What does it take to make an awesome blog? Why are some better than others? In the end it all comes down to the quality of content and the message you are delivering. Blogs are all about creating trust and a reliable brand name that people come back to.
If you were to tell me six years ago that blogging would change my life and the way I do business online, I would be quite excited! That’s the thing about blogging… no matter what niche are focus you are going after, you are opening yourself to a whole new audience and world of opportunities.
Just from a blogging perspective, when you think about how many affiliate focused, internet marketing, social media and “blogging” blogs that are out there, it’s definitely quite overwhelming. What’s amazing and cool about the blogging space is that so many people are sharing really great information for free, which means there is really no need for anyone to buy a paid course or product if you actually just know where to look… but that is half the problem!
With so many blogs to choose from how are you supposed to know which are best. I’ve spent a good amount of time compiling some of the great “Top Marketing Blogs” lists from trusted web sites and have shared them all with you below. There are quite a few of them, so be sure to weed through the list and bookmark and subscribe to your favorites!
Affiliate Blog News Feeds
Before we jump into the top lists, I wanted to point out one of my favorite methods for keeping up with the latest news from affiliate marketing blogs, which is through affiliate news feed sites. I’ve showcased many of these sites on the blog already, but here is a recap of the best ones out right now -Â AffPosts.com, AffBuzz.com and AffDaily.com.
In addition to these news feed sites there is still a whole world of other “blogging” and “marketing blogs” out there that are of high quality. Below we will start the recommended “top blogging lists” which cover over 1,000+ individuals marketing based blogs!
UnBounce Top 75 Marketing Blogs
Coming up with a massive and quality list of recommended blogs is not easy, but UnBounce has done one of the best jobs out there. Their list has 75 of the top blogs out there and they break them down into categories such as “Blogging”, “Analytics”, “Content & Copywriting” and anything else you can think of. In addition to breaking the sites down into categories they’ve also written a nice short description for each. This is a must read list that was put together by Kristi Hines!
SocialMediaExaminer’s Top Social Media Blogs
When Social Media Examiner comes out with their lists of top ranked sites they definitely put a lot of work and research behind their recommendations. In their 2013 “Top Social Media Blogs” they had over 750 different nominations and broke it down to only 10. Social Fresh, Boom Social, Jeff Bullas, Danny Brown and Heidi Cohen were the top 5 recommended blogs on the list.
ProBlogger’s 15 Bloggers to Watch in 2013
It’s always good to see when big name sites consistently update their recommended blogging lists year after year and come up with reader’s choice list as well. ProBlogger.net has done a good job with their list of recommended blogs is always a good one to look out for.Â One of the names in the affiliate marketing space on the list is Tom Ewer from Leaving Work Behind, who actually created his own Top 100 Blogs List that propelled his site to quick success.
Affiliate Summit Top 25 Blogs of 2012
Though the list hasn’t been updated for 2013, the Affiliate Summit list of Top 25 Blogs for 2012 still has a great collection of resources. What’s also great about this list is that nearly all of the sites listed are attendees of Affiliate Summit events, which means the site owners are quite accessible and very familiar with the space. I’m happy to say that I’m featured among that list of Top 25 blogs which also includesÂ AM Navigator, Dukeo, Finch, iPyxel, Luke PeerFly, John Chow, ShoeMoney and many others.
The Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2012
Another articles that provides a lot of value and resources is the Evan Carmichael list of Top 50 Marketing Blogs to Watch in 2012. One of the big reasons why these lists don’t seem to be updated on a yearly basis from many blogs is that they take so much time to put together and many of the blogs listed would be repeated year after year.Â A few of the popular names on this list include Search Engine Land, Seth Godin’s Blog, TrendHunter, Problogger, Get Rich Slowly, Marketing Pilgrim and others.
Marketo Big List of B3B Marketing Blogs
The Marketo “Big List of B3B Marketing Blogs” is an older one from 2007 but it’s a massive list of over 300 blogs that includes some blogs that were started all the way back in 2002. Even though the list is a few years old it’s still a massive resource and they have a nice table setup that makes it easy to browse through the list and spot any names that you might not already be familiar with.
