20 Best Affiliate Marketing Software Solutions of 2020
- 20 Best Affiliate Marketing Software Solutions of 2020
- Affiliate Traffic Bots Review + Massive Bonuses + Price
- Best Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing (2020 Update)
- 105 Best Affiliate Programs of 2020 (High Paying for
- TrafficManager - Affiliate Performance Marketing Software
Affiliate Marketing - AMC Marketing
We are a UK Affiliate Network dedicated to providing top performing offers to Affiliates, and top quality traffic to our Advertisers. We specialise in SMS Marketing offers
Traffic Travis Free SEO And PPC Software, Affiliate program
How to Make $200 Per Day with YouTube & Affiliate Marketing! (1 SOFTWARE FOR UNLIMITED TRAFFIC)
Easily view the performance of your traffic data with our software. Being affiliates ourselves, we know that these numbers are checked constantly throughout the day. We lay out all data for our users so campaigns could be maintained with ease.
Traffic Titan 3 by Memeplex Limited Review – An Amazing Software Tools Package Armed with All 10 Powerful Marketing Software that will Help You to Elevate Your Affiliate Marketing Business, Increase Your Traffic, and Earn You Massive Amount of Income in Easy and Quick Way
submitted by statisticiweb90 to internetmarketingblog [link] [comments]
Affiliate Funnels – Main Offer by JP Schoeffel Review – The Best Software to Instantly Boost The Conversion, Traffic, Sales and Income of Your Affiliate Sites. Overperform Your Rivals by Offering Your Costumers with High Quality and Engaging Contents!
submitted by statisticiweb90 to internetmarketingblog [link] [comments]
Affiliate Traffic Lab Review – Software Makes Traffic-Getting Videos in 60 Seconds
submitted by rsanreview to Review [link] [comments]
[GET] [Software] Steal Web Traffic and Collect Affiliate Commissions
submitted by blackhatfilez to BlackHatFilez [link] [comments]
How to make a great start in affiliate marketing?
Hello community people, I am new to affiliate marketing so looking for some brilliant advices over here. submitted by nikhilbhola to Affiliatemarketing [link] [comments]
I am looking to promote and generate revenue for our newly launched product (yogimeter.com) through affiliate marketing. I have even researched few affiliate software’s but I am not much satisfied with their dashboard as they offer limited tracking (mostly affiliate oriented).
What is the best advice/ tool / strategy that you can recommend me to generate 500 sales per month in initial months?
/r/worldnews [removed] Hands Free Commissions - Get the skinny on the new revolutionary software designed to create high converting affiliate sites and drive traffic to them automatically for you!
Brand New Affiliate Traffic Tsunami Softwares Needed For Making Money Online
submitted by elysberl to reddit.com [link] [comments]
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
submitted by Proim to beermoneyglobal [link] [comments]
Updated list of Global Beermoney opportunities (+180!) - June 2020
The current, and now previous, Beermoney Global list
started nearly 5 years ago. It’s been updated and has grown over all that time, but it also became a hassle to keep current. It was time to build a new list from scratch based on my experience in the Beermoney world over all these years and all the contributions all of you have been making in this sub.
The lists consist of opportunities that are available in at least one country that is not the US. This means there are sites which only work in Canada or the UK. There’s sites which are open to the whole world, but this does not mean everyone can really earn something on it. It’s all still very demographic and therefore location dependent. This list should give you a starting point to try out and find what works for you. I’m not using everything myself as I prefer to focus on a few, so not all are tested by me. They are found in this sub, other subreddits and other resources where people claim to have success.
I’ve chosen the format of a simple table with the bare minimum of information to keep things clean. It includes a link, how you earn, personal payment proof if available and sign-up bonus codes if applicable. Some of these bonuses are also one-time use codes specifically made for this sub! For the ones I don’t have payment proof (yet) feel free to provide some as a comment or via modmail so others know it’s legit. I am working on detailed instructions for each method that I personally use which will include things like cashout minimum, cashout options, tips & tricks,... For now I’ve split things up based on the type of earning like passive or mobile. Because of this there’s sometimes an overlap as some are both passive and on mobile or both earning crypto and a GPT (Get Paid To) website.
The lists are obviously not complete so I invite you to keep posting new ones in the sub, as a comment to this post, or in modmail. Especially if you have sites or apps which work for one single specific country I can start building a list, just like I did for The Netherlands and Belgium. If you recognize things which are in fact scams or not worth it let me know as well.
Get Paid To (Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, clicking links, play games, searching)
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|ySense - The best global site ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Paypal ||/ |
|PrizeRebel ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Paypal ||Enter code 'beermoneyglobal' |
|SerpClix ||Google searching ||Paypal ||/ |
|Swagbucks & SwagButton ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, shopping & cashback, games, apps ||Paypal ||/ |
|GG2U ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Pending ||$1.00 if register here |
|Keep Rewarding ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, PTC ||Pending ||$0.25 if register here |
|Ebesucher ||Surfing, reading mails ||Bank transfer ||/ |
|Reward XP ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Pending ||$0.50 if register here |
|Gain.gg ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Paypal ||$0.10 if register here |
|Timebucks ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos, Tik Tok, Shopping ||Pending ||$1.00 if register here |
|GamerMine ||Surveys, offers, videos, tasks, ||Pending ||$1.00 if register here |
|Gamehag ||Tasks, offers, play games, post on forum, writing ||Pending ||/ |
|BTCSurveys ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|FruitLab ||Watch & upload video game clips ||Pending ||100 pips if register here |
|Clickworker ||Transcripts, tasks, UHRS (categorizing), surveys ||Paypal ||/ |
|FreeSkins ||Surveys, offers, tasks, videos ||Pending ||100 coins if register here |
|iRazoo ||Games, surveys, videos, offers, apps ||Pending ||Enter code 'AK7DB2' for 500 points when signing up |
|EarnCrypto ||Data entry, surveys, offers, tasks, videos, games, apps ||Pending ||/ |
|Blockreward ||Apps, surveys, videos, tasks, offers ||Pending ||$2.00 if register here and earn 20000b + $2.00 if earn 10000b within 30 days |
|PaidViewPoint ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|GrabPoints ||Suverys, videos, offers, games, apps ||Pending ||500 points if register here |
|RewardingWays ||Surveys, offers, tasks, videos, contests ||Pending ||$0.20 if register here |
|SuperPay ||Surveys, offers, tasks, videos, contests ||Pending ||$0.20 if register here |
|InstaGC ||Surveys, tasks, videos, apps ||Pending ||/ |
|GiftHunterClub ||Surveys, offers, videos, apps, games ||Pending ||$0.75 if register here |
|Idle-Empire ||Surveys, offers, videos, mining, apps, games ||Pending ||500 points if register here |
|PicoWorkers ||Tasks, games, apps ||Pending ||/ |
|ViewFruit ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Mobrog (change language if needed) ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Surveytime ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Giveaway Pros ||Offers, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|SEO Sprint (Russian, use Google Translate) ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Earnhoney ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Toluna ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Spidermetrix ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|BeerSurveys ||Surveys, tasks, offers ||Pending ||/ |
|CrowdHolding ||Co-create with startups ||Pending ||/ |
|Diaworkers ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Presearch ||Search & Earn ||Pending ||/ |
|Univox Community ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|YouGov ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Spare5 ||Tasks ||Paypal ||/ |
|Rewardia ||Surveys, polls, games, videos, puzzles, trivia ||Pending ||3000 points extra (when you earn 3000 points) if register here |
|Earnably ||Surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Neevo ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Rakuten Insight (country specific links) ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|The Panel Station ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Remotasks ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Pureprofile ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|UserCrowd ||Tasks ||PayPal ||/ |
|Sruvey Village ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|InboxDollars/InboxPounds ||Surveys, offers, videos, shopping ||Pending ||/ |
|Qmee ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|MicroWorkers ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Cinchbucks ||Surveys, offers, tasks, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Rewards1 ||Suverys, videos, offers, games, apps, polls, contests ||Pending ||/ |
|Vindale ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|PointClub ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|TGM Panel ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|PaidPoints ||Tasks, offers, traffic exchange, ad clicking ||Pending ||/ |
|RapidWorkers ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|AnyTask ||Sell your skills ||Pending ||/ |
|Bounty0x ||Tasks ||Pending ||/ |
|Opinion World ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Lifepoints ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
Passive (desktop & mobile)
Crypto (faucets, mining, GPT)
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Cointiply ||Faucet, surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Bitcoin ||Enter code 'beermoneyglobal' |
|FreeBitcoin ||Faucet, lottery, betting, passive interest ||Bitcoin ||/ |
|AdBTC ||Click ads, active window surfing, autosurfing ||Pending ||/ |
|Faucetpay ||Faucet Wallet, exchange, offers, tasks, trading ||Pending ||/ |
|Faucet Crypto ||Faucet, ads clicking, offers, shortlinks ||Pending ||/ |
|More Money ||Faucet, ads clicking, offers, shortlinks ||Pending ||/ |
|Kryptex ||Crypto mining ||Pending ||/ |
|Quicrypto ||Surveys, tasks, offers, games, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Coinpot ||Faucet ||Bitcoin ||/ |
|Honeyminer ||Mining ||Pending ||1000 satoshis if register here |
|BitShark ||Faucet, games ||Pending ||/ |
|Publish0x ||Read & write articles ||Pending ||/ |
|Starbits ||Faucet (need FaucetPay account) ||Pending ||/ |
|Coinpayu ||Ads clicking, videos, offers ||Pending ||/ |
|BTCSurveys ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Blockreward ||Apps, surveys, videos ||Pending ||$2.00 if register here and earn 20000b + $2.00 if earn 10000b within 30 days |
|Coinbase ||Crypto sign-up bonuses ||Bank transfer ||See links in thread |
|LBRY.tv ||Watch videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Pi Network ||Crypto mining ||Pending (see here) ||To join you need a referral link |
|EarnCrypto ||Data entry, surveys, offers, tasks, videos, games, apps ||Pending ||/ |
|Phoneum ||Games, mining ||Pending ||/ |
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Cointiply ||Faucet, surveys, tasks, offers, videos ||Bitcoin ||Enter code 'beermoneyglobal' |
|HoneyGain ||Desktop & mobile phone bandwith sharing (wifi + data) ||Paypal ||$5.00 if register here |
|Google Opinion Rewards ||Surveys ||Play Store credit ||/ |
|FreeBitcoin ||Faucet, lottery, betting, passive interest ||Bitcoin ||/ |
|AppKarma ||Games, quizes, surveys ||Pending ||Enter code 'Proim' for 300 points when signing up |
|CashKarma ||Surveys, offers, games ||Pending ||Enter code 'Proim' for 300 points when signing up |
|Cash Alarm ||Games ||Pending ||Receive 25% of my earnings if register here |
|Cash Magnet ||Games, offers, tasks, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|AttaPoll ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|ClipClaps ||Videos, games, raffles ||PayPall ||$1.00 & Diamond Chest if register here |
|Quicrypto ||Surveys, tasks, offers, games, videos ||Pending ||/ |
|Poll Pay ||Surveys ||Pending ||$0.30 if using code '4CS6L4SQ8D' when signing up |
|BuzzBreak ||Read news, videos, offers, surveys ||Pending ||Enter code 'B06472489' when signing up |
|Userlytics ||Software testing ||Pending ||/ |
|WowApp ||Games, offers, surveys, videos, chat, phone unlock, calling, cashback, shopping cashback, browsing, news reading ||Pending ||/ |
|CuriousCat ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Quickthoughts ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Fitplay ||Games ||Pending ||$0.33 if register here |
|TV-Two Make Money ||Apps, games, Youtube, browsing ||Pending ||555 credits if register here |
|Mistplay ||Games ||Pending ||/ |
|FeaturePoints ||Suveys, offers, apps, cashback ||Pending ||50 points if register here |
|Money SMS ||Receive SMS ||Pending ||/ |
|BIGtoken ||Suveys, location sharing, social media account ||Pending ||Use code 'GMGALLOIA' |
|McMoney ||Receive SMS ||Pending ||$0.22 if using code '60LGG3PR' |
|Pi Network ||Crypto mining ||Pending (see here) ||To join you need a referral link |
|Roamler ||Mystery shopping ||Pending ||/ |
|SMS Profit Net ||Receive SMS ||Pending ||/ |
|Streetbees ||Surveys, tasks, create videos, take pictures ||Pending ||Enter code '6115GF' when signing up |
|Simcash ||Send SMS [risky] ||Pending ||/ |
|VoxPopMe ||Video feedback ||Pending ||/ |
|Cash4sms ||Send [risky] & receive SMS ||Pending ||/ |
|Citizen Me ||Surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|ControlMySMS ||Receive SMS ||Pending ||/ |
|Birdchain ||Send SMS [risky] ||Pending ||/ |
|Sweatcoin ||Walking ||Pending ||/ |
|COIN ||Explore ||Pending ||1000 coins if register here |
|Panel App ||Surveys, location sharing ||Pending ||/ |
|GiftHunterClub ||Surveys, offers, videos, apps, games ||Pending ||$0.75 if register here |
|Phoneum ||Games, mining ||Pending ||/ |
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Respondent ||Interviews, research, surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Prolific ||Surveys, research ||Paypal ||/ |
Investing (revenue share)
Selling (designs on merchandise, skills/gigs)
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Fiverr ||Sell your skills ||Pending ||20% off on first purchase if register here |
|Redbubble ||Sell your designs ||Pending ||/ |
|Zeerk ||Sell your skills ||Pending ||/ |
|TeePublic ||Sell your designs ||Pending ||/ |
|Teespring ||Sell your designs ||Pending ||/ |
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Rev ||Transcribing, captioning, foreign subtitles ||Pending ||/ |
|Gotranscript ||Transcribing, translating captioning, foreign subtitles ||Pending ||/ |
|TranscribeMe ||Transcribing, translating, data annotation ||Pending ||/ |
|Unbabel ||Translating ||Pending ||/ |
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Wealthy Affiliate ||Learn affiliate marketing ||Pending ||/ |
|Brave ||Brows internet ||Pending ||/ |
|Andromo ||Develop apps ||Pending ||/ |
The Netherlands specific
For The Netherlands there are a few very good options next to a bunch of ‘spaarprogramma’s. There ‘spaarprogramma’s are all the same where you receive and click a bunch of e-mails, advertisements, banners,... I advise you to create a separate e-mail address or use a good filter in your inbox as you will be spammed to death. I believe they can be a nice piece of beermoney but they take quite the effort.
