Utah Real Estate Startup Homie Launches Blogger Outreach Campaign

I recently held an event for Utah bloggers with Utah real estate startup Homie. The company aims to make selling by owner more effective and save Utah homebuyers and sellers on realtor fees – thousands of dollars.

Homie is only available in Utah right now but plans to expand into other states. If you want to use Homie’s technology to sell your Utah home without the need for a realtor, they can help.

Sometimes your entire profit from selling is eaten away by the commissions you have to pay. If you try the FSBO route, it’s pretty rough going and you’re likely to get a lower price. Homie occupies a middle ground.

We held the event with Utah bloggers at a museum. We had over 25 bloggers come for small plates, to network, and to learn about Homie.

Sell a home in Utah with Homie

Homie Utah Real Estate Services

Here is what Homie gives you to help you sell your home in Utah:

  • A phone number and screens calls for you so you don’t waste your time answering calls from realtors.
  • A professional lawn sign with your unique phone number.
  • Professional photos (the second biggest selling point) of your home from a Google Trusted photographer. They specialize in taking photos of homes and other buildings, and are very good at getting the right angles to make every room look its best. To hire a photographer to take photos of an individual house would normally cost $250 – $500.
  • A lockbox.
  • A team of real estate attorneys to consult about negotiations and to provide the paperwork for the offer and terms.

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a Home in Utah with Homie?

Homie charges $299 to sellers who want to list their home and then $99/month after the first month. The company says that most of the time people find the homes they want to see before contacting a realtor. They research everything online. Homie lists Utah homes for sale on their website (with the price to buy using Homie and a separate price if you have your own agent on the buyer’s side), as well as on Zillow, Trulia and KSL Classifieds.

Promo Code to Save $50 on Setup Fee

I worked with Homie to set up an in-house affiliate program. Bloggers who attended could also become an affiliate. In addition, everyone got an exclusive discount to offer their readers (even I did). My promo code is NPG-BLOG – which gets $50 off the setup fee ($299) when you sell a home with Homie. Enter the promo code at check out.

More info:

How Homie helps you sell your home: https://www.homie.com/blog/how-homie-helps-you-sell-your-home/

Buying a Home with Homie

You can also use Homie to buy a home in Utah. Find your home on any website and make an offer through Homie at no cost. Using Homie’s real estate attorney instead of an agent, you will have the power to negotiate a better price. They will assist with all paperwork. No matter where you find your home, Homie can help you buy a home.

More info:
The real cost of using a real estate agent: https://www.homie.com/blog/the-real-cost-of-using-an-agent/

Several who attended were interested in buying or selling a home with Homie themselves. One blogger already had an appointment with a Utah realtor set (to sell her home) before the event, but decided to use Homie instead. I’m looking forward to reading blog posts about her experience. You have to love it when you get ROI that fast!

I’ve done so many blogger events in Utah but I rarely blog about them. Hopefully you found this helpful. My only regret is not getting a group photo.

Next I’m writing about the most successful blogging campaign I’ve ever done – and it was for a new product that launched on Kickstarter.

Arizona Deadbeat Dads: a Controversial But Effective Social Media Campaign

The state of Arizona has taken a stand against deadbeat dads owe significant back child support payments with a new social media campaign. It may not be popular with everyone, but so far it’s working.

The campaign started in January. The goal of the campaign is to publicly call out dad’s who owe child support on social media with their photo and how much they owe, along with the hashtag #Deadbeat

The campaign features tweets and Facebook posts that are quite popular, even viral. People then recognize and turn in offenders. Some turn themselves in.In an article in The Arizona Republic, cited how a father made a payment the day after being featured and another came forward and ponied up $13,000.

Note that you only get featured if you owe significant amounts of child support, not someone who is simply behind a thousand.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 11.19.25 AM

Apparently Arizona Governor Doug Ducey likes hashtags – he wants people to call him Arizona’s “Hashtag Governor“.

You can follow along on Twitter @ArizonaDES or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/dougducey

Some people suggest using shame like this for better causes, like, “Why don’t you shame people into giving money back to the public schools.” Maybe they should start taking and sharing photos themselves from teachers and schools with their own hashtag? Others call him a deadbeat governor for this idea.

I’m not speaking on his politics or the idea of using shame to enforce the law, but he definitely knows how to generate publicity! This story has been covered and covered. It’s been debated. As always you have to ask if the end justifies the means.

If there was a vote, the winner would be John Curtis of Provo City to be the hashtag mayor for his brilliant use of hashtags and social media campaigns. I wrote about how the city built up to the launch of Google Fiber and had everyone in suspense.

As for me, I’m always on the lookout for how governments use social media or PR effectively.

Utah Restaurant Packs Guns, Business Booms

Utah restaurant, Sea Bears Ogden Fish House, is getting a lot of publicity recently for their pro-gun stance. Along with fish and chips, there is some heat. The owner, cook, and servers all openly carry and many are family members. There are guns tucked into their kilts.

Utah restaurants packs guns with their kilts

Six months ago, the 2nd amendment loving owner, Tony Siebers wanted to show his love of the 2nd Amendment.  His decision to open carry which is legal in Utah created a lot of controversy. I saw them on Channel 2 News last night, they were picked up by another TV station, The Standard Examiner newspaper, and I heard them on KSL Radio this morning.

I stopped by on my way to work today. It’s Tuesday at about 1pm and they are too busy for an interview. This is the type of business that they usually see on weekends. This is the entrance – almost every table is full.

Ogden restaurant gets media coverage

Unfortunately, polarizing works very well as a way to get publicity. Want to get in the news? Make something that makes people talk. It doesn’t even need to be real, apparently…this company built a fake app, got a lot of coverage on it (check out the story on Medium) and landed some six figure contracts. Dubious? I think so. But effective? No one can argue with that.

Nowadays, potential clients care more about the name on the door than the agency’s portfolio. In order to survive, new agencies need to be heavily differentiated with unique voices.

Donald Trump does this very well (even though the skills to get publicity may not be the same skills needed to effectively lead a country). Even in Facebook advertising, it’s ideal to create an offer that only your target market would be interested in so you only pay for downloads or registrations from potential customers. Everyone else will just move along.

Will the Publicity Backfire?