AdAge Power 150 List
One of the most well known and used metrics for measuring the top marketing blogs on the internet was theÂ AdAge Power 150.Another list that I am proud to say this blog is featured on, but at the same time I’m sad to say that the list is no longer being updated. As of July 2013 the Power 150 stopped updating their stats and the current ranking of sites on the list forever stand where they are at. The Power 150 list was great because it used not ony the search rankings and branding of sites, but also metrics such as Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Alexa, Yahoo and Todd Points to come up with their scores for ranking sites on their list.
Technorati Top 100 Blogs
One of the most comprehensive lists which is updated daily is the Technorati Top 100 List, which is based off their Technorati Authority Ranking system. Many of the names on the list you will already be familiar with, but what I like about Technorati is that they also provide Top 100 lists for smaller categories such asÂ Entertainment, Celebrity, Living, Politics, Gadgets and much more. It’s also cool to check out their list and see which sites are moving up and down on the list on a daily basis.
BuyerZone Best of Best Blogs
The BuyerZone list of Best BlogsÂ highlights some of the best blogs across the internet and separates them into different categories such as “Business Branding Blogs”, “Best Technology Blogs” and “Entrepreneurial Blogs” to name a few. This is a great resource for finding business blogs that don’t appear on many of the other lists are they are not technically affiliate or marketing related blogs.
The 2013 Inc. 5000 List
Last but not leads, while this list may not be targeted towards blogging, it still is certainly important. The Inc. 5000 list is full of great companies that you can find a lot of valuable information on such as how many employees they have, where they are located and what their business and annual revenue numbers are. This is a great way to find some new companies that might be under the radar and also to locate their company and marketing blogs.
As you can see, this is quite the list of resources. Not counting the Inc. 5000 list, there is well over 1,000+ different affiliate marketing, social media and make money online blogs for you to benefit from. Please be sure to share this list around and help others discover all of the amazing content that is out there.
Thwart the Thieves: How to Protect Your Company Data from Hackers
Running an online business where you are dealing with customer data and private information can be scary. It doesn’t matter if you are a sole affiliate marketer or a huge 500+ person company, a data hack or leak can happen at any time. Even scarier than the initial leak itself, is that if hackers find a way to access private company data, they may be able to bring down your business. If you’re worried about this potential threat, you might want to learn how you can protect yourself.
Luckily, there are specific tactics you can put into place to shield your company data from hackers.
Keep reading and you’ll learn what it takes to keep your data safe. When you’re done, you’ll understand how you can lower the odds of a hacker stealing precious company data.
Enable 2-Factor Authentication
2-Factor authentication means that a password is not the only thing a person needs to access a certain ‘account.’
This is helpful because if someone accidentally exposes their password, their data is still going to be safe.
Most of the time, 2-factor authentication means you need an authentication code whenever you want to login to a specific account. Or, you’ll need to login to an app, that is constantly generating new authentication codes.
When you sign up to something like this, you’re also given some ‘backup codes.’ These codes are ‘hard-copy’ codes you can use should you lose your phone. You can write down these codes on a piece of paper and put that paper somewhere safe. You’ll then have a way to login to your account even if you don’t have your phone nearby.
There’s also the option of using a ‘key.’
This method is growing in popularity because it’s a lot more secure than using a message sent to your phone. With this option, you buy a special USB key. You then need to insert the key into your computer before you can log in to your account.
If you want to keep things as secure as possible, security keys can be the best option. Just make sure you buy your keys from a reputable source.
Be sure to enable 2-factor authentication for all your digital business systems.
Teach Employees How to Keep Data Safe
Data breaches often happen due to human error. If you can train your staff on potential scenarios that might lead to a data breach, you can reduce the odds of an issue related to human error.
One thing you need to teach employees is the importance of verifying URLs before they enter information.
For instance, there are a lot of hackers that will use a method which involves creating a duplicate web page. When people reach this duplicate webpage, they’ll think it’s the original version. Following this, they’ll enter in their login information. The hacker will then have this login information and they can then use it to access your data.
It’s worth noting that using methods like 2-factor authentication can help reduce the odds of this becoming an issue. After all, even if someone has access to the password, they’ll still need the authentication code/security key to gain access to your systems.
Another thing you should teach employees is to be wary of how they carry/transport data.
You should also let them know that they’re not allowed to store data on their USB sticks. USB sticks are convenient, but they’re also an easy way to lose company data.
The alternative is to store everything on a cloud server. This will help prevent a scenario, wherein an employee accidentally leaves their USB lying around and someone then steals You should also tell employees that they should always make sure there is a password on their computer.
