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Tricia Meyer, executive director of the PMA, examines the Facebook Branded Content Tool and to what extent affiliates need to use it. 

As part of the Performance Marketing Assocations’ efforts to educate the industry on disclosure requirements, their Compliance Council has been researching the issue of whether and to what extent affiliates need to use the Facebook Branded Content Tool (also known as the Handshake Tool).

Toward that end, the PMA has not only surveyed affiliates about their use but has spoken directly with Facebook about their requirements. What follows is a summation of those along with outstanding issues we have with the policy.

Facebook says affiliates must use the Branded Content Tool

Members of the PMA Compliance Council first spoke with employees at Facebook back in April of 2018. Since that time, the PMA has received more clarification from them via email.

First, they point affiliates to the policies that regulate both Facebook and Instagram. Facebook defines “branded content” as “a creator or publisher’s content that features or is influenced by a business partner for an exchange of value.” In their conversation with Facebook, Facebook stated the policy is meant to cover broad range promotional content from influencer marketing through to and including affiliate marketing.

Second, Facebook made it clear both verbally and in the email exchanges that branded content includes:

  • An affiliate who posts a direct affiliate link on Facebook
  • An affiliate who posts a link to a blog post on Facebook where that blog post contains affiliate links

Furthermore, the use of FTC compliant disclosure language (such as #ad) does not obviate the need to use the tool.

Survey of affiliates

The Compliance Council conducted an informal, anonymous survey of affiliates who post links on Facebook. The links would include direct affiliate links or to blog posts that include affiliate links.

First, they asked affiliates whether they use proper FTC disclosure language in their Facebook posts, and 72% responded either “Always” or “Sometimes.” Only 10% responded that they do not know what the rules are.

Next, they asked the affiliates whether they use the Facebook Branded Content Tool when they post those links. Only 33% responded “Always” or “Sometimes.” In fact, almost 25% claimed to have no knowledge of the Facebook Branded Content Tool.

Arguments against using the Branded Content Tool

Because only 17% of the affiliates knew about FTC disclosure and chose not to use it, but 42% of affiliates knew about the Branded Content Tool and chose not to use it, the PMA started talking to their members about why that is the case. Overwhelmingly the top reasons were:

  • Tagging the merchant in the post would send customers directly to the merchant, thereby eliminating the possibility for affiliates to earn a commission
  • The social media team that approves the branded content submissions is often not the same as the affiliate team that manages the affiliate program and there is no easy way to police the use of the tags

It’s too difficult to tag multiple merchants for a blog post that contains multiple merchant recommendations in the same post.

Conclusion

Are those arguments enough for affiliates to rationalize that they do not need to use the Branded Content Tool? As long as Facebook’s policy remains as it is, affiliates are obligated to use the Branded Content Tool. To do otherwise would subject the affiliate to having its Facebook account banned. However, it is our hope that further communication between our industry and Facebook can occur so that a mutually satisfactory result can be reached where affiliates are transparent about their relationships but not overburdened to the point of refusing to become compliant.

This article was brought to you by Tricia Meyer, executive directoir of the Performance Marketing Association. Tricia is the owner of Sunshine Rewards, Helping Moms Connect, and other niche sites. She frequently speaks and writes about affiliate marketing topics like monetizing blogs, affiliate and affiliate manager relationships, and the basics of affiliate marketing. She is also a partner in WineClubGroup.com. Tricia has been a finalist for the Pinnacle Award for Industry Advocate and won Affiliate of the Year in 2014 and Best Blogger in 2012.

The post Should affiliates use the Facebook Branded Content Tool? appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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If you struggle to get traffic to your affiliate offers, you are not alone.

Sixty-three percent of businesses say their number one marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.

In affiliate marketing, the advertiser  has already created the product or service and the affiliate program, and provided the tools and creatives needed to help market their offering. The main task for publishers is to generate traffic to these affiliate offers, which equates to more traffic to the advertiser’s website via an  affiliate link. This ideally leads to more conversions and higher profits. Therefore, to be able to generate traffic has to be top of the list of priorities for publishers.

Methods of generating traffic

We’ve explored some of the most effective ways publishers can generate traffic for their affiliate offers and are sharing our top nine methods below.  

1. Paid online advertising

Advertising is the mainstay of lead generation. Whether you choose to do paid search, social media campaigns, remarketing or display advertising, it’s a tried and tested method to drive traffic to your affiliate links.

One of the advantages of using paid lead generating techniques is that people who click on your links are usually high up in the buying cycle, and are therefore ready to purchase. However, you need to balance the cost of your advertisements with the commission you receive per sale. If each ad conversion costs $50 and the commission per sale is $40, it is not worth pursuing this form of lead generation.

