Becoming an Affiliate Marketer or a Reseller

Affiliate marketing is all about getting people to buy products that you don’t own in exchange for a commission per sale.

It is a good way to make money online, since there are many affiliate marketing training courses and blogs that can teach you how to get started and show you various affiliate marketing promotion techniques.

Reseller marketing on the other hand is about selling a product you don’t own, but you market it to people as it is yours. This may sound like a violation to the original owner’s right, but it is NOT.

With products that are given resell rights you can sell them under your own brand without any violation of the owner’s rights.

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There are many similarities between the two models, and the most prominent one being that you are selling something you didn’t create.

They differ however on level of control you have over the business, as a reseller you have almost 100% control over the whole business from how it is represented and run to how it is marketed and how the product is priced.

 

Start up Costs of Affiliate Business vs. Reseller Business

As an affiliate you can get your business up and running with budget as low as $100 which basically involves buying your website hosting account and a domain name.

Even if you don’t have a website you can still become an affiliate by running paid advertising campaigns to direct traffic to the product using your affiliate link.

You don’t need web design service; because you can start a blog and use any of the free themes available, and if you are a member of any affiliate marketing training courses out there then chances are they will offer you blog templates to use which eliminates the design costs.

Resellers on the other hand need a website to start promoting their product which could cost $100 in webhosting and domain costs.

You also add a minimum of $500 in website development and design costs, because blogs are not the best way to promote your reseller program so you need a dedicated website for whatever product you are selling.

There are also other costs involved like software used to manage the business (i.e. billing, helpdesk…etc) which could easily reach another $500

 

Work Load for Affiliates vs. Resellers

The affiliate’s main goal is to get as much traffic as they can to the product’s page, and whatever sales is generated from there he takes his commission and it ends at that.

If the buyer needs any customer or technical support then he contacts the original vendor directly and he will not contact the affiliate for any further support.

This relives the affiliate from any work involved in running the product’s business operations which allows the affiliate to focus entirely on marketing the product and generating sales for it.

Affiliates can work 5 hour a week and still earn profits without any obligations, he can even not work on promoting the product for 1 month and still be earning from his previous marketing efforts.

Resellers need to spend more time setting up their business which involves:

  1. Hiring and managing the required staff of web developers and designer
  2. Setting up their website and installing all the required software
  3. Constantly promoting their new brand
  4. Running the billing books because they direct receive payments from customers

All these tasks require at least 3 hours of daily work and can reach to 21 hours per week.

Since resellers are exactly like business owners, they have day to day business operations to run that require total dedication.

 

Learning Affiliate Marketing vs. Reseller Marketing

The amount of help that is available for affiliate marketers is substantial, be that from an affiliate marketing training or from other blogs.

This makes it easy for basically anyone with enough motivation to get started in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing training and courses cover every aspect of the business, from how to find niches to compete in to finding products to promote and how to market them probably.

This is because affiliate marketing is the same for any product; the process is similar whether you are promoting product A or product B in any niche.

The only difference can be which type of affiliate marketing you involved in (I.e. pay per sale, cpa…etc), but that is a slight difference.

Resellers need to know the niche of the product they are involved in, not just that, they also have to understand the business itself to be able to run it.

For example, to be a reseller for web hosting company, you need to understand how servers work and how to address any technical problems that may arise, because the hosting company you are reseller for will not handle every technical and customer support you receive (although they might offer you advice if needed).

And there are no courses widely available that can take you step by step in running your own reseller business with all its details.

There might be courses that can guide you in a general way, but not in a niche and product specific way.

This makes it harder to become a reseller, and that’s why you should be very knowledgeable about the product you are promoting as a reseller.

 

Affiliate Marketing Niches vs. Reseller Niches

Affiliate marketers have access to pretty much any niche available online, you can become an affiliate for a weight loss product to travel affiliate programs. There are no restrictions.

You can become an affiliate for a digital product (software or e-book), online service or a physical product.

You can even become an affiliate in 3 or 4 niches at the same time, it may take you more time to promote them or even require you to outsource some of your work, but it is possible.

