Is MailChimp free? The answer is yes. The MailChimp Forever Free plan allows you to manage up to 2,000 email subscribers and delivering 12,000 emails monthly.
Is MailChimp safe? Now that you asked, MailChimp is safe for work. If you are sending non-spammy emails, then you are pretty much in a very safe environment. But if you are an affiliate marketer, you may have a problem (or problems if I may).
Let's be honest. Most of you who are reading this is either a blogger, beginner or an Internet marketer. Either way, your goal is to save more money and aim for the highest yield.
I get it and I have the same thoughts as well!
MailChimp Forever Free plan is always good for us especially when you don't have to pay until you hit 2,000 subscribers. Plus, most beginners don't generate over 100 subscribers in a week. So, you are in good hands (at this point in time).
Why do I recommend MailChimp?
MailChimp is great for bloggers, Internet marketers and even business owners who are just starting up in email marketing. Here are some more reasons why you should be using MailChimp Forever Free account:
MailChimp is free
You can be worry-free until you hit 2,000 email subscribers
Beautiful UI and UX design on MailChimp's backend
Drag and drop builder helps you create beautiful email templates
Simple filtering to help you manage your email lists
Very high delivery rates
MailChimp is scaleable
Now, allow me to touch on the last point which is scalability. As your business progresses down the road, you would need to scale your email marketing software because you are going to have more subscribers and need better features for marketing.
You can easily move on to MailChimp paid accounts as low as $9 per month and if you need all the analytical features, there is MailChimp Pro which starts at $199 per month and it is on top of your monthly subscription fees.
MailChimp doesn't allow affiliate marketing, along with several other industries.
While I have seen a 50-50 chance of being caught using MailChimp for promotion the prohibited content, do you want to take the risk?
How to use MailChimp and not get banned?
The rule is simple: Do not spam.
Industries such as affiliate marketing, work from home, make money online and lead generation are known for spamming and we should always avoid doing such.
The quick way to solve this is by ensuring that we send only quality materials through email.
Do you know that you can send educational emails (using MailChimp) pertaining to the sensitive subjects and not breaking the rules?
After all, we all hate spam, don't we?
What are other MailChimp alternatives?
If you are looking for affordable ones, then I would recommend ConvertKit. ConvertKit is known as the MailChimp alternative because it offers very similar features to what MailChimp does, but with some twists.
The biggest and single differentiation between MailChimp and ConvertKit is the way they operate. MailChimp is list-centric and this means that number of subscribers are calculated based on the number of subscribers in the list.
ConvertKit is subscriber-centric and instead of calculating subscriber per list, subscribers can opt into various lists (segments and groups) without being calculated twice.
Do you know that ConvertKit has an awesome dashboard for an all in one view?
In a long run, ConvertKit offers much more saving compared to MailChimp.
The answer is "Hell yes" if you are wondering is MailChimp free. As a seasoned Internet marketer, I have seen and gone through some hell weeks using MailChimp myself (due to own carelessness). MailChimp isn't that bad after all in many sides and it is proven with big brands using it.
As a recap, MailChimp is safe for us if you are in several industries. At the same time, I highly recommend you to take a look at other MailChimp alternatives such as ConvertKit for a more robust email marketing solution.
Hitting 2,000 Email Subscribers Is A Milestone. Here's What To Do Next
We all love MailChimp Forever Free plan, don't we? MailChimp's Forever Free Plan allows you to keep up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 12,000 emails per month. What happens when your MailChimp account has more than 2,000 subscribers?
Here's what I can guarantee you: Headache.
Most of us love anything that doesn't require us to pay for it (for whatever it is). But when we hit 2,000 email subscribers on MailChimp, we panic. We understand that we would need to start forking out money monthly just to maintain the email list.
Read this before you go down that rabbit hole ...
The first thing is you should do right now is start cleaning up your email list. This means that you should remove all your email subscribers who have not interacted with you for some time.
You need to start identifying those inactive subscribers by creating a segment on MailChimp (fastest way).
Once that is done, you need to add conditions to further discover email subscribers who are low in 'value'.
Due to MailChimp's limitation, you can only choose a small portion of options as seen above. I use the last five campaigns as that would give me better stats and results.
