______________________________ Blogging ______________________________

The Top 10 Key Elements That Makes A Website Great

Have you ever wondered what makes a great website? Most likely, you already found some information out there that tells you that to be a great website, you need quality content. You need things like videos, slide presentations, and even infographics. So, are these all you need to pass the test of having quality content? […]

5 Steps to Revising Your Content Marketing Strategy to Attract and Retain Future Customers

This is not a how-to post; this is a how-to-think post. What troubles me about the majority of current content creation activities from companies is the sheer lack of strategy and purpose. I see a lot of activities — tweets, posts, articles, infographics, and more — that don’t support a real business goal. Content Marketing

[ Continue Reading… ]

The post 5 Steps to Revising Your Content Marketing Strategy to Attract and Retain Future Customers appeared first on Copyblogger.

How to Create Simple Drawings to Clarify Your Ideas and Captivate Your Audience

Struggling to find a stock image for your next blog post? You browse Flickr for ages. You settle on a picture that’s okay. You’d love to hire a professional illustrator, but you don’t have the budget. Not yet. Sometimes you wonder if a better source of images exists. What if you could create your own

[ Continue Reading… ]

The post How to Create Simple Drawings to Clarify Your Ideas and Captivate Your Audience appeared first on Copyblogger.

Seth Godin on Stepping Up and Making it Happen

Seth Godin is the author of 17 bestselling books. He’s the founder of email marketing pioneer Yoyodyne, and the charity-driven publishing platform Squidoo. And he’s the selfless dispenser of daily wisdom via the most popular marketing blog on the planet. But if you had to sum Seth up in one word, it might well be

[ Continue Reading… ]

The post Seth Godin on Stepping Up and Making it Happen appeared first on Copyblogger.

_________________________ Business Opportunities ____________________

How to Warm Up on a Snowy Day

  From time to time, there comes a time when snow is falling all around us and we see nothing but a white blanket outside. For some of us, it…

How to Warm Up on a Snowy Day is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget

  Not all small-business owners start out with generous investor capital or bank financing. In fact, the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs start their businesses by dipping into savings, liquidating personal…

How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

How to Be Efficient in 3 Easy Steps

  Have you ever wanted to make a bunch of stuff in a single day? Would you like to have a clone, one that can make most of your work…

How to Be Efficient in 3 Easy Steps is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

_______________________ Converting Techniques ________________________

Top 10 Articles on ConversionXL In 2014

Another one bites the dust. Here are our most read articles for 2014. Make sure you didn’t miss any.  10#: Testing The Hamburger Icon for More Revenue Most websites use the hamburger navigation icon to display the menu as it’s become a default option for this. Is that a good idea? There’s a good chance that it’s not.(…)

The post Top 10 Articles on ConversionXL In 2014 appeared first on ConversionXL.

How to Analyze Your A/B Test Results with Google Analytics

A/B testing tools like Optimizely or VWO make testing easy, and that’s about it. They’re tools to run tests, and not exactly designed for post-test analysis. Most testing tools have gotten better at it over the years, but still lack what you can do with Google Analytics – which is like everything. When you run(…)

The post How to Analyze Your A/B Test Results with Google Analytics appeared first on ConversionXL.

Testing The Hamburger Icon for More Revenue

Mobile traffic is a significant part of most websites, and smooth navigation for mobile users is critical. Most websites use the hamburger navigation icon to display the menu as it’s become a default option for this. Is that a good idea? There’s a good chance that it’s not.    Lots of designers have made a(…)

The post Testing The Hamburger Icon for More Revenue appeared first on ConversionXL.