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Euroclix ||Surveys, shopping & cashback, offers, energy/internet providers ||Bank transfer ||€1.95 if register here |
|StemPunt ||Surveys ||Gift cards ||500 points if register here |
|Cashback XL ||Shopping cashback, health insurance discount ||Bank transfer ||/ |
|Scoupy ||Shopping cashback, free products ||Pending ||/ |
|Cashback Korting ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€7.50 if register here |
|Lady Cashback ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€7.50 if register here |
|Enqueteclub ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€7.50 if register here |
|Snel Verdienen ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€2.50 if register here |
|Spaar Actief ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Klik Je Zakgeld ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Zinngeld ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€0.10 if register here |
|My Clics ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|Direct Verdiend ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€2.00 if register here |
|Spaar4Cash ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Qassa ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|My Flavours ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Cash Ze ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Geld Race ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|iPay ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|Double Points ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€2.00 if register here |
|Mailbeurs ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Qlics ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|Centmail ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Extra Euro ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|Gekken Goud ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Dutch Euro ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Nu Cash ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register |
|Snel Euro ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Cash Hier ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Betaalde Mails ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€2.00 if register here |
|Goudmails ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Online Cashen ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Crazy Mails ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Cash Paradijs ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Smart Clix ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€5.00 if register here |
|24/7 Discount ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||/ |
|Beetje Zakgeld ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.25 if register here |
|Geldmolen ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.75 if register here |
|Online Zakcentje ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.50 if register here |
|Geldcircus ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€0.75 if register here |
|Lady Clix ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€0.99 if register here |
|Geldwolf ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Zilvervloot ||Read mails, click banners, shopping cashback, shopping deals, compare (GWL, data, internet, tv, insurances), offers, surveys ||Pending ||€1.00 if register here |
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Buffl ||Surveys ||Gift cards ||/ |
The one-time sign-up bonus programs are still to be found here
. If you find a new one let me know so I can create the post to keep all the ref links together.
Although it’s not really about making money online, it’s still nice to save some money as well when shopping online.
|Register here ||How to earn ||Payment proof ||Sign-up bonus code |
|Honey ||Discounts & Cashback ||/ ||500 Honey Gold if register here |
|G2A ||Game keys ||/ ||/ |
|Kinguin ||Game keys ||/ ||/ |
|Allkeyshop ||Game keys ||/ ||/ |
|AliExpress ||Save on online shopping ||/ ||$24 coupons if register here |
|Gearbest ||Save on online shopping ||/ ||/ |
Other subs & resources
In response to the post asking how to stay safe online - How to actually stay safe online
submitted by InvertedDick to Philippines [link] [comments]
There was some advice thrown around in that post, but to me the explanation given did not do it justice, or it wasn't an informative enough explanation at least. So here's my advice! I use majority of these every day. In the post I added subheadings that gives you a summary of what software/alternative to use. If you want to read my reasoning why, feel free too. It can get lengthy though! Disclaimer
: This post is just to give you something as a starting point. You can always add to these measures to be safer online! So the purpose of this is just to have a solid foundation that you guys can add/modify. Stay safe!
To begin with, you might think that browsing in incognito is safe enough for the government not to track you. The only thing this protects you from is your history being tracked. That's it. Despite them heavily marketing it as a "private" way of browsing, it's not the entire picture. https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-faces-class-action-for-allegedly-tracking-private-browsing-activity/
Just remember that in every single app/software that you download, and each device you use, think of it as a person you're handing off your data to. Is the person trustworthy? Will this person betray you and sell your data to the highest bidder? What's stopping this person from running away with my data? Are there privacy laws in their country of origin that make it illegal for them to do this? Is it possible that these guys just put privacy as a front and actually have an ulterior motive? What's their track record?
Now with all that in place, let's pick out some of the things that are known to not track you.
Operating Systems Mobile Phones
A lot of mobile phone brands used by Filipinos are Chinese phones. Huawei, Vivo are ones that I can think off the top of my head. Huawei has had multiple scandals
that proves that they cannot be trusted. Other Chinese brands cannot be trusted as well because you're giving them free access to a window of your life. They're also the role models of our current government, so any data they have about you our government will have as well. I decided to put this section at the very top because even if you follow everything else in the post, it will be for naught if you have a Chinese phone. It's time to get rid of it for other brands, or even Apple.
However, if you are unable to, then you must explore the custom OS route. This does not solve everything because if the tracking is in a hardware level, which it likely is, then this would still be for naught. But if you have an Android phone that isn't a Chinese brand, keep reading.
In this post
are a list of custom operating systems, some built on top of Android with a focus on privacy. Yes Android is under Google, but Android is open sourced and the worrying parts can be removed. This will require some technical skill though to replace your phone's OS. So unfortunately, I cannot provide any help with this. You have to do your due diligence and research about it! ttankdestroyer
Importante din ang smartphone. This comment might be controversial but I will say it anyway, get rid of your chinese phone. Pero if you still want your chinese phone, you can install custom rom. I highly suggest LineageOSas a custom rom pero you need to remember na select phone lang siya compatible. For security and privacy out of the box ang hanap nyo at nahihirapan kayo maginstall ng custom rom, just use iPhone.
For Android phones, you still have to configure your phone to harden its security, aka hardening. doppelbot linked
a great resource for this! Mobile Apps
Our commonly used apps have a lot of tracking in them by default since this is how they earn money, through ads. For android, as pointed out by boywithapplesauce
, you can find a lot of open source versions of your commonly used apps in FDroid (open source version of the Play Store).
- Slide (reddit alternative)
- NewPipe (YouTube alternative)
Other FDroid apps to consider: Blokada, DNS66, WebApps, Nextcloud, Firefox Klar
Disclaimer: Using these FOSS (free and open source software) alternatives aren't a silver bullet to the problem. There's still the fact that that you're using the service of a company that doesn't care about your right. I would use this as the very last option if you have no other choice but to use their service. Desktop
Stay away from Windows 10. They're a privacy nightmare and they're infested with tracking even if you "disable" their telemetry (tracking). Opt for Linux or at the very least macOS if you're able to. Linux is free and they have great distros like Ubuntu, PopOS, Linux Mint, and Solus. You could also try installing Arch if you're feeling brave :).
With this you'll have a clean base, free from tracking! Generally Linux distros are great, but this is a double-edged sword since one can advertise it as a Linux distro while adding trackers to it. Be careful.
Be sure to enable disk encryption during installation. Use a strong password for this encryption too. This way if things go really bad for you, let's say you get raided by the cops and they confiscate your PC, your data will be difficult to extract from the disk because it's all encrypted. You can see the password manager section to help* you keep track of your passwords.
VPN Use Mullvad. ProtonVPN is a second choice too.
VPNs will not make you anonymous online, their only job is to make sure that your ISP cannot spy on you because your traffic from your computer and the website you're connecting to is encrypted. Normally this traffic can be intercepted and peeked into, but VPNs prevent that from happening. However, one thing to note is that you have to trust the VPN provider. To protect you from your ISP, your traffic has to go through their servers. This means, your traffic can be monitored by these guys. This is why it's crucial to pick the right one. This is also why it's time to ditch those janky ass Chinese VPN or Opera VPNs. Those are shit.
Nord, Express, PIA, and any other USA-based VPN cannot be trusted despite their no logging policy. You can't say for sure that they don't log your data because because their privacy laws are not as strict and not as heavily enforced as their EU counterparts. The account is also tied to your personal information such as your real name, payment info, and email. This is extremely dangerous
because once they get compromised, your data can be traced back to you. Your only options really are Mullvad VPN ($5.5/mo) and ProtonVPN. I am in no way affiliated with these, I just like to point them out because they're the gold standard of VPNs. Mullvad is also much cheaper than ProtonVPN if you want to get their paid plan. Why Mullvad? mullvad.net
Mullvad does not store any information about you, at all. Not even an email, password, username, names, none. The only thing tied to your account is an account number that was generated for you. It does not store any payment information, it does not log anything. There's no way that account can be traced back to you, unless Mullvad gets sold off or hacked. In terms of security, they have an independent party to audit them. Warning about TOR and VPN
After checking out ProtonVPN, they have this option called TOR over VPN. You might think, hey this is more secure right since you're connected to a TOR network?
Nope. The purpose of TOR is to make you anonymous, by having a VPN while being connected to TOR, this will leave a permanent trail, and that's not something you want because it means you can be traced, which defeats the whole point of TOR. In fact, it's more dangerous that you're connected to a VPN while using TOR, than just using a VPN.
But Tor doesn't encrypt your traffic. So how can you make sure that you can't be spied on by the government? You can use Tor Bridges to hide the fact that you're using a Tor network. Bridges are ran by volunteers. Read more
In terms of hiding your data from the government, VPNs are sufficient because that's the use case they solve. Connecting to Tor might be over the top for this purpose. However, if you want to go beyond government tracking then Tor + Tor Bridge is a way better option than Tor + VPN.
Browsers Use Firefox mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/new/
Browsers are the gateway to the internet, so it has to be secure. Use Firefox
. Ditch your Chrome browsers! I know, you're probably used to it and have it customized the way you like it. But Firefox is the only browser that fights for your right of privacy. Chrome is under Google and they are notorious for tracking and selling your data to advertisers. All the Chrome variants out there that haven't been "unchromified" are all terrible browsers in terms of privacy as well. Yes, this includes Edge and yes this also includes your mobile browsers. Use Firefox! Firefox is the only browser where you can configure it to block trackers and even features that will risk you getting tracked. Chrome has extensions that do these, but the fact that it's not baked into its source code makes it inferior to Firefox.
Configure Firefox https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#about_config
Recommended Firefox addons https://www.privacytools.io/browsers/#addons
After configuring be sure to run tests like DNS leak and WebRTC leak tests. Check https://am.i.mullvad.net
if you want a comprehensive rundown of tests. You can also configure Firefox to delete all browsing and download history, and cookies. In case your PC/phone get seized, there will be nothing on it. No evidence against you that you were conspiring against the government. Mobile Browsers
It's time for you to ditch Chrome and Safari.
For Android you have Firefox, and Bromite. Bromite is pretty much an unchromified browser and is pretty good.
For iOS you can use Firefox, and DuckDuckGo.
Password Manager Use Bitwarden bitwarden.com/
I have a lot of friends that still use basic passwords like their birthdays or nicknames, and this is dangerous. If they become a suspect of someone, their accounts can be easily accessed without much effort because of how ridiculously easy their passwords are to guess. (See PLDT's twitter account getting hacked for example!) So, what do password managers have to do with security and privacy?
They greatly enhance your security of your online accounts. You can have a 100 character password (as long as the website supports it, which most do) and won't have the burden of remembering it. You just need 1 master password, which you can use a passphrase password for. Be sure this is a strong password. Try to remember just one long password, I know you can do it! Some password managers also allow you to have TOTP or OTP code generation built-in to them. If you don't already know, 2 factor authentication makes sure that there's an extra verification step before you can login to your account. OTP is one of them and it generates a unique code combination every 30 seconds. I really suggest setting up OTP for all your accounts. Ditch SMS verification because you can easily be a victim of SIM hijacking. Ditch email because, it's more inconvenient than having a TOTP generator.
