Category Archives: Earn

What is affiliate marketing and can I make money from it?

The world of advertising has changed almost unrecognisably since the era depicted so well in hit TV show Mad Men. If Don Draper was around now he would have a field day because of the sheer amount of advertising options available in the modern world.

A recent but hugely successful form of modern advertising is affiliate marketing, a method used by hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of companies worldwide. Unlike most forms of traditional advertising, you don’t need to be well-connected in the industry to take advantage of affiliate marketing.

So, what exactly is affiliate marketing? How can I make money from it?

Don Draper from Mad Men was an advertising guru, if he was around now he’d have a field day with affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing explained

This internet form of advertising is usually found in online blogs, vlogs or in social media influencer content. In essence, affiliate marketing is the practice of offering either explicit or implicit product recommendations for a monetary incentive.

If, for example, you had a successful snowboarding blog that reached a large audience in Canada, you might begin an affiliate relationship with The Boardroom. Weekly or monthly you would write an article reviewing an item on sale at The Boardroom, including links to their website.

For every item sold as a direct result of your recommendation you would then receive a percentage of the profit on that item. It would entirely be your choice whether you told your readers about this partnership. You could be open about your partnership with The Boardroom and ask readers to buy their products, or you could be more discrete about it and embed links into your content.

How is affiliate marketing monitored?

Every website, even those made cheaply, have tools available that allow the owner to track the source of all their web traffic. Companies that pay for affiliate marketing monitor all the traffic directed to their site from their affiliates.

They can track the average time spent on their site from each particular user and also track purchases made as a result of affiliate marketing. Through these monitoring tools they can keep an eye on the effectiveness of their affiliate partner.

Why do companies opt for affiliate marketing?

Quite simply, affiliate marketing is much more cost-effective than traditional forms of advertising. A TV or radio commercial requires a large amount of money up front to produce and pay for, and offers no guarantee of a boost in sales.

With affiliate marketing companies pay their advertisers commission on items sold. There’s no upfront cost and therefore companies are only paying for effective marketing. Thanks to web analytical tools companies can also monitor the effectiveness of certain affiliate partners.

If one partner is not providing the desired traffic or sales that had been hoped for, a company can cut them loose and move onto another partner. Affiliate marketing also provides demographic specific marketing.

1 in 10 people listening to a radio commercial may be interested in snowboarding, and 1 in 10 of those listeners may eventually purchase something from The Boardroom. However, 100% of people reading a snowboarding blog will fall into The Boardroom’s demographic.

Gambling – A lucrative affiliate industry

The Canadian online gambling market is incredibly competitive, and with strict regulations on traditional advertising methods, online casinos are focusing their attentions on affiliate marketing. The law of the land means Canadian’s must gamble through offshore online casinos – naturally, they do everything they can to attract visitors to the site.

Participating in an affiliate scheme with a leading Canadian online casino can prove to be lucrative, due to the sheer number of players that are attracted to the site, who then deposit funds. Almost every online casino participates in some form of affiliate marketing, and those companies are always looking for new affiliates.

Most well-known online casinos have easy to use affiliate programs that you can sign up to in as little as 5 minutes. These companies offer their affiliates better financial incentives than online retailers.

Instead of basing your recommendations on one-off payments, online casinos base them on the lifetime transaction value of a particular customer. If a customer that has found a casino via your recommendation has an LTV of $850, you will get a cut of that figure.

Tips for becoming an affiliate partner

Firstly you need to have a blog or a vlog, and it’s no use just making one for the sake of it. You need to focus on a topic that generally interests you – it makes producing content easier in the long-run.

Once you’ve picked the topic that you’re going to blog about, you need to start building your audience. Doing this is easier than you may have thought. By using social media effectively you can easily gain a loyal audience of at least 500 readers a month.

You may see no returns in the first couple of months of blogging but if you persist in creating quality content your audience will grow. Once it has reached a satisfactory level of readers, you can then start looking at affiliate marketing as a way to make money.

