickly sketch something out, slap it on your website, and expect the sales to roll in. It takes a lot of effort to get a business off the ground.

So be willing to put in the work. Take time to understand your customers, develop winning concepts, and market your t-shirts. Only then you can expect to make decent money.

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