2. YouTube

YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the internet, with approximately three billion views per day. As such, it is beneficial for you to start your own channel to promote your offers. Add an interesting video that relates to your offer, then include a compelling call-to-action that links to your affiliate product. Make sure to also put your call-to-action link or discount code within the description box, with a short description of your video. To further utilize your video add an Overlay, which is a little box that stays on the video throughout with your CTA on it. You can get started at ads.YouTube.com.

Don’t restrict yourself to Youtube as there are other video channels like Vimeo that can be used to good effect. However, one of the disadvantages of video promotion is it does take time and effort to produce good content that is going to attract a loyal audience. On the plus side, great videos have the potential to go viral and can escalate very quickly to hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Additionally, when promoting affiliate offers on social media remember to follow the compliance and disclosure guidelines outlined by the FTC for using affiliate links.

3. Social media

If your audience is hanging out on social media, then you and your affiliate offers need to be there too. You can use social media in many ways, including:

  • Participating in communities with a need for your product. It’s important not to promote but to build relationships by answering questions and engaging with the community. If you are helpful, your readers will click on your name to find out more about you. Make sure your profile links back to your website and your affiliate offers. Looking for a place to start? Join our exclusive The Official ShareASale Bloggers Facebook group.
  • Sharing your blog content with links to your offer, either on your own page or as promoted posts.
  • Running an advertising campaign, using social media marketing.

You can also use social media to publish long articles, which link to your offers. Good places to publish includes platforms such as LinkedIn,Medium, Reddit, SlideShare, and Udemy. Readership of these sites is high, and if your content is relevant and searchable, it could get you in front of thousands of new people.

Again, when using affiliate links on social media, make sure you’re following the compliance and disclosure guidelines outlined by the FTC.

4. Blog posts

Blog posts are a great way to share affiliate links. If you have an active readership your audience will already be warm to your reviews and advice. Just make sure not to use your blog posts as sales letters; the content should provide value to the reader and your affiliate links should sit naturally within the topic. Recipe blogs use this to good effect. As they discuss the method to follow to create the dish, recipe blogs describe the tools needed for the job, using affiliate links to the sales page of the item in question.

Another method of using your blog posts to promote affiliate links is to answer your readers’ comments and use your affiliate links in the replies. If the product you are promoting is related to the answer, it doesn’t look like a sales pitch but a solution to the reader’s problem. Be careful of doing this on other people’s blogs as it may come across as spam.

If possible, try to make the content evergreen. Evergreen refers to content that stays relevant for many years to come, and could include how-to guides, best practices or tips and tricks. These types of articles are read and referred to over and over again.  Although you may have to refresh them occasionally, the information still remains relevant. This means you can roll out this content to a new audience every so often and expose your affiliate links each time you do so.

5. Guest blogging

In addition to building your brand’s own blog, the technique of guest blogging is a tried and true method for generating traffic that has stood the test of time. There are two different aspects to guest blogging:

  • Guest blog on well-known sites that fit your niche. Offer great and relevant content, and if accepted onto other blogs it will expose you to a whole new audience. Make sure your profile and your byline link to your affiliate offers and your website. Your affiliate marketing content should be related to the guest blog and useful to the new potential readership. 
  • Accept guest bloggers on your own website. Publish content from other writers and they will share and link their article, which will, in turn, expose your website (and affiliate offers) to new audiences.

6. Email

Email marketing is still alive and well, with 64% of companies believing it is the best marketing method they have, with an estimated ROI of 3800%. Because of this, make sure you don’t overlook it in response to some newer, more exciting methods.

You first need to build a list, which you can do through providing a free offer – like sharing a report, e-book or webinar – and using a form to capture email address (making sure, if you are marketing in the EU, to comply with GDPR). When emailing your list you must be careful to provide them with useful, relevant content. Otherwise, they will quickly unsubscribe.

Affiliate links can be used to good effect in emails, either as part of the body text or in the signature. It is also perfectly acceptable to promote affiliate products directly in emails, as long as you balance it out with valuable and useful content. If possible, segment your emails so the appropriate affiliate links go to the right audience.

7. Product reviews

The online audience is influenced by other people’s views of a product, and will often research for testimonials and reviews before committing to buy. It’s estimated that 90% of potential buyers will read online reviews before visiting the website and making a buying decision, with 88% trusting them as much as they would if a friend recommended a product.

For publishers who have built up a loyal audience, these statistics are good news. If you write honest and unbiased reviews about products related to your niche, your audience will view these reviews as a trustworthy recommendation. When you have a product or service to promote that is tied to your affiliate marketing efforts, write a review. If you have chosen to promote the product, it is important that you believe in it and recommend it because you genuinely want to help your audience. In this way, you will be able to write a frank and honest review while still including your affiliate link. The review needs to be positive but honest and should not turn into a sales letter.

Make sure when using affiliate links in product reviews to follow the compliance and disclosure guidelines outlined by the FTC.

8. Quora

Quora is a questions site, providing a platform for users to ask whatever they want. Experts then give guidance and advice on the subject matter. Although direct affiliate links are not allowed, you can link to a website or a blog post if it provides more information on the answer you are giving. Make sure the website you send people to contains content with your affiliate link.

