All posts by Mitt Ray

About Mitt Ray

Mitt Ray is the founder of Social Marketing Writing, where you can download 100 free social media background images.

How to Generate More Affiliate Revenue From Your Blog Posts

affiliate revenue

If you want to generate more revenue from your blog, without spending any time creating products or offering a service, you should turn to affiliate marketing. With affiliate marketing you mainly share links to products you like on your blog and you get a slice of the revenue when someone makes a purchase after visiting through your link.

Implementing affiliate marketing doesn’t take up too much of your time. But you won’t get the best results by just randomly placing links in your blog post. In order to generate more affiliate revenue from your blog, you need follow a well-planned out strategy. So, here’s a quick guide to help you out…

Write more reviews:

When most people promote affiliate products, they just write blog posts, place a few affiliate links here and there and hope that people will check out the product after clicking on the links and buy them. This technique does work, but it isn’t as effective as a review.

Most people reading blog posts, aren’t in the buyer’s mindset yet. They are mainly looking for a different type of solution they can obtain immediately. Hence, only a small portion of visitors from that post will convert.

If you want to get more sales from your blog posts, you need to be writing reviews. People who read reviews are ready to buy. They only have a small amount of doubt in their mind, so, they go about reading reviews. And if you write a really good review where you discuss the pros and cons in detail, you should be able to drive more sales.

Therefore, make sure you add review type posts into your content marketing mix.

Another tactic that works is writing ‘best of’ posts where you detail the best tools/software/item one can buy. As people who read these posts are in the ‘ready to buy’ mindset too. A good example is this post from WhoIsHostingThis.

More affiliate revenue

Here they detail the best hosting services out there. A page like this will help convert more traffic to affiliate sales as most of the people reading this page, want a hosting service, but are unsure about which one to go with. The reviews on the page will point them in the right direction.

Link to the reviews in your posts:

Once you publish the reviews on your site, you can begin linking to them in your post whenever you mention the tool. You can also include a link to the tool as well. Those who are interested in buying the tool immediately, will click on the direct link to the tool, while those who are on the fence, will read the review and purchase it.

Only recommend the best products:

To generate the initial sale and to get your readers to buy the products you recommend again and again, you need to only recommend the best products. So, make sure you test the products out yourself before you promote them. If you have a bad experience, it is better to avoid it as I’m sure there are scores of better alternatives out there.

This is because if your readers have a bad experience with a product, they will stop trusting you and never buy the products you recommend. Also, as a blogger and authority it is your responsibility to the do the best you can to help your readers.

Incorporate email into your affiliate marketing:

Another medium that can help you boost your affiliate revenue is email. As people prefer consuming content delivered via email over blogging.

affiliate revenue

So, create an email sequence that promotes some of your best affiliate products and regularly send out emails of reviews.

And work on building your email list. Here are a few ways you can do this…

Optimize your blog with optin forms: Place optin forms all over your website and get people to sign up. These should include popup forms, slider forms, sticky bars, etc.

Use ads: If you have a budget, you can create a lead magnet, place it on a landing page and then run ads that promote the landing page. This can help you build up your list very quickly.

Write guest posts: If you want to use an organic list building technique similar to the above one, but you don’t want to spend money on ads, you can use guest posting. Here you create a landing page and then write a guest post for a website that gets a lot of traffic and you link to the landing page in the body of the post or the bio.

People who like your posts will visit your landing page and download the lead magnet. For best results make sure you write a top-quality post and only promote a highly relevant lead magnet in your article.

You can see an example of this strategy being executed properly in Erin Sanchez’s guest post on Social Media Examiner.

generate more affiliate

As you can see, she wrote a guest post on blogging and then linked to a landing page where you can download a lead magnet on blog post ideas.

Create video tutorials:

As you can see in the aforementioned graph, people prefer consuming video content the most. So, you should also create a lot of video reviews promoting affiliate products. I know, creating video content can seem like a colossal task, but it is a lot easier now as there several video editors available that simplify things. You can then embed the video in your blog posts.

