Product Reviews

Cloudways - 5 Minutes To High End Premier Website Hosting

Cloudways Review Cloud Managed Hosting For Websites And Blogs

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The conversation on managed cloud hosting is an ongoing place of interest, hence our focus today on this cloudways review. Cloudways is like the little guy in the sea of giants definitely making a splash in it’s cloud hosting services and while there are several cloud hosting providers, Cloudways has made a name for themselves since their start back in 2009.

With that said, cloud hosting if you’re not aware is still a fairly new concept. Most of us when we think about hosting, we think about a VPS.. basically a virtual server, dedicated hosts and shared hosts. It can, however be difficult to wrap your head around this notion of hosting your website in the cloud. If I’ve still lost you, then I’ll explain what I just went over in a moment, but with that said, the fascinating realities about using cloud management services include the following:

  • Very strong security.. to reiterate the point, understand that cloud based systems are highly secure
  • Very good redundancy (we’re talking data and backup here) which means more server reliability for your data to ensure that your website never goes down.. very important feature within Cloudways… The servers are available around the clock so forget about downtime
  • Won’t break your wallet.. it's more affordable than you realize
  • Cloud hosting is faster than any other type of hosting available

Now let’s briefly talk about the different types of hosting before getting into Cloudways.

Shared Hosting: The most economical of all choices and where new most new websites start. Every website has to have a place where to store their files and that is the server, but in a shared hosting environment you are sharing a server with several other websites in order to share the resources.

Dedicated Hosting: This is very different from shared hosting in that, when you opt for this type of hosting, you are the only website on the server and the resources are not shared with anyone else. If you are a larger website with a lot of traffic, you typically don’t want to share resources with another website and it’s not common for websites that have a large amount of traffic using this option.

VPS Hosting: This option is certainly not for the inexperienced. VPS is reserved for the more advanced website owner. This option allows you to install software that may not come with your shared hosting. You are still on a server with other websites though but typically you’re not sharing the resources with quite as many websites that you’d find on a traditional shared hosting option.

There's also additional information on hosting that can be found in this post here: Blogging at 500% Success Rate - Lets Talk About Hosting.

With that said, lets move on to talking about Cloudways. From the curious point of view, it makes sense to start with their free trial as you’ll find on their homepage as seen here in this image: Just click the image to get started if you'd rather not read the rest of this post.

Upon entering your email address or using your social account to start with Cloudways, you’ll also be given directions to activate your account. Once that’s been completed you’ll be welcomed with the setup screen.

Among the first things that you’ll have to do is create a new server and you have the following to choose from:

Digital Ocean: currently offering a 14 day free trial. The information bubble will tell you that it’s the fastest growing provider and one of the cheapest clouds that also offers high performance SSD based storage with 7 datacenters in 3 countries. This is your best option if you need an inexpensive host with nearly unlimited bandwidth and smaller servers.

Vultr: currently offering a 3 day free trial. The information bubble will tell you that it’s the most economical cloud with the most locations and that it offers SSD storage and almost unlimited bandwidth across 14 locations.

Amazon Web Services: currently offering a 3 day free trial. The information bubble will tell you that’s it offers the reliability of Amazon with flexible and configurable disk size and bandwidth with 8 datacenters in 6 countries.

Google Compute Engine: currently offering a 3 day free trial. The information bubble will tell you that it is extremely powerful and reliable with efficient performance backed by the Google brand name. There are 3 locations in 3 continents and is made for hosting large business and resource intensive websites at an affordable rate with 99.9% uptime.

Regardless of which cloud you choose, there are 10 applications that you must also choose from as well. You will select only one of them. The applications that you have to choose from are among the following:

Cloudways Review Choose Server And Application 1

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  • Wordpress
  • PHP Stack
  • Magento
  • Prestashop
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Moodle
  • SugarCRM
  • Media Wiki
  • Koken

Cloudways Review Choose Sever And Application 2

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Wordpress is likely to be the most popular application, but for other users that are knowledgeable and do prefer other applications those are available as depicted in the images to the left too.

Once your application has been chosen, you’ll move on to the next step which will require that you choose your server size. This is dependent upon the number of pageviews that you are seeing per month. If you are a new website then your pageviews are most likely to be in the 0-30k range, but if you’re a more established website with traffic coming to your website, accessing your Google Analytics should help you gauge what your monthly pageview numbers look like.

There are two tabs:

  1. Recommend Me
  2. I know my server size

Once you’ve chosen your pageviews, click on recommend me and the system will recommend the size of the server for you. Alternatively, you can simply go to the other tab and select your server size without the recommendation.

The next step is to select your servers location. NOTE: this is not selecting your physical location. This is where your server is located. There are currently 7 server locations:

  • London
  • San Francisco
  • Singapore
  • New York
  • Amsterdam
  • Frankfurt
  • Toronto

After you’ve chosen your server location, you will select whether you’d prefer to pay hourly or monthly. The current default settings are 2 cents per hour or $15 per month which would go into effect after your free trial has ended.

That would conclude my post and brief insights into Cloudways managed cloud hosting. Now with that said, typically when I review a product, it is based on personal usage, but in this case, it is the exception and a change that is coming this year from me to you as there are many other products that you can benefit from that I have not personally used. Nevertheless, I follow a number of other bloggers and Harsh Agrawal of Shoutmeloud is one of them. He had positive things to say about this cloud hosting management company and recommended it to his readership. As you know I will never place a product on this blog that I feel doesn’t benefit my readers, but I highly respect Shoutmeloud and what Harsh says to his 400k readers which is why I’m recommending Cloudways here on my blog to you as well.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #cloud #hosting

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Join Top & Best Website Affiliate Programs & Network Review With Or Without Products

Join Shareasale The Best In Affiliate Networking Programs For Blogs And Websites To Make Money Online

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Today, lets talk about monetizing. There are several different affiliate programs to choose from, but finding the best affiliate programs for bloggers or website hobbyists isn't always the simplest of tasks, so it's worth a look to delve into or at minimum provide some insight into a network that meets certain qualifications that make it worthy of a blog post.

Making money online is going to be a goal for you at some point and there's nothing wrong with that, but there are affiliate programs that pay out pennies on the dollar and there are others that are far more generous. There are also affiliate programs and networks that will give you a legion of people to help you promote your own products too. So with that said, lets talk about generating revenue for your blog or website and connecting your blog content to a network with products that will generate dollars for you.

The network that we'll be talking about today is going to be Shareasale. This comprehensive post on this network is also designed to be more of a follow along and you'll see what I mean as you see areas designated as "action steps". While it is not required as affiliate links have been used in this post, the information will be a bit easier to follow by completing those action steps which will get you access to your dashboard and that is why the content has been written this way. With that said and for the sake of clarification, the completion of each action step has a purpose to compliment your understanding of the network in it's entirety. With that said, before we proceed any further, I'd like to explain a couple of things first: particularly addressing the two different types of accounts that exist to help you determine which of the two will be right for you.

(1) If you have your own product to sell, this network allows you to set up shop as an advertiser so you're able to position yourself so that others will sell your items for you. In this option, you make money and so do the people selling for you. This is a great way to generate revenue by harnessing the power of a big network that helps you find other people that will sell "your" items. In Shareasale, these are called MERCHANT accounts. Disclaimer: Merchant accounts are not free. You will be accessing the mountain of traffic that Shareasale sees on a daily basis for your products and getting exposure that you are unlikely to find elsewhere. Shareasale is currently listed in the top 1000 websites online.

