Simple Guide To aMember Memberships


How to Add Users & Affiliates In aMember


If you have any offline orders or want to give access to a product to a JV partner or review blogger, for example, here’s how to do it.

Start by going to your aMember control panel sidebar and select “Add User”:



Fill in the details as fully as possible on the Add User page. An explanation of all the fields you see on this page are explained below this image.


  • Username:  Enter a user name for the new account you are creating (or choose to let it auto-generate by clicking the checkbox)
  • Password:  Enter a unique password for the account (or choose to let it auto-generate by clicking the checkbox)
  • Email:  Add the email address of the person you’re adding to the account
  • Real Name:  Add the person’s first and last name
  • Address details: Address details are optional, but they are good for your tax and demographic reports
  • Locked: Set to unlock or else the person will not be able to log in
  • PayPal Address: If adding an affiliate, enter their PayPal address so you can pay their commissions earned. If you don’t know it, ask for it or have them add it within their account once you send them their login details.
  • Unsubscribed: Unchecked means they will receive emails you send to the product/list(s) you add them to. Checking this box means they will not receive your correspondence.
  • Newsletter Threads: Highlight any newsletter threads you wish to subscribe the person to – always get permission first!
  • Is Affiliate: If you’re setting up an affiliate, select yes. If not, set as no and they can sign up later if they want to
  • Affiliate Payout: Choose how you will pay commissions to the affiliate.

Click save when you are finished. This will refresh the page and you’ll see more options at the top as shown here…



If the person will be receiving a free product, you can add the product to their account by clicking the User Payment/Subscriptions link at the top.

4-user payments

Using the drop down menu, select the product you wish to add to the new account. If the date range does not automatically update, you can manually set that. Choose either manual payment or free from the drop down and click Add when finished.


You’ll now see the product has been added to the account. You can edit or delete using the options to the side of the product.



[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][divider]


How to Set up Your Affiliate Program in aMember


aMember makes it easy to run your affiliate program. In this guide, we’re going to show how to set up your program and add some graphics and links to your affiliate program.  



From your aMember control panel sidebar select Affiliate Program


On the next screen, make sure you have checked “Enable Affiliate Program”:


Now, you can set up the details of your program. Choose “Affiliates” from the top menu of your Set Up/Configuration:


Now you can specify what types of payout are possible and set the percentage or dollar amounts for commission:


If you want to offer 2nd tier commissions, you can enter those details as well:


You can also set the duration of the affiliate cookie. You can also choose to only pay commissions for the first payment:


And finally, you can add/edit emails to notify you of new affiliates, send a welcome and sales notification to the affiliate.


Click “Save” when you’re done. Now that you’re program is set up, you’re ready to start adding graphics and links.

To get started, click “Affiliate Program” in your control panel sidebar.




Click Manage Banners and Text Links

9.1 - manage-banners

Then click either Add new banner or Add new link

9-add banner or link

Fill in the following details then click save

  • The page URL that the customer should be directed to once they click the image
  • The URL where the image is located. You have to load the banner to your server first. aMember will not load them up for you.
  • A descriptive alternate text for when the image cannot be displayed
  • The width and height of the image


You should now see your new graphic image and you can delete or edit it, using the link options to the right:




From here:


Choose to “Add new link”.

Fill in the following details. Click save when you’re finished.

  • The page URL that the customer should be directed to once they click the image
  • Descriptive text that you want to show as the link title


You should now see your new text link.



You can delete or edit the text or link by using the options to the side of it.




How to Add a Product To aMember


aMember allows you to easily add products for sale and password protect them. To get started, log into your aMember control panel and on the sidebar select “Manage Products”.


Then select Add New Product

2-add product link




Start by entering the name and description for your product. This will be visible to people who order your product. You can use basic HTML tags to format your text.




Next, enter the subscription terms. The form looks like this. Below the image, we’ll explain what these fields mean.


  • Price:  The price of the product or the recurring subscription. If you have a trial period, enter the regular price the product will be.
  • Duration:  The length of time for which a subscriber will have access to the product. For example, if you are setting up a recurring monthly subscription, you would enter 30 days or 1 month. If the product is a one-time buy, you might select lifetime.
  • Trial Period Price: If you’re offering a trial period, set the trial price here.
  • Trial Period Duration: Enter the duration of your trial period here.
  • Recurring Billing: If your product is a recurring subscription, select this.
  • Fixed Subscription Date: If you want all subscriptions to start on a set date, regardless of when a person joins, enter the date here. This might be useful if you selling a product prior to the official launch/release date. Leave it blank if you want the subscription to start immediately upon purchase.
  • Add Tax: Select if you want to charge tax (tax settings will need to be set up in the “Set up/Configuration” section).
  • Custom Subscription Terms: By default the terms are pulled from the information you entered above (In our example, the default would show as: “$5 for the first month. Then $97.00 for each month, for 11 installments”). If you prefer to write out custom terms, you can add those here.
  • Recurring Times: The number of subscription payments you will charge for the product. For example, if you offer a 4-month coaching program and the customer will be charged X amount each month for 4 months, you would enter 4 here. If your subscription product is ongoing until the customer cancels, leave this blank.
  • PayPal Currency: Assuming you selected in your configuration to accept PayPal payments, you can set the currency in which you accept here. If you use a different payment processor, you don’t need to do anything with this option.



Now it’s time to enter your product download URLs. An explanation of these is below this image.


  • Product URL: Enter the link to your product download page or the product itself. This link will be added to the customer member area once they purchase.
  • Additional URLs: If you offer a bonus item or multiple products with the purchase of this product, add the extra download link(s) here.