For an example of a good video review, checkout the above one from WPCrafter. He reviews a plugin in the YouTube video and then links to it in the description with an affiliate link.

Keep track of affiliate links:

You also want to make sure you keep track of your affiliate links to see what types of articles, call to actions, videos, reviews, types of products, etc. are getting you the most sales.

You can use this data to write better posts and promote better products in the future.

Conclusion:

This is how you can generate more affiliate revenue from your blog. So, begin using all of the techniques I have listed above.

How to Create YouTube Videos that Attract Subscribers

If you want to build a YouTube channel that gets more views you need to work on getting more subscribers. The more subscriber you have, the more number of people will be informed every time you publish a video. This will get you that initial influx of views and shares. 

Also, more subscribers will add a good amount of social proof which will convince more people to watch your videos. 

So, here’s a quick guide on how to create YouTube videos that attract subscribers…

Create quality videos that people want to watch:

People will only subscribe to your channel if they enjoy watching your videos and want to watch more in the future. This is why you should figure out what they want and then create the best videos you can.

To find topics that people want to watch you can use keyword research tools to figure out what type of topics people search on Google. You can then type these keywords into YouTube to see which videos on this topic are getting the most views. 

Watch as many of these popular videos as you can. Study the way these videos are made and the content they cover. 

Then create quality videos like these for your own channel. But make them better. 

If you follow these steps and create the best videos ever, people will watch them completely and subscribe. As they will want to come back for more.

Optimize them to get more views:

You will have more opportunities to get subscribers if you get more people to watch. This is why you should optimize them to get more views. There are two easy ways to do this. 

One is to add keywords to your video titles and descriptions. If you add keywords that people usually search on YouTube, your videos will begin to appear higher in search results. This can drive more clicks and views.

Another way to get views is by adding a custom thumbnail. When you create a unique and attractive thumbnail image and add it to your video it will help it generate more attention. This image can also convince people to click on the video and watch it. 

The ideal YouTube thumbnail image should be 1280 X 720 pixels in size. 

So, create an attention generating image of this size using a tool like Canva and add overlay text like the title of the video to it. This can attract a lot of views. But don’t overcrowd it with text as it will make it look spammy.

Add the subscribe element in your end cards:

The above two techniques will help you attract views. So, you need to combine them with techniques that will get those viewers to subscribe. One effective way to do this is by adding a subscribe element to your YouTube end card. The end card can be added to the last 5 to 20 seconds of a video. 

Here you can display elements like videos, a link to your website and a subscribe button. So, make sure you add a subscribe button. When people click on this, they will be taken to your channel home page where they can subscribe. 

If you have made a quality video, this little nudge will get them to subscribe. 

An example of a video with both, a good thumbnail image and end card is this one from Bobby Chiu

Here is a screenshot of the thumbnail. As you can see Bobby used a very interesting picture for the thumbnail. It also has some overlay text. It is a shorter version of the video title. He also used some good keywords in the title and description.

He also created a unique end card with a subscribe button. You can create an end card image similar to this by using Canva. You have to then place it in the last 5 to 20 seconds of your video by using a tool like Screencast O Matic’s Video Editor

After that you need to go into YouTube’s video editor and place the elements. The element you can add are the subscribe button, a link, video and playlist. You can also promote another channel if you would like to. 

Add a link to your channel in the description:

You can also add a link to your channel homepage in the description and include a call to action that asks people to subscribe. As some people might begin reading the description before the video ends. They might miss out on the end card. Feel free to list as much information as you can to get people to subscribe as the character limit for YouTube video descriptions is 1,000 words. 

Create a trailer:

Another way to get subscribers is by creating a trailer. The trailer is the video that automatically starts playing when you visit a YouTube channel. You should make the most of this feature and create a trailer where you tell people what you cover on your channel, how you will educate and or entertain them and why they should subscribe. 

Add a link to your description and a call to action asking people to subscribe early on as it will be displayed right next to the video on your channel homepage. Like in the below screenshot from Mario Tomic’s YouTube channel

Conclusion:

These are the 5 steps you should follow to create YouTube videos that attract more subscribers. As you begin generating subscribers, your viewership, revenue and traffic will go up to. So, begin implementing these tips today. 