Again, when using Quora you must genuinely be looking to provide a valid answer and help the person submitting the question. Good advice will be read and shared, while answers that are just sales pitches will get a thumbs down. 

9. A search engine optimized website

Your website is the presenting brand for your affiliate links and needs to be discovered by consumers interested in your niche. Making your content easy for search engines to discover your site is important, as it will help rank your site higher up on searches and drive more organic traffic to your affiliate offers.

Each page should have a well written meta description, meta title, image alt tags, and H1/H2 tags. Research the keywords for your niche and affiliate offers, and add a keyword per page that is relevant to your offers. Ensuring it is in the title and content as naturally as possible, without keyword stuffing, can also help with searches. Also work on achieving backlinks by getting your content shared on social media or other blogs, and include internal and external links within your own content.

If your chosen subject is too niche, you may not get the level of traffic you need to convert your readers into clicks on your affiliate links. Do some research on how many other people are selling similar products by using the Google search bar. Google will instantly tell you how many results they have found, and can help inform the keywords you use to search engine optimize your site.

A final word

What methods you choose to generate traffic will depend on your offers, your industry, and your preferences. Many marketers combine a mixture of paid and organic sources. Whichever methods you prefer to use to generate traffic to your affiliate offers, consistency is key. Even with paid traffic, the longer you maintain your campaigns the better they will perform. Keep with it and traffic will come your way

The post Nine great ways to generate traffic for your affiliate offers appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Affiliate marketing is booming, with predictions that by 2021 the industry will be worth $6.8 billion.

More and more brands are using affiliate programs to market their products, leading to greater and more varied opportunities for affiliates. The potential for affiliates to make a good income is growing, but like all business models, the basics need to be understood before diving in feet first.

However, now is a great time for new affiliates to get started and, with some guidance coupled with hard work and dedication, it can be a rewarding and exciting career. Read our guide to find out how you can start a successful affiliate business and take your share of the billions of dollars it generates.

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a method of earning money by recommending and promoting somebody else’s products or service. For every sale that is made directly from your promotions, you will receive a commission payment. How much you earn depends on the commission levels set by the advertiser and how many products you sell.

The process of affiliate marketing is straightforward:

  1. Potential customer lands on the website of the publisher (the affiliate)
  2. Customer clicks an affiliate link that takes them to a landing page detailing the advertiser’s product
  3. Customer buys product
  4. The publisher earns a percentage of the sale as a commission

The affiliate link the customer clicks on has a unique code recognized as belonging to the publisher. The advertiser (the merchant whose product is being promoted by the publisher) tracks the code and pays out accordingly.

Affiliate marketing starts with the advertiser and ends with the customer. The publisher acts as the middleman, selling the advertiser’s product or service to the customer.

Terminology used in affiliate marketing

Although there are only four parties involved in affiliate marketing each goes by several different names, which can be confusing. To clarify, here are some of the names you may come across:

  • Advertiser:  The person or company who owns the product. Other names include merchant, owner, seller, brand, retailer, creator, vendor.
  • Publisher: The person or company who promotes and sells the advertiser’s product. Other names include affiliate, marketer and affiliate marketer. This can be an individual who promotes through a website/blog, email, social media or YouTube, or it could be a large company who runs several different websites or businesses.
  • Affiliate network: A company that acts as the middle man between advertisers and publishers, providing a platform for publishers to sign up to affiliate programs of their choice. You may also hear them referred to as an affiliate marketplace.
  • Customer: The person who ultimately buys the product. Other names include buyer, consumer, shopper or client.

Other terminology you will come across includes:

  • Affiliate program: Also known as an associate program or partner referral program. The advertiser sets the program, which the publisher then promotes.
  • Affiliate tracking: The unique coding that tells the advertiser who to pay the commission to.
How do I start an affiliate marketing business?

There are basically two ways to start an affiliate marketing business:

  1.   Start from scratch
  2.   Incorporate it into an existing and established business

Start from scratch

If you’re starting from scratch without an existing business in place, you need to complete a few background steps before looking at affiliate programs. You need to decide on a niche you are interested in that has the potential to make money. Then you will need a website or blog populated with content to help build an audience.

When you have built an audience, start researching affiliate programs that fit in your niche and sign up to those your audience will benefit from. Create content around your programs and promote to your followers, making sure to include the affiliate link.

Existing business

If you already have an existing business, then it is mainly a matter of choosing an affiliate program to promote and publicize to your followers.

A website or blog is not compulsory to run an affiliate marketing business. You can use landing pages and drive traffic to them through email marketing, pay-per-click or other forms of advertising, but a blog will help build a relationship with your followers and make them more eager to purchase from you.

