Affiliate Marketing For Startups

Affiliate marketing can be a great option for startups. Startup companies are often skeptical about starting an affiliate program for their company.

Thousands of companies and individual business business owners have leveraged the power of affiliate marketing and created super profitable affiliate marketing websites and programs.

Affiliate marketing has very few, if any, drawbacks. We’ll get to that later.

First, lets cover some of the advantages of affiliate marketing for startups:

affiliate-marketing-advantages

You only pay when you get results – Unlike other advertising methods such as PPC and native advertising, affiliate marketing is by far the most cost effective because you only have to pay the affiliate when they drive a sale for you. If your affiliates don’t generate sales for you, they won’t get paid by you. Imagine getting your money back from Facebook Ads because your ads didn’t convert like they should?! I don’t see that happening any time soon.

You don’t need to invest time on advertising – With affiliate marketing, all the affiliates do the work for you. You don’t need to be constantly monitoring ad campaigns so you’ll have time to focus on other, more important things in your business. Running an affiliate program for your startup doesn’t require you to be any sort of marketing expert either. You can just sign up to an affiliate network and let them handle things like tracking and affiliate payments.

More traffic and better SEO – lots of affiliates will generate plenty of backlinks for your website, helping you rank higher in the search engines.

Find super affiliates and you’ll be laughing – You don’t need to have hundreds of affiliates promoting your products and services. In general, most businesses only have a small handful of affiliates that generate almost half of the revenue from the entire affiliate program. Most affiliates don’t get the right level of affiliate marketing training and as a result of this, aren’t able to successfully promote products and services.

Affiliate Networks

Affiliate networks are the easiest way to get started with an affiliate program as you don’t need to create software or setup tracking systems yourself. The affiliate networks operate as the middle man between you the affiliate marketers and yourself.

If you have a little money to spend then Commissionjunction.com could be a good option. Otherwise Shareasale.com is a good place to start if you don’t have too much capital.

Your best bet is to stick with a well-known provider to help you get your foot through the door. This will help you get a few good affiliates that will start bringing in revenue for your company.

If you’re planning to run your own affiliate program without getting involved with affiliate networks. It’s definitely worth taking the time to train up one of your employees on the tasks involved with this. This will reduce any potential issues that come up further down the line.… Read the rest

5 Requirements For Startup Success

Starting a new business from scratch is never easy but we’ve truly never had better opportunities then we do now. Especially when it comes to online business. Some great examples of businesses you can start without breaking the bank are things like consulting, affiliate marketing and online course creation.

I came across an awesome article the other day that was titled “business ideas for women” thought that was slightly sexist but it did have some great business ideas for people that are looking to start a part-time side business. Perfect for the person that is living a crazy-busy lifestyle but still wants to start something on the side.

Now:

When it comes to startup businesses, there are five essential ingredients to success.

Having Good Timing

Picking the best time to start your company can make a huge difference. Market needs are changing all the time and industry demand can fluctuate quite a lot. The success or failure of competitors is also something to take into account. Even you’re own personal circumstances can have a play in things. If you feel like you won’t be able to put 110% into this new venture then it’s clearly not the best time to get started!

Getting your business plan together and keeping it moving is vital to a startup churning nicely through launch. You want all those cogs to be moving. Too many startups fail because they get stuck in early development phases and never actually get off the ground.

Having a Clean Budget

A big mistake many startup founders make is that they assume that money isn’t an issue as long as they can get a big enough chunk of cash in the bank. This is just plain silly. It’s absolutely VITAL to have a very detailed, well thought out budget that covers all your expenses in your business. If you suck at budgeting then get someone else to do it for you. Every area of the business needs to be covered in terms of budgeting expenses.

Self-discipline

This is directly related to the sticking to the budget paragraph I just mentioned above. But It’s more than just that. Building a startup business from the ground up requires discipline in all areas of your life. The best thing to do is to decide on your goals for your days, weeks and months, instead of working by hours. The reality of the situation is that you’ll be putting in plenty of hours at the start. Decide what targets need to be met and force yourself to stick to those targets. Don’t clock out until you’ve completed your daily tasks. The last thing you want to do is to get behind on deadlines you set for yourself.