Make Use of Business Specific Cloud Services
If you’re using a cloud service, use one that’s designed specifically for business. Such a service can often provide a lot more security, than a normal cloud offering.
You’ll find certain options provide you with a lot of insight into who has access to certain files and folders. Using the administrator login, you can control who has access.
This is especially helpful if someone loses their laptop.
You can just log in to the dashboard and make it so that the computer in question no longer has access to the files. If someone steals the laptop, they’ll be unable to access the data and exploit it. If you’d like to know how access rights work, check out this post for more info.
Such services also provide you with logs.
This can be helpful if you’re trying to spot unusual data access patterns. If you notice a login from an unusual location, it could be the sign of someone trying to hack your system. You can shut down this login as soon as you’re aware of it.
Hire People to Check Your Systems
There’s also the option of hiring people known as ‘white hat’ hackers. Such individuals will look for ways to hack your systems and gain access to your data. These people can let you know what vulnerabilities exist in your system and how you should fix such issues.
According to HeimdalSecurity, the following cyber attacks and threats are the biggest risks to data companies of all sizes:
- Getting their info compromised in massive data leaks
- Smartphones shipping with malware and malicious apps
- Ransomware attacks on cloud services
- Cryptojacking that affects their hardware
- Financial losses and data compromise due to cryptocurrency trading
- Scams with advanced social engineering tactics
- IoT devices like smart locks or smart assistants being hacked
This preemptive approach gives you the chance to address issues before they’re exploited in a way that can damage your business. Good white hat hackers can be expensive. But you need to compare this cost to what you might expect you lose if someone hacks your company data.
Do You Know How to Protect Company Data?
There’s really no way to escape the fact that your company will have sensitive data stored on electronic devices. This can be a problem because people who are looking to exploit your data can hack these devices.
In this post, we’ve reviewed how you can protect your company data from hackers. You need to focus on training your employees so that the odds of human error are low. You also want to make use of things like 2-factor authentication.
If you want to keep your data really secure, consider hiring some white hat hackers. They’ll be able to take a look at your setup and can provide qualified advice on how you can make things better.
No matter what type of business or brand you are running online, it’s extremely important to protect your own, and your customer data. This is also true for any bloggers and affiliate marketers that might want to further protect their ad campaigns, company marketing plans, and business models.
Best Strategies to Get More Likes on Your Instagram Photos
Instagram has faced significant growth in terms of popularity in recent years. With so many ways to promote a business, it’s no surprise that it gained so much love and attention by hundreds of millions of users around the world.
For businesses and brands on the social platform, interacting with your customers is much easier, and you can also attract them through stories and make them think you’re a fun business. However, it’s not as simple as just creating an Instagram profile and going live with whatever random photos you like. There is a wide range of top strategies and working methods to choose from, when it comes to Instagram growth, reach, and success.
One of the biggest concerns for businesses and brands on Instagram is how to get more likes on your most recent photos and image upload. At the same time, it’s also important to have a social media and outreach strategy in place, and knowing how to get more followers on Instagram.
To help with all of this, here are some ideas and strategies to boost that like count.
It’s no surprise that people like consistency and habits. If they don’t know when you’re going to post, they will get tired of waiting and distance themselves. Therefore, decide on how much you’re going to post weekly, or even daily. For instance, you could post 3 pictures each week, and keep it like that. However, don’t post less than once a week because people will forget about you.
This goes two ways: you can use local hashtags as well as popular ones. Local hashtags can help you find customers that are near you. You can look for popular accounts and see what hashtags they are using to get followers.
On the other hand, popular hashtags are helpful when looking to attract a larger group of followers. They help your photos get more attention and thus more likes.
Post Good Quality Pictures
Although you don’t need to have the most professional looking photos ever, you can’t have anything that’s blurry and makes it hard to see what’s there. It’s essential to make sure that you have good lighting and everything is focused.
Some people find videos more engaging compared to pictures and are more likely to be interested in them. Posting videos of an upcoming new product or just product information can be more exciting compared to a picture.
Tip: Ensure your video doesn’t rely on audio. Usually, people watch videos when browsing their feed, and the audio is muted.
Post at High Traffic Times
This one requires a bit of time, as you need to find out more about your audience. If your followers are in other time zones, you should post more content during the right times, so they will see your pictures or videos.
Interact with Your Audience
It’s important to have a good relationship with your clients so they will love your page even more. Moreover, other people will notice that and become potential customers when they see you value your audience.
An Instagram bot could increase your followers. It comes with auto likes, follows and posts and earns you organic followers.
However, as with all bots, you will want to be careful with how fast you follow and unfollow other users. Triggering any spam or automated alerts to Instagram could quickly have you finding your account was closed as a result of it.
Instagram stories are really fun and they let you post content that will be available for 24 hours. You can post more goofy content, and your clients will appreciate your sense of humor and the fact that you are relatable.
In conclusion, gaining Instagram likes is not so hard if you know how to do it. You only need some time to apply everything in this guide, and you’re on your way to increase your audience.
Meet the Entrepreneurs and Experts of Affiliate Summit West 17
Thousands of internet marketers, entrepreneurs, content creators and brands will ascend upon Las Vegas this weekend for Affiliate Summit West 2017. Not only has Affiliate Summit become one of the largest affiliate and internet marketing conferences in the world today, it’s also one I’ve been closely associated with ever since the beginning. From it’s first conference in a small room in New York City with just a couple hundred people to now having more than 5,000+ attendees and conferences twice per year, it’s always been great to attend as both an attendee and speaker.
At the same time, it would be a huge mistake to discount Affiliate Summit as just another networking of marketing conference. The relationships, businesses and life experiences that are a result of the event is second to none — which I why I always recommend everyone to attend, no matter their current level of expertise.
By the way… if you are attending, don’t miss the awesome “How to Become a Millionaire Blogger” panel with myself, John Chow, John Rampton, and Syed Balkhi. It’s almost always standing room only, and rated as one of the highest attended and most valued sessions of Affiliate Summit.
Over the years I’ve literally met thousands of people through the conference and built many powerful relationships and business opportunities as well. With each new year, new speakers, entrepreneurs, and bloggers will take the next step in becoming financially independent, starting a side business or simply changing the world in some way or another.
To help you not only get inspired for this year’s Affiliate Summit West conference but also get inspired with just a glimpse of the talent at this event, I wanted to highlight some of my previous podcast guests, who will also be speaking at #ASW17. Enjoy, and I hope to see you there!
Inspiring Stories and Marketing Tips from Affiliate Summit Speakers
Below you will find a list of speakers currently on the agenda for ASW 17. However, through my podcast I’ve interviewed more than 80 different industry experts… many of which who will be also attending the event in one way or another. Be sure to check out the full list of interviews here.
Shawn Collins the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, which has become the largest affiliate marketing conference in the world today.
I’ve been good friends with Shawn for a while now and we’ve both been able to experience the affiliate marketing industry completely transition and develop over the past 15+ years. We were both in attendance at the Affiliate Force cruise, which was one of the first attempts at an affiliate marketing conference, but knew it could be done better. At that point Shawn and Missy decided they could do it better and the rest is history!
John Chow is one of the most well-known and successful bloggers in the world. If you’ve ever Google’d “how to make money online” or “how to make money blogging”, you’ve probably come across his name and site several times.
The amazing thing about John Chow was that he was never supposed to make money with his blog in the first place. What was originally just going to be a blog on his personal life and what he ate for lunch, soon became a “money making case study”. As John learned new and exciting ways to monetize his blog content and audience, the money just kept rolling in.
Jump forward several years later and his blog is now generating over six-figures per month, and most of it recurring and automated through his amazing sales funnel system — all of which John talks about in this episode.
Rachel Honoway is the CEO of For Me To Coupon. However it’s not her current position that we are focusing on, instead it’s the great journey that’s led her to where she is today.
The start of Rachel’s journey in the world of online marketing is nearly 20 years in the making. Rachel’s first job was at an internet marketing company called Kowabunga, where she first came in as an intern. As the company continued to grow in size, so did Rachel’s daily tasks and her job title. The company was soon acquired and Rachel was then managing more of the company than ever before. Once leaving Kowabunga, Rachel had a wide range of opportunities over the years before ending up at For Me To Coupon, where she is the CEO today — which is all discussed in this latest episode.
Syed Balkhi is not only a master at WordPress, but he is also an awesome entrepreneur.
Since an early age Syed has always had a passion for business and building success. This could be seen from the early years of his life when he was just a kid in Pakistan and selling greeting cards. Then later in life while in high school, Syed started developing sites of his own while quickly discovering what the internet had to offer.
Today Syed runs some of the most powerful and heavily trafficked sites in the world… and yes, they are all powered with WordPress!
Stephan Spencer is an SEO expert. He’s also the author of Google Power Search and co-author of The Art of SEO… so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to SEO and ranking sites in the search results.
How sites rank in the search results can go all the way back to before 2000, which is when Stephan and his NetConcepts company started getting heavy into SEO services. The thing about SEO is that it’s always changing, so to be one of the best SEO experts in the industry, Stephan is continually at the forefront of the industry and connecting with some of the most successful experts, businesses, and brands in the world.
Geno Prussakov is an affiliate marketing expert, author, and international speaker.
In the world of the internet, being an expert is key. Geno has mastered the art of affiliate marketing and affiliate program management and through this expertise has been able to grow his personal brand and business at the same time. As the author of many best-selling books on affiliate marketing, and also haven spoke at 50+ different conferences on such topics, Geno is the voice many people turn to when looking for answers to their affiliate marketing questions.
Having trained thousands of marketing professionals through his various books and online blog, Geno also went on to create Affiliate Management Days, which is a conference solely focused on the art of successful affiliate program management.
Oliver Roup is the founder and CEO of VigLink, a company that helps content creators make money through the use of affiliate marketing, while not having to deal with all the complexities of individual tracking, manually creating links and joining multiple programs.
Before getting active in the online marketing space, Oliver had accumulated quite an exciting resume of previous work with Space X, Microsoft, Paul Allen and many others. However, what might be Oliver’s most exciting experience to date was taking his business at Viglink from an idea to the flourishing business it is today.
For Oliver, this isn’t something that would happen overnight. Instead, it was a long journey of meeting with investors and VCs, trying to convince them that his idea was worth their time and investment. After many failed attempts, Oliver finally found an investor that was interested and things started to move fast!
Years later and over $20 million dollars in funding to date, the company continues to grow and scale in size while also helping sites of all sizes make money with their content while also connecting them with some of the largest brands and advertisers in the world.
Russell Brunson is an entrepreneur and the founder of DotComSecrets and ClickFunnels.
While finishing up his last year in College, Russell wanted to figure out a way to make enough money so he could continue with his passion for wrestling and to take care of himself and his girlfriend. After dabbling in the online marketing space and going through various failed projects, Russell discovered that one of the most successful ways to make money online was through the use of ebooks, guides and selling information. While messing around with some friends, Russell wanted to create a potato gun and went to the internet to find out how to create one. Once he found that there was nothing out there, he quickly threw one together and made a little course of his own on how to do the same.
Jump forward several years and today you will find Russell Brunson with all of his attention focused on ClickFunnels, a WYSIWYG editor and seamless way to create high converting landing pages and sales funnels. Not only has ClickFunnels become a huge success, it’s also taught Russell how to grow and scale a company, while also learning how to remove distractions and only focusing on what matters most.
John Rampton is an online entrepreneur who has become a master at pay per click marketing, but even more importantly — making connections and networking with the right people.
I first met John Rampton several years back when he came up to me and asked for an interview while at Affiliate Summit. Since then we just seemed to click and started working on various projects together. In addition to being the Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal, John’s writing can also be found on Forbes, HuffingtonPost, Entrepreneur and many other top media outlets and news sources.
One of the major reasons for John’s success in the world of online marketing can be attributed to his outgoing attitude, willingness to help others and talking with just about everyone he meets. Each of these are all required skills for making it in the world of business and forming new partnerships. With all of this in mind, it only made sense for him to leave his home state of Utah and make the big move to Silicon Valley, CA — the central economic focal point for everything internet!
Thomas Smale is the co-founder of FE International, a company that was founded in 2010 that focuses on website brokering for mid-market online businesses.
Back in 2009-2010 Thomas wanted to get involved in the world of online marketing, but with little technical experience, his options were limited. It was then that he fell upon the concept of buying and selling websites for himself. With only a few hundred dollars at a time, Thomas began buying and flipping websites and getting quite good at it in the process. As his reputation and experience in this space started to grow, so did requests from other individuals asking for his support in selling their own websites — thus, a new business venture begins!
Today Thomas is the co-founder of FE International, which has offices in two different countries and 11 team members — all with the focus on website brokering and mastering the art of buying and selling websites.
See you at Affiliate Summit West!
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