It’s no great secret that I’m quite a big fan of Clickbank. I made my first ever affiliate commission on the platform over 10 years ago, and have enjoyed using Clickbank ever since.
One question I get asked from time to time is: “how does Clickbank work?”
It’s a bit of an open-ended question, and most of this has already been covered in my Clickbank review, but I thought I’d take the time to actually explain it in a bit more detail.
So here you have my 101 guide to the way Clickbank functions.
What Is Clickbank?
Clickbank is an affiliate network.
It provides a platform for vendors to sell their products (usually digital information products). It also provides a system for affiliates to make money by promoting those products. Finally, it also looks after the customers by ensuring that their personal information is kept safe when shopping, and that you actually get access to the products that you’ve paid for.
Clickbank For Vendors
A vendor is a person/business that wants to sell a product.
Historically, Clickbank has been a popular option for vendors of digital information products and software. These days, it is still primarily focused on info products and software but there are also a few physical products on there as well.
Clickbank handles the payment processing, affiliate payments and product access for customers on your behalf. You just create your product, create a sales website/page, and then set up the price details etc in Clickbank.
Clickbank For Affiliates
In the affiliate marketing world, Clickbank is a very famous name indeed. Just about every successful affiliate marketer out there has probably pushed a Clickbank offer or two during their time. In fact, I know some successful “super affiliates” who basically refuse to use any other platform.
Clickbank For Customers
From a customer’s perspective, there’s not really too much to say about Clickbank, other than:
It provides a safe gateway for purchasing.
It helps ensure that you get the product you’re paying for (normally you will receive your access immediately after payment)
You can fall back on Clickbank to – usually -take your side during a dispute with a vendor.
Fundamentally, Clickbank is a platform that brings together three distinct parties:
Vendors – people who have a product to sell (software, eBook, video course or whatever)
Affiliates – people who want to sell those products to their audience to generate commissions
Customers – the people who do the actual buying. Without customers, vendors and affiliates would have a tough time indeed!
NB: This review is largely re-published from my original here (linked for your convenience). I have made some updates relevant for 2019, and re-worded the content just to avoid any duplicate content problems. I also talk a bit more about the user comments I received on my original review … and you’ll notice that my conclusion is quite a bit different.
Hirewriters.com review begins here:
Following the success of my popular iWriter review, I’m coming at you today with a detailed, honest, and accurate review of a content writing service called Hire Writers (I will refer to it variably as Hirewriters.com as well).
Full disclosure as well … this review is only written from the perspective of actually buying content. I haven’t done any writing for Hirewriters.com in order to try and make extra cash. However, later on in the piece I will chime in with some information supplied to me by people who have written articles for Hirewriters.com.
Way back in 2013 I heard about Hire Writers after receiving an email from a guy called Brandon, who was one of the founders of the platform. He had read my old iWriter review and was keen for me to give his new service a look over. I agreed to. I was given a $10 credit with which to buy an article to evaluate its quality and the ease-of-use of the platform. However, this did not sway me in terms of providing an accurate and honest review of Hirewriters.com
Now let’s begin with my Hire Writers.com review, and see if you can get good quality content for decent prices. Remember that content is the foundation of all good websites, and writing your own content takes a heck of a long time (heck, it will probably take me about five hours to write this one blog post… so you had better damn well enjoy it).
Now that I’ve got all that housekeeping out of the way, let’s get down to the main business of the review and see whether or not it is actually possible to get any decent content for the kind of prices that Hirewriters.com claims. As we’ve seen in the past with my iWriter review, big promises are made but generally these “content mills” simply don’t deliver the goods very well.
If you’re interested in signing up for Hire Writers.com yourself, then you can do so here. You will get a bonus on your first deposit, in order to help you get more content for your money.
Back in 2013, I commented that the interface for Hirewriters.com was quite professional and slick. However, the past three years have not been overly kind to it, especially when you bear in mind that the site’s design basically hasn’t changed in literally years (iWriter is the same … I just don’t know what it is about these content mill sites that prevents them from having modern, clean interfacew).
But it is fairly easy to work your way around. All you need to do is select either “Register Now” or “Get Content Written Now” and you’ll be able to register your account and get underway.
Once your account is created and approved, you can go through the motions of setting it up with your preferred payment option and such like.
If you’ve ever used Hirewriters’ main competition – iWriter, then you’ll probably feel immediately at home. In fact, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it turned out that Hirewriters.com and iWriter were using the same CMS or something like that. This really is quite an easy interface to navigate your way around.
So, once you’ve got your account credited, it’s time to actually get some content written. In order to do this, start by clicking the button that says “get content written”. Then you’ll see a screen like this:
Once again, if you’ve ever used iWriter, then you should find this system extremely straightforward to use. All you need to do is enter the key project information and you’re away. I’ll break this down for you:
Project description. What the potential writers are going to see when browsing the available projects page. Something descriptive like “niche name + articles” works well enough here.
Article category. Not really that important.
Article length. Very important … this directly influences how much you pay. Remember that content mills are focused on articles around the 500-1000 word length as a general rule.
Language. Does this need explaining?
Writer’s time limit. What is the max amount of time a writer should be allowed to complete an article for you to approve? The longer you leave this, the more likely you are to find that the writer
Writer skill level. Once again, this is a very important. The better the writer ranking, the more money you will actually pay to get the content. Of course the trade off is that you *should* get better, more readable articles. The cheapest tiers on these content mill websites are invariably GARBAGE … unless you’re lucky enough to get an up-and-coming writer who is trying to grind their way to the higher tiers.
Hire Writers & Writer Treatment
After I first published my review of this platform back in 2013, I caught a lot of shade from pissed off writers who claim they had been mistreated by the Hirewriters.com management … notably being denied their rightful earnings and having accounts terminated for no reason:
Although I have never written for Hirewriters.com myself, I think this does warrant a great deal of attention. And, if you are thinking of writing for them, then you need to proceed with caution. Don’t allow too much money to pool in your writer account – as soon as you are able to make a withdrawal to Paypal, you need to go ahead and do it.
As I discussed in my iWriter review, I’m not really a fan of writing for content mills anyway. If you are a native English writer, and live in a Western country, then it’s going to be a monstrous grind to actually be able to earn a decent amount of money (unless you find some clever way to game the system … in which case your account will probably just get banned anyway).
