William A Smith is the Executive Vice President of the Academy for Educational Development (AED). He is also a co‐founder of the Social Marketing Institute, a columnist and editorial board member of Social Marketing Quarterly, the International Journal of Health Communication, and Applied Environmental Education and Communication: An International Journal. He recently received the Alan Andreasen Award for scholarship and practice in Social Marketing and served on the IOM committee on health literacy. Dr Smith has a doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts in non‐formal education with an emphasis on gaming theory and an Honorary Doctorate in Science from the University of South Florida. The AED is an independent, non‐profit organization that works to foster large scale social change in education, health, and the environment, and is committed to solving critical social problems and building the capacity of individuals, communities, and institutions to become more self‐sufficient.
Most businesses require startup fees as well as a cash flow to finance the products being sold. However, affiliate marketing can be done at a low cost, meaning you can get started quickly and without much hassle. There are no affiliate program fees to worry about and no need to create a product. Beginning this line of work is relatively straightforward.
4. What marketing tactics will you use to reach your market and goals? Let your target market be your guide in deciding what marketing strategies you'll use. Where does your market hangout? How can you entice them to check out your business? For example, if your market spends a lot of time on Facebook, you might consider having a Facebook fan page or group, or perhaps investing in Facebook advertising. If you're a service business catering to other businesses, you might want to write an article for a newsletter or magazine that targets that same business industry.
Today, with nearly half the world's population wired to the internet, the ever-increasing connectivity has created global shifts in strategic thinking and positioning, disrupting industry after industry, sector after sector. Seemingly, with each passing day, some new technological tool emerges that revolutionizes our lives, further deepening and embedding our dependence on the world wide web.
A key objective is engaging digital marketing customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through servicing and delivery of digital media. Information is easy to access at a fast rate through the use of digital communications. Users with access to the Internet can use many digital mediums, such as Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and Email etc. Through Digital communications it creates a multi-communication channel where information can be quickly shared around the world by anyone without any regard to who they are.[28] Social segregation plays no part through social mediums due to lack of face to face communication and information being wide spread instead to a selective audience. This interactive nature allows consumers create conversation in which the targeted audience is able to ask questions about the brand and get familiar with it which traditional forms of Marketing may not offer.[29]
If you don’t know who you are, what you’re selling or who you’re selling to, you’re going to have a pretty hard time convincing people to buy your product or service, never mind figuring out what tactical initiatives you should be working on. So, if you haven’t already, do your homework. Start with researching your competitors and audience; examine your customers’ buying habits; and do a SWOT analysis (more on that in a bit). These steps will help you lay a sturdy foundation for your tactical plans and allow you to develop reasonable expectations and goals.
"Place" describes the way that the product reaches the consumer. For a tangible product, this refers to the distribution system--including the warehouse, trucks, sales force, retail outlets where it is sold, or places where it is given out for free. For an intangible product, place is less clear-cut, but refers to decisions about the channels through which consumers are reached with information or training. This may include doctors' offices, shopping malls, mass media vehicles or in-home demonstrations. Another element of place is deciding how to ensure accessibility of the offering and quality of the service delivery. By determining the activities and habits of the target audience, as well as their experience and satisfaction with the existing delivery system, researchers can pinpoint the most ideal means of distribution for the offering.
Pay per click (PPC) advertising, commonly referred to as Search Engine Marketing, delivers targeted traffic and conversions and will yield results faster than organic search engine optimization. Successful PPC marketing programs offer incredible revenue and brand-building opportunities. However, without a thorough understanding of how PPC works, it is very easy to mismanage valuable advertising budgets. That’s where we come in!
The plan should cover one year. For small companies, this is often the best way to think about marketing. Things change, people leave, markets evolve, customers come and go. Later on we suggest creating a section of your plan that addresses the medium-term future--two to four years down the road. But the bulk of your plan should focus on the coming year.
There is a wide variety of ways to get your marketing message in front of your prospects, more than ever, in fact. You can go the traditional advertising route and stick ads in newspapers and on billboards, or you can try more modern and ever-evolving tactics like SEO and content marketing. Whatever route you head down, you need to figure out what channels you’ll be using in order to turn your audience into prospects and then into customers.
An elegantly straightforward process, affiliate marketing via reviews, blogs, social media, and other platforms is a new frontier in marketing that’s just waiting to be utilized. Follow the tips included in this article, and you’ll be able to engage your audience, convert passive readers into active consumers, and enhance your paycheck one click at a time.

