Wednesday, November 15, 2017

SPI 292: The Dark Side of Affiliate Marketing (and How to Do It Right!)

Everything has a sort of yin and yang, dark and white, and affiliate marketing is no different. It’s important to understand the light and the darkness, so let’s go a level deeper on our affiliate marketing journey; let’s talk about the dark side of affiliate marketing.

I don’t want you to be scared of going down the affiliate marketing path; that’s not the purpose of today’s episode. I want to equip you so you know what to look out for, because affiliate marketing can be abused if you take an income-first—rather than a serve-first—approach. For a long time it had a very negative connotation, but affiliate marketing can be done in a legit way that’s a big win for everyone, so I want to change that perception.

Personally, I’ve earned over $2.5 million with affiliate marketing and have had wonderful experiences doing so. I feel that it’s my personal responsibility to teach you how to do affiliate marketing right, but also how not to do it. Take a deep breath; we’re about to venture over to the dark side. Pay close attention, because when it comes to affiliate marketing, understanding what not to do can be just as important as what you should do.

If you want to go even deeper, check out my brand-new course, 1•2•3 Affiliate Marketing. I’ll be talking more about the course later this month, and you can sign up for the waitlist at 123AffiliateMarketing.com. And if you want to check out a free (yes, free!) affiliate marketing resource in the meantime, Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way will walk you through the more foundational affiliate marketing strategies you should use.

And hey, if you’re not following me on YouTube already, check out YouTube.com/smartpassiveincome. A lot of the gameplan for next year is very video-centric. My team and I are devoting a lot of time and energy into YouTube next year (don’t worry though, the podcast and blog aren’t going anywhere). I built out a top-of-the-line, 900 square foot studio space this year, so I’m excited to use it to share some exciting SPI videos with you soon!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.


You'll Learn

  • Why it's important to understand the dark side of affiliate marketing.
  • The #1 biggest mistake that people make when they start affiliate marketing.
  • How and why companies reach out to affiliates, and how this informs your decision-making.
  • How the affiliate marketing decisions you make now can bubble up again in your future.
  • How to stay active with your long-term affiliate relationships and your audience.
  • A negative experience I had purchasing an affiliate product from a friend and what it taught me.
  • Why it's critical to be honest about what an affiliate product can and can't do.
  • My 8 Mile rule (talking about Eminem here) and how it applies to online business.
  • How the law of reciprocity can boost your affiliate sales.
  • Why all your income shouldn't come from affiliate marketing.
  • Why, despite the dark side, affiliate marketing is amazing and worthwhile.

Resources

Monday, November 13, 2017

My October 2017 Income Report

Welcome to my October 2017 Monthly Income Report! It’s been a busy but extremely enjoyable month. I’m happy to share what I’ve been up to, and how the businesses have been progressing. As always, I share all of the ins and outs of my business so that you can get motivated, and learn from both my wins and my failures. Some months are up, others are down, but there are always lessons to be learned, which I’m happy to pass on to you.

Beyond that, I also love to share what’s coming next, and with the year coming to an end very soon, team SPI and I have been putting a lot of effort into what’s coming in 2018. So, without further delay, let’s get right to it!


Income Summary

  • Last month: $220,158.54
  • This month: $145,511.70
  • Last 12 months: $2,074,204.23

Expenses Summary

  • Last month: $57,061.83
  • This month: $49,458.31
  • Last 12 months: $645,315.21

Net Profit Summary

  • Last month: $163,096.71
  • This month: $96,053.39
  • Last 12 months: $1,428,889.02


For the complete breakdown of income and expenses, visit the full report here »

Note: Items with an empty difference percentage were not present on the previous month’s income report.

What I Learned in October

Going back to VidSummit, another key lesson I learned while I was there is “the hook.” That is, when you start a piece of content (whether it’s video content or other content), how quickly you get people committed to finishing that content all the way through before they make the decision to leave (aka “bounce”).

This relates back to increasing watch time and session time, two of the key factors YouTube looks at in their algorithm.

I realized after hearing about the importance of “the hook” over and over again at this conference, that in all of my content—the blog, the podcast, and especially within my existing videos—the hook is something I never really tried to do well. I just sort of started, and would hope that I would set it up nicely so that people would want to continue to read down the page, or listen to more of a podcast episode, or stop themselves from clicking away from watching a video.

