One of the many perks of running your own business or being an entrepreneur is that you actually get to work from the comfort of your own home. Even if you aren’t working from home, you probably still have an awesome office that was set up to your liking.
Since I first started making money online back in the mid-90s, I’ve always had a separate room for running the day to day operations. You can see one of my first office rooms in the picture below.
You can see a recent updated version of what my office today. Yes, I still like to collect things… but it’s actually a lot cleaner and minimalist in it’s latest setup (which I’ll update with a picture soon).
And yes… I even ran my business from a small kitchen desk while relocated for six months during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy — truely defining the concept of living a laptop lifestyle!
To view other office spaces and desks from other top bloggers and entrepreneurs, you can refer to my previous article on this here.
Quick Tips for Creating a Better Office Space
Whether you work in a corporate office building or your own home office, small work spaces can cut into your productivity if not dealt with properly. With these design tips, your office space can become a location of complete practicality and efficiency, with a little touch of designer elegance. If you’re ready to make a cramped space look more expansive and become more productive, follow these guidelines.
Cut Down on Clutter
If you’re working with a small space, you simply can’t afford to be disorganized. Every day, take five or ten minutes out of your afternoon to clear up your space before you finish working. Take advantage of occasional purges, getting rid of items you no longer need or have simply never had use for.
Cut down on your reliance on paper. While tangible, paper copies are essential for certain items, cutting down on unnecessary piles of paper receipts and documents will get rid of the need for bulky storage filing systems, making for a cleaner, tidier space. This directly translates into more room and a more expansive appearance. If you’ve got cables wiring in and around your office, it’s high time to get with the program and go wireless. If this is an impossibility, consider wire-hiding solutions that will quickly and effectively disguise any computer cables, lighting wires, or other cluttered cords.
If all else fails… be sure to check out this user guide from LifeHacker on getting out from under all of your office crap!
While it’s necessary to get rid of clutter, you don’t want to go so far as to create a stark environment. Well-sourced art pieces and desk adornments can do well for both visual appearances and mental stimuli. Pick visual or cognitive objects that will stimulate thought or reminders for your work.
Try modern art pieces from a site like www.touchofmodern.com. Whether it’s concrete and metal-infused wall décor or high-tech desk gadgets that provide style and practicality, keeping your décor modern will help you create a cohesive space.
It also couldn’t hurt to add some motivational posters to your walls for those days that you need an extra work ethic pick-me-up.
When you mix décor themes and differing furniture designs, the eye is forced to flit from object to object without a sense of cohesion or balance. Keep a similar theme throughout your office, as this will create a better sense of balance and remain easy on the eye. It’s easier for us to take in complementing pieces, and a direct side effect of this ease is a more expansive looking room.
Need some inspiration for how to create a symmetric office? These 9 designs from Office Snapshots should help.
Don’t underestimate the power of color. If you’d like to make your office look bigger, try a neutral color palette on the walls and within your decorations. While white is a classic choice, and for good reason as it is the most expansive looking, it can be a bit boring and lead to a sterile, hospital-like vibe. Light greys and beiges are the way to go, with a pop of accent color here and there.
HuffingtonPost has a great article on the many different colors that should be considered when painting an office — some interesting stats to back each of them up as well!
The Power of Mirrors
One powerful investment with a wonderful return is a good mirror or two. You’ve no doubt heard that mirrors can make a small place look bigger, but why exactly is that? Mirrors reflect the present surface space, along with natural and artificial lighting, essentially doubling the space your eye takes in. Line an empty wall space with a large hanging mirror, and use mirrored materials on shelving.
Before heading out and grabbing the first mirror you can find, be sure to check out these article from WikiHow for ideas on where to place them to improve room space and openness.
A Smaller Desk
Avoid an expansive desk that takes up too much space. Focus on finding a smaller desk made with modern materials, such as glass or industrial metal. These provide the practical working space given by traditional wooden office desks with an up-to-date feel. Be discerning with your desk placement. While natural inclination is to place it in the center of the room, this completely cuts your office in half—a huge mistake for those of us working with little space. You would do better to have a wall-installed desk to clear up as much floor space as possible.
No matter the current setup or size of your office, Amazon has hundreds of desks to choose from — in a wide range of sizes, styles and prices.
If you’re wanting to create more space without sacrificing practicality, think vertically, especially when it comes to your storage solutions. Vertical shelving units, wall planters, and wall hooks can be surprisingly versatile, and create more space than you might expect.