Once that is done, the second step is to re-engage with them for one last time before you ultimately remove them from your list. I often send a super personalized message with an urgent email title to ensure that the open rate is high. Don't be afraid as it is common for them to unsubscribe themselves!
If they fail to open the email within three days, you can proceed to remove them from your list. By now, you would have a smaller list and probably save you some space.
IMPORTANT: I recommend you to continue reading the below as it will come in handy real soon!
You should be making money using your email list and here's why
When you have more than 2,000 email subscribers, you should already be monetizing your email list. Wait, what?
Yes, you heard me right. 2,000 email subscribers is not a small number and this means that you can be doing a lot more to generate revenue from your email list.
Total revenue earned: 4 x $200 = $800 per email campaign
No, I'm not kidding you.
You see, I'm putting a super low figure in all the calculation above and the reason is simple. I want you to understand that even with the lowest count, you can make a lot more money through email marketing.
And yes, you can start making money NOW.
Wait, I still have 2,000 email subscribers on MailChimp and I am not sure what to do!
I'm glad you asked. I have gone through that road before and I was puzzled. I have no idea what I should do and my geeky brain told me to do the calculation (see above).
I understood that I could earn a lot more money in a long run if I continue building my email subscribers. Thus, growing beyond the 2,000 email subscribers limit on MailChimp.
What you need to do now (which we are going to discuss below) is this:
Before moving forward, take a quick moment to ask yourself this question.
How much is the lifetime value of your email subscribers?
Take a look at this infographic done by KISSmetrics.
In short, lifetime value of your email subscriber is often determined if they are going to repurchase in the future.
How to decide the best email marketing software once your MailChimp has more than 2,000 subscribers?
1. Upgrade your MailChimp account
You should go for MailChimp if:
You have a low lifetime value of an email subscriber (under $5)
You are not actively selling anything of high value to your email subscribers
Lead generation isn't a top priority for you at this point in time
Segmenting your audience is not important for now
On average, you are going to pay anywhere between $25 to $30 a month with 2,000 email subscribers on paid MailChimp plan.
MailChimp is best when you are a small business or blogger which email marketing isn't the most important thing for your business. Therefore, sticking to MailChimp is not going to hurt you in any way since you will be making more than enough to sustain.
2. Move to ConvertKit
ConvertKit is a good MailChimp alternative because of its pricing model. ConvertKit thrives ahead of MailChimp, especially with their subscriber's centric model.
Using ConvertKit, you will not be charged multiple times if the same subscriber subscribes to multiple lists. Compared to MailChimp, subscribers can be calculated multiple times which is based on the number of lists they are following. Not so good.
You should go for ConvertKit if:
You are looking for a robust email marketing automation but as easy as MailChimp
You want to increase conversions with automated emails that feel personal
You need to organize and understand your subscribers
You need landing pages (this is a killer, ladies and gentlemen!)
Drip is dope and I'm using it for my business (including this blog). Drip is really powerful because it allows you to take automation to whole new levels.
[clickToTweet tweet="If you are using email to sell online products and courses, you need to consider Drip today!" quote="If you are using email to sell online products and courses, Drip does it better than any other email marketing solution. Period."]
Drip is also the main reason how I can sell thousands of dollars worth of affiliate marketing products every month!
Automate anything and everything (tagging, list cleaning etc.)
Selling online courses or products
Inbuilt different types of forms (slider, pop up, exit-intent)
Workflow technology (that brings automation to whole new level)
I would say Drip works as powerful as Infusionsoft but just at a cheaper and lower pricing scale. If you are an advanced marketer, consider using Drip as it is guaranteed to grow your list. Don't take my word for it. Click here to head over to Drip's demo!
Summary: What do you do when you hit 2,000 MailChimp email subscribers?
Do you have more than 2,000 subscribers on MailChimp? What do you do? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
Don't Lose Content The Next Time Changing WordPress Theme
Changing WordPress theme is always a huge challenge especially for beginners. A lot of bad things can happen when we change a WordPress theme on a live site. Content loss, broken website, distorted images and missing widgets are just a few challenges you will face when changing a WordPress theme.
All of these will get your head scratching and they will become more complicated if you have limited experience using WordPress.
I've been using WordPress for over 10 years now and I came across a fair share of problems in the past especially when changing a WordPress theme. In this post, you are going to discover how you change WordPress theme without losing content. More importantly, you will be able to see how you can do this under 30 minutes.
