Affiliate Business Advisors Saturday, August 12, 2017
Being in business for 10 years I've learned a lot, had some successes and more than a few failures.
Kicking myself for those?
Not for a minute.
Were it not for a particular 'mistake' or 'failure' at precisely the 'wrong' time, I'd not have ended up just where I am now, pretty well, successful, and grateful for every moment.
This is true not only in business but in life. How many broken roads led you....
But aside from being able to appreciate the ups and downs in LIFE, this post will focus on our business.
(I just wanted to remind you what is really important :-).
The following 10 triggers are THE most overlooked business basics that even the best may have been guilty of skimming over in their early years in business.
And had anyone (especially me) had it to do over, THESE are mistakes I’d just as soon have avoided….
If all of these items consistently stay in your focus as part of your vision and goals, you will ensure your stable and sustainable future.
After this list, I'm going to add the Don'ts: The 5 Pitfalls that Can Ruin Your Business ... so read on...
1. DEFINE YOUR NICHE. Before you get going in building ANY website, you must decide which niche you will target. Maybe you already know what niche you plan on targeting,
.....but have you researched it?
Have you done your competitive analysis and tried to get to know your audience (not just your own thoughts on it), and most importantly, what problems will you solve for people in that niche:
Do some research, become friends with the like of Google, Bing, Ask.com, and Facebook. See who comes up in the ‘top 10’.
Visit several top pages and blogs in the niche, and look at what they are posting.
Determine from the problems common to your niche (ones you can help people solve) what types of products you might offer.
This will help you to find affiliate networks or drop shippers that provide those products (I do not recommend creating your own product if you are new to business).
And once you know what your price points will be, you'll have a better idea of whether your advertising dollars will yield a positive ROI.
And do not worry if the niche seems to you that a niche may be oversaturated.
That is a myth and completely depends on not only the products and platforms on which they are being advertised and sold, but on the market message match.
What does matter is whether are they passionate about it and whether they spend money.
What matters even more is that you get to KNOW and understand your market, AND your competition.
Many miss the mark not only in knowing your market demographics and avatar, but not knowing your competition, is a business killer.
You have to know that well enough to be connecting with that avatar on a one to one level in your marketing message.
2. Perserverence, Patience and Diligence. This is where commitment comes in.
You should set yourself up for realistic expectations, and to be fair, only a small percentage of people truly make it big online and I'll tell you why after this in the Don'ts list.
You're going to have to do some work.
A lot of it.
Expect and know that you will have to become a sudent of the industry.
Huge success does not happen overnight, or at least there is little chance it will unless you follow these guidelines to the letter, and manage to avoid the pitfalls listed in the fail points listed in the Don'ts section.
But reasonable success can!
Really, you can say I want to make $1M this year, yeah who doesn't!?
But what do you want? What do you need?
Start with a realistic number. For me I will happily (now starting all over from scratch) take $2000 a month extra income!
But doing the work, learning the industry of marketing, especially digital marketing, is a wild and fun ride. If you don't already know what I mean, just tighten your seatbelt.
If you can stay focused and know what is just a distraction, you'll do well.
You may have the tools to put up websites and run automated email, ad and social campaigns, but unless you can connect with your target market and convert your traffic, you will spin your wheels.
But if you willingly accept a learning curve, not only for the technical and tactical aspects of digital marketing, but on the age old copywriting and creative aspects and effective ways of communicating, you can only fail by giving up. Some of it is an art, all of it can be learned.
Another key aspect to determine is your business model.
Whether you are doing affiliate sales, a drop ship business, or selling your own product, the difference is huge for someone new to digital marketing and product sales.
That is why I recommend affiliate marketing as the best internet home business to start.
Selling other people's products alleviates the branding, warehousing, shipping and customer service that comes with delivering your own products.
3. Create an Operating Budget. Decide what you're willing to provide your busness in terms of both time and money.
You will need to realize some one time and recurring costs. If you are short on money believe me, it really truly does not take much cash as long as you have some time to devote.
We all hear how you can make money with no investment, time or effort but I'm here to tell you that's the second biggest myth in this industry.
Putting the pieces together of a digital marketing campaign outside of a turn-key system may cost as much as $300-$500 monthly.
For example, typical auto-responder and hosting plan will be minimally $30 per month and for up to 10,000 subscribers as much as $150 and more per month.
Without careful planning you can quickly end up on a very slippery slope of bright shiny objects, up sells, side sells and down sells and emails.
The sheer number of tools and logins with integrations that don't exist or play well with others, and customer support nightmares becomes overwhelming as well.
As for what the minimum anyone having financial difficulties could get started and have all the tools and training they would EVER need, $29 a month will do all of that (Yes that is my affiliate link and I would get a small commission for any sign up via that link, so that you so much in advance for helping me stay in business!)
This system avoids many headaches associated with a Wordpress based sites for online shops and blogs, and integrating them with auto-responders and app builders. It's truly a one-stop-shop and offers a was to reduce monthly expenses, and even has a residual income plan via their resellers license.
4. Determine your Topics.
Now that you've decided on who your target audience is, and have taken the time to get to know them and their pain points, you likely have also thought about what you have to offer that may help.
Information is empowering, and any content engine should empower the reader whether by inspirational, educational, or entertaining reading, listening and watching.
Decide the topics you'll be providing information about, limiting to just 3 or 4. This becomes the structure of your website and will become the baseline guidance for your category definitions, menu structure, and keyword research.