Okay, hopefully that explains why you need a password manager and that you have to enable OTP verification. Now what are your options? Bitwarden. It's an open source password manager and is available in all platforms (Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS). It's frequently audited and its free tier is extremely generous.
Instant Messaging/Social Media/Email Instant Messaging: Use Signal App signal.org/
Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and I don't know what other hip and cool social media platforms are out there. These are all not secure. It is an extremely bad idea to have privacy-sensitive conversations. Any app under Facebook you should not use because they're one of the worst offenders of privacy. Anyone that sells ads to you tracks your information and keeps it in a database. Telegram may tout that it's privacy-focused but that really isn't the case. Telegram by default does not offer encrypted conversations. That's only available in "secret chat", which you can't set up for group conversations. So your group and individual conversations are all unencrypted. I can't even begin with Tik Tok, just stay away from it, please.
What IM should you use then? Signal https://www.signal.org/
. It's open-source, audited and peer-reviewed to provide the highest quality encryption out there. Its entire premise is to fight your right for privacy by providing the best privacy IM out there. If you're a developer, you can review their code here https://github.com/signalapp
. Try your best to convince your friends that are afraid of the government but still want to have conversations against them to use Signal. Social Media
This is difficult because social media greatly depends on its audience. If you need social media to schedule protests and if Signal won't suffice then look into these options:
Source: https://www.privacytools.io/providers/social-networks/ Email: Use ProtonMail protonmail.com/
I know that gmail is widely used, but given my reasons above, do not trust Google. Ditch Google, opt in for a service that actually cares about privacy. I'm personally using ProtonMail
. With these guys you can manage multiple emails in ONE ACCOUNT. You can set up burner emails that only receive emails and not send. You can dispose these burner emails and make new ones in case it gets compromised. These guys are based on Switzerland and if I'm not mistaken, ProtonVPN are under these guys as well. Always prioritize software under EU because of their privacy laws, unless they don't respect it of course. Which means legal trouble for them anyway so I highly doubt it.
DuckDuckGo is your friend. Google search, Yahoo, and Bing aren't.
This is where a lot of people end up making a mistake. You can follow all of the previous bullet points but when you use an account that has your real information in it, you've undone all your up until this point. DO NOT use your real name. DO NOT use Facebook because I have several friends that used aliases and they were forced by Facebook to use their real name and to provide an valid ID before they approved the change. I'll just outline these:
- Do not use your real name
- Do not provide your address
- Do not provide your birth date
- Use a burner email.
Why? Your friends cannot be trusted. I know you guys have DDS friends and with the new bill, this is very dangerous. Facebook groups for protests are also very dangerous. Group chats are dangerous.
If you haven't already and if you are able to, just delete Facebook/TwitteInstagram/Tik Tok. Your life is better off without them. Trust me, and well all the other people that have gotten rid of these. It makes your life so much better.
Deleting your data/Temporary sessions
When shit hits the fan, you're gonna have to have a method to delete everything, quickly. Unfortunately how your data gets removed largely depends on the website/app you're using. For example, it'll take 30 days for Facebook to make your account inaccessible. Even with this there's no guarantee that your data has actually been wiped clean from Facebook's database. Directory of links for deleting accounts online
Disclaimer: Deleting your account does not mean your data was actually deleted on the servers. Which is why you have to be really careful on what website/app you use. Computer data
If you have to delete your data right away you simply just have to destroy the medium. Reformatting is not
enough. Data can always be recovered from disk which is why disk encryption is so important. To delete your data for good from your disk, you have to destroy the medium.
- Remove storage (hdd/ssd) and memory modules
- Drill a hole in them
- Break the ram modules in half
- Microwave RAM modules
If you prefer something less violent and destructive, make sure (as mentioned in the post) to install your OS with disk encryption enabled. A lot of Linux distros offer this and it's not difficult to set up. Then, all you have to do is just to boot into a live USB and wipe out your disk. This option is not as safe as destroying your disk. It's really best if you have something that does not store data on disk (See temporary sessions). Mobile phone data
You can factory reset your phone and pray to god that your data wasn't sent to a server. You can also remove your phone's storage and memory but that's way more difficult than a computer. You could also just drill a hole in your phone's storage and memory! Temporary Sessions
This is when you need a medium that's temporary and that doesn't store data. Live OS are great at this, but they're only as good as your hardware.
Tails Linux is great. Put it in a USB, boot into it and you can carry on browsing. It also has Tor built into it as an added bonus.
See more: https://www.privacytools.io/operating-systems/#live_os
See also: https://www.privacytools.io/ https://ssd.eff.org/
- Thanks LecheKaFlan
Edit 1: Added links
Edit 2: Added reference links
Edit 3: Added search engine
Edit 4: Added explanation for why Tor + VPN is not a good idea, and what you can do to encrypt your Tor traffic.
Edit 5: Added section for mobile phones and desktop operating systems. Thanks boywithapplesauce
Edit 6: Added social media alternatives and data deletion. Thanks Yssl
Edit 7: Added mobile browsers. Thanks r4iv3n
Edit 8: Added more FOSS operating systems and smartphone hardening resource. Thanks doppelbot
What web hosting solution would you recommend for a Wordpress blog about a niche hobby? I was going to go with Bluehost until I read the horror stories on here.
submitted by Repulsive-Divide to webhosting [link] [comments]
I have a domain through Google Domains, and I'm going to be setting up the blog via Wordpress. The idea is that it's a niche hobby blog that I'm hoping to for Amazon Affiliate link marketing, and I don't expect a ton of visitors. It's more of a "writing reviews of products I think people would like, and if I can make some money on the side that'd be great" kind of thing. I know a very basic amount of programming, and none of it is related to web development so I'd prefer not having to write any code myself, at least at first.
Most of the people I've spoken to recommend either BlueHost, and it looks like according to Reddit they're pretty bad, so I'd like to explore some other options as well.
- **What is your monthly budget?** Anywhere under $10/month should be okay, cheaper is better but not at the cost of speed.
- **Where are you/your users located?** I'm in the US and my goal audience is anyone who wants to read it, but most of my users will probably be in the US as well
- **What kind of site are you hosting (Wordpress, phpBB, custom software, etc) or what is your use case?** Wordpress.
- **Do you have a monthly traffic volume? Estimates are ok.** This is my first website, so I have no idea what to expect. I would guess somewhere between 3000-10000 views per month, hopefully more as time goes on.
- **If you’re looking at VPSes: Do you have experience administrating linux servers and infrastructure?** No.
- **Did you read the sidebacheck out the hosts listed there? I've personally vetted these companies and their services are a good fit for 99% of people.** I have, but I've never heard of them other than on this sub.
Our own step-by-step startup/project launch checklist
submitted by DrJigsaw to startups [link] [comments]
Hey guys! So my co-founder and I launched several projects/businesses over the past 2 years (incl. our marketing agency, local tour agency, and a bunch of other stuff). We usually go through the exact same process for every project launch, so we decided to turn it into a checklist, both for ourselves & the internet people on Reddit.
You can check out the complete checklist here
, and here's a Reddit-format-friendly post:
Step #1 - Research Phase
Before you start planning your launch, you need to figure out your overall product and marketing strategy. Here’s what you need to think about:
- Create a list of competitors in your niche. Make a spreadsheet that includes:
- Competitor Name
- Pricing Options
- Key Features
- Define your product & business. Decide on the following:
- What’s your business model?
- What’s your pricing model?
- How many pricing tiers do you offer?
- Do you offer a free trial?
- Is your product freemium?
- Which key features are you going to focus on for launch?
- What’s your differentiator? How are you going to beat the existing products on the market?
- Spy on your competitors and figure out which marketing channels are getting them the best results.
- Content Marketing. Do they publish blog posts on a regular basis? Do they promote their content on social media? Do they get a lot of Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn shares?
- SEO. Do they have good rankings on Google with their blog posts? Do their landing pages rank on product search terms? You can check this by running their website through SEMrush or Ahrefs.
- Search Ads. Are they running ads on Google Search? You can check this by running their site through SEMrush.
- Facebook Ads. Are they running ads on Facebook? You can check this through Facebook Ad Library.
- Affiliate Marketing. Check their website footer to see if they have an affiliate page up. You can also do this through a simple search query: “site:[competitor website] affiliate program”
- Referral Marketing. You can usually find this in the footer. Check what kind of referral terms your competitors offer.
- Now, use everything you’ve learned so far and create a pitch deck if you’re planning on raising money, or a business plan if you’re not.
Step #2 - Slap Together a Website
Time to get things rolling. The next step is to create a website & lay the foundation for your marketing.
- Pick a domain name. Pro-tip, all the good “.com”s are taken. Go for something more creative like a .io, .xyz, or other TLD. We recommend using NameSilo for buying the actual domains, they don’t do price-gouging, unlike most providers.
- Buy hosting. We recommend using SiteGround - they have 99.99% server uptime, and their customer support is amazing.
- Pick an email marketing provider. It doesn’t particularly matter which one. We usually recommend MailChimp since it’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers.
- Create relevant social profiles. The key here is relevant. If you’re a B2B enterprise software company, you really don’t need an Instagram profile where you post selfies. Usually, most startups go for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Create a landing page for your product. You’ll need to create a landing page that sells your product. In 99% of cases, we recommend using WordPress. It’s going to allow you to be a LOT leaner than having your tech team code your entire website from scratch.
- Create other essential web pages. E.g. about us, contact us, pricing page.
- Set up a payment processor. We’d recommend Stripe (the best option on the market) or PayPal (if you really have to).
- Set up Analytics. You can pick between Google Analytics, MixPanel, or other alternatives.
- Set up a business email. We recommend using G Suite. Dealing with your hosting provider’s email service will be a pain when scaling.
- Launch a blog. If you’re planning on using content marketing or SEO for your marketing (which, in 2020, most product companies do), you’ll need a blog.
Step #3 - Do Some Pre-Launch Marketing
If you have the extra time and resources, you can start marketing your product way before you’ve even launched. Usually, this involves:
- Add an email capture on your landing page
- Incentivize early adopters. Offer them something extra than just a “we’re going to email you once we launch!”
- Drive traffic. Usually, the best channels to use for pre-launch marketing are content marketing, SEO, and PR. More on each channel under “Ongoing Marketing” below.
Step #4 - Get Some Initial Traction
Once you have an MVP, you want to validate 2 things: that your product works, and that it can drive conversions (and hence, revenue). Here’s how to do it lean:
- If you did pre-launch marketing, launch an email to anyone that pre-signed for your product.
- Cold call your first 50 customers. The easiest way to get your first customers is to do some cold calling. After all, if you can’t sell your product on a one-on-one call, how will you sell it to strangers on the internet via text?
- Find leads on social media. Use Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to find leads on social media and pitch them with a direct message.
- Run search ads. If you have a flexible budget, you can run search ads on direct intent keywords. E.g. if your product is a resume builder, you advertise on the keyword “resume builder.”
Step #5 - Prep For Launch
Every startup gets one “launch” in its lifetime. Here’s how to make sure you get it right:
- Create a Press Kit and put it up on your website. This is going to be helpful for journalists who want to write about your website.
- Gather a list of journalists that wrote about your competition. You’re going to email them during launch and ask for a feature. Use tools like Hunter.io or Clearbit Connect to find the journalist’s email addresses.
- Create a list of all your acquaintances that use ProductHunt (PH). You’ll want to ping them and ask for support once you launch on PH (more on this in the next step).
- Create a list of all your friends and acquaintances who might have connections to your target audience. You’ll reach out to them during launch.
Step #6 - LAUNCH!
Time to hit that big, shiny red button and LAUNCH!
- Reach out to all the journalists you listed in the last step and pitch your product. The PoV of the pitch should be “hey, you wrote about [competitor x]. We have a similar product, but here’s how ours stands out…”
- Launch on ProductHunt
- Reach out to all your friends and acquaintances we listed out in the last step, and ask for a share of your product landing page. For the best results, you should also give them the EXACT text they should use when sharing the page.
A step-by-step guide of how I would build a SaaS company right now - part 2
submitted by lickitysplitstyle to startups [link] [comments]
This is part 2 of 5. Part 1 LET'S DO THIS!
Big thank you to everyone that upvoted and commented on the last post.
I’m pumped, this is part 2 of 5 for those keeping track at home.
- Start with your revenue and monetization plan (are you targeting a sector that has money and can/will pay - Part 1)
- Align yourself with others in your space (cheapest way to get traction/credibility)
- Work on road mapping your product to align with what complements your partnerships (cheapest distribution)
- Work on building a marketing strategy that can help expose and align your brand while strengthening its recognition with your partners (will this make us both look good)
- Build customer advocates along the way, tell their stories (lead with examples)
Early traction, everyone wants it, very few people know how to do it effectively. Hell I’ve seen it all, run all the experiments, all the tests and I can tell you from experience if you have the patience, slow, steady, and surgical is the way to grow. Especially in the beginning.