You are always better off to try and find clients an independent manner, so you can give proper quotes for jobs and negotiate your rates. If this scares you, then even selling your services on a platform like Source Market or the Warrior Forum Warriors For Hire section is a better idea.
If you’re a remotely competent writer, then steer clear of these content mills for your own sake. Leave them to overseas (usually Indian or Filipino) writers who are willing to grind out 500 words for just a couple of bucks. Especially steer clear when it seems very apparent that there are issues with actually getting paid, and accounts being terminated with zero good reason.
Here’s a question I get asked “through the grapevine” from time-to-time – ‘is Clickbank a scam?’. I’ve written quite extensively about Clickbank (including creating a very detailed review here) but this is still a common question that crops up from time to time.
Long story short – no Clickbank is not a scam. It’s a legitimate business that has been around for many years, and provides a valuable service allowing the sale and purchase of digital information products (and now some physical products as well). It also offers a proven, tested and reliable affiliate platform that has helped thousands of people worldwide – myself included – to earn great commissions and make money online.
All sounds great, right?
However, that doesn’t mean that Clickbank is perfect. With this in mind, where has that common question of whether or not Clickbank is a scam actually come from?
Here are some reasons why this “misconception” exists:
Product quality checking. This was more of a problem in the past, where Clickbank would basically approve just about any product on its platform. This led to a torrent of junk, especially in certain niches (make money online, weight loss etc). Now they are more stringent about product approvals. The problem was made worse by the fact that affiliates would take these already-shite products, and then overhype them to a completely absurd degree. For a very long time, it was a case of finding needles in a haystack when it came to getting good Clickbank products.
Refunds & chargebacks. On the affiliate and vendor side, this has always been a big problem with Clickbank that has led to accusations of the site being a scam. The problem is that Clickbank requires all vendors to offer a 60 day refund window to customers. My understanding is that this rule is in place basically to minimize the risk of chargebacks (as people can just refund instead of charging back). I think it’s also because Clickbank fundamentally know that a lot of their products are poor quality – and that their reputation as a platform could be ruined by not forcing a generous refund window. The problem with the 60 day window, and the fact that a vendor basically cannot dispute a refund request, is that you will rack up the refunds.
Concerns of shaving affiliates. From time to time, affiliates pipe up and claim that Clickbank is “shaving” commissions. Basically, this means that a percentage of valid sales aren’t credited. This theory is exacerbated by the stats panel in your Clickbank affiliate dashboard, which shows ‘order form server calls’ that don’t always line up to the number of sales.
Product types/niches. Clickbank is pretty much the home of digital info products in the make money online, weight loss, and pick up artistry niche. These niches are big because there are lots of people looking for a quick-fix, easy solution and they are generally “hungry” for that solution as well.
In conclusion, I want to reiterate that Clickbank is not a scam. It’s a legitimate, highly-functional platform that provides excellent opportunities for vendors and affiliates, and provides a lot of security to buyers due to safe payment processing and long refund windows. However, in the past Clickbank didn’t really do enough to sense-check the products on its network, meaning a lot of crap products were up for sale that promised the world and delivered little. Add into this the issue of chargebacks and long refund windows (which frustrated the heck out of affiliates and vendors alike) and it’s not hard to see why Clickbank hasn’t always had the best reputation.
However, they have done a lot of work in recent years to really tidy up the platform and make it a better place for everyone.
Uber important update: I am having some unacceptable issues with my MyThemeShop account at the moment (weekend of February 5th, 2019). I have falsely been flagged as having duplicate accounts, and my paid account has been completely locked. What’s even worse is that when your account is locked you are redirected to a spam-looking website – http://www.nooooooooooooooo.com – this appears to be a known issue and numerous complaints about this in the Account Issues area of the support forum. I will keep you all posted on what happens, and provide a full update and adjust my review accordingly. Until I find out whether or not my account is going to be re-instated, I will refrain from finishing the review.
Update 1: 7th March, 2019 – received a reply to my support forum post regarding account suspension. Told to email support (which I had already done). Have not heard anything authoritative back yet. Holding out for my account to be re-opened ASAP.
Update 2: 9th March, 2019 – after some back and forth on the Account Issues subforum on Mythemeshop Community, I finally got access back to my account. It is all working fine now. Turns out that when I tried to check the current monthly pricing of MTS for the purposes of this review, I triggered a duplicate account error by inputting a second email address of mine into the account setup field. I didn’t actually think I had created another account, but their system registered it as such and chose to lock me out.
I will talk more about my experiences with the MTS support later in the review, as well as decide whether it has changed my overall view of the product.
NB Review still under construction. Will be finished soon.
At the heart of any good WordPress-based website lies the theme it is using. Without an attractive theme that is also functional and reliable, your website will look like shite. And a crap looking website is going to turn visitors off quickly.
This is where MyThemeShop (MTS) comes in. It’s billed as a one-stop-shop for premium WordPress themes and plugins that will help you build a beautiful, successful, and highly functional website.
This website actually uses a theme from mythemeshop.com called Best – and I have been pleased with how easy it has been to set it up to look the way I want it to look. For example, I have not gone with the same tiled/magazine homepage layout for Best that is shown on the MTS demo for this theme.
I use MTS themes on all of my WordPress sites except for some of my FPTraffic partner sites, which run a clone of the 9gag theme due to its simplicity. I have also used MTS themes for sites I have built for friends and family members, and the overall look and feel of those sites have always got great feedback.
What Is MyThemeShop.com?
MTS is a membership website that gives you access to a wide array of constantly-updated WordPress themes and plugins. It’s almost like a theme library!
When you pay your joining fee (this is an up front cost plus a monthly subscription) you have unlimited access to any of the themes and plugins featured on the MTS site. New themes are added from time to time, and the current ones are frequently updated.
You can purchase any of the advertised themes or plugins as a one-off licence with a small recurring fee each year. However, I am most familiar with buying the recurring membership that gives you unlimited access to all of the themes and plugins. I will talk to the pricing options more further on in the review as well.
Who Is It For?
The potential audience for MyThemeShop is anybody who uses WordPress to make websites. Whether you are a small business owner looking to create a site to promote your bricks and mortar store, or you are an affiliate looking to build up a mighty empire of niche sites, you could probably benefit from MTS.