In 2018, you’ll notice a significant attempt (hehe, attempt) to get better at hooking the audience to keep you intrigued. I also learned not to bait and switch people either. Meaning, if you create an amazing hook, but don’t close that loop, or deliver on that promise, your audience will actually turn away even harder, and probably never come back.

You need to keep your promises. But, on the other side, I know personally I can do a better job of letting people know what those promises are right away.

And on the other end of this are your open-ended teasers. To keep people going, you need to also let them know what’s coming next. It’s partly how Netflix shows reel us into the next episode as soon as one finishes.

For us, it’s how we can get people to keep reading, watching, and even clicking.

So, I’m going to practice that right now.

This month, Ask Pat Episode 1,000 goes live on Monday, November 20. It’s a special episode of the podcast, not just because it celebrates 1,000 episodes since February 2014, but also because I’m going to announce an important and significant change to the format of the show.

After 1,000 questions answered, this new direction is needed, and it’s going to give me an opportunity to give you even more value down the road, maybe even directly related to you and your business situation.

What is this new change and how will it affect you? Well, you’re going to have to subscribe to the podcast and listen to episode 1,000 when it goes live next week.

To subscribe to AskPat, visit AskPat.com, or click here to subscribe on iTunes.

🙂

Thanks so much for your time and attention here in this month’s income report! Wishing you all the best, and here’s to an amazing end of the year!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

How to Begin Creating a WordPress Plugin

Creating a plugin extends the power of WordPress. Follow along with this tutorial for a quick beginner’s course on how to begin the process of creating a custom plugin.

In this tutorial, you will be introduced to:

  • Why creating a custom plugin is a better choice over modifying core theme, plugin, and WordPress files.
  • Why creating a custom plugin is generally a better choice over creating custom functions in the functions.php file of a theme.
  • How to install the Pluginception Plugin and use it as a very quick, simple way to create a custom plugin.
  • How to start the creation of a plugin and what the minimum requirements are.
  • How to delete the Pluginception Plugin after using it, if desired.

Resources discussed in the video:

It is considered bad practice to edit core files of themes, plugins, and of WordPress itself.

Filter and action hooks are often included to prevent the need for this.

If modifying core files, the changes will be lost when the core files are updated with feature updates or important bug and security fixes.

One way to include custom functions is to modify the functions.php file of a parent or child theme.

Of these 2 choices, it’s better to modify the functions.php file of a child theme.

However, if you ever switch themes, the custom functions will be lost.

In some cases though, this won’t matter if the custom functions were only used to modify the functionality of that theme.

Other times, for writing functions to do things like including custom fields in your posts, it’s best to write a custom plugin, because for that type of functionality… you will want to retain it regardless of the theme being used.

I really like the simplicity of using the Pluginception plugin to create a custom plugin. It prevents the need to interact with the File System using FTP, and comes with a template for a basic function.

For that reason, I am going to show you how to use that plugin to create your own plugin.

Let’s get the Pluginception plugin installed now.

  1. To install Pluginception, from your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Add New.
  2. Do a search for Pluginception.
  3. Click Install Now, then Activate.

Now, a new menu option below Plugins will be created to allow you create a new plugin.

Let’s go through the quick steps for starting the creation of a new plugin.

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Create a New Plugin.
  2. Give your Plugin a name.
  3. Click the Create a Blank Plugin button.

That’s really all there is to the minimum requirements for a plugin.

Here you would paste in some functions that may have normally been suggested to use within the functions.php file of a theme.

After adding in your functions, save the file to see your customizations in action.

When you are done with Pluginception, you may want to delete it.

If so, follow the quick steps below.

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard, go to Plugins, then Installed Plugins.
  2. Click the Deactivate link below Pluginception.
  3. Then click the Delete link.

You should also watch our other create a WordPress plugin video tutorial where you will learn some additional plugin creation techniques.


How to Begin Creating a WordPress Plugin originally posted at TipsAndTricks-HQ

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

SPI 291: A Blueprint for a Successful Short-Term JV (Joint Venture) Affiliate Campaign

November is Affiliate Month here on SPI. Last week we talked about long-term affiliate relationships, so today we’re going to be talking in depth about how to create a successful blueprint for a short-term JV (joint venture) affiliate promotion. How is a short-term affiliate opportunity different, and how can you plan your campaigns to take advantage of the opportunity in a shorter time span?