In part one we spent a lot of time asking some basic fundamental business questions. Including, an exercise in the importance of being able to niche down.
We’re going to expand on the niching down because it’s how you gain clarity and find people to align yourself with early on.
The goal of this will be to understand:
- How to niche down
- How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
- How to position within that market
- How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
I’ve chosen to outline these in all our steps for niching down.
You’re going to see these steps move from research to market evaluation to list building stopping just short of outreach. We’ll touch on this in part 3.
Last week I took a call where someone told me their target market is males 25-45 that like sports. This is the most important part of your entire business. I’m serious.
Let’s rock through this together so we can get you super focused and know where and how to spend your time and money.
(The below was laid out in part 1 and was the layered niching exercise) LEVEL 1: We’re a helpdesk product. How to niche down
The big question is “for who”?
So you’ve picked the type of product you are building and a use case, the problem is there are lots of people like you out there and this doesn’t tell me much about your market, it’s too broad. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Because this is so broad, it’s impossible to actually target a market and without being able to do that, it’s not possible to recognize opportunities, there’s just too many of them. How to position within that market
Competition is good and bad, but it’s always better to be a big fish in a little pond, the best way to reduce the size of your pond is to niche down as much as possible while still understanding a large enough TAM (total addressable market). How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
No wasted effort. Every idea, concept, must have a small goal attached to it.
It’s too expensive to try to be everything for everyone and when you take this approach you end up failing at doing any one thing well enough for people to switch.
Let’s build on this. LEVEL 2: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies. How to niche down
Pick an industry or trend that is on the rise - look towards a shift or something that relates to changes people are making in their daily routine.
In this case we picked eCommerce because it’s on track to hit over $7 Trillion worldwide this year and has steadily been increasing across all brands. So we have an industry with a large enough economic driver to let us start niching down. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
We now buy things online that we never would have thought to do so even just a few years ago. Amazon is selling Tiny Homes now, seriously, if you can buy it, odds are you can do it online. There are massive opportunities to bring goods and services to people through convenient online shopping. And with that increase they will all need a help desk platform to provide the best experience for their customers.
Customers today don’t want to speak with people, they want answers quickly and easily. It’s all about reducing friction. How to position within that market
Narrow down within the market. eCommerce is a good starting point, there are different industries, subsets, and categories. Go narrower. Start thinking about where the friction exists in the industry and for what subsets. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
In the beginning, it’s going to be an uphill battle, picking the right trending industry will give you the best chance of success. Something that is rising up to the right in popularity is way easier to sell into than a trend that is declining.
Know your competitive landscape.
Everyone has a competitor, whether direct, partial, or mildly related. Spend a lot of time on understanding this and knowing that your product is part of a very large landscape or landscape of potential competitors. Any one of the existing partial or mildly related competitors may be building something to more directly compete with you down the road. Practical advice
Most companies stop here and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a go to market plan or a sustainable business model.
There’s an important bit worth mentioning here as it will become a theme of this entire post.
Great products enhance workflows through features, the focus isn’t on the product but what the product enables people to do. Success in the software business is all about understanding existing workflows and simplifying the experience.
As you do this exercise to niche down ask yourself:
What does the current workflow look like?
What are they currently using?
How are they currently using it?
Where are the gaps? What are the best practices for creating workflows?
Always seek to understand how your product works in a workflow - what role it plays, how it best optimizes - this is the data play referred to in Part 1.
What are the things that matter most to people in the eCommerce space?
That’s a lot of questions with even more answers, when you peel everything back it becomes very clear that it’s not possible to answer all of them without going deeper.
Too many people to talk to, too many industries, too much everything.
Let’s take a different approach - how I got to Shopify in the next niche down. No successful new SaaS company today launches without an integration.
So let’s find an eCommerce platform to integrate with.
We have to look for a stable player that has an app store and is a market leader.
As a starting point, my goal is to be a help desk for ecommerce companies.
- I need a list of all eCommerce platforms
- I need to understand which help desks they already integrate with
- I need to understand what people like and don’t like about them
- I need to find out which platform is going to be the best fit for my product
There are lots of sources for this and even more articles, google and read.
If you’re looking for numbers though and data, use BuiltWith and run a search on the platforms after you have your list to figure out which is the most popular.
Ok so we have our list of eCommerce platforms, we’ve analyzed the data, made sure they tick all the boxes and we’ve run our reports and found that Shopify powers 1.2 million stores.
Let’s lock it in as our next step in niching down. LEVEL 3: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify. How to niche down
It’s more than just market size. Going with a market leader is always a safe bet but it also provides the most competition. Sometimes going with a smaller platform that doesn’t get all the attention is a worthwhile research project. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
There are two sides of the opportunity and this is something that I didn’t touch on in the original niching down. Shopify and BuiltWith categorize the types of stores that are on the platform, so you can niche down to a certain type of store, for example just cosmetics or just apparel.
The other side of the opportunity is putting together your list of companies currently operating in the ecosystem. How to position within that market
Smart people are really good at collecting data and interpreting it.
Let’s get some data.
How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
- Go to the shopify app store
- Type in “Support”
- Click paid on the left margin and click the “Support Category”
- Use something like Simple Scraper ( a great chrome plugin, no affiliation)
- Get your scrape on, this shows 87
- Time to get busy - categorize them
- Pick the ones most similar to your offerings
- Click on them, look at their reviews - all of them on shopify Scrape them
- Go to G2 and Capterra and look through all those reviews as well
- Put them all in a spreadsheet, read them all, highlight those that stand out
- Find the ones that are popular, others that have features people like etc.
- Document, and integrate the baseline features into a trello board on your product roadmap
- Take all the bad reviews and complaints - look for gaps that you can fill
So take a look above, we went from a bunch of questions to being able to do a ton of market research to do product research and understand the current market offerings and where we might be able to gain some ground and offer something people might be interested in and ARE PAYING FOR.
How do you stand out?
You need to have a workflow that is 10x better than a current competitor in the market with a strong roadmap that lays out how you intend on optimizing this workflow. Features are built to augment the workflow and simplify the work of your clients employees, less work, more data, better understanding.
Ok so we’ve narrowed it down to eCommerce and Shopify and we have a list of other products that are currently playing in the space. We’re now looking at workflow - let’s figure this bit out. LEVEL 4: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation. How to niche down
Add another variable - it doesn’t have to be Shipstation, but it’s a good example as for eCommerce you’re likely shipping products places. By adding another variable, we’re shrinking our population to target. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
The biggest problem for all companies these days is combining different one off services and getting them to play nicely together. Stand alone products usually outclass all in one products as stated above because the focus is better. This is generally always going to be where you can find a gap in the market as the integrating of products is an afterthought rather than something contemplated in the very beginning.
How do you decide on the technologies you want to work with? How to position within that market
Don’t guess. Understand the workflow of an eCommerce company and how it relates to support. For instance, most support tickets relate to order status, tracking, and returns. These all involve the store, transaction, the service desk, and the shipping carrier. Look for ways to streamline the experience for the service rep - for instance if refunds require approval, build a system that allows for all those tickets to be queued up with an easy interface for approvals or different color tagging to allow for them to be easily sorted by type.
By focusing on two technologies you can start by creating a better visual collaboration between tools to improve overall experience. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Stack the deck in your favor.
Focus on where you can drive early alignment between your product offering and the audiences of your now two products. When you reach out to both companies especially the smaller ones like a Shipstation, you can collect more information about who they are catering to, volumes etc.
Most companies have a partner program - look into connecting with the lead.
When the time is right you might even get a shoutout on their social or blog or you can decide to co-publish some research report together. Lots of options.
Let’s double down on what being niche allows us to do:
- Know our audience
- Research with purpose
- Personalize outreach with early feelers
- Better understand a realistic TAM (total addressable market)
- Understand overlap between products
- Early alignment with bigger names
This whole topic is about alignment, alignment with partners, customers, and your product.
We have a list of potential customers now, but we need to segment them down further. LEVEL 5: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus. How to niche down
Why less than 100 skus?
This means they are small enough to try a new product. It also means you can see what works and what doesn’t work on a potentially smaller store. When you’re managing a store with more than 100 skus, things get a little complicated, it’s an arbitrary number but changing internal processes and workflows when you get to that level means that your staff is coming from a place of having used a system before that could handle the volume and trying out something newer or unproven is a tall order.
This process can be applied to anything, if your product does better project management look for people that run less than 20 projects at a time or projects that are less than 6 months, whatever it may be. We’re starting small.
Always default to the path of least resistance. Work smarter, not harder. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
I’m sure this could be automated, but in lieu of it being automated, you should start by manually figuring this out for yourself.
That list you have from BuiltWith that has urls, yeah we’re going to use that one.
Put the websites in the spreadsheet you downloaded, then create a new column and add “products” to the url - so you have the website in cell A, the word “products” in cell B then in blank cell C write “=CONCATENATE
(A:B)” congratulations now you have cell C that will take you straight to the product page to see how many skus they have.
Update this hack doesn’t work on all shopify websites like I had hoped and after some research it seems like this is a bit of a struggle point for others as well.
I’m sure someone could write a script to scrape this information.
Go find an intern or hire someone to do all the lookups for you or find someone to write a script to automate the results - remember always work smart.
Run this and you’ll come up with your go to target list. How to position within that market
The best helpdesk for stores on Shopify using shipstation with less than 100 skus - all of a sudden this starts to sound like something someone would almost search for. That’s the point.
We’re working our way down where it becomes a simple checklist if someone was searching for things.
Shopify - check
Shipstation - check
Built for smaller stores - check How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Remember you’re not building a product for everyone yet, your goal is to dominate a niche. You can always expand from there.
So we’re about half way through and we have figured out our potential partners and now we’re working on narrowing down this customer list. Before we dive in and start reaching out we need to really understand who we’re targeting and we need to start small.
Let’s narrow this down even further. LEVEL 6: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue. How to niche down
Why the less than $10 million in annual revenue? The only reason I would say this in the beginning is that they won’t have as much traffic and ticket volume, they make for better early clients, you can learn a lot more from their use cases and improve the product without worrying about something going wrong and a larger client really getting mad and churning. You also usually have greater access to work with their staff to improve your product. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Unless you’re currently on the front lines, you need to find some early providers of feedback that are on the front lines. In essence, this is the starting point of a community and information play.
There aren’t a lot of data points available about companies in the early stages. People always have questions and there are limited resources in the early days, even across similar companies.
(Just look at reddit there are tons of repeat answers and questions.)
Someone answering tickets all day is the last person that wants to provide feedback, as much as they would like their job made easier, they don’t have the time. How to position within that market
“But I need a big logo to let people know that I’m real.” You don’t, not in the beginning. All you need is a few good customers that are open to lending you the feedback you need to get better. A lot of smaller brands do a good job of branding, play the long game, find brands that are growing and try to get in early - grow with them.
Logo hunting has its place but you need to find product market fit before you can really make that happen.
By now you have probably figured out that whenever possible you should automate things. The way you do this is through data collection.
Using logic, math, and a spreadsheet you can do enough to be dangerous.
Use a service to figure out what their unique traffic is, take a look at their products and assume that their cart value is around 2-4 products per order then take the conversion rates by industry - you can find these online they are openly listed.
Your sheet will look something like this:
Company, Traffic, Conversion Percentage, Order Value, Sales Percentage, Revenue
eCommerce blended average is 2.2% - go use a spreadsheet and some formulas and bam you now have the revenue numbers. We’re not looking for exacts here, but more generally a good estimate.
I’ve actually run these numbers, if the products are sold through other channels, Amazon, retail, etc, then a rough estimate would be around ~33% of the revenue will come from the ecommerce store.
Factor in a range based on the size of the brand and it’s channels this should give you a rough estimate of the revenue even if they don’t publish it. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Provide value - the most overhyped phrase but still true - the question then becomes, with something as subjective as “value” rather than just create, instead ask and create. This part is coming up, we’re almost ready to turn this on.
We’ve started to move from who are partners are to who are our potential customers. This is on purpose - my stance is that your first customers are really your partners and you should work on aligning yourself with those that are the best fit for your product.
You want your first clients to buy into your vision and invest the time to help shape it.
Ok on to the next - LEVEL 7: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people. How to niche down
So now we’re getting into the easier stuff - this is just a simple LinkedIn Search - small teams are usually before the real deep process point, they are also really good at providing feedback on tools that can actually help them out. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
If you have less than 5 people on a team, it’s a small enough number to target the entire team - multi prong approach to product awareness.
For customer support they are often the least paid and they have the most stressful jobs - it’s an all around shitty position to be in, so if you can provide them joy, you’re going to make fans quick. Also, they aren’t usually sold into, they are rarely asked their opinion, etc. How to position within that market
Give them a voice. The same goes for any lower level positions as well by the way. When people are getting started in their careers they are looking to hear about the jobs people have even at the lower levels but the resources just aren’t there. Even for more senior roles, it’s hard to get a beat on what the current status is of their projects, people don’t like sharing - I still don’t know why.