If you are a freelance web designer/developer or web agency, then you could also benefit from MTS. I’m sure you’re all-too-familiar with clients who want a basic design without too much customization (and who doesn’t want to pay for a custom theme) then you can probably find something they will like . A MyThemeShop commercial WordPress theme plus a bit of content and tweaking and you can build a great looking site for a client on a smaller budget, and then hopefully convert them into something that earns you more $$$ down the track.
Basically, if you use WordPress or want to start using WordPress, then MyThemeShop could be the right choice for you.
MTS Free Themes
If you’re just looking to dip your toes in the WordPress waters, then you might want to consider trying some of the free MTS themes and plugins that are on offer.
One of the most popular is the free version of the ever-popular SociallyViral. This theme has made it big because it was used to power a website called ViralNova, which got sold for millions of dollars (in fact, much of the banner advertising and remarketing you see for MyThemeShop is based around the theme of making a profitable website with their themes).
With the free themes you do lose out a bit on functionality, but they give you the opportunity to see for yourself what sort of site you could be creating with the premium version.
Here are screen shots of the demos of some of the better free themes:
[free theme 1 + caption + link]
[free theme 2 + caption + link]
There are also some nifty free plugins available. My personal favourite is XXXX [explain what plugin does
Why Use Premium WP Premium Themes?
This is a darn good question. I mean there are so many free WordPress themes available that it seems crazy at first that anybody would pay for one … let alone a monthly membership for lots of them (although you can buy themes one-off – I will cover that later).
There are a few reasons to go with premium/paid WordPress themes as opposed to free themes:
Free themes can sometimes contain malicious code. This is a real risk. Free themes sourced from dodgy websites have occasionally been known to contain code that can open your site up to attack. NOT GOOD! This is even more of a problem with “nulled” WP themes (that is where someone basically cracks a premium theme to stop it from calling home and then distributes it as a freebie). If you are going to stick with a free theme, then follow this guide here to detecting potentially invasive code.
Not always updated for new versions of WordPress core. If you have any knowledge whatsoever of WP, then you’ll know that the core WordPress build is frequently updated in order to improve security, enhance functionality, and overall make for a better experience. It is important that the theme you use is updated to work smoothly with the updates that happen to the core WordPress files. With free themes it is not uncommon to see frequent updates fizzle out, and then you can be left with a theme that does not work correctly on the most current version of WordPress. This in itself can result in a tricky dilemma to either have a slightly broken theme but updated core files, or run the risk of falling victim to security exploits etc by maintaining an older build of WordPress in order to ensure that your free theme works fine.
Hidden advertising. It’s not unheard of to see free WordPress themes – especially those that claim to emulate the functionality of expensive premium options – have hidden advertising. Usually this comes in the form of sneaky links that are dropped into elements of the theme (most themes do have the ubiquitous footer link, but these often go beyond that and into the invasive territory where they can’t be easily removed). I have even seen free themes that hijack sites with cookie stuffing code, or force banner or popup ads to display. You don’t want that on your site do you? And all in the name of saving a few dollars off a premium, well-developed theme.
Poor code base = slow theme. Many free WP themes are coded up by amateurs or up-and-coming developers trying to make a name for themselves. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? The only downside to this is that a lot of free themes can have a poor code base, resulting in a slow or poorly performing theme that doesn’t always load right. This is generally not an issue with the most popular free themes (if you’re installing based on popularity from within the WP dashboard, then you probably don’t have to worry). However, it is still a consideration to make, especially with themes that seem to have been thrown together in an amateurish manner.
As you can see, it is definitely advantageous to build your WordPress website(s) with a premium theme that has been created by professionals, and for which there will be lasting updates.
Now let’s dive further into this MyThemeShop review to see if MTS can be the answer to our theme problems:
Pricing for MyThemeShop is fairly simple. There are currently two tiers of pricing available.
You can purchase any single theme for $59. Then you will have to pay $19 per year thereafter for that theme.
However, I believe the majority of MTS users opt for the annual membership that gives you complete access to all bundled themes and plugins. This is the option I’ve got (although I purchased it back when you paid an upfront “joining fee” and then a monthly fee, as opposed to paying an annual subscription … in that sense I’ve got a worse deal than anyone buying today!)
Here’s a comparison of what you get when paying for a single theme vs the annual subscription:
NB that there are also some free themes available (check them out here). Most of the free ones are just premium options that have slightly reduced functionality.
Now we come to the fun part of this MyThemeShop review, where I get to dissect the good and the bad of it, and whether or not it is worth a buy on your part:
Something for just about everybody. Here’s what I LOVE about MyThemeShop. Regardless of what sort of business you run (except for anything fringe like a directory or file sharing site) if you are using WordPress then you will probably be able to find a theme that you really like. Everyone I have shown MTS, and who is a regular WordPress user, has loved it. It’s like having a library card for site design!
No design or coding skills required. Provided you can follow basic instructions and have a bit of nous for figuring things out for yourself, then you should be golden to be able to set your site up the way you want it to look with your MyThemeShop theme.
Great demo functionality. Every theme can be previewed thoroughly through the demo interface on the MTS website. You can check responsiveness, click through and see what interior pages, posts, media pages etc look like, and just overall get a really good feel for how you can make your site look. I’ve seen WP premium themes sold in the past with no comprehensive preview functionality, and that just isn’t good enough in my opinion.
Comprehensive licence. Any theme you purchase can be used on unlimited sites owned by you. Furthermore, if you pay for the annual unlimited membership then you can use and get support for the themes on any client websites. This is important if you plan on making sites for customers (not being able to get support if a problem happens to a client site could be a real business breaker).
Great looking themes with good functionality. Overall this is one of the things I like the most about MyThemeShop. The vast majority of themes look fantastic, fresh, and offer sound functionality that can help you get your website performing the way it ought to. I strongly suggest that you take a look at the theme database here and have a play around with the demos; I think you’ll come to the same conclusion as me about how good most of the themes look.
Regular theme updates. This is crucial for maintaining the security and functionality of your WordPress-based site. Even if MTS was perfect in every other regard, if it lacked regular updating of the themes then it would be an absolute no-go option. Thankfully, the MTS development team put a lot of work into ensuring that the themes are regularly updated. Nice work!
Good support and service. Unless you are a total pro at using WordPress, then the chances are you will probably one into one hitch or another at some stage when building your site (and this doesn’t just apply to MTS themes – no matter what theme you’re using, you will probably hit a snag with from time to time). The good news is that MyThemeShop support is great.
