So you wanted to dig for gold? Well, we’re gonna need them shovels.
There are dozens of new pieces of software released a year but you don’t need to get overwhelmed. Stick to the tried and proven and you’ll be alright. First things first, let’s get that website built…
WordPress. The go-to website builder. It’s been around since 2003 and still kickin’! I am still building all my current websites with WordPress, including my new 2019 site, deadbeat.com
It helps you manage all content in one place. The plugins are like apps for your phone: anything extra you need WordPress to do, there’s probably a plugin for it.
It let’s you upload all your month’s articles at once, and schedule to drip release them to the public. You can also manage blog comments and control spam from within WordPress.
If you grow so big that you have to hire additional writers to help you publish new articles, you can also assign administrator roles, editor roles and other roles to become a content spitting machine!
It has plugins to create landing pages, sales pages, opt in forms to collect emails. If you know a little bit of HTML/CSS code, you can customize parts of it.
It does it all! It’s a blogger’s and affiliate marketer’s best friend and tons of big-name gurus use it. And… it’s free!
You can literally setup a new site within 1-2 hours of installing it. You might need to look around for some custom themes that have little more pizzazz than the out-of-the-box themes it comes with.
I would say it takes a beginner 2 weeks to a month of dedicated focus to learn what all the panels do, but it’s simple stuff and anything you can’t figure out is just a Google search away.
Now that I mention it, you can check out my guide on how to get started with WordPress.
You can enhance the look of your affiliate links using a WordPress plugin called PrettyLinks.
Another useful plugin is called JetPack, which shows you number of visitors to your site (among other useful data).
Fancy Admin UI changes the default color scheme of your admin login screen as well as the color style of your entire dashboard.
WP Sweep will trash the hundreds of unused revisions taking up precious space on your database, the “memory vault” where all your posts are stored. Every time you modify a post, WordPress automatically creates a revision point that allows you to restore an old version. But too many edits can add up quickly and before you know it, your website loads very slowly or working in your dashboard bogs things down.
Duplicate Post If you write 2-3 posts a day back-to-back, and they’re very similar in structure or layout, this plugin allows you to quickly clone a post. From here, you can copy/paste your new content without having to change much else. It’s a time saver.
Elementor I started playing with this. There is a free version that allows you to build custom pages. This is what I used to have my front Home page created. Beyond that, your other blog posts don’t require any customization and the default Text Editor is fine for creating articles and embedding images and videos. I’m also looking into possibly using Divi, since I read a lot of good things about these two industry leaders in WordPress page builders. This one is optional.
I have to check but I think the camera I got right now is the Canon 60D. Some of these DSLR cameras can cost well over $1,000 new but the quality is really professional for doing YouTube product reviews. You can still get great quality from a used model.
As far as microphone, I’ve tested dozens myself. From triple-digit priced ones, shotgun types and handheld recorders. It seems they have serve a different purpose so don’t just buy willy-nilly unless you know what you are looking for.
For example, shotgun mics work best for shooting outdoors and mounting directly on top of your DSLR camera in places where there is so much distracting background noise from crowds or traffic driving by.
The shotgun will narrow its “ear” to record more of what is directly in front of it and ignores sounds coming from the sides. However, you still want to stand within arm’s distance and adjust the gain setting on the mic and the camera to get the best final result.
Do not make the mistake I made of buying a shotgun mic and then standing halfway across the room to record a video.
It will pick up so much room echo (don’t blame the mic, though). It does what it’s designed to do, if used properly. Keep it close (1-2 feet from your head) and set the gain properly so you don’t distort or clip the recording or make it not loud enough. There’s a sweet spot for getting it to sound loud, crisp and clear.
The podcaster mic I have is for studio style recording. Generally, you hang these heavy mics on a special stand that cradles it so no vibrations or handling noise from your hands touching it will get picked up.
You can record really professional voice over with these for doing your affiliate marketing videos (or hire a voice over), or doing your own podcast.
However, my go-to mic time and time again is my cheap $25 clip on lapel mic. It plugs right into my iPhone, which I hide in my pocket.
Because it’s clipped really close to my mouth, it picks up really good audio without any room echo issues.
I’ve been using this economic mic for years now. Best thing is if the wire goes bad or you start getting weird performance after some time, it’s only another $25 for a new one.
I highly recommend these type of mics for beginning affiliate marketers who know that audio is as important, if not more important, than the quality of video you have.
I am not a video editing expert. Lots of my followers are in video production, so I hear names like Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve, Adobe After Effects, Sony Vegas/Magix and tons of others.
These run around $300 but now a days the companies have transitioned into charging a monthly subscription.
Some of these video editors are industry leaders in the film industry so it’s overkill for my purposes.
For our needs as affiliates something like a basic screen recorder is enough. I have used Camtasia for nearly a decade and never changed it.
Lots of my first YouTube videos were done inside Camtasia and it had just enough of what I needed for text overlay, slicing my videos and adding my voice recording.