Now you can enter details about who can order this product and how it will be shown to your customers. The terminology is defined below the following image:


  • Scope: This determines who can view and order this product
    • Visible to All: The product will be listed on the main signup page and in the Add/Renew subscriptions list within member accounts.
    • Only Signup: The product will only be listed on the signup page
    • Only Members: The product will only be listed in the add/renew subscription area of member accounts.
    • Disabled: The product will not appear for any users.
  • Sorting Order: This determines the order in which products will be listed on the signup page and in the list of products shown to members. It’s good for grouping certain types of products together. If you leave it blank, by default, your products will be shown alphabetically.
  • Price Group ID: Assigning a single price group # to multiple products allows you to display only those grouped products on a custom signup page. You can also assign a product a negative # if you want only that product to show in the list when customers order. In our example, the price group 0 ensures the product will show on the default order page and -1 means that we can also link to an order page that only shows our product.
  • Renewal Group: Typically this is generated automatically by aMember, so no custom settings are necessary. However, it is where you could tell amember how to calculate a subscription date when a customer renews.
  • Display Agreement: Check this if you require customers to agree to your custom terms & conditions before they can sign up.
  • Require another subscription: If customers are required to have previously purchased a different product in order to buy another product. For example: If you require customers to have previously purchased product A before they can purchase product B.
  • Disallow subscription: If you want to block certain customers from being able to purchase this product, set that here.



In the Additional Options section, you can reset the email schedule sent to members, add customers to additional products and you can also set affiliate commissions specific to this product. The commissions will override the settings you have in your main affiliate configuration. If you leave this blank, the regular commissions will apply.




This is where you can create a customized signup template for this product, expiry notifications and autoresponder messages. Here is some opportunity for powerful follow up with your customers:



When you’re done, click “Save”.



If you want to make sure only members can download your product, you’ll need to protect the folder in which it is located. To do this, click the Protect Folder link in the sidebar of your control panel


Then click the Protect Another Folder link

10-protect another folder link


Click Browse

11-protect details


A pop-up box will appear. Select the folder you want to protect then click continue.



Choose the protection method you want to add to this folder. Typically it will be a “new-rewrite”.

Next select which product(s) you want to have access to this folder. For example, if this folder is only being used for “Product A” downloads, then just select “Product A” from the list. If all products have – or may eventually have – access to the folder, you can select “just any active subscription is enough” rather than choosing all of the products individually.



Click “Continue” once you’ve made your selections. You should now see your new folder is protected in your protection list.





Once again, click the Manage Products link as shows in step 1. Next, click the link under your product list called Signup Link Wizard.

15-signup link wizard

The options you choose here will determine what your custom signup link will be

Simply select if you want to:

  1. Display a certain price group (remember, we set this in step 2
  2. Pre-select a certain product
  3. Pre-select one payment option and if so, which payment option it will be.

Finally, just copy the link from the Use Signup Link area and paste it into your website page where you want your signup link to go.

16-signup link final




Membership Site Set Up Checklist


So you’re ready to create your first membership site. While the benefits can be great, there is some work you have to care of first. Here is a handy checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered.



Before you rush out to create a membership site, you need to do your research to make sure you’ve got a viable product idea.



Once you’ve done your research, you need to take some time to consider what will make your membership stand out from the crowd of membership sites and information products.

To start with:

  • Look at what information is included in other similar products.
  • Think about your target market and what their biggest struggles are. How can your product address that?
  • Survey your readers and customers on what they would like covered.
  • Also consider the way you will deliver content to your members. How will this make you unique?
  • Do you provide extra support and help to your members? For example, interaction in a forum, monthly group coaching, etc.
  • Do they get access tools to make them solve their problem/achieve their goal?
  • Do you include motivation or extra encouragement/nudging to get members to work to solving their problem/achieving their goal?



You have plenty of options when it comes to the types of media you can use in your product. Having a variety of media formats has a number of benefits including:

  • Increase perceived value of your product. Instead of just getting a PDF document, your reader gets a variety of information in different formats, so they naturally feel it’s more valuable.
  • The ability to cater to people’s different learning preferences and disabilities. While some people may like reading, if you can provide the same information via audio recording, you can capture those customers who want to take your information product and listen in their car, while working out, etc.
  • Some subjects are easier to teach in writing. While others are easier to teach with videos or screenshots, for example. You can choose the appropriate media for each part of your product OR you can offer each part in a variety of media formats. You’ve got plenty of flexibility.


Some Options:

  • Online content (HTML)
  • PDF documents with text
  • PDF documents with screenshots/photographs
  • Live action videos
  • Screen capture videos
  • Slide presentation videos
  • Audios
  • Transcripts
  • Email
  • Photographs
  • Illustrations
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Flowcharts
  • Mind Maps
  • iPhone and other mobile apps



In addition to straight content, consider including useful tools for your customers. Think about the subjects you are covering and how a tool could help your reader actually apply that information and get results from your product.


Some Tool Ideas:

  • Worksheets
  • Fill-in-the-blanks
  • Spreadsheets
  • Checklists
  • Software
  • Patterns
  • Resource lists
  • Glossaries
  • Quizzes
  • Diary/Journals
  • Editable Charts, Tables, Flowcharts and Mind Maps



Once you have all your ideas together, it’s time to decide how members will get access to it. When setting up your members’ area, here are a few things to include and decide on:

  • Will members get access to only that month’s/week’s content or will they access all the available information?
  • Create a welcome page that gives an overview of how the membership works. Also consider adding a screen capture video that shows the various features of the memberships.
  • Make it easy to find links to renew memberships, add products and get technical support.
  • What will you include:
  • Download area?
  • Blog?
  • Forum?
  • Chat?
  • Form to suggest upcoming content / ask questions?
  • A link to your affiliate program, so members can promote?



Automating your membership is important for you and your customers. Manually managing access to your membership creates a lot of work for you and your customers don’t want to wait around while you set up their membership access. They paid and they want in now. The good news is, there are plenty of options for setting up your membership site.

