Stephen Pratley’s Blog

My advice to Mike

Imagine one of your best mates came to you for some advice. Imagine it’s in a realm that you genuinely know something about and have skills and experience to offer. Wouldn’t that be a great conversation to be able to share? I mean, it would be your best work, right? Not so much that you’d […]

Solving the problem of what to write in your emails.

We’ve all been there, staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen. Advice like “the cure for writers block is to just write” is terrible in these situations, so it helps to have the tiniest of prompts to get you moving in the right direction. “Write about X” is a lot better prompt than […]

A Return to Hypefury

This week I ditched my previous posting tool (SmarterQueue) and have gone back in on Hypefury. I thought it would be useful to know the little detour I took, as it will enlighten much bigger decisions than a Twitter app. Let’s start there though. There are a bunch of Tweet scheduling tools out there and […]

Ikigai. Where motivation and product validation collide.

In my Dropbox account, there’s a whole folder full of online courses I’ve created, that either failed, or never saw the light of day. They all fell foul of one of four reasons. The first reason was that I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Usually just for money. After 25 years in business, […]

A better workflow for writing email campaigns.

I like writing emails, but I hate email editors. They suck. All of them. In fact the better the email platform is at managing your automated campaigns, the more they suck as a place to write. On the other hand, WordPress is getting better at being a half-decent tool to write in. The new editor […]

How to get more Twitter Followers

I write this on the brink of getting Twitter 1,000 followers – putting me in the top 2% of twitter accounts by size. This comes after a couple of months of consistent posting, following the strategies I’ve outlined below. My aim is to update this as I hit bigger markers, the next big one being […]

Using quiz funnels for qualified lead generation

I’ve done a few of these and here are a few things we’ve found through testing… On a more tactical level, here are some other things that have consistently boosted response, particularly with colder traffic. 1) Put the form at the end. The curiosity about the results will carry them through. 2) Try putting the […]

The Minimum Viable Funnel

I’ve got 2000 social followers and I’m constantly getting people in my DM’s asking for advice. I can’t sell them though because Ive not got a funnel in place. (paraphrased from a real trainer, 2019) I had to take a breath before responding to this. My first answer would probably have just created a load […]

Finding Better Markets

A couple of years back, a course teacher approached me with a major problem. He had a best-selling product on the biggest course marketplace that he’d been making a solid $10k a month from, but the marketplace – Udemy – had just changed their pricing policies and screwed things up for him, big time. The […]

Positioning Your Product

Let’s start this assuming you’re read my other posts and that we know our market, and the niche within it we’re trying to serve. We also know the pain we’re trying to solve for them and, I’m assuming, we have the expertise to help them, and a tried and tested formula to get them to […]

How it all started.

If anyone under the age of 50 says they can’t figure out how to run an email campaign, they’re just being idle. Here’s why. My first email campaign went out sometime in 1995. To put that in perspective, the JPEG image format that we use for nearly all photos on the web, that was a […]

My 12 Best Conversion Tips in 2019

There are a million and one things you can tweak and test in any funnel, but from over 2 decades of testing across everything from press ads, direct mail, emails, online ads, landing pages and even phone scripts, here are some universal truths that any business should be able to rely on… Headlines are the […]

Where I got to last year

A while back, I started working on a new project – Win The Day Back – which was meant to show, from the ground up, how a successful online course business can be grown. Truth be told it’s a little slow. That shouldn’t really be a surprise. It’s a side project, not my main sphere […]

The quickest route to higher conversions I’ve ever seen.

Let’s leave aside all the tricks and tactics, the maze of funnel patterns and all the other grunt-level stuff the gurus will try to sell you. I want to share a pattern I’ve been working on for a few months that’s working really well for me. The path to making a sale is in your […]

Nine things that productivity experts write about.