You’ll need to choose a partner that suits your demographic. There’s nothing to be gained by partnering with an online casino when you write a food blog. Choose a company that suits your brand, niche and audience.

Finally, you will need to come up with a strategy to advertise your affiliate partner’s goods. As mentioned above, you can do this implicitly without ever explicitly telling your audience that you are advertising to them.

This is the easy option and as such will provide you with the lowest financial returns. The best way to use affiliate marketing for profit is to be open and honest with your readers, most people will appreciate that you are simply trying to make a bit of money.

Review products from your affiliate, if something’s a good deal be up front and tell your audience to go and buy it. The risk with not doing this and advertising implicitly is that your audience will notice what you’re doing and lose trust in you.

Summary

Even a pretty laissez-faire approach to affiliate marketing will provide you with financial rewards if you have a decent sized audience. However if you throw yourself into it and put in the required effort you can make a LOT of money from affiliate marketing.

Remember to choose your affiliate partner wisely and keep your content relevant to whatever you’re advertising. What are you waiting for? Go find an affiliate partner now and start making money from your content.


Looking for More Clients? Here are Surefire tactics You Should Follow

Running a consultancy business or working as an independent consultant can be intimidating initially, but there’s certainly no looking back for you once you discover the key to acquiring more clients. Like every other service-based business, your consultancy venture requires unvarying clientele growth and servicing to persevere in the competitive landscape.

Know WHO your clients are

But before you market yourself or dream up high revenues or consider critical factors like consultant insurance, there’s one fundamental question that you need to answer- WHO should you be approaching?

Getting your fingers on the pulse of your clients is the first step you should be taking towards expanding your consultancy business. You have to focus on their location, industry, pain points, challenges, desires, and frustrations to target your messaging in an impactful manner.

Once you know who your ideal clients are, it’s time to find them in the right place at the right time. Here are a few tactics that can expand your client-base:

Personal letters always work

Personal letters are evergreen communication tools. They have always forged an emotional bridge between the writer and the reader. Some smart consultants swear by it even in today’s digitized world. Whenever somebody takes time out to write a personal note, it strikes a chord. It shows how genuinely interested you are in the client. You can even send a gift, a magazine article or something interesting along with the letter to leave a positive impression on your prospects.

Focus on your resourcefulness

As a consultant, you have to bring quite a few qualities and skills to the table, the most important of all being resourcefulness and problem-solving. Your potential clients are those people who are facing complex problems. You have to be capable of understanding their challenges and coming up with a practical solution. Some resource tools like PDF files, e-books, newsletters, and whitepapers are also good ways of drawing the attention of your potential clients.

Join their community

The success of client-acquisition strategies for consultants depends largely on the kind of relationship they build with their prospective clients. The deeper you get to know your client, the better it is. For that, you need to know where they spend their time, and what interests them. Consider going for industry parties and events or volunteering on committees and boards to share your expertise. This will give you more exposure to the real business world and expand your knowledge in the process.

Go social

There’s no doubt that Facebook is the most extensive social network today. But the platform is not just about entertainment or sharing your special moments. It’s also a vast marketplace where businesses connect with consumers and other businesses. Not to forget Instagram, which is perhaps the best medium to express your story. You should leverage it to build a wide clientele and legacy. At the same time, it shows your honesty and vision by pairing texts and visuals that pulls clients towards you.

Use videos or podcasts

Something similar on social lines, you can create a top-quality YouTube channel, Facebook live series, webinar or podcast show on subjects that you are an expert in. The content you create should be relevant to your target clientele. Consider inviting your prospects to be a guest at your show. Doing so will not only gain visibility but also build credibility and relationships. These marketing tools are excellent ways to identify problems of clients and offer useful solutions.

Show how you have solved problems in the past

Most of you may not know, but your past flaws can get you the attention of clients. Surprised? When organizations hire consultants, they value those who are empathetic. Empathy will only come when you put yourself in their shoes. Show them that you have “been there” and have come out of it successfully. When you talk about flaws you once had, your clients see themselves in you and connect with you instantly. Give them your most in-depth insight into your problem-solving tactics and make them realize that you are the silver lining.