(2) As an affiliate of Shareasale, this type of account is no cost and shouldn't be since you're helping to promote other people's products and you should be rewarded for your efforts. With that said, Shareasale allows you to sell other people's items and receive a commission just for promoting items that are relevant to your own content. Shareasale hosts over 4,000 programs in over 40 different categories. If you're "not" someone with products of your own to sell, then this is the type of account you want. These are called AFFILIATE accounts.

Shareasale is one of the top tier affiliate networks that exist because of it's sheer size, consistency of payouts, merchant and affiliate trust and variety. Ingredients that lead to dollars for both affiliates and merchants alike. There's something there for everyone across several different content and product niches and that is what makes them so attractive to such a large number of blog and website owners.

So as we go through this, there are some ACTION STEPS as mentioned in the introduction that you should complete in order to successfully follow along in this Shareasale overview. These steps will you to absorb this information in small easy to digest pieces from within your own Shareasale account and dashboard. Click the action step button below in order to proceed to select your account and login to your dashboard.

Join Shareasale Network Select Account Type Affiliate Or Merchant   Source

Join Shareasale Network Select Account Type Affiliate Or Merchant

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Create your account with Shareasale.

REMEMBER: as I said earlier in the post, if you have products to sell then select this type of account: Merchant Account.

Everyone else will select the: Affiliate Account:

Now that you've completed the action step, lets move on to the next part of this post.

The dashboard will contain the following major sections and for the purpose of this blog post we will focus more on affiliate activities and what an affiliate would see. The major sections include the following:

  • Reports

  • Merchants

  • Links

  • Tools

  • Account

  • Payments

Each of these sections also contain additional information for you that I will briefly explain. I will also mention that the dashboard takes a little getting used to, but for me I like it's functionality, but that will differ from user to user, however you should be able to see what I mean at this point since you've completed action step #1.

The reports section includes:

  • activity details

  • merchant timespan

  • today at a glance

  • traffic report

  • download csv

  • payment summary

  • merchant summary

(1) Activity details on your promotions is pretty self explanatory. If there's any activity on any of your affiliate links those details are going to show up here. You can see which merchant it came from, the currency in which the sale was made, the date it took place, a transaction ID, the actual sale amount and what commission you made from the transaction. Additionally, you can see the page from which the visitor came from that lead to the conversion on your affiliate link too. Any sub tracking that you have enabled will also show on this page too. You also have the ability to specify any number of parameters to drill down your data even further on this page.

(2) In the merchant timespan summary, you can select your start date and end date and choose which merchants to include in your report. Additionally, you can order by commissions ascending or descending. Below the graph that is displayed (if you don't see one it just means that there's no activity on your account so that would be normal), you will also see a break down of activity on the relationship that you have with that merchant. This information includes:

  • merchant details

  • the merchant www address

  • clicks

  • sales

  • gross sales

  • voids

  • net sales

  • manual credits

  • commissions

  • conversion percentage

  • epc (100)

  • average order

This information will be displayed by the start and end date that you specified.

(3) The today at a glance in the reports section is very nice. I like the quick and concise summary that it gives you. You can view the merchant, website, status, commissions, raw hits, manual credits, conversions without any additional fluff. It's a very straight forward way to view your affiliate activity.

(4) In the traffic report, you can specify the start date and end date for the traffic data that you want to see. Choose your creative types:

  • banner

  • product link

  • coupon or deal

  • gift card

  • video

  • widget

  • special form

  • storefront

You can also specify the merchant here and order by currently seven parameters from merchant ID to Net EPC(100) which is basically how much money is earned per 100 clicks to the merchants website which is also called a trending EPC.

(5) The download CSV area is exactly what you would think it is. This is something that you don't always see with affiliate sites where it's designated it's own section. You typically see it embedded within other sections but usually not given it's own area as it is with Shareasale. Nevertheless, you can download any number of transactions and currently they let you go back as far as 2010 which is unique because that's a lot of data that they have kept housed over the years, but should also help you feel confident that they maintain their data and don't just dismiss it after a year or two.

(6) In the payment summary section, this area is self explanatory. Select the month and order by total commission dollar amount, total number of transactions, merchant name or merchant ID. Once you've done that, choose your sort and you also have the option to create a text file to download. You can also see your data in a visual graph including a CSV data report that can be generated too.

(7) In the merchant summary report, what you will find here is a greater breakdown of your affiliate activity. Some of the parameters that you can select in this section include, specifying the merchant, showing merchants by how many hits, sales, commissions made total or by month, merchant status that could be any of the following:

  • online

  • low funds

  • temporarily offline

  • closed

You can also drill down by your relationship status with that merchant:

  • approved

  • pending

  • declined

Order by commissions, hits, sales and approval status that will produce a summary at the bottom of the page that may be several pages depending on how many merchant relationships you have and the activity on your account, but again it's a larger breakdown from anything else that you would have seen to this point.

(8) Briefly, I will also mention these last reporting sections that you'll find after the merchant summary section indicated by "more". These additional sections in the reports area include the following, but will not receive further explanation:

  • reversal report

  • transaction edit trail

  • monthly summary

  • historical trend

  • api reporting

  • return days analysis

  • afftrack parameter report

  • invalid links report

  • ledger report

Merchants is the next section that we will focus on and it includes the following sections:

  • search for merchants

  • view merchants with datafeeds

  • view coupons and deals database

  • black friday and cyber monday deals (seasonable of course)

  • invitations and settings

  • engage merchants

  • download your merchant list

(1) Search for merchants section allows you to search for merchants by keyword, advanced search which also includes being able to search by what is exclusive to Shareasale, merchants that do auto-deposit, per sale commission, cookie length (ranges anywhere from less than 30 days to lifetime cookies), programs that you have not yet joined, those that provide a datafeed, affiliate auto approval, per lead (CPA), has bonus campaigns, listed on GoldenCAN, merchants with coupons, those that have two tier programs, merchants that operate on a CPC basis, merchants that are listed on bounce.cc.

In addition to that, Shareasale also gives you the ability to sort results by 7 day EPC, 30 day EPC, sale commission, lead commission, hit/click commission, alphabetical, start date, cookie length, power rank or joined status. Shareasale also gives you the option to find and join several different merchants at once by using something called - BASKETS -. It works very similar to a shopping cart. As you do your search, if you find many merchants that you want to apply to all at once, just click each one and add them to your basket.

Join Shareasale Network Create Affiliate Basket   Source

Join Shareasale Network Create Affiliate Basket

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Now that you have your account, go to the merchants tab and click on search for merchants and on the left hand side as indicated here, click on new basket and proceed to name your basket.

Join Shareasale Affiliate Baskets To Apply For Different Merchants

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These baskets can also be used for adding multiple products into them too. Beyond that, you can also search by category and that is also self explanatory. Pick the category of most interest to you and proceed. Once you do that, you'll get pages with specific information related to applicable merchants. You will see the merchant name, their web address, the categories to which they belong, a join program link, the add to basket link, your commission rate, length of their cookie, reversal rates, EPC's, average sales and average commissions. You can also get previews of their description, past newsletters if applicable, their creatives and any coupons as well.