Often there are times when you have the opportunity to promote a product that has some scarcity involved. Maybe it has limited access, discounted prices for a short time only—your goal is to crush it and become the top affiliate. Depending on the promotion, these opportunities can be golden, and you don’t want to waste the short time that you have. I’ll be talking about the different kinds of short-term affiliate opportunities available, how to get involved, and how to stand out from the other affiliates who may be promoting the same product. With the step-by-step blueprint I’ll give you, you’ll learn how to outline your short-term campaign, how to draw your audience in, and how to track your progress on the way to success.

Affiliate marketing has totally changed my life. As a result of becoming the top affiliate for a lot of products—including short-term JV promotions—I’ve made connections with A-listers and created important partnerships, all while continuing to serve my audience and provide some awesome products for their online businesses . . . It’s just one big win for everyone involved. This episode is packed full of strategy and information so listen close, maybe get out a notepad (or a note-taking app), and good luck on your affiliate marketing journey!

If you want to go even deeper, check out my brand-new course, 1•2•3 Affiliate Marketing. I’ll be talking more about the course later this month, and you can sign up for the waitlist at 123AffiliateMarketing.com. And if you want to check out a free (yes, free!) affiliate marketing resource in the meantime, Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way will walk you through the more foundational affiliate marketing strategies you should use.

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Ahrefs, we have a contest this week! Register to win a free annual account (a $3,990 package!) by answering the following question in the comment section below: What is one big goal that you have for 2018?

Leave your answer below for a chance to win. To start your free trial today, go to Ahrefs.com. I’ll pick my favorite comment from all entries; contest closes on December 7, 2018 at midnight Pacific. The winner will be notified via email using the email address associated with the comment.

And hey, if you’re not following me on YouTube already, check out YouTube.com/smartpassiveincome. A lot of the game plan for next year is very video-centric. My team and I are devoting a lot of time and energy into YouTube next year (don’t worry, the podcast and blog aren’t going anywhere). I built out a top-of-the-line, 900-square-foot studio space this year, so I’m excited to use it to share some exciting SPI videos with you soon!

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.


You'll Learn

  • How to make the most of a short-term joint venture (JV) promotion when it comes your way.
  • The number one rule of affiliate marketing (for long-term or short-term promotions).
  • The different kinds of short-term affiliate opportunities, and how you can get involved.
  • How to stand out from everyone else who's promoting the same affiliate product.
  • How far in advance I recommend you plan your short-term affiliate campaign.
  • What to offer at each stage of the plan week by week, day by day.
  • Bonuses and incentives you can offer to draw your audience's attention to your campaign.
  • What tools to use with your launch so you can track it and figure out what's working.
  • How to use Q&As, webinars, and livestreams to demonstrate and sell your affiliate product.
  • When most of your audience is likely to jump on board during your affiliate campaign, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • Ahrefs

    Ahrefs is the ultimate tool for anyone who wants to win in the world of SEO. Whether you need a tool for keyword research, competitor research, backlink research . . . Ahrefs is the only tool you need for SEO.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The 2 Quickest Ways to Generate an Income Online

On AskPat, I’ve collected over 3,000 voicemail questions related to starting an online business. The most common question of those I get is this:

“What’s the quickest way to start making money online?”

Before I get into my answer, let me tell you exactly why I don’t really like this question. There are two specific reasons for this:

  • First, the emphasis on being quick. I’ve witnessed several new business owners who’ve put speed over quality and value, only to end up further behind than where they were when they started.
  • Second, it implies trying to avoid the work it really takes to make money online. Building a successful business takes a lot of effort and strategy. From research to execution and everything in between—it takes blood, sweat, and tears. The question is in search of a magic button, but there is no magic button.

Gary Vaynerchuk puts it best. In order to succeed, you need “micro hustle, and macro patience.”

Micro hustle is focusing all of your work and effort on the next task at hand (not the task ten tasks from now), while macro patience is about allowing time to give you the results, because they will not often happen right away.

The question “What’s the quickest way to start making money online?” is the opposite of Gary’s advice.

I’ve thought for years about how to best answer this question. I’ve been asked this question in person before, and even during a live Q&A on stage in front of hundreds of people, and my answer usually reflects the two points I’ve made above.

