Entrepreneurs, This is How You Can Build a Successful Affiliate Business in 2019

In this day and age, boosting your personal finances has become quite simple. With so many online business opportunities and side-hustle options, earning some extra income is almost as easy as 1, 2, 3.

However, while there certainly are a lot of options to choose from, the wisest course of action would be to try and identify the most profitable ones before you actually decide to commit to them. Now, running an affiliate business has proven to be very lucrative in the year that’s behind us and it only continues to grow. But, before you decide on this endeavor, make sure that you understand completely what it entails.

What is an affiliate business?

Affiliate businesses are business agreements made between two parties who provide each other with a certain service in exchange for something in return. To make it a bit less vague, you can become an affiliate by deciding to promote someone else’s products or services to your target audience for a certain commission. 

But, how can you start an affiliate business and make it profitable?

Build a website

First and foremost, in order to begin with affiliate marketing, you will need a platform to do it on, as well as the audience to present the product or service to. So, begin by making your website. You can either choose to add a blog section to your existing website or create a blog right off the bat. Once you are happy with the way your website works, you’ll need to find your niche.

Determine your niche

The niche you chose to base your business efforts in will determine the type of content you later on present to your audience and, of course, your audience itself. In order to make things easier on yourself, focus your efforts on the niche that corresponds to your personal likings and interests. This way, you will be better motivated as you’ll be dealing with things you actually enjoy.

Draw your audience

In order to attract your audience and make sure they actually stay for the show, you need to provide them with something of value – your content. The content you promote on your website needs to be unique, original and, most importantly, useful to your audience. So, offer them informative, educational and entertaining content that’s above all relevant to them.

Become an affiliate

Once you become relevant in your niche, it’s time to start looking for favorable affiliate business opportunities. When looking for opportunities, focus your efforts mostly on high-competitive niches in order to boost your income fast. Top niches in this field include beauty, health and fitness programs, as well as the world of entertainment which includes ever-so-popular online gambling and video games.

Monitor your success

By keeping a close eye on all of your affiliate links, you’ll be able to determine the most profitable ones. So, use tools, such as Google Analytics, to your advantage and monitor your affiliate success. Tools like this one will allow you to identify the most profitable links – and, of course, the least profitable ones – which will help you determine what you should focus your efforts on.

Know the risks

As with any business, affiliate business also carries certain risks. In order to avoid putting your business in danger, you should:

Assess the businesses you’re working with and see how well they are doing. If the company you’re doing business with is not showing any progress, and especially if it’s showing a significant decrease, it would probably be best to cut ties with them to avoid not getting paid for the services you’ve provided.

Next, you need to make sure that the product or service you promote to your audience or sell on your website truly is as good as you are claiming. Otherwise, if it turns out to be subpar, you may lose all of your credibility which can seriously damage your business. So, make sure you do your research and try everything out before you actually start putting your seal of approval on things.

Know how to SEO right

In order to grow your affiliate website, you’ll have to dive a bit in the world of SEO and link-building. Now, while many affiliate marketers tend to focus their efforts solely on keywords with high buyer intent, they tend to forget the importance of keyword diversity. So, don’t make the same mistake, but make sure that you conduct a thorough keyword analysis. This way, you’ll avoid getting penalized for relying heavily on just one or two keywords. Finally, minimize the use of paid links and links that come from private blog networks as they are worth far less, and relying heavily on them may negatively affect your website in the long run.

With these basic tips on how to build a successful affiliate business, you should have no difficulties finding the right business opportunities which will allow you to launch your venture and enjoy the profit and success it is bound to bring.

Emma is a business strategist-turned blogger. She lives in Auckland, New Zealand. Emma is a  passionate traveler and yoga aficionado. She is in love with coffee, interior design, books, and good vibes. 🙂 

Say What? 4 Dos and Don’ts of Business Communication Systems

If you want to run a successful business, you need the best techniques and tools to get the job done. This can empower your team to serve your customers, fulfill orders, and stay productive while on the job. However, when it comes to your business communications, a lot of businesses make mistakes. In general, stick to these do’s and don’ts. 

