Same here, this post kind of fell from the sky at such a great time. Been building a great community of readers over the years but reached a point where I’m losing money maintaining the site and newsletter. As you said, the ads don’t bring much -ironically I use Adblocks too but affiliate marketing always seemed like a weird and opaque subject. I’ve read many of Chris Guillebeau’s books in the last few months (this is how I discovered your site actually!) and I didn’t realize he had affiliate links for instance. Your post opened up a new window of possibility for me. Still need to process everything and do the work behind but a big thank you to you Sean!

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The only way to start a business venture with confidence is to develop a good marketing plan—one that's backed up with facts and research. This document clearly shows how you'll attract customers to your product or service and persuade them to buy. The marketing plan also builds confidence with financial institutions, showing lenders that your business has a good chance of being successful.

In 1999, I started this company with the mission statement, “We will work toward bringing in the greatest amount of relevant traffic to our clients’ websites, using the most ethical methods available.” That mission remains true today. Over the years, the game has evolved; the rules have changed and how the game of SEO is played has changed, but our services today still remain true to our original mission.
In the 2000s, with more and more Internet users and the birth of iPhone, customers started searching products and making decisions about their needs online first, instead of consulting a salesperson, which created a new problem for the marketing department of a company. In addition, a survey in 2000 in the United Kingdom found that most retailers had not registered their own domain address.[12] These problems made marketers find the digital ways for market development.
Email marketing is the practice of nurturing leads and driving sales through email communications with your customers. Like social media, the goal is to remind users that you’re here and your product is waiting. Unlike social media, however, you can be a lot more aggressive with your sales techniques, as people expect that email marketing will contain offers, product announcements and calls to action.

Internet marketing, which is also known online marketing, basically involves promoting a brand and its products or services online. It is typically used together with the conventional types of advertising, such as radio, television, newspapers and magazines. The main aim of this marketing technique it to communicate a company's message to the public, conduct research on the behavior of potential customers and sell products.
Thanks Nathalie! And glad to see you came over from AONC 🙂 When done the right way I think affiliate links in context are much less intrusive and offensive than having ads on your sidebar. The average non-tech reader probably wont even know its an affiliate link anyway. So just by doing everything you’ve already been doing, you can switch out links, and probably make a nice side income!
Define your audience. Usually, you will want to target different groups of people in different ways. For example, if you are trying to increase immunization of children under two years of age, you would probably try to reach teen mothers, members of the immigrant community in your city, and the case and social workers who work with parents (to name just a few groups) in very different ways. Breaking your audience into subgroups to target separately is often known as market segmentation.
Because social marketing is a “scaled up” intervention, which often uses mass media to carry messages, unintended effects have been documented.13 In the Philippines, an HIV/AIDS program designed to debunk the myth that mosquitoes carry HIV had the unintended consequence of reducing empathy for HIV+ individuals. The public reasoning was that “one cannot be blamed for mosquito behavior, but people can be blamed for their own sexual activity”. Unintended effects have only rarely been studied, but represent a legitimate area of concern to social marketers. Hypothetically, the unintended consequences of media ads which teach parents how to talk to teens about driving might also give teens, who see the ads, counterarguments.

Great tips! Since I just started blogging in January I am still really just getting my toes wet in affiliates. However, I did notice that pictures and real life demonstrations of the product really help. For instance, I have several food posts where I talk about my favorite cook books and show what I have cooked out of them, and then included amazon links, sure enough I sold a few cook books.
And what about joining another company's affiliate program? It's all about extra revenue. Think about your customers' needs: What other products or services would interest your site visitors? Join those affiliate programs. Affiliate programs can increase your sales with no upfront cost to you. It just takes a little time to plan your strategy and select the partners that will have the greatest impact on your business.
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business.

The marketing budget is usually the most powerful tool by which one can determine the relationship between desired results and available means. Its starting point should be the marketing strategies and plans, which have already been formulated in the marketing plan itself; although, in practice, the two will run in parallel and will interact. At the very least, a thorough budget may cause a change in the more optimistic elements of a company's business plans.
5. How much will it cost? This is where you make a budget for your marketing plan. There are many free marketing strategies, although they require time, which is a type of expense. Will you do home parties or one-on-one consulting, and if so, what will be the cost of travel, mailing of invites, purchasing support materials, etc? Will you pay for advertising or for a mailing list service? Of all the places to spend money in your home business, marketing is the priority, as long as you're spending wisely and getting a return on your investment.