_________ Earning Money _________

How to Warm Up on a Snowy Day

  From time to time, there comes a time when snow is falling all around us and we see nothing but a white blanket outside. For some of us, it…

How to Warm Up on a Snowy Day is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget

  Not all small-business owners start out with generous investor capital or bank financing. In fact, the overwhelming majority of entrepreneurs start their businesses by dipping into savings, liquidating personal…

How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

How to Be Efficient in 3 Easy Steps

  Have you ever wanted to make a bunch of stuff in a single day? Would you like to have a clone, one that can make most of your work…

How to Be Efficient in 3 Easy Steps is a post from: MakeMoneyInLife.com

_______ Entrepreneurship _______

7 Team Building Activities that Can Help your Team to Get Back on Track in 2015

As a manager or leader your biggest challenge is keeping your team energized. It’s the end of 2014 and while it’s a time to enjoy yourself with family and friends, the year end is also about taking stock of life and work.… Continue reading »

The post 7 Team Building Activities that Can Help your Team to Get Back on Track in 2015 appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

A 3 Step Roadmap to Financial Independence

Few people ever become rich working for someone else. Those who do are usually C-level executives—Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Financial Officers (CFO), Chief Operations Officers (COO), Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Marketing Officers. In all companies, then, only a small cadre ever gets to enjoy extraordinary incomes.… Continue reading »

The post A 3 Step Roadmap to Financial Independence appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

11 Ways to Ensure Excellent Representation From Your Virtual Assistants

If you are outsourcing or using virtual assistants, what is one way you can make sure that they represent you well from so far away?

The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.… Continue reading »

The post 11 Ways to Ensure Excellent Representation From Your Virtual Assistants appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

______ Ideas & Strategies ______

7 Team Building Activities that Can Help your Team to Get Back on Track in 2015

As a manager or leader your biggest challenge is keeping your team energized. It’s the end of 2014 and while it’s a time to enjoy yourself with family and friends, the year end is also about taking stock of life and work.… Continue reading »

The post 7 Team Building Activities that Can Help your Team to Get Back on Track in 2015 appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

Happy Holidays 2014 from @TopRank Online Marketing

From all of us at TopRank Online Marketing, we wish our community the Merriest Christmas, the Happiest Hanukah and the most wonderful Holiday Season! Click the image below to see this year’s Holiday card:       Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to theTopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter. © Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®, 2014. […]

A 3 Step Roadmap to Financial Independence

Few people ever become rich working for someone else. Those who do are usually C-level executives—Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Financial Officers (CFO), Chief Operations Officers (COO), Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Marketing Officers. In all companies, then, only a small cadre ever gets to enjoy extraordinary incomes.… Continue reading »

The post A 3 Step Roadmap to Financial Independence appeared first on Noobpreneur.com.

______ Internet Marketing ______

5 Healthy Tips to Adopt for All Entrepreneurs in 2015

Eat, sleep, work, repeat.  Does this sound like you? Well the key element that is missing in this pattern is self-care.  This might seem scary to a lot of you, especially in the entrepreneur world.  Stopping for a break is usually not an option if you want to be successful, but what will really make […]

Saving For a Home Down Payment

We are in the very beginning stages of buying our next home. We still live in our current home and have to sell it, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have two goals at once. Our first home was very cheap, so our down payment was quite small. However, for our next home our down […]

Affiliate Network Battle: LinkShare vs. ClickBank

When you go shopping, whether it be online or in the “real world” (I know, that’s sooooo last century), you browse to see what’s on offer before making a decision. Did you know that 90 percent of customers say that their decisions about purchasing products are influenced by online reviews? Marketing Land wrote a blog post about it:

Customer reviews influence buying decisions

So why not do the same with affiliate networks? This is the place to get the inside scoop on two of the top-rated networks around: Rakuten LinkShare and ClickBank.

For each, you will get:

  • My initial opinion of the network
  • Blogger opinions of the network
  • User opinions of the network (via a variety of forums)

Think of it as an archive, snippets of multiple opinions from across the web all in the one place, so you don’t have to spend the time hunting for them yourself. Let’s see what I can dig up…

1. Rakuten LinkShare

Coming in first across the board on ‘top affiliate network’ lists is LinkShare. But how does it compare in the eyes of the average affiliate marketer?

My Initial Impression of LinkShare

It seems very up-market; I don’t get the sense that it’s catering to newer affiliates. It looks like they offer a lot of tools and support, but at the same time I wonder how simple the process of getting started with them is. 