Do Go with a Brand You Trust 

There are a lot of communications companies out there. However, not all of them are created equal. You need to go with a name that you trust. That does not just mean going with the biggest company in the space. 

In fact, it often means going with a company that you might have just heard about. Then, doing your research on them will pay off. Research before investing is everything! You might find that they support your values more than others do in the marketplace. Check out reviews, history, and reputation of their products as well as their customer service.

Don’t Get the Wrong Kind of System

You need to ensure that you have the right kind of communication systems for your business. A golf course, for instance, would want handheld radios, like Motorola walkie talkies, while an office might rely on a office-wide messaging system

The key is to ask yourself how your team is talking to each other right now. Then find ways to improve on that communication. Great technology is something that should do its job and stay out of the way so your team can do theirs even better. 

Do Find the Right Value 

There are going to be different prices and overall values to each communication solution. The key is to understand that each will bring something different to the table. Be sure to look at the overall value, and not just the price, for what you are getting. If your company won’t use a big portion of what a particular package is offering, you might want to go in a different direction.

Don’t Go without Research 

The worst mistake you could make in business is jumping into a decision before you truly know what you are getting in return. Luckily, you can avoid this. If you stick to your plan and look at your options with a critical eye, you can come out ahead. That way, you get a system that you truly want and need. Take your time and learn everything you can about any viable option for your business. Based on your research, you can make an informed decision that will help your employees with their work.

Having a great business does not stop with your sales and marketing. In reality, it comes down to how well your team can work together. Of course, one of the most important factors in how they work together boils down to their communication systems. So don’t make the mistakes that others make. Use the do’s and don’ts above as your checklist.

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Why Business Diversification is So Important

When you are starting a new business, it is great to land a large customer who gives your business a brilliant start. However, as time goes on this can be a problem as if they get into financial difficulties, they could take you with them. It is far better to have a lot of smaller customers as then if one ceases to trade, it will have less effect on your business.

There are many businesses that launch because of winning a large contract, but if they want to be successful in the long term, diversification is the answer.

Create New Opportunities

You need to create new opportunities for your business by introducing new products or services. It is worth investing in research and development to achieve this aim. This does not mean you have to have a huge budget; it is your time you need to invest. If you have employees, chat with them about the possibilities and see what new ideas you can come up with.

If you do not work with anyone else, then chat through some options with trusted friends and family. Talking with different people may well produce ideas you had not thought of.

Find More Customers

Once you have developed your new product or service you then need to find new customers for it. This is where a digital marketing agency could help, as they have the expertise needed to get your new products known as quickly as possible.

You also need to ask yourself if your business has the infrastructure to cope with an influx of new clients, and if the answer is yes, you diversification is more than halfway there. If new customers come quicker than expected and you find yourself and employees are overloaded with work, consider outsourcing some tasks to ease the burden, as it could be that after a while the orders will level out.

Your employees can be your biggest assets and generally, they will all pull together to get the work done. This is because is your business is doing well, they feel more secure in their jobs, and that helps them to be more productive.

Try Different Markets

Try to move into different markets to diversify your business. It could be, for instance, that your main customer focus is on selling a product to the younger generation. When you are considering your new products, think of something that will appeal to an older market. Then you will not be putting yourself in competition with your existing customers, and this could mean you have the best of both worlds. You could also move into the retail market with new products, which will mean you can make a higher profit margin than on the goods you sell to your large customer.

Running a business successfully is a lot of hard work, and you need to be flexible in what you do. You do not have to only sell one product or service, and diversifying into other areas could be the thing that secures your financial future.

Opening a Bed and Breakfast? 4 Tips for Helping Your Guests Feel Right at Home

A bed and breakfast is one of the coziest lodging places a person can experience. As the proprietor of a bed and breakfast, you are responsible for giving your guests a place to stay that makes them feel as if they are not just a customer, but also something like a family member. These four tips will help your guests to feel right at home at your bed and breakfast. 

