Would you guys pay for a software that helps you collect emails without opt-in pages or paying for Google/Facebook ads for traffic?

As the title says. It's a new software that helps you build your email list in days and you don't need to pay for ads and opt in page to do that. You would be able to get targeted emails from people who are interested in the niches you are marketing to. I want to hear what you guys say thanks.

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What are the top affiliate platforms for worldwide offers in 2020?

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Call to action button

Hi guys, I hope you're all well.

I just have a quick question in regards to call to action button. My site is a travel site with some useful travel information about Croatia. I am currently trying to make some money through Travelpayouts affiliate program. Question is – what type of information should I put in the text of the call to action button – is it something like: Book now, Check best rates, etc…what do you think, what would people click and book on the travel site?

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Is paid ads to get traffic fast superior to the free methods?

Just starting out and having trouble getting people to click on my links. Any ideas? Is spending decent money on ads worth it?

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Use gift guides to generate affiliate sales during the holidays

Especially during 2020, Q4 is a great time for publishers to use gift guides to increase affiliate commissions.

Last year on Awin and ShareASale, we tracked over $8.4 million publisher commissions across Cyber Weekend, with a 22% increase YoY. With lots of changes due to the global pandemic, consumers will be turning online for their holiday shopping needs more than ever before. This reinforces the importance of preparing ahead and finding new ways to provide value to your readers, making the holiday shopping and gift giving process as smooth for them as possible. The easier you make the process, the more your affiliate efforts will succeed throughout the entire quarter.

A great way to do this is by creating a gift guide. Essentially a gift guide removes the need to scour the internet to find the perfect gift for someone’s mom, dad, grandparent, friend, child’s teacher, new coworker…. because you’ve already done that and rounded up the best of the best for your readers to choose from.   

Unsure of where to start? We’ve outlined creating a gift guide in five easy steps.

Step 1: Choose the recipient

Before hunting for products, first you’ll have to know what type of consumer or theme you’re going to focus on. From there, you’ll be able to determine the type of gift guide you’re looking to create. Is budget fashion your readers’ passion? Try ‘Gift Guide for the Fashion Forward Under $50.’ Are you a lifestyle blogger? Consider ‘Gift Guide for the Ultimate Host.’ 

Step 2: Select the relevant products 

Once you have determined who your gift guide is for, you can start selecting the products and retailers to include. We recommend featuring six to 12 products in your gift guide, each picked specifically for the recipient. For example, ‘Gift Guide for the Ultimate Host‘ could showcase candles, serving platters, napkin holders, a cheeseboard, wine glasses, and a fun board game for the perfect night in with family. 

While finding products can sometimes be a challenge, don’t let that stop you. One easy way to identify the latest and greatest for the holidays is by browsing our 2020 Gift Guide or by looking at emails from various advertisers. If the highlighted products in the email newsletter aren’t exactly what you were looking for, you may discover inspiration to search for other ideas. Odds are most of the types of products and brands you want to feature have an affiliate program on Awin or ShareASale, if not both. 

Another great tip is to reach out to any merchants already converting on your site and ask for recommendations about popular seasonal products, anything that seems to be a popular gifting item, and upcoming new launches for the holidays.  It is important to note that some retailers won’t reveal any pertinent information until very close to Black Friday, so prepare for potential last-minute additions and edits.

Step 3: Build your blog post

After finalizing your theme and products and brands to be featured, it’s time to write your gift guide. When building your post, make sure to tell your audience a little bit about the brands and products and why you chose them. Share the honest pros and cons of each and summarize your experience and opinion. It’s okay if you don’t have personal experience for each item or retailer – these gift guides are suggestions, not necessarily recommendations. 

Lastly, it’s no secret that high-quality images and videos can make a big difference in a post’s engagement and boost SEO, so ensure you’re including a visual aid for each item, whether that be a product shot, lifestyle image, or video tutorial – just confirm you have permission from the retailer to include.

Step 4: Add in affiliate tracking links

You’ve put in a lot of time and effort to build your gift guide, make certain your hard work is rewarded and you receive a commission for every sale you drive by adding in affiliate tracking links. As with any affiliate post on your blog, confirm you’re following the disclosure guidelines outlined by the FTC.  

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can be confident you’re putting your best gift guide foot forward for Q4 success. Don’t stop at just one! We recommend creating multiple guides, catered to your audience – perhaps one for your friends, one for kids, one for co-workers, one for pets… you get the idea. 

Step 5: Schedule an ongoing social campaign

To maximize your efforts, leverage your social platforms to continuously bring attention to your gift guides throughout the shopping season. Create an ongoing schedule of posts to go out on your social accounts, directing your followers to these posts. Use a variety of imagery and specific merchant callouts to vary your feed and increase traffic to those pages in the hopes of ultimately increasing your affiliate income.

Continue to visit the Awin and ShareASale blogs for additional resources to support your affiliate efforts during the holidays, including Q4 checklists, trend forecasts, seasonal newsletters, webinars and more.


First affiliated website. I would appreciate your opinion.

Hi guys, I'm lurking for some time and notice that this subreddit is really helpful and kind.

I have created my first affiliated site. It took me 2 months for site development, setting up a host at, and writing three articles.

I'm not new at creating websites, but I'm new at affiliated websites and would like to hear your opinions. If the content is good and does the website have any chance to generate income? I would like to hear advice on how to improve it since this type of website is new to me.

I picked this niche because it is part of my profession, but I know it is highly competitive. I would like to hear any constructive critique or advice.

Here is the link


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4 Signs Your Business Needs a Bookkeeping Service

bookkeeping service
A Newspaper Column in the Classifieds with the Vacancy of Bookkeeper, Circled with a Green Highlighter. Blurred Image with Selective focus. Hiring Concept. 3D Render.

Is your business struggling to keep up with expenses, invoices, and other aspects of bookkeeping? Have you thought about hiring a bookkeeping service?

While there are a lot of different factors that contribute to a business shutting down, a lot of the time, it comes down to simply running out of cash. With the right bookkeeping service, you can take care of your cash flow issues. 

But, do you really need to hire a bookkeeper to handle your money? Can’t you just take care of your finances on your own?

Check out this guide to discover the top signs that your business is in need of a bookkeeping service. 

1. You Don’t Have Time for Other Business Activities 

While bookkeeping is a very important aspect of your business, it shouldn’t be taking up all of your time. 

As a business owner, you should be focused on marketing your business, improving your customer service, hiring an awesome team, and improving your products and services. Any time you spend on bookkeeping is time you’re taking away from these other important tasks. 

If you notice other areas of your business are suffering, then it’s time to hire a bookkeeper to free up some of your time. 

2. You Only Update Your Books Before Tax Season 

If you’re waiting right before tax season to update your books, then you’re waiting too long. 

While this may not seem like a big deal, waiting right before tax season to update your books means you’ll likely miss out on important business decisions. It also means you’ll be scrambling near tax season, which can lead to unnecessary stress. A bookkeeper can also make sure you don’t miss out on any important tax deductions when tax season rolls around. 

If you’re only updating your books once a year, then it’s time to hire a bookkeeper to make sure you stay up to date throughout the year. 

3. Your Cash Flow is Unpredictable 

Many businesses deal with unpredictable cash flows, and because of this, they’re unable to cover their expenses during certain months. 

While there are a lot of things that can cause this to happen, the bottom line is that your expenses outnumbered your income and you have a cash flow problem. By hiring a bookkeeper, you’ll be able to stay on top of your cash flow at all times. This way, there won’t be any surprises at the end of the month. 

4. Your Business is Growing 

As your business grows, so too do your bookkeeping needs. While one person may have been able to handle your business finances at one point, you may find that your business’s financial situation has become more complex. 

If this is the case, then it’s time to hire a bookkeeping service, such as Pacific Accounting Group

Are You Ready to Hire a Bookkeeping Service? 

Now that you know the signs that you need to hire a bookkeeping service, it’s time to decide if hiring one is right for your business. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start doing research on bookkeeping services in your area. 

And, be sure to check back in with our blog for more tips and tricks on growing your small business. 


Looking for a list of affiliate programs that pay for Trail and Sign Ups

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October 2020 Top 10: Our Most Popular Posts

Since 2005 we’ve published thousands of articles, webinars, and podcast episodes to, hopefully, help ecommerce merchants. What follows are the most popular articles that we published in October 2020. Articles from early in the month are more likely to make the list than later ones.