How do you create YouTube videos that attract more subscribers? Which techniques have worked best for you? Please leave your comments below. 

How to Create an Online Course that People Will Buy

Judging by the number of ads for online courses you are likely bombarded with every day, you might think that this industry has hit saturation point. But really, it’s only the beginning – e-learning is expected to become a $325 billion dollar industry by 2025.

Therefore, if you want to make some passive income, creating and selling an online course is probably your best bet.

But your course won’t sell just because you put some information together. You need to meticulously research what your audience wants and only then conceive of, record and publish your course. Only then can you get started packaging and presenting it in a manner that will convince people to make a purchase.

So, to help you out, I have created this easy guide to creating an online course people want to buy…

Research what your audience wants

To create a course that people will want to buy, you need to first figure out what they want. This will not just help you with creating the course, but also with selling it.

Start by looking up the topic you specialise in online. You can use tools like Social Animal to see what topics get shared most and you can use an SEO research tool to see which keywords get searched most.


This will give you a good idea on the topics people want to learn more about.

Next, use this information to see if people have created any course on those topics. You can search for this on search engines and on sites like Udemy. On course marketplaces, you can actually get a lot of information. Like the number of people who have attended a given course, and you can read reviews from students.

This will help you learn more about what they liked about the course and what they didn’t. You can also buy a few courses to see what they are like on the inside.

Once you gather plenty of information about the courses, the curricula and their buyers, you should create a survey to find out even more about what your target audience wants to learn on this topic.

In the survey, also include questions that enquire about what type of content they consume (webinars, ebooks, blog posts, etc.) and the platforms where they discover this content. This will help you figure out how to promote your course after you set it up.

Record the course

Once you know what your audience wants, you can write up your lesson notes and then begin recording the course. How you record it will depend on what you plan to cover in the course.

For example, if you were creating a course on cooking, you will need to spend more time recording yourself and your kitchen counters with a camera. On the other hand, if you are creating a course about marketing on Twitter, for example, you will need to create more videos with screen recordings using a tool like Camtasia, that show people how to use the network.

Recording is probably the hardest part of creating the course, as you will need to attempt several takes and pick the best. You then need to edit and assemble them together. It might be best to hire an editor for this.

You should also hire a designer who can create professional looking cheat sheets, templates and ebooks. These can make it easy for people who buy your course to execute what they learn. It can improve the success rate of your course.

Set it up

Once you have recorded the course and created all the videos and documents, you should set it all up using a learning management system (LMS) like Kajabi.

However, as an all-on-one platform, Kajabi does a lot more than simply allow you to build course experiences out of your content. You can use it to set up your course website, landing pages, subscription billing, a blog and even complex conversion funnels.

You can also create quizzes that course registrants can take part in. This will help them assess themselves and help you gather more information for course updates.

It also comes with Wistia-powered video hosting, so you don’t need to host your videos on another platform.

Package it

The next thing you must do is package the course in such a way that more people will want to buy it. A great way to do this is to create bonuses that complement the lessons. These can range from templates to extra video courses.

You can even team up with other influencers and create short courses on topics they specialise in and offer them as a bonus. If people who buy your course need to buy some software or tools, you can work out discount deals with these companies. You should then sell your course as a package with all these benefits. Make sure you include plenty of images and copy about all the free bonuses and discounts people get when they buy this course.

For some ideas on how to package a course properly, checkout Michelle Schroder’s course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.


Michelle packs a lot of relevant bonuses into her course. They will play a vital role in driving more sales.

Promote it

Once your course and the promotional material like the landing page are set up, you can begin promoting it. For this, again, use the data from the survey. It will show you what type of media your audience consumes.

Some of the best methods are blog posts, email funnels and webinars. All these can be set up with Kajabi too.

After that, the only thing left to do will be to drive traffic using methods like ads, SEO, affiliate marketing, etc.