Approach your satisfied clients

Last but not least, seek for referrals from clients you have worked with before. Most businesses are skeptical about hiring consultants who they don’t know. This is what can make it difficult for independent consultants to build a clientele. But when they get references of consultants from somebody they know; the tables turn in your favor. Getting satisfied clients to refer you build the credibility of your business instantly. You should consider creating an online referral program and get people talking about your services.

These tactics are what you need to follow for expanding your clientele and taking your consultancy business a notch higher.

Financial Independence and Retiring Early: Your Guide to the FIRE Movement

You might have been seeing a lot in the media recently about the growing interest in the FIRE movement, which originated in the US and has now cultivated millions of followers around the world. For the uninitiated, FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retiring Early, and is used to describe people who gear their entire lives to ensuring they have enough savings and investment to retire in their 30s.

In a world of growing inequality and increasing retirement ages, the idea of finishing work forever at 35 seems like a pipe dream but thousands of people have proved that it’s possible. Here’s all you need to know about joining the FIRE movement yourself. 

Source: Pixabay

The Goal, In Numbers 

The movement has a clearly defined set of goals, put together by financial experts who have determined what the average person needs to retire early. You need to essentially have accrued a net worth equal to 4o times your annual expenses.

This means if your annual expenditures amount to $40,000, you’ll need $1 million in savings and assets before you can liberate yourself from work. The reason it’s a movement is that it requires serious commitment – most adherents try to save at least half of their earnings for years on end. 

Always Try and Get Something for Free First 

A central tenet of the FIRE philosophy is to never pay for something unless you absolutely have to. Most practitioners are experts in couponing, dumpster diving, and hitting up contacts for free stuff. Many would rather live at home with parents instead of wasting money on rent, and will never eat out unless it’s paid for. 

It applies to every area of life, including entertainment. For example, if a FIRE fanatic is fancying a fun night of casino games such as slot machines, they’d rather do it for free. That’s why they’d only ever opt for an online casino which offers free spins so that they don’t have to fork out their own cash for every game. They take this idea and apply it everywhere else too.

Source: Pixabay

Save, Save, Save 

If hustling for freebies is the first rule of FIRE, saving like crazy is the second. FIRE followers believe people on any income can save a substantial portion of their income if they are prepared to make the required lifestyle changes.

In order to reduce outgoings, practitioners will do everything from living on a houseboat to moving to a developing country, to living on subsistence diets, to making clothes last several years at a time. Importantly, those savings should be diverted into high-interest accounts and 401Ks.

Low Risk, Reliable Investments

Cash isn’t the only route to FIRE. Investments are a crucial part of it too. Most adherents keep it low-risk and spread out. They’ll typically place their income into “tracker funds”, which follow the stock market and charge low fees as they are not actively managed.

They will also invest in sure-thing assets such as property, land, and dividends from top companies. If they get lucky and any of these assets skyrocket in value, then they can clock out a few years earlier than planned. 

There is no easy route to FIRE but there are tenets from this movement that we should all apply to our personal finances. We might not be fortunate enough to be able to retire early but the principles above are all necessary for healthy finances.

Retirement Planning Through Dividend Growth Investing

Dividends are returns you get on stock purchased of a company. When a person buys stocks, he basically becomes a partial owner of the company. Thus, when the company earns profits, the partial owner gets paid part of those profits.

The way stock-holding companies work is one of these two:

  1. Re-investing the profits back into the business, leading to a rise in stock value
  2. Paying out the profits to the stock-holder in the form of dividends

Simply put, dividends are the company’s profits, and as dividends are paid per stock, the more the number of stocks owned, the higher the dividends paid. This also implies that the higher the profits earned, the higher are the dividends paid out.

Stock, however, needs to be owned before the ex-dividend date if dividends are to be paid out to the stockholder. This date is set by the stock exchanges and not by the company itself. As a stockholder, you would need to buy your stocks on or before the ex-dividend date to be eligible for dividend payouts.