Fair price for the annual, unlimited membership. At $167 per year for unlimited access to so many themes, I genuinely believe that MTS membership is good value. If your build a lot of sites or enjoy changing site layout on a regular basis, then you will find it to be an attractive proposition. See my note in the Cons section for my thoughts on single theme pricing, which is a much worse deal.
Many of the themes are too similar. Although almost all of the themes look fantastic, my biggest complaint is that many of the themes are too similar. Most seem to be magazine-type themes. If you browse through the available themes here, then you will very quickly see what I mean. I understand that there are an abundance of magazine themes because It would be nice to have some more niche themes, like a directory theme, forum theme, 9gag type site etc.
Not enough affiliate friendly themes. I would also love to see at least a couple of themes that are aimed squarely at creating profitable Amazon affiliate sites (with the highly converting comparison layout) so that you don’t have to go out and buy an Amazon-specific theme from another provider.
Can be hard to get your theme install looking like the example/demo. When browsing through the MTS site you will see all these amazing looking demos. So you pick a theme and install it, and then spend the next 1000 years of your life trying to work out how to get the same homepage look and feel that the demo site has, or how to get your mega menu displaying the same.
Themes don’t always look great on high resolution screens. One complaint I have about the appearance of the themes is that some of them don’t look as good as they perhaps should on high resolution screens. For example, on my 4k computer screen the text on the themes doesn’t look as crisp as I think it should. Hopefully this will be fixed down the track; increasing numbers of devices are coming with high resolution screens.
Single theme pricing is bad value. $59 plus $19 per year is quite a lot of money for a single theme. The only situation in which this option makes sense is if you only need to build one site (e.g. you run Bob’s Milkshake Shack and you need a site solely for that business). If you’re an affiliate, a freelance site builder, agency or whatever then you NEED to spring for the annual membership option with unlimited access … or don’t bother at all.
Downloading the themes and plugins is annoying. Okay this is a minor gripe in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re logged in to your MTS account you can’t just browse around the front end of the site and then download a theme or plugin instead of adding to cart. Instead, you need to remember it’s name, navigate to the members’ area, and then download it from a great big unordered list there. This is just annoying and should be fixed ASAP.
Login breaks frequently. Lots of users (myself included) have intermittent issues with accessing the member dashboard. You try to log in but the site simply does not respond. This appears to be a known issue
Commercial WordPress Themes
If you’re looking for a more conventional website layout (as opposed to a magazine or blog type theme which is very popular these days) then MyThemeShop also has you covered.
There are a bunch of different themes are suited to business websites. One of my favourite is this one called Architect. It looks very clean and would suit most all bricks and mortar businesses that don’t need an eCommerce functionality:
[architect theme image]
Another great commercial WordPress theme from MTS is the aptly-named “Business”:
[business theme image]
MyThemeShop Coupon Code
Are you looking for a coupon code for MyThemeShop.com?
Well that depends. First, you need to ask yourself how much you use WordPress as a site building platform. For example, if you use something like Wix or Weebly instead, then why would you bother?
However, if you are using WordPress on a regular basis for building websites (whether that is a single site you maintain for your business, sites you build for clients, or even a suite of niche affiliate sites) then you cannot go past MyThemeShop.
Although not every theme is a winner, the overall value proposition here is just too great to turn down for any serious WordPress user. And the high standards and frequent updates of these WP premium themes only serves to sweeten the deal further.
My experience with MyThemeShop has been largely positive. Despite some teething issues with a couple of the themes I have used – generally when trying to create the more complicated layouts you see on the demo homepages – I have been pleased with the quality, functionality, and aesthetics of the themes provided as part of my membership. Combine this with good support, handy premium plugins, and an ongoing commitment to updates and joining is a no-brainer for any serious WordPress user.
Welcome back to Reviews Boss. Today we have an exciting review of a new web marketing tool called Amplifire. This is going to be a shorter review than I have done in the past, primarily because Amplifire is quite a “basic” product to get your head around. I will cover what Amplifire is, how it works, and then the pros and cons of the product before concluding my review by answering the age old question of whether or not you should actually buy the product.
What Is Amplifire?
It is a tool to help you create welcome mats for your website. A welcome mat is basically a full screen takeover that can be used for just about any promotional purpose (although the most common is usually to get someone to sign up to your newsletter list).
Here is an example of what I mean by “welcome mat” that is designed to get newsletter signups:
Note that this particular welcome mat was actually made using SumoMe, which is a competitor to Amplifire. SumoMe is by far the more popular product, and is something I will look to review down the track.
You’ve probably encountered these a lot in your day-to-day online activities. They are an effective means of grabbing a visitor’s attention and getting them to take an action like signing up to a newsletter list, clicking through to see a promo, or announcing your latest bit of content.
Basically, Amplifire claims to be a one-stop-shop for creating and optimising welcome mats.
The pricing structure for Amplifire is pretty simple:
I opted for the $97 version as I’ve got lots of different sites I want to try this on, and I also wanted Remote Commander. Just pick the option you can afford, and remember that a refund is available as well.
How Do You Use It?
By now you should have a good idea of what Amplifire is supposed to do. But how do you actually use it to start generating leads and sales?
I’ll walk you through how I have been using it in order to create my own welcome mats.
The first step once you’ve registered your Amplifire account is to log into the dashboard and select to make a new “conversion mat”. NB That Wishloop is the business behind Amplifire, and they offer other products like Captifire and EngagiFire that do popups, landing pages, sales pages etc. These are additional products that must also be purchased.
Once you’ve selected to make a new mat, you’ll get to pick a template. There are 35 base templates that can be used. Some are for lead/email gen, some for promoting products, others offer video embeds and so on. Remember that you can customise any of these templates pretty extensively as well:
So you’ve got a template selected, and you will be greeted with the drag and drop editor. This is where the magic happens:
You can move elements pretty much anywhere on the canvas, and use the “components” to add things like buttons, text, embedded videos, forms and more.
Some of the advanced features (the Marketing and Geo Location tools) are locked for pro subscribers unfortunately. This is a shame, as I bet you could do some seriously powerful promotion with them.