Any affiliate marketing training can help you find profitable niches and affiliate programs, even provide you with tools to automated the search.

Reseller marketing on the other hand is more common between service providers, like:

  • Web hosting companies
  • Services (writing, SEO…etc)
  • Offline products & dropshipping

These niches are very profitable because some of them are recurring, so one client can earn you $100s every month. And the more you grow your brand the more profitable you become.

 

I advise you to go into affiliate marketing if you are limited in budget and resource, this way you can get more experience in the online business in general before you commit yourself to becoming a reseller.

Affiliate blogs and affiliate marketing training courses (like affset.com) can help you reach that level of experience needed.

Reseller marketing is more challenging but very rewarding, so don’t rush into starting it if you are not ready as it requires a higher level of commitment than that of affiliate marketing.

 

AdWords Keyword Matching Options: Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match

When advertisers first get started with Adwords, keyword matching options can be quite a mystery and if not used properly can be costly causing advertisers to spend their budget quickly without any return.

This is why it is very important to understand which keyword matching types need to be used and when to use them.  Otherwise it can be a frustrating experience.

adwords-keyword-matching-typesThe key to understanding these match types is forming a plan of action from keyword discovery to targeting keywords that have been proven to convert for your campaigns.

A first time advertiser might start in the discovery phase, using broad or modified broad match.  This will allow you to find the keywords that convert.  Then, run reports and see what’s working and refine your campaigns.

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This can be done many times over with new campaigns and keywords.

It’s a process, you shouldn’t over-look.  Adwords is not a guarantee but, if you know how to use it properly and have a budget to work with, success can be very real.

So, the first thing you should do is learn about the keyword match type options and what stages to use them in your campaigns.

The Google Keyword Tool is an incredibly valuable tool for online marketers in a number of ways.

It can help marketers looking to run AdWords campaigns estimate the potential number of impressions for their ads, or it can help search engine optimizers estimate the amount of search traffic that exists for keywords related to their website or industry.

Unfortunately, it can also be extremely misleading if it isn’t used correctly.

One of the most common mistakes that people make when using the Keyword Tool is incorrectly setting and interpreting the keyword “match types” option. The three possibilities – broad match, phrase match, and exact match – can all display drastically different results, and an understanding of each is extremely important.

Broad match:

Broad match is the default matching options setting, and because of that, it tends to be the one that people get tripped up on the most.

Broad match results will generally display the largest numbers, and since those numbers are based on the default option, people often just take them for face value.

That just isn’t the case, and a poor understanding of broad match results can lead to huge overestimation of potential search traffic.

Broad match searches are just what they sound like. Broad match results will return traffic results for not only the keyword entered into the search tool, but also a huge number of related terms.

That could mean the same words in a different order, synonyms, related words or terms, pluralized forms, and more.

That means that a Keyword Tool search on a phrase like “dog kennel” that indicated 10,000  monthly searches is actual including searches on a broad number of related terms, like “dog kennels”, “kennels for dogs”, and many more.

The actual search traffic on the specific entered is often much lower than the number indicated by a broad match search. Broad match keywords are entered into the tool plainly, with no quotation marks or brackets.

Phrase match:

Phrase match isn’t as narrow as exact match, but it’s a step down from broad match in so far as the number of different keywords it will consider when tabulating results.

Phrase match will only return results that contain the exact phrase entered into the search, or a close variant on it, with words before or after. Close variations include misspellings, pluralisation, and other minor differences.

For instance, results for a search on the term “dog kennel” would not take into account the traffic to “kennels for dogs” – as it would with broad match – but will consider the traffic for keywords such as “Minnesota dog kennel” or “dog kennel recommendations” because they contain the specific phrase as entered into the tool.

That means phrase match will generally return wider results than exact match, but narrower results than broad match. Phrase match keywords are entered into the Keyword Tool contained in quotation marks.

Exact Match:

Exact match is the narrowest and most focused type of matching option, and because of that, it tends to be the one that most search engine optimizers prefer to use when trying to estimate the amount of search traffic to any specific term.