How to change WordPress theme without losing content?
No matter what you do, the first step must always be back up your entire site. Most web host in the market today allows you to perform the manual backup in just a few clicks.
If you are using shared hosting and cPanel, click on Files and select Backup.
You can also use the Backup Wizard to backup your entire website before changing WordPress theme.
If you are using premium WordPress hosting like WP Engine, you can start backing up your site by through the WP Engine portal.
Back up wouldn't take long and in most cases, under 10 minutes for a small to medium sized blog. Larger sites may take slightly longer to complete the backup process.
A staging site is an independent clone of your live production site that can be easily created to test plugins, themes, and custom code. You can also copy the staging site back to the live site at any time after making changes. Each WordPress install at WP Engine can have its own staging site.
You can use WP Engine staging area by clicking on WP Engine > Staging from your wp-admin and click on the teal button as seen below.
2. Upload the WordPress theme of your choice
By now, you should have a copy of the WordPress theme on your computer or laptop. To upload the WordPress theme, head over to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance and then, Themes. Click on Add New and Upload Theme tab to upload the WordPress theme of your choice.
3. Final check
Once uploaded and activated, you will be able to see new WordPress theme live on your site. I would recommend you to run a quick check on your website using Incognito or another browser to ensure the website is accessible.
BONUS: More tips to change your WordPress theme without losing content
Want to get more out of your WordPress blog? I bet you do. Continue reading below to find more advanced methods in changing WordPress theme without losing the content!
Customizing WordPress themes before they're live
Do you know that you should always customize the WordPress themes before going uploading it? This helps to ensure that your site isn't 'broken' during the transition period. For your information, it could be a little bit of challenge if you are using shared hosting as not all web host provides such feature (at this point in time).
If you are using WP Engine (for example), you can use the staging area to create a clone version of your site and be doing the needed updates there. How to clone a WordPress site using WP Engine's staging tool? Typically, most managed WordPress hosting allows you to use staging area which ensures that you will not lose content after changing the WordPress theme.
Once you are happy with the changes, you can transfer the updated site to your production site using the red button as seen below.
Pretty cool, right?
You can read more about WP Engine staging using this link.
Do you know that you can use the Customize feature to update the site's content in real-time? I love this feature because it provides me with 'what you see is what you get' (WYSIWYG) option.
Here's how it looks like:
If you have yet to use this feature, I suggest you try it out now!
Understand the layout differences on various devices
Changing WordPress theme without losing the content is one thing. Ensuring that the site looks good in different layouts is another.
How do you check your WordPress site if they look good on various devices?
Forget about the tools out there in the market. All you need is to leverage the Customize feature on your WordPress backend. Take a look at the image below.
Summary - How to change WordPress theme without losing content?
End of the day, there are many ways you can change a WordPress theme without losing the content. Always remember to backup as it is an important security feature!
Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster - Which Plugin Is The Best Plugin For Building An Email List?
Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster.
There are many plugins for email list building but nothing comes close to what Thrive Leads and OptinMonster can provide.
Let me share with you a simple fact:
Email has 2.6 billion unique users worldwide. Moreover, that number is expected to exceed 2.9 billion by the end of 2019.
ExactTarget had quoted, "Email is not only alive - it's the number one direct channel in terms of daily use and consumer preference for both personal and marketing communications."
Building an email list is no longer an option. It is a necessity for business survival. Regardless it is for affiliate marketing, blogging or business, email marketing is a very powerful tool if you use it right.
The second and most crucial step is to find a WordPress plugin that will drive your subscription rate off the roof. After all, having the best email marketing service provider isn't going to give you much assistance if you aren't converting visitors into subscribers.
To help you on this step, I've compared two of the best list building plugins on the market so that you can build your list in the most efficient way possible.
Introduction: Thrive Leads is the complete list building plugin for WordPress. It has every type of opt-in form including Sticky Ribbon, Popup Lightbox, Slide-In, Opt-in Widget, and Screen Filler.
Summary: Thrive Leads is a good choice if you want to have complete control on how the plugin works. It allows you to tweak everything under the roof, without any coding skills.