Find a program (use the by category option in the search for merchants section). Find a few programs that you'd like to join and use the add to basket link. You will see each item dropped in your basket appear under the name of your new basket. For your basket, you can delete your basket, delete all the items in your basket, download the contents of your basket to either an csv or xml file, email the contents of your basket to the email you have on file with Shareasale, open the basket detail page, edit the basket or enable the note toggle mode. Familiarize yourself with this feature by adding and manipulating what's in your basket.

(2) Merchants with datafeeds is basically key information on products merchants are selling. Think of it like an RSS feed. Within that data feed, you'll see a run down of several products associated with that merchant and you'll have direct access to your affiliate link within the data feed as well so you don't have to exit the feed to get access to it. It's basically a shortcut to product information without having to visit the merchant or access your links by other means. Additionally, within the data feed section you can search by keyword, show merchants that you have a relationship with or display the ones that you aren't associated with and you can list by category. Several are listed that include the following (complete list):

  • accessories

  • art/music/photography

  • auction services

  • business

  • automotive

  • clothing

  • commerce/classifieds

  • computers/electronics

  • online dating services

  • domain names

  • education

  • family

  • financial

  • freebies/free stuff/rewards programs

  • food/drink

  • gifts

  • gourmet

  • green

  • health

  • home & garden

  • web hosting

  • insurance

  • career/jobs/employment

  • legal

  • gaming and lotto

  • shopping malls

  • marketing

  • books/media

  • military

  • moving/moving supplies

  • recreation

  • real estate

  • search engine optimization (SEO)

  • sports/fitness

  • games/toys

  • travel

  • general web services

  • webmaster tools

  • weddings

As you can see from this list, there's a little bit of everything here and this becomes useful in narrowing down your focus for the type of merchant that you are seeking that has a data feed.

You can also sort by the last time a merchant updated their feed or sort results by (abbreviated list):

  • feature rank

  • 7 or 30 day EPC

  • sale commission amount

  • number of products in data feed etc.

(3) In the deals and coupons database section, this is where you can search the database by using keywords, merchant names or merchant ID's if you know what they are. This page also gives you other options that include the ability to:

  • view all current offers and coupons

  • view current deals (for merchants only)

  • instant auto notification of new deals via an rss feed

  • quick database of all available coupons ("your" merchants only)

  • quick database of all CURRENT available coupons ("your" merchants only)

(4) The Black Friday & Cyber Monday Edition is primarily for.. well you guessed it, the two days of the year where typically unheard of deals are up for the taking. In this section, Shareasale gives you the opportunity to view all at once, all of their Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals and keep in mind, this can apply to any category that they have within their database as long as the merchant has designated their offer as a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal. Additionally, you can get instant auto notifications of new deals that fall in this category too by subscribing to the xml rss feed (e.g. it's the orange button that says xml).

Join Shareasale Black Friday Deals And Cyber Monday Deals And Ads

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(5) The next area to discuss is on invitations and settings. This is where merchants can send you invitations to join their programs. It's a win win for both you and the merchant. They make money by you helping them to promote their products and you make money when you help them make a sale. When you receive an invitation from a merchant you have the opportunity to choose to accept it or reject it.

In this section you can choose to receive merchant invitations or to never display them and this option also extends to not receiving these invitations by email as well. You also have an email section where you can click to receive emails with merchant invitation content or to not receive such emails. Additionally, your invitation history will be displayed on this page as well.

(6) Engage with merchants is one of their newer features. It's basically a fish bowl for merchants and affiliates. In short, it's a social network for merchants and affiliates. It gives you the opportunity to interact directly with merchants. Many of the features here are self explanatory and are similar to what you would find on any other social network. However, it's very unique to see such a platform for an affiliate network.

Join Shareasale Create Affiliate Aquarium Social Network Name   Source

Join Shareasale Create Affiliate Aquarium Social Network Name

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Click on "engage merchants" and when the Affiliate Aquarium comes up, create your user name.

Now that you've done that, go to the search section tab as seen in the image below:

Join Shareasale Affiliate Aquarium Social Network

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In the search section, you will see 3 searching options. Go to "merchant search". When you've done that, you will be brought to another page with several different searching options that include being able to choose from the following options:

  • cookie length

  • category

  • EPC

  • average sale

  • reversal rate

  • auto approval

  • auto deposit

  • bonus campaign

  • bounce

  • client svc

  • coupons

  • data feed

  • exclusive

  • golden CAN

  • per click

  • per lead

  • per sale

  • two tier

After selecting your options, you will click search. The affiliate aquarium will generate results for you. The merchants it brings up should have a bio, contact name and depending on the merchant there may be a few additional details. On the left side of the page, you can click whether you'd like to request a friendship with them or send a message to them directly.

The purpose behind this affiliate social network is to reach out to merchants directly and establish relationships and to communicate with them. 

(7) In the download your merchant list section, you're able to get a report generated of all the merchants that you're associated with in a text file. This report will include the merchant name, merchant website address, merchant email address, their activity status etc. Personally I think the report could use some refinement but regardless the report is particularly useful for those that work with several merchants and need a list to keep everything organized. Shareasale does give you a list of the column headers so that you can paste them into a spreadsheet which is a helpful gesture on their part in this section.

Links is the third major area that we're going to cover in your dashboard and it includes these sections:

  • get a link / banner

  • view merchants with datafeeds (already covered in merchants section)

  • view coupons and deals database (already covered in merchants section)

  • black friday & cyber monday deals (already covered in merchants section)

  • videos

  • create a custom link

  • gift cards

  • FTP access for datafeeds

(1) In the get a link / banner section, this is the area where you get your creatives and affiliate links for any merchant that you're associated with. You can search by specific merchants using the drop down menu and this will be a menu of all of "your" merchants. You can type in the name of the merchant that you're seeking. You can search for merchants in specific categories (same category list mentioned in the merchant datafeeds section earlier in this post), search by relationship status (e.g. approved, pending, declined), order by application date, merchant name, sale commission, lead commission, hit commission, approval status and program directory.

Below all of your sorting and selection options, you'll see all of your merchant programs, their program status, program category, their organization which will include their website address, link to get links and their program description / affiliate agreement, their per sale, per lead, per hit, commission rates, your approval status and merchant application date.

(Sections 2,3 & 4 have already been covered prior to this in the merchants section).

(5) Videos are all about access to available videos that you can promote that compliment the merchant products that you're associated with. If you prefer to promote through videos, this section is helpful because you can search for merchants that have videos that talk about their products. Many people find videos more engaging and this area lessens the amount of time that you could potentially spend searching the database for this type of content.

In the videos section you can search by keyword, search by merchant programs that you are affiliated with and by those that you are not a member of yet. You can also search by merchant in 30+ categories and sort results by:

  • number of videos

  • 7 day epc

  • 30 day epc

  • sale commission amount

  • alphabetically

The table of information below your sorting and selection options will also give you:

  • basic merchant information

  • merchant commission structure

  • vitals (including cookie length, datafeed (if applicable) and other various details associated with that merchant

  • epc (100)

  • datafeed information (area where you can find previews of merchant videos for their products) and a link to join their program if you're interested in doing so

(6) The create a custom link section allows you take a standard link and turn it into a shortened link that becomes much easier for sharing. It takes all those long and messy affiliate links from Shareasale and turns them into something much smaller, manageable and cleaner.