I usually like to keep my welcome mats nice and simple. So for this one I’m going to start first by changing the background to one of the supplied backgrounds. I could also upload a custom image if I wanted:
Now I’ve got a new background, I want to change the text to be relevant to whatever niche. You can edit the text of any existing text element through a WYSIWYG editor like this:
HOWEVER, I have found that you get far better results if you use the HTML editor, as the WYSIWYG is clunky and prone to formatting issues:
Once you’ve made the text and background what you want it to be (and added any other elements you like) you can look at adding additional steps to your welcome mat. Some templates come with additional steps built in, others like the one I chose do not. I like to have the thanks and “please confirm” content added as a second step so that visitors aren’t directed away from the site. They can then close the form and see whatever content they were first going to view.
Adding and editing additional steps is super easy:
Now it’s time to go back to the signup form on the original step and set up an integration with your Email Service Provider so that the leads you sign up actually get added to your list!
In order to do this you first have to have given Amplifire permission to communicate with your ESP of choice. There are really clear instructions for the following providers:
Once you’ve configured the integration you can set up the form to add leads to your list of choice from within the drag and drop editor:
If you don’t yet have an email service provider, then you can still generate leads! It is possible to store the leads in an internal database on Amplifire, and then you can export them all to upload to a provider like Mailchimp or Aweber. The only issue you might run into with this is the lack of double-confirmed opt in … but if you are just starting out then this could still be a viable option.
Once you’re finished and happy with your welcome mat, you just save it and make it active through the campaign options. There are a few different things you can do here, like set the display interval for people who close the form, choose whether it should be seen on mobile devices or not, exclude certain pages, and if you have the pro edition you can create custom rules around who exactly sees the form.
Finally, you have to actually give your website permission to display the Amplifire form. There are a few different ways of doing this. On a WordPress site you just download a Wishloop plugin and then add your Amplifire customer ID to the plugin, and then tell the welcome mat in its settings panel which domain to display on. You can also add to ANY website using a code snippet. This is awesome if you use a platform like Weebly, Wix, or Shopify.
Once all this is done, your welcome mat should be up and running on your site and ready to generate some leads or sales for you. KICKASS!
There is one feature of Amplifire that I really want to draw attention to. It’s called Remote Commander, and it is something I’ve been having a whole heap of fun with.
With Remote Commander you can make your welcome mats display on anyone else’s website (well that’s not strictly true but it’s basically how the functionality looks to the end user).
The best bit about Remote Commander is that when you drop a “commanded” link on Facebook, it still shows the ultimate destination URL in the excerpt displayed.
Here’s what I mean:
My advice for using Remote Commander effectively would be to ensure that you don’t just spam your links everywhere across the Internet. Instead, link your audience to relevant and interesting content and try to build up leads that you can then follow up with your own content and promotions. I definitely think you are likely to get better results from taking an ethical approach to this, as opposed to spamming.
By default, Remote Commander campaigns run through a URL supplied by Amplifire. But you can actually link up a custom URL that is more relevant to your niche so that during the “redirect” process that takes place visitors don’t get put off by the default domain name. For example, if you were Facebook commenting to drive leads in the dog training niche, then you could have a custom domain like “dognews.info” that loads your Remote Commanded links.
Setting up Remote Commander is easy and just requires you to have your welcome mat campaign setup and active, as well as a valid URL to send traffic:
Please note that you only get Remote Commander if you opt for the $97 unlimited site edition, otherwise you have to buy it as an upgrade.
NB I will add a brief overview of the statistics tracking and split-testing functionalities of Amplifire soon. I haven’t had it for long enough to really get a good feel for how the optimisation capabilities work yet, so don’t feel qualified enough to talk about them.
Now you’ve seen the rough basics of how Amplifire works, it’s time to take a look at what is good and what is bad about the product:
Easy to use. The drag and drop form builder is straightforward to use; within a few minutes of playing around with it I had already created some nice looking welcome mats in a number of niches. I’m normally a bit wary of drag and drop builders, as they tend to be laggy and buggy. But this one is fast and easy.
Mobile customisation. Although a mobile and tablet friendly version of your welcome mat is created by default, you can change it to suit your needs and eliminate unwanted elements from the responsive design. This is a good idea to simplify your mobile welcome mats, and could definitely help to boost conversions.
Remote Commander is awesome. It’s like the infamous “Trust Jacker” plugin of old, but only a lot better. You don’t just have to display shitty CPA ads; you can display gorgeous call-to-action welcome mats to drive clicks to your own site or gaining leads. There are so many possibilities for monetising this. I haven’t made my investment back yet, but I have already generated real leads from links I have shared. My guess is that lead gen is going to be easier than selling, so that is the strategy I am likely to take. Heck you could probably hire some virtual assistants to do forum and blog commenting dropping useful links, and then build up a nice list this way.
Great price. $97 per year is a good price for this tool PROVIDED it remains updated into the future. But at under $10 per month and in its current state, it is good buying (much better value than SumoMe in my opinion) and represents a lot of value.
Can install on any site. You don’t need to be running WordPress. Lots of tools with similar functionality are developed primarily for WordPress, and integration onto other CMS like Weebly can be challenging. All you need with Amplifire is a line of code that you install into your site. It can’t get much easier than that, can it? This is good for me, as I don’t always choose to use WordPress depending on exactly what kind of site I’m using. You could run this on Shopify as well.
Single, multi and unlimited-site licence available. I think that having options is a good thing. If you’ve only got one website (and you don’t have any plans to launch another one for a while) then you don’t have to pay the $97 unlimited option. You can pick a cheaper, single site tier and save money to put towards driving traffic.
Super annoying upsell process. Oh boy, I had forgotten how much upselling there is for products sold through JVZoo. This product has three (if I recall correctly) upsells. There is one for the premium edition, which actually doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. One for another product from the same company, and then a sort-of “complete collection”. I should really have taken screenshots of the upsell process, but I just wasn’t thinking late at night when I was doing the purchase process. But anyway, upsells are annoying and I don’t like them. Don’t feel pressured to buy anything during an upsell; it is my professional experience that the “unmissable” offer will almost always be there at a later date.
Too many features stripped without the pro/premium version. The base Amplifire tool is good, but there are a number of cool features that are stripped paying for pro/premium upgrade. The most important of these is the feature relating to smart display rules, which allows you to do things like display only to new visitors, or show different mats depending on what part of the site someone has landed on. You also miss out on the more advanced promotional options like the ability to easily add Teespring, Amazon, or eBook products. I know that upselling to a better feature suite is how the developers are making money on this, but I was a tad disappointed when I saw just how much was missing from the base functionality.