We’re seeing communities around Sales popup SalesHacker, sales
, Bravado etc. We don’t see as many for other roles, there is a wide open space in this. I don’t see any places for people to better understand customer support/success which is THE ONLY INBOUND TOUCHPOINT WITH CUSTOMERS POST SALE. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
This is part of the philosophy and psychology of understanding human dynamics. Find a persona that you can relate to immediately and build your product around fixing their problems, be obsessed with this.
They get paid nothing, but they’d like less tickets, how do you reduce that ticket count, how do you bring other parts of the business that they may need to have access to more prominently in your support system so they don’t have to have multiple windows open. How do you build something to maximize their efficiency?
Better yet, how do you tag someone in the CRM and flag it over to the sales system to see if they purchase more product as a result of a good interaction with support - this is how you turn a cost center into a revenue generator. This is a killer feature that I’m not aware of out of the box.
This could unlock a commission structure and reward system for what is arguably becoming a dealbreaker for most companies.
Which is a great segway to the next drill down - you should be starting to see how this all really blends together if done correctly. LEVEL 8: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes. How to niche down
They have to be looking to automate their process or improve their workflow. When people find a tech stack that works, oftentimes new technology doesn’t stick around very long, we’re all creatures of habit. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
You’re only looking for people that are talking about processes or a company that has something related to the pride they take with their process - you can check out BuiltWith and see a list of products they have tried over the last 18 months.
When a company is testing a bunch of different products it means they are looking for a better process. This is your sweet spot. How to position within that market
You’ve seen me sprinkle “workflow” into this post. This is pretty much a preview of Part 3 and the importance of product design.
Your product must improve someone’s existing workflow. If it doesn’t it’s not a viable product.
There are two parts to this, does your product improve an existing workflow AND how easy can your product be inserted into that workflow?
Remember, this is their business and they need to make a transition as smoothly as possible with as little disruption as possible. This goes for any product you’re selling. Change is hard.
Understanding a company’s process really is everything.
If people aren’t looking to automate or improve their process, there’s a good chance you should change your approach immediately and work towards more of an education campaign and double down on what it would take to let people quickly switch over from an existing platform. Focus on reducing friction. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
Looking for people that are interested, not those we need to educate early on.
Data migration and implementation is one of the main reasons people don’t want to switch or entertain new products. There is always a fear of lost productivity.
Everyone is looking to automate right now, but the price has to be right, and that includes not the subscription amount, but the training, the migration, the new workflows, the time to adopt, the willingness to adopt, etc.
During almost any transition, the company will be paying for two systems at the same time during that handoff. This is rough, not enough companies actually address this in a meaningful way.
The argument is that a pure SaaS play doesn’t exist or shouldn’t exist for an early stage company, there should always be a service and consulting component. Hold everyone’s hand, understand their problems and make them feel like you’re building a product just for them.
Ok we’re almost there - LEVEL 9: We’re a helpdesk product for eCommerce companies using Shopify and Shipstation that have less than 100 skus and do less than $10 million in annual revenue with support teams less than 5 people who are looking to automate their processes who are currently using Zendesk. How to niche down
Zendesk - great platform - but has its limits that only show up based on workflows. Zendesk will work great until you have a workflow that incorporates other tools - then it starts to struggle.
This is true of most large legacy platforms. As legacy platforms moved up market to Enterprise for revenue reasons, they usually forget about smaller teams. Instead relying on dev house partners to do customizations.
This is where industry experience really comes into play - knowing the goals of a company or team, their workflows, and where you can create a better solution for those with those workflows for things that the legacy platforms prefer to source out to their dev house partners. How to use this to target a market and recognize opportunity
Your calls can now go from generic to focused with questions that can hone in on workflows and gaps. For example, Zendesk’s UX/UI sucks for partner integrations, we’ve seen companies like Kustomer, Gorgias, and others become more popular because of a better UX/UI that supports the whole customer experience and journey. This is a fundamental switch in approach.
From one of our earlier research steps we found 87 companies that people were using for support with shopify, we have them in a spreadsheet, we then could take those and put all the competitors in builtwith to run some reports to understand market penetration (you can do this with number of reviews as well by the way if you’re lazy - don’t be lazy).
Download your list - populate your CRM - you now know what people are using, how long they’ve been using them.
Narrow down your list to the top 20 clients - yes only 20.
Even if you have 100 clients or a thousand clients at this point, this process works for every single Sales rep you have - and I’m going on a 95% chance none of them are doing this stuff. And if you tell me they are, I know from the amount of generic ass emails I get regularly spewed out to me they aren’t doing it well and I guarantee you money is being left on the table. (Topic for another day) How to position within that market
You know what software they are using, you know their tech stack, your goal is to figure out their workflow. If you don’t know, ask. You should understand the general business workflows for the industry - again industry knowledge is required.
Engage them with conversation and find out. Base your questions on conversations you’ve had with other people in the space and be a source of information about how other people are doing it.
The above is completely able to be put into a human measurable process, one based on quality over quantity, relationships over transactions, and geared towards long term growth.
Be about the things that other platforms are not. Focus on changing the narrative from cost center to revenue generator.
The helpdesk for Shopify and Shipstation customers looking to streamline their processes and free up their support teams to become revenue generators in an organic and measurable fashion. How to give yourself the biggest chance of success
It’s all about workflows, data, and automation.
Niche down, learn from the inside out, follow the trends and work on being able to tie back data to creating more revenue no matter what your product does and you’ll be able to start conversations with people actively looking to create more optimized workflows.
Focusing on a legacy product and small businesses usually allows you to find a sweet spot, they don’t find value in all the features because they won’t use them all. But they do want the more advanced features like automation and workflow help. These are usually cost prohibitive in the platform.
This is why you focus on workflow over features, you’ll never catch up with the big guys in terms of features, but there are always ways to compete on workflows, because everyone has their own independent goals around them. There aren’t standards, only best practices.
Side note - there are entire companies that are hired to implement systems like Zendesk and build integrations on top of it and it’s a market leader. The same goes for any market leader. LEVEL 10ish: You can add location to the end of our narrowing down. A company physically local to you (at least this was the case prior to COVID-19) can allow for an in person visit which has been massive in building trust with early clients. Makes it easier to have a conversation as well.
That’s it. Go through this process, substitute your values, keep drilling down and recognize opportunity along the way. When you do it correctly you’ll see massive improvements for your initial outreach.
Emails go from:
We’re a new helpdesk company.
We’re a new helpdesk company for customers that use Shopify and Shipstation. We help agile support teams that are looking to better automate their workflows. Our integrations also allows your support team’s interactions to be directly tied into future revenue generation.
I can tell you from experience I’m visiting the url for the second email even if I’m not looking to make a change. This is a good place to stop, we hit question 2 of 5 and we’re almost at the halfway point.
If you have more specific questions about this part just drop them in the comments and I'll respond to them.
CASE STUDY: Transitioning my niche site to ecommerce using Shopify
Disclaimer submitted by Mark-JST to juststart [link] [comments]
: My site is very small and I don't purport this to be a gamechanger for, well, anyone. I just wanted to share something that is seeming to work well for me.
I started my niche site in 2018 -- it is focused around a particular type of vehicle that has a hobbyist following. Initially the site was monetized through a combination of Google Adsense and the Amazon Associates program. At some point, I started trying to diversify the income as much as possible. For me, this meant adding the eBay Partner Network for some items and applying for Ezoic as soon as I met the requirements.
I also experimented with some small affiliate programs but didn't have much success -- I had to get very creative to find them as most of the stores I really wanted to refer sales for did not offer an affiliate program. I reached out to them multiple times seeing if there was something we could arrange. I even offered to just sell display ads to them, but no dice. The result was signing up for a couple small affiliate programs with low commissions and low sales volume proructs. This frustration was the start of my desire to curate my own store of products I genuinely want to sell.
Shopify and subdomaining
I use Shopify to host my online store. I am a software engineer by profession so I generally don't consider ease-of-use and setup to be the most important factors when choosing software -- I just want whatever is the most effective. There are other options like WooCommerce that I have heard great things about.
However, for me, Shopify is almost magically easy to use and offers everything I have needed or wanted so far. Following Warren Buffet's advice to "buy what you like" I actually bought as much stock in the company as I could after using it for a month. Everything just works exactly how I expect it to. I have never struggled to find any answers or documentation about anything. The support is phenomenal.
It's just a great product -- to me I think they could be a bigger company then Amazon in a few years because it allows anyone to create to sell online and maintain a lot of control, something retailers lose with Amazon. I signed up for the Shopify affiliate program because I want
to refer people to it, not to
refer people to it. I helped my cousin set one up for his beef jerky business and it took 20 minutes before he was online and it has been a gamechanger. The small independent grocery store across the street from me is surviving (probably thriving) through COVID-19 because they allow online orders through Shopify and window pickup. But most importantly, it's great to get the little notification when you make a sale, especially when the margins are so much higher than affiliate, but I'll get to that later.
For me, I used a shop.mydomain.com
subdomain for my Shopify site. It's great because there are no conflicts with your Wordpress site and it's a very clean looking link. Shopify has some documentation
on this if you would like to try it.
Selling items yourself is great mainly because you get to choose and experiment with your profit margins. Want to experiment with razor-thin margins because you know your visitors will shop around a lot? Try it. Want to raise the price so any one sale is $80 in profit but you don't have to pack and ship as much? Might work, try it! Between Google Analytics and Shopify's analytics stats, you can measure anything you need to.
Here's a concrete example of one item from my site. I sell a particular type of spark plug that is used on a vehicle that my site is partly focused on. This is an item I have sold/referred in one way or another since the beginning of my site in 2018:
- Amazon Associates commission: $0.84 (before commission slashing!)
- Average Amazon Associates sales/month: 3
- Shopify profit margin: $14.06
- Average sales/month: 4
This is a small item that is extremely easy to buy in bulk and pack/ship quickly.
I actually averaged more clicks to this item when the destination was Amazon, so my conversion rate actually went up
when I moved away from Amazon. I charge a few dollars more than Amazon and many other online retailers for this item. I could probably do some experimenting to find the optimal price/sales ratio, but I think those numbers speak for themselves.
One of my early fears was that the trust people have for Amazon and their affinity towards Prime is hard to challenge, but my opinion is that the trust you gain by writing well-researched, meaningful articles and being an active participant in the niche you serve makes people want to support you.
Dropshipping has negative connotations because of the bastardized "buy cheap small items from overseas and make 4000% profit while the user doesn't know that the item wont arrive for 2 months" format that is shown by YouTube influencers and the like. However, dropshipping is simply collecting a sale yourself while having an underlying price agreement with a supplier who will pack and ship the item for you. The first item I sold through my Shopify store I actually sold on a dropshipping basis.
This was a line of products within the $200-300 price range, and I also sold these through the Amazon Associates program before. It was nice to make $10-17 for one sale, but I felt like I should be making more. I called the company that produces this item and asked to buy 3 or 4 to sell myself, but he suggested dropshipping instead which I was interested in as these items are rather large. I agreed to buy the items for around $160-200 and now I profit around $60 per sale -- the only effort required on my end is sending an email (gave them a card to have on file) and adding the tracking number to Shopify when it is available. The credit card points are nice too!
One other thing about this that I think is important -- It's really nice to have personal relationships that this kind of business offers. The guy that answered the phone was the owner of the small business and he's the nicest guy, great to deal with and it feels good to get him some sales, especially during a crisis like this. I actually met up with him at an industry event and we talked for a long time. He's an older guy and at some point I want to get him setup with a better online presence especially as he sells a lot of other products over the phone that I can't necessarily refer in my niche, but could definitely benefit from a real online store and web presence. I am building similar relationships with other suppliers and personally I love it.
If you go the route of stocking and shipping items yourself, the scope of products you can monetize through your site broadens drastically. For me, there was always a certain type of item that I wanted to sell, but I could never find a good version of this item on Amazon or anywhere that offered an affiliate program. This was actually one of the retailers I reached out to asking for an affiliate program to no avail. Then I asked for a dropshipping agreement -- the answer was still no. However, it's a lot easier when you ask to buy 50x of one item. They processed my distributor account in a day and had my items to me by the end of the week. It is now my best selling item!
Shipping Logistics and Tools
One of the things that I think could be a dealbreaker for people is something I personally really enjoy -- stocking, packing, and shipping items. My inventory is small enough to fit in a walk-in closet in my apartment. I love the process of getting the Shopfiy "ca-ching" notification, packing the order, and dropping it off at the mailbox. Here are some tools I have used to make this process more efficient:
- Label printer: I initially bought the cheapest option on Amazon. This was a mistake. That thing was absolute garbage. Then I bought a Brother QL-1100 and I love it. It's nearly $200 but worth every penny. The driver worked immediately, a stark contrast to the earlier printer. Prints quickly in very high quality. You can get away with using a regular printer, cutting out the label, and taping it on your package, but the presentation value is much better with a good label printer.