A few options to consider:


Payment details:

  • Will you offer a free or low cost trial? This is an easy way to get people in to try your product. Regular subscription payment kicks in after the trial is over.
  • How often will members pay? A rule of thumb is to make members pay at interval when new content is added. For example, charge monthly only if you add new content on a monthly basis. You might also give some options for savings by paying 6 months at a time, 1 year at a time or for a lifetime membership.
  • What types of payment will you accept? Will you use PayPal, a merchant account?
  • Can members cancel anytime? There’s no need to lock members in a specific contract. You will find it easier to get new members if you allow cancellation anytime and it will help prevent any disputes through your merchant account or payment processor.
  • Will you raise the price over a certain period of time? Sometimes it’s easier to get members in at introductory low price and allow them to keep that price, while new members coming in have to pay the current price.  By grandfathering the older members, you encourage them to keep their memberships since they are getting a better deal.




aMember Product Profile



aMember is a script that allows you to sell subscription-based products or one-time purchase products. It includes some mailing list capabilities and has an affiliate program built-in.

The script is a one-time purchase (rather than a monthly subscription) and CGI-central, the creators of the product, will install and set up your first product for free.





Current Price: $179.95, including free installation.

Regular Price: $199.95



aMember comes with plenty of features and here are some of the key ones:

  • Ability to sell subscription-based and one-time purchase products.
  • Password protection of products and memberships.
  • Automatically handles subscriptions and cancellations.
  • Create free memberships.
  • Add custom fields to sign up forms and member profiles.
  • Customers can log into their account and add more products quickly and easily.
  • Affiliate program is built-in.
  • Ability to set up different commissions for each product; specify commissions on first and subsequent subscription payments; and optional 2nd tier set up.
  • Ability to email customers and set up autoresponder messages for each product.
  • Easy import and export of data.
  • Customizable sales and other reports.
  • Integrates with many 3rd party payment processors including PayPal, 2Checkout and various merchant accounts. There are over 60 integrations available.
  • Can handle offline payments.
  • Create coupons that expire after a certain number of uses, by date or allow lifetime use.
  • Customizable look and feel.
  • Set up and collect unlimited types of sales taxes.
  • Ability to ban email addresses, IPs and countries.
  • Can be set up in a variety of different languages.
  • Allows for sequential content, with additional plug in.



The aMember website includes a full list of integrations, but here are some of them. Note that some plugins are free and others come with an additional cost.

  • Integrates with over 60 payment processors
  • Picture galleries: 4Images, Coppermine
  • Autoresponder integration: Autoresponse Plus, @ Mail, ListMail Pro and Aweber (partial integration).
  • Content Management Systems: Drupal, WordPress, Mambo, Joomla
  • Support Ticket Systems: Kayako and Perldesk
  • Course Management / Learning: Moodle and eFront
  • Message Board Forums: phpBB, FudForum, FusionBB and vBulletin.



aMember is relatively easy to use and configure, but can be overwhelming at first. There is free installation and they will also configure your payment processor and first product for you, making it much easier to get started. The look and feel of aMember is highly-customizable, but requires a bit of technical know-how. However, for day-to-day use and set up products, aMember is a very powerful program that can be managed by someone without a lot of technical knowledge.




How to View Reports in aMember


Once you’ve got your membership running, you want to see how you’re doing, right? Well, Amember allows you to see a variety of reports.

Get start by going to “Reports” in your control panel sidebar.

1-view reports link



Highlight Income Report from the list and press proceed

2-report type

Set the date range in which you want to view and click Proceed.

Your report will populate on the screen as shown below.



Select the New Report link to view another report.



In Step 2, select Tax Report & press proceed

2-report type


Your report will populate on the screen.





Back on the report screen, choose Customer Demography and press “Proceed”. Then you’ll be asked to fill in the report parameters.

2-report type


Your report will populate on the screen as shown below.



Most popular articles in July


Top 10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

One of the best things about WordPress is its nearly limitless ability to expand. Whether you’re looking to add images, security, RSS feeds, social media integration or any number of other features, you can do so through plugins.

50 Ways to Get New Clients

Do you want to know how to get new clients?

6 Tips for Facebook Ads that Get Results Immediately

Top Facebook marketers tend to do things differently than beginners. There are a few crucial habits that these successful people have learned over time that help ensure a higher likelihood of success.

How to Make Money from Podcasts

Advertising is one of the best ways to make money from a podcast. It’s one of the most common ways to make money from a podcast.

50 Tips for Marketing Your Website

As amazing as your website may be, it’s not going to market itself. If you want people to come to your website, you have to get the word out there. Once a few thousand people see your website, it can start to pick up steam and spread through reputation. In the beginning however, you have to do the ground work.


FourSquare – The App that Buzzes Local Marketing


FourSquare is the pioneer of “check in” technology, has over 33-million members and is growing at an astounding rate.

How can FourSquare help you as a business?


Increase Customer Return Rate

FourSquare has a moderately competitive culture to it. Friends want to have more badges, more checkins and more mayorships than other friends.

Naturally, if they frequent your business, they’re going to want to come back even more often so they can check in more, get more points, more badges and perhaps even become mayor of your location.


Bring in New Customers

Other people will see their friends checking in to your location. If one or more of their friends are regulars, they’ll of course want to check it out for themselves.

The more people you get to check in to your business, the more new people they’ll bring in.


Create Buzz & Contests

If you create special incentives for mayors, you can often get a nice competition going amongst your customers.

For example, if you give the major and his/her friends all a 20% discount as long as they’re mayor, you could get a lot of people competing for the position. The discount will easily pay for itself in terms of increased sales.

FourSquare has also recently launched a program that allows you to create your own custom badge. This does require a small fee however.


Get Spot On Feedback


It’s rare that a customer will give a manager honest feedback. It takes quite a bit of effort on the customer’s part. Usually, managers only hear feedback when it’s a complaint.

FourSquare can change that. With FourSquare’s “tips” and other people’s “check ins,” you can get to hear what other people really think about your business.