I like to use Open Site Explorer as a way to check out what my competitors are doing with their SEO. Moz allows you to find out what external links your competitors are getting. This can give you incredibly valuable insight as to what their content strategy is like, or if they even have one in the first place, and potentially where they’re advertising online.


Affiliates discussed the issues in Internet forums and began to organize their efforts. They believed that the best way to address the problem was to discourage merchants from advertising via adware. Merchants that were either indifferent to or supportive of adware were exposed by affiliates, thus damaging those merchants' reputations and tarnishing their affiliate marketing efforts. Many affiliates either terminated the use of such merchants or switched to a competitor's affiliate program. Eventually, affiliate networks were also forced by merchants and affiliates to take a stand and ban certain adware publishers from their network. The result was Code of Conduct by Commission Junction/beFree and Performics,[35] LinkShare's Anti-Predatory Advertising Addendum,[36] and ShareASale's complete ban of software applications as a medium for affiliates to promote advertiser offers.[37] Regardless of the progress made, adware continues to be an issue, as demonstrated by the class action lawsuit against ValueClick and its daughter company Commission Junction filed on April 20, 2007.[38]
There can be considerable benefit in comparing these figures with those achieved by other organizations (especially those in the same industry); using, for instance, the figures which can be obtained (in the UK) from `The Centre for Interfirm Comparison'. The most sophisticated use of this approach, however, is typically by those making use of PIMS (Profit Impact of Management Strategies), initiated by the General Electric Company and then developed by Harvard Business School, but now run by the Strategic Planning Institute.
Finally, as the saying goes, the more the merrier! If you have the resources to create and disseminate many different messages, do it. Diversity is key to survival in the biological world, and we, as community organizers, would do well to learn a lesson from the natural scientists. The more times a message is given, and the more ways in which it is told, the more likely people are to really hear it--and finally, to follow it.
Website design is more than just a pretty page. Your website is often the first impression your prospects will get of your company. That means that your website has to be more than pretty (that helps), it needs to be clear and functional. If your site is cluttered and hard to navigate you will automatically lose potential buyers. Just think about the last time you went to a poorly designed and over cluttered site. Did you stay long? Did you get an immediate impression of that company? Similarly, if visitors can’t tell what you sell or what your value proposition is, they will leave. All it takes is the click of a button and they are on to the next provider. There’s often a direct correlation made that if your website is hard to work with, your company must be hard to work with.

Hey, thanks for the great post. I’ve been following Pat Flynn and love his “give and it shall be given unto you” attitude..my perception anyway. At 50, with a high school education, I’m trying to learn affiliate marketing from information online. What I’ve gleened so far is to focus on giving the best, most honest information, like your Parents would give you. In exchange for your efforts rewards will come.


Great stuff here Sean – thanks for all of these insights and sharing some best practices when it comes to affiliate marketing. I’ve never been comfortable giving it a shot, but after reading this post and your perspective on how and when to do it, I may just have to give it a try. Especially considering I’m already mentioning and recommending services and products on my site, I’m just not getting the potential rewards associated with doing so. Thanks again.


The concept of affiliate marketing on the Internet was conceived of, put into practice and patented by William J. Tobin, the founder of PC Flowers & Gifts. Launched on the Prodigy Network in 1989, PC Flowers & Gifts remained on the service until 1996. By 1993, PC Flowers & Gifts generated sales in excess of $6 million per year on the Prodigy service. In 1998, PC Flowers and Gifts developed the business model of paying a commission on sales to the Prodigy Network.[8][9]
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