I can either record something directly from my desktop or slice and dice my DSLR video footage… it does both!
If you are doing simple Powerpoint/KeyNote style videos, in the past I have played with Doodly and VideoMakerFX.
These are more animation style videos with text, and are around $40-$60 or so. They have the animated characters, drawing hand and cool transitions and effects that work wonders to keep people watching your video all the way ’til the end.
I’ve had success with these style, as well.
LongTail Pro & Google AdWords Keyword Tool. When you create content, whether an article for your blog or a video for YouTube, it’s smart to find the best keywords that match up with your product.
Since people type words into Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, you want a tool that gives you a rough idea of which words are being searched for enough that you can use those to guide them towards your blog or YouTube channel.
In the past, I have used LongTail Pro as well as Google’s own keyword tool, Adwords Keyword Tool. The numbers are estimates, I believe, but you get a good idea of which words outperform others and which are not worth looking into.
You can also install a free Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere. As you browse around, it displays keywords related to your search query.
The best product to promote in the beginning is anything around your house that you currently use.
Because if someone asked you about it, you have tons of opinions and experience to share that you can turn into a blog article this very moment.
But if that product doesn’t belong to a company that offers affiliates a chance to promote for them, you have nothing to worrry about. There are literally thousands upon thousands of companies and networks that list companies of any product you can imagine.
You can’t make the excuse of not being able to find any product because everything under the sun is on these affiliate networks and you can spend an entire lifetime promoting as much as you can handle and you’ll never run out.
Check out products from this list (and I’m not even scratching the surface):
I always say that the best way to learn the art and science of writing an article that persuades people to buy is by writing it out yourself.
You’ll get a feel for the style and flow. What you can do is have a dedicated folder on your computer with screen captures of article snippets that you like.
You can check out a site called swiped.co and see an endless collection of marketing inspiration.
Two books in particular that I keep going back to again and again are:
“The Adweek Copywriting Handbook” by Joseph Sugarman (big name in the industry).
This book, I believe, was originally called “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word”, so whichever one you find floating out there is likely the same info. You can get hardcopy or Kindle digital download version.
I like it so much because even though the concepts come out of an era where mail order magazines and physical letters were sent to people’s homes, humans still react to the same thing. I have used lots of ideas from this book to structure the content on my web pages, emails and videos. It goes into how to write headlines that grab attention, the purpose of images in your advertisement and so much more. Lots of funny cartoons to keep you entertained while reading.
“Triggers” by Joseph Sugarman
The book teaches you powerful marketing concepts through personal stories that Sugarman had in his life.
He’s got a clever way to tell stories and all of them have you on the edge of your seat. If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on inside the minds of buyers that actually convinced them to buy, either the first time or repeatedly, this book can teach you some life-changing concepts to apply in your approach with prospects.
Very interesting to learn about people’s psychological triggers .
A quick example: Joseph found a way to get a waitress to serve him the more expensive ice cream for the price of a regular ice cream… 100% ethically and legally. Read the story in Chapter 1!!
For YouTube purposes, I like TubeBuddy. There is also VidIQ. If you are new to keyword tools, you might not have heard of these yet. Just like you would want to know what words people search for to get to your website, the same thing exists for YouTube (by the way, Google owns YouTube).
With TubeBuddy, you can find the best keywords for your next videos as well as spy on competitor keywords.
One of my favorite features is the ability to run split testing on the thumbnails for your videos.
You give it two different thumbnail images, and it will swap them out randomly for you.
After enough days go by, it let’s you know which one seems to be attracting more clicks to your video. Over time, you will develop a sixth sense about what makes people want to click on your thumbnail to watch your videos.
It has dozens of features and it comes as a free Chrome extension. You can pay for the more advanced features. It’s advertised as a tool that helps you grow your YouTube channel.
If you don’t have a camera yet for your presentations or you want to make videos without appearing in them, you can use stock images.
Some websites ask you to give credit to the original creators, and a simple attribution on your website footer or YouTube description is enough to have the legal rights to use these in your work for free.
I recommend Pixabay. If you have the money for it, you can use Shutterstock.
Also, if you have access to an image editor, such as Photoshop, I would highly recommend customizing the stock images you download so that everybody isn’t using the same images everywhere.
You can add text over the image that pertains to your topic, for example. Maybe your article heading or combine two images into one.
You can recommend a product by calling it “a very good product”, or you can say “it’s an irresistible choice that simplifies your life.”
The words you use can put the product in much better light. I created a 7 page at-a-glance 67 word guide for you to download, free.
You can join my Deadbeat Revolution facebook group and click on the left side under “Files” to download it instantly and start using it in your affiliate marketing.
Please don’t just download it and save it “for later.” What I suggest you do is create a new habit of using these words in your day so it becomes second nature.
Spend 10 minutes a day to point at things around your house and work in some words from each category I provide.
Like learning your multiplication tables by heart as a kid, repetition will make these come naturally to you without thinking. They’ll also multiply your income, so get to it!