They won’t feel like they’re leaving feedback for management; just that they’re sharing their opinions and tips with their friends. But you can use a lot of what was shared as valuable data to help improve your business in the future.

In order to take advantage of FourSquare, you need to first claim your location. This gives you administrative access, so you can add events, to-dos, badges and change other settings.


Step 1: Search for Your Business

Is your business already listed in FourSquare? If so, try to find it by typing in your business name and the city.


Step 2: Claim Your Business

If your business is already in the system, click on the “Claim here” button on the right hand side.

Click “Get started” when prompted.


Finally, tell FourSquare whether you’re a chain or not.


Step 3: Verify

FourSquare will need you to verify that you’re authorized to manage the account by either answering the listed phone number or accepting mail.

They’ll first prompt you for phone verification. If you can answer the phone, click #1. If not, click #2 to go to mail verification.
Upon verifying your authorization, you’ll then have access to your FourSquare location!


Step 4: Adding a Location That Doesn’t Exist Yet

What if your location isn’t in FourSquare yet? If that’s the case, you’ll need to add the venue.

Go to:

Add your venue by filling out the information form.


After adding the venue, follow the same steps to claim authorization.

Congratulations! You now know some of the main benefits of using FourSquare, as well as how to claim your venue or setup a new one.

10 Smart Moves for a Successful Local Marketing Campaign


Marketing for local businesses has come a long way. Just 20 years ago, “marketing” meant buying newspaper ads, yellowpage ads or perhaps billboard or radio advertisements. Marketing was costly and often ineffective.

Today, the game has changed. There are literally dozens of tools available to the smart entrepreneur for marketing his or her business. Many of these tools and techniques can drive hundreds of paying customers to your business, without costing you a single dime.

This checklist will help you get the most out of all the tools, technologies and techniques available today.


Step 1: Get on Facebook Places

Facebook places allows users to find you through their friends’ checkins. People who like your business can “like” your page or comment on your page and their friends can see that on their walls.

It’s a powerful way of spreading a great business virally. It uses the interconnectivity of Facebook to a local business’s advantage.

Make sure you claim your business so you have the ability to change its information, as well as merge the Facebook Place with the Facebook Page.

Step 2: Get on Google Places

There are many great reasons to get on Google Places.

First, your business will show up ahead of other non-local businesses in the search engines.

Second, people will be able to leave reviews for your physical business.

Third, people will be able to find your place on Google Maps. For example, a user with an iPhone might type in “Pizza” into Google Maps to find all the pizza joints near them. If you’re listed on Google Places, your restaurant will show up.

Step 3: Get on Yelp

Yelp is a user-driven review site with a very active community. People who visit local businesses use Yelp to leave reviews of their experience. Other people who are thinking of going there can use Yelp to see previous reviews.

Yelp is extremely popular in some cities, like San Francisco and New York, while virtually unnoticed in others.

If you’re in a city with a strong Yelp user base, getting to the first 3 or 5 results in Yelp can bring you a huge influx of customers. Many small businesses are packed every day purely from Yelp traffic.


Step 4: Give Incentive to Review


 You’re much more likely to get a lot of reviews if you help the process along by providing a few incentives. That’s especially true if your business is relatively new.

Keep in mind that you can’t incentivize o1thers to post a good or positive review. You can only incentivize them to post a review. What they say is up to them; they get the reward either way. Naturally, if you provide a great service, most reviews you get will be positive.

What are some examples of ways to incentivize reviews?

  • First 10 Yelp reviews gets 50% off their next meal.
  • First 10 Google reviews gets a free coffee.
  • People who have posted a review for our service get 10% off all purchases.
  • Etc


Step 5: Host a Meetup is designed to help bring people with similar interests together. It’s an online site with an offline focus.

One great way to bring more people to your venue is to host an event. The event can be related to what you do, or it can be one or two steps removed. Here are a few examples:

  • A co-working space – Monthly talks on marketing for small business.
  • Classy café – Monthly philosophy discussion group.
  • Dance studio – A free monthly “open floor” dance event.
  • Rock climbing gym – Free “intro to rock climbing” event.
  • Bookstore – Monthly book signings.

The list goes on and on. Talk to your customers and find out what they’re interested in. Then create a meetup to cater to that interest.


Step 6: Open Your Space to Other Organizers


If you browse through Craigslist events, Meetup events or other events sites, you’ll find that 5 to 10 event venues tend to be used over and over again in any given city.

You can bring in a lot of business by opening your space to other organizers.

For example, let’s say a restaurant makes its back room available to a Toastmasters meeting (a public speaking group.) They use the back room free of charge, and most members end up ordering food and drink anyway.

The restaurant profits from the food and drink and gets the benefit of being exposed to a whole new audience. The back room probably wouldn’t have been regularly booked out anyway, so there’s no real cost to the restaurant.

Another example might be a shared co-working office. It allows its members to use the conference space for educational events free of charge, provided that all its members can also attend free of charge.

The organizer gets the benefit of having a professional space for free. The shared office space gets the benefit of having more to offer its members. Furthermore, every person who attends that event is a potential customer.

It’s much more efficient to open your space up to many event organizers rather than try to organize many events yourself. Doing so can bring in a lot of new people to your business, as well as build general goodwill in your community.


Step 7: Market on Local Mailing Lists

email mkt1

In any moderate to large city, there will be dozens of mailing lists on a variety of different topics.

For example, in San Francisco, there are lists for hikers and runners to meetup, lists for announcements of art events, lists specifically for the yoga & meditation communities, lists specifically for the startup business community, so on and so forth.

Make an effort to ask the people in your target audience what kind of email lists they subscribe to. Write these down and do some research.

Some lists will have “open announcement” policies, meaning anyone can post to the list. Others are curated lists, where events are sent to a single curator who posts approved events all to the lists.