Join Shareasale Network Create Custom License Plate Link   Source

Join Shareasale Network Create Custom License Plate Link

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Choose from the list of merchants that you're associated with where you see "Merchant for this link" and select from the drop down menu. Once you've done that, you'll see your selection below the drop down box as seen in the image below:

Join Shareasale Create A Custom Link

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Now that you have done that click on your selection and it should open in a new window. Copy the website address and make sure to remove the http:// from the website address and paste it into the destination url: box.

In the create license plate link (shortened url) area, click yes in the drop down box and then click on create custom link.

(7) The next area in links is on gift cards. This is pretty straight forward whereby it's an area where merchants have uploaded banners and other creatives that affiliates can embed on their landing pages, websites and blogs to promote promotional deals & gift cards. It's all consolidated into this area which makes it a good resource for affiliates that are looking for something a bit more specific as found in this gateway.

Page options include being able to:

  • search by keyword, merchant name or merchant ID

  • view all current gift cards

  • view current gift cards (your merchants only)

  • instant auto notification of new gift cards (xml rss feed link)

  • quick database of all available gift cards (your merchants only)

In the table below the page options you will find the following headings: giftcardID, title, monetary value, publish date, description of the gift card or deal and a view link where you can preview any creatives and information associated with the deal or gift card.

(8) The last section in links is FTP access to merchant datafeeds and I have never had access to that feature so I am unable to elaborate on this particular feature. However, on this page you can also request access from the datafeeds available page.

The next major section to cover is called Tools and it includes the following subsections:

  • affiliate api / api reporting

  • make a video

  • make a page

  • pay per call

  • product showcase

  • rss notifications

(1) I can tell you that the Shareasale API is a programming interface and that's about it. Beyond that, it gets way too technical for me, but if you're into API's then I'd welcome you to share your comments in regards to their API so that others that want to harness the power of the Shareasale API are able to benefit from this section of the tools area.

(2) In the make a video section, this is simply an area where you can add your videos to your Shareasale account. The only video's accepted for upload are in mp4 format. In this section there are limited options as to what you can do. Your options are to add a video or to update your video and / or get a video link. You will notice a link to "previous generation video creatives" and this section is a legacy page. In other words, it's an older version of their add a video page. With that said, there is no need to use the legacy page.

Join Shareasale Make A Page Landing Page System

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(3) The next section is their make a page feature. It's Shareasale's own proprietary landing page creator. You'll see the "start with keywords" input box and here you'll simply enter a keyword. Once you've found a keyword that it recognizes then you can click on "add", which will present it in the window pane to the right. There are four major option categories to the left which include:

  • page options

  • product display options

  • save/get options

  • search results

Each section allows you to manipulate and change what you see in the window pane to the right. Your page options let you change the border size, width and color. The product display options will let you change the product display information. The labels however are fixed and honestly there's no need to change anything there even if you could, but users are not allowed to change those settings. Layout width and height can be changed. In addition to that, some other changes that can be made include the layout height, width, the thumbnail width, height, border and link color and font. Save and get options are basically your exporting options. You can get your page code, gallery code, save products and merchants to your basket, export to csv and the ability to save your layout template. In the search results area, you can perform a new search and perform a limited number of extra search options.

(4) The gist of the pay per call section is that you can earn commissions when potential customers call a phone number of a merchant that you're associated with. While I can't speak to any direct experience using this feature, I can tell you that the first thing that you will have to do is click on the pay per call link, then go to the merchants tab and click on search for merchants. Once you've been brought to the search section, you'll type in pay per call and a list of merchants will be generated. From there you'll have to apply to join their program.

Each merchant will generate a unique phone number for you upon approval to their program if they are still running a pay per call program.

(5) The product showcase is exactly what you would think it would be. You can showcase any number of products for your customers to preview prior to making a purchase.

Join Shareasale Network Create Product Showcase   Source

Join Shareasale Network Create Product Showcase

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Go to the product showcase link under the tools tab and then click on add new showcase as seen in the image:

Join Shareasale And Make A Product Showcase

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Once you've done that, you'll select either all your merchants or click on the select merchants box. You will have to type in a keyword to populate products for your showcase. Once you've done that, the products will populate on the right side of the screen.

There are 4 steps to this process and populating your keyword so that it generates products in step 2.

Step 3 will involve choosing your showcase layout and styling. There are currently 5 different layout options and each time you select a different one it changes in real time so that you can preview what your showcase will look like. Additional options include being able to choose your border color, color scheme, whether you want the products to show as a pop out or not and whether you want select information displayed when the user clicks on the product.

Step 4 is simply generating the code that you can use on your page where your showcase will be displayed.

(6) In this section, which is your RSS notifications center, you'll find different rss feeds that Shareasale makes available to it's merchants and affiliates. Shareasale utilizes rss feeds as an alternative to email as they feel using this over email is a better way to help you stay informed about notifications, programs, deals and their blog which are also the only feeds that are currently available. If you are not familiar with rss, the only way to read these is through an rss feed reader. RSS feed readers are typically free whether you're accessing it from your phone or computer. 

The next major section to cover is called Account and it includes the following subsections:

  • edit settings

  • manage / quit programs

  • view / manage ppc violations

  • manage logins

  • two factor authentication

  • view / manage feedback

  • cancel and close your account

(1) In the edit settings area, this is where you'll access your details associated with your account such as your name, address, city, state, phone, email address, the main website url associated with your account profile, other websites that you control that you'll be using Shareasale links on, the website description and redirection option for your error pages which I recommend that you turn on and use as well. Additionally, you'll find that you can specify when you want commissions generated upon reaching a minimum dollar amount. I have mine set to $50, meaning that when my account reaches $50 I know that I will receive a commissions deposit at the end of the month and typically that deposit is generated after the 21st of the month.

With respect to commissions you can specify what your minimum is going to be. You have several options, anywhere from $50 to $1000 and payments can be made in any of the following ways:

  • ACH Direct Deposit (free to do this)

  • Check via postal mail (free to do this)

  • Check via FedEx (fees associated with this option)

  • Check via FedEx to Canada (fees associated with this option)

  • Check via International FedEx (fees associated with this option)

For any direct deposit, you will have to complete a direct deposit form which is standard procedure for any affiliate program and complete a W9 form for tax purposes.

(2) In the manage and quit programs area, you can keep track of the status of your merchant programs here. It is a good idea to periodically check on the status of the merchants that you are associated with so that you can you can adjust the links on your content and pages associated with your merchants. In this area there are several options available to you such as:

  • selecting by specific merchants

  • show merchants with hits this month, hits total, sales this month, sales total, commissions this month, commissions total

  • select by merchant status (e.g. all, online, low funds, temporarily offline or closed)

  • select by merchant relationship (e.g. all, approved, pending or declined)

  • order results by commissions this month, commissions total, hits this month, hits total, sales this month, sales total, organization, approval status

You are also provided with a table that gives you more information in regards to merchants below your selecting and sorting options as well.

(3) In the PPC violations section, this is very concise and straightforward information. If you are participating in pay per click programs and are found to be in violation of the rules, your violations can be reported to merchants and each infraction will be listed on this page. Shareasale has a 3 strike rule. Affiliates get an opportunity to respond to these violations and Shareasale reviews each case to determine whether a strike should be assessed. After 3 strikes, there is no guarantee that an account will be removed, but the account will be under review for possible termination so be sure to read the PPC guidelines and do not bid on restricted keywords as stated by the merchant that you're associated with. Each merchant is different and these infractions only apply to merchants using PPC programs with their specific and individual PPC rules.