Cater to Requests 

When someone books a room at your bed and breakfast, you should ask them about any preferences they have. While most people will be fine with whatever default conditions you have, there will be some with special requests that need to be addressed. For instance, if you have a dog and someone is allergic to dog fur, you need to make sure they can keep their distance. Similarly, there are many who can’t or choose not to consume gluten. Ensuring you serve them gluten-free food will increase the odds they will write a positive review online and return to your establishment.

Parking 

Depending on where your bed and breakfast is located, there might be limited parking around. Make sure there is parking available in your garage or driveway. It should be cleared and roomy enough for vehicles or different sizes. When a guest books a room, make sure to ask them if they’ll need to park a vehicle and get things ready as necessary. 

Internet 

There’s likely to be people coming through on business trips. To give them the best experience possible, there should be customer Wi-Fi access. You can make this your own home network or a special one for guests. It should be password protected and from a reliable internet service provider. The last thing relaxing guests want to deal with is spotty internet service.

Cleanliness 

Few things can harm your reputation as an innkeeper more than a lack of upkeep in your bed and breakfast. You want to keep everything organized and free of dust and dirt. Don’t just do this after your guests leave for good. If your guests go out for the day, they should come home to made beds and dishes washed and put away. Your guests will greatly appreciate how much thought you’re putting into helping them feel comfortable. 

The quality of your bed and breakfast depends on how much you are willing to show your guests that you care. You’re going to meet all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. You need to make it clear that you see them all as being equally worthy of your respect. These tips will help to make your bed and breakfast one of the top spots to stay in your town.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

7 Proven Strategies To Successfully Manage Your Investment Property

Properties have always been considered a safe and profitable investment. In most of the cases, these assumptions are true. However, there is one common belief the real estate newcomers are usually wrong about – troubles don’t go away once you find a hot property and sign the papers. They are just beginning.

Although it doesn’t seem that way, rental investments require a great deal of careful management, and their eventual success hangs on the investor’s ability to perform it. Let’s take a look at a couple of strategies that can make this job considerably easier.

Keep the reliable tenants happy

The properties that are not necessarily considered hot and have a history of sitting vacant for months before finding reliable residents can cause their owners huge financial problems with each turnover. That is why landlords have to go out of the way to make tenants happy. Here are some of the ways you can do this:

  • Maintain open and friendly communication.
  • Be quick to respond to tenants’ requests.
  • Make strategic upgrades to accommodate tenants’ habits.
  • Do your best to keep neighbors under control.
  • Encourage longer leases even if that implies discounted rates.

Create a financial plan

Rental properties are not that different from any other business. As a result, if you want to make them profitable you need at least a rudimental business plan. This document should cover the property’s market value (as determined by size, location and amenities), expected revenue, monthly and annual expenses, and the list of upgrades intended to increase the property’s market value. This simple plan prevents rash decisions, excessive spending and gives landlords an excellent reference point for measuring their current progress.

Take care of the maintenance

Keeping up with property maintenance is one of the most important things you should do with your investment. This issue is so complex that some countries like Australia demand that strata managers and lot owners provide professionally made initial maintenance schedule that specifies obligations of maintaining the common property assets. These documents are a great roadmap for all future property interventions, so it is a good idea to hire trained professionals to make you one.

Study the law

Knowing the legal provisions regarding the landlord-tenant relations can be of tremendous help in handling potentially troublesome situations and streamlining the management process. Some of the most important topics you need to cover are the regulations regarding the security deposit, reasons for evicting the tenants out of the property, the very process of eviction and the circumstances in which tenants are allowed to legally withhold the rent.