Finding your niche

The importance of choosing your niche (the subject or industry you want to focus on) cannot be underestimated. It’s one of the most important decisions to make, yet can be the most challenging. When deciding, consider these points:

  • What do you know about?
  • What areas are you passionate about?
  • Are other people equally interested?
  • Is it evergreen? (i.e., it is not an overnight wonder)
  • Are there affiliate programs for this subject?
  • Does the niche have a good track record of product/service sales?
  • Is it profitable?

To answer these, you will need to do detailed research rather than relying on gut instinct.

A subject you are interested in is always a good place to start as you are more likely to be able to write content week in, week out. However, just because it fascinates you does not mean that others are equally interested.

Demand from customers

Demand from potential buyers is the most important aspect, and you can’t rely on guesswork to gauge this. You should have some ideas about the type of niche you want to develop, but how do you know if there is demand from potential buyers? Running through a few steps can help you discover if it is worth pursuing.

  1. Check out the search volume. You can do this by using Google keyword search or similar software to get an idea of how many people are searching for your niche.
  2. Look for products for sale in the niche. If there are lots that is a good sign.
  3. Search for affiliate programs. If there are many to choose from it not only shows that it is a popular, in-demand niche, but there will also be plenty of products and services to offer for sale. When you join a network, such as Awin, you can also find out additional information about the products regarding sales to date and how many affiliates are selling each product.
  4. Use the search term “[your niche] + affiliate program. This will show all the results for companies in your niche who offer affiliate programs.
  5. Check out other websites and blogs in your niche, as well as social media pages. Is there plenty of online activity such as comments, shares, large audience?
  6. Do a shopping display search to see how many products there are in the Google shopping feed.

Positive results from these searches demonstrate a healthy demand for products in your chosen niche, with many affiliate programs to choose from. All of this indicates you can make money as an affiliate marketer in your preferred niche.

With your niche decided, it is time to become an affiliate marketer.

How do I become an affiliate marketer?

To become an affiliate marketer, you need to sign up to affiliate programs in your niche. Your research should have exposed several that fit your audience and have the potential to make money. After your account has been approved, start marketing and promoting your offers. To be able to call yourself an affiliate marketer you simply need to make at least one sale through an affiliate link that you have promoted. As soon as you have made that first commission you are officially an affiliate marketer.

How much money can you make from affiliate marketing?

All new affiliate marketers want to know how much money they can make pursuing this career. As with all entrepreneurial business, there are no definitive answers as the amount you earn depends on a variety of factors. These include how experienced you are at marketing, the nicheyou are in, how much your products retail for, the level of commission set for each product, how many hours you can spend a week working your affiliate marketing business, how consistent your working methods are, how much your overheads are and how determined you are to make your business a success, etc.

Affiliate marketing is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it does have the potential for an excellent full-time income. Turnover can be as high as $5 – 10million, although these type of figures often have a lot of costs involved to achieve them, according to Business.com. However, the average annual income for an affiliate marketer is $62,327.

What makes affiliate marketing so exciting is there is no cap on the potential earnings you can make. So although there are no guarantees, it is possible to make a comfortable living or create an extra income stream.

How to choose the best affiliate network for you

With many affiliate networks to choose from, some new publishers find choosing the right one to work with daunting. At this stage in your affiliate marketing business, it is important to work with an experienced network who not only has a good range of programs, but can support and guide you through the process.

Founded in 2000, ShareASale has established partnerships and connections and we understand the needs of both affiliates and retailers. Over the years we have worked tirelessly to provide a platform that delivers an innovative approach to affiliate marketing, concentrated on a duty of care and security for all of its clients. Many new publishers entering the marketplace choose ShareASale or Awin, as their experience and attention to detail provides the right guidance and support needed to make a success of your business.

This stage of your affiliate marketing career can be challenging and confusing, but with the right understanding of how to progress, and good support systems in place, it should also be exciting and stimulating. Most of all, enjoy the journey. We look forward to being there beside you.

The post Affiliate marketing for beginners appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Formulating an effective SEO strategy can seem tedious. However it’s important to ensure your site is optimized correctly, starting from the basics.

Search engines consider every page on your website as a potential landing page. If the page can be accessed by a user, it will be crawled and indexed by search engines. Therefore, it is your job to ensure it’s of good quality.

To create a quality landing page you need to ask yourself these fundamental questions:

  • Does your page attract and retain the visitor’s attention?
  • Are you answering the user’s needs? Ex: Does your page provide a solution or a relevant product suggestion?
  • Does your page encourage visitors to choose your solution over that suggested by a competitor?
  • Does your page contain working links and/or referrals?
  • Does your page contain clear and relevant calls to action to ensure a smooth customer journey?