Occasional bugs with the welcome mat. On some browsers like Microsoft Edge, I have sometimes seen the text formatting break. This seems intermittent, and on more popular browser options (Chrome, Firefox etc) I haven’t noticed any issues. Just something to bear in mind.
Overall, I really like Amplifire. I genuinely think that this is a useful tool, and it has applications no matter what sort of web-based business you’re running. As a platform for growing your list, it has just about every feature you could ever want. And the fact that you can use it to push coupons or product calls-to-action is another added bonus.
My only real complaint is that some of the more powerful options available require an upgrade (even though you’ve already parted with a good chunk of cash to get the base functionality). However, some of the missing options you can get around just with some hard work and a sound understanding of how the drag and drop editor works.I also didn’t like the aggressive upselling, which is something that is a real plague on web marketing products in general.
I still think that Amplifire is one of the better web marketing tools I have seen in a long time. Go here to buy your own membership and grow those lists!
In this SaleHoo review we are going to be looking at what SaleHoo is, how it works, is it any good, and are there any alternatives to SaleHoo. By the end of this review you will have all the information you need to know about SaleHoo and whether it is a good source of wholesale and drop shipped products.
What Is SaleHoo?
As you have searched for a SaleHoo review, you probably know that it has made big waves in the drop shipping world. If you don’t have any idea of what SaleHoo is, we have explained it in detail below.
SaleHoo is a New Zealand based organization that was founded in 2005 by Simon Slade and Mark Ling. Slade was an online seller on TradeMe (New Zealand’s version of eBay) before starting SaleHoo. His experiences led him to develop a product that made it easier for online sellers to find suppliers and products, and ship them to customers.
SaleHoo is a wholesale directory that connects individuals to 2.5 million plus products from over 8,000 trusted wholesalers, manufacturers and dropship suppliers. It acts solely as an intermediary and does not supply or exchange or merchandise.
Suppliers are listed from a range of different countries from around the world, but most are based in Canada, China, Australia, the USA, UK, and New Zealand.
The great thing about SaleHoo is that the staff screen suppliers before adding them to the SaleHoo database. This helps to prevent any scam suppliers and timewasters.
Is SaleHoo Legitimate?
SaleHoo has been in the business for over 17 years now and there are loads of positive reviews. An overview of reviews from the Better Business Bureau shows SaleHoo received an A+ accreditation from 47 customers and clients. This shows that SaleHoo is a completely legitimate business tool that can help online retailers and drop shippers find suitable suppliers.
While SaleHoo is an excellent tool for online retailers, it is not for everyone. We will be explaining the positives and negatives of SaleHoo throughout this article and by the end of it you will know if it is the tool for you.
As proper customers, we can tell you that SaleHoo is perfectly legitimate and is not a scam. It offers a perfectly usable and useful product for $67 a year. However, while we find it to be an excellent tool, the only way you can really decide if it is worth it is to sign up yourself.
How Does SaleHoo Work?
SaleHoo makes finding products to sell surprisingly easy. You can use SaleHoo’s inbuilt ‘Lab’ tool to find profitable products that you can sell. The Lab lets you discover new products, compare products, save ideas and see product trends.
The first thing you want to do is decide on an idea or product you want to sell. You need to research about the product or area of the market you want to occupy. With SaleHoo, you can research the sell rate, average price and competition for thousands of different products. You can an example of SaleHoo Labs in action below. Notice all the different filters you can change below.
If we click on the 4-Legger Healing Balm, we can see more details about the product. You will be greeted by a range of different suppliers you can choose from and their respective offers (minimum order, where they ship to, etc.)
Let’s take a look at a different product. The Hurricane Fur Wizard Fur Remover has a list of different suppliers and you can see that the sell rate is 100% for the product. Of course these are completely different products but it is great to be able to see which ones perform better at a glance.
Once you have selected a product that looks good, you can save that product idea to come back to later. When you click on a product, you can not only view any potential suppliers, but also any similar listings.
After you have selected a few different products, you can compare them against one another. SaleHoo provides a direct comparison between the sell rate, number of listings and average price of the products you are comparing. This is a great tool as you can quickly look at the best performing product and make a decision on what product you want to choose.
What Does the Sell Rate, Listings and Average Price Mean?
Sell-Through Rate is based on the number of successful listings compared with the total listings for a product on eBay in the last month.
The Average Price is pretty self-explanatory and it is the average price that a given product is sold for on eBay during the previous month.
The Competition is based on analysis of the total number of listings and sellers for a given product. SaleHoo suggest that you avoid highly competitive products when first starting out.
How to Find a Supplier On SaleHoo
Once you have selected the product you want to start selling online, you need to choose a reliable supplier. As we wrote above, if you click on any given product you will be able to see a list of different suppliers you can choose from.
SaleHoo provides information on over 8,000 suppliers from all over the globe, including how long they have been on SaleHoo and how long they have been in business. You will also notice that SaleHoo provides their email, phone number, physical address and website, so that you can contact them.
It is recommended that you contact as many suppliers as possible to negotiate the best deal.
Now that you have found a suitable supplier, you can start advertising your product. This could be on a website like eBay or Amazon, or you may even have your very own online store.
Additionally, you can decide whether you want to drop ship products directly to your customers or buy them in bulk and arrange your own shipping. Drop shipping is undoubtedly the easier method, but buying in bulk can yield larger profits.
If you decide to use drop shipping, your supplier will ship any products directly to your customer after a sale has been made. For example, if you sell a product for $80, but it only cost you $30, you keep the difference. However, you need to account for other fees such as credit card fees, eBay feels, PayPal and more.
For those looking to qualify for wholesale pricing, you need to purchase the products yourself and get them shipped in bulk to your own warehouse. Once you make a sale, you ship them items directly to your customers. This method is riskier because you have to front up the cash for the products before you can start selling. You also need to have enough storage space, which can be an added cost. Still, buying in bulk and shipping them out yourself usually results in larger profit margins than drop shipping.
What Is Drop shipping?
If you are wondering what drop shipping is all about, we have put together a bit of information about it below.
Drop shipping is a retail method where a store does not keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a sale happens, it purchases the item from a third party and then sends it directly to the customer. This means that the store or merchant never touches the product.