I can’t browse their affiliate programs when I visit their website, so I have to sign up to get a look around. I found the “Publishers” vs. “Affiliates” thing a little confusing to begin with. If I were newish, I would be thinking, “Is a publisher just an affiliate?” And, “Where exactly am I meant to sign up?”

LinkShare

I know it’s simple to read through the information to figure out where to go, but I feel like in this day and age on the Internet it should be straightforward: “Sign up as an affiliate here!” If we must sign up before being able to look around properly, at least give us a nice big button to do so!

In saying that, I think that the website looks professional and trustworthy, and I would probably sign up to have a look around. 

Blogger Impressions of LinkShare

OK, so I know that a lot of us are affiliate marketers, and I understand why we do what we do, but boy do we do make it hard to get honest and unbiased opinions in search results! 

However, throughout my digging I’ve managed to find evidence of the reasons why people may or may not like LinkShare. For starters, it’s known for having helpful tracking and reporting features.

LinkShare blog review

You can set your payment threshold as low as $1, which means that you don’t have to earn big bucks before you get a cent. Another comment made in some of the blogs is that people find LinkShare quite easy to use, and the support is friendly and fast.

LinkShare blog review

Another gem is that they’ve gone to the effort to make deep linking easy, sending people straight to a specific sales page rather than a homepage. 

LinkShare blog review

They have more physical products than digital products, so if that’s what you’re looking for, many would tell you that LinkShare is the place to go.

LinkShare blog review

Unfortunately, some people have had trouble earning with LinkShare. I read a few instances in which people had used the network for a long time, and not had much luck. 

LinkShare blog review

Mind you, there are many more elements involved in making sales than what affiliate network you use, so it’s hard to tell how much of this is due to LinkShare. Overall, though, the opinion is a positive one.

LinkShare blog review

User Impressions of LinkShare

Forums are the opposite of blogs in the general angle of their commentary. Where blogs lean toward favorable reviews, forums are riddled with the issues people are having, making them much more negative generally.

I’ve done some digging however to get you a good variety of opinions:

It’s true that some people love LinkShare.

LinkShare forum review

It’s also true that some people aren’t so keen about it.

LinkShare forum review

So what’s the overall evidence? Why do people feel the way that they do? To start with, some people aren’t impressed with LinkShare’s API. 

LinkShare forum review

They did finish by saying that LinkShare is a reputable company, however, and that others have had good relationships. This brings me to my next point: LinkShare has some bigger-brand affiliate products, as was mentioned in the blog reviews above, “…everything from Macy’s to AT&T to McAfee.” 

LinkShare forum review

This is probably what accounts for the more up-market style of their application process. Big brands mean more competition, both in the online market, and even just being accepted into affiliate programs. In response to the blog post, someone mentioned their trouble with this: 

LinkShare forum review

At the other end of the merchant scale on LinkShare, it would seem that some are spamming affiliates via email under the umbrella of “Private Offers.”

LinkShare forum review

And while LinkShare responded with a blog post that explains how to filter these unwanted emails, most users seemed unhappy with this as a solution, believing it shouldn’t happen in the first place, and that it should be resolved on their end.

This is just something you may have to consider when choosing the LinkShare network, though I do have a friend who uses it and claims that she never had any such problem. 

Either way, LinkShare’s support service does seem to be top notch. This isn’t even a LinkShare forum, and the team responded to a question within 12 hours:

LinkShare forum review

LinkShare went on to resolve the issue for all in the same situation.

LinkShare Review Summary

Overall it appears that the following can be said about LinkShare:

  • It can be a bit more difficult to earn commissions with LinkShare, particularly if your new to affiliate marketing.
  • LinkShare is more suited to affiliates who already have some experience.
  • It’s not the best option for digital products, but LinkShare is great for physical products.
  • It’s a good place to find big brands, but getting accepted by these merchants can be difficult.
  • There’s a risk that you’ll get some email spam from less-than-desirable merchants.
  • Any issues you have will be quickly seen to by their support.