Dividends as a Retirement Income

Carefully invested stocks can lead to a comfortable nest egg that can support a person through their retirement age. To build upon this, there are several ways you can ensure that the payouts will keep coming.

  1. Investing in a company which has a steadily increasing trend of dividend pay-outs can form a retirement income that keeps pace with steadily rising inflation. To get a list of companies which have historically paid out increasing dividends over the years, you could refer to Dividend Aristocrats. This is a list of publicly traded companies that have maintained a policy of regularly increasing dividend payouts at every few periods and can be found on the Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Dividend Aristocrats page.

This is a comforting deal for persons who are not ready to invest in high-risk stocks, and yet have the security of assured quarterly pay-outs.

 

  1. A stockholder may also choose to purchase stocks which offer high dividend payouts, rather than those which offer steadily increasing payouts. This is made easier by websites which do the complicated work of screening high-dividend paying stocks for you. By referencing and researching these sites, you can invest in higher pay-outs which can help build up a nest egg.

In the short run, this is a safer bet than relying on an annually increasing dividend income.

 

  1. A stockholder may also invest in a dividend income fund rather than buying individual dividend paying stocks. In this manner, you would own many stocks, each of which would pay out a small dividend. The dividends of all these stocks are then collected and paid out at the end of each quarter.

Such smaller stocks own a lower risk of losing their basic value, and by owning several such small stocks, you are still assured a comfortable dividend pay-out.

 

A Word of Caution

It is pertinent to be careful when investing in stocks. If you choose stocks only for their high payouts, you would run the risk of buying stock from a company that is in trouble. Typically, the dividend payout of a company appears to have increased when it is in trouble because it is compared to the lowered stock value.

A company that is in trouble could lower its dividend payout at any time due to lowered profits, dragging its stock value down with it. If you are not good at screening such stocks, you would be safer sticking to a stock fund that has previously worked for you. You can find our undervalued dividend growth stock screener criteria here.

To sum up on dividends as a tool for retirement income, it is important to remember that investing in stocks is always a risky matter. Stock values are never steady in the share market and will sway as the company functions. And therefore will the income vary.

But if you stick it out, the dividend income will be worth the perseverance.

Author Bio: Millionaire Mob is a blog focused on things that we truly enjoy: Travel Photography, Travel Rewards, Passive Income, Dividend Growth Investing and Personal Finance advice. I hope to provide the best advice to help you learn and grow along the way. Join the mob of financial freedom experts and escalate your life. Follow us on Twitter @MillionaireMob2 or Instagram @millionaire.mob!

Are Canadians making Embarrasing Financial Decisions?

 

ispos-survey

According to a recent Ipsos survey commissioned by LowestRates.ca, Canadians are jumping into big financial decisions too quickly.

Canadians, in general, are committed to finding a bargain. But when it comes to the most important personal financial decisions, many are not conducting their due-diligence. The average Canadian, for example, spends less time choosing a mortgage provider than planning a vacation.

I found these survey results of the personal financial habits of Canadians, pertaining specifically to major decisions, like choosing a mortgage provider, very interesting!

It is interesting comparing how much time we spend thinking of vacation destinations and paint colours versus shopping for a good mortgage rate or insurance premium!

It’s hard to fault people for allotting more time to more enjoyable tasks in life. Part of the fun of vacationing is the planning. It’s something people like to do. Selecting a paint colour isn’t necessarily fun in the same way, but it is a decision that impacts people in a tangible manner, on a daily basis.

Whereas premiums and monthly payments might make us cringe they are something we only face once a month (or less), and oftentimes the action required to make those payments is automated. The paint in our bedroom is something we see everyday, which in that sense, certainly makes choosing one we like looking at seem like a monumental decision.