Now create an online course people will want to buy…

This is the step by step process you should follow to create a course that flies off the shelf. Start by researching your audience and finding out what they want to learn, then record the course and set it up. Make it look as professional as possible.

You can then begin promoting it.

What steps do you take to create an online course? Did I forget to add anything important? Please leave your comments below.

How to Create an Ecommerce Landing Page that Converts

ecommerce landing page that converts

If you want to run a successful ecommerce store, one of the most important pages you need to create is a landing page(s). When you set up a conversion optimized landing page, you will generate maximum revenue with every bit of traffic you send.

Therefore, to help you get a positive ROI from all the time and money you invest in ads, influencer marketing and content marketing I have created this quick guide on how to create an ecommerce landing page that converts.

Choose your best design option:

While setting up your ecommerce landing page you have three options. They are either to hire a designer or to use a landing page building tool or an ecommerce site building tool.

The option you choose should depend on your budget, the amount of time you have and the type of site you want to set up. Hiring a designer to set up your landing page will work best when you have a big budget. As you will not only need their help to set up the landing page, but also maintain it. This person might need to come in and work full-time. You will also need to be very patient here as designing a custom store can take up to 4 weeks.

If you don’t want to set up an entire store and just need a few landing pages for products, you can simply create the landing pages.

While if you want to create and run a complete store all by yourself, you can use an ecommerce website building tool. These tools come with templates and apps that make it very easy to set up and run a site. They only cost a few dollars and let you automate several tasks, so they will help keep your business lean.

Upload visuals and copy: 

The next thing you must do is add visuals. When people buy products online, they want a close up on their appearance because they can’t touch and feel them like they do at the store. This is why you should upload at least a few pictures that show your product in different angles and in action. It will make it easier for the buyer to picture themselves with the product.

If you want to get even better results you should add videos of your product as they can lift conversions by 30% as discovered by Zappos.

ecommerce landing page that convertsYou should also use visuals to optimize your ecommerce store for sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Visuals drive high engagement on these networks. Therefore, they can get you a lot of traffic.

Accompany the visuals with very well written persuasive copy where you describe the product and the benefits it offers. Put yourself in your customers minds while writing this copy. To help you with this you can create a customer persona.

Add social proof:

To make the landing page even more persuasive, you should add some social proof. The ideal type of social proof are reviews and ratings that people submit on the landing page itself. Like for this product on Ulta. The almost perfect rating from hundreds of buyers makes the product look very credible.

But these can take time to accumulate. So, in the meantime you should contact previous customers and add their testimonials in either written or video form.

If your product has won any awards in the past, add those details too.

Another way to add social proof is by displaying user generated content (UGC) people post on networks like Instagram. Here is an example on Yonka’s website.

These forms of social proof can boost sales as soon as you launch. The people who buy these products will then submit their own ratings and reviews on the landing pages which will help even further. To encourage people to leave reviews respond to all of them positively whether they are good or bad.

Also, email everyone who buys the product and ask them to leave an honest review.

Make copies and split test:

It is very unlikely that you will create the best version of your landing page in your first attempt. In fact, you will make several mistakes. This is why you should make more versions of your landing page and split test them with the previous versions. If the experiment improves your conversion rate, you can continue using the new version. Otherwise you can just revert back to the old one.

But make sure that you only make one or two new changes for the new versions of your landing page. This is because if you make too many, you won’t be sure what brought about the positive or negative effect.

For best results run these experiments for 2 to 4 weeks at least and send equal amounts of traffic to each page. Many ecommerce builders have built in split testing capabilities that make it easy to run slit tests.

Through these experiments you will be able to figure out the types of landing pages your audience wants. It will make creating better landing pages in the future a lot easier.

Conclusion

These are all the steps you must follow while designing your landing page. They will ensure that you design a landing page that converts no matter where the traffic comes from.

How do you create your ecommerce landing pages? What tools do you use? Please leave your comments below. 

4 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy is Failing

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-315

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-315

Is your social media strategy failing? Would you like to fix it?