Yes, LinkShare isn’t perfect, but no affiliate network will be. If you’re newer and you prefer digital products, then this network probably isn’t for you. If you have some experience with affiliate marketing already, and great physical product brands sound pretty good to you, then by all means give LinkShare a go!

 

2. ClickBank

ClickBank rates fairly highly on “top affiliate network” lists as well, so I’m digging deeper…

My Initial Impression of ClickBank

It looks good, and it’s friendly. I like the ease of finding the information for affiliates under “Digital Marketers” at the top. It seems very people-focused, as you can easily read through stories from real affiliates under the “Features” tab at the top. 

ClickBank Featured Clients

My absolute favorite thing is that you can browse the marketplace without even signing up. It’s like a door wide open: Come and see what you can promote here, and then decide whether or not you want to sign up.

Clickbank Marketplace

It feels like ClickBank has nothing to hide, that it’s not just trying to get information out of you; it’s all very reassuring. There’s no reason why I wouldn’t at least have a look around at the products I could be promoting with this affiliate network.

Blogger Impressions of ClickBank

After browsing a variety of blogs, I have discovered some common opinions about ClickBank. To start with, there’s a lot of positive feedback from people who’ve found ClickBank easy to get started with.

Clickbank blog review

Clickbank blog review

The problem of course with such an open network, is that you really do get the bad with the good… 

Clickbank blog review

It would seem that some research is required to check which products have the most promise. Thankfully, ClickBank has a really effective filtering process to sort the good from the bad. ​

Clickbank blog review

Many have pointed out that the Gravity filter is particularly good, as well as other filters such as the average amount per sale or products by language.

Clickbank blog review

ClickBank appears to be somewhat like a “serve yourself” buffet of options, but unfortunately, not all of the reviews of the support are as shining as the LinkShare support reviews. 

Clickbank blog review

At the same time, others have had positive customer support experiences, so while it’s a little more touch-and-go, it can be fine depending on your situation. Overall, the blog reviews are positive.

Clickbank blog review

User Impressions of ClickBank

Ah forums, where opinions fly free and no one holds back. I’ve found some very extreme opinions about ClickBank in my online travels. Some are unabashedly jubilant…

Clickbank forum review

…and occasionally one is outright zealously condemning…

Clickbank forum review

…but in all seriousness, there are a variety of highly relevant opinions on why people do or don’t like ClickBank. To start, I found a great deal of positive feedback on how quickly people managed to make money with it.

Clickbank forum review

Clickbank forum review

Clickbank forum review

Of course, it wasn’t so easy for everyone. Some found it a little confusing to navigate.

Clickbank forum review

A lot of people have said that’s it’s great for newbies, which is why a lot of people start there.

Clickbank forum review

The theme of “be careful which products you choose to promote” is just as prominent in the forums as it was in the blogs. People who haven’t filtered their search results to find good products to promote often complain about the products that they’ve ended up with: 

Clickbank forum review

That particular opinion however was slammed by several who have found great products using ClickBank. Most simply insist that you need to make use of the search filters, and look at the merchant sales page to determine for yourself whether you want to promote a product or not.

Clickbank forum review

The one limitation with ClickBank products however is that you can only find digital products to promote, so if you want to promote physical products, this isn’t where you’d look!

Clickbank blog review

The up-side of this is that it’s easy for ClickBank to be customer-friendly with their 60-day money back guarantee, and the general opinion of affiliates is that this is a very good thing! It gives customers buyer security, which can often result in more sales than refunds in the larger picture.

Clickbank forum review

ClickBank Review Summary

In the end it would seem that ClickBank is great for newbies, and that a lot of people have made good money with it. You have to be conscious of which products you are choosing to promote, but there are plenty of good ones to be found. If you’d like more information on using the search filters in ClickBank, you can check out our free lesson here

If you’re looking to make money promoting digital products, which is a particularly good idea if you’re just starting out, and you don’t want to have to apply for each affiliate program individually, then this one is definitely for you. You can launch right into it fairly easily.