In 2015, Prof Ron Friedman assembled dozens of productivity experts and quizzed them on their best tips for a Harvard Business Review article. This is a quick summary of the article to see how many of these 9 habits you practice already. 1. View busyness as a lack of focus. There’s a satisfying rush we […]

Say no like a pro

Warren Buffet has an excellent saying that explains his success at picking winners. “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” Now, I can almost feel the anxiety coming back at me. You’re thinking about saying no to the next request from your boss, […]

My Morning Routine

Setting a morning routine is one of the biggest productivity boosters for the least effort that I know. Starting with a familiar pattern, one that is controlled by me and gets my head in the space where the day lead by my goals, not the whims of others, is immensely powerful. Even if the day […]

The Sunday Sort-Out

For years when I was working for other businesses, and for most of my first agency business, Sundays were a living hell. I’d be stresssed out at the thought of all the jobs I had to do on Monday, but wouldn’t get started on them or I’d have been up all night and exhausted before […]

To Do List Mistakes And How To Fix Them

Have you ever seen or completed a “to do,” that ran on forever? Writing a very long list can be compared to taking every thought in your brain and letting it flow onto paper. There is so much stuff that it looks impossible to ever complete and sadly that is what usually happens. This type […]

How To Avoid Disruption And Get Things Done

Disruption is a chronic problem. Endless construction on roads, subways, and buses that breakdown and bad drivers that make you swerve to avoid being hit. Working in an office or at home is very similar. You are always looking to find peace and quiet, but it is a tough search. Over 50% of workers state […]

How To Add More Hours To Your Day

You are stuck. Yes, you are…because you have 24 hours in a day, no more, no less. Talking about adding more hours to your day, means freeing up wasted time and adding that gained time into your workday. It’s not easy, however you are covered by reading the top ten tips right here. 1. Spending […]

How The Most Successful People Manage Their Time

The ancient wisdom of those who came before us, states in many different ways, that in order to be successful-you must wake up early. This is why almost 90% of the top performers and executives of companies, start their days before 6:00 a.m. Not all them start the day with a vigorous workout however. Each […]

10 Ways To Work Smarter Not Harder

Who wants to do drive themselves into the ground? It’s doubtful that you will get anyone to raise their hand for that idea. We all want to relax and chill, but the truth is, we need to work. To be happy and productive, work smart not harder. Here are 10 tips for mastering that idea. […]

9 Ways To Beat Procrastination

Everyone has periods of time where they procrastinate. It becomes a problem when the time they take away from the item they are holding off on and spend that time doing virtually nothing. Putting off one task but moving to another one first, is better than being a zombie. Serious procrastination on most things in […]

7 Ways You Are Wasting Time During The Day And How To Stop.

There are many different ways that people waste time. Some are quite evident, while others are hidden and unthought of. We will look at 7 time wasters and how to bring them to a halt. 1. Let’s get one of the more bizarre time wasters out of the way. This might gross some people out, […]

Weapons Against Distraction – My 5 App Computer

This week I pulled the wifi card out of this Chromebook to help me stay focussed on writing tasks. It trashed the Bluetooth connection as well so away form home the only way to get content on or off it is with a USB memory stick. Since then I’ve averaged over 2000 words per day, […]

Using Scorecard Marketing for Lead Generation

What is scorecard marketing? I’m guessing you’ve seen one of the hundreds of pseudo-personality-tests out there on Facebook? What Sex in the City character are you? What superhero would you be? What emotional intelligence score do you have? These are the most basic forms of scorecard marketing. We give a prospect a set of questions […]

Games to become a flexible thinker

Are you flexible? If you can do the splits that is great. However, in strategic thinking, we are talking about having a flexible mindset. An assumption about strategic thinkers, is that they are rigid and unbending when it comes to their thought process. That is not the case in being a successful strategic thinker, especially […]

How To Create Self Esteem to Reach Your Goals

You are probably by now, realize that you require a great overall mindset in order to set and achieve goals. You could create goals with poor self-esteem, however they would be very weak and without any substance. How you think and feel about yourself is extremely important. Let’s take a moment and look at a […]

Decide, Execute and Measure

What is the difference between making a decision and making a plan? Well for starters, plans always seem to change. You plan to get ten new sales this month and your plan, likely fails. However, when you make a decision to get ten new sales this month, you get ten new sales. Your focus is […]

How To Achieve Clarity in Your Goals

Achieving clarity in all areas of your life is important. Some people assume that just sitting and starting on a list of goals will give them clarity on what they want. It ís not that simple. You have to first realize that you alone, are responsible for clarity in your life and your significant other, […]