Thrive Leads is one of the most popular list building plugins for bloggers nowadays because there is just so much hype around this plugin. What I love about Thrive Leads are:
Multiple opt-in forms which can be set to trigger and appear in multiple places
Perform numerous A/B testing (split test)
Availability of shortcodes
One click sign up links
Sign up subscribers directly to webinar
Ready made templates and boxes to choose from
What makes Thrive Leads an awesome plugin for list building is the ability to do anything with just one plugin. As for the record, ThriveBoxes is one feature that no other list building plugin had ever integrated and it works like LeadPages's Leadboxes feature (sorry LeadPages).
For the record, Thrive Leads is included in the Thrive Membership and no separate purchase is required.
1. Configuring Thrive Leads
Love the basic setup? No worries. Here's the common setup you can choose with Thrive Leads:
There are many ready-made templates you can choose from when you use Thrive Leads. Here are some examples:
Now, that's really a lot of templates, right?
The guys over at Thrive Leads understand the challenges faced by bloggers and marketers. Not many of us are design-driven and therefore, having different types of ready-made templates and drag and drop builder helps us to create better forms to build an email list.
Disclaimer: My favorite is still 'Scroll Mat'. Just saying 🙂
2. A/B testing with Thrive Leads
Apart from that, Thrive Leads comes with the awesome A/B testing which is godly. With this feature, you can literally any testing such as:
Different Form Types: A lightbox popup vs. a slide-in form or a widget vs. a ribbon.
Different Triggers: Show a popup after 3 seconds, once the visitor scrolls 50% down the page or when the visitor is about to exit your site.
Different Design & Content: Change the headline, add a new image or switch colors.
Different Offers: Download a checklist vs. Participate in a webinar
You can start and stop the A/B testing at any time, as well as the ability to select the winner (either manually or automatically).
3. Precise targeting using Thrive Leads
Advancement of technology allows us to do a lot of things and one of them is to show relevant popups to the right type of audience. With Thrive Leads, you can display specific forms with just a few clicks:
4. Powerful features that made Thrive Leads super powerful
Want to know why Thrive Leads is powerful? Here are four things you should know (if you are dead serious in list building using Thrive Leads):
Exit Trigger: Show your opt-in the moment a visitor is thinking about leaving your website.
Time Trigger: Choose between showing your opt-in form instantly or after a certain amount of time (in seconds) has passed.
Scroll Trigger: Choose between showing your opt-in form when a user scrolls to a specific part of the content, after passing a defined percentage of the content, or after reaching the end of your content.
Click Trigger: Show your opt-in when a user clicks an element (like a button or link) in your content.
5. What didn't I like about Thrive Leads?
Apart of all the goodies that Thrive Leads can offer, there are still things I wished they could be improved.
Thrive Leads doesn't play well with CloudFlare: I use CloudFlare to speed up my website and I have specific Page Rules to make my website blazing fast. The problem is Thrive Leads visual builder (WYSIWYG) doesn't work well when those options are turned on. Of course, there isn't much Thrive Leads could do but if you want to use Thrive Leads with CloudFlare, make sure you turn off the 'Rocket Loader' on CloudFlare (temporary) while setting up forms using Thrive Leads.
What is Rocket Loader?
Rocket Loader improves page load times by:
Asynchronously loading scripts, including third party scripts, so that they do not block the content of your page from loading immediately
Caching scripts locally (using LocalStorage, available on most browsers and smart phones) so they aren't refetched unless necessary
Just too many customizations and made it confusing: Thrive Leads comes with so many customizations which it is really tricky for beginners. Sure, they have videos but let's be honest. Who views the videos unless you are desperate, right? The options aren't really direct and idiot-proof if you know what I mean.
6. How much is Thrive Leads?
There are three different pricing structures you can choose from (each comes with one year support):
1 Site: $67
5 Sites: $97
15 Sites: $147
Alternatively, you can choose Thrive Membership which costs $19 per month (with all plugins included for unlimited sites) when you pay annually.
When it comes to pricing, I would say that it is definitely worth the money because of the features that Thrive Leads provide.
7. Is Thrive Leads worth it?
Here's the biggest question. I've been using Thrive Leads since the beta stage and I would say that it is pretty well done. If I would comment, I would say that their finishing isn't as smooth as OptinMonster but apart from that, they are pretty much awesome to say the very least.