But of course this perception is skewed to favour immediate, visible gratification. Choosing a mortgage provider or auto insurer may be strenuous, boring or even painful, and the results of that decision are not quickly obvious, yet still, the actual impact of choosing one mortgage provider over the other will have a far greater impact than saving a $100 on a flight. And it goes without saying that the money saved by choosing the most cost-efficient mortgage provider puts the money in your pocket to indulge a little more with travel or home decor. The irony!

Here is a link to the official survey results.

Managing Expectations with Forex Trading

There has always been a certain amount of sensationalism in regards to financial investments. In fact, you may have stumbled across online articles which promise “get-rich-quick” Forex strategies.

interest-rate-explains

You could have read accounts of traders who amassed tens of thousands of pounds within a few months thanks to their secret “sure-fire” strategies. Many novice traders have become enamoured by such high expectations only to find that their profits are not nearly as stellar as they had initially hoped. How can you effectively temper your expectations against the reality of the Forex markets?

 

Understand Smoke and Mirrors

 

There are literally hundreds of marketing schemes which claim to provide you with a single strategy to capitalise on Forex positions. While this is a tempting dream, the reality is that such spurious promises are more marketing schemes than truth. Appreciate that the concept “one size fits all” does not exist within the currency markets. In the very same way, patience and time breed results. There is no doubt that a few lucky traders have enjoyed massive windfalls from time to time, but these individuals represent the exception as opposed to the rule.

 

Managing Greed

 

Expectation is dangerous word, for it can frequently cause unrealistic hopes to override logic. Much like in the real world, financial freedom tends to be the result of hard work and dedication. This same concept should be embraced when embarking upon any Forex trade. Think big and trade small. You will be pleasantly surprised at how seemingly meagre profits will conglomerate into larger gains as they add up. Greed has been the downfall of many currency traders. Avoiding this habit from the beginning will provide you with a stable foundation into the future.

 

The Role of the Trading Platform

 

The trading platform plays a critical role in the success of any investor. Not all are created equally. It is foolish to expect great things from mediocre software packages. Only choose systems which provide the transparency and tools necessary to gain an electronic edge. CMC Markets has specifically tailored such architecture around the needs of the modern trader. With such levels of clarity, it is much easier to cement realistic goals and mute the natural risks associated with currency trading.

 

Reality Check

 

The simple truth is that those who enter into the Forex markets expecting to become overnight millionaires are destined to be disheartened and disappointed. While there are trillion of dollars of volume within this sector every day, nothing but hard work (and the occasional setback) will pay off. Wealth takes time and thankfully, time is on your side. Always have a goal in mind and utilise each successive trade to navigate one step closer. Reality can be a potent friend in such cases.

 

Common sense should always moderate your expectations. Keeping a positive outlook is essential, but refrain from assuming that a million-pound trade is just around the corner. This will help you to avoid mistakes while over time, sustainable wealth becomes reality as opposed to a far-off myth.

Ways to Diversify Your Income Online

Perhaps your grandfather worked for 40 years in the same back-braking, hard labor job, payed into a pension and then retired off it. However, this day and age, there are so many ways to diversify your income that relying merely on the salary of your day job and counting only on your pension are archaic notions. And we can be thankful for that! No offense to grandpa, but if there is a better way to do it which allows you to be more comfortable and financially secure in the end, then why not try it?

money-92

Whether you are paying off your student loan, trying to get out of consumer debt, or padding your retirement nest egg, there are many good reasons to diversify your income or to generate a multi-stream income flow. Of course when many people hear this, they think right away of large-scale investment strategies, like investing in the stock market or in real estate. However, for those who want to diversify their income even further or want to find low-risk ways of generating a side hustle, there are other options out there that might not so quickly come to mind. Paying into a pension is fantastic, and maintaining a lucrative stock portfolio is great, but here are a few other ways that you can make money on the side to generate a flow of revenue that you can fall back on.

1. Blogging and Freelance Writing

Yes this can be time intensive, but it can also bring in a nice little bit of side money to cushion your nest egg. Freelance writing for sites that will pay you to guest post is perhaps the easier option, since it is a little less time-intensive. However, if you are hoping that your side income gig can also advance your career, then starting your own blog using a company like 1&1 is the way to go. Because you can ensure that your name remains attached to every post – some blogs and sites that pay you to post do not publish the article under your name – you can ensure that you establish yourself as an authority in your industry. What’s more, once your blog grows in popularity, you will have ample opportunity to monetize your blog. One monetization technique that will also further your career is if you sell some kind of product or service with your blog: sell helpful e-books, coaching or tutoring services, consultations, an online course, etc.

2. Freelance Design Work

With all of the tools at our disposal, it is becoming easier to get involved in design work. Whether that is offering help with web design, or designing e-books, there are many opportunities out there for people willing to do that work. Dedicating a couple of weekends here and there to some design projects can be a great way to bring in a little extra money. If it is within your skill set, offering assistance to help people optimize their sites instead of designing them is a very lucrative service to get into.

3. A Penny for Your Thoughts: Focus Groups

For something a little less time-intensive, you can sign up to be a part of focus groups and get paid merely to voice your opinion on particular products or services. This is an easy side hustle because all you have to do is be completely honest, which doesn’t take a lot of energy or creativity.

Finding the Best CFD Trading Platforms

The Forex market is one of the most liquid and fluid trading markets out there. With more volume than either stocks or commodities, and with leverage allowing for the control of large amounts of currency the opportunities for massive gains because of even the smallest market movements is really hard to ignore. In many ways the Forex is seen as the Wild West of trading since there are so many opportunities and such an open and constantly moving market to take advantage of.

forex

One of the opportunities is to trade with CFD. The only thing you need to start trading though is a reliable platform. But, how do you choose one among so many different CFD trading platforms online?

What Do Great CFD Trading Platforms Have?

The first thing to look for when narrowing down the list of your top CFD trading platforms is to make sure every platform you are considering meets a basic set of standards. The first is all too often overlooked, but what operating system do you use on your trading computer? Some CFD trading software works great on every single program while there are different reviews that will point out one platform really shines on Mac while others are specifically Linux based, and others work or have problems on Windows, and so on and so forth.

Make sure the trading platforms you’re looking at actually work on the system you use. A good idea is to look for a program that runs on Java and thus goes directly with an Internet connection. Because of that, those types of programs tend to work better on any system as long as it has a high quality Internet connection (a must for any CFD trader).

Ask yourself these questions:

– Is the software free?

– Can you record trades on the charts to test out new trading strategies?

– Can you trade directly from the moving price charts, or do you have to go to another screen to do this?

– What brokers can you work with using this software?

If you can find a platform that gives you good answers to these questions then you are on your way.

What Names Keep Coming Up on Top?

Finding a completely unbiased review on brokers and the preferred CFD trading platforms of note can be difficult since so many companies with good websites have “skin in the game,” so to speak, but there are some names that come up quite often such as:

– XTrade

– Forex.com

– MBT Web & MBT MAC (depends on your operating system)

– IG Spread Betting (best for UK users)

– OANDA trade platforms

These names come up a lot in discussions of great platforms, although the list of the top current trading platforms can change a lot from year to year, and deciding on a broker first is a solid decision to make before going on to get a great connecting platform.

In Conclusion

It’s easy to understand why a trader would want to find best available CFD trading platforms. The better the platform, the better the results, right? However there are many different trading platforms out there, and finding one that counts as “the best” can be challenging since each person is going to have a different home monitor setup, a different preference when it comes to trading charts, and because of that what’s perfect for one trader might not be the best available option for another.

Kick Start Your Career with Computer Systems Institute

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After all there is more to you than just your education, you’ve worked hard to establish your expertise and it’s time to tell your interviewer.

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Computer systemes Institute

 

Below are 4 reasons your career specific training makes you the best hire for the job.

1. You’ve got more practical skill than the average grad student.

2. You will need less on the job training.

3. You have career specific training.

4. You’re equipped to advance.

 

Infographic: Hire Education - 4 Reasons Your Career Specific Training Makes You the Best Hire
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