Shelving saves space and brings creativity! (source)
Whether you are looking for space saving shelves or to simply get creative, this article (with pictures) is a great resource for different ideas and concepts for placing shelves within your office or around the home.
Building the Perfect Office for Yourself
At the end of the day, your office is where you are going to be spending most of your time. Make sure it’s somewhere that you want to be. This means creating and designing it the way you like, and not loading it up with expensive stuff you don’t like just to impress people!
By combining these techniques, you can easily make your office space look more expansive than it is, improving your productivity and overall business impression.
10 Affiliate Marketing Tips to Boost Your Brand and Grow Your Audience
An estimated 5 billion U.S dollars are spent through affiliate marketing yearly.
That is a lot of cash!
If you would like to improve your affiliate marketing strategies to become a top earner, you need to know all the tips and tricks that will make you big bucks. While many affiliate programs do offer some type of training, maximizing your earnings is up to you.
If you have been looking for ways to boost your affiliate marketing sales, then read on, you are about to get some affiliate marketing tips that will take your earnings to the next level!
1. Be Honest
When it comes to affiliate marketing honesty is always the best policy. Think about it, when someone spends their hard earned money because you made a recommendation, they are going to be very angry if they don’t get what you told them they would.
In the long run, this will damage your brand. It is better to stay away from recommending products that you are not sure about or haven’t tried yourself.
This may sound like common sense but sometimes when the earning potential for a product is high, there may be the temptation to promote it even if you aren’t sure of its value. Always resist this temptation, it will be better for your brand in the long run.
When you do promote something give the pros and cons and people will begin to respect your opinions.
2. Experiment To See What Will Work
Look at what other website owners in your field are doing and experiment with the type of content you use to promote your affiliate links. Try ads of different sizes and rotate your ad placements. Test out how text links perform as opposed to image links.
The more you experiment the more you are likely to find out what works for you and brings in the most sales. Just because a promotional tactic works for someone else that doesn’t mean it will work for you. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t get depressed, just try something else.
3. Diversify Your Affiliate Marketing
It’s good to be loyal to one program and stay focused in order to earn those affiliate dollars. However, once you have conquered one affiliate marketing program. Look for other affiliate niches that relate to your blog or website.
Sometimes, you can even approach brands yourself and offer to become an affiliate marketer for them, even if they don’t currently have a program. The point is, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
4. Take Advantage of Networking and Learning Opportunities
Most affiliate programs want you to make more sales. After all the more you recommend a product and it sells the more money they make as well.
This is why many programs offer helpful resources and even monthly newsletters aimed at helping you and them make more money. Newsletters will often contain information about upcoming sales they may be having, affiliate case studies and several tips to improve your overall sales performance.
There may even be private Facebook groups and webinars. Your job is to ensure that you are signed up for all of these opportunities and that you make time for them in order to increase your revenue.
You can also check out online resources such as Climb Online to learn more about how to promote your blog or website, so you can maximize your affiliate earnings.
5. Promote Both Features and Benefits
While it is good to talk about the features of a product, you should also talk about the benefits of using the product as well. This will help your audience get a clearer picture of what the product can do for them.
Also, it is useful to show the product in action, so if you can make a demonstration video along with a text explanation this is good. Seeing a product in action helps people decide if they want it or not.
6. Buy The Product
Honesty had been mentioned before and there is no better way to give an honest review than to actually try out the product yourself.
When you use the product yourself you will find out little things about it that you may not have known otherwise and this will help you to make better recommendations. It will also boost your confidence in promoting the product.
7. Use Strong Call To Actions
It may sound simple enough but you need to tell people what to do once they have read your post about a product. Telling your audience what to do is known as a call to action.
When you first start doing call to actions you may feel a bit presumptuous but it is a necessity. Once someone has read a post don’t assume they will follow through, you need to direct them towards action.
Here are a few examples of call to actions:
- Go here now to get the product
- Get yours today!
- Take advantage of this special offer now!
As you can see these, these examples clearly tell people what to do. As you use calls to action more often, you will find which ones resonate more with your audience.
8. Ask About Higher Tiers
Once you are earning a decent commission on a particular product, you may want to ask if you can get a higher commission. Often affiliate marketing programs have tiers that give high performers more income.
Sometimes you may not be aware of this because it is not openly disclosed. This is why you need to open the line of communication and ask about it. Even if they don’t have an official upgrade they might be willing to consider giving you more profit if you make them a lot of money, so just ask.
