Use gift guides to generate affiliate sales during the holidays

Use gift guides to generate affiliate sales during the holidays

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Choose the recipient

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

Step 2: Select the relevant products 

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

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

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

Step 3: Build your blog post

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

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

Step 4: Add in affiliate tracking links

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

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

Step 5: Schedule an ongoing social campaign

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

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

Amazon Dropshipping 101: 3 Expert Guides to Start Selling on Amazon

Amazon Dropshipping 101: 3 Expert Guides to Start Selling on Amazon

Amazon is the ultimate beast for buying and selling anything in the world today. With their massive reach and billions of customers, it’s no wonder they are quickly becoming the number one destination for everything. What started off as just books, quickly turned into movies, DVD, music and now consists of pretty much everything else you can think of. Not only is the site a dream for anyone looking to make a purchase, it’s also become an opportunity of a lifetime for entrepreneurs and business owners who are looking to sell through Amazon and their marketplace in the process.

While the concept of Amazon is simple enough (buy products through their site), what most people don’t realize is that a huge portion of the products and sales done through the site are actually from outside parties, dropshippers, and independent sellers. Amazon is simply providing the customers and platforms to such sellers.

With all of this in mind, it’s important to make sure everyone is as well informed as possible when it comes to selling on Amazon. To help with this process, I’ve hand selected some of the best Amazon dropshipping and selling guides out there to help you get started.

Free Amazon Dropshipping Guide – How to Dropship on Amazon

When it comes to selling anything online, Oberlo has become one of the ultimate tools for importing and fulfilling product orders on e-commerce sites, as well as an actual marketplace for researching and selling products. With that being said, they also have one of the best blogs out there for walking users through the process of how to sell more online and set up new accounts and businesses through the likes of platforms like Amazon and Shopify.

In their Amazon dropshipping guide, you will not only get to walk through the process of creating a Seller Account on Amazon, you will also find everything you need to know about drop shipping and how it applies to Amazon sales, marketing, and fulfillment of orders. Once live with your Amazon account, Oberlo recommends you focus on your seller rating and keyword research, while not expecting Amazon to simply start sending a flood of sales your way. The customers are there, but you still need to put in the time, work and effort to get your products in front of them.

In addition to Amazon drop shipping, there are also many other alternatives to selling online with different drop shippers and wholesalers. This can be done by setting up an online store of your own, then simply finding the right supplier for your product. Unfortunately, this is the hardest part in the process. To learn more about such options, you can see more dropshipping tips here.

How to Make Over $10,000 a Month Selling on Amazon

Not all resource guides need to come in the form of long-form content and with the intention to sell an individual product or service. In the case of Quora, the question “How can you make over $10,000 a month selling on Amazon and through drop shipping?“.

The end result was over 42 different in-depth responses that break down a number of winning methods for making serious money with Amazon. Ed Tyson, Author of “How to Sell More on Amazon” broke his answer down to three simple rules for finding success on Amazon.

  1. in making lots of cash: sell a ridiculously good product.
  2. in making lots of cash: find cheap, effective and cheap ways to market your product. Then do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
  3. in making lots of cash: give ridiculously good service.

Jan Steen also had three recommended tips of his own, which were:

  1. Sell something nobody else sells or ensure the customer thinks you are the cheapest and the best.
  2. Drive your traffic and conversion. It’s all about GOOD numbers.
  3. Try to automate even yourself.

Be sure to check out the full Quora page, as it’s loaded with useful information on not only how to get started with an Amazon dropshipping business, but also how to scale it in size and hit that nice monthly five-figure mark.

Debate: Drop Shipping vs. Amazon FBA

When it comes to selling products online, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can create an e-commerce site of your own where you physically create and ship your own items, you can dropship, or you can sell through Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). Everyone has their own preference on which is best, and in this recent article on Empire Flippers we get to hear two players from both sides debate the issue.

In this exciting piece, two industry experts and successful entrepreneurs share their own expertise and history of what’s been working best for them. Anton Kraly has years of experience in the dropshipping, while also generating over $1.8 million in sizes by the age of 24. On the other side, they have Mark Brenwall, who has found some great success with Amazon FBA. Both players started their business from scratch and focus on providing their audience with the best products and sales process possible.

By the end of this article interview, you will have a good idea of what it takes to start an online business through both dropshipping and Amazon FBA. Be sure to read through til the end of the article to see if both Anton and Mark would stick with the same business models, should they get to start from scratch all over.

How to Make Millions Selling and Dropshipping through Amazon

When you think about a million dollars and the massive volume of customers and sales being generated on Amazon today, that number really isn’t that big at all — especially if you are trying to hit that seven-figure mark in sales. It only takes $2,740 a day in sales to generate a million dollars over the course of a year. When you factor in the reach, marketing and automation possible through Amazon, this definitely looks more attainable than ever before.

