Are You An Affiliate Marketer? Get The Affiliate Theme Now!

If you set up new affiliate sites often, then you’ll know what a pain it can be to constantly create new designs. That’s where the aptly named Affiliate Theme from Unique Blog Designs come in.

The guys who have created my new design (coming very soon!), particularly Nate Whitehill have done a sterling job coming up with a solution to that problem. In fact it’s more like a solution+.

For a general brief overviews, take a look at the Affiliate Theme promotional video below.

Nate kindly gave me the theme to test, and I have to say it’s one of the most powerful WordPress themes out there, in fact, it’s one of the most powerful affiliate products full stop.

Of course, you have to have to have affiliate products to promote, and the requirement to set up different sites on a regular basis.

I took the theme for a test drive, and recorded it using my favorite free screencast tool, Jing, take a quick look at the video below.

You may need to turn your volume up and also depending on the size of your screen, scroll down a little to see the pause button and progress bar.

As you can see there are a huge number of options, you’re able to change the background image (from pre-made templates) and color, font colors via a neat color picker (that would be a great addition to Thesis), page layout, call to action buttons, footer code and much more.

There are three packages that you can see on the Get Affiliate Theme page, ranging from $97 for single use; $147 for multi-use, free lifetime upgrades, 10 bonus header graphics; through to the Super Affiliate package for $197 with 30 bonus header graphics, and a higher affiliate payout for the theme. Personally I would have liked to see free lifetime upgrades on the single-use package too, but the main users will be people using this on multiple sites – in fact the main benefit is from being able to use this on multiple sites because of the wide range of different sites you can make from the same theme.

As a great bonus there are video tutorials, a knowledge base, a support forum, and Affiliate Interviews with top affiliate marketers such as Yaro Starak, Ryan Wade, Zac Johnson, John Chow, Jonathan Volk and Jim Kukral.

Overall the theme fulfills a certain, growing need. That is for an easy, fast way to get affiliate sites setup. Using WordPress as the base means it’s free for everyone, so with hosting, a domain and this theme, all you need is the products and you’re halfway there. The big half remaining is adding content, driving traffic and making sales. But at least the first half was easy 🙂

Affiliate Theme

How Do You Measure Your Blog's Success?

A while ago I asked a small number of clients about how they measure their blogs success (and a few other things). Now with a much bigger audience I would like to ask the questions again. The 3 minute survey can be completed here and I would greatly appreciate a few moments of your time.

question_box

The questions on my survey are:

1. What are top two frustrations with blogging?
2. Do you have enough time to check your blog stats (e.g Google Analytics) on a monthly basis?
3. Do you measure how your blog is performing on a monthly basis?
4. If so, how long do you spend monthly checking you analytics? If you check more often than once a month, please just give a rough monthly total estimate.
5. What are the top three metrics/measures that you use to measure your blogs success with?
6. What other ways do you measure how you blog is performing each month that you haven’t mentioned above? For example, pageviews, unique visitors, comments or emails received, advertising revenue and so on.

If you have a few minutes please take my short survey. Thanks in advance!

Why I Finally Paid For A WordPress Plugin

I’ve been using the free version of Max Banner Ads on various client sites for a while, and quite frankly it’s brilliant.

The WordPress community spend a lot of time and effort making free plugins, and I often donate to those I find most useful (and encourage you to do the same), however there are also many I would happily pay for, and Max Banner Ads is one of them, from Pawan over at MaxBlogPress.

So what’s good about it?

Pretty much everything! It makes adding ads to your site a breeze for a non-techie, though of course there is a learning curve. The more I use it the more I like it. You can set up zones – areas in your site to have advertising – and these can be within posts, in the sidebar (it can create a widget for you), above the first post, and below the last post automatically. If you want to place it elsewhere it will give you the template tag code for adding to your theme.

– Flexible layout options are available plus custom css if you need it, but there is no need to mess with code or template files if you don’t want to.

– It will automatically rotate any number of banners, say if you want to show four 125×125 ads in your sidebar, but have six ads – no problem, it will just show 4 if you want it to.

mba1

The site has an excellent video (linked above), well worth 6 minutes of your time, showing how in around 14 minutes you can have all the advertising on your site sorted out and managed through the WordPress dashboard.