Also, if you use the AffiloTools suite here for your marketing analytics, you can track your ClickBank revenue in there without having to open another tab or window.
 

Conclusion: Rakuten LinkShare or ClickBank?

From all the evidence gathered it would seem that they are both good options for affiliate networks, but they cater to different needs. 

If you are new to affiliate marketing, you want easy, fast-in-fast-out access to affiliate programs, and you’d like to promote digital products, then ClickBank is for you.

If you are more experienced in affiliate marketing, you want to promote physical products, and you don’t mind the process of applying for each affiliate program individually, then LinkShare might be more up your alley than ClickBank.

If you have an opinion on either or these networks, or a question about anything to do with them, be sure to comment below, as there’s never any harm in adding to the collection of opinions! The more opinions, the better the view we can get of each network.

________ Passive Income ________

SPI 140: Productivity and the Early Morning Routine with Hal Elrod

I’ve always been a night owl. I work after the kids go to sleep (because my WHY is to spend all day with my family as much as I can), and I’ve found the evenings to be when I’m the most creative. Recently, however, after recording this interview with Hal Elrod, I’ve added a small early morning routine to my day, and the results have been amazing. Check it out!

SPI 140: Productivity and the Early Morning Routine with Hal Elrod is a post from: The Smart Passive Income Blog

Thank you SPI Community – We Set a Record!

On my birthday, I decided to start a campaign to build schools in Ghana. Here are the results of that campaign, and the reason why the SPI community is the best community in the online world. Plus, how we were able to break a record :)

Thank you SPI Community – We Set a Record! is a post from: The Smart Passive Income Blog

SPI 139: How to Work a Room and Socialize for Success – with Susan RoAne

Put me in a room full of people I know, and I’m as comfortable as I can be. Put me in a room with strangers or people I don’t really know that well, and I usually hide in a corner somewhere. Today, I’m happy to welcome Susan Roane who is here to help us become better at socializing – how to be good in a room – a skill that is of utmost important today if you want to get ahead in your business and in life. Check it out!

SPI 139: How to Work a Room and Socialize for Success – with Susan RoAne is a post from: The Smart Passive Income Blog

______________________________ Resources ______________________________

Integrating AdSense into Google Analytics (& Why You Need to Do It RIGHT NOW)

Did you know that Google now allows you to import your AdSense data into Google Analytics? Did you know that once imported into Google Analytics, you have access to granular AdSense data that is not available through standard AdSense reporting? Do you know what to DO with this information to make more money? I’ve got […]

The post Integrating AdSense into Google Analytics (& Why You Need to Do It RIGHT NOW) appeared first on Sugarrae.

Sarasota christian louboutin sale woman creates her own

Sarasota christian louboutin sale woman creates her own line of shoes Kelly earned a business degree at uf in 2008 and was working on a graduate degree in interior design there when she decided to honor a lifelong dream of becoming a shoe designer.She began working on a line of elegant shoes for working women […]

his is hard to read and annoys Christian Louboutin Pumps

Saturday http://www.yali.com.au/ walk in casper ‘pumps’ awareness of victims You might not want to wear your $9, 950 louis vuitton merry go round alligator pumps.And you might save your christian louboutin mandarin red python pumps with signature red soles that set you back $1, 295.You absolutely might not want to loan them to your husband, […]

_____________________________ Saving Money _____________________________

Best Money Tips: Things You Shouldn’t Buy Until After Christmas

Welcome to Wise Bread’s Best Money Tips Roundup! Today we found some great articles on things you shouldn’t buy until after Christmas, ways to avoid overeating during the holidays, and things you need to stop doing when you work.
Top 5 Articles

10 Thi…

Best Deals for Friday 12/19

Link for teaser title: 

http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today

Home Depot Overstock Sale: Up to 60% off, Men’s Apparel and Shoes at Nordstrom: Up to 65% off, Office Depot and…

How to Buy the Best Mattress for the Least Money

If a house and a car are the two most important purchases in your life, a mattress makes a solid case as the third. (See also: How to Buy a Car Without Going Crazy)

Without the right knowledge, a mattress purchase can also become like the other two &m…

____________________________ SEO and Traffic ____________________________

Happy Holidays from Moz

Posted by FeliciaCrawford Ah, the holidays! This is the time of year when we give our … [Read More...]