Final Affiliate Marketing Tips
If you want to take your affiliate marketing to the next level then you need to know what works and what doesn’t. This means you must make use of all the affiliate marketing tips you learn.
The only way to make more money is to experiment and to always be honest with your audience. Trust is a large part of affiliate marketing. The more of it you can gain from your audience the more you will make. You should also make sure that the product you are promoting solves their problems and is relevant to their needs.
If you would like more affiliate marketing advice, then please visit our affiliate program directory.
Niche Review Websites: 5 Key Metrics to Starting a Successful Business
In reference to making money and potentially starting a business, niche review sites are one of the most sought after methods for starting with.
Why niche sites you ask?
Simple… in most cases they are going after a small niche market, with less competition, and it’s much easier to provide the end user with exactly what they are looking for.
In recent years, there has been explosive growth in the online services, software, and electronics/technology niche, as many of the affiliate programs associated with these markets can pay up to 70% in commissions.
Even with these great payments in place, and millions of dollars in new leads and sales being generated daily, there is a good amount of time, work, and effort that goes into creating a successful niche site.
Today we are going to be looking at five of these data points and factors.
1. Position Your Site for Success!
If you want to find success with a review site, you not only need to prepare and analyze a bunch of other sites within your niche market, you also need to plan for success. Once you have a solid foundation in place, it will be that much easier for you to go live with a site, provide content of value to your audience, and then promote it in a way that creates real traffic, leads, and revenue for both you and your advertisers.
This is something Russel Ruffino has been preaching for a while now. When he’s not building out his own companies and brands, he’s helping others go through the same process. Time and time again, it’s all about the preparation and pre-planning that goes into a business or website, that will lead to it’s eventual success.
A clear example of this can be seen in the various articles and case studies that Russel releases about his webinar strategies. It seems like everyone is already doing them, but only a select few are able to generate six-figures a month with them.
Even with all of his useful tips and guidance in place, there are still thousands of people who jump forward to start their own business or blog without any product and marketing research. More often than nothing, this is because most people aren’t patient enough to put in the time, work, and effort, and just want to see immediate results. As most of us have personally discovered… it’s one of the many common business mistakes new entrepreneurs and business owners make.
Positioning your site in the middle between buyers and sellers is the first guide. A good review site should be neutral. If not, any review that is made is not very valuable and is nothing more than a promotional tool. Your visitors certainly do not want to be immediately directed to buy products as they need to be given the opportunity to think to decide whether a product really fits their expectations or not. This is the basic law of every quality review blog. Forgetting this means giving a bad basic foundation for your blog, especially when you decide to review various electronic products that are almost the same as each other. You can’t just promote a particular brand if you want to appear with quality reviews.
2. Understand Market Interest and Providing a Service
It doesn’t matter if you are going to start a local business or an online business, it’s so important to understand not only your business model, but also the metrics of your audience, who they are, how you will reach them and what it will cost to generate new business. This is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a successful niche site, but also one that most site owners and bloggers will never put in enough time on.
All of this preparation work should be done before you even go live with your site or pick a new domain name. You MUST understand the core of your business and how it will provide a service to your audience, in order for it to find success.
These points and more are actually covered in this ten-point data list from Constant Contact:
- Develop a powerful message
- Focus on the customer and fully understand the market
- Start small and grow
- Understand your own strengths, skills, and time available
- Surround yourself with advisors and mentors
- Get a SCORE mentor
- Write a business plan
- Know your numbers
- Understand there are no entitlements
- Have a passion for what you are doing
If you have all of these data points and metrics in place, there is no reason why you shouldn’t find success with your online business, or even just a niche site.
3. Become Unique and Provide More Value
Did you know that there are currently over a billion active sites on the internet today? It’s true!
With so many sites online, there is really no need to create a new site or web content just for the sake of putting it out there. If you do, you aren’t just wasting your audience’s time, but also your own.
To win on the internet, you need to provide a better experience (or content), over your competition.
When it comes to making money with affiliate marketing or with niche review sites, it’s all about going as niche specific as possible — then also grinding down on all relevant searches and products as well.
As perfect example of this can be seen when searching for an office headset review. Sure, this super generic and not a very sexy topic to write about, but it’s a service and product that people need. When visiting the review site mentioned above, not only will you be able to find product information on office headsets, you will also see how they provide articles and reviews on other relevant products and services as well.