8. My verdict for Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is best for advanced users who want to double their email list in just a short period of time. Plus, it is also a great tool because you get everything you need under one roof.
With the amount of features that comes packing with Thrive Leads, this is definitely one of the best list building plugins I had used for a long time. Highly recommend anyone to use this!
Introduction: OptinMonster is not just a WordPress plugin. It's a complete web-based app that's available for different platforms including WordPress.
Summary: OptinMonster is very smooth and easy to use. An absolutely beast that helps you build an email list fast, minus all the challenging configuration and hassle.
Just like Thrive Leads, OptinMonster had evolved a lot ... from a humble beginning to a massive email list building for WordPress users.
OptinMonster comes packing with a huge list of features which include:
After post / In-Line
The best part? Each of these forms can be customized according to your liking through drag and drop.
1. Display rules on OptinMonster
Anyone who is serious about email list building knows that display rules feature is critical. For the record, OptinMonster is the first WordPress email list building plugin that offers Exit-Intent feature.
Let me give you a quick example.
If you configure your campaign to load after a 7-second delay and set a 50% scroll value, then your visitors will have to be on your site for 7 seconds AND scroll the page 50% or more to trigger the campaign.
The next step is to choose your intended audience who will see the form.
Note: You can easily setup more display rules to further customize your forms on OptinMonster. This gives you more control on what your forms can and cannot do, thus giving you more precise audience targeting.
What is MonsterLinks?
MonsterLinks is the name of the 2-Step Opt-in technology from OptinMonster. MonsterLinks can turn any link or image into a 2-step opt-in process. When a user clicks on the link or an image, a popup opens up asking them to subscribe.
Brian Dean from Backlink uses MonsterLinks on the site to boost email subscriptions. Here's how it looks like in action.
The concept of Content Upgrades is based on a psychology principle known as the Zeigarnik Effect, which states that those who initiate are more likely to finish the process.
3. OptinMonster's Success Themes
In short, OptinMonster comes with a list of ready-made templates for you to choose from. Wonder why they use the name "success themes?"
Well, these are templates which had been tested out and prove to be extremely effective for your success.
I love OptinMonster's success themes because I have zero knowledge in design. Yup, no joke.
4. What didn't I like about OptinMonster?
I often compare both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads (Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster in my mind) and one thing I wished I had more are the ready-made templates.
OptinMonster doesn't come with that many ready-made templates compared to Thrive Leads.
Another thing I didn't like about OptinMonster is the campaign setup. Coming from Thrive Leads, OptinMonster seems to be very specific when it comes to campaign creation. While there is nothing wrong with it (generally speaking), it certainly felt like each campaign is dictated by opt-in type. And yes, in some ways that felt very annoying 🙁
5. How much does OptinMonster cost?
The pricing for OptinMoster is slightly different. For starters, each pricing plan comes with very different features.
Basic: $19/month or $108/year (save 25%)
Unlimited Optin Forms
A/B Split Testing
Page Level Targeting
User-friendly Reporting 1 site
Plus: $29/month or $228/year (save 25%)
Everything in Basic, and:
After Post / Inline Forms
Pro: $39/month or $348/year (save 25%)
Everything in Plus, and:
Mobile Specific Forms
Yes / No Forms
Slide-in Scroll Trigger Boxes
Smart Canvas Forms
Full Screen Takeovers
6. Is OptinMonster worth it?
I know, you are not pretty much undecided if OptinMonster is worth it. Here's what I think.
OptinMonster is good and very intuitive. It is prior in the market and what makes it really good is that it is co-founded by Syed Balkhi, founder of WP Beginner. Now, this means that plugins created by him and his team are always very good and able to integrate to any WordPress themes without issue.
7. My personal verdict on OptinMonster
I love beautiful things (and plugins). Personally, I would say that OptinMonster is well created and deserve all the credits in the email list building industry. Being an active OptinMonster user, I would say that there is no doubt in my mind that OptinMonster is good and worth the money.
The real comparison for OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads is probably the pricing factor.
$348 - OptinMonster (Pro's package with all features included)
$228 - Thrive Themes (10 themes and 6 plugins including Thrive leads)
Both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads are available as subscription-based service, which means that you'll always have to pay either a monthly or annual fee to use them.