– For your own ads it will track impressions and clicks therefore giving you a Click Through Rate (CTR) for each ad.

– If you get given some ad code you can even paste it into a box and it will automatically take out the relevant image URL and the hyperlink for you – how good is that?

The free version is fully functional, the paid version ($47) simply removes the Powered by Max Banner Ads link if you want to. You can also leave it there, with an affiliate link in to promote it. So I finally bought a premium plugin and paid for this because I use it so much and think it’s worth paying for. You can also use it on as many of your personal sites as you like, I have it on two.

So what’s bad about it?

There are obviously some things the plugin doesn’t do:

– Manage payments for you. This requires a different plugin (a paid for one), or a system like OpenX. For most bloggers though direct sales are a small part of what they do, most are affiliate ads or ad server code that can be handled by this plugin.

– Not rotate ads. Sometimes it would be nice not to rotate a group of ads and just keep the same one or two in the same position. To get around this you can just create two (or more) zones each with one ad in, and then put the zones next to each other using the code provided.

– Not all locations can be managed by this plugin. Sometimes template changes are necessary to get adverts in the right location, but the options that do come with the plugin are very impressive and powerful. And for those times you do need to add code to the template it gives you the code to add. Excellent.

mba1

I recommend anyone starting out who would like to manage some adverts themselves to take a look at the free version, it really is an excellent system. I don’t even have graphical adverts on this site, but I’ve found it invaluable on others, and worth paying for even if it didn’t remove the Powered By link. Have you used it? Or something else? Any thoughts?

More Free Videos

One thing I like about internet product launches is the quality of the free information you can receive. With the launches becoming more advanced and competitive, the “free-line” is moving constantly with higher quality information being released. Become A Blogger Premium is no different with some “X-factor” videos being released.

Take a look at their new video below, it is an elaboration of one of the X-Factor strategies inside Yaro and Gideon’s report – The Roadmap To Become A Blogger, which has already been downloaded 8,789 times in the last week!

It looks at a little-known feature of the social media giant Facebook, and shows you how to use it to your advantage and uncover multiple exploitable niche areas. You don’t need to enter your details or anything to watch it, simply take a look.

As usual, I’m an affiliate of Yaro and Gideon, so I make some money if you sign up for their course. However I do not offer anything to sweeten the deal – an incentive (or bribe!) – like lots of other internet marketers do. Sure it increases sales but I would rather you thought this course would be useful to you and help you in your blogging (and financial) goals, rather than because someone was offering a bonus and it only might be of interest. Please note the price of the course goes up from $27/month to $47/month and removal of fast action bonuses on December 11th.

Roadmap Report Audio

Unusually a second update this week from me, so I’ll keep it short. Gideon Shalwick from Become A Blogger has just released the audio version of their Roadmap To Become A Blogger.

The report that I wrote about on Monday has already been downloaded 6,746 times! That’s an impressive number in less than two days, so people must really be loving the information inside it.

I know you’re busy, so if you haven’t downloaded it, you can simply grab both The Roadmap To Become A Blogger report, as well as it’s companion audio here.

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get immediate access to both the report, as well as the audio file. If you’ve already signed up for the report, Gideon will have sent you a link to the audio file, so, no need to sign up twice. Become a Blogger Premium launches tomorrow, December 4th.

Click Here to Watch the FREE Blogging Video Tutorials

Become A Blogger Gets Even Better

Become A Blogger is a great video site that shows how to become a blogger using videos and simple instructions (previously I’ve mentioned it here). Created by Yaro Starak and Gideon Shalwick their videos have been downloaded over 60,000 times.

I refer a lot of my clients to the site and is the reason I don’t have any instruction videos myself – it is difficult to get better than this! However Yaro and Gideon, both of who I have the pleasure of knowing, are going one step further and launching Become A Blogger Premium on December 4th. It’s a six month course and is only $27 per month in the first week. There are no confusing upsells, downsells or one-time offers that usually plague these sort of launches. A straight plain offer.