With exact match, results will take into account only the term exactly as entered, and close variants. Again, close variants include things like misspellings and plural forms.

An exact match search on the term “dog kennel” will only take into account search traffic for that exact term, or a close variation like “dog kennels”, or a misspelling like “dog kennils”.

It will not consider any other words, or any alternate arrangements. Marketers running AdWords campaigns can use exact match to ensure that their ads are shown only to people who search on the specific terms they choose.

Exact match keywords are entered into the Keyword Tool contained in a set of square brackets, for example, [dog kennel].

While there are some other potential options, like broad and phrase matches with modifiers, and negative searches that exclude certain terms and words from searches, the three types of keyword matching options described here are the ones most commonly used.

They’re also the ones that most commonly generate misunderstanding and confusion when interpreting the results generated by the Google Keyword Tool.

Understanding these three types of keyword matching options will go a long way towards helping marketers ensure that their estimates for AdWords campaigns and search engine optimization are as accurate as possible.

Without that understanding, the misinterpretation of information from Keyword Tool results could have the potential to be misleading at best, and financially costly at worst.

I remember working with an account manager named Joe at WordStream, who was adamant people sometimes never have success with adwords because they are afraid to go broad using modifiers.  This is completely correct.

Adwords is a process you have to work on and watch from day one, run keyword query reports and keep refining.

Product Page SEO – 7 Tips for Success

Product pages have the power to make or break any e-commerce business. Successful product pages are able to turn any website visitor into a loyal customer, while also providing optimized content for businesses that rank highly in search engine results.

Below are six useful tips for improving product page SEO for the purpose of attracting more organic search traffic to a website.

1) The Value of Original Descriptions

product-page-seoWhile some manufacturers will provide retailers with pre-written content for use in product descriptions, it’s not necessarily a good idea to use these descriptions as written.

Such descriptions will likely be used by hundreds or even thousands of other online stores, creating a bad situation for a website’s SEO when it comes to duplicate content.

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Fresh, unique content will always rank better than content that is used across multiple sources.

The use of this stock content also eliminates the opportunity a business would otherwise have to create its own engaging and informative sales copy that is unique to its brand.

With that being said, some manufacturers may insist that the descriptions they provide are used on product pages.

When this is the case, the best option is to try and rewrite small sections of the content in order to increase its uniqueness.

2) Appropriate Keyword Usage in Descriptions

In the past, e-commerce websites oftentimes contained product descriptions that were packed with as many keyword phrases as possible. Such strategies worked at the time, but this is no longer the case.

Squeezing too many keywords into a product description today is a sure way to get that content flagged and penalized by search engine algorithms.

When an e-commerce store decides to engage in this sort of behavior, which is commonly known as keyword stuffing, the best-case scenario is that their content will be lowered in search results, while the worst-case scenario is that their content is de-indexed completely and no longer listed at all.

The results of such a penalization are clearly catastrophic for any business that experiences them.

The best way for an e-commerce business to make sure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to them is to create product descriptions that contain readable, natural usages of a small selection of keywords.

These keywords need to be as closely related as possible to the product being offered.

A good product description will contain a main product keyword, which is typically the same as the keyword being used in the page title, as well as one or two secondary keywords.

These secondary keywords are close variations of the main keyword phrase, and using them creates an opportunity for gaining traffic from various long-tail keyword phrases.

3) Pay Attention to Product Description Length

A great deal of online product descriptions today fall into the 150- to 250-word range, as this is a word count range that most search engines seem to view in a favorable light.

Descriptions under 150 words may not be substantial enough for search engines to deem valuable to their users, and in turn, not worthy of a top ranking.

On the other hand, descriptions that are too long can bore or intimidate shoppers and cause them to leave a page, which is a fact that search engines certainly take into strong consideration.

While the optimal description length will vary from product to product, the important things to keep in mind regarding product description length are the ease with which the description can be read and the amount of keywords that can be used in it without making the content appear unnatural and overly promotional.

4) Allowing Reviews on Product Pages

Allowing reviews to be posted on product pages is an excellent way to improve the SEO of any e-commerce store.