After I share my thoughts with those who’ve asked this question, their body language usually very clearly reflects disappointment. They were expecting an all-in-one solution, after all, and it’s not that simple.

As I’ve thought more deeply about how to answer this question over the years, I’ve come to a realization that the problem is not the answer, but the question itself. For those who’ve asked it, I don’t think it’s always coming from a place of “quick money.” If we reframe the question, I think there’s room to empower and actually help those who’ve asked it—to give them a foundational understanding of what it really means to generate an income online.

Here’s how I would reframe the question:

“With the resources I have available to me now, what can I possibly offer to others in exchange for money?”

Now this is a question we can begin to answer. And, as you can likely tell, the answers will come to each person on an individual basis based on the resources they have available, and to whom they may be able to share and offer those resources.

The answer doesn’t come from me, it comes from the individual.

If you’re ten years old, you might not have much, but perhaps you may have access to a lawnmower in your garage, so you (after asking your parents) offer to cut the lawn for your neighbors, in exchange for money.

If you’re a writer who’s been trying to build your own brand and sell your own books, offering your talent to others who need it would be the best way to go. It’s a resource you have available to you now, and it’s something others (i.e. non writers) may be willing to pay for if they need writing for their website or blog.

So if you’re struggling to figure out how to make money online fast—in a way that focuses on your strengths—that’s how you do it. Think about the resources you have available to you, the skills and talents you have, the superpowers that you’ve so severely underrated these past years, and journey out there to find those people who are looking for the resources and skills you offer. They are out there.

The one word that sums up this method of income generation is:

Freelance.

That’s what you need to do. No, it’s not at all passive, but it’s the quickest and easiest way to get paid for something that can actually help people and solve one of their problems.

There are two more major benefits of going down the freelancing route:

  1. It’s a fantastic way to immerse yourself in an industry and get to know the lay of the land—the marketplace—so you can carve out your own niche in the future in some way, shape, or form. You’ll also be able to connect with the people you need to connect with, and build on those relationships to create more opportunities.
  2. A freelancing service is something that can, with the right strategy and action, turn into something more productized and passive. Brian Casel, founder of CasJam.com and our featured guest on SPI Podcast Session 158, talks about how he was able to turn his stress-inducing one-on-one design service business into something that was actually more productized, passive, and profitable. I highly recommend you listen to that episode if you have a service-based business and you feel stuck.

Beyond freelancing, you could literally just start contacting everyone you know and offer a service today, right now, right at this moment.

I’ll just wait a moment while you do that 😀

There is one more method of generating an income I’d like to share with you. This method is:

  1. Even easier and faster than freelancing.
  2. Something that has helped me earn more than $3 million since I started my online business.
  3. Something you’re likely, in a way, already doing.

What is this sorcery I’m speaking of?

It’s not magic. It’s simply recommending products you already use to those who trust you. In online business terms, we call this:

Affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is the process of generating an income through a partnership you have with a company by recommending their product(s) to others.

Just think of how often you’ve shared with a friend or online network an amazing tool, service, or product that you love. What if you could potentially earn a percentage of the sale of any products you helped sell through your recommendation? Well, that’s possible, and it’s been around for a while.

The term affiliate marketing has taken a bad rap over the years, primarily because people are abusing just how easy this is to do. Internet marketers are finding products they don’t even use because they come with a sweet commission, and are spamming everyone until they either buy, or unsubscribe.

That’s why I sometimes hesitate to even say I participate in affiliate marketing. But that’s not how I, or you, should approach it. I’m here to lead the change and show people there is so much opportunity out there in affiliate marketing the right way. It’s insane to me that more people aren’t really realizing their full potential with this.

There are products that already exist in this world that provide solutions for your audience (and future audience), and when you align your attention to really help them, with the products out there that already exist, it’s a recipe for success and a win for everyone.

This is why, here on SPI, it’s Affiliate Marketing Month. All of the blog posts and podcast episodes published, and even videos on my YouTube channel are going to be about how to master this craft of affiliate marketing, which has accounted for 85 percent of my total income throughout the years.

It’s my most requested topic, so let’s dig deep this month. To start, make sure you download my quick affiliate marketing guide that covers the most basic rules you must follow to win in the affiliate marketing game. It’s called Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way. All you have to do is click the button below, and I’ll email it to you immediately after you sign up. It’s free, and I promise it will be a good start to help you on your way to affiliate marketing success.