Learn How to Stop Procrastinating and Achieve Your 90-Day Goals

Most people procrastinate from time to time. Some people excel at procrastinating and could win an Olympic medal for their abilities. If you fall into the category of an excellent procrastinator, then it is time to reverse it. Unless you learn not to put off tasks, you may even read tons of material on 90-day […]

How to Eliminate Self-Sabotage to Achieve Your Goals

You’re probably excited to get started writing and achieving your 90-days goals. Time to do a self check. Are you a go getter or does self-sabotage sometimes play a role in your life? It important that if you ever self-sabotage, you need to understand exactly what it is and get rid of that negative in […]

How to start journaling

The idea of keeping a journal may be totally new to you. Perhaps you even have an unhealthy mindset about it. Journaling is different than keeping a diary and yes there is absolutely no reason why anyone couldn’t do a diary. Top military men, CEO’s, actors and yes if those dreaded politicians keep journals. When […]

5 Mental Tools For Getting Hyper-Productive Without Working More

Have you ever felt like you could have accomplished more in a day than you actually did? Or have you piled up your work for the next day unnecessarily just because you were too caught up with social media? Maybe you’re just too overwhelmed with the amount of work, and the increased stress is not […]

Productivity Hacks That Will Double Your Output Every Day

With the workload increasing, and the world running at a crazy pace, we are all looking for ways to achieve the optimal level of productivity. As the popular Daft Punk song says, “We want to work harder, better, faster and stronger.” But the question is: How? “It is not enough to be busy, so are […]

7 Common Habits That Secretly Kill Your Productivity

We are the generation of the “multiple windows open”, or as they call it: multi-taskers. With technology taking over our mind and focus, both our work and our distractions are clicks away from each other. And guess which one wins if we don’t take care? The distractions. “Multi-tasking is a lie” — Gary Keller, founder […]

7 Ways To Improve Your Productivity, Before You Get Out Of Bed.

“Failing to plan is planning to fail” Too many people start their day by checking their emails or social media feeds, sometimes before they’ve even got out of bed. The result is that they’re starting their day in re-active mode instead of active mode. Their entire day is taken up by responding to the requests […]

It’s not me, it’s EU.

I’m not even going to mention the “G” word today. It’s my least favourite 4-letter word at the moment.   This isn’t one of those Euro-begging letters that have flooded your inbox this week, clawing for your attention like some horny drunk at 3am in a nightclub.   Because, here’s a surprise. It’s all been […]

4 big things that $million-dollar funnels have in place, that you don’t

Have you ever had a funnel fail?   Have you ever spent days, weeks, even months getting together the moving parts?   You’ve got your landing pages, videos, copy and email follow-ups. You’ve spent weeks getting the whole process on point. You’ve followed one of your guru blueprints to the absolute letter, and then the […]

Are your tests practiced drills, or wild swings?

So you didn’t “hit it out of the park” on your first attempt? Well surprise surprise. I’ve just seen a highly influential leader in another group telling their followers “press doesn’t work” . They tried 1 ad, one paper, one placement, on one day. Now they’re writing off an entire medium AND telling everyone else […]

Online Course Software for Startup Training Businesses in 2018

I seem to be answering questions about this on at least a weekly basis at the moment, so this is my current stack of software for running a successful course business. Who this is for It’s aimed at people wanting to reach a level where their course provides a reasonable full-time income so the focus […]

When should you start testing?

Ask a question in any digital marketing group and somewhere in the list of somewhat unhelpful answers you’ll get this one: “Test it” Now, for a long time I considered testing in marketing to be a fairly high level skill, and one that wasn’t worth troubling yourself with until you had some significant levels of […]

Offer, List, Creative. Which One Wins?

Offer List Creative Those three words, in that order, used to be drummed into every direct response marketer form the day they were allowed to even look at a campaign. This was in the days when DM was expensive. You needed stamps, printers, huge machines to process the data that cam in on tape reels […]

Why people buy online courses

A while back I used to run a marketing course for a well known training organisation in the UK. Eager to make as much use of the content they’d paid for as they could, they created an online course on Email Marketing, but abandoned marketing it within a few months. When I spoke to the […]

When to make a 1% change

Yesterday I talked about things that go wrong as you scale. Million to one shots that happen every month, for better or worse. Today I want to talk about things that are already wrong, and when to fix them. I just brought in an intern on a job after he pitched me with a big […]

When the one in a million shot happens every month.

One day a few days after I started a new job a rather irate man turned up at our office carrying the door off a large oven, demanding that he speak to a lady called Linda Carter who he swore had promised we would repair it. Which was a bit odd as we were a […]

Royalty, or the girl next door?

A couple of days back I had one of those “can’t believe I’ve never seen this” moments when a friend introduced me to a concept in branding that was completely new to me. Now by and large I’m not a branding guy. My one job that involved any brand fluffery was running Hasbro’s Action Man […]

Would a fireman give you an ebook?

A lot of copywriters talk about “burning house problems”. The gist of it is that you want to be targeting people who have a problem that is as serious as a burning house, something they absolutely have to act on right now or they’re going to be in a world of pain. The reality is […]

The 4 point empathy map of a billion dollar newsletter business

One of my favourite podcasts is Kevin Roger’s The Truth about Marketing, and this has to be my favourite episode of all. In it, Mark Ford,  founder of Agora Publishing drops an absolute gold-crusted pearl of wisdom about the knowledge you should have about your market before staring on even creating a product, let alone […]

An orangutan’s lesson in pitching

My mother was a teacher, and then a college principal. Her college was in the same small town where I went to school and most days I would walk up the road to meet her and get a lift home. Invariably, she’d get collared by someone as she was trying to leave and I’d be […]

Monday morning and the blank page awaits

I have a little routine on Mondays that helps me ease my way into the week. Sunday night I do a little brain dump of the things I’d like to get done by the end of the week. It’s usually way to long, so I sleep on it, then first thing Monday I plot the […]

The worst headline in the world

The great David Ogilvy once wrote: “When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.” i.e. 80% of your effort in a sales letter should go into the headline. It’s like the subject line in an email. If you don’t capture your prospect’s interest there, you have no hope […]

How to use bonuses in your online course sales

Most online course marketers recommend using bonuses to push up the financial value of your product. But there’s a strategy behind using bonuses that can multiply your sales without needing to create any extra content.

How I survived the attack of the marketing zombies

Last week I witnessed the marketing equivalent of a zombie attack. A well-meaning chiropracter appeared in a free Facebook group asking about what text he should have on the button on his email signup form. Cue a couple of dozen undead marketing ghouls, woken from their slumber by the chance to show off their no-ledge, […]

I’m going to take away your favourite toys.

If your’re a parent, or you’ve ever had a parent (I guess that’s most bases covered?) you’ll recognise this threat. Well I’m making it now. Frankly you’ve got obsessed with marketing tech over the last couple of years and it’s time to get your face out of that screen and learn to pick up a […]

Buyers are your hottest prospects. How to keep them that way.

If there are two big opportunities to sell that most businesses miss, one of them is after you’ve just got a result for them. We know that. Most businesses forget to close the loop and move customers back into the sales loop. Maybe they don’t have a follow-on product to solve whatever the next problem […]

How to get your customers to empty their pockets without blinking

See that receipt? That’s a £3.39 coffee. Trapped at a motorway service station with no option other than the bitter, scalding cups of tar served in McDonalds, these guys had jacked up the price by a whole £1 over what they usually charge. My reaction? A tut, a shake of the head, and hand over […]

What selling rubber willies taught me about conversion principles

Way back in the early 2000’s I had one of the best initiations into learning about online conversion that there is, running a 7 figure business that relied entirely on affiliate commissions. I was building a 2 million-name email list, and profited from it only when I made a sale or a lead for one […]

Get off the fence and start buying customers.

Another question from one of my Foundation Funnel customers. “My funnel is in place, thanks to your help, and I have a product that is making a bit more than breakeven on my Facebook ads. What do I do now? Start testing and optimising, or scale up the traffic?” Now I know this guy really […]

How to become a Grand Master, or throw it all away

After the high of Wednesday night’s event I needed a bit of downtime last night, so I treated myself to a binge-watch of Billions. There’s a great scene in the first series where Chuck Rhoades, the District Attorney, has screwed up a case against Bobby Axelrod – a billionaire hedge fund manager accused of insider […]

All MAPPED out

Last night I gave a talk to about 40 up and coming digital marketers in London, all about increasing conversion rates when you’re selling online. I shared some foundation work I do with private clients before I even start mucking about with their ads, landing pages or emails. From the stage I could see a lot of wrinkled […]

Back to the scene of the crime…

On Wednesday night I’m giving a talk at ASOS, the UK-based online fashion retailer, which is fairly decent of them considering.. The chaos I caused the first time I worked with them (more on that in a moment). My total apathy towards fashion retail in general (more on that another day). Many years ago, around […]

The Foundation Funnel – Course testers needed

Good morning my caffeinated friends, I’m close to putting up a new online course about building a simple, but scalable first funnel using WordPress, ActiveCampaign and a few basic tools. I’m looking for 5 testers to go through it and make sure it’s a proper 5 star job before I push it on an unsuspecting world. What […]

What is a marketing funnel?

What is a marketing funnel? What are the components of a good marketing funnel? When do I need to use a long funnel? I answer all these questions in this video.

Websites vs Funnels

Transcript: Hi, this is Stephen Pratley, and today I’m going to help you understand the difference between a website and a funnel. This was brought home to me just at the end of a recent project. We’ve just finished up building a new website for an agency that I do a lot of work for. […]

How to choose a small business email marketing system

I’ve heard, and tried to answer the same question more times than I’ve had haircuts: “What’s the best email marketing system for my business?” and in typical consultant’s fashion I answer: “It depends” Before I get the chance to explain what it depends on I get drowned out by a thousand helpful souls giving the […]

BJ Fogg’s Process for Habit Design

Alongside Dr Cialdini, BJ Fogg is probably the greatest thinker on persuasion of our era. And by greatest, I mean the one whose theories have most impact, because they are so simple. In fact they’re almost too simple. The biggest objection to them is that they aren’t “ambitious” enough. To find out how wrong they […]

Bond Halbert’s 5 Step Launch Campaign Formula

Most of what I wrote is emails giving tips, and usually showing the way to a product, workshop or service that will help solve the same problem in more depth. Every once in a while I need to add a new product into the mix and my emails take on a slightly different feel – […]

Email Marketing 101 Workshop with Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Book On Eventbrite. On 23rd February I’ll be leading a workshop with Kingston Chamber of Commerce on Email Marketing. Are you tired of wracking your brains every month for ideas for your company email newsletter? Are your prospects getting less and less responsive to emails under a tide of messages from competitors? Do you struggle to keep up with […]

Why the worst place to sell a book is in a bookshop

Tim Ferris was talking to me today about a major catastrophe that almost scuppered his second book – The Four Hour Body. Tim’s first book – The Four Hour Work Week – had been such a success that Amazon offered him the opportunity to be the first author in their new publishing business, going head […]

5 places to spread your videos for more reach

Video is a real must-have part of any information business’ arsenal these days. I know it can take some getting to grips with especially with a “face for radio” like mine, but it’s worth persevering with as a way of getting your message across and building your personal brand at the same time. I kicked off […]

Todd Brown’s Funnel Training for Russell Brunson

An incredibly tightly packed presentation on an affiliate marketing funnel. Most of the theory of Todd’s courses are in here somewhere! (If the video fails, view it direct on Vimeo using this link:

5 priceless minutes with Russell Brunson

I’ve spent the morning at the Success Summit at Earl’s Court. Up on stage and one of the most popular speakers was funnel hacker extraordinaire Russell Brunson, the man behind Dotcom Secrets and Clickfunnels. So when I caught Russell hanging about in the lobby I grabbed the chance to as a couple of questions. The […]

How to squeeze more leads from your advertising campaigns

Wasn’t this easier a few years back? Not so long ago you could easily throw up a landing page, do some rough and ready SEO, or point some cheap Adwords traffic at the page and you’d have as many leads as you could handle. If you’ve seen your advertising slide,  if you’ve seen costs go up […]

A surprising split test on mobile page design

For anyone who doubts the worth of testing new designs on their website or emails, take a look at this test from “Which Test Won” I’m probably givingthe game away when I admit that: A) I got it wrong B) So did the majority of other people – most of whom are marketing “pro’s” like […]

Spare some change sir?

A sad, and unfortunately common question in most major cities, but one that misses a principle that you as a marketer are probably making as well. If you’re trying to get leads from your website, what you ask for, how you ask for it and when you ask for it can all make a big […]

The Art of Cold Email

Don’t confuse cold email approaches with spam. A well-researched contact with a good reason that the recipient should respond is a great door opener. More cost-effective than mail, less intrusive than a cold phone call, more impactful than a social media connection. If you are dealing with smaller numbers of high-value contracts, this should certainly […]

The Psychology Of Cold Email Prospecting

Cold emails are an absolute no-no in bulk email marketing, but in B2B sales they can be as much of a necessity as cold-calling, and when used correctly, are usually way more effective in opening doors. Yesware, a tool that shows when your personal emails are opened and responded to in the same way as […]

How Office 365’s Clutter Tab will affect B2B email marketing

Microsoft have followed in Gmail’s footsteps by moving their users promotional emails into a separate folder, away from their day-to-day personal emails. Office 365 is mostly used for work purposes at businesses from one-man-bands to large corporates, so the impact is likely to be felt most by B2B marketers. This great post by Email on […]

Zapier on Automating Lead Generation

This is a great post form Zapier on automating your lead generation processes: Zapier is a great service which we use throughout our own campaigns to link up forms, CRM tools, email marketing systems, payment solutions and more. What used to cost thousands in development time can now be accomplished in a few clicks. […]

ActiveCampaign announce campaign sharing

ActiveCampaign have just announced that you can now share automations between accounts, so what does that mean for your  business ? The idea is not a new one. Both InfusionSoft and ClickFunnels offer similar functionality but bringing it into a tool which has such a low entry point as ActiveCampaign makes a big difference to the […]

Great “Under The Hood” Email Campaign by Vertical Leap

Search agencies have something of a reputation problem. It’s an industry that is frankly overrun with cowboys. People promising the earth, then making off with your money and leaving your site in a worse position than it was before. I worked in the sector for a while I used to get really frustrated at how […]

How to squeeze more leads from your advertising campaigns

Wasn’t this easier a few years back? Not so long ago you could easily throw up a landing page, do some rough and ready SEO, or point some cheap Adwords traffic at the page and you’d have as many leads as you could handle. If you’ve seen your advertising slide,  if you’ve seen costs go up […]

VB Index report: Top 10 Marketing Automation companies

This huge survey of over 1,000 marketing automation software users brings back some surprising insights into how marketing automation is really deployed in a variety of businesses. A must-read for anyone involved in selecting or implementing these systems.  

Using Personas In Ecommerce Website Design

(Originally published on the Shine Marketing website) Personas are a simple but powerful tool to aid better ecommerce website design. In this article we explain what a persona is, how it is used and how to create a useful set of personas for your ecommerce website project. What are personas? Successful ecommerce website design requires […]

Using standard ad blocks in website designs

Having just splashed out on a ‘professional’ site design for a new reviews blog, I’ve just spent the best part of half a day re-jigging it to allow me to easily pick up ads from a variety of ad and affiliate networks. I’m suffering a little from the Catch 22 of niche sites. Niches are […]

What to do if someone nicks your blog content

Blogs and their ability to syndicate out content are a double-edged sword. On the one hand it means your blog can be shown on other sites and get to a bigger audience. For example, excerpts from this blog and many others are also shown on Affiliates4U and some other sites, and I get plenty of […]

How to use Video with an email campaign

Using video online is an excellent way to capture the imagination of your readers and get your message across. I first used it on a Britsh Heart Foundation Fndraising campaign in 2002 and got some excellent results. However, including any sort of gizmos in emails is fraught with problems, and many email clients and coprporate […]

Building your email marketing list

It might seem like we’re approaching the process of email marketing somewhat arse-about-face, but there is a method in it. Last week we identified the sectors we want to market to, and thought about how many offers there are available in that market, and we picked the system we are going to use to send […]

Don’t like writing? Try hands-free blogging

Lots of times at events I meet people who are obviously very knowledgeable about their subject and can speak well and enthusiastically. When I talk to them about blogging as a way for them to reach more people and show off their expertise, they say that what holds them up is that they don’t like […]