This is perfect for the site owner and their audience for a wide range of reasons, such as:
- Giving the site visitor a bunch of options to choose from
- Making it easy for Google to see a specific niche topic on the site
- Finding relevant site partners for link building and content creation
- Always knowing when to write new reviews on the latest products
With so much competition on the internet these days, go niche — then be the best source for information out there.
4. Review Something You Understand and Value
As with any type of business, if you aren’t interested in it… then it’s just another job.
This is one of the many benefits to running an online business and being an affiliate marketer. Not only can you possibly turn your expertise and passion into an online business, there might also be a wide range of affiliate programs and opportunities out there just waiting for you.
Just like how we gave an example of office headsets above, we can do the same thing with a specific mobile device adapter or headphone. Again, not the most exciting topic in the world, but if you are already working with mobile devices and electronics, this could be something you have a lot of knowledge about… and maybe even a passion for.
If that’s the case, you will also know that there are different wires, adapters, headsets and plugs for different models and products out there. When it comes to searching for such products online, many people will plug in the product or serial number into their Google search as well.
If you run an affiliate site for anything that has a specific model or serial number, this could be a huge benefit to your audience and also help with improved SEO and search rankings as well.
Many of the top niche product review sites are using ‘ugly’ and simple tables to lay out their product information. It might not be the most attractive design, but it works wonders for getting your audience to click. Especially when using simple blue hyperlink text.
Another great example of this is Amazon.com. Search for any mobile phone devices, and they are not only going to provide you with results, they will also make it easy for users to filter results based on their actual device, model and brand as well.
When creating any type of review site, the easier you can make it for your audience to find what they are looking for, the easier it will be for them to take action — which means more leads, sales, and affiliate commissions for your site.
5. Focus on the End User’s Value and Your Call to Action
Yes, content is King, and it’s extremely important — but even more so, is your call to action.
In many of the examples mentioned throughout this post, it’s all about giving your audience exactly what they are looking for and also making it as simple and easy as possible.
We covered the importance of having:
- detailed reviews for your audience
- highlighting product and model names/numbers
- knowing your audience and what they want
- creating better content than the competition
However, even with all of this in place… you still need to have a great call to action!
If you ever needed to see what millions of dollars in split testing and CTA analyzing looks like, just take a look at any of these examples. The biggest and best sites in the world all have great home pages with immediate call to actions. This might not be the case with niche review sites, but they are still great for research and getting new ideas.
Of the many different things you need to consider when building out a successful site, this is the most important, but also extremely simple. Also, don’t over-complicate the process. KISS (keep it simple stupid) often works best.
“CLICK HERE” and “ORDER NOW” are still the call to action and trigger words that people know and look for.
Keeping them in large text and in blue is also a good idea to start with.
If you are advanced in site design, HTML, analytics tracking or what to get more fancy, feel free to run split tests with different call to actions, colors and images. If you have enough traffic and can monitor this closely enough, it could make a big difference in overall engagement and sales.
How to Get Started with Your Affiliate Niche Review Site
Getting started with a new website or blog is extremely easy. In fact, you can follow my step by step process here, and be live with a site of your own in the next few minutes.
However, as mentioned throughout this article — there is a lot of time, work, and effort that needs to go into the preparation process to make sure you are providing value to an audience, and also entering a market that you can compete it.
Just because you’ve chosen a niche market, doesn’t mean you will find immediate or eventual success. Even niche markets come in big and small sizes.
Factor in everything we outlined in this article and also make sure your content creation, promotion efforts, and business model makes sense.
How to Make Money with RunCPA Crypto Affiliate Network
There are two critical lessons you need to learn if you want to find success as an Internet marketer. First, you have to stay on top of the latest trends and be willing to strike while the pan is hot. The Internet continues to change and evolve at an ever-increasing pace, so you have to be prepared to jump on opportunities when they arise.
Second, you must understand that as appealing as a “get rich quick” idea might be, you really need to be positioning yourself for long-term success and profitability. It’s better to make a dollar today and every day for the next five years than it is to make $20 today and that’s the end of it.
And really, it is at the intersection of these two deceptively simple insights that we arrive at RunCPA. This network “started the entire Crypto Affiliate Marketing gig in 2015” and hasn’t look back since. Are you into cryptocurrencies?
The Apex of Crypto Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing has proven to be a wildly successful model for affiliates and advertisers alike for a number of years, but never before has the paradigm been focused so specifically on crypto traffic in particular. That changes with RunCPA.