Comparing OptinMonster vs Thrive Leads on the smallest plan, here's how it looks like:
$108 - OptinMonster (single site with selected features)
$67 - Thrive Leads (single site with all features)
Now, as you can see, it is actually more worth it (and you get more savings too) when you opt for Thrive Leads. Even when using Thrive Leads with the smallest plan of $67, you save $41 per year and on top of that, you are not limited to the features as of what OptinMonster offers for its smallest plan.
Overall, it is important to understand that while both offers very similar features, Thrive Leads is seen to be the best option since it doesn't limit you for any of its features.
When it comes to email list building, you certainly wouldn't want to be bolted down with restrictions, right?
I did the same years back, and I realized one thing. All my affiliate marketing projects were disastrous! I realized that I was only successful once I put in both money and effort into the projects.
And it didn't take long for me to see the results. The first month was a couple of dollars followed by hundreds before touching thousands after six months or so, per project.
I thought it was just luck, economy and the way I targeted my keywords. I went into bootstrapping method again, and I ended up the rabbit hole. Sales dropped and my revenue sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
What the hell just went wrong?
This was the exact words I asked myself. I did research (oh hell I did), and I wanted to know what went wrong.
Seriously, this is not a coincidence. Every time I went into bootstrapping, I see massive failures even though I did everything similar to others.
Note to self: These are the 4 things I will do if I'm going to start affiliate marketing all over.
Heres a list what I found out.
1. Going for shared hosting instead of premium web hosting
This debate had gone on for ages. People talked about how good is A and how bad is B. You know the drill.
Here's the problem. Most people don't see the main issue, and I experienced that first hand.
The main reason why shared hosting isn't working well for me in affiliate marketing was because of the freaking loading speed.
I mean, c'mon, would you wait for 5 seconds before the website loads?'
Probably not and that's the whole issue. I see a lot of bloggers writing great stuff, but their bounce rate is off the roof! One of them was as high as 95% for crying out loud. Jesus!
Shared hosting is good because it saves you money. $4 a month is like a cup of Starbucks alright? Shared hosting is cheap, and each server could host thousands of domains at one time. You are not getting premium speed no matter what, as long as you are in the shared hosting environment.
So, what's the solution? Premium web hosting like WP Engine and FlyWheel are top of the game. Often, you are expected to pay around $29 per month. I highly recommend these services ONLY if you are making enough from your blog to cover the expenses.
The solution to this challenge is simple. Get a better web host. Here are some great alternatives.
Now, what do you think of the image above? Does it appeal to you in anyway that the writer is an influencer in the industry? Would you trust what you had read on the blog?
Seriously, I even doubt if the theme is mobile friendly!
Here's a life fact: No matter how your attitude is in real life, you'll still give a great first impression through your dressing. Make sense?
I often hear bloggers telling me this.
Reg, I know that Thrive Themes is the best in the market but I don't have that much money to buy it. Furthermore, the monthly payment is going to kill me.
First of all, I'm a huge advocate to Thrive Themes, and it is one of the best WordPress themes for many affiliate marketers. Of course, unless you can afford $19 a month, there are many other options that you can choose from.
What you are doing is blaming your potential affiliate marketing failure because of not being able to afford for a premium theme. What?!
Let me tell you this. Thrive Themes is great and Thrive Themes is hot. But when it comes to WordPress themes, I still go for other alternatives because of the flexibility.
Here's what you need to know. You might not have enough money to buy the best theme for now. So be it!
Use a premium theme that you can afford because that is going to differentiate you from the rest! Once you start making money from your blog, consider the option of upgrading.
BONUS: Discover how website design will impact your affiliate sales in my new 7-days affiliate marketing course. Sign up for free here.
3. Lead generation is dope, but expensive
We all know how important to build an email list. If you are not doing that yet, please do it right now. Start today.
It can be used thoughtfully to build loyalty and trust in your brand. Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects, leads, current customers, and even past customers because it gives you a chance to speak directly to them, in their inbox, at a time that is convenient for them. InboundRocket.
Tim Ferriss, Pat Flynn, and Matthew Woodwards all make money through their email lists. If you want to become a successful affiliate marketer, then you need to start building an email list.
But, here's the challenge. You heard that email marketing is expensive.
My answer: WTF?!
Email marketing can be costly, but do you know that you can start for FREE?