As an internationally recognized Search Engine Marketing agency, we have the team, technology, and skills to manage large budget PPC campaigns with thousands of keywords. We have the ability to manage enterprise level accounts in multiple languages. IMI is also partner with Marin Software to provide our clients with the best possible advertising management platform, reporting dashboard, attribution modeling, and reporting.
The final section of your plan includes a brief breakdown of the costs associated with each of your tactics. So if you plan to exhibit at three trade shows per year, for example, you'll include the costs to participate in the shows and prepare your booth and marketing materials. If you find the tactics you've selected are too costly, you can go back and make revisions before you arrive at a final budget.
There is no shortage of products you’ll be able to promote. You’ll have the ability to pick and choose products that you personally believe in, so make sure that your campaigns center around truly valuable products that consumers will enjoy. You’ll achieve an impressive conversion rate while simultaneously establishing the reliability of your personal brand.
Using an omni-channel strategy is becoming increasingly important for enterprises who must adapt to the changing expectations of consumers who want ever-more sophisticated offerings throughout the purchasing journey. Retailers are increasingly focusing on their online presence, including online shops that operate alongside existing store-based outlets. The "endless aisle" within the retail space can lead consumers to purchase products online that fit their needs while retailers do not have to carry the inventory within the physical location of the store. Solely Internet-based retailers are also entering the market; some are establishing corresponding store-based outlets to provide personal services, professional help, and tangible experiences with their products.[24]
2nd tier.  If you are an affiliate for a particular program and you refer others to sign up for that affiliate program, a 2nd tier program will pay you when the affiliates you referred make sales. For example, I am an affiliate for Ultimate Bundles. If you join their affiliate program via my 2nd tier affiliate link here. I will get a small percentage of any sales you make going forward.
Of course, depending on your industry and audience these times could vary. The key is to test and re-test in order to see when your buyers are engaging. Look at the competition. See who is doing social successfully in your space and note their patterns. And remember, your engagement on social media is key. When you interact with your audience you are telling them you heard them, you are enhancing your brand and you are showing authenticity.
Let’s say you have a promotions page where you’re promoting a product via affiliate links. If you currently get 5,000 visits/month at a 2% conversion rate, you have 100 referrals. To get to 200 referrals, you can either focus on getting 5,000 more visitors, or simply increasing the conversion rate to 4%. Which sounds easier? Instead of spending months building domain authority with blogging and guest posts to get more organic traffic, you just have to increase the conversion rate by 2%. This can include landing page optimization, testing your calls-to-action, and having a conversion rate optimization strategy in place. By testing and optimizing your site, you’ll get far better results with much less effort. 
As of October 2018 almost 4.2 billion people were active internet users and 3.4 billion were social media users (Statista). China, India and the United States rank ahead all other countries in terms of internet users. This gives a marketer an unprecedented number of customers to reach with product and service offerings, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The interactive nature of the internet facilitates immediate communication between businesses and consumers, allowing businesses to respond quickly to the needs of consumers and changes in the marketplace.

In setting the price, particularly for a physical product, such as contraceptives, there are many issues to consider. If the product is priced too low, or provided free of charge, the consumer may perceive it as being low in quality. On the other hand, if the price is too high, some will not be able to afford it. Social marketers must balance these considerations, and often end up charging at least a nominal fee to increase perceptions of quality and to confer a sense of "dignity" to the transaction. These perceptions of costs and benefits can be determined through research, and used in positioning the product.