Some lists will have very stringent requirements on what it’s okay to post and what it’s not. Others will be rather lax.

Try to find as many large, active lists in your community as you can. Market to the lists anytime you have something significant to announce. Avoid burning out the list by over-emailing; but use the power of pre-existing communities to your advantage whenever you’re doing a special promotion or event.


Step 8: Get a Booth at Events

In person events allow you to market your products directly to your ideal audience, while building connection and rapport through face-to-face interactions.

An “event” can be as sophisticated as a trade show, conference or seminar. Or it could be as simple as a college fair or farmer’s market.

The specific events you choose depends on what market you’re in. If you run a temp agency, you’ll probably want a booth at college job fairs and at trade shows (to find employers.)

If you run a small, organic restaurant, you might want to get a booth at your local farmer’s market and appear at all the “for fun” fairs around. (E.g. The local renaissance fair.)


Step 9: Flyering and Other Local Marketing

Leaving flyers at local businesses, putting flyers on walls, putting door hangers and perhaps even mailing postcards all still work. Just because a tactic is old doesn’t mean it’s no longer effective.

When using these tactics, the most important thing is to make sure you’re reaching the right people. If you’re promoting a nightlife event, flyer outside nightlife venues. Don’t leave your flyers in restaurants.


Step 10: Negotiate with Groupon or LivingSocial

Groupon, LivingSocial and other group-buying organizations can bring you a lot of business. In fact, it can bring you hundreds of orders in a 48 hour period.

Generally these sites will want to only work with established businesses. They need to know that you can handle the sudden volume that they’ll send you.

They also need to know that you’ll be able to give their users a significant discount, while still paying them a percentage.

Let’s say you run a health and massage spa center. The standard price for a massage is $90, but for Groupon members you’re offering it for $55. In addition, you need to pay Groupon $5 per sale.

If you’re hiring your masseuses’ for $60 an hour, you’re essentially breaking even. If you’re paying them $65 an hour, you’re losing money. You need to know that even if you spend $5 to get someone through the door, you’ll still make money in the long run.

In other words, Groupon is such a high volume business that it takes experience, knowledge of your customer behavior and strong financial muscle before you can work with them.

All that said though, if you can get your business to meet their standards and criteria, the amount of sales you can get from Groupon or LivingSocial is simply astounding.
These are some of the most powerful methods available for marketing an offline business today. Try to apply as many of these tactics as possible, identity the ones that work best for your business, then rinse and repeat.

Google Places – Navigating & Understanding Stats

 local business

Google Places offers Analytics data for local listings. To check the stats, you have to login to Google Places and then click on “Dashboard” tab.


At the top of your dashboard or stats page, you’ll see two date areas. The first is the custom date range where you can select any stat date range. The second is the recent dates, where you can choose to click and show stats from the last seven days or 30 days.


To change the page view to show a custom date range for your stats, click on the beginning date (the first box) and choose your date from the dropdown calendar. Choose the ending date (the second box) by repeating the process. After the dates are changed, click the “Apply” button.



Activity Graph

The activity graph gives you an over view of the number of impressions (blue) and the actions or clicks (green).



Totals Breakdown

The totals area gives you the totals for the impressions and actions, as well as a breakdown of the actions. This section tells us that there were 19 impressions and 6 clicks were made during those views.

Under the actions section, we see a breakdown of what the viewers were interested in on your ad. From the information below, we can tell that 2 clicks were for more info on Maps, while 4 clicks went to the website.


Top Search Terms

In the top search queries section, there are three columns. The first column contains the search terms. The second column shows the number of impressions that showed for that term. The third column is a bar graph that represents the number of impressions.


Driving Directions

When someone clicks to request driving directions to your business address, this section will show where they would be coming from.


7 Steps to Use Google Places to its Full Potential


Creating a Google Places listing is just the beginning for local marketing. In this tutorial, you will learn how to add photos, offers and reviews to a Google Places page. (If you haven’t created a listing yet, then check this guide first – How to Claim Your Business on Google Places).


Step 1: Log into Google Places

Use your login to access the Google Places dashboard.


Step 2: Edit your page

When you signed up for Google Places, you had the opportunity to add photos to your page, if you didn’t include them at that point, you may add images by clicking on the edit button, above your business information, on the right.



Step 3: Collect photos for your page

If you have a brick and mortar business, you may want to add photos of your shop. Helpful photos may include the front of your shop, the parking area, specialty products, etc. Remember when adding photos, keep safety in mind. There are photos which you wouldn’t want to include such as the registers and security system components.


Step 4: Add photos to your page

Once you’ve collected or selected your photos, scroll down the page to the photo section. You may choose to upload photos from your computer or add a photo that is already online. Here we are uploading a photo from the computer.

Select add a photo from your computer. Click the browse button and then the add photo button to upload it to your page. Click the submit button at the bottom of the page when finished. You may upload up to 10 images.




Step 5: Create an offer

You can let your Google Places audience know when you are running a special or have a coupon. From your dashboard page, you should click on the “offers” tab.


You will be taken to the offers page that will give you a brief overview of offers. To begin creating your offer, click the “add an offer now” button at the bottom of the offers page.


Step 6: Add offer details

You will be taken to a page where you can add information about your offer or coupon. You can add headlines, offer details, coupon codes, expire dates, photos and more.

Begin by adding a headline, sub-heading, details, and an image. When you add an image, you will see a popup which allows you to choose and edit the image. This image is placed in the top left corner of your printable coupon.


Next you will insert or select the expiration date, offer code, distribution type, and redemption location.


As you add details, you can preview the offer at the right. There are two types of previews. You can see the printable view or the offer view as it will show on Google maps.

The printable preview looks like this:

Note: When adding a photo/image, it’s best to use a square image. Although the image looks skewed on the preview, it looks fine on the actual coupon. Be sure to check it when you’re finished.