5. Determine your main keywords.
Pick at least 3 keywords (search terms), and one in particular that will be your base keywords around which the rest for your other blog posts and pages will be related.
This is all in the building of a foundation that will put you in good graces with the likes of Google and Facebook when it comes to relevancy.
Be sure you have a way of ensuring your website gives you the ability to control the META tags or at least allow for input of keywords, descriptions and title tags.
6. Get a domain name and create a website if you haven't already done so.
This is the starting point for your digital real estate foundation.
Will you have other niche websites in the future under the same company? If so they may not be the same or even necessarily related.
Think about how your site and its categories will be structured. The simpler the design the better.
If possible, choose a domain name that either contains or is the most closely related to your main keyword(s).
However, it is no longer as favored as it used to be to have a domain and keyword match, as it was one of Google's updates some time ago after it was hacked by aggressive marketers.
Providing value and cultivating your OWN following and list is essential to avoid dependence on the likes of Google and Facebook's algorithm changes.
7. Decide on a category layout for your website. These categories will correlate with your main keywords.
Yet more foundational building blocks not only for your website’s layout and content organization, but for its future SEO and page rank.
You want all the free traffic you can get, right? Keywords and layout having driven your site's organization goes a long way in the eyes of the likes of Google.
8. Build a list. No better time to plant a tree than right now!
Trust me, it's as valuable as anything if you do it NOW and never stop.
Be sure you have a verified domain to use for your 'From' email so that your emails don't end up in spam or blocked by the recipients' providers.
I regretted having built up a couple of lists with great rapport for a while, then my job became too demanding and I had to let my part time marketing slide...
After neglecting the blogs, social accounts and lists for so long, I had to start all over.
But once you have set out to build a list, you have to build a relationship with the PEOPLE who are on that list.
They are your audience. Engage.
9. Build Know Like and Trust. Don't just go for the paid advertising to cold audiences or you may end up looking like that sleazy salesman at the door while it's being slammed in your face.
Clicking away is so much easier than slamming doors.
You'll do this through any number of methods including blogging, Facebook groups and managing your own page(s).
RESPOND to comments, messages and emails. Especially once you branch out into multiple social accounts you may need to allocate some time for this on a daily basis.
But your attention to anything replied in your list emails is ESSENTIAL. Always reply and make it personal! Even if you have to outsource this task. Your list is your equity!
10. Create goals and plan. This cannot be stressed enough. From financial goals and time planning you can determine how best to approach your goals with tactical decisions.
You may not have any advertising dollars to invest, but you might have time.
You may have scant minutes to spare but have cash flow for ad spend.
Great if you have both, but that's not true for many.
Whatever your time and monetary resources you need to figure out just EXACTLY what you are going to do.
It's sgoing to be broad at first and as you boil it down to actionable steps, you will realize what you REALLY have the time for or can afford.
Every step of the marketing funnel takes a bit of time, tweaking and testing to get working.
Realize your time should be spent very wisely and you'll need to maintain strict focus and time management skill to stick to your schedule and budget.
Do NOT QUIT, give up, or move on to the next thing unless you've suceeded or realized you have to move on to the next venture.
And without further adue, let's not forget to go over a few things you do NOT want to do, before you dig into creating your business plan!
1. Being reactive instead of proactive. This goes back to planning your course of action.
Because especially in the digital age, you WILL be tempted to react.
There are going to be techncal issues. Setting yourself up for expecting those makes them tremendously better to deal with.
There will be systems that don't want to integrate, customer support that gets frustrating, shipping or sales channels that have issues, a banking error that requires your immediate attention, you name it.
If possible, save problems for later when your creative energies have begun to wane, or deal with the most critical aspect of the issue and follow up later.
Stay focused on your plan and adjust.
2. Having a negative outlook on life, and or a negative relationship with money or people.
You cannot run a business without first being able to communicate successfully.
Business is BUILT upon and thrives on relationships. If you cannot manage those, your business will ultimately fail and any success will evaporate.
3. Giving up when a tactic does not work. You have no idea how many of these challenges or perceived 'failures' you might have to encounter, but you only fail when you quit.
Because you try something without success, either adjust the tactic, test, retest and then re-plan. Success comes only to those that persist.
4. Being slave to email and chat. Turn OFF all interupt streams. Your day is about your PLAN, not the interrupts. Save those for an hour early and then later in the day.
Train yourself to stop checking your email every 5 minutes!
It's best to check your day's plan first, then possibly BREEZE in and out of the email box for anything CRITICAL, and move on.
Then plan for about an hour after noon, maybe even during lunch, where you can churn through some emails.
Maybe one more check at the end of the night as well. But do NOT let it run your day, else you're fighting a losing battle.
5. Listening to negative comments from others. Most people actually don't grasp the idea of what it takes to actually BE an entrepreur.
As a society we're taught to be worker bees, not leaders in most cases (at least until higher education normally, or when exposed to a work environment that nurtures personal growth some way or another).
So to be an entrepreneur takes all KINDS of personal attributes not common to most people. I am not even going to put this into words here but ask for your thoughts instead.
When have you realized (or have you?) that you can't let those negative non-supportive thoughts of others deter you from your enthusasm and drive to build your business?
Have you thought about what are your best entrepreneurial traits?
I'd love to hear from you! I will reply to all feedback.
If you have enjoyed this post, please link to it, share it, comment and link, and I thank you in advance!
To your Sustainable Success!
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