Affiliate marketing is the art of marketing products, services or information for others. It doesn't require that you ever house or warehouse a single thing. But it does require that you have an audience to market those things to online. Without that audience, whether it's through search engines like Google or social media channels like Facebook, you'll find a difficult time with affiliate marketing.
Hiring the right digital marketing strategist can be complex. For one thing, marketing strategists may specialise in different areas like content marketing, social media marketing, marketing automation, conversion rate optimisation and email marketing. To hire the right one, see if their skills meet your needs. Check out examples of their work and look at the freelancer’s reviews and references. Then get in touch and have a discussion to see if you can work successfully together. That’s the best way to hire a market strategist.
Once you have your strategy in place its time to decide what tactics are most important to the success of that strategy. For example, a company might decide to focus on four main tactics for the year: blog creation, a website re-vamp, SEO improvement and custom list development for email campaigns. While they may still want to work on their social media strategy and PR, for the year in question, they will devote the majority of their budget towards the four main tactics listed while continuing to allocate smaller budgets towards social media and PR, to keep them running. In addition, tactical calendars will be needed to help lay out the specifics of each tactic. For example, an editorial calendar will be needed for the content blogging strategy.
The best way to think about affiliate marketing is quality over quantity. There are a lot of small websites that will promote your product, but the key is finding a small number of partners that will deliver conversions. For example, an equity management services firm has over 20,000 affiliates in its system, but only about 25 affiliates generate 85 percent of revenue.
Be honest. Talk about what you like and don’t like. Be fair and build trust. It will serve you well later. For examples, check out my review posts about Elite Blog Academy and Self Publishing 101. I get emails frequently from people who tell me they decided to purchase one of those courses through my affiliate link because it was the most balanced review they found.
For public sector agencies, social marketing is often used as a way to encourage people to follow rules and regulations, and practice general safe behaviors. For example, police departments campaign with slogans such as “Buckle up for life” and “Click it or ticket” to encourage people to wear their seat belts—showing either the positive rewards for this action (saving lives) or the negative consequences for ignoring the law (getting a traffic ticket).
Do you have zero interest in an expensive mountain bike the company you are an affiliate of sells? Well, you probably don’t want to feature it on your blog, as it is extremely difficult to persuade readers (or anyone for that matter) that they should buy something you wouldn’t be caught spending a single penny on. When you are passionate about a product or–at the very least–interested in learning more about it, this will come through to your readers, engage them and better coax them to buy
The best types of content for each social media channel depends on the platform. Most social media sites allow you to share multiple types of social media content, including blog posts, images, animated GIFs, videos, and more. The research shows that images do well on Facebook, as well as on Instagram and Pinterest. Video content is also very popular. The best is to align your social media strategy with your content marketing to make sure you share the type of content your audience really likes.
Pros: It's just a great CRM, and there's something here for pretty much everyone. It won "Expert's Choice Award for 2017" from Finances Online as the Best CRM software. As Finances Online wrote: "HubSpot CRM is a smart and easy option that carries all the necessary basic features but without the often confusing complexity many other CRM platforms have. Beginners and mid-market companies will also appreciate the fact that HubSpot CRM is currently a certified, premier Google partner, and is a solution that suits well all niches and industries."

Negative social marketing campaigns that warn about consequences are also effective, whether the consequences are personal, such as drug use, or general, such as saving the rainforests. Awareness is the key element for negative social marketing. For example, most people had no idea that the plastic shopping bags they throw away every day make their way into natural environments, where they're deadly to wildlife such as sea turtles and dolphins. Several social marketing campaigns have been created to bring this issue to light, and today many people shop with reusable cloth bags, or choose paper over plastic.


Content marketing is more than just blogging. When executed correctly, content including articles, guides (like this one), webinars, and videos can be powerful growth drivers for your business. Focus on building trust and producing amazing quality. And most of all, make sure that you’re capturing the right metrics. Create content to generate ROI. Measure the right results. This chapter will teach you how.
To illustrate, a company that sells colored contacts may have a primary target market of makeup artists in the film and theater industry. However, they may find that there is significant revenue to be found in entering more mainstream channels and marketing towards women in their twenties who wish to experiment with new eye colors on special occasions. They would then spend the majority of their resources marketing to their primary target market, but also allocate some marketing budget to the latter segment for additional revenue.

Promote products that are stepping stones to products you will create in the future. This is a bit more advanced, but is a great way to think ahead. Amy Porterfield suggests thinking about the first thing your followers will need in order to get started with what you provide. For example, I teach people how to blog, so the first thing they need to start a blog is hosting. That’s why I am an affiliate for hosting.


Since 2012 we have run an informal poll to see how widely used digital marketing strategies are. The results have shown some big improvements over the years. A few years ago we found around two-thirds to three-quarters did not have a digital marketing plan. Now that number has shrunk to 45% in latest survey, although that is still quite high, and means almost half are still doing digital with no strategy in place.
While the obvious purpose of internet marketing is to sell goods, services or advertising over the internet, it's not the only purpose a business using internet marketing may have; a company may be marketing online to communicate a message about itself (building its brand) or to conduct research. Online marketing can be a very effective way to identify a target market or discover a marketing segment's wants and needs. (Learn more about conducting market research).
Online marketing, also called digital marketing, is the process of using the web and internet-connected services to promote your business and website. There are a number of disciplines within online marketing. Some of these include social media, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, online advertising and mobile advertising.