(4) The manage logins area is where you can add additional logins to your account. You would type in the username that you want to add to your account along with the password you want associated with this login, your full name and email. There are permissions that you will grant to each additional login that you complete which include the following:

  • login, view merchants, get links

  • view reports/stats

  • join/quit merchant programs

  • apply for FTP access

  • contact merchants

  • view/edit account settings

  • help center/trouble tickets

  • view current balance

  • manage user permissions

You main account would have all of these permissions, but for any additional login or user that you set up may not depending on the permissions that you grant for each additional login that you create.

(5) The two factor authentication is an extra layer of security for your account. Once enabled, it will require that you login with both your username, password and a password that would have been generated from your mobile phone. So to clarify, you will enter 3 things once your two factor authentication is enabled:

  • username

  • password

  • additional password

All of this information would be generated for you as you follow the steps to complete the two factor authentication process. This will give you a little extra peace of mind that you're making it more difficult for anyone that is unauthorized to access your account to be able to do so.

(6) The view / manage feedback area an area where you can view feedback between you and merchants. This isn't likely to be an area that you'll use as there are other areas to expedite communication between you and other merchants, but it is noted here because it is a subsection in the account tab.

(7) The cancel and close your account section is what you'd expect. This page is here strictly for the purposes of permanently closing your Shareasale affiliate account. Once you've closed your account with Shareasale, the account cannot be recovered so proceed only if you're absolutely sure this is the action that you want to take on your account.

The next major section to cover is called Payments and it includes the following subsections:

  • payment settings

  • 1099 tax forms

  • past revenue report

  • payment summary

  • payment rejects

  • non tracked order inquiries

(1) In the payment settings area you will be able to set up your direct deposit.

Join Shareasale Network Affiliate Payment And Commission Earnings   Source

Join Shareasale Network Affiliate Payment And Commission Earnings

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Turn on direct deposit. I have found this option to be highly reliable and have never experienced any issues with this over the years in my dealings with this network. With that said, complete the following when you sign up for direct deposit:

  • bank name

  • type of account

  • city

  • state

  • the name on the account (in the case of a business list your business as long as it's the same name listed on the account that you're going to have commissions deposited into

  • your routing number / account number (all this information is necessary in order to receive commissions by direct deposit), but alternatively if you don't want to release account numbers, you can opt to receive a check and while that takes longer to receive, it is still a no-fee option for those want to participate and receive their earned commissions through this network

With that said, as you can see in the following image from my own account (image generated real time December 5, 2015 as I'm writing this post) I've already generated $40.20 in commissions and it's only the 5th day in the month so far. While I only work with a small number of merchants, these commissions are generated from just one of them. With that said, I had to redact my account number and bank name but otherwise you can see how it would show in your account as well. As you can imagine, some programs you join will prove to be more successful than others, but that is not uncommon.

Join Shareasale Affiliate Earnings

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Note: If you email me at cw@candidwriter.com, with "who's the Shareasale merchant" in the subject line, I can share with you this particular merchant if you'd like to join their program on Shareasale too as it seems to be working out well for me right now.

(2) In the 1099 tax form section, this is where Shareasale will show you the 1099's that it has generated for you. If you generate more than $600 dollars in commissions for any given year, you will receive a 1099 because that income must be reported. However, anything less than $600 will not generate a 1099. Nevertheless, it still goes without saying that if you generate income from commissions earned on Shareasale, US tax law still requires that you report that income even if you earned less than the baseline amount of $600.

(3) In the past revenue report, this section will allow you to see in a table / graph the income that you've generated by month and the amount. You are only allowed to look at an 18 month window. Anything beyond 18 months will not be shown to you in this section. With that said, you can however select your starting date and then choose your 0-18 month window from there.

(4) In the payment summary section, you can get a breakdown of what you're earning per merchant. You will see a table that is generated for you that shows you the merchantID, the merchant name, merchant website, number of transactions (sales, leads, bonuses) associated with that merchant, net sales and your commissions. You can select this information by month and order by:

  • total commission dollar amount

  • total number of transactions

  • merchant ID

  • merchant name

(5) In the rejected payments section, you will see three areas:

  • payment rejected

  • re-payment pending

  • re-payment sent

Shareasale will report according activity for each section as needed and you will see it noted if there is anything that needs to be reported.

(6) In the non tracked order inquiries, there are limited situations where orders are not tracked properly or orders aren't received when they are made. If a report is placed in this section, then Shareasale will check the system to see if the order does indeed exist and if it doesn't then the support team will look into this and try to get the issue resolved. This will typically result in Shareasale contacting the merchant to get the matter resolved.

Join Shareasale Help And Support Center

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The last thing that I want to cover is the help center which can be found at the bottom of the page in your dashboard as indicated by a big green question mark icon as seen here:

Once you click on this button it will give you the additional options not found elsewhere on the website for you to receive additional information and clarification and the ability to submit tickets for assistance and troubleshooting. Those options include the following and I would encourage you to familiarize yourself with them beyond all of the information that has already been provided in this post in regards to Shareasale:

  • search knowledgebase

  • view download library

  • view already submitted tickets

  • submit a new ticket

  • view tutorials

  • telephone support

With that said, this would conclude my in-depth overview of the Shareasale affiliate program and while much of the focus was placed on the affiliate side, this top tier network, while not perfect as no network is, still remains among the most stable affiliate networks online in terms of reliability, consistency and trust among it's affiliates and merchants.

#candidwriter #monetize #shareasale

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Google Keywords Search And Discovery | Long Tail Generator And Suggestions Tool Review 2017 2018

Look Here For The Key To Keyword Research Long Tail Pro

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It goes without saying that if you're going to succeed online, that having the right Google keyword research tool(s) is paramount to your success. The same can be said for understanding the importance of competitive research as well. Dismissing the value of research is akin to walking around in the dark and well.. let's just say, we all know how successful that is.

In my own research, what I've found is this one particular question. How do you make your blog popular ? Consequently, the same answer consistently makes it way to the table.. "Do your keyword research".

There are many keyword suggestion tools, but the one that I'm going to talk about today in particular is Long Tail Pro. As I've stated many times throughout my blog.. I will "ONLY" suggest or review products that I feel add benefit to "you".. my readers and my audience.. the people that trust my word on the topics that I write about. In the way of keyword discovery, Long Tail Pro is currently the definitive and most trusted keyword suggestion tool online. You would be hard pressed to find a tool to search keywords for your niche, blog or website that does a better job to find keywords that are profitable and highly aligned to your project needs.

Years ago, the common practice was to target 2-3 word keyword phrases because naturally that's where all the keyword volume was. It made sense to go after website keywords that offered tens of thousands of searches per month using any number keyword analyzer tools. However the problem was that in doing any basic keyword analysis, it was clear that ranking for those terms was going to be extremely difficult. Over time, the term "low hanging fruit" started showing up in keyword research and keyword discovery conversations. So what does this mean ? It means that people needed to shift their behavior from targeting high volume, high competition keywords to low volume, low competition keywords.. and that's exactly what started to happen. Keyword discovery became more focused on finding long tail keywords and that become the new norm.