- Standard printer: Use for leaving a packing slip, order receipt, etc.
- Computer: Definitely not important, but I like to have a dedicated laptop for my "ship station" right next to my label printer and regular printer.
Here is part of my dedicated "ship-station" where I manage my store and print labels/packing slips. https://i.imgur.com/TdRfvEK.jpg
I would probably wait to receive the items you're selling before selecting the packaging you're going to use. That way you can take exact measurements and consider alternative sizes/types of packages. One of my items is a collection of smaller items. I throw away the box that my supplier ships it in, and put it in a bag that goes inside my small mailer box. I use a particular size of bubble wrap which was also specifically chosen to protect the item, while also taking up all of the surrounding space. It's much easier to make all of these choices when you have the item in front of you.
Here's the previously mentioned item (spark plugs) in the box I chose (bubble wrap not shown!) There is no wasted space when it is packed. https://i.imgur.com/IXgTxm0.jpg
For me, I use USPS for nearly all of my orders. It's usually the cheapest option and very fast for the size of item I have. I live in an apartment complex and I can just drop my packages in the mailroom and they get picked up daily. Shopify will show you all of the available shipping options with speed and price. For international orders, it's only a few dollars more, and I think it goes from USPS and gets picked up by DHL.
Another benefit of this approach is that you have infinitely more opportunity to make a good impression on your customers which is huge if your items are the kind that might be reordered, or if the customer may be interested in other items you sell. For me, item presentation is also important because as I said, I am operating out of a spare closet in my apartment, so I want to look as professional as possible.
Here are some ways you can do this:
- Light box: You definitely don't want to just pick pictures from Google Images. Take your own pictures. I bought a decent sized light box from Amazon for around $70 and it makes a massive difference. I would link it here but it seems like it's no longer available. I have an iPhone SE which is worlds away from most good cameras these days, but with the light box my pictures look extremely professional. This is not an item I sell (it's my beard comb) but I did a quick comparison of using the light box vs. my initial approach: using printer paper with an overhead lamp.
- Custom packaging: As discussed before, get your measurements and then choose the package you want to ship in. For me, I wanted to have some custom packaging with my logo on it. I didn't buy in huge bulk so it cost me about $3 per mailer box for the first order of packaging. It's a lot when my margins are mostly $20-40, but to me it is important. For companies to consider, I strongly recommend UPrinting or Packwire.
- EDIT: I originally noted issues I had with Packwire here but Phil from Packwire spotted it and he is sending me a new shipment free of charge that we expect will solve the issue I had. Thank you Phil! Based on this experience alone I would recommend trying them out if you need custom packages.
- Packing slips/notes: All of my orders contain a thank you note to the customer with my name and email. I thank them for the order and ask them to reach out if they have any questions or concerns. I also ask them to reach out if there's any item they would be interested in that they do not currently see on my store. I haven't had any responses recommending products customers would be interested in, but I did have one customer ask about using the item. I sent him my number and he gave me a call and I explained everything to him. I think my store will be his first stop if he ever needs anything else.
- Dual use of label printer: Use your label printer to look more professional. On the item that I put into a bag and then into my mailer box, I have item label stickers that I put on the bag. It has my logo and the item title and ID number of the item within my store. It is a nice added touch and I think it looks very official.
I have not yet started experimenting with any form of ads. All of my sales thus far have been the result of organic traffic from the content on my website funneled through to my store. This month I am going to experiment with Facebook and Google Ads. Obviously this may not work but if there is a decent enough margin after the increased customer acquisition cost I will continue. I will report these results later!
Legality and Relationship to Affiliate Marketing
Keeping in mind that we in this business typically operate as affiliates, the golden rule is to make sure you are recommending the absolute best products to your site visitors. Thinking back to the Casper mattress affiliate drama
, there should be research and thought behind your recommendations. Selling the items yourself does complicate this. I have used all of the items I sell on my store. When I moved my links over from Amazon, I kept the notes indicating that I have used the item, but I also added a link to an explanation of my store.
I think it ends up being an extra vote of confidence when I explain to users: I have tried the items I sell and think they are the best in their category. I used to sell these items as an affiliate and would receive a commission, but I believe in them strongly enough that I now stock and sell them myself. I am not the only one who sells them and you can certainly buy from others if you find a better price/shipping speed.
I'll restate what I said before because I think it is extremely illuminating: My conversion rates went up when I moved items from Amazon to my own store!
The bottom line is that you need to be explicit about these things to be safe and honest. I think my niche works particularly well for this as people are looking for a.) What exact version of the item do I need? and b.) How do I use it? I know many niche sites are focused around "Top 10 X" type content and this may become a lot more difficult within the honesty/legality context. Something to think about.
As a final note, I still operate this as a sole proprietorship. Eventually I want to get an LLC for it. I have been upfront about this with all of my suppliers and none of them have required this for a distributor agreement.
Here are my income sources over time. I apologize for the colors used in the line charts of individual sources, I could not figure out how to configure those. https://i.imgur.com/bkeK6PJ.jpg https://i.imgur.com/8ES9cG5.jpg
As you can see, my site is very small. However, the relationship between the decline these past few months in display advertising revenue (Ezoic literally sent an email saying to expect lower rates) and the Amazon Associates rate cut charted against my growing Shopify revenue really opened my eyes to the benefit I gained from diversifying towards ecommerce/Shopify. I still keep the older sources of revenue, but I actually think I will consider eliminating them in the future, especially display ads. Diversification is necessary when the revenue source lacks control -- Amazon Associates can slash rates willy-nilly, eBay Partner Network can apparently just decide to not pay me for a large sale I made, who even knows what these display ad networks are actually getting paid for our clicks or if every click is considered, etc.
Selling the items yourself gives you a lot more responsibility, but a lot more control. One of the primary reasons I'm so excited about this is that my inventory is still VERY small. I am working to add new items and it's wonderful because even if I only sell a few, the profit margins make it so much easier to spend the time to create the content and stock/ship the item -- a luxury I never had with Amazon.
Please feel free to ask any questions! I'd love to help if I can.
Reaching 3000 USD per month In Passive Income From My Website Last month before amazon reduced commissions by 50%. Sharing my learnings.
submitted by pizzacentral to passive_income [link] [comments]
This post has to been seen and read in 2 perspectives:
- How I increased the revenue of this website to 3k per month in 1.5 years of starting this
- What are the learning through this process that can be implemented by me and you on our next projects
: Website 1 (I have removed the URL due to security concerns, if you need more info on website 1, message me)
We (me and my brother) started this website almost a couple of years ago but real work started almost a year and a half back. We had a long term vision for this project, essentially 3 phases:
- The idea Website Design and Built (3 months)
- Content - Almost 500 to 700 long articles (6 months)
- Backlink Building (Ongoing)
We had a dedicated budget, resource, and time in mind to complete each phase. However, as with any other long project, usually, life happens in between and timelines get pushed. It took us 4-5 months to get the website up and running and then another 6-8 months to get the content up. We were moving slow, but we were continuously moving. One good thing we had was the experience on our side. We checked all the boxes (URL structure, design, speed, keyword research, optimized content, scalable idea, high avg order value target niche) on this website. One other thing we had was patience, we knew we won't get any results for the first 6-8 months or more. However, we stuck around. In October last year, we started seeing 100 sessions a day on the site, in November to December this went up to 300-350 sessions a day, in January to February we had 400 sessions a day. We knew we were still in the sandboxing staging (tipping point). In March this year, traffic went to 700+ sessions a day and finally, in April we cleared sandboxing and got 1600 sessions a day making the monthly traffic at almost 50K for April.
Oct - https://ibb.co/LpWVJtF
Nov & Dec - https://ibb.co/7Cfp6pY
March - https://ibb.co/Wg9vXkq
April - https://ibb.co/xJg3dC5
It's obviously a bit unfortunate that amazon just decided the end of April to cut down commissions in half right after our first month of going big. It is what it is, either can sit here and complain about it or do something about it. So we have decided:
Part 2: Learnings and Next Project
- To create multiple country affiliate accounts to serve people with correct link based on their location
- We are researching and finding affiliate opportunities with the direct brands we have on the website to decrease dependency on Amazon
- We are updating the content and finally, we will soon kick off part 3 of the backlink building of the website. I'll update here with more results in a few months post the changes we are making.
Main learnings from this project are below:
- Find an idea that is scalable and stick to it.
- Keyword Research is more important than you think in the early phases. Focus on low volume low competition keyword to start with and go up to medium volume, low to medium competition keywords, and then finally onto the hot ones.
- Go for high avg order value niche so that your commissions per sale are usually high
- Unless you are promoting software, try to cover a category or segment like health, smart gadgets, smart home appliances, home decor, etc. This is more of just a personal opinion as this gave us more ideas to generate content on, scale content, and website for at least the next 2-3 years without struggling for ideas.
- In the first few months, write for the search engines and then write for the people.
- Outsource bulk of content creation, measure the ROI of content over 1 year at least
Since this project is growing and we have now defined processes to support the ongoing growth of this, we decided to dedicate 30-40% of our time on a new project: 99selections.com
This project will have totally different technology, traffic generation strategy, content strategy, and growth plans. For now, this project is up and running and now we are working on phase 2 of this. More on this in the next few weeks.
I received a killer back link but... there's a problem
So today I logged into my analytics to find out that one of my posts has been linked to from a pretty sizable website. My traffic went from ~700 users a day to over 7,000 just today (only to this single post obviously). submitted by am-noobie to juststart [link] [comments]
This is pretty good news of course but there's one problem. The article they linked to is related to adblocking software. More specifically, the people viewing this article are more than likely already using an adblocker.
How do I monetize this kind of thing?
I was considering signing up for an affiliate program for something like a VPN and coming at the reader from a privacy angle. Any thoughts on this?
This is all new to me so I'm pretty excited but also kind of lost on what to do. It's kind of a blessing and a curse because I might actually lose money on this backlink by having to upgrade my server lol.
How to achieve explosive startup growth!
submitted by alollou to startups [link] [comments]
Here is the summary of the book Traction:
How any startup can achieve explosive growth.
I hope that you find it useful!
Traction is a sign that your startup is taking off. If you charge, it means customers are buying. If your product is free, it means your user base is growing.
If you have traction, all your technical, market, and team risks become easier to handle. It becomes easier to fund-raise, hire, do press, partnerships, and acquisitions.
Traction trumps everything.
Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don’t have is enough customers.
You should spend your time in parallel
, both constructing your product and testing traction channels.
This is what we call the 50 percent rule
: spend 50 percent of your time on product and 50% on traction. This rule seems simple but it’s hard to follow because the pull to spend all your attention on the product is strong. You’re probably making a startup because you want to build a particular product. You have a vision, but a lot of traction activities are unknown and outside your vision and comfort zone. So you try to avoid them. Don’t.
Doing product and traction in parallel has these benefits:
- You get knowledge from traction efforts, so you’ll build the right product for your customers.
- You get to experiment and test different traction channels before you launch anything. This means when your product is ready, you can grow rapidly.
Before trying to get traction, you’ll need to define what traction means for your company. You need to set a traction goal. Maybe your current startup goal is to raise funding or become profitable. How many customers do you need and at what rate? You should then focus on marketing activities that result in a significant impact on your traction goal. It should move the needle.
Your startup has 3 phases:
Phase I: Make something people want
In phase 1, your product has the most leaks, it really doesn’t hold water. You shouldn’t scale up your efforts now, but it’s important to send a small amount of water through the bucket so you can see where the holes are and plug them. \ Your goal in phase 1 is to get your first customers and prove your product can get traction. You focus on building your initial product and getting traction in ways that don’t scale: giving talks, writing guest posts, emailing people you know, attending conferences, and doing whatever you can to get in front of customers.
Some founders believe that startups either take off or don’t. Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off!
– Paul Graham
Phase II: Market something people want
Once you hone your product, you have product-market fit and customers are sticking around. Now is the time to scale up your traction efforts. You fine-tune your positioning and marketing messages.
Phase III: Scale your business
As your company grows, smaller traction strategies stop moving the needle, so you’ll start to scale.
In phase 3 you have an established business model and significant position in the market, and you’re focused on scaling to further dominate the market and to profit.
Traction for funding
When pursuing funding, first contact individuals who understand what you’re working on. The better your investors understand what you’re doing, the less traction they’ll need to see before they invest. Also, try friends and family who may not need to see any traction before investing as they’re investing in you personally.