When a business takes a strong stand or pulls a publicity stunt, it creates a lot of conversations. In this case, it obviously helped the restaurant bring in more customers. People who are pro gun will go there just because of the guns. If you look at their Facebook page there isn’t a mention about all the news stories (missed opportunity), but there are a few comments from customers who saw them on the news and pledge support.

Ogden Sea Bears Restaurant Facebook

I always look at Chick-fil-A and their anti-gay marriage stance. It helped them short term but long term, the polarization hurt. In an interview last year with USAToday the CEO said they were backing away from getting political. “While Cathy’s comments didn’t hurt short-term business — and even helped it — Chick-fil-A executives recognize that the comments may have done longer-term damage to the brand’s image.”

On a national level, Chick-fil-A decided not to continue to voice their opinions and focus on their product.

Does the same hold true for a small local business? Do these stances hurt long-term or help? I tried to find out by asking I Love Drilling Juice and Smoothie Bar in Vernal, Utah. I wrote about them 3 years ago, after they made national news for charging liberals $1 more on their orders. Wait, didn’t liberals invent juicing and smoothies? I don’t know any hippies who aren’t liberal.

The end of the story? The business was listed for sale for $6,000 on their Facebook page and reported sold one day later. I couldn’t reach them (no answer when I called) to find out if they still charge liberals more.  However, their name has been changed to Smooth Drilling.

My last example comes from an ice cream shop, Farr’s Fresh in South Ogden, Utah. They got publicity for promoting guns after they ran a gun giveaway on Facebook several years ago. I haven’t seen anything else on their Facebook page, so I assume it’s business as usual.

Polarizing can be very effective (get more visibility and bring more business), especially short-term. For bigger brands or businesses it can cut you off from potential customers and you may have to back away from the issues. For smaller businesses with one location or just a few it may be a risk worth taking.

For Sea Bears if they’re going to get this much publicity, they ought to learn from I Love Drilling Juice and Smoothie Bar and fan this fire. I would put up links and comments about every news story. I’d post photos and highlight the crowds, thanking people for their support. I’d keep playing up the pro-gun stance with promotions and campaigns.

Looking for Liberal Examples

My only question is, where are the liberal examples? I’ve got plenty from the right (probably because I live in Utah). What publicity stunts have you seen from the left? Also, do you think this is a smart move for a local business?

View story at Medium.com

Recommended Affiliate Programs From Affiliate Managers Who Get It

When I went to Affiliate Summit this January I got to meet some affiliate managers and get to know their programs. I’m always looking for programs that are well-run and responsive. Greg Hoffman only runs programs in ShareASale and is top notch. Stephanie Robbins is another great manager. So is Melissa from Craftsy. I’m probably leaving some out. Some of the links below are affiliate links.

How The Best Affiliate Managers Can Help You:

  • They keep you updated on promotions.
  • They give you content ideas (StichFix does a great job of this).
    For example, if you’re VidAngel and Martin Luther King Day is coming up, you’d send an alert to your affiliates letting them know you have Selma and how it’s a perfect tie in.
  • They respond to email or other ways of contacting them (Jeannine at Affiliate Window is great at this).
  • They make it easier for you to promote their products. Melissa from Craftsy actually embeds your link into every email. She pre-writes tweets too. At a minimum you can copy/paste or edit then copy/paste.I referred a blogger to the Grokker program, where Stephanie Robbins is the affiliate manager. I noticed that Stephanie actually commented on a post.

    When I mentioned how great that is, and rare, here’s what the blogger said:

    “She is incredibly easy to work with and gets back so fast. This is the first affiliate program I’ve ever had good response. So I’m super glad you mentioned them. I’d just about given up on affiliate with shareasale for a while. Now I’m looking for more great companies on there.”

Affiliate Programs I Recommend

Affiliate programs can change and sometimes get better, but other times they get worse. There are programs I like but I don’t care for the affiliate manager – either you’re on your own or they do little to help out.

As of writing this post, these are some favorites:


At home online yoga, exercise and cooking classes. You get paid $10 for each free trial you refer. 30 day cookie.
Sign up here.
Sign up to try Grokker out yourself first to see if it’s a good fit for your blog: http://www.newspapergrl.com/grokker Ideal for fitness bloggers or lifestyle bloggers who attract moms that have a tough time getting the kids packed and out of the house and to a gym.

Healing Natural Oils
Essential oils from Amoils
25% 60 day cookie, Average order size is $62, 3% conversion rate
Sign up here.

100 Percent Pure
All natural, organic and vegetarian skin care.
10% per sale, 45 day cookie, average order size is $80
I got a sample of their eye cream and I’m a big fan. I use it every night and it’s really helped with under eye circles and bags under my eyes. First eye cream I’ve ever loved.
Make sure to read the part that tells how many customers were happy with various aspects of their specific products.
Sign up here.

Cover that slips onto sports shoes (like cleats) to protect & keep them clean.
$5 per sale, 60 day cookie
Sign up here.

Snake River Farms
Only 3% of all beef in the US receives the designation of Prime, yet Snake River Farms far exceeds the standard.
7% per sale, 60 day cookie
Sign up here.
This is a good one for food bloggers, anyone who has a higher end audience that will pay more for premium quality. BBQ bloggers, organic/whole foods bloggers are also a good fit.

My friends at Oakiwear just launched their affiliate program – they carry fashionable yet durable kid’s outdoor clothing. They’re on AvantLink.

Are you an affiliate of any of these programs? Which are your favorite affiliate programs or managers?

Utah’s Nexus Bill: Fighting for Utah Affiliates and Mom Bloggers

Utah Rep Mike McKell Republican, House District 66, introduced HB0235, the Utah nexus bill and one that would really hurt Utah bloggers. There are similar bills in the Senate. All of the bills concern internet taxation and trying to force online retailer’s hand by making them pay sales tax on anything sold to anyone who lives in Utah. Regardless if you like the term “mommy bloggers” (I don’t) the idea is that this bill will hurt mostly women, because out of the thousands of bloggers in the state, the majority are women and they are moms.

The intention is to “level the playing field” between online and offline retailers. The problem is it won’t work and in the process, yes, thousands of mommy bloggers will lose income and they will be mad. You know why? Because we’re a pawn in this game. I know your intentions are to help businesses in our state. This isn’t going to work though. I wish it would, but it won’t.

Here’s another take from a Utah blogger about why these bills are hurtful.

Utah nexus bill


You want to know how to level the playing field between online and offline? It’s not by charging sales tax. Online retailers win because of convenience and because they offer almost everything at the click of a mouse.  It’s not over 4.7% or whatever your sales tax rate is. Physical retailers around this country are closing. It’s not just a Utah issue and it’s not because of a few dollars.

Consumers love being able to shop from home at any time of day from their computer or phone. You can find almost unlimited inventory, compare prices, pay and have items arrive at your house within a day or two. That’s a lot easier and worth a few more dollars than driving to a store (pay gas, load up the kids, parking, etc), looking around to find what you’re shopping for, then waiting in line to buy it.

If you truly want to level the playing field, then every physical store would also have an online version and it would be mobile-friendly so people can easily buy from you at any time. They’d get a Shopify store (yes, that’s an affiliate link and I think they’re one of the best ways to sell online) that starts at $9/month and offer in store pick up for people want to come in. They’d learn SEO (search engine optimization) so their items come up in search engines, and get good at shipping.

You don’t level the playing field (which is actually impossible) by collecting sales tax. In fact, if I were the state of Utah, I’d much rather see incomes go up and collect on the income tax side.


Here’s how affiliate marketing works. This website sells personal checks. There are many designs and prices to choose from. However, notice there is no shopping cart. My friend who makes a living with this site never collects money from her customers at all. In fact if you click on a check it takes you to an online retailer who actually sells the checks. Affiliate marketing is referring a sale from your website to theirs. They have an agreement with my friend and pays her a percent of all the orders she refers to them.

Most bloggers have affiliate relationships with dozens if not over a hundred different online retailers. These retailers a presence in different states. If you somehow twist things to say that if you’re an affiliate then you have physical presence in the state, then bloggers have presence across the county and every state can use us to try and force online retailers to collect sales tax.

What happens instead is those retailers will refuse to do business with us again. Immediately. Within days we will get an email like this one which happened when Colorado passed a similar bill:

Valued Affiliate

We regret to inform you that in light of the recent passage of Colorado HB10-1193 Hayneedle has made the decision to terminate our relationship with affiliate partners based in Colorado. This means that effective Sunday, February 28th 2010, you will be removed from our affiliate program and will no longer be able to promote our products. All commissions earned up until February 28th will be paid in full.

We have appreciated your partnership and regret the turn of events that have forced us to take this action. Should this situation be resolved, we look forward to renewing our partnership with you in the future.

The GiftBaskets.com Affiliate Team

It will happen and it will hurt Utah bloggers. In some cases 100% of their income is from affiliate marketing. A blogger I talked to makes $40k a year and most of it probably from Amazon. She will be terminated from working with Amazon. Then what?? Is that a level playing field?

The law would essentially attempt to classify bloggers as more of an “employee” of the retailers we link to / advertise for – thus creating an official “nexus” (kinda like a homebase) for those retailers. That nexus gives the State of Utah the right to force that retailer to collect sales tax on purchases.


I’ve been an affiliate for over 10 years. I am the cofounder of a conference that teaches bloggers how to use affiliate marketing to make money to support their family. Bloggers were already writing about what they do and their readers already want to know where they got those shoes their wearing or the exact sewing machine they use. Affiliate marketing just takes it a step further and incentivizes bloggers to link to those products (and make money if someone buys them).

Why do I teach affiliate marketing to bloggers? Because affiliate marketing is the best way I know to make money online – you don’t need inventory, you don’t have to ship products, and you don’t have to be a certain color to advance, be educated or be a man. In Utah we have a pretty wide pay gap between men and women.


I call Utah the mothership of blogging. We have so many bloggers and so many of us need to work to support our families. We have Dooce the original mom blogger, Crafting Chicks, Six Sisters’ Stuff, Pink Peonies, Cara Loren and SO MANY VERY HIGH PROFILE BLOGS.

Many are looking for ways to be at home with young children AND earn an income. That’s also why MLM is so big in Utah. We have a lot of moms with young children at home. We also have a very high level of entrepreneurship. These are avenues that are vital to us. I’m already getting KILLED on taxes because my husband and I are self-employed. If our income goes down because of this Utah’s not going to get a lot of sales tax but they’ll get less income tax.

Someone in my Utah Bloggers Facebook group asked what percent of income each person makes from affiliate marketing on their blog. It’s way too long to list but here are some highlights:

I don’t actually make any money from affiliate sales, my readers are just not shoppers. I might earn enough to buy one Blu-ray every year, however I am against this bill. I can see the harm that will come if this bill is passed to those who do make their livelihood through affiliate sales on their blogs and I see the harm that will come to the state because of it.

55% of my income is from affiliate marketing, all from Amazon. I have multiple blogs.

Right now I only make about 10% of my income from affiliate sales, but I’m just starting a new section of my blog where I’m hoping to make a lot more in affiliate sales. Now I don’t know if I should bother.

50%. Most of my sales are outside Utah.

Probably around 20%… and mostly through Amazon. I only started last fall. Thanks for fighting for this, you are rad!

[Main site] plus three other sites. 50% income.

Currently fluctuates between 10-25% depending on the given month.

And I was just beginning to branch out from Amazon! (That is all Amazon) so it will suck if this passes just as I’m getting traction.

about 10% in my letter I mentioned that bloggers rely on a community and with this bill potentially putting so many of our fellow bloggers out of business we would all be affected.


Here’s what a member of our group found researching the affects of this law:

28 States in which Amazon remits sales tax:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

28 States in which Amazon has a physical presence or one planned
Same list as above

0 States with nexus law, but no warehouses, that remit sales tax (this would be Utah by this bill vision)

11 States that have lost their affiliate program
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois and North Carolina. (all reinstated when Amazon built a fulfillment center in their state) Arkansas, Maine, Rhode Island, Missouri and Vermont (still shut down due to no fulfillment center). Hawaii lost their program as a result of a treat to pass a nexus law.

13 States in which Amazon now offers 2-hr delivery
Amazon offer’s 2-hour delivery from many fulfillment centers, directly competition with brick-and-mortar stores. The map attached clearly shows that they do not have a 2-hr delivery in the mountain west. As a result, if this does passes, I assume Amazon may announce a fulfillment center, which would help us, but would be DEVASTATING for the brick-and-mortar stores Utah lawmakers are trying to help.

Amazon’s track record alone proves this is a lose, lose for Utah.

There are NO states, no examples, where Amazon collects tax purely based on these types of bills. ZERO. It has never worked.

Most of this info comes from this Wikipedia article (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_tax), and Google.


I hope you realize why we’re fighting against a Utah nexus bill. I hope you’ll contact your representatives and ask them to vote AGAINST it. The legislature is almost wrapped so this bill will pass or fail in the next few days.

Sign our petition.

Contact your Utah state representatives. Find your representatives, just put your address and zip code in on this website to get your district and reps. Click to get email and phone numbers. Let them know you’re against this bill. Share your story.

We’re running out of time. I woke up in distress this morning. This hit fast. I have to work on my business and this takes a ton of time. I’m not a trained lobbyist. In fact, I’ve only lobbied once in DC (in college) and it was terrifying. Jim Hanson was so rude to us – I’ll never forget and it made me never want to try again. But I have to. This is too important not to give it all we can.

Right now, it’s up to all of the Utah Affiliate Marketers to educate and stand up for our livelihood.

How to Choose the Best Domain Registrar

Thank you GoDaddy for sponsoring this post. While this was a sponsored opportunity from GoDaddy, all content and opinions expressed here are my own. These are the considerations I use to choose the best domain registrar. 

I’ve blogged since 2005 and since then ALL my domains have been with GoDaddy. A few months ago I was all ready to transfer all of my domain names to Google Domains. One thing stopped me from going that far. Ironically, they both came from reading the comments on a Facebook ad announcing Google Domains.

The biggest concern I have is wondering if Google would be in the domain business long-term. They have a history of starting and ending things. So you have to ask yourself if this service will be one that lasts. Changing domain hosts is a pain! I lost one of my domains recently and it didn’t take long for someone else to buy it. So now I need to change my main work email address. I’m certain I don’t want to pay what they’re asking to get it back.

Second, I like the pricing and offers of GoDaddy domains – when you use a coupon. And you should ALWAYS use a coupon. Read on to get some great domain name registration offers from GoDaddy.

GoDaddy Has THE CHEAPEST Web Hosting In the Universe (and it includes a domain name)

Before I go into the things you should look at for a domain registrar, I have to mention this. If you are hosting a basic website or landing page, you cannot beat the price of hosting from GoDaddy. $1/ mo Hosting + Free domain! Yes, that is $1/month. That’s amazing.

Here are 4 questions to consider to help you choose the best domain registrar:

1. Will The Domain Registrar Be In Business In a Few Years?

I remember how Google got into the affiliate marketing industry after buying a network to start Google Affiliate Network. It lasted 7 years. That caused some pain in the affiliate world.

Gwern.net did an analysis of Google’s track record and found that more than one out of every three services Google launches ends up being shut down. Then there are the services like Blogspot that doesn’t get updates and Google+  is expected to shut down.

Here’s just one of the comments I saw on Google Domains announcement on Facebook:

great idea *not* most important aspect of your business and you put it in a huge corporations hand, if you ever need emergency support for your domain you get no where… except a knowledgebase … besides the prices are higher or the same as most ‘good’ domain sellers..

GoDaddy 24-7 Phone Support2. Does Your Domain Registrar Have 24/7 Phone Support?

If you have problems with your domain or hosting, you want to be able to reach someone about it, fast. I insist on phone support. GoDaddy has 24 hour phone support. This is so important to me. The best registrar has phone support that you can reach any time. I have often been on the phone at 2am trying to solve a problem. I’d hate to have to wait until morning if there’s a problem.

GoDaddy is the world’s largest domain registrar and they offer an array of products that will help small business owners build an online presence, attract customers and manage their business.

best price for domain names3. Are You Getting the Best Price on a Domain Name?

ALWAYS look for a coupon for GoDaddy before buying a domain. They will combine all of your domains so they will all get renewed at the same time. Then (pro tip) watch for emails from GoDaddy –  because that’s how they send discounts to existing customers.

Click this button to get .99 cent domains:
THE domain at THE price! $.99 .Com Domains from GoDaddy!

If you want to register a new domain, I found the best deal. Here’s 30% off coupon that isn’t just good for the first year. Use it to save 30% on all years you have the domains. This is a huge savings!! Click the link or the banner below to get this special pricing. 
GoDaddy domain name coupon! Big Savings For Your Small Business!

4. Does your Domain Registrar Have Premium Domain Extensions?

I wanted to buy a .marketing (wish I’d bought affiliate.marketing!) domain but it wasn’t available at that point. If you’re a small business and want to set up some domains that are easier to remember or for specific campaigns or audiences, premium domains are great for that.

If I were a movie studio I’d secure the .movie domain for every new movie that was coming out.

If you offer deals for specific states or cities, you could use the .deal domain – for example, utah.deal and direct it to the specific part of your website that has Utah deals. That’s a lot easier to print or share with others.

I think affiliate marketers could also use custom domains – they’d be more memorable for Facebook ads or just to tell others about.

Maybe I should buy a .expert domain! If you’re an author and can’t get a good domain for your book, maybe one of these will work, such as nameofbook.online

This link gives you 30% off premium domains.

Here is a partial list of premium domain extensions from GoDaddy:

Continue reading

3 Trends in Influencer Marketing for 2016

I’ve noticed some trends in influencer marketing as I’ve worked with bloggers and blogger outreach for brands in many niches.

I’m seeing more affiliate managers and brands reach out to influencers and bloggers.

3 Trends in Influencer Marketing

influencer marketing trends

  1. Separate Treatment of Bloggers and Media

    Hopefully this trend catches on in a bigger way, but “at the Fall 2016 Tommy Hilifiger fashion show in New York, Instagram influencers will have their own special photo pit.” That means they had a separate space to take photos. Which is really smart because they’re not the same and it scores points with influencers who extend the reach of the show by sharing live updates. Plus, they’re celebrities too.

    The move will also ensure that the top Instagram influencers will have a perfect view of his show. And that’s genius, considering many fashion bloggers have more followers than traditional media outlets (where the traditional photo pit images usually appear).

    Whenever I do events, I request that we don’t invite media but that it’s just bloggers and other social media influencers. While there’s some mixing for the most part each group keeps to themselves. Tend to ask different questions. For example, with a plastic surgeon event I attended. Bloggers wanted the language to focus on the benefits and putting everything in relatable terms.

    I can’t welcome this trend enough. I’m seeing brands wake up to the fact that bloggers and regular media are equal but different. They shouldn’t always be thrown into the same space together and if they are there might need to be some education.

    I did blogger outreach for Roots Tech last year and there was a central media space on the trade floor where celebs and VIPs could get interviewed. It was also a spot for bloggers to congregate as well as take part in interviews. The problem was, the bloggers were taking selfies with the celebrities. Actually TOUCHING them.  The mainstream media wasn’t keen on that. They complained, in their words, “they’re not media trained!” The guests loved it from everything I saw but in the traditional world you keep more personal space and you don’t take selfies.

    At restaurant openings, I ask the owners to either close off the restaurant or have bloggers in a room together rather than mixed with everyone else, including media.

  2. Brands and Networks Open Private Facebook Groups For Influencers

    I’ve seen more and more brands and affiliate networks start Facebook groups aimed at influencers. Bloggers are highly sought after. At my affiliate marketing conference, ShareASale CEO Brian Littleton told us the reason they are sponsoring so many blogging conferences is because their clients want to work with bloggers. He has a private Facebook group too. CJ has one and a team dedicated to recruiting and working with bloggers by giving them pre-approval to programs and in some cases, higher commissions. As far as I know those are the only affiliate networks with their own Facebook group.

    Facebook groups are a great way to communicate with bloggers.I’m seeing so many pop up now. You can provide training, ideas on how to promote your products/services and allow bloggers to network with other bloggers. They’re sharing editorial calendars, offering sponsored posts and discounts, as well as helping affiliates get approved for affiliate programs. The groups are also helpful – we get to see what other affiliates are doing. That’s new too – many affiliates are very tight-lipped about what they’re doing but bloggers tend to be more open.

    I find these Facebook groups for bloggers so helpful. I think Etsy in particular should start a private Facebook group for affiliates/bloggers. So should Affiliate Window. They’re so much better than emailing back and forth because the whole group can chime in and help each other.

    I love private Facebook groups I’m in and hope this trend continues. If I were an affiliate manager I’d start one today.

  3. Sponsored Post Campaigns – with Affiliate Links Allowed

    Overall businesses want to work with bloggers – it’s a great form of content marketing – like this example of Penelope Trunk promoting a mattress on her blog. She has a loyal following and she can so effortlessly weave a mattress into a story about habits. In fact, bloggers carried the initial Kickstarter campaign for Purple mattress, with a single post from a blogger driving more than $20k in sales. When working with bloggers, that’s a dream come true. It can work and it can pay off big time.

    More businesses want to work on an affiliate marketing model where there is no initial payment up front. In fact, I’ve never seen more interest in all the years I’ve been following the industry. Many of my clients hope for that or some variation of it.

    In the extreme, a blogger only gets paid if the promotion works and the product sells. That means all the risk is with the blogger. Most bloggers want both an up-front payment AND a percent. That way if it doesn’t resonate with their audience they still get paid. It also means that the blogger will make it a priority (get it done). Otherwise you’re at their mercy.

    If a blogger is a good fit and has a loyal following, you want them to blog about your business. However, bloggers are like you, are always trying to find what works best. The problem is, blogger networks cannot guarantee sales, nor do they ever want to.

    At Affiliate Summit this year, Kelby Karr of Type-A Parent made it clear that you’re hiring bloggers to get brand exposure and content. Of course that’s too much risk for a network to take on because it’s not your fault if the product doesn’t sell. Still, I cringed just a little only because affiliate marketing by definition is pay for performance. Which means you only get paid if you sell. Still, if you want bloggers, you might need to compromise.

    My discussion on this point got a big response on Facebook. I’m curious to hear yours.

    What influencer trends have you seen? 

How I Use Fiverr For Online Marketing Tasks

Fiverr is one of my favorite ways to get low cost help for my online business. I’ve used Fiverr for everything from a blog graphic, to book covers, and ads (for Facebook and Twitter).

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a website that has freelancers that you can hire to do jobs for you, starting at $5. They can design a logo, create an ad, and perform other tasks (read on to learn how I have used Fiverr).

Fiverr Review

I’m a fan of Fiverr. Disclosure: I recommend Fiverr to so many people I decided to be an affiliate too. Thank you for using my affiliate link. I’ve used Fiverr for years and have my favorite sellers. Fiverr can actually be a great way to get work done fast and cheap. Over the years though sellers have gotten more savvy and there are a ton of upsells.

When to Pay for Upsells

Sometimes it’s worth it to pay for upsells. Here are times when it’s a good idea:

  • When you need something done very fast. I had a very hot campaign and so it was worth the upsell to get it done faster.
  • If the upsell will significantly improve the quality of what you get.
  • If it’s for fun or for a paid campaign. If you’re going to make money on the post it may be worth it to pay more. I sometimes use Fiverr for Facebook images and (for example,) it’s ok if it’s black and white. Other times I’ll pay more for color.

Look at Reviews

Always look at the reviews of any sellers you want to use. Read them. If they’re vague and generic, skip over them. Try to look up any claims. Sometimes the work shown is not the quality of work you’ll get.

You also need to do a good job at explaining what you want and give clear direction and examples. That affects the quality of work dramatically.

Tip: Give the seller as detailed of instructions as possible, showing mockups or examples of what you’re looking for. That will help you get a better quality.

Sometimes breaking down a job into smaller chunks will help. First, you give them a very basic project and if you like the seller’s work, then give them something more difficult.
Fiverr marketing services

Here are Some Fiverr Gigs I’ve Paid For

Christmas Facebook image – I used Fiverr to make a drawing of me in a Christmas sweater that I used for my Facebook profile image in December.

fiverr drawing


Facebook Ad Images I had images created that I used for a Facebook ad campaign – my most successful campaign ever.

Here’s the basis of an ad (I added text because it’s harder for them to get it right than just doing it myself in Canva).