Manage your property like a hospitality business

This plays out in two ways. On the one hand, you should treat your property with the same level of care and attention as you would if you were running a hotel. On the other hand, running the rental property like a hospitality business sets a great frame for establishing the relationship with the tenants. Yes, you should be pleasant and do your best to make them feel comfortable. But, at the same time you should maintain a professional distance and keep your doings within legally binding terms.

Market your properties

This is another topic where you could take notes from hospitality businesses. Waiting for the tenants to come to you instead of reaching out and marketing your properties to them is a horrible mistake. And remember this – listing your investments on Airbnb and similar websites is not marketing. Instead, your venture should follow all the steps other small businesses make and devise a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes branding, and actions across several different marketing channels.

Consider hiring a property manager

Managing several properties can be an overwhelming process. In such circumstances, hiring a professional whose sole job will be to manage your investments may be the only viable option. Managerial salary will make a cut into your profit, but your business will be set on solid ground, and you will have your hands free to explore other ventures. Alternatively, you may opt for businesses providing managerial services. This option practically outsources management outside your enterprise, but you do get a top-notch service for the price of a monthly subscription.

Managing a rental property is a task that requires a lot of patience and effort. And yet, a lot of landlords approach this duty like their job consists solely of picking up the rent and hiring contractors to perform annual maintenance. Such landlords don’t have staying power. Learn from their mistakes and use the seven strategies we gave you to turn your investment into a profitable business laid out on rock solid foundations.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a lifestyle and business blogger from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and Divine Magazine. He also contributed to real estate and environmental blogs as well. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

How Digital Transformation is Shaping Industries

Nowadays, we live in a primarily digital world. Almost everything has transferred online or became digitized these days. The fact of the matter is that technological innovations and advancements are disrupting industries left and right. Simply put, modern technology is forcing industries to take on a new approach, in order to remain relevant in the market, as well as remain efficient. However, technology isn’t the only reason industries must consider a digital approach.

As a matter of fact, it’s the consumers and their purchasing habits and behavior, as well as their tendency to follow the latest trends that also forces industries to adapt. If you don’t adapt, in order to meet consumer expectations and needs, your competitors will most definitely outrun you. Companies across various industries must simply develop a more consumer-centric solution, in order to continue providing a seamless customer experience. That being said, here are a few ways how digital transformation is shaping industries.

Chasing a competitive advantage

Newest innovations on the market are always regarded by companies as an opportunity to outrun competitors. The main reason so many companies across various industries are prioritizing digitalization is that it may allow them to gain a competitive advantage. It only takes a single business to disrupt an entire industry and drastically change the rules simply by adopting a new technology or developing a new approach.

That’s why most companies are in one way or another prioritizing digitalization. As a matter of fact, 47% of company CEOs stated that they are being pushed towards adopting a digital approach for their business by their board of directors while 56% stated that their business digitalization efforts are already increasing company profits. In essence, while some companies are considering digitalization others are already implementing new strategies and approaches. In other words, the digital transformation is bound to happen across various industries sooner or later.

Improving efficiency

The fact that every industry is about to experience a digital transformation is evident. Even the industries that are less likely to consider digitalization, such as oil and gas sector are in fact, doing so. Resource exploration industry has so far avoided digitalization but even they have to adapt to modern trends and innovations. The main reason is that a digital approach enables the oil and gas sector to improve efficiency, reduce operational costs and streamline entire processes, among other things.

That being said, oil extraction professionals that are keeping up with the latest technology have implemented an ecommerce solution. As a matter of fact, reliable oilfield equipment zone essentials can be easily bought and acquired online, thus reducing the downtime and maintenance costs for mission-critical equipment on the field. Not only that but artificial intelligence and automation are also making their way into the resource exploration industry, helping operators streamline the processes of detection and exploitation of natural resources.

Meeting consumer demands

As mentioned before, consumer habits are oftentimes one of the main reasons why industries and companies develop a new approach. After all, if you’re not relevant to your customers you will lose a battle to your competitors. Consumer demand for increased and improved connectivity, as well as their increasing interest in smart devices and IoT (Internet of Things), has already made an impact on various businesses ranging from retail to ecommerce and so on. These demands have made their way even to the automotive industry.