As you might recall, many people viewed the rise of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies with a healthy dose of skepticism a few years ago. Other people saw it as the second coming of the gold rush, investing heavily in Bitcoin mining as a rags-to-riches opportunity. Other people simply bought the cryptocurrencies with fiat currency (“normal money”) in hopes of seeing the value rise so they can cash in.
Regardless of how you may have felt at the time, it’s undeniable now that cryptocurrency has earned significant legitimacy among the general public. It’s gone mainstream and while it is certainly subject to volatility, it also means that a lot of “regular” people are getting into cryptocurrency in some form if they haven’t already. And as an affiliate marketer, this presents a potentially lucrative opportunity as these offers can appeal to an increasingly larger audience.
The Crypto Offer Vault
Even before you sign up for an account with RunCPA (more on that in a moment), you can browse through the available offers on the affiliate network. This screenshot is from within the affiliate dashboard, but it largely displays the same information as the publicly-accessible database.
In browsing through the available offers — there are over 30 as of this writing, but RunCPA has indicated that they have over 40 of them, the most in the crypto vertical — I noticed a couple of notable features. First, just about all the offers are open globally. Some say “world” for the region, whereas others list off over 200 countries, which is basically the whole world.
This is a big appeal of working with crypto, as it removes so many of the geographic limitations that you might face with more traditional marketing. If the user can get online and use crypto, they can convert on these offers, and you can earn your commission.
Secondly, a good number of the offers are based on a revenue share model, going as high as a 50% revenue share. That’s lifetime. That goes back to the previous point about setting yourself up for success now and into the future. Revenue sharing is an excellent source of passive income. There are also some offers that operate on a CPL or CPA basis, including commissions of up to $700! Offers include crypto casinos, ICOs, games, and exchanges, among others.
An Anonymous Network
A big part of why cryptocurrency has gotten as big as it has not only has to do with its incredible security and instant validation, but also the anonymity that it is able to afford. RunCPA respects that people who are interested in crypto likely place a higher value on their privacy as well.
To this end, you can work with RunCPA on a mostly anonymous basis. All you need to sign up is an email address is a password. Verify the email by clicking the link in the registration message and you’re ready to roll. That being said, if you prefer, can also sign up and log in using your Facebook, Google, or Vkontakte account.
After signing in for the first time, RunCPA re-asserts that it is an anonymous CPA network, but “it would be easier to help you if you state one of the following ways to contact you.” That’s entirely up to you, of course.
The Affiliate Experience
The affiliate dashboard is kept simple and straightforward, giving you everything that you need and nothing that you don’t.
You get access to the full suite of statistics, of course, as well as the ability to browse and search through the list of available offers. You can look through your conversions, adjust your account settings, and so on.
Something that is very important to note here is that unlike other affiliate networks that typically have a holding period for payouts, like net-30 or net-45, RunCPA operates on a net-0 basis. That’s right. You get payouts in Bitcoin (BTC) instantly when you request a withdraw through your affiliate dashboard. This allows for a swift, secure, and transparent process for all parties involved, plus the security and anonymity of the crypto industry.
One feature that RunCPA provides to help you maximize your earnings is the ad rotator. This allows you to select multiple offers and run them in rotation using a single set of ad code. The ad rotator supports over a dozen ad sizes, including 120×240, 300×250, 468×60, 728×90, 250×250, and 160×600, plus more.
Once you’ve selected the size and offers, you can actually go through each one and hand pick which image you’d like to use with each corresponding offer too. Then, just paste the JS code on your website where you’d like the ad to appear.
In addition to everything else mentioned in this review, RunCPA also has the following measures in play to help affiliate marketers grow their revenue and traffic to that next level.
- they have a private CPL only for trusted affiliates, that makes their catalogue of offers even bigger.
- they have personal managers for the affiliates, which help choose best offers for the particular traffic type and open “private” offers.
- they have the tools and resources in place to help educate affiliates their both personal manager and the content on their blog.
To learn more about each of these options, be sure to join their affiliate network and get in touch with your affiliate manager right away.
A Growing Industry
Whether you’re a crypto evangelist who has worked and traded in cryptocurrencies for years, or you’re brand new to the industry and you want to get a foothold as a marketer, RunCPA is a potent option for affiliate marketers with crypto traffic. The instant payouts are tremendously appealing and the laser focus on crypto means you’ll always know what to expect. Go ahead and sign up today and start making some serious coin.
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