Such reviews will accumulate naturally over time, resulting in streams of rich content that will attract visitors from countless long-tail keyword phrases.

In addition to the SEO benefits of allowing reviews to be posted on product pages, such reviews also help to entice potential customers into making purchases.

When shoppers see positive reviews for a product posted by real people who have used it, they feel confident that they will benefit from the purchase of that product as well.

5) Optimized and Clickable Categories

Optimizing the category choices that appear on a product page is one of the most consistently proven methods for improving product page SEO.

Breadcrumb navigation is especially popular and SEO-friendly because it plainly lays out product categories in a clickable, hierarchical style that is simple for shoppers to understand and use.

For e-commerce store owners looking to improve the internal linking structure of their websites, breadcrumbs are an easy way to take care of that issue as well, as they place structured links containing optimized anchor text on every product page of an entire website.

6) Adding Social Media Share Buttons

Social media usage only continues to increase each year, which means the placement of social media share buttons alongside product descriptions is sure to improve their effectiveness.

When shoppers choose to share a product page with their social media followers, a lot of opportunities for gaining new customers open up, and the page being shared is viewed positively by search engine algorithms.

Social media shares have long been a factor that search engines evaluate when they are determining the value of a particular piece of website content.

Search engines view each of these shares as a sort of vote of confidence on the part of the average Internet user; as a result, a page with a high number of social media interactions gains better rankings than one with fewer shares or none at all.

7) Mobile-Friendly Product Pages

Search engine queries made from mobile devices are now more common than searches made from personal computers.

For this reason, any e-commerce store that doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website will be not only missing out on potential visits and sales, but on opportunities for SEO improvements as well.

Today, search engines will penalize a website for not having a layout and navigation that is easy to use on mobile devices, so it’s especially important for any business that does not offer mobile versions of their product pages to start doing so immediately.

When implemented properly, any of these seven tips for successful product page SEO will help an e-commerce business attract more traffic from search engines. In turn, this will increase product sales.

The Importance of Website Structure for your Blog

There’s a pretty good chance that you’re aware of how important it is to have and maintain a business blog. SEO experts all over the web harp on it regularly; the blog is the vessel for your content, and your content is essential to every facet of your online marketing strategy. However, one aspect of the blog that sometimes gets overlooked is the site structure.

What is Site Structure?

silo-structuringThe site structure refers to how your website is set up, i.e., how your subpages are linked to one another. The site should be structured to show how your blog is linked to the rest of your website and how each blog page is linked to various landing pages or other blog pages.

Think of your site structure as a blueprint for your website. You can even compare it to a blueprint for a house. A blueprint for a house would not only show the dimensions and architectural features of each room, but also show where each room is in relation to the entire house and how it connects with other rooms.

You wouldn’t just have a packet of individual blueprints for each room without having a blueprint showing the entire floor plan of the home. It’s the same with your website; you can’t just have a bunch of webpages that aren’t connected in anyway. Site structure shows how each page is connected and their relation to the website as a whole.

Why is Site Structure So Important To Your Business Blog?

The thing about your site structure is that, like the blueprint of a home, you need to plan it out. You need to plan out the navigation and logic of your blog to ensure that your site structure is effective.

Poor site structure is going to negatively affect the traffic you are getting to your blog in several ways. Here are three reasons creating a good site structure is vital to the success of your business blog:

.   Site structure makes your site more user-friendly. When a visitor arrives on your page, they’ll either want to search for something specific or they’ll want to explore your site to see what kind of content you are providing.

If your site is poorly structured and difficult for a visitor to navigate, they’ll just leave. A good site structure will provide links to different parts of your site. For example, every page on your site should have a link to your contact section.

You may also want to have clear and relevant categories linked from your navigation bar, especially on your homepage, that give visitors a clear view of where they can go throughout your site. One of the most important facets of a good site structure is your use of keywords.

Keyword research will help you figure out what to name the links that you provide, making it even easier for visitors to find what they are looking for.