The main difference between a normal retail model and drop shipping is that the seller does not own any inventory. The seller purchases stock as needed from a third party supplier, who is usually a manufacturer or wholesaler.
Is It Better?
Probably the biggest benefit of drop shipping is that less capital is required to launch a business. You don’t have to invest thousands of dollars up front and the risk is much lower. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about managing a warehouse, shipping orders, handling returns and managing stock level.
Drop shipping also lets you work from pretty much anywhere in the world and you have a wide selection of products to choose from.
How Fast Can I Start Selling with SaleHoo?
The great thing with SaleHoo is as soon as you create and login to your account, you can start contacting suppliers. The drop shipping suppliers do not require you to make an initial investment and can start shipping straight away. In addition to this, over 80% of the suppliers on SaleHoo ship products internationally, so you can start selling immediately.
Can I Make Money with SaleHoo?
By now, you are probably wondering how much money you can make using SaleHoo’s wholesale and drop shipping directory. The simple answer is that you can make money, but the amount will depend on how much effort and research you put in. It is not as easy as listing your products on eBay and watching the money role in while you sip on Pina Coladas by the beach.
This is because there is a large number of people who want to do the same thing as you and the competition is high. The market is over-saturated with thousands of different sellers selling the same items. However, do not let this put you off as there is still an enormous amount of money to be made and more and more people are purchasing their products online.
Profit will also depend on what sort of products you are selling and the market you are in. Are you looking to sell pet products, or do you want to sell clothes or electronics? These are completely different markets and profits will vary depending on which one you go for.
Additionally, you need to consider what platform you are selling on. Do you own a website with thousands of visitors a day, or are you looking to start a small eBay business? How and where you sell your products will have a large impact on how much money you can make.
In essence, making money online is not a get rich scheme and it will take hard work. Nobody can accurately predict how much money you will make with SaleHoo, but understand that you definitely can make money with the service.
We recommend that you use Google AdWords and Google’s Keyword Planner tool (don’t worry it’s free!) to do your own research on competition levels, number of searches and other statistics.
Is SaleHoo Safe?
If you have ever purchased or imported anything from China, you will probably already know how unsecure the process is. Most of the time you have no idea where the product is coming from and who the supplier is. It can be a gamble purchasing products online and sometimes you can get burnt. There are loads of counterfeit products that come out of China and you may not even release you are selling fake products.
The great thing with SaleHoo is that you know who you are dealing with and every supplier has to undergo a strict verification process. This eliminates any fraudulent activity, scammers and counterfeiters. SaleHoo ensures that all their suppliers are an actual company and will supply genuine, authentic products.
How Much Does SaleHoo Cost?
Access to SaleHoo’s directory of 8,000 verified suppliers and 2.5+ million products will set you back $67 a year. There are no other fees to worry about and PayPal, along with all major credit cards are accepted as forms of payment.
The $67 a year will also give you access to SaleHoo’s extensive range of training tools, tutorials, market research tools, forums and blogs. SaleHoo does not offer a free trial of their service, but they do have a 60-day money back guarantee.
What About SaleHoo Stores?
In addition to SaleHoo’s directory of suppliers, the company also offers an online store builder for those looking to get away from online market places like eBay. SaleHoo Stores cost $27 a month for the basic version, $47 a month for the regular and $97 a month for the premium version. Let’s take a look at how these different options stack up:
Number of Products
There are other benefits to the standard and premium options as well, such as coupons and discounts, wholesale supplier directory access, market research lab access and more. We recommend that you check out the different options for yourself here.
SaleHoo Stores does not require any previous experience to set up and you get 15 professional templates to choose from. In addition to this, you can also use built-in marketing tools to improve your store’s performance. While there are better alternatives out there, SaleHoo Stores is an excellent option for those looking to build a store quickly. We would certainly recommend this for first time store builders as no technical skills are required.
Can I Cancel My SaleHoo Membership?
You can cancel your SaleHoo membership for any reason at any time. If you fail to find the products you are looking for, or it simply doesn’t meet your expectations you can send an email or call SaleHoo’s customers service department to cancel your membership.
For those who cancel within 60 days of creating their account, SaleHoo will refund you the full amount you paid for the service. However, those that go over 60 days are out of luck and are not eligible for a refund. If you request a refund, SaleHoo will ask for you receipt number that you got when you purchased your membership.
What Is Good About SaleHoo?
SaleHoo gives you access to over 8,000 verified suppliers and more than 1.6 million genuine products, which makes it one of the largest databases of its kind. If you are looking for a product to sell, you can probably find it on SaleHoo.
Another great benefit of SaleHoo is the security and safety of the tool, which is especially useful for those who want to dip their toes into the world of online retail. The strict verification process ensures that any fraudulent companies or counterfeiters are weeded out.
It is really difficult to find suppliers of genuine products or brands that are licensed. SaleHoo gives you some peace of mind that whatever product you are looking at will be what it claims to be. Fake and counterfeit products are a real issue because if you end up selling them as genuine products, you could be opening yourself up to legal ramifications down the track.
We also like how easy and simple it is to find and compare products. The ability to search based on product type, sell rate, average price and competition is handy, and you can also search directly for suppliers or products.
As SaleHoo is so simple to use, we definitely recommend it for newcomers to the industry. If you are just starting out, you don’t want too many options to choose from and SaleHoo gives you this simplicity. SaleHoo removes the frustration of trying to find the right supplier, which makes it much better and safer for newcomers.
SaleHoo offers so many different tools and tutorials that can really help you get better results, which is what we like to see. The active community is really helpful and can be great when you want a question answered.
The marketing labs tool is particularly useful as it gives you all the information you need to know about a product. It helps to remove any doubt you might have about a product and will speed up the product selection process.
We like that there are no additional fees attached and that you don’t have to worry about any start-up costs. The 60-day money back guarantee is excellent and protects you if you feel that SaleHoo has not lived up to your expectations.
What Is Bad About SaleHoo?
SaleHoo may be an excellent directory and it comes with some great tools, but as with everything there are some downsides as well.
SaleHoo does not list as many products as some of the other services out there. For example, Wordwide Brands offers 16 million products compared with SaleHoo’s 2.5+ million.
There are lots of big brands, but it can be harder to find products from smaller brands.
Some of the products listed in the directory are cheaper elsewhere and some have very low margins.
Customer support is excellent, but they do not offer to find suppliers for products that are not currently listed (Worldwide Brands offers this).