The Google map preview looks like this:


Your actual map listing may look something like this:


Note: Here you see a link to the offer and a review. To see the offer, click on the link and you will see the previous image. Click the new link and you will see the printable coupon.


Step 7: Respond to reviews

Now that you’re curious about the review, let’s talk about replying to reviews when a customer adds a review to your page.

There are two ways you can get to the appropriate screen where you will add your reply. You may either click on the “view” link in the top of the sidebar or you may click on the “review” link, found in the section below.


You will be taken to a new page. On this page, scroll down to the review section. Click on the “Respond publicly as the owner” link to open the reply box.



Add your reply and click on the “publish” button.


This is how the review and reply will look from your “owner” screen after you publish.


Note: If you have and want to respond to “Reviews from around the web,” you must visit the respective website to do so.

Now that you know how to add photos, offers, and reviews , you can make your Google Places page more interactive and profitable.

US Free Ads: It’s Worth The Try!



US Free Ads is one of the very first online classifieds websites on the web. It first started in 1999, in the pre-tech bubble.
US Free Ads is designed to be exactly like a newspaper ad. There are automobile ads, real estate ads, job and of course, services ads.
There are two main ways to make extra cash using US Free Ads: By browsing the “Wanted” ads and by posting your own ad in the services section.

How Does it Compare to Craigslist and Kijiji?
Craigslist and Kijiji both get more traffic than US Free Ads.
That said, US Free Ads does have two major advantages.
First, US Free Ads seems to be loved by Google more than Craigslist or Kijiji. Ads don’t expire as quickly and the backlinks from US Free Ads actually seem to count for something from an SEO perspective.
Furthermore, US Free Ads’ ads can actually rank in Google. While Craigslist ads and Kijiji ads never seem to rank, US Free Ads ads do actually show up in the search engines.
The second big plus that US Free Ads has is their array of advanced features. One of these features is the ability to automatically repost, something neither Craigslist nor Kijiji allows. Also, you can add a PayPal button to your post so people can pay you directly from your ad.
Note that these advanced features do require a paid account.
Here’s how to use US Free Ads to find odd jobs to make some extra money.


Click on “Wanted Ads” in the categories on US Free Ads’ home page.


You’ll arrive at a listing of all the wanted ads on US Free Ads’ system. Click on the one you’re interested in.

For example, right now what comes up is a few listings for paid clinical studies. That’s a great way to make a bit of extra cash.


If you want to get wanted ad results just from your specific geographic area, enter your area code in the left hand side box.

Select “Wanted” again from the local results.4-Local-Wanted-Ads

US Free Ads will bring up all the local wanted ads. This is one of the easiest ways to find paying gigs on US Free Ads.


The second way to get paid on US Free Ads is to post your own services offered listing. Start by registering an account. Click “Register” on the left hand sidebar.5-Register


What kind of membership do you want? You can post messages with a basic account; or get a paid account to get access to the advanced features.6-Select-Membership-Type


Fill in your registration form to create your account.


Upon completing your registration, you’ll be offered several options of what to do next. Click the “Click here to post an ad” button.


Select which category your ad should go under. Generally you’ll want to post in the services section.


Enter a title that’s descriptive, unique and attention catching.


How much do you want to charge? Enter a specific number; or enter 0 if you have a wide price range.


What exactly are you offering? Enter your description here. Give as much detail as possible. Make sure your ad stands out from among the crowd.


If you so choose, you can add a PayPal payment button at the bottom of your ads. Note that this feature is restricted to paying members.


That’s how to use US Free Ads to either find odd jobs through the wanted section, or to offer your own services through the services section. Since posting an ad is free, why not give it a shot?

Getting Started with Kijiji (eBay Classifieds)


Kijiji, also known as eBay classifieds, is a classifieds ads website launched by eBay in 2005. Unlike eBay, it has a very local focus.

You can buy and sell goods on Kijiji, as well as offer various services on Kijiji.

How Does Kijiji Differ From Craigslist?

Kijiji differs from Craigslist in several important ways.

First of all, people are less sceptical on Kijiji than Craigslist. There are fewer ads on Kijiji, which means fewer people vying for the customer’s attention.

You have a higher chance of attracting a browser’s attention on Kijiji. That said, there are fewer visitors on Kijiji.

Kijiji ads appear very different than Craigslist. Craigslist ads on the listing page are all text. On Kijiji on the other hand, all ads have a picture attached to it. This makes the browsing experience much more pleasant.

On Kijiji, the phone number of the person posting the ad is prominently displayed. This is very different than Craigslist, where the primary way of making contact is through an anonymous email.

Finally, on Kijiji the main focus of the ad is an image banner ad. There is a text description on the right, but the image is what’s front and center. This is different than Craigslist, which features mostly text posts. The image focus allows you to get more creative in your advertising, as you can put just about anything you want in the image.


What Services Can You Offer?

Kijiji has 13 primary service categories. Even if your service doesn’t fit under one of these categories, you can still post your services under the “other” section.

  • Art, Music & Décor: If you’re a musician, an interior decorator or a mural painter, this is where you’ll want to post your services.
  • Beauty & Health: Are you a dietician, massage therapist, nutritionist or personal trainer? This section’s for you.
  • Cleaning & Maintenance: If you want to make a bit of extra money cleaning rooms, or if you’re a professional at maintenance, this section’s for you.
  • Computer: For the technically proficient. This is where to post your computer repair services. Web design and graphic design also often goes under this section.
  • Events & Occasions: If you specialize in helping throw kids’ birthday parties or hosting corporate get togethers, post here.
  • Financial & Mortgages: If you’re a bookkeeper, an accountant, an investment specialist, an asset manager or a loan broker, post here.
  • Hotel, airline & car: Run a limousine company? Sell hotel rooms? If you work in the travel and leisure industry, this is the place to go.
  • Legal & lawyer: If you’re interested in helping people with their legal issues, this is where you can post your services.
  • Lessons & Tutoring: If you can teach a language, a software program, an academic class or a music instrument, post here.
  • Moving & storage: If you’re physically strong and want to make some extra money, post your moving services in this section.
  • Repair & remodel: If you have the skills necessary, this section can bring in quite a lot of clients.
  • Skilled trades: This section is for anyone who’s a skilled labourer. That includes landscaping, electrical engineering, car repair and more.
  • Other: This is for anything that falls outside the above categories.