Each page on your site needs to have a purpose and entice the user to perform an action. Where to start? Let’s consider the priority pages:

  • Home Page: The most visited and impressionable page on your site
  • About Us: It has been revealed that users who have seen an About Us page are more likely to convert overall
  • Contact Us: This page must provide relevant and up-to-date details and varying contact options to ensure accessibility for all users
  • Category Pages: A must for SEO optimization – the watershed moment for visitors within the research and buying phases of the customer journey, the gateway to the end product and conversion
  • Product Pages: The key here is detail – provide relevant product information (color, size, type, quantity)
  • FAQs: Search engines generate answers to user search questions, FAQ pages are great platforms for you to ensure the required information is provided by your site
  • Blogs/Content Pages: Ensure you are frequently publishing quality material. The effect is two-fold. Not only does regular and fresh content encourage search engines to crawl your site more frequently, it also entices users to return to your site and increase the time spent on your pages. This signifies a satisfactory user experience and may boost your page rankings

Furthermore, it’s important to review the basic framework of your site and assess the quality of your links and content. Are you providing a solution for your users? Is your site easy to access and navigate?

What may seem like simple changes now can serve to positively impact your SEO efforts for the future.

The post Need to know SEO appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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It’s the ultimate dream, travel the world to experience all the major sights and hidden delights tourists don’t get to see.

 

Even better, the icing on the cake would be to earn an income from your travels. The question everyone asks is whether this really is possible. The answer is yes – with a travel blog.

What is travel blogging?

In its most basic form, travel blogging consists of traveling to different places, writing about your experiences and publishing them onto an online blog. If you have enough money saved to live on, you could use your travel blog to share your journey without worrying about readership or making money.

However, most travel bloggers monetize their blogs with the aim of either funding their travels or earning a professional income. With that view in mind, let’s look at how to start a travel blog.

The top 12 tips for starting a travel blog

Many new travel blogs will cease to exist early on, so if you want to be published for many years to come and make a decent income from your travels, you need to put some thought into your blog. Just because you build it does not mean that your audience will come. Instead, you need to work hard at creating a platform people want to visit time and again.

To help you get the most out of your travel blog, consider our 12 top tips:

Treat it like a business

Although it may be tempting to head off on a plane and write your blog when you have a spare moment, doing this is unlikely to make you money. Treat it like a business and decide how much you want to earn in advance.

Decide to get paid

When you love something, it is easy to fall into the trap of just doing it because it’s your passion. Unfortunately, that sentiment won’t earn you money, so you have to decide in advance you are going to be paid for your work. This attitude will help you view your blog as a business, rather than a hobby.

Plan ahead and be organized

As part of your business plan, you need to decide in advance how you are going to run your blog. Know where you want to travel, how you are going to get there, where you are going to stay, etc. Devise a content calendar outlining the content you will be publishing each month, and decide the methods you will use to monetize each post accordingly. In real life, it is likely your plan will change and fluctuate, but having a guide provides you with focus.

Build an audience

Before you can earn any money from your blog, you need an audience. There are many methods to build readerships, from paid advertising to organic searches. Make sure you always have several methods in place at any one time to maintain consistency.

Do it for your readers

You need to write with your readers in mind. Do your research and find out what questions your potential traffic wants answered, and then address those queries. If you base your blog around solving your audiences’ problems, they will return again and again.

Be different

There are many travel bloggers, so to stand out from the crowd you need to be original. Use a different approach, or find an exclusive niche within travel blogging. Create a unique selling point that no one else has.

Be yourself

Discover a niche that works for you and your audience and give it your own voice. If you try and copy someone else, your authenticity will suffer.

Learn all you can

You can always be better, so commit to learning all you can. Whether you improve your writing skills, your search engine optimization techniques, or your knowledge of traveling, always look to learn all you can.

Invest in your blog

In the early days when your budget may be tight, you may not be able to invest in hiring professional designers or other help, so initially invest as much time as you possibly can. When you have more money, invest some of it back into your website to ensure it is as professional as possible.

Record everything

While you are traveling, make it a habit to record everything as you never know when it may come in handy. Take photos of everything, record where and when you visit different places, jot down your emotions and details about the people you meet. All these notes will help when your creative juices need a push to put words on the page.

Be consistent and persistent

Your blog needs time to build. Your audience will need to get to know you before they trust you, so be consistent and persistent with your entries. Write as much as you can, particularly in the early days.

Love your job

A travel blog is as much a job as it is a way of life. You must love your job. If you don’t, you may need to question if you are in the right industry.

How much do travel bloggers earn?

When embarking on a new career, it’s normal to want to know how much you can earn. However, with any freelance role, how much you earn is dependent on the amount of work you put in. As a rough guide, an established travel blog can expect to make $3,000-5,000 a month, although some make much more.

Here are a few examples of some successful travel blogs:

Derek Earl Baron of Wandering Earl


Derek has been traveling since 1999, but originally he funded his travels by odd-jobbing while on the road. However, this all changed in 2008 when he published an eBook about his journeys, which earned him enough to carry on traveling without working on the road.

This led to the Wandering Earl blog launching in 2009, with the readers of his book becoming his first followers. The blog grew, and by 2011 he was earning $2,500 a month from his book sales and affiliate marketing. His earnings are now reported to be $12,000 a month.

Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt

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While in Medellin, I visited La Comuna 13. This district covers 22 neighborhoods and was once one of the most violent in the city. If you didn't live in that neighborhood, you couldn't enter. Steep and limited roads and few walkways up the hill left the community isolated and impenetrable. However, in 2011, escalators (donated by Japan) were installed in the neighboorhood to make it easier for residents to get into the city. Soon, street art was popping up the sides of buildings near the elevators and tourists started coming to look at the art. Businesses flourished selling art, coffee, and food to the tour groups that come here each day (and in high season, there are A LOT of tourists). Now, even some locals come here. The art and escalators have opened up this area. Crime is still a problem in deeper parts of the neighborhood and you can't venture here at night. But things are slowly changing and the art here tells the story of that transformation. Visiting tip: It's really easy to visit this area on your own. The metro goes nearby and you can take bus 225i to the escalators. It's a 5 minute ride. You miss out on the story but the tours here are like 15-20 people. I'd personally skip the big group tours. If you do take one, they are 60,000 pesos ($20). I took a tour with a friend Paula who is a guide. You could set a private tour up with her at @lasierramedellintour. She does them by request!

A post shared by Matt Kepnes | Nomadic Matt (@nomadicmatt) on Jan 3, 2019 at 1:59pm PST


Matt Kepnes earns a staggering $50,000+ a month from travel blogging. His blog grew from his desire to travel and make money on the way, but he started the site purely as a method of practicing his writing so he could work for Lonely Planet. But the more he developed his blog, the more he realized there was a need for budget travel advice people could dip into online. So he changed his focus, and the rest is history.

Bethany Davies of Flashpacker Family


Bethany has been traveling since her early 20’s. In 2014, she and her family left New Zealand and have been traveling ever since. They fund their travels and earn an income with various sources, including advertising on the website, consultancy work, web design and renting out their home. On average they earn about $5,000-10,000 a month.

How do I make money as a travel blogger?

Most travel bloggers make money through a variety of different income streams, rather than relying on just one method. Many travel bloggers are content to fund their lifestyle, whereas others achieve incomes that far exceed their travel costs. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that lucrative travel blogs do not happen overnight. They take a lot of time and effort to become established and develop a large following.

Money making methods include:

Affiliate marketing

Promote and sell products on behalf of a third party. When one of your leads clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you will get paid a commission.  With no stock involved, it’s a perfect method for the travel blogger to utilize to earn money.

Selling products

Creating and selling your own related products can be a great money earner as all the profits go straight to you. However, making the products initially can take some time and effort.

Advertising

Allowing automatic ads on your website can earn some extra money each month. You could also consider charging companies to run permanent ads on your site.

Sponsored posts

Established blogs often get requests from companies asking them to write sponsored posts about their products. In return, the company pays the blogger or offers products as remuneration.

Public speaking

Speaking at conferences or at professional networking events can be quite lucrative, if you have the confidence to pursue this form of income. Top travel conferences and events you can find us speaking at include Women In Travel Summit and TBEX

Coaching 

Teaching others how to run a travel blog, either through mentoring, consultations, online courses or lecturing at colleges, is not only a good way to increase your income but also builds your credibility.

Freelance writing 

Getting paid by other businesses to write about your experiences and travel tips can provide a good income while fitting the lifestyle of the travel blogger.

Where do I find affiliate programs for my travel blog?

When it comes to finding affiliate programs that fit your travel blog, you can really think out of the box. Let’s say you are writing a blog about what insurance you should have as a travel blogger. You could discuss travel insurance and point to programs that match. Or perhaps you want to talk about how to find affordable accommodation while on the road. Whatever you want to write about, you can find a product or service to promote that will fit. Look to Awin’s advertiser directory for inspiration.

 A final word

Building a travel blog takes time and effort, but the rewards more than outweigh the hard work. For many, it is the dream job. However, to succeed you must stay focused and work at it. But most importantly, maintain the love for your job. Try to keep your knowledge fresh and this will come across in your blog. Your audience will feel your passion and buy into you. Following that, your blog will start paying dividends.

If this is your dream, follow it. You’ll never look back.

The post 12 tips for becoming a professional travel blogger appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Holiday season is in full swing, and that means holiday parties and celebrations are on the calendar. Struggling with what to wear? Whether you’re heading out for dinner or a gala, we rounded up the most stylish pieces from our top ShareASale Merchants. Get glammed up and step out in style for upcoming holiday occasions.