Get Camtasia 3 for free and make your own video demos

First off, thanks to Jason Dale for pointing this neat little tool out to me. Camtasia records video of what’s happening on your computer screen, and allows you to record voice-overs with it. Where it beats other screen capture tools is in its ability to zoom in on areas of the screen, making tiny Youtube […]

The alternative to throwing out your affiliates

There have been plenty of instances this year of ill-advised merchants clearing out inactive affiliates from their programme, so I was pleased this morning to get the following email: Dear Affiliate, I hope you are well and not too busy planning your all your Christmas activity! The M&S team here at LBi have recently done a […]

Useful WordPress plugins for discount code and competition sites

An ongoing problem for owners of discount code websites and competition sites, is merchants who don’t set end dates properly, then decide to end them at short notice. Two plugins I found over the weekend at wonder-ful could help out with these. The first is Posts Expire. Does what it says on the tin. You […]

How to attract affiliates in retail

This isn’t just a pretty picture to get my blog readership up, this is part of the fashion show that Tights Please organised for last weekend’s Affiliate Future Performance Booster. It was by far the most professional, and effective way of showing off a merchant’s wares I’ve seen at an affiliate event so far, and […]

Getting the best out of cashback sites

The growth of the cashback sector in UK affiliate marketing has caused a few ripples, and a lot of false assumptions about this method of marketing, so I thought I’d post a few notes to merchants from someone who has seen both sides of the fence and seen what works and what doesn’t – me! […]

Thank You’s for the Webgains Golf Day

A big thanks to Webgains for organising the affiliate golf day that went on yesterday. I’ve never done a ‘corporate’ golf day before and have always considered them to be a bit of a jolly. However, I picked up some good tips about new niches from Derek, one of the Webgains account managers, and traded […]

TradeTracker launches affiliate network into UK

In the last few weeks Shine Marketing has begun working with – a long haul adventure holidays operator – on the launch of their UK Affiliate programme. The Programme has been extremely successful in the Netherlands with TradeTracker and will be the first UK programme in the new European version of the network. The […]

Million Dollar ideas

This is quite old, but so worth sharing… I just found this blog post about a guy who bought some pixels on the Million Dollar Homepage. Nothing special there, some would say that’s the opposite of genius. The clever bit is, that rather than putting up an ad, he put up a picture of Waldo, […]

Malcolm Cowley talks about’s move into the US

Mal has given an interview to  Webmaster Radio which you can listen to online. The interview talks about’s expansion in to the US market, and talks about some of his impressions of the US market following the Affiliate Summit. As usual, Mal is enormously enthusiastic, pulls no punches on what it takes for a […]

Blog tagged! 8 Things you didn’t know about me

…and probably don’t care Kieron tagged me in an ongoing game that seems to be expanding, last time I saw it it was just 5 things, so I’ll have to put my thinking hat on. “Each person posts the rules before their list, then they list 8 things about themselves. At the end of the […]

Affiliate Marketing or Merchant Marketing?

At last week’s Affiliate Summit in Miami, David Hall – Communications Director of Affiliate Window – stood up in front of a room full of top performing affiliates and admitted that the UK affiliate market was “merchant centric” in comparison to the US, and that he’d be taking a lot back from the US experience. […]

Back from Affiliate Summit Miami 2007

Now I’ve had a chance to get over the jetlag, read through my notes and make some sense of it all I thought I’d jot down a few points that might help anyone planning on attending one of these events in the future. My Summit Objectives My main objectives, scribbled down on the plane on […]

Affiliate Summit Miami – Day 1, part 1

Ok, this will be pretty short as it’s a pretty crammed day, and going to a be a crammed night also, it’s 6pm and there are 2 networking events and a domain auction to go still. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality of what I’ve seen today. After comments from […]

Get more money out of Directtrack networks.

I’ve just read through another post about network payment problems, this time by John Lammerton. It seems to be a particular problem with Directtrack driven networks, of which a large handful have cropped up in the UK in the last couple of years. For those affiliates who haven’t seen the network side of Directtrack, you […]

Creating affiliate sites using Joomla

I’ve just a really great article by Kieron Donoghue about the evolution of PPC landing pages from single page gateways into fully fledged content sites to comply with Google’s Quality Score I thought I’d pull together some Of the components of the open source Content management system Joomla, that will help you build a site […]

Redesigning your blog? 5 things to consider.