Nowadays, one of the rising trends in this industry is self-driving and highly connected vehicles. Therefore, the cars of the future won’t be able to fly anytime soon but they will surely be able to drive themselves. Vehicle manufacturers and sales dealerships are also adopting a digital approach for their consumers. As a matter of fact, 75% of consumers who are interested in buying a vehicle will conduct their research online. Moreover, a digital approach in the automotive industry is also there to serve new consumer needs, especially since 56% of millennials would rather avoid interacting with salespeople in person.

Reshaping the logistics

The distribution and logistics industry is also experiencing vast changes due to the digital transformation. Logistics and distribution providers are practically being forced to adopt a new approach because their clients are doing so as well. For example, retail and ecommerce sectors are leveraging the newest technology to its fullest potential, thus making numerous promises to their customers, such as next-day or even same-day delivery, in order to boost customer experience. Also, manufacturers in the automotive industry want materials delivered at the right time for production, in order to avoid having to store materials around.

These demands force distribution and logistics providers to step up their game and deliver on their clients’ expectations. Even though logistic providers aren’t part of major brands per se, they still feel responsible for representing those brands through their services. Therefore, as manufacturers and retailers implement their digital approaches, distribution and logistics providers must become an extension of their clients’ brands, in order to remain competitive and relevant.

The world is already reshaped by the digital era and it continues to be transformed. As technology continues to advance, the increasing need for new solutions challenges various industries. Even the industries that are reluctant to transform will eventually have to do so. That is if they wish to remain successful and competitive in the market.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com

Business Behind the Times? 4 Pivotal Steps to Rebranding

If a business is losing market share or if it is falling behind in customer satisfaction or favorability surveys, then it is time for that company to rebrand. Done correctly, a rebrand can completely turn a company around. One compelling rebranding case study is the amazing turnaround story of Domino’s Pizza. The company had become known for low-quality pizza and service; however, after hiring a new ad agency and completely rebranding, Dominos began to gain market share. In fact, Domino’s stock has gained an astounding 5,000% since its rebranding in 2008. Companies that are looking to become the next great turnaround story should follow the four rebranding steps below. 

Determining the Purpose of the Rebrand 

Before a company begins to rebrand, the company must agree on why it needs to rebrand itself. Since all departments will be affected by the rebranding efforts, the heads of marketing, budgeting, product, research, and sales must all be on the same page. From here, the company can move on to the second crucial stage of the rebrand. 

Researching 

Once the company heads have agreed on rebranding, the company must do extensive research on all fronts. This includes getting feedback from the current employees and stockholders of the current brand, surveying customers about the current brand and observing competitor brands. From there, the company and the outside consultants can have a better idea of where the company is, in terms of its brand, so it can create a clearer path forward with the rebranding effort. 

Being Sure to Rebrand on All Fronts 

Once management has agreed on the rebranding message, this message must be communicated to every aspect of the company. That means that every employee, manager, customer, potential customer, stockholder, and third-party vendor must be aware about the new brand. From there, the rebranding should be deployed through advertising, marketing, social media, public relations, and internal communications. Consistency in key. You will, for instance, need to create new signage, and relying on a plastic vacuum mould manufacturer may be useful.

Staying Steady and Strong Once You’ve Rebranded 

Once the company is rebranded, the branding message must stay consistent for at least several years. According to the widely accepted Rule of 7, a consumer will usually need to see an ad or a branding communication at least seven times before they remember it. Therefore, it is important to understand that rebranding is a multi-year project. 

Rebranding can give the company the momentum it needs to recapture lost market share and entice new investors. This multi-year project should be embraced by every member of management, involve deep research, and be deployed through every piece of external company communication. With the right rebranding strategy, today’s struggling company can be tomorrow’s great turnaround story.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley