Month: December 2015

E-commerce and Mobile: 10 Easy Powerful Tricks to Sell More

According to research carried out by PayPal, which examined more than 17,000 consumers in 22 countries around the world, one-third of online shoppers uses mobile devices to make a purchase.

Mobile commerce, that is the management of commercial transactions via smartphones and tablets, has existed for at least fifteen years: in the late ’90s, Coca-Cola installed vending machines that accept payment via SMS text messages, and a few years later the possibility to pay train tickets directly from mobile phones was introduced in Austria.
However, it is only in recent years that purchases from mobile have seen an exponential growth: PayPal’s research reveals an annual growth rate of 42% in the period between 2013 and 2016.

Searching on mobile, conversion on desktop

Despite the growth of mobile, there is a fact that speaks volumes: the conversion rate on smartphones is 0.8% against 2.78% on desktops and users who clicked on “Add to cart” on mobile are less than half of those on PC.

It seems clear that, despite the fact that more consumers surf online to shop, this often does not lead to purchase. People use their smartphones to search for information about products, to compare prices, perhaps even get themselves intrigued by new products and promotions, but then they would rather complete the purchase on desktop.

When optimization is a stranger

There are different reasons why people are reluctant to purchase on mobile. According to Paypal’s research, 34% of people say the problem lies in the physicality of the device. The screen size is too small to allow an easy visualization and navigation of the purchase procedure. 18% of users blame it instead on the lack of site optimization, the content layout and difficulty in finding information.

Today, mobile commerce offers a great opportunity to all brands, because thanks to smartphones people can shop anytime, anywhere, multiplying purchasing opportunities. But this opportunity still too rarely results into business, because most of these e-commerce businesses are not yet ready to make the mobile purchase path easy, simple and fast.

M-commerce: undoubtedly fast, but without improvising

For anyone who has an e-commerce business, thinking mobile is a priority that should not be put off anymore: 204 million dollars were spent on these devices in 2014, while in 2018 transactions will be 626 million, three times as much. According to an article on Entrepreneur.com, if you aren’t building e-commerce businesses with mobile in mind, you may be irrelevant in three to five years. Before starting, however, it is important to analyze your objectives and targets, to observe the profiles and behaviors of consumers on mobile, which do not always coincide with those on other channels: the audience is generally young people. According to Paypal, 59% of shoppers on mobile between 18 and 34 years old use their phone to surf for about 3 hours a day (source: eMarketer) and they prefer in 63% of cases (source: Econsultancy) e-commerce businesses that have rich contents, which give detailed descriptions and product reviews. From this first general guideline, we can define the specific audience of the brand. You should always keep them in mind when designing and implementing all these improvements that make the shopping experience on your e-commerce business better and more evolved.

Here is a series of effective tricks to get you started:

#1 Enrich your content: although mobile experience is the emblem of immediacy, when it comes to choosing a product people love to have in-depth information. Therefore you should put detailed descriptions for each item, and you could even add videos illustrating the assembly instructions, functions or its use.

#2 Encourage reviews: Descriptions are important but opinions on your products spontaneously left by costumers are 12 times more (source: Econsultancy). To encourage them, put and highlight under each item a field where they can leave a review and make sure that the publishing procedure is as simple as possible, even on mobile.

#3 Choose explanatory photos: Given the small size of the screen, the pictures should tell what the product is about in a clear and attractive way and highlight its strengths. Make sure they are in good quality and easy to view.

#4 Use legible font sizes: To read the texts, whether they are titles, descriptions or buttons, users should not have to zoom in or move horizontally or vertically to see the whole page. Make sure all the important information are already shown on the opening page.

#5 Scrolling is better: Every link involves a waiting time to open a new page, which is not particularly appreciated on mobile. Structure your information as a single sequence that can be viewed through scrolling, so that users can smoothly pass from one content to another without interrupting their navigation.

#6 Customize your message: The e-commerce app is particularly useful to communicate to users instantly and in a personalized way: thanks to push notifications you can inform customers who have purchased one of your products when a similar or complementary product is on sale.

#7 Enable booking: Considering that many users search for products on mobile but then buy them on desktop, you should provide the opportunity to book an item, so that they can buy it at a later time.

#8 Add Social Medias: 28% of online activity is spent on social networks (source: Social Times) and there are 1.65 million active users on mobile (source: Wersocial). Make sure that they talk about your e-commerce business by adding social sharing buttons on each product and by promoting your best articles on your social medias.

#9 Make payments easy: Purchasing through apps offers consumers the convenience of not having to enter their data each time they make a payment. 26% of consumers consider it a significant advantage (source: Skrill). Ensure the possibility for costumers to use all major credit and debit cards and allow them to complete the purchase path in just a few clicks.

#10 Optimize your efforts: If you can’t apply most of these tips on your e-commerce business or the app currently in use, it may be appropriate to rethink it from scratch and to rely on skilled programmers or web designers. Alternatively, if you have limited time and budget, you can choose an online system to create apps and mobile sites on your own, like mob.is.it, without having graphics or programming skills, and they will be ready in a few minutes with its full features, also for e-commerce.

Experience is the key to commerce, even on mobile

It’s a fact: mobile commerce will continue to evolve and it is possible that these and other winning tricks today will be completely outdated in a few years. How to keep up with the times? By choosing a flexible e-commerce system and remaining faithful to your role: even in the mobile era a marketer’s task is to keep their eyes open and think about the consumers, what can truly satisfy their desires for comfort, immediacy, and simplicity in the purchase path. As stated by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, “If you do build a really great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” Do your costumers talk to each other about your e-commerce business? Make sure that the answer is yes.

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Don’t be Pigeon-holed by Google’s Local Algorithm Changes

On July 24, 2014, Google updated its local search algorithm, setting out to make local search more relevant, more accurate and more useful for users. Pigeon aimed to do that by incorporating ranking signals into local optimization that are similar to traditional web search ranking factors.

Along with bringing traditional search ranking back into the local fold, Pigeon improved Google’s location and distance parameters. This was coupled with a somewhat sweeping redesign for local optimization thanks to Google Pigeon, where cities are no longer geographical entities. Pigeon effectively sliced and diced cities into “neighborhoods” resulting in a smaller search radius for local search queries.

This shook up the SERPs. Some businesses lost the rank they had achieved by optimizing for cities, while some local businesses ended up in different places, at first causing a panic and leaving local SEOs begging the question “what now?”

If you feel you have been Pigeon-holed into a less desirable position due to changes in the local search algorithm, you are in luck because we have some suggestions to help you get back on your feet.

1. Neighborhoods don’t go by just one name

Neil Patel pointed out on Search Engine Land that there is a colloquial name that a neighborhood has as well as a formal one. Making a comparison similar to his, a local New Yorker might say “Alphabet City” whereas a tourist might call it the “East Village.” Not only that, Patel went on to posit that the Pigeon algorithm updates would return better results for queries that incorporate usage for both colloquial and formal terms. By optimizing for both types of keywords you leverage this fact, and for competitive niches, it may be easier to rank higher and capitalize on the less competitive neighborhood synonym.

2. Optimize Your Local Directories, and Use them as a Source of Information

Pigeon places importance on local directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Urban Spoon. Make sure you have a presence on all local directories that are important to your niche and make sure they are well optimized. Directories are a great source of information for your local optimization efforts. If you want to harvest keywords that tourists are using, read relevant reviews.

3. Don’t Change Your NAP

Although your city keywords may now have to be oriented with neighborhood keywords, don’t change the NAP (name, address and phone number) that you have been using. Your NAP is integral to a successful local SEO strategy.

4. Have Traditional Values

Shift some of the focus on your local optimization to traditional SEO optimization tactics. According to Moz, on-page signals total out to 21% of local ranking factors. So place your keywords in the title tag, work on increasing your on-page domain authority, and pump out that optimized content.

5. Don’t Panic, Make a Good Website Instead

Finally, to quote “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – Don’t Panic! As with any major change in the SEO community, the initial reaction to Pigeon seemed to be very large. After the dust settled with it, however, the feelings about it became somewhat neutral, according to a poll run by BrightLocal during a webinar called The Impact of Pigeon Update back in December 2014. 53% of the respondents thought the change was negative – making the consensus about 50/50. 69% felt that the user now enjoys positive changes from Pigeon, and the majority felt as though there were little or no changes to their business.

This of course varies in context – the niche and circumstances of the business definitely come into play. Most local SEO experts now advise local businesses to beef up their brand recognition and focus on optimizing for location.

The Bottom Line:

Although at this stage in the game, this last word of advice may seem cliché, it will be offered. If you place most of your focus on just maintaining a quality site that is relevant and helpful to your audience, you should be able to navigate through algorithm changes with ease. The fact is Google wants to keep its job as a search engine, and it does this by returning quality sites that are relevant to what users are looking for. Focus on this fact, and you ultimately won’t find yourself pigeonholed by updates to algorithms.

Kristin rankin works for BBEX ,An internet marketing consulting company located in Boca Raton,Florida.BBEX is one of a top SEO company in Florida specializes in website designing,SEO,Social media and other online marketing strategies to assist your company for getting more leads and business .

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9 PR Stunts that Backfired Big Time

PR is undoubtedly a critical aspect in modern business. Well executed PR has the potential to yield significant brand recognition and revenue. Bad PR on the other hand… it has the potential to completely cripple a company’s integrity. Any publicity is good publicity you say? Well you will surely disagree with that figure of speech after reading a few of these.

1. Paramount Pictures PR Fail

2014 saw the long awaited Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie grace our silver screens. However, an unfortunate coincidence with the poster sparked anger across social media.
Clearly, paramount’s less than diligent marketing team failed to pick on the link between the release date of the film and the shelled quartet leaping from an exploding skyscraper. Needless to say, Paramount pictures received a lot of negative press for this blunder.

2. UK Supermarket Horse Meat Scandal

Who could forget this sensational scandal? Back in 2013, the UK media practically exploded when Irish food inspectors announced they had discovered traces of horse DNA in the meat products of many top UK supermarket chains.

As a result, sales of frozen meat products plummeted overnight, with many supermarkets forced to offer public apologies in the form of adverts and newspaper spreads.
Inadvertently, this scandal helped drive sales for many UK butchers in a kind of ‘knock on’ effect. I bet the supermarkets weren’t anticipating that!

3. Ghettopoly

Although this scandal is old enough to be considered ‘retro’, it is still a perfect example of PR gone wrong.

‘Ghettopoly’, based on the popular board game monopoly, caused a major stir after offending many minority communities in the US. This controversial board game substitutes hotels for crack houses and even replaces the loveable thimble with a rock of crack cocaine.

Needless to say, Hasbro (the creators of monopoly) aren’t too happy with this parody of their iconic board game and are even using the negative press surrounding this pariah to launch a legal dispute against the game. Unfortunately, Hasbro lost the dispute due to the fact that they do not own the rights to monopoly.

Peter Herbert, the chairman of the society of black lawyers is quoted to have said: “I can’t remember seeing anything quite as racist or stereotypical for a long time. It’s the sort of game the SS would like to play”.

4. Belkin review scandal

Consumer electronics conglomerate Belkin suffered a spate of bad press after an employee advertently used a crowdsourcing platform to generate positive reviews.

A Belkin employee utilising Amazon’s crowdsourcing service – Mechanical Turk – to generate fake reviews can only be described as a PR blunder of monumentally idiotic proportions.

The actions of this individual have caused the company to come under scrutiny from the tech world, forcing the company’s president to release a formal apology and a swift dismissal for the offending employee,

5. Auto industry CEOs fly in private jets to plead for bailouts

In possibly the most furiously ironic PR fail ever, CEOs from General Motors, Ford and Chrysler flew to Washington in their private jets to plead for a $25 Billion bailout of taxpayer money.

Now, don’t be so quick to judge. Those CEOs are probably so used to travelling in uber-luxury that they’ve forgotten their dire financial situation.

It has been estimated that their plane journeys cost approximately $20,000 each. Pocket change when you’re begging for billions. Still, this stunt infuriated a fair few members of the public. However, the CEO’s have acknowledged this and will be attending in hybrid vehicles in future

6. Sainsbury’s 50p challenge

Now, you really must be fresh out of marketing ideas if you hang a poster in your store window ASKING people to spend more. Well that’s exactly what UK superstore Sainsbury’s did, and became the butt of many jokes thereafter.

Except this poster wasn’t meant for the public, It was actually intended to be displayed in the staff room in a bid to get employees to encourage more spending amongst customers. Needless to say, these types of PR stunts work better when the customers are not aware of your motives.

Perhaps even funnier still, supermarket chain Lidl released a poster in the wake of the Sainsbury’s gaffe, encouraging every one of their customers to save as many 50p’s as possible.

It just goes to show, one can always benefit from someone else’s bad PR.

7. McDonalds twitter fail

If you’re looking for a good source of PR fails and blunders, look no further than twitter. Whilst twitter may be an excellent platform for companies to connect with their audience and increase brand recognition, it also gives your audience voice, much to the dismay of McDonalds…

McDonalds started this twitter campaign – #McDStories – with the honest aim of spreading good news about the fast food firm… and you could say that it backfired big time!

Within minutes, thousands of twitter users descended on McDonalds, each describing their gruesome tales of their own McDonalds experiences. Even animal rights activists PETA got in on the action!

8. Malaysia Airlines Ultimate Bucket list
Now this doesn’t sound too offensive, I mean, everyone’s got a bucket list right? There’s nothing offensive about a bucket list is there?

Well, let me just say that Malaysian Airlines timing could not of been worse with this social media campaign. Since the disappearance of MA flight 370 and the destruction of MA flight 17, in which a total of 537 lives were lost, a bucket list seems a bit insensitive considering.

Malaysia Airlines agreed and has since rebranded the campaign to ‘win an ipad or flight to Malaysia’, thereby avoiding further potential PR fiascos.

9. Hurricane Sandy Sale

Many Americans will remember hurricane Sandy as the most destructive force on the East coast for generations. Not to mention the people who lost their lives. Clothing Company American Apparel on the other hand was capitalising on the disaster.

Using the slogan “In case you’re bored during the storm” and offering 20% off everything, American Apparel launches a marketing campaign to profit from the disaster.
Many were appalled by the underhandedly exploitative nature of the sale and vehemently voiced their opinions on twitter.

About the author

This post was written by Mark from Phipps PR. Mark is an online PR fanatic and he loves finding creative ways to get better exposure – hopefully with making a faux pas like the ones above! Mark’s background is in business management but he is also part time coder and loves everything related to the internet.

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Making Money from Blogging

A lot of people blog for different reasons. Some do it to share their knowledge and experience, while others may do it for more professional reasons; blogs are very effective for building professional image and establish authority in certain fields. Whatever your reasons may be, you would want to make money from blogging. I have to warn you: making money from blogging is not an easy thing to do. That said, these next few tips will help you get started without a problem.

Establish Your Blog

Before you can start monetizing your blog, you need to have an established blog in the first place. If you don’t have one already, not would be a good time to start. You may be tempted to start with a free blog, one that is built using the available free blogging platforms; I can tell you right now, that is not the best way to start.

To have an established blog, you need a few things:

– A logo or a brand that signifies the name and values of your blog.

– A dedicated domain name and also get your blog hosted somewhere reputable. Use a name that represents who you are or what your blog is all about.

– Content. A lot of quality content.

Establishing your own blog doesn’t have to be all that complicated. There are a lot of tools that you can use to help you. When setting up your site, for instance, you can use a content management system (CMS) that you are already familiar with, such as self-hosted WordPress.

Now that you have your blog established, the next thing you need is….

High Quality Content and Resources

A blog is only as good as the articles and other content in it. Great design and pleasing visuals will get users happy, but it’s the content that will eventually make them stay (and return). Similar to establishing the blog in the first place, creating high quality articles and other content for your blog can be really simple.

Start with topics you are familiar with the most. You can share personal experiences and expertise on various subjects. Don’t worry about creating articles that sell just yet. Just focus on writing articles that users will find valuable. How-tos and tutorials, tips and tricks, news or updates as well as general stories can help build up your authority in the particular field you are writing.

Stick to a certain topic and let users identify your blog with it. I know how tempting it is to write about all kinds of things. To be honest, I started my blog doing just that: writing about anything from my day-to-day life to recipes and tech-related posts. Eventually, you will have to decide on a topic or a field you want to focus on.
Don’t forget to write. Just write. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Don’t even sweat the small details. Just start writing and start filling your blog with quality articles. The rest will take care of itself.

Promote – Reach Out – Build Relationships

Once you have enough articles on your blog, it is time to start promoting it. Attracting users is much easier than it was a few years ago. You now have social networks, multiple promotional tools and thousands of other blogs and websites talking about the same set of topics. These make promoting your blog a lot easier to do.

There are a few things you can do to jumpstart your blog’s promotions:

– Go on social media and start engaging users directly. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the main social networks to target. Share articles, talk about updates and don’t forget to respond to your followers. You’ll be surprised by just how quickly you can gain traction on social media. Here is a great article on how to double your visitors.

– Use paid promotions and ads, especially when you don’t have to pay for them. Web hosting companies often give away ad credits for free. These free credits can be used to place AdWords and Facebook ads and both are very effective for promoting blogs.

– Last but certainly not least, connect with other blogs. Visit other blogs that interest you and leave comments; genuine comments. Instead of spamming multiple blogs with generic comments, write insightful comments that will get the attention of the sites’ owners and other users. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the sites’ owners for the possibilities of writing a guest post and doing a cross-promotion.

Spend enough time socializing and promoting your blog and you will be able to maintain a steady stream of traffic. Once the traffic reaches a certain level, you are ready to start making money from your blog.

Monetize!

From what we have discussed so far, making money from blogging is actually 80% blogging. The remaining 20%, this part we are in right now, is when you start capitalizing on what you have accomplished as a blogger.

You can make money from blogging thanks to a wide range of opportunities currently available, including:

– Image, video and text ads. Three are a lot of ad networks that allow you to earn money from your blog’s traffic. Find a good one to join, place the ads on your blog and you are all set.

– Paid reviews and advertorials. You can get paid to post an article on a particular topic. A lot of professional bloggers earn most of their revenues from advertorials.

– Offline revenue sources, such as seminars and talks. Once you have established yourself as the authoritative figure though your blog, you may be invited to do a seminar or a talk for a fee.

– Merchandising and online sales. You can start selling merchandises or other products related to your niche. You can even produce your own products that you think users will be able to benefit from.

I will let you in on a little secret: the key to earning a good stream of revenue from blogging is to actually implement multiple monetizing techniques. Understand your audience and choose the right opportunities to implement.

Still want to learn more about making money from blogging? Be sure to subscribe for more updates. I will discuss different monetizing opportunities in details on another post.

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How to Make a Full-Time Income by Adding a Storefront to Your Blog

Creating and selling your own product lets you open a steady flow of passive income that may last long.

Unlike monetizing your website with advertisements, you don’t necessarily need to have a huge traffic base to make a solid income. Other blog monetization models such as sponsored posts, paid reviews and affiliate marketing might come off as a little out of sync to your trusting audience.

That being said, selling products on your blog is not a get rich scheme. However, with the right strategies it is totally possible to make a full-time income by adding a storefront while selling your own product.

In this article, I will show you how to make huge profits by adding an ecommerce storefront to your blog.

What to sell?

Before jumping in to start a storefront on your blog, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is ‘what to sell’.

Unless you got hit with a brilliant idea, deciding what you should be selling on your blog can be tougher. With all the available technologies, though there are thousands of possible choices to create, everything might seem like as it’s been done by someone else already.

Here are a few suggestions for brainstorming product ideas.

  • Look for an opportunity gap and try solving your own problem: Create a product that can solve your own problem. By solving your own problem, more likely you’re also solving a problem of others.
  • Validate the market: Before creating it, ask your followers if it helps to solve their problems. You can also walk through your niche forums and sites like Quora.com to see if your product can solve a common pain point of your potential customers.
  • Digital or physical product: Creating and selling digital products such as ebooks and online courses are easier than creating a physical product such as books. However, the profit margin will be huge when it comes to selling a physical product. Decide which option might be a good fit for you and go with it.
  • Pricing: Pricing your product is as important as the product creation itself. If you’re not a well-known face among your niche circles, it might be harder to sell high priced products, so rather you should consider selling low priced products at first. After getting a nice start, in order to raise more revenue, you can think about expanding your product lines by releasing new products on a consistent basis or focus on selling a single higher priced product.

Should you start selling?

Once you decided what you should be selling, the very next step is to look at how to sell.

You might have started blogging for a while. However, it doesn’t guarantee that you could run a successful ecommerce store on your blog by simply rolling it out and thus make huge profits.

For instance, if you didn’t launch a product previously on your blog, chances are your readers might expect everything from you for free. That’s a wrong mindset to be in. As a seller, what you could do to change that mindset is to nurture your prospects carefully throughout each customer lifecycle, so that they eventually buy products from your store.

Define your unique selling proposition: You need to define who your potential customers are and why they’d need your product.

Create a minimum viable product: Launch your product to a small group of people and get early feedback. Yaro Starak uses this approach to sell his premium plugin. He made a preselling campaign and asked his readers to buy the beta product for just $5. This strategy has not only helped him to get early funding but also valuable feedback before launching the final product.

Choose an ecommerce platform

As hundreds of different ecommerce platforms are available, it is easy to get overwhelmed with different choices. In fact, each platform has its own pros and cons. Some of them will charge you on the basis of total sales whereas some others will charge a monthly fee. In fact, there are even some other open source choices that charge you almost nothing.

To get a quick idea about which platform is best suits your needs, you can use a recommendation engine such as WebAppMeister. What it does is it does a head to head comparison between ecommerce apps and helps you pick one that seems to be the best choice for you.

If you’re a WordPress blogger, below are some of popular shopping cart choices.

E-junkie- For selling digital products

E-junkie is one of the easiest ways to start selling digital products such as ebooks on your blog. All you need to do is to register an account on e-junkie and provide some basic info about your products and business. Copy the buy now button from the e-junkie admin panel and paste it on your blog where you’d like to sell it. Once you did it, E-junkie will take care about everything else.

Price: The monthly cost starts from $5 onwards.

You can visit e-junkie website here.

Woocommerce- For both digital and physical products

Woocommerce is a popular ecommerce plugin that lets you easily add a storefront to your blog. According to datanyze.com, Woocommerce is the shopping platform of choice for almost 22% of ecommerce websites in the Alexa Top 1 million sites.

It is best suitable if you’re looking for adding a storefront that can easily integrate with your current blog.

Price: The Woocommerce plugin costs free. However, you may require buying additional plugins for making a fully featured ecommerce site.

Visit Woocommerce official site here.

Start selling

Once you picked the platform, it’s time to start selling by adding a storefront to your blog and setting up the products on it.

Here are a few ways you can spread the word out of your new store.

Promote on your network: You can promote the news about the store throughout your blog and social network.

Special offers: Consider offering huge discounts to early customers.

Remarketing: It is a clever way to show ads to your blog visitors who haven’t purchased a product from your store. The best thing is that the CTR for remarketing ads will be comparatively low.

Invite affiliates: Invite other bloggers in your niche as an affiliate marketer for your product.

Have you ever considered selling on your blog? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

 

Author bio: Shahzad Saeed is a freelance blogger and content marketer who has been featured in top internet marketing blogs like Problogger and John Chow several times. Connect with him on Twitter @shahzadsaeed.

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Monstroid Theme Giveaway and Promotion

A couple of months ago we wrote a review about a very cool WordPress theme called Monstroid. It was released by the Template Monster guys, and it works a framework on top of WordPress. It basically allows you to configure and customize your theme as easily as possible, among many other features!

Monstroid-logo

The Template Monster folks liked the review and contacted us asking if we would like to give 2 free licenses to the Monstroid theme to our readers, and here we are! The rules to join the contest are pretty simple:

1. Write a comment below stating what kind of website you would like to build with the Monstroid theme.

2. Next Wednesday, December 23, we’ll randomly pick two winners among all those who left a comment.

The name of the winners will be posted as an update on this same post next week, and we’ll also send them an email about it.

If you already have the Monstroid theme you will like to know that Template Monster is having a sale for the child themes. All of them are being offered with 30% discount, and the offer will remain valid until December 21st. You can check the child themes here.

Make sure to leave a comment below and to check the Monstroid theme if you haven’t already!

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Not in eBay Partner Network Yet? You Are Missing Out!

As you probably know, affiliate marketing is one of the best monetization strategies you can use on a blog or website. That is because the earning potential is quite high, and yet the work involved is relatively simple. All you have to do is to promote the products of your affiliate network, and whenever one of your referrals makes a purchase, you receive a commission. That is it. The company selling the product will take care of all the rest, which includes actually delivering the product, customer support and so on.

ebay-network

The only problem involved is that finding a good and reliable affiliate network is not always straightforward. You’ll find some networks that promise really high payouts and commissions, but whether or not you’ll get paid in the end is the question! I have heard all sorts of horror stories in the affiliate marketing world.

If you are getting started or already have some experience with affiliate marketing and want to test new and better networks, there is one that you should check out: eBay Partner Network.

Once you become a partner (their name for “affiliate”), you’ll receive tracking links that you can use to send your audience to the eBay website (or to their partner half.com). Then every time one of your referrals makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission.

The big benefit of becoming an affiliate for eBay is the security that comes with it. eBay has been in business for 20 years, and their affiliate network has also been around since 2001. In other words, you can be sure that the tracking will be accurate, that your earnings will be paid in a timely fashion, and so on.

Still on the fence? They are currently running a campaign where new affiliates will get double commissions for the first 3 months. Check it out!

Wanna learn how to make more money with your website? Check the Online Profits training program!


Google Play Music Family Plan

Google Play Music started to offer a new family plan: $14.99/month for up to 6 family members, just like Apple Music. You and 5 other family members can subscribe to Google Play Music All Access and keep your own playlists, radio stations, ratings and recommendations. The new family plans are available in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, France and Germany, while also requiring regular Google accounts (no Google Apps, for now). You can only sign up from the Google Play Music app for Android, but everything else works for all the platforms supported by Google Play Music.

Google says you can “share a payment method on Google Play so your family can purchase apps, movies, books and music.” It looks like Google will add a family sharing feature for Google Play, so that purchases are shared between family members, just like in iOS. Hopefully, sharing the payment method will be optional.

Save Google’s Image Search Results

If you find beautiful images using Google Image Search’s mobile site, you can save them and organize them using a new Google service. Just tap the star icon next to a search result and the image is saved to your account. Go to google.com/save to see all the images and add tags or notes (the link only works from mobile Chrome and Safari).

“When using your phone or tablet’s web browser, you can easily save images you find in Google search results as links. You can see your saved images, which are similar to bookmarks, when you’re signed in to your Google Account. You can return to your saved images at any time and add tags to organize them,” informs Google.

Reminders in Google Calendar

Google Calendar’s apps for Android and iOS now let you add reminders, just like you can do using Google Keep, Google Search or Google Inbox. This feature is rolling out this week if you have the latest version of the Google Calendar’s mobile app. Until now, you could only see your reminders in Google Calendar.

“You might already create calendar entries to remind you to call the doctor or pick up groceries on the way home. But while those entries come and go, Reminders stick with you over time so you can track them until they are actually done. If a Reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your Calendar the next day. And the next. When you do finally call the doctor or pick up those necessities, just swipe the Reminder away … and you’re onto the next to-do,” informs Google.

Calendar events are different from reminders, but you can now manage them from the same app. Google promises to bring this feature to the Google Calendar web app in the near future.