With the introduction of Long Tail Pro amongst a host of other keyword checker type software programs, it seemed as if it was just simply another tool to add to your keyword generator and keyword analysis arsenal, but in no time at all, it started to separate itself from the pack. So with that said lets talk about what it can do, the extremely useful data and advantage you have using this software and it's feature-set overall. Each listed area will be explained in further detail:

  • Find Keywords
  • Keyword Competitiveness
  • Page Authority
  • Page Links
  • Juice Links
  • Domain Authority
  • Moz Rank
  • Page Rank
  • Site Age
  • Rank Checker

Find Keywords

You can start out with Long Tail Pro by simply using the find keywords tool. You will have to create a project. You can see that I've created a project call "cars". You should set your language (it's set to English by default). You can include "adult" ideas (the ticker is set to the off position by default). In your targeting options you will need to set your country and network. By default, these options are set to United States for the country and Google for the network, however you can make your own selections if you need to make changes there. Once you're done setting your options, click "create project".

Long Tail Pro Create A Project

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Once you've done that, you'll see the "add seed keywords" section. There are many options here, but don't let that overwhelm you. This is all very good for targeting and fine tuning your search. Once you've typed in your seed keyword (I've typed in "cars" for my seed keyword), click on add. It will be added to your seed keyword list. If you click the down arrow to the left of your seed keyword, you'll see two more options called "include" and "exclude". I always type in the seed keyword into the "include" section. This means I want to make sure that any keywords that the software produces "includes" my seed keyword. This is important so make sure that you do this. I find that it makes my searches far more accurate. If you want words "excluded" then make sure that you list those in the "exclude" section. For each word or phrase that needs to be treated individually, use commas as your separator.

Long Tail Pro Find Keywords Add Seed Words

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There's the "add my own keywords" section too and it's pretty self explanatory... just add your own keywords and Long Tail Pro will also produce keyword data for those terms too.

In the "customize data & pre-filter" section, you will find:

  • Suggested bid (for ppc purposes)
  • Local search volume (how many times your targeted keyword has been searched in your country and in your network you've chosen over a 12 month period)
  • Advertiser competition (low, med, high) - what is the advertising activity for your targeted keyword
  • Number of words (specify how many words should be in your keyword phrase that includes your seed keyword)
  • Global search volume (how often your keyword has been searched over a 12 month period globally)
  • Domain availability (gives you information on whether domains are available for purchase for the keyword you're targeting)
  • Google title competition (using the allintitle search operator, it will tell you how many websites are using your targeted keyword in the title of their page)
  • Bing title competition (using the same allintitle search operator in this search engine, it will tell you how many websites are using the targeted keyword in title on their page)

Once you've completed your targeting options, just click "generate keywords & fetch data" to complete the process.

In addition to those features, the software can produce LSI keywords. If you're not familiar with this, LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It's important because Google considers related words to your seed word important in how it views your page so being aware of LSI keywords are important as you develop any page on your website. This is information that when you are searching for your seed keyword, you will also get a list of other related keywords that can be used as you develop your content. This is information that would be very difficult for you to find manually on your own.

Keyword Competitiveness

Nevertheless on Keyword Competitiveness, Long Tail Pro will tell you how hard it is to rank for your keyword. It generates a number from 0 to 100 to help you determine keyword ranking difficulty. To make things much easier without a very complicated discussion, here's a general metric to follow:

  • 0 to 10: You'll rank for keywords at this level with "very" little work.. there's no competition here.
  • 10 to 20: Very low competition. It's easy to rank here too.
  • 20 to 30: Low competition - If you find a keyword in this range with any kind of volume, attempting to rank for it isn't a bad idea.
  • 30 to 40: Moderate competition - Still not bad here either, but it'll take a little work to rank. 
  • 40 to 50: Medium competition - We're starting to enter the big leagues, so expect to put in some work to rank for keywords in this range.
  • 50 to 60: High competition - There's likely to be good volume with keywords at this level, but that also means that there's high dollars to be made here too.
  • 60 to 70: Higher competition - You're going to work long and hard to break into the first page of Google for these keywords, but the payoff is going to be worth it.
  • 70 to 100: Steep competition folks so you better step up your SEO game if you're going to play at this level, because these folks are spending major dollars to stay on the first page of Google for keywords in this arena. Common wisdom is don't even try ranking here, but some of us love a good challenge and ranking here is a lofty goal.

Think of it this way.. if you're a website that has decent content, you've been around for at least 6 months and you've done a little bit of good whitehat link building, you can "typically" rank in the first 3 pages of Google for many search terms with a keyword competitive score of less than 30. Anything beyond that is going to take some work. I'm not making any guarantees since "every" niche is different and everyone's approach to ranking their website is different too, but it gives you an idea. Nevertheless, this is the tool that will give you the insider information that will help you collect the data that you need to target those low hanging fruit type of keywords.

Page Authority (PA)

On page authority, we're simply talking about how strong the page is that is ranking for that keyword. Long Tail Pro generates the top 10 websites ranking for any keyword that you want to analyze. It will generate a number from 0 to 100 for each page it lists in your report. Here is an example of results with high page authority.

Long Tail Pro High Page Authority

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This number also provides an indication of how easy this page could rank regardless of the content on it's page. Stronger page numbers means it'll be hard to outrank them.

Alternatively, this is an example of what you may see when many of the results produced have low page authority.

Long Tail Pro Low Page Authority

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Page Links

This is simply the number of links that are juice passing or not and all we're talking about here is whether the links are dofollow or nofollow. Dofollow links pass link juice from the originating source to the page where the link has been placed. On the other hand nofollow links do not pass link juice. This is a good measure of how many links you may need to compete for top positions for any website keywords you're trying to rank for. Additionally, this can give you an idea of the strength behind the linking structures of the top 10 pages ranking for your targeted keyword.

Juice Links

This section tells you how many external links are passing juice to this page. These are all dofollow links, so if you're finding a lot of links in this section that means you're going to have to invest time and work into building the same type of links to compete here. Keyword ranking data like this becomes far more insightful when you understand how many links you're going to need to stay in the race with your competitors.

Keyword Research And Domain Authority Long Tail Pro Metric

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Domain Authority (DA)

This is basically the new page rank. Google's old ranking system would give you an idea of how strong or credible a website was and this could be ascertained from understanding it's pagerank (PR). Since Google has ditched that metric and no longer updates it, "domain authority" was introduced and became the new standard for measuring the strength and credibility of a domain. Domain authority is on a scale of 0 to 100. The higher the DA, the stronger and more trusted a website is. The lower the DA, the weaker and less trusted a website is. In Long Tail Pro, this metric represents how likely content is going to rank on a page. So with that said, if the DA is very strong then that page is likely to rank with very little effort. If you see pages with weak DA's then that might be a metric to pay attention to, especially if your website has stronger domain authority or is on par with the data that you're seeing in Long Tail Pro. If your domain authority matches other domains in the top 10 for a keyword search that you've performed, then that may be a keyword to try to rank for. You will find very often that websites such as Youtube, Ebay, Amazon etc. have DA's of 100. It doesn't mean that you should stay away from trying to rank for keywords where you see these sites show up in your data report because a lot of times they haven't done anything in the way of keyword optimization which ultimately means there's an opportunity for you to rank for that keyword.