To promote it, they have released a FREE blogging roadmap report that goes live today. It describes and teaches you about the 5 milestones you must reach to become a successful blogger, and I’ve read a sneak preview. If you think you’ll have read/heard it all before you couldn’t be more wrong. I’ve read a LOT of free (and paid-for) blogging reports, courses and information, and this report had at least 3 “new-to-me” actions that I went and did immediately, taking less than 15 minutes. For most there will be several “that’s a great idea” moments, and even some “that’s brilliant!” – and all for free!

Click Here to Watch the FREE Blogging Video Tutorials

I’ll write with more information before the launch, in the meantime, grab the report and watch the free videos if you feel you will learn something. This will give you an idea to how the course will look and feel if you did decide to go ahead and take it. Any questions, as always, please let me know.

Blog Mastermind Re-Opens Its Doors

As I previously mentioned it was coming you should have expected it, but today Blog Mastermind re-opens it’s doors.

In addition to the previous excellent 32 minute Conversion Blogging video that takes you inside his Internet business, Yaro Starak has just released two further videos called How I Make Money Blogging (22 minutes) and Show Me The Money (17 minutes).

Even if you’re not planning on joining, the two Conversion Blogging and How To Make Money Blogging free videos are really worth watching to give you insight into how a blog can become a major source of income for you. There is very little that Yaro doesn’t share with you about his journey and how he makes money online, so from just watching these videos you can learn a lot about what might work best for you. The Show Me The Money video is just proof of how Yaro earns his money, so if you need convincing, take a look.

How To Make Money Blogging Show Me The Money
Conversion Blogging

As most of you know, I am a graduate of Blog Mastermind myself, and that is why I have faith in it and why I promote it. It is the only blogging course I promote, so please let me know any questions you have about it and I would be happy to try to answer them for you.

Free Guide To Twitter

A free “geek’s Guide To Promoting Yourself and Your Online Business in 140 Characters or Less with Twitter” is now available for free from Geekpreneur. For those new to Twitter and it’s benefits then it’s a great guide.

Free Twitter ebook

The book is split into four main sections:
1. Why You Need To Join Twitter Right Now
2. How To Use Twitter As A Mini Blog
3. Using Twitter To Enhance Your Online Business
4. Twitter Tools

The book is 48 (short, fat) pages long, with the first section explaining neatly what Twitter is. It has some quick tips on getting your page set up, finding people to follow, and more importantly, getting people to follow you.

The second section gives you more tips and advice on writing tweets (your messages on Twitter are called tweets), while the third part has some good solid advice on building your business and brand through Twitter. Finally the book talks about all the (free) Twitter tools out there that can make posting tweets easier, or help you automatically add blog posts.

Personally, I wouldn’t think too long and hard about, just join and follow me and I’ll be your first follower back :). If you like Twitter then I’m also on Plurk if you want to give this Twitter competitor a try.

Five Tips To Improve Your Conversion

As an internet professional I read, and watch, a lot of information online about websites and how to improve them. Here are five quick tips I learned this week about improving the conversion of your website, blog, ecommerce site, newsletter or squeeze page:

1. Use the word “your”. Treating visitors as if they’re people (even friends), and your site is all about them can increase your sign-up or conversion rates.

2. Add video, video and more video. Something I don’t do enough of myself, but it works. Whether it’s a video loading/squeeze page to get newsletter signups, a demo of your company’s services, or even a silent, short video of the product you’re selling, the evidence is that it could be phenomenal for your conversion rate. Don’t believe me? Watch this video on the subject.

3. A flashing arrow can help. Yes, really. I’m against flashing graphics in a lot of situations (and especially more than one on a page), but apparently this can really help. Look, isn’t it nice?

4. Add a Call Me button, usually this is done with Skype, and is very easy to do. Being able to contact someone easily, especially before purchasing something.

5. Tell them what your site is about and how it can help them. Very obvious I know, but sometimes your company name may have nothing to do with what you provide. Don’t leave it to someone to work out for themselves, let them know immediately.

Quick and easy isn’t it?