How to Avoid an SEO Disaster When Changing Your Website

Posted by Richard_FoulkesThis post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main … [Read More...]

International SEO Study: How Searchers Perceive Country Code Top-Level Domains

Posted by 5le The decision to focus your site on an international audience is a big step … [Read More...]

_________________________________ Trends _________________________________

What do your mobile habits say about you?

chained smartphone addict
Ran Avrahamy is the Head of Marketing at AppsFlyer, the cross-platform App Analytics. Do you obsessively check your smartphone? More and more today, we walk into classrooms, restaurants, offices or any physical space full of people and even if Michael Jackson reanimated and walked into the room, no one would acknowledge the presence because everyone’s eyes are glued to their phones. According to Cisco’s Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast by 2018 mobile data usage will exceed 15 exabytes per month. What if I told you that now your mobile provider is able to access everything you do on your phone? Verizon Wireless claims that…

This story continues at The Next Web

60 of the best Android apps launched in 2014

60 best Android apps launched in 2014
Android really came into its own in 2014, with the Material Design language, several great devices, and most importantly, scores of brilliant apps for the platform. Here are our favorites that launched this year. You can view all 60 on one (very long) page here. Prefer iOS? Check out 65 of the best iOS apps launched in 2014. Photos and Video Carousel Dropbox’s clever gallery app lets you see all your pictures and videos from your device and Dropbox account in one place. It can also back up your photos and free up room on your device by deleting images that…

This story continues at The Next Web

Samsung shuts its flagship London store at Westfield

Samsung Experience Store
Ever been to a Samsung Experience Store? If not your options in the UK just dropped by one. Samsung has closed its flagship store at London’s Westfield Stratford City mall. One of ten Samsung Experience Stores in the UK, the retail space has now been “permanently closed” with images of the dismantled store shared on Twitter. And it’s all over for the flagship #Samsung Experienced store in @westfieldstrat #signofthetimes pic.twitter.com/P03eNivsab — Najeeb Khan (@najeebster) December 23, 2014 While the Samsung Experience Stores carry the South Korea manufacturer’s brand they’re run by Carphone Warehouse. They were designed to showcase the best of the company’s products…

This story continues at The Next Web

Protect yourself from Sony-style hacks with these cyber security resources

After the recent spate of online intrusions, it’s become more important than ever to safeguard yourself on the Web. Whether you want to protect your personal browsing activity and identity from hackers, or build a bulletproof site or app, be sure to check out our best deals for cyber security training and VPN services here at TNW Deals. 88% off the Cyber Security Developer Bundle This premium security training bundle for developers covers everything you need to know to protect systems, networks and websites, and prepare for certification to further your career. The Cyber Security Developer Bundle includes six courses…

This story continues at The Next Web

Tracking the Santa trackers: Google versus Microsoft and Norad – which is better?

SantaSanta
Father Christmas has begun his annual flight from the North Pole to deliver gifts to everyone on the Nice List but which Santa Tracker is best at following him as he makes his epic journey? We’re monitoring the Google Santa Tracker and NORAD Tracks Santa, which has enlisted the help of Microsoft, to see which best keeps the best eye on Saint Nick on his travels. Perhaps due to the magic qualities of Santa’s sleigh and his reindeers, the two trackers disagree on his route. Both conclude that the first stop of the year for Father Christmas was in Russia but Norad’s satellites say he…

This story continues at The Next Web

The alternative gift card

Alert shoppers know that gift cards are a little bit of a scam, and a copout as well. What to do if the last minute has arrived and all you have is the internet and a printer? One thought: establish…