Moz Rank

This is another metric that is similar to measuring how authoritative, strong and trustworthy a website is in looking at the quality and strength of a websites incoming links. This is also on a scale of 0 to 10. Websites improve their scores by getting links from popular to very popular websites. Nevertheless, if your competition has a high Moz Rank, you're going to have to build high quality links to compete. Building authority takes time and is something that Google pays very close attention to. Pages that have high Moz Rank and high DA's have a lot of authority and will easily outrank websites that have lower authority. The bottom line is that they simply have greater ranking power. Keep this in mind while you're engaging in keyword discovery using the Long Tail Pro keyword suggestion tool. You are going to get a lot of data but on the topic of Moz Rank, you're better off targeting keywords with lower Moz Rank especially if your website has low authority.

Page Rank (PR)

Now I know that I discussed this earlier in the domain authority section and stated that Google ditched this, but it is included in Long Tail Pro because they still want you know what the page rank of the website page is. I typically look at this section simply for informational purposes and nothing more because the domain authority is the current standard. So while the PR is among the sections whereby Long Tail Pro provides data, if I were to offer a suggestion, I'd stick to looking at the DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) rather than the PR.

Site Age

This section tells you how long ago the domain was created. It is no secret that Google ranks older sites better than younger ones. With that said, this is my favorite metric to look at because no matter how much linking a website has done, no matter how many page links or juice links it has, this metric is going to tell you very quickly how easy or difficult outranking them is going to be. If you're a website that has been around for 2 years, the likeliness of you outranking a website that has been around for 15 years is slim. Nevertheless, there's always exceptions and if a website ranks well for a term and hasn't done anything in terms of keyword optimization, there's your loophole and a way to get your keyword ranking on the first page right next to one of those aged domains.

Rank Checker

Long Tail Pro has a built in rank checker. Within the keyword checker, you simply input your domain, the keyword that you want to check on, set the delay between Google requests (it's 2 by default), set your country (it's United States by default) and language (it's English by default) and click "check ranks".  The keyword ranking tool will show you your domain, search term, Google keyword ranking, Bing keyword ranking and Yahoo ranking in the table. If it's more than 500 results in, it will display (500+), but anything less than that will be reported in the table.

Long Tail Pro Keyword Ranking Checker

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With that said, Long Tail Pro is packed with useful data for your keyword research. You would be hard pressed to find another keywords tool that is as accurate and useful. Even in regards to finding a premier local keyword tool, you can perform the same research and search keywords for local terms with this software too.

Nevertheless, there are certainly alternatives to Long Tail Pro, however if this recommendation and overview of it's features still leave you speculating about whether this is right for you, the software does allow you to test drive it for free before making any purchasing commitment as well. As I've mentioned before and I'll say it again, I'm recommending this software because I know this is something you are going to use and it is going to make your data research time much more efficient. This is going to be a go to tool for you until something better comes along, but for now Long Tail Pro is the top keyword research and keyword suggestion tool that's going to make you wonder how you did keyword research before without it.

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #keywords #review #longtailpro

Login With Instagram - Search Instagram - Grow Followers With Instawoot - A Review

Has curiosity led you to an Instagram search ? Has curiosity led you to wonder what’s behind the Instagram sign up and Instagram login window ? Maybe you’re someone that has yet to take much interest in the social network platform that is insta “insert cool name here”. Whatever the reason, this is a platform worth taking notice of with millions of users hailing it’s praises.

Instawoot Review

While I wrote an Instagram blog post about gaining more followers using a few different strategies, that was done before a new program started to make waves online. That new program is called “Instawoot”. I got a nifty little invitation in my email from Alexander Cruz, the maker of social media apps like Viralwoot. One of these days I may make a post on Viralwoot as I think you’ll love that one too.

Woot Woot Instawoot Has Arrived Grow Instagram Followers

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Email Me Lets Talk

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Instawoot Invitation

Nevertheless, here’s the email:

[[ Instawoot is an easy to use web tool to boost your Instagram following & engagement in an organic yet quick manner. Moreover, you will also be able to track your Instagram influence score & other useful Instagram stats to understand your Instagram presence & performance like never before. Oh Yes, it is free to use.

If you can take out just 10 minutes from your busy schedule to just to go through www.Instawoot.com, I will be really grateful to you. Looking forward to hear your feedback. I am always available at contact@instawoot.com.

Thank you,
Alexander Cruz
Instawoot]]

So of course, the curiosity of the invitation led me to check this out. At the time of the invite, when I signed up, there were roughly 900+ invited users ahead of me waiting in line and within 5 days I received my congratulatory email with very light promotion of the link Instawoot gave me to help me move up in line. Yep, that’s pretty cool right.. the more people that click your link and sign up through it moves you up in front of other people that haven’t tried to promote their own link. In a couple of days I moved up 500 spots ! Instawoot provides you with the ability to promote your link through social media outlets like LinkedIN, Twitter and a couple others or however else you want to promote it. I promoted my link through a blogger promotional tool called Justretweet.

The link above is to the blog post that I wrote speaking about that tool, so if you haven’t read it yet, you should take a quick look.. it’s part of my blogger toolkit as one of those essential tools needed to promote content online. Once you sign up, you can easily promote your link with the 100 free credits that they give you to use their system as a new user.

Since I shared the invite email with you, I figured I’d share the congrats email too and that one basically looks like this:

Way To Go Congratulations

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Congrats! Your wait is finally over and you are all set to use your Instawoot account.

Currently, your Instagram account is visible to thousands of other Instagram users on Instawoot and soon you will start seeing some new followers and likes coming in. We have noticed that if someone follows you or likes your post via Instawoot, he or she further explores your Instagram account and you end up getting even more organic likes out of Instawoot for free, hence this facilitates accelerated organic growth while maintaining the quality of the ecosystem.

You must have noticed that we have launched Instawoot with just few basic features but we have lots of amazing things in the pipeline like Post Scheduling, Instagram Influence Score, Tag Search & Suggestions and much more. I am pretty sure that with time and your continuous support & feedback, Instawoot will emerge as a valuable tool for whole of the Instagram community.

Mr. Cruz is absolutely right that the dashboard is pretty minimal right now in terms of what you can do but as the email states, there are new features that are coming and I look forward to seeing the development of this product because if it’s anything like other applications he’s developed I think that this is going to catch on pretty quickly.  This is especially true for those of us looking for “ethical” ways to grow our Instagram accounts without using hacks or other methods to inflate follower numbers that could quickly lead to getting an account closed or banned.

Neverthelesss, let’s assume that you’ve signed up and have received your welcome to Instawoot email. Once you’re in, here’s what the dashboard looks like.

Inside Instawoot

Instawoot Dashboard

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As you can see, the dashboard will tell you:

the number of credits that you have left in the system along with the following options / tabs:

  • a follow users option

  • like posts option

  • promote your posts option

  • my promotions tab

  • account settings tab

  • search posts feature

The "follow users" tab is pretty self explanatory. Instawoot, calls users “igers”.. it’s a little weird to me but I guess that’s what they came up with as a way to shorten the word Instagramers. Still a strange word.. maybe they’ll stick with it, maybe they’ll change it.. only time will tell.

Either way, you can click to follow users, but currently they will throttle how many you can follow each hour. For each user that you follow, you will earn credits and that number of credits is outlined beside each user.

On the “like posts” option that is available to you, you can like a post and earn credits that way as well. From what I’ve seen most of those will only earn you 2 credits for each like you give.