The toughest part about selling on Amazon is finding the right product to sell. The platform and marketing are already in place. Be sure to read through each of the Amazon dropshipping guides above and see how you can get started with your own e-commerce/dropshipping business today.

5 Expert Guides on How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

5 Expert Guides on How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Want to rank your YouTube videos within Google? Sure, we all do… but the truth is that most people think of the concept, but never actually put the idea into action. YouTube gets billions of page views every months and it’s making plenty of millionaires in the process. YouTube is also owned by Google, which means it’s likely you can rank video content from their site all the way to the first page of Google easier than you might be able to rank your site.

So what’s the big secret to ranking your YouTube videos on Google? Well, there are plenty of theories and methods out there — such as embedding videos within your blog content, using transcription to increase on-site (video) SEO to your page, linking back to your YouTube video through various sites and using a variation of relevant keywords.

Now the big question is… what works and what doesn’t? Well, if we all knew that, we’d all be ranking on the first page of Google, wouldn’t we!

While I’m in no way an expert at ranking YouTube videos within Google, I am pretty good at finding some of the best resources out there to help you along the way.

Follow These Tips to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Each of these guides are unique in their own way, but most follow the same formulas of creating high quality video content, using text within your video descriptions and ultimately sending backlinks to your YouTube url. Be sure to visit each of the sites as they have unique content, videos, infographics, examples and guides.

YouTube SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Brian Dean of Backlinko.com is always coming out with excellent guides on how to build backlinks and rank higher in the search results. His guide on how to rank videos in Google is probably one of the best out there, as he goes into a lot of detail on how to find the right keywords to target, setting up your video title, description and YouTube page correctly, while also covering the many different ways you can embed video and get backlinks to help you jump to the top of the search results.

Backlinko SEO Video Strategy

Case Study: How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

Everyone loves a good case study, and this one is no exception. This guest post from Vinay Patankar on SEMRush walks us through the process of why hitting your target audience with video is such a great opportunity. Vinay also goes on to show many of his different rankings in the search results and how he got there through ranking his YouTube videos. Vinay also covers video optimization, keyword rankings and off page optimization while also providing a big list of resources for building quality backlinks back to your YouTube page.

How to Rank YouTube Videos on Google

How to Rank on the First Page of Google Through Videos

Neil Patel is another SEO expert who took the time to create a guide on how to rank in Google through the use of YouTube videos. In this 7-step video ranking guide, Neil walks through the process of ranking a video by starting with the most basic steps, such as uploading a video to YouTube, embedding the video on your site, adding content around your videos and ultimately focusing on your SEO and backlinking strategy. While this guide is less advanced than others mentioned, it’s still a great guide and I highly recommend reading through all of the blog comments and questions as well.

Brian Dean also created a follow up video on how to rank videos in Google through the QuickSprout University course.

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The Ultimate YouTube SEO Guide – Infographic

As fun as several thousand word guides and tutorials are to read, sometimes it’s better to get a visual look at how things work. In this infographic created by Sean Si, we get to see why video is so important and the break down of how to properly create your video content, while also focusing on your user engagement afterwards. This infographic covers a lot of the quick tips, tricks and takeaways that the other guides recommend, but without the massive time required to read through all of the filler content.

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9 Hacks to Rank YouTube Videos in Google

Ryan Stewart is a digital marketing psychopath who put together a nice 9-part hack series on how to rank your video content within Google. This quick read (because it’s broken up nicely), shows a lot of great examples and gives actionable tips such as creating your own custom thumbnails, knowing how long to make your videos and how to utilize playlists and getting your YouTube channel page to work for you. Also be sure to check out Ryan’s 8 video ranking tips on SocialMediaToday.com as well.

9_Tips_to_Rank_YouTube_Videos_in_Google_-_Video_SEO

YouTube SEO: 7 Powerful Secrets that Work Great in 2018

No matter either you’re new to YouTube or struggling with ranking your videos for long time, BlogRex’s YouTube SEO guide covers well researched and actionable tips to rank higher. From on-page SEO’s perspective of video optimization to off-page video SEO and then easy video promotion, everything on one page. This guide specifically tells you how exactly audience retention is connected with video ranking and how to get better at this. It’s not only for YouTube, but also for ranking on first page of google with the help of proper keyword targeting and research.

The Answer to How to Rank YouTube Videos in Google

I’ve provided you with some of the highest quality content and guides on the internet for learning how to rank YouTube videos on Google. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to multiple factors to rank you videos on page one, but the three big takeaways from each of these guides are;

  • Video content (engagement)
  • Video embed (more views and content)
  • Links to YouTube Video (backlinks)

Another lesson that all of the guides preach, is to focus on the quality of your videos and to provide value. While it might be easy to create a bunch of low quality videos and hope at least one of them ranks, it would be much more beneficial to create one super high quality video and spend all your efforts on creating that one video.

Be sure to reach through each of the guides above, but their recommendations into action and start ranking your videos on Google!