You are paying $67 for a list of products and suppliers that you can find on your own. However, going it alone will be much more difficult for inexperienced people and it will be more of a hassle.
How to Get Better Results on SaleHoo
Now that we have talked about why you should or shouldn’t purchase SaleHoo, let’s look at what you can do to get better results with the service.
The first thing you should do is get an idea of what drop shipping is and how it works. We have explained a bit about it in this article, but there is loads more information out there. SaleHoo has a vast array of guides and tutorials that help you get familiar with how things work, so we suggest you check out those.
Once you have learnt about drop shipping and its benefits and weaknesses, we recommend that you write down all of your product ideas and the suppliers that you want to use. Contact as many suppliers as possible to find the best ones for you. You want to find at least two or three suppliers for every product that you want to sell and then compare the price.
We then recommend that you try to see what other users think about your products and suppliers by asking for feedback on both SaleHoo’s forums and on other ecommerce websites.
You need to remember that while someone may be having success with their product, you may not have the same success. However, this also goes the other way as well. Just because someone has had no success with a product, doesn’t mean you will be the same (it may just require a different approach).
Additionally, we also recommend that you learn how to market your products and yourself as a seller. You need to be inviting to customers and you need to make them want to buy from you rather than your competitor.
SaleHoo Alternatives and Competitors?
We know that SaleHoo is a good product, but you are probably wondering if it has any competitors. The answer to that is yes, there are a number of different competitors and alternatives to SaleHoo. The most notable of these is Worldwide Brands which features many more products than SaleHoo. Let’s take a look at how SaleHoo stacks up against its competition below.
SaleHoo vs Worldwide Brands
Worldwide Brands is probably SaleHoo’s biggest competitor and it is one of the most well known in the business. Much like SaleHoo, Worldwide Brands offers a wholesale directory that can be used to find products to sell. The main difference is that Worldwide Brands offers a much larger range of products and more suppliers are willing to work with them. Worldwide Brands is also more active at adding products to their directory, which is a major bonus.
Another benefit of Worldwide Brands is that they go more in depth when verifying suppliers. They go out and visit supplier’s warehouses and make test orders to make sure they are legit before adding them to the directory.
As Worldwide Brands has so many suppliers and products competing for your business, you are more likely to get a cheaper price than with SaleHoo. They also have more light bulk wholesalers that have lower minimum order levels.
The worst thing about Worldwide Brands is the price. At $299, Worldwide Brands is significantly more expensive than a year’s membership to SaleHoo. However, Worldwide Brands is a one-time cost, so you need to weigh up how long you will be using the service.
SaleHoo vs Doba
Doba is another option to choose from, but it does have its limitations. Like SaleHoo, Doba is essentially a middleman that makes it easy to find products that can be drop shipped to your customers. However, unlike SaleHoo, Doba handles the negotiations with the suppliers so you don’t have to do it.
Doba gives you access to over 2 million products from more than 200 suppliers. It uses a similar platform to SaleHoo that lets you browse products and add them to your inventory.
The main drawbacks of Doba seem to be the cost of the goods and the hefty price tag for a membership. Doba offers four plans that are billed monthly: Basic ($29), Advanced ($69), Pro ($249) and Enterprise. Compared to SaleHoo, Doba is significantly more expensive and you are really just paying for the simplicity. Still, if you want to try out Doba they do offer a 14-day trial.
SaleHoo vs Oberlo
Oberlo was founded in 2015 and has some key differences to SaleHoo. It is essentially a drop shipping app that lets you export products from Aliexpress and import them directly into your Shopify store. Once a customer buys something from your store it is shipped to them directly. The biggest downside to Oberlo is that it only works on Shopify stores, but it does that beautifully.
Oberlo is completely free for the starter pack, while $29.90 a month will get you access to the basic version, and $79.90 a month will give you all the features available in the Pro version. If you don’t need the extra features and sell a small number of products per month, the free version is a great option to try.
Compared to SaleHoo, Oberlo is very limited. SaleHoo gives you access to more suppliers and is much better if you are dealing with larger numbers of sales. You also have the option to bulk ship items to your own warehouse, whereas Oberlo only lets you drop ship items. If you are serious about starting an online retail business we definitely recommend SaleHoo over Oberlo.
SaleHoo vs Alibaba
Alibaba has become a giant of the online retail world, but how does it compare to SaleHoo. Well, the answer to that is poorly. Alibaba does have a list of drop shipping suppliers and you can buy products in bulk, but the risks are much higher.
There are hundreds of negative reviews left on SiteJabber and BBB.org about Alibaba. Many people have had less than stellar experiences with suppliers listed in Alibaba’s directory, and some suppliers have even provided false information or cheated customers out of thousands of dollars.
“Purchased $10,000 of marble urns… After nearly two years and dozens of emails to lots of different people, we finally received a shipment of product that we did not order. I am not the only one.”
We definitely recommend using SaleHoo over Alibaba, especially if you are a newcomer to the industry. SaleHoo’s verification process and great customer service will keep you safe and will protect you from getting scammed.
SaleHoo vs Wholesale Central
Another option is Wholesale Central, which is a company based in Bethel Connecticut and has been operating since 1996. The great thing about Wholesale Central is that it is completely free to use and is fairly simple to operate. However, Wholesale Central has a much smaller directory and only 84 suppliers out of 1,000 offer a drop shipping service. Overall, we feel that SaleHoo offers much more than Wholesale Central, but as it is free we really can’t complain.
SaleHoo Review Conclusion
SaleHoo is an excellent tool for those who are just starting out in the online retail world. It will protect you from being scammed and losing lots of money, which will give you peace of mind. We feel it is an excellent alternative to importing from Chinese suppliers (or any suppliers for that matter) that you do not trust.
While SaleHoo is a good directory, we feel it would be even better with a slightly larger range of products. A bigger range of products would give you more choice as your online store grows.
We love how much information SaleHoo provides to help you start up and grow your online retail business. The tools to find products are excellent and we like how easy it is to compare products.
Knowing that you are dealing with verified suppliers and a great customer service team will help you get better results. The SaleHoo team want to help your online retail business get up and running and with all the resources they provide it really shows.
We definitely recommend SaleHoo for those starting out in online retail, but it can also be a great tool for more experienced people as well. There are other alternatives, but we feel that SaleHoo provides the best customer experience of them all.