On the “promote your posts” option, you can promote your own content for 35 credits for each item that you want promoted. The other day when I updated the content on my page, the page didn’t show the updated posts, but as of today a new button has been added called “fetch missing or new posts” which fixes the updating problem I encountered and it works well so that tells me they are still working out the bugs but I’ve got no complaints outside of the 35 credits which I personally think is kind of high but maybe they’ll provide a tiered option later or adjust it as they see fit. Time will tell on this as well.

In the “my promotions” tab, this is where you can monitor the promoted posts that you’ve paid for and in the “account settings” page this is pretty standard as you have the ability to change your name, email, bio and credit settings.

I mention the credit settings because you can set how many credits you’re willing to release for each follower and like you get towards your posts. My account is set at the maximum which is currently 4 for each option which I would assume Instawoot will likely allow you to increase to something greater than 4 as their user base increases and development of the product and it’s features becomes more expansive.

Instawoot is the new “big thing” in the Instagram tool conversation and it’s an exciting time for bloggers, marketers and nearly any one else looking to grow their Instagram following and engagement on their accounts safely.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below.

#candidwriter #instagram #instawoot

Viraltag Review - Viraltag Tips - How To Use Viraltag

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips

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Viraltag Review

If you haven't heard of Viraltag then hopefully this informative Viraltag review will shed some light on the benefits of using it to compliment what you do with Pinterest. Your interest may have even peaked a little understanding that this review is associated with Pinterest as well since there are still many businesses, marketers, bloggers and website owners that are constantly looking for methods and tools to get the most out of what they can do in their efforts to improve their exposure on Pinterest.

Lets touch on some Pinterest basics first. So what is Pinterest exactly ? Well, in a nutshell, it's a visual discovery platform. In laymen terms, that just means that you discover content through the use of imagery or photos through boards that are created by the user. These boards all have unique themes that could be anything.. for example.. favorite foods, top fashion trends, must have shoes etc. Now you may wonder, well how's that fit into what I do as a blogger or website owner that doesn't fit into any of those categories. My answer to you would simply be that I had the same question that you have when I learned about Pinterest too, but I've also learned that Pinterest is a great fit for "anyone".

What Is Pinterest Review And Tips

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To see how I use Pinterest to align to the content that I write about, just visit my Pinterest board to get some ideas as to how you can use it for yourself. You can either follow me or follow any of my boards you like that are of interest to you while you're there: Candid Writer On Pinterest.

People spend on average more than 10 minutes per visit on Pinterest which means that people are engaged and active on this website in a meaningful way which is good for you if you have boards on their website too. However, as someone that has created several boards there, it is very time consuming to pin photos "manually" so finding a tool that can make more efficient use of time isn't a bad idea. In fact, it's highly recommended.

Viraltag Scheduling Management Tool

I personally use a couple of tools for Pinterest pin management and Viraltag is the newest addition to my toolkit. At it's core function, this platform serves as a scheduling management tool for your activities on Pinterest. With that said, the first thing that you should be aware of is their pricing schedule. Unfortunately, they aren't a completely free tool, but you can try them out for free by clicking on any of the activate viraltag buttons as the one seen above.

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Pricing Schedule

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As you can see depicted in the image with respect to your social profiles, one thing that I do like about Viraltag is that you get to push your scheduled images to several social profiles upon publishing which allows for increased exposure for your pins. This is definitely a huge benefit to using the scheduler in conjunction with any of the social accounts that you choose to connect.. something that I will get into a little later on in the post.

Viraltag Featureset

Nevertheless, once you've given them your details after choosing which option you'd like to continue on with after your trial is over, you'll be able to start making full use of the platform. You will find on the navigation panel to the left side of your screen the following items:

Dashboard which has 4 subsections that are the following:

  • Scheduled Posts - this section shows you the images that you have scheduled that include details such as time to be scheduled, the link and description associated with the scheduled image, the connected account that you also want associated with that image and the date when the post will be published to the selected Pinterest board selected for the post as well. All of this is viewable in the image below including the "bulk options".  You can apply one board, one description and one link to all of your images at the same time. A very nice utility if you're not interested in varying the information from image to image.

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Photos

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  • Recent Posts - shows you the most recent published posts.
  • Failed Posts - posts that the system was not able to publish to your board. Retrying / rescheduling may result in a good submission.
  • Posting Schedule - allows you specify time frames for when you want posts to be scheduled (Disclosure: not an option that I have used since I find the regular scheduler meets my needs adequately for my boards).

Post... With respect to this section, once you have clicked on it, opens another dialogue box that gives you options for how you'll introduce / upload images into the system through the following means as depicted in the images to follow as well:

  • my computer (uploading directly from your computer)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Computer

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  • Facebook (uploading from Facebook)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Facebook

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  • Web Images (embedded search function that allows you to search the web for any string of keywords that you input for images)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Web Images

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  • Flickr (uploading from Flickr)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Flickr

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  • Picasa (uploading from Picasa)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Picasa

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  • Instagram (uploading from Instagram)

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Upload Instagram

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Discover - this section allows you to discover images that you can pin to your boards if you need a little inspiration. What I like about this section is that you don't have to leave the website to find the images. It's incorporated right into the discovery page itself. There are several categories to choose from or you can conduct your own search right from this page for images that you want to share or pin.. which can be added to the scheduler simultaneously.

The categories include the following as also depicted in the image below, however you will also notice in the second image that I did a search for SEO to depict what results show up for search terms you input and in the following image, that upon clicking the clock symbol in the lower left hand corner brings up the scheduler as well:

  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Fun & Humor
  • Photography
  • DIY & Crafts
  • Home & Interiors
  • Weddings
  • Design
  • Kids
  • Other

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Discover Pictures Categories

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Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Discover Search Photos SEO

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Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Discover Search And Schedule Photos SEO

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Accounts - This is is the section where you can connect your profiles / social accounts. The networks that they allow you to work with are as followed and as also depicted in the image below While you only have 5 networks, on the Pro plan you can connect up to 10 profiles:

  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIN
  • Pinterest

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Social Accounts Pinterest LinkedIN Facebook Twitter

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Settings which has 4 subsections that are the following:

  • Team - Disclosure: I have not been able to get this section to work so I'm still not sure as to what it does yet.
  • Payment Info - Provides basic informational details on your choice of subscription plan.


  • Extensions - Gives you added functionality to the Viral Tag platform by allowing for greater flexibility in how you pin with their bookmarklet and extensions. Three are provided for your use (e.g. Chrome Extension, Safari Extension and the Viraltag bookmarklet for use in Internet Explorer and / or Firefox) as depicted in the image below.

Viraltag Review And Viraltag Tips Browser Extensions

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  • Referral Program - Gives you the opportunity to be able to use the platform completely free through referrals. You are provided with a referral link that can be promoted through social media outlets and each time a customer signs up for an upgraded plan you earn a $30 credit for use in the system and the purchaser earns a $15 credit themselves.

In closing, I'd like to say this.. that if you've been following my posts for any amount of time you will find that I'm not one to "pitch" anything per se, especially on a product that I have not used or signed up to use myself personally. I value your thoughts as well as I hope you value mine. I will provide you with a post that is informative and leave the rest up to you.

With that said, I hope you've enjoyed this walkaround of the Viraltag Pinterest management tool.

Thanks for reading. If you liked the post, please use the share buttons below and hopefully I'll see you on Pinterest too.

#candidwriter #pinterest #viraltag

Disclosure: Affiliate links have been used in this post. Additional clarification can be found in our privacy policy.