If your social media strategy is failing, you’re not alone as only 12% of companies feel they are using social media effectively.

Many companies struggle with social media because they are making some easily avoidable mistakes while executing their strategies. Therefore, in this article, I am going to list out what they are and how you can rectify them…

#1 You don’t update it often enough

If your social media strategy is based on what worked a few months ago, then, of course, it is going to fail. Social media is constantly changing.

Every social network will regularly update their algorithms, design, user interface, rules, etc.

Take Facebook, for example, they have altered their algorithm several times. Earlier when organic reach was high you could post content directly and drive high levels of engagement and traffic. Hence, lots of businesses did this.

But since 2014 when organic reach drastically declined some businesses evolved. They began investing in ads along with organic methods. They also modified their strategy to include other social networks like Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram which drive more engagement.

Those that paid attention and evolved are still thriving while those that still follow the strategies that worked before 2014 are failing.

Hence, stay updated with the latest social media changes by subscribing to official social media blogs and other social media news websites.

Also, keep an eye on your social media analytics to make sure engagement is regularly increasing.

And every time you get a hold of the latest news and statistics, modify your strategy to suit the social networks and your audience.

#2 Your content isn’t good enough

Years back businesses didn’t know the importance of content in social media marketing. They only shared links to their products on social media and hoped for sales.

Now businesses understand the integral role content plays. Therefore, a lot of them are creating it. In a month around 80 million blog posts are published on WordPress blogs alone.

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-3

But the problem is that most of them are creating content just for the sake of it. It’s not good enough.

To stand out from the sea of content, your content should be among the best.

One way to do this is by writing longer blog posts. Blog posts that are longer than 3,000 words get the most shares.

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-2

Most people write blog posts that are less than 1,000 words long. Therefore, when you write longer more informative posts you will easily stand out from the competition and drive more shares on social media.

Someone who creates long-form content regularly is Neil Patel. An example is this post, Social Media Marketing Made Simple. It is more than 3,000 words long.

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-1

Neil writes long posts just like this one on a regular basis. They also contain quality information all throughout.

You too should begin investing more time writing blog posts like this one.

#3 You don’t have a properly planned funnel

Many businesses have realized the importance of capturing leads as email is nearly 40 times more effective than social media in the acquisition of customers.

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-5

This is why when you visit most blogs these days there are several lead-capturing forms.

Once the person signs up they are sent a welcome email and their nurturing process stops right there. After that, the only emails they send are sales emails promoting their products and services.

If you want to stand out from the competition here too you should send out a series of educative emails containing several more tips.

They should be shared in a series of 4 to 5 emails. These tips will build trust and help you establish yourself as an authority on the topic.

You should also continue sending out more content to read once a week at least.

These emails, your lead capturing method, your content and social media comprise to form a basic funnel. Most people don’t plan this out properly and run them separately.

If you share quality content and build a strong relationship with your audience this way your sales email that is interspersed with educative emails will perform a lot better.

Hence, plan and set up a funnel from today onwards instead of only using social media to drive traffic and capture leads.

4-Reasons-Why-Your-Social-Media-Strategy-is-Failing-4

For detailed tips on how to build a funnel check out this free course, Email List Building, from Leadpages. I have been a subscriber to the Leadpages newsletter for a long and I can assure you they have a wealth of information on running funnels.

#4 You aren’t social

I have come across several social media pages that post quality content and drive tons of engagement in the forms of reshares, likes and comments. But the mistake they make here is not engaging back.

Social media is all about being social. If you want your social networks to bring in top quality results, you should engage back with people by thanking them for resharing your content and responding to comments.

When your social media management plan places an emphasis on communicating back it shows people that they are an important part of the community. This will encourage them to engage with your content in the future as well.

Therefore, from today onwards set a little time aside to engage back with your social media followers.

Now fix your social media strategy

These are the mistakes businesses regularly make with their social media strategies. Use my above tips to rectify your current strategy and avoid making them in the future.

What mistakes have you noticed others make with their social media strategies? How can they fix them? Please leave your comments below.