1. Rachel Zoe – ID #70353 – 8% Commission
2.Sandro Paris – ID #59596 – 10% Commission
3. Black Lapel – ID #68579 – 5% Commission
4. The Shoe Box – ID #69658 – 20% Commission
5. Little Joe Woman – ID #71777 – 10% Commission
6. Taft Clothing – ID #80465 – 10% Commission

 
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Can you feel the excitement of the holidays approaching? With Thanksgiving being over, it’s officially time to get every inch of your home into the holiday spirit. Inspire your readers to bring cheer into their living spaces with the help of these ShareASale Merchants. 1. King of Christmas – ID #54523 – 6% Commission2. Gracious …
 
Past posts about holiday sales may come off too focused on sales and informing your readers of relevant promotions. Now with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back to your core brand voice.
 
Creating an advanced email marketing strategy doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve outlined some simple but effective steps for affiliates looking to better their email communication efforts.

The post Must-Have Merchants: Holiday Party Attire appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Pippa

2% per Sale

90 Day Tracking Gap

Gifts Category

Elfi Santa

30% per Sale

90 Day Tracking Gap

Games/Toys Category

Culinary Teas

10% per Sale

30 Day Tracking Gap

Gourmet Category

Pippa helps you celebrate life’s most precious moments, bringing fun, modern design into the timeless tradition of giving and receiving cards.Their team of stationery experts has developed a collection of affordable, customizable Holiday and Christmas cards that your loved ones will treasure.

Elfi Santa sends unique personalized video messages from Santa since 2008. Elfi Santa has already sent over 270000 messages all over the world.

Culinary Teas is a small family-owned company that specializes in tea and accessories. They believe in gourmet teas for every taste. All their teas are taste-tested or “cupped” regularly to make sure they always offer only top quality teas.


 

cloudten

17.5% per Sale

15 Day Tracking Gap

Home & Garden Category

Whiskers Laces

8% per Sale

15 Day Tracking Gap

Accessories Category

Ace & Everett

15% per Sale

1 Day Tracking Gap

Accessories Category

cloudten is a leading provider of luxury bedding to a young, professional audience. cloudten sheets are out-of-this-world comfortable, non-toxic, responsibly-crafted cotton sheets created for today’s true bed-lover. Their products are ethically sourced Egyptian Cotton, and come with a 100 night trial. 

With more than 70 different styles, Whiskers Laces are contemporary shoelaces that combine vibrant colors and innovative designs to complement any dress shoe or boot. Their website also has easy and intuitive custom lacing guides to truly upgrade your style.  

Ace & Everett is a collection of socks focused on injecting a sense of fun and excitement back into the world of traditional menswear. Every sock begins with the finest raw materials, dyed into rich, saturated hues. These luxurious yarns are then carefully knit in the USA, resulting in unique, three-dimensional jacquard designs.


 

Rosephoria

20% per Sale

30 Day Tracking Gap

Commerce/Classifieds
Category

MegaFood

8% per Sale

7 Day Tracking Gap

Health Category

GetNameNecklace

3% per Sale

30 Day Tracking Gap

Accessories Category

Rosephoria is more than a flower. Against staggering odds, Rosephoria is proud to offer you real roses that can last up to a year or longer. Rosephoria partners with farmers who grow flowers ethically and honestly. They pick red roses that keep the planet green. 

MegaFood is out to change the world, starting with food. MegaFood builds premium supplements that support organic and regenerative agriculture, for a healthy and sustainable future. All of their supplements are made with real whole foods, from farms that they have carefully selected and partnered with.

Your name, initials, birthstone, or even a photo can become a lovely treasured jewelry piece. GetNameNecklace manufactures fashionable, personalized jewelry with the latest technology so you get quality and a good price. Choose from necklaces, bracelets, rings, charms and more. 


The post New & Notable Merchants: November 2018 appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Can you feel the excitement of the holidays approaching? With Thanksgiving being over, it’s officially time to get every inch of your home into the holiday spirit. Inspire your readers to bring cheer into their living spaces with the help of these ShareASale Merchants.

1. King of Christmas – ID #54523 – 6% Commission
2. Gracious Style – ID #65015 – 8.50% Commission
3.Perigold– ID #73660 – 3% Commission
4. Balsam Hill– ID #47467 – 2% Commission
5. Wayfair – ID #11035 – 7% Commission
6. Tree Classics – ID #42763 – 2% Commission

 
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
We’ve rounded up cozy outwear options from our favorite ShareASale Merchants. Take a look and share these stylish pieces with your readers.
 
Black Friday and Cyber Monday draw shoppers to score the best deals from their favorite retailers. But once these shopping days are over, affiliates still have 28 more days to encourage sales before December 25th.
 
What is SEO, you say? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is focused on gaining website traffic and ranking high on search results. Search engines such as Google index and rank your website. By optimizing your website, you can ultimately increase your traffic. Follow these 7 steps to optimize your blog post…

The post Must-Have Merchants: Holiday Home Decorations appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Keep your readers interest through the entire holiday season by using some personal stories, humor, and anecdotes. Review your writing style and find ways to add color. Your readers and followers subscribe to you because they are interested in YOU—your opinion, your style or what you have to say.

Past posts about holiday sales may come off too focused on sales and informing your readers of relevant promotions. Now with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview mirror, it’s time to get back to your core brand voice.