Flexibility And Versatility

Nothing is consistently true when it comes to startups. It’s the nature of the beast. The beast of unpredictability. You must be prepared to make significant changes in your business if this is what is required. It’s logical that you might struggle to come to terms with making significant changes or even scrapping a business model all together because of the amount of time and effort you put into it. Unfortunately this is how things can transpire with startup businesses. Don’t be afraid to invest your energy into a great business plan but don’t … Read the rest

5 Things You Need To Know Before Working For a Startup

The prospect of working for a startup company is definitely an attractive one. You get to be part of a cool up and coming company that has a relaxed casual office environment. As you make your way through the non-standard job application, ploughing through questions like (“If you were a superhero, which one would you be and why?) you imagine yourself sitting around your meeting room in yoga pants and a t-shirt, sipping pumpkin spice lattes while discussing your next big business move.

Working at a startup can definitely be a fun, eye-opening, even life-changing experience. While not all startups have the budget or ambience of fancy tech companies, many new startups offer you the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of building an organisation from the ground up.

But it’s definitely not all fun and games, there are some significant differences between startup companies and other, more traditional corporate companies you’ve worked for in the past.

So let’s jump right into it: 

Five things you need to know before working for a startup:

Change Is Going To Become your Best Friend

Whether you like it or not, change is something that is very common with startup companies. You won’t find processes and procedures stamped in concrete here. Startups change quickly and rapidly. Your job title and day-to-day assignments may change a number of times. This is something that can be very startling for someone who is used to the routine of the corporate world but this is what gives the ability for startups to pivot and flourish where other companies will fail.

You Gotta Go Balls Deep

You have to be a solid team player, roll up those sleeves and get stuck right into the business. Versatility is a requirement for pretty much anyone working in a startup company. Your job description is a blank slate and you’ll never utter those famous words but that’s just how operate. Startups don’t do clearly defined job descriptions and rigid company policies. You need to be willing to be flexible in this field and always put the company first or may you find yourself being swiftly replaced.

Veterans Are Your Friends

Most startups start with an awesome idea and a few brilliant people. They usually go ahead and find some investors and surround themselves with highly intelligent people that can put in the hustle required to turn their idea into reality. When the company gets a taste of success they usually bring in more experienced professionals to help really take their company to the next level.

Once these veterans start coming onboard it can make startup employees feel nervous and intimidated. You’ve been working 16 hour days and this grandpa thinks he can tell you what to do just because he has a degree, an amazing track record and endless industry contacts?

Pretty much yeah, you might feel intimidated by these people but don’t look at them as your competition. These people have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience that can not only help grow the business, but help you grow personally too.

The Company Provides, The Company Takes Away

Startups make up for their lack of office formalities (like a lunch break!) with cool little perks like weekly happy hours and paid lunches, even tickets to events on occasion. But as … Read the rest

Why You Should Start Affiliate Marketing

If you’re someone who keeps up with the latest and greatest in all things startups then you might have come across affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a brilliant way to startup your first online business.

But first, some of you are probably wondering what the hell affiliate marketing is in the first place.

Here’s the official definition from wikipedia:

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts

In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is a type of business where the affiliate gets paid a commission for referring products to a consumer. If a consumer then goes on to buy the product the affiliate makes money.

It’s a pretty simple business model but one that has become increasingly popular over the years as more companies adopt affiliate marketing as part of their revenue generating strategy.

How Does It All Work?

This infographic from Bengu Marketing follows a step-by-step process on how affiliate marketing works…

what is affiliate marketing?

What Types Of Companies Use Affiliate Marketing?

Almost every company with some form of online presence has an affiliate program.

Most people don’t even realise affiliate sites when they see them. Price comparison sites, flight booking, hotels booking, review sites all operate under the affiliate marketing umbrella.

Some real world examples include: 

Secret escapes, Confused.com, MoneySupermarket, Trivago, Lastminute.com, Expedia flights.

This is just a tiny fraction of sites that generate an income through affiliate marketing.

Thousands of bloggers leverage the power of affiliate marketing to make money from their blogs. Most people assume that you can’t make money blogging but many business owners are generating six figures a month from their blogs alone.

How Do I Learn Affiliate Marketing?