.   Good site structure makes it easier for Google to index your website. A good site structure will make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl through your site in order to index it for their search results pages.These bots, often referred to as crawlers, won’t automatically go through every page of your site.

Google has even stated that its bots won’t always discover all of the content on your site. They crawl through the homepage and any pages linked from it, often stopping there because the pages aren’t linked to anything else.

If you use internal links with strong keywords, then Google’s bots will continue crawling through your site and not only index more of your content, but also index it more accurately because they’ll be able to see how each page relates to your website as a whole.

.   Good site structure is the foundation for your SEO strategy. Without good site structure, there’s a good chance that your SEO efforts are not going to be effective. In addition to ensuring all of your blog’s content is properly indexed, thus making it more likely to bring in organic traffic, a strong site structure will ensure that traffic flows throughout your website and doesn’t just stop at a single page as though at a dead end.

Visitors will be more likely to explore your site instead of leave it without interacting or engaging, which would end up hurting your PageRank. Since good site structure helps encourage more interaction and engagement among your visitors, it will help boost your search engine rankings as well, thereby bringing in more traffic.

Good Site Site Structure vs. Bad Site Structure

Before you begin implementing your site structure, you need to understand the difference between good and bad site structure.

For example, once you’ve landed on the homepage of a car dealership site, you realize the dealership has three locations; it asks you to choose which location you’re looking at, which you do, and it loads up.

Then you’re faced with your options, and you choose new cars over used cars; you’re taken to a page with a list of auto manufacturers, from which you choose a make; then you’re taken to a page with numerous other options, from model to color and more.

It takes you a dozen clicks to finally land on the car you’re looking for. This is not good site structure, especially for customers that don’t know exactly what they are looking for, and so must through this process repeatedly.

Using the same car dealership example, what would make it a good site structure? Simply list all of these options (make, model, color, etc.) on one page using drop-down menus to make the selections. This way, you’re not going through page after page figuring out what you want, and backtracking when you change your mind.

Using Link Power

Google doesn’t just pay attention to the inbound links your site has, it also pays attention to your internal links. Internal linking is important because, in a way, Google treats each link as a vote.

Whereas inbound links are votes of popularity or confidence in your page, your internal links are votes for how important the page you are linking to is. These internal links help provide link power to the page they are linking to.

The more link power a page has, the more important Google assumes that page is. A page that has a lot of link power will be ranked higher on Google’s search engine. Therefore, your site structure has a big impact on what pages get ranked the highest, so you should plan out how you will use internal links throughout your site, especially in regard to your blog pages.

Before you begin planning out your internal links, you need to figure out what your most important pages are. Don’t just assume that just because you think a certain page on your site is the most important one, that it is.

Use Google Analytics to determine what pages are the most vital to the performance of your website. If you have an e-commerce page and are selling products online, then you can use Google Analytics in order to track your sales and see which pages on your site are generating the most revenue.

If you don’t have an e-commerce page, and your website is more focused on content, then you’ll want to identify what blog content gets the most traffic and the most clicks on your ads, which you can do through Google Analytics. You can then further promote this content by increasing its link power when creating your internal linking strategy.

Using flat structure instead of deep structure.

With a deep structure, it takes numerous clicks for a visitor to get from one page to another. If it takes a half-dozen clicks to get from the homepage to a piece of blog content they want to read, then you’ve created a deep structure.

A flat structure reduces the steps required to get from one page to another, such as by making it possible to go from the home page to a specific blog post within three steps. You should aim for a flat structure, especially when it comes to linking to important pages.

This will ensure that important pages aren’t buried within your site. It will not only make it more user-friendly for your visitors, but it will make the site easier for Google to crawl. So if your e-commerce page is one of the most important pages on your site, then you should make sure you link to it from your homepage.

Site structure affects everything from how your site is indexed to the user-friendliness of your blog. Because of this, you need to plan your site carefully by using Google Analytics to identify your most important pages. Then you can implement an internal linking strategy that helps attribute link power to your most important pages within a flat site structure.