I just saw a post on Kieron Donoghue’s affiliate marketing blog that he’s going through a redesign at the same time as moving from Blogger to WordPress. Kieron’s old design was the classic Blogger template, you can see it here at I actually kind of liked it, nice and uncluttered and it let the […]

I found the key to $400 CPM from AdSense Revenues

I’ve been looking at some new ways of building very niche, often local, sites that convert well in less competitive areas of SEO and PPC. The original research stared when I began work with a local commercial mortgage broker who turned white when I showed him what the top guys were paying for terms in […]

London 2012, I won’t be buying the T-shirt

This is the monstrosity that has just been unveiled as the London 2012 logo, a fragmented bit of chaos with no discernible meaning to it. The BBC announcement of the new design has already been flooded with over 300 comments, none of them positive, and the downing street petition site has been hammered all morning […]

Google to buy Feedburner

Google is reportedly looking at buying Feedburner for a reputed $100m dollar as an route to get in on the growing RSS feed advertising business. RSS is a way of pushing out the content from blogs and other news-driven websites onto other sites, or RSS readers, a little like email readers. This is a great […]

A newly revamped PR blog

I’ve just launched a new online PR blog for immediate future, my first totally custom WordPress template. The template is loosely based on the functionality of the standard Kubrick template and matches their soon-to-launch new website design. Working with Katy Howell on the project has been fascinating as she really knows her stuff about getting […]

Google Optimiser – Rubbish

This has to be the most useless service Google have come up with yet. Google offers an ‘Optimized’ option for its PPC campaigns which claims to get the most clicks for your budget. There are no promises that the clicks will make yyou a profit, but I had a leads campaign running that was for […]

WP text ads on trial

Thought I’d have a bit of a play with this plugin for selling ads off my blog. It’s just an experiment and if anyone signs up between now and end of june, all cash will go to the British Heart Foundation. I just realised I forgot all about the the London Brighton Ride, so this […]

New Google Analytics Interface is Launched

Google Analytics has had an overhaul and it’s looking pretty smooth. First off, the trend of visits is a lot easier to read. I was a bit miffed that the calendar had disappeared from th left column, but Once I saw the power of the new date selections, and the ability to compare ranges I […]

7 Email marketing tips.

Email marketing seems to be a much overlooked tool for affiliates in the UK compared to the US where affiliate marketers seem to have it somehow embedded in their DNA at birth. I always thought it was pretty simple, but after a few conversations recently I’ve come to realise that might be because I’ve been […]

WordPress Magazine Themes – Hot for 2008

2007 saw the art of blogging really hit the mainstream, to the extent that traditional and ‘respectable’ journalists started to sit up, take notice, whinge, and then head back to their boozy lunches to make up a few more half truths about Paris Hilton. The medium really started to evolve, and the widget-heavy personal blogs […]

Buying Domain Names

Over the last few weeks I’ve been picking up a few domain names. Some to buy for my own projects, and a couple that I just chanced upon that I’m hoping to resell next year. For a project of my own I’ve just completed the purchase of which I’m building a casinos review/strategy site […]

Google Alerts for Bedroom Bloggers

For a while now I’ve been using Google alerts to keep tabs on the PR generated about clients and competitors. Whilst there were a few flaky results, in general it’s been pretty good as a web-clipping service, especially considering its price. It’s free. Recently Google expanded the reach of the service to cover any mention […]

Micro-Payments for articles – a viable proposition

I was extremely sceptical a few weeks back when told about an articles site selling articles on an individual basis. I think that opinion has just been overturned. Whilst browsing the istockphoto site for some images for a new client site I came across a free article, “What’s the right typeface for text?“. Duly impressed […]

Using article marketing to promote your site

Article Marketing is becoming hot activity for promoting your site. Led as always by the affiliate community, this tactic can help you to: Get articles about your site published on many other sites Get inbound links from pages related to your site subject – helping your search rankings Provide content for your own site if […]

The art of developing advocates

Last night I heard a great talk at an ecademy networking event. It was by Richard White a sales trainer who has developed some great techniques for people who really don’t like selling. He talked about five rules for getting more people to refer you, even if they haven’t done business with you before. After […]