Here are a few tips:

Write conversationally: Many times, bloggers can become interested in informing their audience about their favorite styles, events or sales without creating a conversation. Connect with your readers by writing as if you are talking to a good friend. Avoid formal writing which may end up hiding your unique personality and come off as pretentious.

Write down frequent words you say: One of the main ways to build relationships on the web is to be real. Write down words you catch yourself saying often and words that resonate with your brand. This can be a blueprint to ensuring you use your true voice in your blog. It is a turnoff when someone meets their favorite blogger and their personality does not match their online persona. 

Be descriptive: Unlike face-to-face communication, writing does not have important elements of communication such as body language that helps convey sentiment and emotion. As a result, it is important for bloggers to express their ideas in detail. Try to detail emotions and mood without directly telling the reader.

Read your writing out loud: Catch grammar errors and review your tone by reading your writing out loud. Simple errors such as excessive use of exclamation points and repeatedly using a word can be caught and corrected.

People buy from brands and people they like. By demonstrating your personality in your blogging, you connect with your readers and show them how you’re different from the rest in your niche and as a result increase affiliate income.

 
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Many content creators are beginning to recognize the value of engagement. Primarily concerned with growing their numbers, sometimes bloggers get carried away with content creation for more likes and followers and tend to ignore the valuable metric of engagement. Bloggers may be publishing great content however if there’s no engagement it means very little. Taking the time to genuinely create conversations instead of speaking to your community builds engagement and can raise your bottom line.
 
n affiliate marketing, bloggers use widgets to enhance the display of products from advertisers. ShareASale’s Make-A-Page tool is a widget designed to make it easier for you to find relevant products and create curated pages. The widget is fully responsive and you can customize the width and height as well as borders and colors. There are two ways to showcase products using the Make-A-Page tool:
 
Adding video to your content can drastically help your website or social platform in many ways, such as help your SEO ranking, keep visitors on your site longer, and increase conversion and engagement rates. There are two main types of video marketing.

The post TOTD: Convey sentiment and personality in your end-of-year posts appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday draw shoppers to score the best deals from their favorite retailers. But once these shopping days are over, affiliates still have 28 more days to encourage sales before December 25th.

By partnering with merchants that embrace omni-channel shopping, affiliates can keep the shopping momentum going.

Select retailers with online pickup in store programs

Shoppers are concerned about getting their item on time for the holidays and at the best price. Retailers who offer pickup in store programs allow consumers to save time and avoid shipping fees. Consumers are able to purchase the product in the convenience of their home and easily have the product in their hands. Consumers can still shop online on December 23 and 24 and pick up their products in time for the holiday, beyond the shipping cut-offs. With long holiday lists, consumers are able to save money with online pickup.

Browse your list of Merchants and make sure you know all the different shipping options offered. Whether it be ship to store or pick up same day, informing your readers of saving time and money will push them to shop your products.


Emphasize shipping deadlines

Another consideration during holiday shopping is  shipping cut off dates. Nothing is worse than a gift being delivered to a loved one after Christmas. Stress to your reader the importance of purchasing their gifts now instead of later. Review your Merchants shipping deadlines and communicate it to your audience to attract last minute holiday shoppers. Be sure to share shipping information not only on your site but on your social channels as well. Create the sense of urgency to capture your readers’ holiday spend.

Promote purchasing products on the go with a retailer’s mobile app

During the holiday season, not everyone is able to use their computer and online shop. However almost everyone owns a smart phone and can make purchases while on the go. Mobile apps offer consumers the promise of convenience. According to a Salesforce report, Christmas Day 2017 saw the greatest peak in mobile shopping with 68% of traffic and 50% orders coming from a smart phone.

Promoting products from retailers with a mobile app allows your readers to easily purchase items by clicking your affiliates links and being directed to the mobile app for a user-friendly checkout.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically the heaviest shopping days, affiliates can keep the shopping momentum with additional effort.

 
 
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
With the correct beauty products, you can encourage your readers to survive the winter with healthy skin and lips. Here are our favorite ShareASale Merchants that offer products to keep you and your readers’ skin hydrated and glowing:
 
Feeling stuck working on your Q4 strategy? The holidays is a busy and lucrative time for content creators and Merchants. From outlining your content plans to determining the products to feature on your blog, taking the extra step to reach out to your top merchants directly will increase your opportunity for exclusive content and partnerships. …
 
Many content creators are beginning to recognize the value of engagement. Primarily concerned with growing their numbers, sometimes bloggers get carried away with content creation for more likes and followers and tend to ignore the valuable metric of engagement. Bloggers may be publishing great content however if there’s no engagement it means very little. Taking the time to genuinely create conversations instead of speaking to your community builds engagement and can raise your bottom line.

The post Top 3 Ways to Drive Sales After Cyber Weekend appeared first on ShareASale Blog.

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