Like I said, there’s a lot more to come with affiliate marketing this month, and although it may seem simple—just recommending a product to a friend—there’s a lot more to it than that if you really want to succeed.

Make sure to download Affiliate Marketing the Smart Way now if you haven’t already!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SPI 290: Affiliate Marketing: An Insider Look at My Most Successful Long-Term Campaigns

This whole month is all about affiliate marketing here on SPI and I couldn’t be more excited about today’s episode. Affiliate marketing is something I’m incredibly passionate about: It’s helped me make millions of dollars and it’s absolutely changed my life. Today I’m taking you through my process for getting started.

I’ve learned so much in my time as an affiliate marketer, and most importantly I’ve learned how to do it right—and by do it right, I mean doing it in a way that isn’t slimy. That kind of affiliate marketing annoyed me when I was getting started; it just didn’t feel right and it made me feel that people didn’t know what I wanted. But through my journey I’ve discovered that my early experience doesn’t have to be the affiliate marketing experience. If done the right way it can be a huge win for everyone.

In this episode, I’m giving advanced affiliate marketing tips. These tips aren’t advanced on a technical level—they’re advanced in that no one is doing them. I’ll also be breaking down a case study based on a product I’ve recommended a lot recently: ConvertKit. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for ConvertKit.]

This week’s episode is all about finding long-term resources that you can offer your audience that will be there for a long time, and hopefully earn you some money for a long time too. I wish you good luck and success on your own affiliate marketing journey—enjoy!

And, to download my free guide to mastering affiliate marketing, check out AffiliateMarketingtheSmartWay.com.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.


You'll Learn

  • What affiliate marketing is and how to do it right.
  • My number one rule for affiliate marketing.
  • A case study based on a product that I've recommended recently: ConvertKit.
  • What the acronym D.O.I.N.G. means and why it can be a blueprint to affiliate marketing success.
  • Why you should become familiar with any product before you become an affiliate for it.
  • What you can do to help people feel more comfortable when purchasing through an affiliate link.
  • How to build trust for the product you're an affiliate for.
  • Why you should never recommend more than one of the same kind of product.
  • The important mindset shift that will help you become a better affiliate marketer.

Resources

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SPI 289: How Live Video Can Play a Role in Your Business (and How It’s Helped Mine)

Today I’m addressing a question I keep getting asked: What am I doing with my new live video studio? Why did I set it up, what’s my plan for it, and should you be investing money in live video? Today I’m answering all those questions. We’ll be talking about live video strategy, but also how to set up a space to record in.

I knew for a while that video was going to be part of my entire business strategy, especially because courses were going to be so integral. Live video can be a game-changer—it’s a really organic way to connect with your audience. And it’s especially potent on Facebook. If you go live on Facebook, you’ll get more reach than with a text update, or even an image; Facebook’s really favoring live video right now.

Investing in live video is smart. Experts say that by 2020, about 90 percent of content consumption will be via video. Live video is definitely going to be a big part of that—it’s something we need to pay attention to. So join me today as we talk about all things live video: How to get started, how I set up my studio, the results I’ve seen, and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Ahrefs, we have a contest this week! Register to win a free annual account (a $3,990 package!) by answering the following question in the comment section below: What is one amazing piece of advice that you’ve heard in a previous episode of the SPI Podcast?

Leave your answer below for a chance to win. To start your free trial today, go to Ahrefs.com. I’ll pick my favorite comment from all entries; contest closes on December 7, 2018 at midnight Pacific. The winner will be notified via email using the email address associated with the comment.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes or download our mobile app.


You'll Learn

  • The power of live video and why it's worth the investment.
  • How to get started.
  • Why overly-producing live video can take away from the experience.
  • The results I've had because of live video.
  • My first experience with live video and why it blew my mind.
  • Why I created a studio for livestreams and videos, and why I went to that level.
  • How I set up my studio and what equipment I invested in.
  • How my studio is growing and how it will grow in the future.
  • How going live helped with other areas of my business, and more!

Resources

Sponsors

  • Ahrefs

    Ahrefs is the ultimate tool for anyone who wants to win in the world of SEO. Whether you need a tool for keyword research, competitor research, backlink research . . . Ahrefs is the only tool you need for SEO.