Here’s how to offer your skills and services on Kijiji.





Where do you want your ad to appear?


You can enter either a city and state or a zip code.




Where do you want your post to go live? Select the category that most closely matches the service you offer.




Write a title that’ll help you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Make sure it’s a title that accurately describes what you’re offering; while presenting your best qualities upfront. For comparison, do a little bit of competitive analysis and see how your competition is positioning themselves.






Enter a description of the services you’re offering. Keep in mind that the description on Kijiji is used more for providing details than for selling. The actual selling power comes in the form of images.






Upload the photo you want to use. Keep in mind that the photo is the primary focus of your listing, not your text. Once someone clicks on your listing, your photo is more or less what they’ll use to decide whether or not they’re interested in hiring you.






Enter your contact information. Some people choose to enter less information for fear of getting spammed or unsolicited phone calls. At the end of the day however, people are more likely to trust a merchant who’s public with contact information rather than a merchant who appears to be trying to hide.


Err on the side of providing more contact information. Give out at least your phone number and your email.






Once you click “Preview,” you’ll be taken to a preview page where you can see exactly what your post will look like once it goes live.


Decide whether or not you like the ad. If not, click “Edit” and change things until you’re satisfied. If you’re satisfied, hit “post.”






Once you’ve hit “post,” you still need to confirm your email before you can continue.




Head over to your email and click the confirmation link. This is also the link you’ll use to edit or delete your ad if you want to make changes at a later time.



Once you’ve confirmed your ad, you’ll be up and running! Do note that it can take a few hours before the ad is live across Kijiji’s entire website.



Tips for Success With Kijiji


With Kijiji, the secret sauce really is in the images. It’s your one major chance to hook your viewer’s attention.


There are two times when your image can really make a difference.


First, before they’ve decided to click on your ad. Your viewer will see a thumbnail version of your ad. This thumbnail should catch attention and get them to read your headline.


The second time when the image matters is once they’re actually inside your listing. This is where you’ll want to use your image to either give them more information, or compel them to read the description.


Your image should fulfill both the goal of catching attention in the thumbnail listing as well as getting people interested on your main post.




How do you do this?


A combination of good design and good copy is best. The copy won’t be visible in the thumbnail view; so your image has to make sense whether or not the copy is read.


Split tests have shown that both men and women respond to images of women on marketing messages. Tests have also shown that a human face tends to draw attention. So a picture of a smiling woman doing something related to your product or service is a good place to start.


You now know how to post an ad to Kijiji to get prospects for your product or service. Remember to update and re-post this ad consistently, as it can take some time before the stream of clients start flowing in.

Most popular articles in June

popular-articlesTop 10 Google+ Mistakes

Google+ is one of the world’s largest social networks. Google+ also has one big advantage over other social networks: Google +1s have a big impact on search results.

Best 10 Graphics and Photo Editing Tools for Business Owners

basic image editing is absolutely a skill that every online business owner should know. Here are the top 10 graphics and photo editing tools for online business owners.

Top 10 Facebook Mistakes

Marketing on Facebook is very different than marketing on TV, on radio or through PPC advertising. In fact, it’s very different than just about any other marketing medium on the planet.


Top 10 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

If you’re serious about blogging, you’ll need to have a serious arsenal of plugins. These plugins will allow you to do all the things you need to do to create a truly spectacular browsing experience on your site.


Top 10 Social Media Information Sources

It’s a social world, no doubt, and most businesses know that they have to embrace social media in some way to grow and flourish. If you’re looking for social media information, this top 10 list provides with some great resources that are just a click away.

How to Make Money from Podcasts


Advertising is one of the best ways to make money from a podcast. It’s one of the most common ways to make money from a podcast. Advertising allows you to get paid for each podcast you produce, earning much more per visitor than you would from web advertising.

In order to get advertisers interested in your site, you need to have a podcast that gets at least a moderate amount of traffic. Unlike AdSense, where just anyone can get started even with next to no traffic, most podcast advertising deals tend to be with at least somewhat established podcasts.

Your website needs to look professional and your brand needs to be positive. Advertisers and sponsors will advertise in part because they want the exposure and the traffic, but also in part because they respect your brand and want to be linked to your podcast.

And remember: Unlike standard ads which are put up and taken down over time, an audio inserted into a podcast generally lasts forever. Advertisers love that.

Here’s what you need to know about landing advertising deals and keeping advertisers happy.

Where Do You Find Advertisers?

whoThere are a few main places you can find potential advertisers.

First, look within your own industry. Look for people who have money and might benefit from exposure to your audience. Start to build a relationship with them as early as possible, even if you’re not ready to ask them to advertise yet.

There isn’t a real directory of potential advertisers. Instead, you have to do some thinking about who to reach out to.

Look within your own network. Are there people who already love your work that might want to be associated with your company? Start a conversation with them about potential advertising opportunities.

Look through your Twitter feed. Look for people who’ve commented a lot on your content or retweeted your content frequently. See if they’re tied to any company that might become an advertiser.

Download shows from all your competitors, as well as all the other shows in your industry. Listen for what sponsors and advertisers other shows have. Contact those advertisers and let them know you’re open for advertising as well.

Mention advertising and sponsorship opportunities in your show. Don’t do it every show, just every two or three shows so potential advertisers who listen to your podcast will know about the advertising opportunity. Make sure you phrase it as an opportunity and whatever you do, don’t sound like you’re desperate for advertisers. It’s simply an opportunity you want to inform them about.