Top 5 Backlinking Mistakes to Avoid in Your SEO Campaign

linkbuilding-mistakeSearch engine optimization is an ever-evolving process. The major platforms – Google and Bing being the most popular – update their algorithms frequently in order to provide the best service to their users.

For those trying to rank their sites, these changes can be confusing. However, backlinks still remain at the heart of SEO, with only their application changing.

Simple or outdated mistakes when backlinking can damage any chances of a site ranking, but these errors can almost always be avoided.

The following mistakes have been made by all SEO professionals, with the experience playing a part in future successes.  Also remember, not anyone, not even I know exactly what Google really thinks about links.

Over-Optimizing Anchor Text

Anchor text should appear natural, but an over-reliance on a small number of terms is common.

SEO typically takes time to achieve results, so many people attempt to quicken the process by acquiring more links. However, the overall result is to make your link pattern appear unnatural.

SEO requires patience and planning, so ensure you are cautious with your backlinks. A typical backlink profile will include branded terms, the URL, main keyword variations, and broader industry terms.

Linking from Irrelevant Sites

Relevancy has taken on a greater importance, with search engines better able to discern the theme of each page. If you have a large number of links from irrelevant niches, this will look unnatural and could cause problems.

If you have a site about golf, for example, a link from a powerful golf site will have authority and relevance. You can still get results from vastly different sites, but this could cause a problem in the future, particularly when it is done in bulk.

Using Sites with Spam Penalties

Links from sites with spam penalties can be problematic, particularly if you receive a high number of them. A site can look normal, but it could have been flagged in the past.

There are a few quick checks you can perform, though, and they should give you a clear impression.

A search for the URL in the search engines should give you one of the top placements.

If the site does not appear on the first few pages, or is not even indexed, it is likely penalized.

Using the Wayback Machine, check if there are any signs of low-quality content, spammy niches, or excessive linking activity in its previous incarnation.

Finally, Moz Open Site Explorer has a spam rating that could flag up any problems with a domain.

Again, not every site’s backlink profile is perfect.  Every site has one, two or even a few bad links.  Just don’t make a habit of building spam links.

Always check before building.  Another great place to do this is Link Research Tools.

Building Links Too Quickly

As mentioned, SEO requires patience, but it is easy to go overboard when you first start promoting. A burst of links is not always a problem, with a new piece of content naturally bringing about an influx of backlinks.

However, if a new site suddenly starts receiving many new links, particularly in niches where this is uncommon, it can appear strange.

It is important to build authority first, using quality press release services, directories, and citations, so any subsequent links do not cause problems.  And notice the word quality.

Stopping Link Building

Another common mistake is to promote your site heavily, see some good search engine results, then stop promoting your site. An authority site should be receiving backlinks on a consistent basis, with content releases and news causing an increase.

When a site stops receiving new links, it can appear unnatural, but it will also suggest that the site has lost popularity. A site that is no longer as popular should eventually start to slip down the rankings.

Individually, each of these mistakes should not be too damaging on a small scale.

However, if these mistakes are made a great deal in unison, for example quickly gaining a large number of spammy links with limited anchor text, you can expect problems.

Look to gain authority by finding quality links from reputable sites, track your backlinks with a service like Moz or Majestic, and ensure your on-page optimization is taken care of.

Search algorithms will continue to change, but avoiding these mistakes will put you in the best position for long-term success.

If you really try and take short cuts, you are only setting yourself up for disaster.  I have seen many people spam their way to the top of Google, were there for a little while and then an update hit and they were gone.

While this may be ok for blackhat Seo’s who play the game of churn and burn, it is not a strategy to take with a real business or client who is paying you good money and depending upon you.

When approaching linkbuilding, you need to think long term.  And, if you do things right, you can gain a lot of traffic in the process.

What you need is to, stick with quality relevant links and don’t worry about things like no=follow.  If the link will bring you traffic and is relevant, then get the link.  Not everything needs to be about Google all the time.

There is where many Seo’s make mistakes, thinking about nothing more than Google.

But, there is so much more out there than just a search engine.  Yes, it is one of the best and highest converting sources of traffic out there.  But you need to protect yourself and your business and build links that will send traffic also.