To pivot or not to pivot
Many startups give up way too early. The first thing to look for is evidence of real product engagement, even if it’s only a few dedicated customers. If you have such an engagement, you might be giving up too soon. Look for the bright spots in your customer base and see if you can expand from that base.
The Bullseye framework
helps you find the channel that will get you traction. Most businesses actually get zero distribution channels to work. If you can get even a single distribution channel to work, you have a great business. If you try for several but don’t nail one, you’re finished.
You’re aiming for bullseye: the one channel at the center of the target that will unlock your next growth stage. Here are the 3 Bullseye framework steps:
Find what’s possible: The outer-ring
The first step in Bullseye is brainstorming every single traction channel. It’s important not to dismiss any channel in this step. Think of at least one idea for each channel. For example, social ads is a traction channel. Running ads on Facebook or Twitter is a channel strategy within social ads. You could research what marketing strategies worked in your industry as well as the history of companies in your space.
Find what’s probable: The middle-ring
Go around your outer-ring and promote your best and most exciting ideas to your middle-ring. For each traction channel in your middle ring, now construct a cheap traction test you can run to find if the idea is good or not. These tests need to answer the following questions:
- What’s the cost of acquiring customers?
- How many customers are available?
- Are they the right type of customers for you now?
You want to design small scale tests that don’t require much up-front cost or effort. For example, run 4 Facebook ads instead of 40.
Find what’s working: The inner-ring
The final step in Bullseye is to only focus on one channel that will move the needle for your startup: your core channel. At any stage of your startup, you should have one traction channel that you’re focusing on and optimizing.
Most founders mess this up by keeping around distracting marketing efforts in other channels.
If search engine marketing is significantly better for you than other channels, you should focus all your efforts on this core channel and uncover additional strategies and tactics within it.
If no channel seems promising after testing, the whole process should be repeated. If you tried several times with no success, then your product may require more tweaking and your bucket might be still leaky. Middle-ring tests:
You should be running several cheap tests that give you an indication of how successful a given channel strategy could be. Inner ring tests:
You’re doing two things:
- Optimize your chosen channel strategy to make it the best it can be.
- Discover better channel strategies within this traction channel.
There is always a set of things you can tweak. For targeting blogs, you can tweak which blogs to target, type of content, call to action, etc. For search engine marketing, you can tweak keywords, ad-copy, demographics, and landing pages.
A common approach is to use A/B testing, where A is the control group and B is the experimental group. The purpose of it is to measure the effectiveness of change in a button color, an ad image, or a different message on a web page. If the experimental group performs significantly better, you can apply the change, get the benefits, and run another test.
You can use tools such as Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, and Unbounce.
Over time, all marketing channels become saturated. To combat this, you should always be trying to discover new strategies and tactics within your channel and conduct small experiments. Also, experiment with new marketing platforms while they’re still in their infancy.
To track your tests you could start with a simple spreadsheet or use an analytics tool with cohort analysis. You’ll need to answer these questions:
- How many people landed on the website?
- What are the demographics of my best and worst customers?
- Are customers who interact with my support team more likely to stay?
A basic analytics tool like Clicky, Mixpanel, or Chartbeat can help you with these questions. You can use a spreadsheet as the tool to rank and prioritize traction channel strategies. You should include columns like how many customers are available
, conversion rate
, the cost to acquire a customer
, lifetime value of a customer
for every given strategy.
Define your traction goal
You should always have an explicit traction goal you’re working towards. This could be 1,000 paying customers or 100 new daily customers, or 10% of your market. You want a goal where hitting the mark would change things significantly for your company’s outcome.
Once that is defined, you can work backward and set clear time-based subgoals. Such as reaching 1,000 customers by next quarter.
The key is to follow the critical path towards that goal and exclude all features and marketing activities that don’t help you reach your goal. Everything you decide to do should be assessed against your critical path.
Avoid traction biases
Your competitive advantage may be acquiring customers in ways your competition isn’t. That’s why it’s critical to avoid have traction biases. Stop your urge to refuse channels like speaking engagements, sales or affiliate marketing, business development, or trade shows just because you hate talking on the phone or you find the channel annoying or time-consuming.
Targeting blogs that your prospective customers read is one of the best ways to get your first wave customers.
Mint’s initial series of tests revealed that targeting blogs should be its core channel. They asked users to embed an “I want mint” badge on their personal blogs and rewarded them with a VIP access before other invitations were sent out. They also directly sponsored blogs. They sent bloggers a message with “Can I send you $500” as the subject and told them a bit about the product.
To find smaller blogs in your niche:
- Google “top blogs for x” or “best x blogs.”
- Search for your product keywords on YouTube.
- Use tools like FollowerWonk and Klout to find top twitter accounts in your industry.
- Use social mention to find sites with the most frequent mentions for your keywords.
- Talk to people to figure out what your target audience is really reading online.
You can also target link-sharing communities like Reddit, Product Hunt, and Hacker News.
Dropbox, Codecademy, Quora, and Gumroad all got their first customers by sharing their products on HackerNews because their products were a good fit for users on that site.
Starting out, an article in TechCrunch or The Huffington Post can boost your startup in the eyes of potential customers, investors, or partners. If you have a fascinating story with broad appeal, media outlets will want
to hear from you.
It’s easier to start smaller when targeting big media outlets. Sites like TechCrunch and Lifehacker often pick up stories from smaller forums like Hacker News and subreddits. Instead of approaching TechCrunch, try blogs that TechCrunch reads and get story ideas from. It’s easier to get a smaller blog’s attention. Then you might get featured on TechCrunch and then The New York Times which reads TechCrunch!
What gets a reporter’s attention?
- Milestones like raising money, launching a new product, breaking a usage barrier.
- A PR stunt.
- A big partnership.
- A special industry report.
A good press angle makes people react emotionally. If it’s not interesting enough to elicit emotion, you don’t have a story worth pitching.
A good first step is using a service like Help A Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters request sources for articles they’re working on. It could get you a mention in the piece and help establish your credibility. Also, you could offer reporters commentary on stories related to your industries.
You can use Twitter to reach reporters online; almost all of them have Twitter accounts and you’d be surprised how few followers many of them have, but they can be highly influential with their content.
Once you have a solid story, you want to draw as much attention to it as you can:
- Submit the story to link-sharing sites like Reddit and HackerNews
- Share it on social networks
- Email it to influencers in your industry for comment.
- Ping blogs in your space and tell them you have a story that’s getting buzz.
Once your story has been established as a popular news item, try to drag it out as long as you can. Offer interviews that add to the story. Start “How We Did This” follow-up interviews.
As your startup grows you may consider hiring a PR firm or consultant.
Nearly every company attempts traditional publicity, but only a few focus on stunts and other unconventional ways to get buzz.
The publicity stunt
- Half.com renamed (Halfway, Oregon) to Half.com and launched it on the Today show with the mayor of Halfway, Oregon.
- Richard Branson made his press conferences as outlandish as possible (dressing like a woman, driving a tank through the streets) to get the media talking about whatever Virgin was launching.
- WePay (a PayPal competitor) placed a 600-pound block of ice at PayPal’s conference entrance.
- DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard highlighting its privacy focus.
- Blendtec created a series of videos called “Will It Blend?” where they blended items like a rake, golf balls, and even an iPhone.
- When Grasshopper did a rebrand, they sent chocolate-covered grasshoppers to 5,000 influential people.
Be awesome to your customers. Shortly after Alexis Ohanian launched Hipmunk, he sent out luggage tags and a handwritten note to the first several hundred people who mentioned the site on Twitter.
Holding a contest is also a great repeatable way to generate publicity and get word of mouth. Shopify has an annual Build a Business competition.
Great customer support is so rare that, if you make your customers happy, they’re likely to spread the news of your awesome product. Zappos is one of the best-known examples of a company with incredible customer service and they classify support as a marketing investment.
SEM is placing ads on search engines like Google. It’s sometimes called “pay-per-click” because you only pay when a user clicks on an ad.
SEM works well for companies looking to sell directly to their target customer. You’re capturing people who are actively searching for solutions. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The percentage of ad impressions that result in clicks to your site. Cost per Click (CPC)
The amount it costs to buy a click on an ad. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
How much it costs you to acquire a customer, not just a click. If you buy clicks at $1 and 10% of people who hit your site make a purchase. This makes your CPA at $10.
CPA = CPC / conversion percentage
SEM to get early customer data
You can use SEM as a way to get early customer data in a controlled and predictable way. Even if you don’t expect to be profitable, you can decide to spend a certain amount of money to get an early base of customers and users to inform you about important metrics such as landing page conversion rates, average cost per customer, and lifetime value.
Archives.com used AdWords to drive traffic to their landing pages, even before they built a product, to test interest in a specific product approach. By measuring the CTR for each ad and conversions, they determined which product aspects were the most compelling to potential customers and what those people would actually pay for. When they finally built their product, they built something they knew
the market would want.
Find high-potential keywords, group them into ad groups, and test different ad copy and landing pages within each ad group. As data flows in, remove underperforming ads and landing pages and make tweaks to keep improving results.
Use tools like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run A/B tests on your landing pages.
Use Google’s keyword planner to discover top keywords your target customers use to find products like yours. You could also use tools such as KeywordSpy, SEMrush, and SpyFu to discover keywords your competition is using.
You can refine your keyword list by adding more terms to the end of each base term to create long-tail keywords
. They’re less competitive and have lower search volumes which makes them ideal for testing on smaller groups of customers.
SEM is more expensive for more competitive keywords, so you’ll need to limit yourself to keywords with profitable conversion rates.
You shouldn’t expect your campaigns to be profitable right away, but if you can run a campaign that breaks even after a short period of time, then SEM could be an excellent channel for you to focus on.
Write ads with titles that are catchy, memorable, and relevant to the keywords you’ve paired with it. Include the keyword at least once in the body of your ad and conclude with a prominent call to action like “Check out discounted Nike sneakers!”
Each of your ads and ad groups will have a quality score associated with it. A high-quality score will get you better ad placements and better ad pricing. Click-through rate has the biggest influence on quality score, so you should tailor your ads to the keywords. Google assigns a low-quality score to ads with CTRs below 1.5%
- Consider expanding your ads to the content network of non-Google sites.
- Consider luring people back to your site by retargeting through Google AdWords or other sites like AdRoll or Perfect Audience. These ads often convert better as they’re aimed at prospects who have already visited your site. (Be warned that it may feel creepy to certain people)
- Consider using Google’s Conversion Optimizer to automatically adjust your ads to perform better.
- Use negative keywords to prevent ads from showing for certain keywords you don’t want to target.
- Consider using programming scripts to manage your ads.
Display ads are banner ads you see on websites. Social ads are ads you see on social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Large display campaigns are often used for branding and awareness, much like offline ads. They can also elicit a direct response such as signing up for an email newsletter or buying a product.
Social ads perform exceptionally well is when they’re used to build an audience and engage with them over time, and eventually convert them to customers.
The largest display ad networks are Google Display Network, BuySellAds, Advertising.com, Tribal Fusion, Conversant, and Adblade. Niche ad networks focus on smaller sites that fit certain audience demographics, such as dog lovers or Apple fanatics.
To get started in display advertising, you could start to find out types of ads that work in your industry. You could use tools like MixRank and Adbeat to show you ads your competitors are running and where they place them. Alexa and Quantcast can help you determine who visits the sites that feature your competitors’ ads.
Social ads work well for creating interest among potential new customers. The goal is often awareness oriented, not conversion oriented. A purchase takes place further down the line. People visit social media sites for entertainment and interaction, not to see ads.
An effective social ad strategy takes advantage of this reality. Use ads to start conversations about your products by creating compelling content. Instead of directing people to a conversion page, direct them to a piece of content that explains why you developed your product or has other purposes than immediately completing a sale. If you have a piece of content that has high organic reach, when you put paid ads behind that piece, magic happens. Paid is only as good as the content you put behind it. You should employ social ads when you know that a fire is starting around your message and you want to put more oil on it.
Major social sites you may consider are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Foursquare, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, and many others.
Even today, advertisers spend more on offline ads than they do online. When buying offline ads, You should try to advertise to demographics that match up with your target audience. Ask for an audience prospectus or ad kit.
Not sure if magazine ads are a good channel for you? Buy a small ad in a niche publication and give it a test. Want to see if newspapers would be good? Buy a few ads in a local paper. You can also try radio ads and billboards.
- You can save money by signing longer ad contracts.
- Look for remnant ads which are ad space that’s unused; publications accept almost any price when selling empty ads near print deadlines.
- You could track ad effectiveness by using unique web addresses and promo codes. You could also try adding “How did you hear about us” to your sign up process.
A compelling magazine or newspaper ad will have an attention-grabbing header, an eye-catching graphic, and a description of the product’s benefits. Also, you should have a strong call to action, like an offer to get a free book.
You could also try direct mail by searching for “direct mail lists” and find companies selling such information. (Beware that it can be perceived as spammy)
- Provide a self-addressed envelope.