Option 1: You can use MailChimp for FREE if you have less than 2,000 email subscribers and send out less than 12,000 email a month. And it comes with email automation for all accounts!
Option 2: If you are a serious blogger and trying to manage your subscribers, there's ConvertKit that allows you to create cool automation with segmentation for $29 a month if you have under 1,000 email subscribers.
Option 3: Thinking of selling courses, having advanced segmentation and dope email automation? Consider Drip (I'm personally using it), and it gives you everything you need to monetize your list including landing pages. The best part is you can use Drip for FREE if you have less than 100 email subscribers and $41 per month for 2,500 email subscribers.
It is NOT important to have a paying email subscription service if you are just starting out. It is also important to note that you can quickly start email marketing for free and I find no reason NOT for you to start at all.
4. Should I be using premium plugins?
I am going to bust another myth. There are many premium plugins out there, but I'm just using one that I always hear people whining about.
I get it. Thrive Leads could cost a bomb. At $67 per year and for a single website, it hurts a lot. For affiliate marketers who are bootstrapping, you know what I mean!
Back in those days, there weren't any fancy WordPress plugins to grow my email list. As a matter of fact, most of us were stuck with Hybrid Connect and that was it. Soon after, Hybrid Connect ended its product and Thrive Leads was born.
Now, not being able to afford the godly Thrive Leads is not a problem. The problem is you. You are not thinking out of the box!
Here are several ways you can solve this.
Option 1: If you are using OptimizePress or X Theme, you don't need Thrive Leads (there are some features in it that you can use to replace Thrive Leads).
Important disclaimer: I am not saying that Thrive Leads is not useful (I use it on this blog). All I'm saying is that there are many other alternatives to Thrive Leads if the price is an issue for you. Do not limit your options because of something you cannot afford. That is just giving excuses to yourself to fail as an affiliate marketer.
Takeaway - Things I'll Do Differently When Starting Affiliate Marketing All Over
Going cheap or bootstrapping is an excellent way to save money. As a plugin and theme junkie, I save thousands of dollars yearly just by going the more affordable options. However, when I start spending money on my blog for affiliate marketing, I tend to make more money online (thousands of dollars) on a monthly basis!
I'm not saying that you should (at any time) increase your spending because it is going to help you close more affiliate sales. All I'm saying is that using premium tools could easily help you achieve your goals in affiliate marketing faster.
What do you think? Leave a comment below and let's discuss further!
Why Do Affiliate Marketers Need To Target Topics And Not Keywords?
I'm going to tell you right in the face, right now. You are probably doing your affiliate marketing wrong.
Are you promoting too many products under one roof? I bet! As a matter of fact, I'm also guilty of this in the past.
When I started my 7-days affiliate marketing course last week ([thrive_2step id='6496']you can participate now for free by clicking on this link[/thrive_2step]), one of the biggest and most common questions I get from the members is not making enough money or sales through affiliate marketing. Diving deeper into the question, I noticed that there is a serious trend in this.
99% of them are using 5 blogs or less to promote more than 100 products.
Now, here's the problem. They are just becoming another Jack-of-all-trades in the market space. They are not making enough (or any) affiliate sales because they are lacking the much needed:
So, how do you solve this problem?
Lucky for you, you can actually solve this in just under one day.
Stop targeting keywords
Yes, the first step is to stop targeting specific keywords. Targeting specific keywords is NOT going to help you because you will be targeting way too many keywords that are not related to one another.
Let me give you an example. You are probably targeting more than one categories such as:
Health and supplements
Fashion (clothing, shoes, etc.)
The problem starts because you are giving mixed signals to the search engines and let me tell you that this is a bad thing. No one wants to/should confuse the search engines because it is going to affect your organic ranking!
You probably hear the pros talking about targeting the right keywords and I am not disputing the fact. No, I'm not.
What I'm trying to say is that you should target the right keywords and promote affiliate items within the same categories only!
Want to know why? Continue reading below.
Becoming an authority within the industry/niche
When you talk and promote things within an industry, you are building creditability in you. I'm not going to buy
I'm not going to buy a product that Simon is selling because he is selling over 100 different products from different industries. HOWEVER, I'm going to buy it from Josh because I had seen Josh talking about the same topic for a few weeks and he seems to know his stuff.