Fiverrr Facebook ad

I’m not the only one who likes to use Fiverr.com to design Facebook ads. Check out this post from Adespresso about their test. They compared work from Fiverr, Upwork, and 99 Designs. Fiverrr won out of the three. It got the most clicks and impressions.

“…judging purely by visual quality Fiverr had given us by far the best product.”

Sponsored Tweets
I paid for people to tweet about a Kickstarter or other program I want to promote. Unsure about results. I recommend that you look at the person’s Twitter feed and see what they tweet about, if they’re getting retweets, and if you think the quality is good. I found one person that way and he was so good I ended up hiring him a few times.

Landing Pages
I’ve had a landing page created – which ended up costing $125. I haven’t tested it yet but was happy with the work.

Facebook Cover Images
I got a Facebook cover image designed. This one I wasn’t crazy about but it was only $5. I think I’d start again with more examples and better direction. To me the big challenge is the font. If it’s not right then your image can look cheap.


I’ve gotten designs for my clients (I manage Facebook pages), event page images, and Twitter backgrounds. I gave them the photograph and they added words to several.

Image Quotes
Here’s an example:

Fiverr example

I would use Fiverr for ebook design/cover designs and even formatting text to make it Kindle-friendly.

Fiverr Affiliate Program

I’m also a Fiverr affiliate. Fiverr has an affiliate program on Affiliate Window. Here’s the link if you want to sign up too. Apply for Affiliate Window first (ironically it’s $5 but you get it back when you make your first sale). Then after you’re accepted, apply for the Fiverr program.

I actually paid someone on Fiverr $5 to create this ad for Affiliate Window for me:


This was my version that I made in Canva. I gave it to them along with the logos and asked them to make it more professional. Doing a mockup yourself is a good way to show what you have in mind:


I think that was worth $5.

Fiverr for Online Marketing

Fiverr recently improved their Online Marketing category. First, they changed the name from Online Marketing to Digital Marketing.

They added new Digital Marketing subcategories:

  • SEM: Increase your web traffic with PPC and Search Engine Marketing.
  • Email Marketing: Create and run highly effective email campaigns.
  • Influencer Marketing: Work with influencers to market your product.
  • Content Marketing: Get original content created and distributed.
  • Local Listings: Create, improve or maintain your business on local sites.
  • Mobile Advertising: Promote your product to mobile consumers.
  • Marketing Strategy: Develop strategic marketing plans to meet your goals.

They renamed several subcategories too:

  • Social Marketing is now called Social Media Marketing
  • Get Traffic is now called Web Traffic
  • Fan Pages is merged with Social Media Marketing
  • Keyword Research, Bookmarking & Links are merged with SEO & SEM
  • Blog Mentions, Article & PR Submission are merged with Influencer Marketing & Content Marketing

What Not To Do on Fiverr

I want to try out some more digital marketing services on Fiverr. However, I won’t buy likes on social media. You can but I don’t recommend it. I’d rather run Facebook ads to get legit followers that actually like my page. It’s cheap and effective. You can literally spend a few dollars a day. Don’t use Fiverr for it.

Also, be aware that some people on Fiverr are not honest. If you have a tshirt design that you know will crush it, you may want to go to a pro instead. They may steal your idea and sell the design they created for you. It’s happened.

Have you tried Fiverr for online marketing tasks? What were your results like? Any sellers to recommend?

Why Most Bloggers Suck At Making Money Online

I spent the last year working with bloggers with high pageviews (80,000/month and above). I’ve interviewed and coached bloggers and all of this has given me insight into what why some make money and others don’t. Unfortunately, a lot of us suck at making money online.

I love seeing bloggers succeed. I celebrate and I’m motivated by success. I cheer for Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and others who’ve reached incredible heights (she was projected to make $9 million last year). I cheer for the small successes too. I feel a part of the blogging community and want to contribute to its overall success.

Here are my insights about why a lot of bloggers don’t make money blogging, including with affiliate marketing. Maybe this will help you too.

Making Money Blogging

Here’s Why You’re Not A Successful Blogger:

You Only Focus on Pageviews

Most bloggers are stuck trying to get higher pageviews so they can make more money blogging. Yet many are not willing to do the work to get those pageviews. Or they’re blogging about something not enough people care about. Honestly, I gave up trying to get the most pageviews. I don’t really care. What I care about is my reputation and since I’m a business, making money (which doesn’t require high pageviews). I also care about fulfillment and making an impact.

You’re Lazy (Don’t Worry, I’ve Been Lazy Too)

I’ve put on several conferences about affiliate marketing. I’ve invested years in learning about it and trying to be successful at it.  The number one complaint I hear from bloggers is that affiliate marketing doesn’t work for them. I’m convinced that affiliate marketing will work for every single blogger.

You might have to improve your writing. It might take some time to see results. However, my mistake and others that I see is that more often we’re not putting relevant affiliate links in our content. I went back through my posts and I see very little opportunities to authentically use affiliate links. That means I need to add more content that works with them.

You may have to change the direction of your blog or start a new one. Jon Morrow, who makes at least $100k/month blogging, says:

After working with thousands of students, I can confidently say there are only a few hundred topics where blogging really works.

Another issue I see is bloggers not doing the research or testing to see what works. You can boost a post on Facebook or pay for some ads to get people to your blog post. If no one buys then you learned. Try another approach or try something else.

Last of all, you might not be lazy, it might just be timing. There were times my life was too intense and I wasn’t ready to focus on making money. I just wanted to share and document what I was learning. I was making money from a job and consulting. That’s ok too.

You Have the Wrong Mindset

I hear bloggers say they’ll start making money when they reach a certain number of pageviews. That’s when they can get sponsored posts. That’s when they’ll make more from ads. It’s true that if you’re relying on ads or an ad network you do need to have a lot of traffic. That’s why I love affiliate marketing though. You don’t have to wait. You can start now. Plus you set the rules. Is it a risk? Yes, but it’s pay for performance so if your blog post doesn’t sell, well then you are out the time.

But I still hear from bloggers that Facebook ads don’t work. I hear that blogging is dying or that bloggers can’t sell. I see the opposite. I’m seeing incredible results.

While I’m seeing more of a hybrid model where brands will pay bloggers for a post and let them use an affiliate link, I still think bloggers are smart to invest in affiliate marketing. Investments take some risk. You might have to buy products and end up not blogging about them because you didn’t like them (although you can always ask the brand for product). You might spend money and not make a cent. It might take months to see any traction, like this post that I spent more time and money on than any other post. Still, you learned to get good at sponsored post or getting traffic. That took time, right? I encourage you to invest as much time in getting good at affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is it’s own thing and you need to invest in learning it. I think the potential is much bigger than sponsored posts which a lot of bloggers rely on. If your mindset is to wait then you’re missing out.

You’re Not Willing to Invest Money

I hope that you’re not using a free version of WordPress or have a domain like newspapergrl.blogspot.com. If you’re serious about making money on your blog you’ve got to invest in hosting (I recommend SiteGround for smaller blogs and WP Engine for larger ones). Web hosts have support lines and can walk you through setting up a new blog. There are many reasons you should pay for hosting but the top two are: people take you more seriously and you have less risk of your blog being deleted. My free WordPress blog got deleted in 2007. I don’t ever want it to happen again.

I’ve read income reports (like this one from Digital Nomad Wannabe who is living that lifestyle) and shared results of studies. I buy their ebooks (this is my favorite one about how a blogger earned $40k her first year blogging) and learn from them.

I invest in a Facebook ad tool, SEO tool, graphic design, domain names, and many other things. Business need cash flow, not dams. If you’re not willing to spend anything but time it really limits your results.

The Affiliate Program You Picked Doesn’t Convert

Sometimes it’s not you, it’s the affiliate program. You know I wrote a book about press releases for SEO and marketing. In my book I talked a lot about PRWeb. Some people accused me of advertising for them. I wasn’t. The funny thing is, even though they are the service I always used and tested, I didn’t do well on their affiliate program. I’m not sure I ever sold a single press release. I knew the product better than most people at PRWeb. I saw results from it – in other words people increased their sales. I didn’t see results as an affiliate of PRWeb though.

Maybe I didn’t market them enough or do enough case studies. I just know if something doesn’t work I stop putting effort into it and look for something that does. I’m not sure why some things resonate and some don’t, but your audience is unique and you’ve got to find what works for yours.

You Tell – Instead of Sell

I have a saying that is famous and it’s SELL don’t TELL. There’s a difference. If you just tell people then it’s unlikely to sell them. You’ve got to add your enthusiasm and unique perspective. I have to take my own advice sometimes. If I can’t be excited about something then I probably can’t sell it. So that’s my test. If I don’t feel any excitement about the product or service then I shouldn’t promote it. I need to believe in it in some way. Otherwise I lose trust and feel like a cheap car salesperson.

I’ve seen a blogger add affiliate links on a personal blog to something that they’ve never tried that doesn’t fit their audience at all. If you’re a deal blogger you can link to almost anything and don’t need to try it first. But if you have a personal blog, it needs to fit your personality. Most often your readers are a lot like you. If it’s not something you’d buy then why would they buy it? Another blogger is stressed about money and is probably careful about every purchase. I told her one reason she isn’t selling is because her readers probably get the vibe that she’s stressed about money and that makes them on some level feel stressed about theirs (and not want to spend it). Money is like a river, it has to move and flow. It has to go out and come in.

What surprises me is how well my posts about products have done. I expected people to get annoyed or unfollow me if I sold something. However, I’m a business. I have to make money. If I don’t I’ve got to go get a job. You’re the same. You’re in business to make money. If your pitches are annoying and people leave in droves then find a better approach. I genuinely share from a desire to be helpful. My sales posts are some of my most popular.

I read an ebook recently that said many people like the idea of affiliate marketing but forget the marketing part. Instead they simply put affiliate links in their posts. As this post from  points out:

“At the present time there is (on average) over 2 million new blog posts published every day.”

That’s a lot of blog posts. What does that mean to you? That means if you want to have any chance of being found online, you have to market your content.

I think Emily Hill of Is This Really My Life is very good at selling and not just telling. So is Melea of Freebies2Deals.

You’re Just Not Smart Enough

I worked with a million dollar affiliate and I wanted to be like him and make the money he made. I wanted that success so bad. However, after seeing what he did to make that kind of money I changed my mind. I didn’t want to do the work required to make that kind of money. Or I couldn’t see myself doing it the way he was. I realized I wasn’t smart in the same ways he was. I’m not a PPC affiliate and never want to be. He invested in learning to write copy, learning to code, graphic design and constantly put a ton of money in to get a lot more out. I wasn’t willing to take that risk. I didn’t have that kind of capital. I don’t have the technical ability he did and frankly I had no desire to learn it.

The number one response I get when I tell bloggers how much money I make is how they would spend that money if they had it. This response frustrates me. They focus on what they want without realizing the work it took to get there. If it were me I’d ask, how did you do it! They want me to tell them exactly what ads I used and what I exactly did. I’m not willing to do that. I learned from my mistakes and kept trying. Sometimes it’s a roller coaster, but after some time I start seeing patterns and hone in more on what’s working and what isn’t so I can improve. You have to go through that process too. I spent hours trying to help another blogger and in the end they didn’t make anything. I just wasted so much time and neither one of us benefited. Lesson learned.

My Affiliate Marketing and Blogging Goals

This year I want to:

  • Get better at Facebook ads that convert to sales.
  • Rank for more keywords that lead to sales for long term.
  • Find writers for a new blog I’m building
  • Outsource of the work I’m not good at or don’t enjoy.

I’m going full in on affiliate marketing. Of course this post contains affiliate links.

What about you? What are you going to do differently or change to be a more successful blogger this year?

Adespresso Review: Skip Facebook Power Editor

This past month I did the best I’ve ever done as an affiliate marketer – and I owe a lot of my success to AdEspresso. Starting out, I took a Udemy class on how to use Facebook Power Editor but I came away overwhelmed and confused. I wasted a lot of time. So I’m happy to have found an Facebook advertising tool like AdEspresso.

I asked in a Facebook group (you should join the one for Adespresso if you buy) and one of my marketing friends said to get Jon Loomer power editor tool – Adexpresso. I don’t think Jon owns it but that’s what he said, so I searched and found it.


Do I think it’s worth paying for Facebook ads? Let me just say YES! It’s more than worth the time and effort I’ve put in. I wonder what took me so long to go this strong on Facebook advertising! Looking back I wasted a lot of time trying to figure things out I could’ve just tested – even with a smaller budget. If you don’t like paying for ads and think boosted posts and ads don’t work then you’re not doing it right (and this review is a waste of your time).

I’m totally on board with advertising on Facebook, my only goal is to get better and better at it. I’ve never seen so much opportunity in marketing as I do now – and that includes affiliate marketing.

Not only have I made thousands this month, but I also got new likes on my business page. That is starting to pay off and I expect to grow even more because of my advertising. I’ve also seen incredible engagement on some of my ads, which is like free advertising for me because I get extra views I’m not paying for!

Adespresso Review by Newspapergrl

AdEspresso Review

To start I signed up for the 14 day free trial so I could test out Adespresso to make sure I like it. I didn’t read a lot – I pretty much just started because I was overwhelmed trying to learn so many things at once. Adespresso was SO MUCH EASIER to learn than Power Editor. I know if you’re running a high number of ads Power Editor might be a better choice for you, or if you’re more advanced than I am.

Adespresso has a series of training videos called University. Don’t sign up for the university if you sign up for an Adespresso account. The university is included in your Adespresso purchase.

Read the emails they send because they have examples of the best and worst ads from people who use Adespresso. There is also a library of ads from all sorts of niches and industries. This helps you get a feel for what works and for ideas on what to test.

What is AdEspresso?

Adespresso is a Facebook ad management tool. With it you can create several versions of your ad. You can use different images, headlines, text, and URLs. Just like in Facebook ads manager you can preview the ads and choose where you want them to show up – in the sidebar, on mobile, on Instagram or in the newsfeed.

After you add variations, you can choose your targeting. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. The text, image and targeting make or break your ad campaign. Adespresso automatically creates combinations of your ads and runs them for you. It publishes straight to Facebook.

Then I use the Facebook Ads app to check my ads. I turn off the ones that are expensive and I add budget to the ones that are performing well. So if my ad costs .55 cents a click for women and .33 cents a click for men, I turn off the ad for women and just have it run to show men .It’s easier to manage the ads in the app (after they’re created) then it is in Adespresso.

Who Should Get AdEspresso?

Adespresso is for a small to mid-sized business. You can use it for clients or just for your own campaigns. I use it to run ads for my own affiliate marketing business.

What I Love Most About AdEspresso

I’ve got to say hands down I love how visual Adespresso is and how much easier it is to A/B test your ads. Power Editor isn’t visual or intuitive. Adespresso is. I can easily see my campaigns, the cost per click, impressions and spend. I can see which ads are performing. There is a limit of 250 different combinations of ads you can test in one campaign.

I can see which of my ad images are doing well and pause any on the spot that aren’t working. I can also see what ad copy and headlines are performing best. Look at the age ranges. Turn off any ads that are too expensive. Keep or bump up any that are performing well.

Easily Turn Off Facebook Ads That Cost You Too Much

Look at the stats for an ad I ran for a movie that was nominated for an Academy Award. I thought Academy awards would be the best interest to target, but it’s not. As you can see it’s costing me 57 cents per click. Just movies is only 11.5 cents a click. So I click to the right of “Academy Awards” and pause all ads that are being shown to people who like Academy Awards. I did that with text, headline and image. Next, I’ll create a new campaign that targets movies generally.

Adespresso testing

I also really like the automatic optimization option, which I always use. You can manually set up rules but I haven’t done that yet. At some point I hope to elaborate on that more. Right now I still consider myself a beginner. I’m still trying to figure out what the best combination is – should I optimize or pay for impressions, clicks, or engagements?

AdEspresso has interest targeting that let’s you use an  ‘AND’ or an ‘OR’ criteria. So you could target people who like movies AND Academy Awards. I could test that. Right now I have it set to OR.

What I Don’t Like About AdEspresso

Well, if I were dreaming I’d like it to say, Janet this is the ad, the copy and the the interests combination that works best. Why don’t you add budget? You know, make it even smarter. I need to see if there’s a way to say if an ad costs me more than 20 cents a click automatically turn it off (after it gets at least 10 clicks).

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have reached the success I’ve had without AdExpresso because I was losing my mind with power editor. Note that I haven’t tried any other tool. I’m happy with AdEspresso. Everything has a learning curve and I’m not ready to start over learning another Facebook ads tool.

Since I’m only a month in I’m sure I’ll have more insights to share. There’s so much to test and learn. I have to take it a step at a time though. Remember this is my money not my employer’s or someone else’s. So I get mad when I waste it. Still, I’m getting smarter.

The guy who runs AdEspresso isn’t a native English speaker and misspells words, but this is technical and I don’t blame him. I just notice it sometimes. Not a big deal. Eventually maybe he’ll hire an editor.

Design Facebook Ads With Canva

I use Canva to design my ads, choosing the custom size and making it 1200 x 628. I’ve tested making the left hand side an image and the right hand side with a call-to-action. You can buy stock photography, I think AdEspresso has some images, or create your own with your own photos.

Price of AdEspresso

AdEspresso offers three plans with prices going from $49 to $299 per month depending on how much you spend on Facebook ads per month. I’m at the $49/month plan that is good for up to $3,000 in Facebook ad spend.

I’m tempted however to upgrade to the $149 plan and take advantage of the 1 hour of dedicated training (I hope that’s per month). That’s my plan when I ramp up and find offers that convert. It would be helpful to have someone give me an outside expert look at my ads and help me optimize them.

Recommended: Try AdEspresso FREE with the 14-day free trial

Go try out AdEspresso now. If you love it and want to be an affiliate too, sign up here. Payout is 50% with a 45 day cookie. You may as well – if you are as much of a fan as I am you’ll want to share it with other marketers.

Facebook Ad Tips

This slideshare presentation is helpful (click to go there):


I’m still learning landing pages and if it’s ever good to direct link or if I should always send people to a blog post. I like the blog post for something that takes explaining and also to get the traffic to my site. That helps with SEO and I make money on ads.

Have you tried AdEspresso or another Facebook ad management tool? Let me know what you think!