- Use handwritten envelopes and cards.
- Have a clear call to action.
- Investigate bulk mail to get reduced pricing.
You could also try local print ads like local fliers, directories, calendars, church bulletins, community newsletters, coupon booklets, or yellow pages. These work really well for cheap if you want to get early traction for your company in a specific area.
If you want to buy space on a billboard, you could contact companies like Lamar, Clear Channel, or Outfront Media. Billboards aren’t effective for people to take immediate action, but it’s extremely effective for raising awareness around events, like concerts and conferences.
DuckDuckGo bought a billboard in Google’s backyard and it got big attention and press coverage.
Transit ads can be effective as a direct response tool. You can contact Blue Line Media to help you with Transit ads.
Radio and TV
Radio ads are priced on a cost per point (CPP) basis, where each point represents what it will cost to reach 1% of the station’s listeners. It also depends on your market, when the commercial runs and how many ads you’ve bought.
TV ads are often used as branding mechanisms. Quality is critical for it and production costs can run to tens of thousands. Higher-end ones can cost $200K to make. You’ll also need an average of $350,000 for actual airtime. For smaller startups, you could try local TV spots which is much cheaper.
Infomercials work really well for products in categories like Workout equipment, household products, health products, and work-from-home businesses. They can cost between $50,000 and $500,000, and they’re always direct-response.
SEO is improving your ranking in search engines in order to get more people to your site.
The most important thing to know about SEO is that the more high-quality links you have to a given site or page, the higher it will rank. You should also make sure you’re using the keywords you want to target appropriately on your pages, like in your page titles and headings.
There are 2 strategies to choose from: fat-head
These are one and two-word searches like “Dishwashers,” and “Facebook.” They are searched a lot and make about 30% of searches and are called. Long-tail:
These are longer searches that don’t get searched as much but add up to the majority of searches made. They make up 70% of searches.
- “Wooden toys” is fat-head.
- “Wood puzzles for 3-year-olds” is long-tail.
When determining which strategy to use, you should keep in mind that the percentage of clicks drops off dramatically as you rank lower. Only 10% of clicks occur beyond the first page.
To find out if fat-head is worthwhile, research what terms people use to find products in your industry, and then see if search volumes are large enough to move the needle. You can use the keyword planner tool for that. You want to find terms that have enough volume such that if you captured 10% for a given term, it would be meaningful.
The next step is determining the difficulty of ranking high for each term. Use tools like Open Site Explorer. If a competitor has thousands of links for a term, it will likely take a lot of focus on building links and optimizing to rank above them.
Next, narrow your list of targeted keywords to just a handful. Go to Google Trends to see how your keywords have been doing. Are they searched more or less often in the last year? You can further test keywords by buying SEM ads against them. If they convert well, then you have an indication that these keywords could get you strong growth.
Next, orient your site around the terms you’ve chosen. Include phrases you are targeting in your page titles and homepage. Get other sites to link to your site. Links with exact phrase matching from high-quality sites will give you a significant boost.
Because it’s difficult to rank high for competitive fat-head terms, a popular SEO strategy for early-stage startups is to focus on long-tail. If you bundle a lot of long-term keywords together you can reach a meaningful number of customers.
Find out what are search volumes for a bunch of long-tail keywords in your industry? Do they add up to meaningful amounts? Also, take a look at the analytics software you use on your site or google search console to find some of the search terms people are already using to get to your site. If you’re naturally getting a significant amount of traffic from long-tail keywords, then the strategy might be a good fit. Also, check if competitors use this strategy. If they have a lot of landing pages (search for site:domain.com in google), then it’s a sign that this strategy works for your market. Also, check Alexa search rankings and look at the percentage of visitors your competitors are receiving from search.
If you proceed with a long-tail SEO strategy, you’ll need to produce significant amounts of quality content. If you can’t invest time in that, you can pay a freelancer from Upwork to write an article for every search phrase you want to target.
Another way is to use content that naturally flows from your business. Ask yourself: what data do we naturally collect or generate that other people may find useful. Large businesses like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Wikipedia all gained most of their traffic by producing automated long-tail content. Sometimes the data is hidden behind a login screen and all you need to do is expose it to search engines, or aggregate it in a useful manner.
How to get links?
Don’t buy links, you’ll be penalized by search engines for it. Instead, you can do:
- Publicity - Get covered by a publication.
- Product - Produce shareable web pages.
- Content marketing - Create strong shareable content. Content that’s highly shareable include infographics, slideshows, images, and original research.
- Widgets - Give site owners useful things to add to their sites which link back to yours.
Companies like Moz and Unbounce have well-known company blogs that are their biggest source of customer acquisition.
Unbounce started a blog and an email list from day one. They used social media to drive readers to your blog. They pinged twitter influencers to ask for feedback, gave away free infographics, and e-books. These actions don’t scale but they push them to a point where their content will spread on its own.
OkCupid is a free online dating site. They intentionally wrote controversial posts like “How your race affects the messages you get” to generate traffic and conversation.
- Overcome writer’s block by writing about the problems facing your target customers.
- Use infographics because they are shared 20x more.
- Show your readers that they have a problem they didn’t know about.
- Engage in online forums where your target customers are, and try to contribute.
- Do guest posting on other popular blogs.
- Keep a regular content schedule.
Email marketing is a personal channel. Messages from your company sit next to emails from friends and family. That’s why email marketing works best when personalized. It can be used to build familiarity with prospects, acquire customers, and retain customers you already have.
Email marketing to Find customers
- Build an email list of prospective customers through your other marketing efforts.
- At the bottom of your blog posts and landing pages, simply ask for an email address.
- Create a short free course related to your area.
- Consider advertising on email newsletters.
Email marketing to Engage customers
If a customer never gets the value of your product, how can you expect them to pay for it or recommend it to others?
- Determine the steps necessary for customers to get value from your product
- Create targeted emails to make sure people complete these steps.
- You can use tools like Vero and Customer.io to automate these messages.
- Send an automated personal email 30 minutes after they signup to ask they if they need help.
Email marketing to Retain customers
Email marketing can be the most effective channel to bring people back to your site. Twitter sends you an email with a weekly digest of popular tweets and your new notifications.
More business-oriented products usually focus on reminders, reports, and information about how you’re getting value from the product. Mint sends a weekly financial summary to show your expenses and income over the previous week.
You can also use it to surprise and delight your customers. Planscope sends a weekly email to customers telling them how much they made that week. Photo apps will send you pictures you took a year ago.
Email marketing to Drive revenue
You can send a series of emails aimed at upselling customers.
WP Engine sends prospects an email course about Wordpress, and near the end of the email, they make a pitch to signup for its premium Wordpress hosting service.
If one of your customers abandoned a shopping cart, send her a targeted email a day or two later with a special offer for whatever item is left in the cart.
You can use email to explain a premium feature a customer is missing out on and how it can help them in a big way.
Email marketing to get referrals
Groupon generates referrals by incentivizing people to tell their friends about discounts.
- Use an email marketing provider that helps ensure deliverability like MailChimp.
- Use A/B tests for every aspect including subjects, formats, images, timing, and more.
- Send emails between 9 AM and 12 PM in your customers’ time zone or schedule them at the time they registered for your email list.
- Learn copywriting techniques by checking resources like copy hackers.
Viral marketing is getting your existing customers to refer others to your product. It was the driving force behind the explosive growth of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Dropbox, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
It’s so powerful that even if you can’t achieve exponential growth with it, you can still get meaningful growth. If your customer refers a new customer within the first week, you’ll go from ten customers to twenty and double every week without any additional marketing.
The oldest form of virality occurs when your product is so remarkable that people naturally tell others about it — pure word of mouth.
Inherent virality occurs when you can get value from a product only by inviting other customers, like Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Others grow by encouraging collaboration like Google Docs.
Some embed virality like adding “Get a free email account with Hotmail” or “Sent from iPhone” to default signatures. Mailchimp and other email marketing products add branding to free customers’ emails.
Some incentivize customers to move through a viral loop, like Dropbox giving you more space if you invite friends to sign up. Airbnb, Uber, and PayPal give you account credits for referring friends.
Some add embedded buttons and widgets to grow virally, like Reddit and YouTube.
Some broadcast users activities on their social networks, like Spotify posting on Facebook when you play a song, or Pinterest when you pin content.
The viral coefficient K
is the number of additional customers you can get for each customer you bring in. It depends on i, the number of invites sent per user, and conversion percentage (who will actually sign up after receiving an invite)
K = i * conversion percentage
Any viral coefficient above 1 will result in exponential growth. Any viral coefficient over 0.5 helps your efforts to grow considerably.
You can increase the number of invites per user i by including features that encourage sharing, such as posting to social networks. You can increase the conversion percentage by testing different signup flows. Try cutting out pages or signup fields.
Viral cycle time is how long it takes a user to go through your viral loop. Shortening your cycle time drastically increases the rate at which you go viral. You can do it by creating urgency or incentivizing customers to move through the loops.
- Measure your viral coefficient and cycle time from the start
- Run as many A/B tests as you can. Focus on big changes that would result in a 5-10x improvement in a key metric, like a new email autoresponder or website design or onboarding flow. Then optimize smaller stuff.
- You need a constant stream of new customers entering the viral loop. This is called “seeding.” You could use SEO and online ads for that.
- Copy those who have done it before.
You can build tools like calculators, widgets, and educational microsites to get your company in front of potential customers.
HubSpot has Marketing Grade, a free marketing review tool. It’s free, gives you valuable information, and provides HubSpot with the information they use to qualify you as a potential prospect.
Moz has two free SEO tools, Followerwong and Open Site Explorer. They’ve driven tens of thousands of leads for Moz.
WP Engine has a speed testing tool that asks only for an email address in exchange for a detailed report on your site’s speed.
- Provide something of true value.
- Make the offering extremely relevant to your core business.
- Put microsites and tools on their own domains. It makes it easier to share and does well with SEO when people search for your tool.
With business development, you’re partnering to reach customers in a way that benefits both parties.
Google got most of its initial traction from a partnership with Netscape to be the default search engine and an agreement with Yahoo to power its online searches.
Business development can take the form of:
- Standard partnership, like Apple and Nike producing Nike+ shoe that communicates with the iPhone.
- Joint ventures: Two companies working together to produce a new product. Like bottled Starbucks Frappuccino produced by Pepsi.
- Licencing: Spotify licensing music from record labels.
- Distribution deals: Groupon works with a restaurant to offer a discount to Groupon’s mailing list.
- Supply partnership: Deals between suppliers and Walmart.
You should have already defined your traction goal and milestones, and you shouldn’t accept any partnership that doesn’t align with it. Many startups waste resources because it’s tempting to make deals with bigger companies.
- Create an exhaustive list of all your possible partners.
- Send it to your investors and friends for warm introductions.
- Approach potential customers with a value-focused proposition that outlines why they should work with you.
- Make sure to find out who is in charge of the metric you’ve targeted, and contact them directly.
- Make the negotiation and term sheet as simple as possible
Sales is the process of generating leads, qualifying them, and converting them into paying customers. It’s particularly useful for expensive and enterprise products.
Structuring the sales conversation Situation questions.
Ask one or two questions per conversation. The more you ask situation questions, the less likely they’re going to close.
- How many employees do you have?
- How is your organization structured
- Are you happy with your current solution?
- What problems do you face with it?
Meant to make a prospect aware of the large implications that stem from the problem.
- Does this problem hurt your productivity?
- How many people does it impact?
- What customer or employee turnover are you experiencing because of it?
Focus attention on your solution and get buyers to think about the benefits of solving the problem.
- How do you feel this solution would help you?
Be judicious about the people you contact. You want someone who is one-two levels up in the organization. They have enough perspective on the problem and some authority for decision making. Avoid starting at the top unless you’re calling a very small business.
Try to get answers about:
- Process: How does the company buy a solution like this?
- Need: How badly does the company need a solution for this?
- Authority: Which individuals can make the purchase happen?
- Money: Do they have the funds? How much not solving the problem cost them?
- Timing: What are budget and decision timelines for purchase?
It’s better to gain traction through a marketing channel first, then use sales as a conversion tool to close leads. The next stage is lead qualification: determine how ready a prospect is to buy. Once you’ve qualified the leads, you should lay out exactly what are you going to do for the customer. Set up a timetable for it and get them to commit with a yes or no whether they’re going to buy. Closing leads can be done by a sales team who does a webinar or product demo and has an ongoing email sequence that ends with a purchase request. In other cases, you may need a field sales team that actually visits prospective customers for some part of the process.
A checklist that can help you with sales:
- Remove the need for IT installs
- Free trials
- Channel partners
- Demo videos or Webinars
- Testimonials or case studies
- Email campaigns
- Low introductory price (less than $250/mo for SMB, $10,000 for enterprises)
I removed the last sections because of the post character limit. Here are two:
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