There is an abundance of affiliate marketing training out there but it’s important to select the affiliate program that suits you best. Every affiliate program has different things to offer, some are much better than others so you need to do your research to determine which one to go for. Some affiliate program double up as online business platforms. These platforms teach you how to start a profitable online business from scratch. Not only do they teach you how to leverage the power of affiliate marketing but they also help empower you with entrepreneurial skill sets that will allow you to succeed in business in general.

Other programs just provide bread and butter training and merchant resources such as banners, affiliate links and tracking information.

Why Is It Awesome?

It’s awesome because you don’t have any of the traditional overheads or investment requirements like you do with startup or franchise businesses. You don’t need crowdfunding, you don’t even need  to take out a loan. A few thousands dollars can get you really far with affiliate marketing.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some sort of magic solution, you’ll still have to put the work in. Affiliate marketing isn’t easy but it has to be one of the best online business ideas that people can leverage today.

Now is the perfect time to start a business with affiliate marketing. The internet is ripe with opportunity and it has never been easier to get yourself started.

Stop procrastinating and start doing something that will move that needle!… Read the rest

5 Lessons Every Startup Entrepreneur Must Learn [Infographic]

There are important lessons that every entrepreneur needs to learn before they start taking those giant leaps towards success.

This infographic (thanks to Buzinga) breaks down the 5 essential lessons every startup entrepreneur must learn:

5 lessons every startup entrepreneur must learn

Here is a breakdown of each of the lessons illustrated in the infographic above:

I. Take Full Responsibility For Your Success

As a business owner, you are 100% responsible for your own success. You no longer have a manager who’s checking up on you or giving you a nudge to get things done. If you get lazy and stop being productive in your business, your income will suffer. This is especially true at the start, when you’re first building things up with limited resources and funding. The hardest part of starting a business is actually getting started and generating those first few sales. Once you’ve established a formula that works for your business your can rinse, repeat and scale.

Bottom line – don’t slack off in your business. Make sure you complete the work that needs to be done otherwise your business will suffer.

2. Work On Your Confidence

Your believe in yourself and your own abilities will have a direct impact on the results you will achieve in your business. Having faith in your ability to succeed and master certain skill sets is very important for yourself and your business. If you have any doubts about your own abilities you may need to look at developing yourself and gaining more awareness and understand on why you have those beliefs in the first place.

Bottom line – You need to be fully confident in yourself to achieve the success you really want in business. If you don’t believe you then no-one else will.

3. Have An Empowering Vision

Your vision is all to do with the impact your business will have on the world at large. This is something that should scare you. Your vision should be huge and it should be something that you’re really passionate about. You don’t want to spend your time building something that you don’t really have a love for. The problem with building a business that you aren’t passionate about is that you’ll never beat someone who is passionate about the same thing.

Bottom line – Create a big scary vision. Focus on what you love, what you’re passionate about.

4. Manage Your Energy

The success of your company is directly impacted by the amount of work you can put into it. your health is extremely important. Ensuring you eat the right foods and exercise properly will work wonders on your energy levels and allow you to become more productive in your business.

Bottom Line – Look after yourself and your body will look after you. Eat proper foods and exercise so you can be super productive in your business.… Read the rest

10 Startup Tips For Young Entrepreneurs

A high number of young people have a business idea that they would love to pursue. With the current unemployment levels we have here in the UK, business provides a great opportunity to excel and prosper in an economy that isn’t wha it used to be.

Starting a business isn’t a magic bullet solution that will solve all of your problems. However, there has never been a better time to start a business because the support structures, tools and technology we have available is unlike anything that has existed in the past.

Young ambitious individuals should definitely take advantage of the opportunities the digital world provides to us.

Here is our 10 step startup guide for young entrepreneurs:

I. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes

Do your research and see what other people have done online, find out what mistakes other people have made so you can learn from them without having the make those mistakes yourself. You can attend startup events, read books, do online research. Every successful person has made plenty of mistakes and you’ll find that most people are quite open to talk about their previous failings.

2. Know Your Target Customer

Knowing who you want to target in your business is absolutely crucial to getting the right message across. If you try and target everyone, nobody will respond to your messaging because it’ll be too generic. Talk to people in your target demographic and find out everything you need to know about them. Find out what they like, why they like it and their reasoning behind purchasing decisions. Gaining a tight understanding of the business sector you’re targeting will put you in the best position for having a successful launch.