These are just some of the places you can look. Because there’s no set place to look, you always have to keep your eyes open. A lot of sales will happen through relationships, so always keep an eye out for influential people you can connect with.

Create a Podcast Advertising Page

On your website should be a podcast advertising page with all the details about advertising. On this page, include:

  • Audience numbers. This is one of the things your audience cares about most. Include your website’s traffic, your downloads per episode and your subscriber counts.
  • Talk about your demographics. Who tends to listen to your podcast? What are their age ranges? Are they die hard fans or just anyone in your industry? Are they hard to reach through other kinds of media?
  • Talk about your brand. How is your website and your podcast perceived in your industry? People advertise and sponsor websites that they’re proud to be associated with.
  • Unique things about your audience. What sets your audience apart? For example, if your audience has proven that they’re willing to try new products, make sure you mention that on your advertiser page.
  • Publishing schedule. How often do you publish? How often will the advertiser’s ad be inserted in the show?
  • Prices. Consider mentioning prices, though many podcasters choose to withhold this information until they’re on the phone with a potential advertiser. You can also just put up web advertising prices and leave podcast advertising prices for an actual conversation.
  • Contact information. Make it easy for advertisers to contact you by giving them your email and your phone number.



How Much Should You Charge Advertisers?

As a rule of thumb, you can expect to charge between 2 cents and 5 cents per download for a 30 second advertising spot. The actual rate you charge depends on a few things:

  • When in the podcast is the advertisement played? Ads played in the beginning of the show are more valuable, because everyone hears the ad. Ads in the middle or the end of the show are less valuable because a certain percentage of your audience won’t get to that part of the show.
  • If you (the podcaster) read the ad rather than the advertiser, you can often charge a little more for that.
  • The length of the ad. The longer the ad, the more you can ask for.
  • Your brand and your audience. The more established your brand and the larger your audience, the more you’ll be able to ask for per-download.

For example, let’s say you average 10,000 downloads for the average show. You’re charging 3.5 cents per download, which brings in $350 per advertiser, per download. If you have two advertisers per show and one show a week, that’s $2,800 a month.

These are just rules of thumb. You can also charge on a monthly basis or charge a flat fee per episode produced. The 2 to 5 cent guideline is just a starting point for you to set your prices. You can also start low, with the understanding that as your show gains popularity prices may rise.



Different Types of Podcast Ads

There are quite a few different ways you can promote an advertiser on your podcast. These are the most popular types.

  • Audio provided by advertiser. Your advertiser simply records their own audio segment and gives it to you. You insert it in the beginning, middle or end of your podcast.
  • You read the promotion for your advertiser. This helps build your advertiser’s credibility, because your audience already trusts you. Your advertiser might choose to write the script for you, or you can both co-write the script for the best results.
  • A “brought to you by” segment. You might have a specific part of your show be “brought to you by” the sponsor. For instance, let’s say you run a science experiment podcast. Right before you embark on the experiment, you’d say something like “This experiment is brought to you by XYZ company.”
  • A simple sound bite. Instead of a 20 to 30 second ad, your advertiser might simply want a 3 to 5 second ad saying something like “XYZ podcast sponsored by ABC.” This allows them to pay a lot less for air time, while getting their brand exposure out to a lot of people.
  • Advertising on your website. Instead of having their audio inserted into your podcast, they can advertise on your podcast website instead.

In addition to these five types of ads, there’s one more type that deserves special mention. That’s the response driven affiliate advertisement.


Affiliate Advertisements on Podcasting

Did you know that you can do affiliate marketing or performance-based marketing through podcasting?

The easiest way this is done is through coupon codes. The ad in your podcast will say something like “This podcast brought to you by XYZ. To receive a free ______ product from XYZ, go to and enter the code 1234ABCD.” does this brilliantly. They advertise on prominent shows like NPR and offer a free audio book download to their subscribers. Each podcast gets their own unique coupon code, which allows Audible to track where each sale comes from.

Often time’s the payment from these kinds of programs is blended. That means you get a certain amount per download, plus a commission fee for every purchase made from your visitors.

Unlike web affiliate programs, getting on these kinds of affiliate programs requires you to actually pick up the phone and build a real advertising relationship with your advertisers. It’s a more involved deal than just generating a link online.

Ask for the “biz dev” (business development) department when you call, if you’re calling a larger company.


Help Your Advertisers Succeed

Advertising on your podcast should be a win/win deal for your advertisers. If they’re not getting a good deal, if they’re not seeing a return on their money, if they can’t track their results, if they aren’t sure that advertising with you is a great deal – Then eventually, they’re going to cancel their advertising deal.

It’s your job to help your advertisers succeed. How do you do that?

  • Help them track their results. Use coupon codes, as described above, to give them concrete numbers how their ROI.
  • Survey your audience. Use online survey tools to ask them about products and services they want, as well as products and services they like or don’t like. Include your advertiser’s brand in your survey. Use this information to help inform your advertisers about ways they could improve their ads or their offerings.
  • Help them record great ads. Ads recorded by you will almost always have more of an impact than ads recorded by your advertiser.
  • Vary up their ads. Your audience will get used to an ad after hearing it a few times. Help your advertiser get more attention by rotating ads or varying the ad up every couple months.
  • Help hone their ads. Is the message right? Does it strike your audience’s emotional cords? How could it be improved? Use your knowledge of your audience to help your advertisers succeed.
  • Talk to your advertisers. Are they happy? Are they getting the results they want? If your advertisers are getting disgruntled, you should find out as soon as possible. Don’t wait until they’re ready to cancel to talk to them. Stay in contact and make sure your advertisers are happy at all times.


You now know where to find advertisers, what information to give them, how to price your ads, the different ad formats you can use and how to keep your advertisers happy. That covers everything you need to know to use your podcast to generate a consistent stream of income.