Google Ads Decreases Search Terms Visibility

In early September, Google Ads announced that the search terms report would disclose fewer user queries. The explanation from Google is to “maintain our standards of privacy and strengthen our protections around user data.” The search terms report allows you to see the actual queries from users. Read more…

Introduction to Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics has come a long way since it launched in 2005. Version 4 is the latest iteration. It enables the blending of online and offline user activity into one reporting stream. Read more…

Winners on Prime Day 2020? Non-Amazon Sites

Amazon’s delayed 2020 Prime Day event ran for two days — October 13 and 14 — as it did last year. While it does not release total revenue for Prime Day, Amazon touted in 2019 that Prime Day sales exceeded the prior year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined. This year Amazon did not make such a claim. Read more…

A Practical Guide to Starting an Ecommerce Business

There is no single formula for starting an ecommerce business. The process is pragmatic rather than theoretical. In this guide, I’m going to address how to start a successful ecommerce business. Each section may inspire you to take further action, such as reading an article, studying a book, or examining a tool. The sections are not steps to be done in order, but rather concepts to consider. Read more…

Native Deodorant Founder on Scaling to $100 Million in 2 Years

Despite reaching a whopping $100 million in revenue in just two years, Moiz Ali, the founder of Native deodorant, says the initial version was less than stellar. “We had a pretty mediocre product,” Ali told me. “We understood that people were looking for [aluminum-free deodorant] and were willing to pay a higher price point for it.” Read more…

The Wirecard Fiasco: Digital Payments Gone Wrong

What would you do if your credit card processor and merchant account provider were fraudulent? That’s the reality for many thousands of worldwide businesses that relied on Wirecard, the Germany-based financial technology firm that is now in bankruptcy proceedings, having committed, allegedly, sham practices for years. Read more…

20 Free Courses to Advance Your Design Skills

Here is a list of free, online design courses. There are courses on design thinking, web design, graphic design, user experience design, logo design, color theory, and more. Some of the courses are multi-class programs, while others are short tutorials. Read more…

8 Marketplaces for Themes, Templates, Plugins

Themes, templates, and plugins can simplify the creation and customization of a website. Here is a list of marketplaces to access themes, templates, and plugins. Several of these marketplaces also offer other digital assets, such as graphics, fonts, and videos to create and customize a website. Read more…

SEO: 5 Tips to Convert Visitors to Buyers

Search engine optimization focuses on driving consumers to your site. But traffic alone doesn’t pay the bills. Success depends on converting those visitors to customers. Use these five tips to convert more searchers into buyers. Read more…

5 Content Marketing Ideas for November 2020

The U.S. presidential election, family-oriented observances, blogging, and even entrepreneurship are all good topics for your business’s content marketing in November 2020. Content marketing is the act of creating or curating content, publishing that content, and promoting it with the aim of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Read more…


CopySmiths Founder on Content Marketing by the Numbers

Kat McKinnon’s agency, CopySmiths, produces hundreds of blog posts per month for, mainly, ecommerce clients. She’s developed a formula of sorts for getting those posts ranked in Google’s search results.

“You need between 1,000 and 1,500 words for a blog article,” she told me. “Definitely not 600. Avoid 800, unless you’re literally just answering a short question. You need a heading that includes a keyword. You need three to four subheadings, H2s. And then within those H2s, you need three to four H3s. H3s are very important.”

I spoke with McKinnon recently about CopySmiths, search engine optimization, and producing lots of content. What follows is our entire audio conversation and a transcript, edited for length and clarity.

Eric Bandholz: Tell us about your business, CopySmiths.

Kat McKinnon: It’s new. For years I ran an online marketing business here in Sydney, Australia, doing Google Ads, marketing campaigns, advertising on LinkedIn, and maintaining people’s websites. One of the things that I loved was blogging. We were producing hundreds of posts every month for our clients.

In March we lost all of our clients because of coronavirus. Our agency shut down. I had to lay off people and put some in furlough. So I said, “Blogging is what I love, and it’s what I can do.” So in the last six or seven months, we’ve built a team of maybe 25 writers and a support staff of four or five people. We’re up to about 30 clients. That’s CopySmiths.