3. Know Your Competition

Performing effective market research can reveal almost everything about your competition. You can find out exactly what you competition is doing, even down to their marketing strategies. Competitor analysis allows you to drill deep into company marketing strategy. This allows you to see things like pay-per-click campaigns, keywords they are bidding on, landing pages being used and more.

4. Plan Plan Plan

Writing a business plan is crucial to a business that is successfully launched. Think of it as laying the foundations for your business. What happens if the foundations of a house aren’t laid properly? Exactly! You want to spend a good amount of time planning the creation and launch of your next venture. Use your business plan to make goals. You want to set monthly, quarterly and yearly goals for your business.

5. Find Someone To Mentor You

find-a-mentor

This will probably be one of the most important parts of your success. Finding a mentor is essential to building a profitable, successful business in a short space of time. Find people that have already achieved what you want to achieve and get them to mentor you and show you the ropes. Mentorship from the right person is worth it’s weight in gold. Imagine someone providing you with insights from a position of experience. Someone who has already gone through all the obstacles and problems in a particular business niche.

6. Start Small

Most people don’t have thousands of pounds lying around to start their own business. When you first start out you need your business to be lean. You can’t be … Read the rest

How To Start A Startup [Video]

Always wanted to start your own business but just don’t know how?

Well Augustus is here to rescue you and show you the way of the startup entrepreneur!

I came across awesome startup resource online and wanted to share one of their lectures with you. This is a lecture that was shot at Stanford university and it covers the fundamentals of starting a startup business.

Every guest speaker on this video has been involved in creating a billion dollar plus company. All this information is geared towards people starting a business where their goal is massive growth and eventually building up a really big company.

Startups are very different to traditional businesses so this information can only be applied to startup businesses.

Startups are also surprisingly a level playing field. You can start a startup if you’re 23 and just out of college or 50 and just quit your job!

Why Should You Start A Startup?

You should only start a startup if you feel compelled to solve a particular problem. Passion should always come first and business second. All of the biggest successes in the startup world follow this exact formula. You shouldn’t start a startup just for the sake of doing so. Starting a startup is actually very difficult!

Here is the video:

 

 … Read the rest

Why Now Is The Best Time To Start A Business

In the united kingdom, entrepreneurs have never played a more important role than they do today. Small businesses all over the UK provide almost HALF of all private sector jobs and have increased our countries employment rate to record high levels.

These stats reveal the quality of entrepreneurial ideas we have here in the UK. Businesses are being started every day with many of them flourishing and becoming highly profitable in a short time.

We have amazing support available for anyone looking to start a business today. There has never been a better time to turn your business idea into something real!

In England, government policy has favoured the small and medium-sized businesses in recent years. The government business growth service provides bespoke support for businesses to enable them to grow exponentially, while companies like Innovate UK continue to provide valuable information through industry research for tech start-up companies.

Our local government is also giving entrepreneurs the red carpet treatment. We have plans underway to give more powers to specific regions in the United Kingdom. Powers that will for example allow city Mayors to help cultivate a nurturing environment as well as great support for growing businesses.

Expanding Into Global Markets

It has never been easier to expand a business into the global market than it is today. Things like social media marketing allow us to reach millions of people at a fraction of what it would cost using other, more traditional forms of marketing.

Private sector companies are also increasingly offering support for growing businesses. An entrepreneur in the UK today has access to a wide range of accelerator programs that the funding and support that many entrepreneurs need. Accelerator programs are so popular because they produce great results for businesses. Success rates for startup companies are in excess of 92%, which is almost 20% higher than companies that decide to go it all alone.

Long-Term Forecast

Entrepreneurs looking for long-term growth have big smiles on their faces. We’re seeing the rise of the next generation of work spaces that help to grow businesses in a nurturing, socially connected environment.

The mixture of policy that supports entrepreneurs as well as the abundance of resources have resulted in the perfect environment for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Yes, it’s still hard to launch your own business, especially if you’re starting from scratch, but nothing beats being your own boss and watching your baby grow into something wildly profitable and successful. Business can be tough but it has to be said that it is also one of the most satisfying and exciting experiences one can have.… Read the rest