Most of our clients are commerce, but we have affiliate sites as well.

Bandholz: Is search engine optimization dead?

McKinnon: SEO is far from dead. What we do is simple. We answer people’s questions. Say someone asks, “What is a martingale collar?” We’ll write an article that answers that question. We do all the basics. We include a checklist so people can easily read the answer.

We’ll insert a quotation or some social proof that says, “Well, this person really enjoyed this martingale collar because it helped them with their dog.” What’s the average price of it? What’s the length? What are the dimensions of a martingale collar? How do you use it? And so we provide good content.

Bandholz: How long do these articles need to be? What should they include?

McKinnon: There are certain tools that we use to get the exact numbers. You need between 1,000 and 1,500 words for a blog article. Definitely not 600. Avoid 800, unless you’re literally just answering a short question like how to cook rice. But if it’s, “What is a martingale collar and how to fit it,” then maybe 1,200, 1,400 words. You need a heading that includes a keyword. You need three to four subheadings, H2s. And then within those H2s, you need three to four H3s. H3s are very important.

And with the H3s, try to answer a question that someone is asking on Google and include a keyword. Keep your paragraphs to one to two sentences. Three sentences at the absolute most. If you’ve got more than three sentences and paragraphs, chop off one, the last sentence, and put another paragraph.

Include one ordered list and one unordered list. Include one quotation or social proof, such as, “Sally said that the martingale collar was the best she’d ever had.” Include one of those per 1,000 words. So if you’ve got an article of 2,000 words, put two of them in. And link to an authoritative source.

Wikipedia, HuffPost, Business Insider — none of those are authority sources. You have to go to page four of Google to find an authoritative source. Those big publications like HuffPost are all just automated bots that churn out generic stuff.

Bandholz: Let’s talk about the authority of the website. If you’re just creating content, you’re not doing any link building. How is your site going to get any kind of authority?

McKinnon: It takes a long time. But Google has a high tolerance for websites that don’t have a lot of links. As long as you make it easy to crawl and write for the reader, it does get traction. It just takes time. And people give up way too soon with content. They do 10 podcasts and stop, or 20 YouTube videos and stop, or 10 blog articles.

Bandholz: What about headlines? How do I create a title that gets people to click?

McKinnon: We focus mostly on the keyword. But the headlines are very important. We use tools that test headlines and title tags in terms of what people are clicking on. But most of the organic search traffic to a blog isn’t based on the title.

One of the main tools we use is Ahrefs. It’s got the coverage for keywords, and it gives us good data on what competitors are ranking for. A great feature in Ahrefs is called the Content Gap. It’s an easy way to find what competitors are ranking for that is above 3,000 monthly searches. Then write on those topics. We use that all the time.

Another helpful tool is PageOptimizer Pro. We can choose a keyword, such as “martingale collar,” and PageOptimizer Pro will produce all related keyword variations to write on. We can choose the 10 ranking competitors. It does an analysis and says, for example, “Based on these 10 competitors, you need to write 1,356 words, and you need to include these 73 keywords, and you would need to include these four subheadings.” So it gets quite specific.

Surfer does the same thing as PageOptimizer Pro. But Surfer tells you the keywords to use, the subheadings, as well as the word count. It also tells you where to position the keyword.

We stopped using PageOptimizer Pro, however, because the interface was too difficult for our writers. So we now use Surfer exclusively. It integrates with Google Docs. So we can give a Google Doc to a writer.

Bandholz: I assume you charge per word.

McKinnon: Sometimes. We’ll charge clients that need a specific type of content 15 to 20 cents per word. But we’ll usually charge $180 per article. Because, again, we write to what the search engines want. If it’s 1,200 words, that’s what we do. If it’s 800 words, that’s what we do. We find that $180 is straightforward for people to understand. And sell in batches. We don’t write one article for someone. It takes us too long to gear up.

Bandholz: Who decides what to write about, you or the client?

McKinnon: Some of our clients know SEO and have a vision of what they want. Others rely on us to generate ideas and keywords. But we’re all making it up as we go along because the algorithms are so complicated.

Bandholz: How can listeners learn more about you and reach out?

McKinnon: is the website. I’m on LinkedIn, too, @KatrinaMcKinnon.