On a wider front, by 2007, government in the United Kingdom announced the development of its first social marketing strategy for all aspects of health.[14] In 2010, the US national health objectives[15] included increasing the number of state health departments that report using social marketing in health promotion and disease prevention programs and increasing the number of schools of public health that offer courses and workforce development activities in social marketing.
No. Before you get too excited, you must understand one very important thing. Affiliate marketing for beginners can be hard. It is, after all, a business. It is not a get rich quick scheme, and no honest affiliate manager will ever tell you it is. It requires patience, perseverance and heaps of learning. Sometimes it can take years to achieve the results you really want to see, although with the help of our affiliate management team, we hope you would see them much sooner than that!
Display advertising - As the term infers, Online Display Advertisement deals with showcasing promotional messages or ideas to the consumer on the internet. This includes a wide range of advertisements like advertising blogs, networks, interstitial ads, contextual data, ads on the search engines, classified or dynamic advertisement etc. The method can target specific audience tuning in from different types of locals to view a particular advertisement, the variations can be found as the most productive element of this method.
The overall percentage of increased seat belt use in the United States was due to the widespread availability of seat belts, publicity from organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and stronger seat belt laws.1Click it or ticket, a program that demonstrated the importance of primary seat belt laws combined with effective publicity of enforcement, increased seat belt use in North Carolina from 63% to 80% and went on to become a national model.2
It’s hard to believe that the Internet is now multiple decades old. Affiliate marketing has been around since the earliest days of online marketing. It’s a great solution for businesses that are risk-averse or don’t have the budget to spend on upfront marketing costs. Use affiliate marketing to build a new revenue stream for your ecommerce or B2B business.
A good amount of marketing on the internet can be done for free, but sometimes it's worth spending some money on effective and professional looking options. For example, although you can get free web hosting, it's not recommended. Ideally, you should pay for web hosting to make sure that your website doesn't experience downtime, as well as a professional domain name. Fortunately, you can buy both for less than $100 a year.
"Jim Boykin blows my mind every time I talk to him. I have been doing SEO for 15 years and yet I am amazed at the deep stuff Jim comes up with. Simply amazing insights and always on the cutting edge. He cuts through the BS and tells you what really works and what doesn't. After our chat, I grabbed my main SEO guy and took him to lunch and said 'you have to help me process all this new info...' I was literally pacing around the room...I have so many new ideas to experiment with that I would never have stumbled onto on my own. He is the Michael Jordan or the Jerry Garcia of links...Hope to go to NY again to Jim's amazing SEO classes. Thanks Jim!" Michael G.
Our SEM team has been managing paid search since its inception and is driven solely by analytics and financial data. Our core focus is to expand our clients’ campaigns, drive quality traffic that will foster conversions and increase revenue, while decreasing the cost per acquisition. IMI’s PPC team members are recognized thought leaders, active bloggers and speakers and major tradeshows, and care deeply about each and every client. We manage our client’s budgets as if it was our own, tracking every dollar and optimizing towards very specific milestones and metrics.
Online reviews have become one of the most important components in purchasing decisions by consumers in North America. According to a survey conducted by Dimensional Research which included over 1000 participants, 90% of respondents said that positive online reviews influenced their buying decisions and 94% will use a business with at least four stars. Interestingly, negative reviews typically came from online review sites whereas Facebook was the main source of positive reviews. Forrester Research predicts that by 2020, 42% of in-store sales will be from customers who are influenced by web product research.
At HubSpot, we’ve built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of over 200 employees. Along the way, we’ve learned countless lessons that’ve shaped our current content marketing strategy, so we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team’s size.
For public sector agencies, social marketing is often used as a way to encourage people to follow rules and regulations, and practice general safe behaviors. For example, police departments campaign with slogans such as “Buckle up for life” and “Click it or ticket” to encourage people to wear their seat belts—showing either the positive rewards for this action (saving lives) or the negative consequences for ignoring the law (getting a traffic ticket).
In much of Africa, women have traditionally had many, many children; in such countries as Nigeria, the average woman might bear as many as 12 children during her lifetime. A social marketing message that has been widely disseminated, then, is have fewer children. This message has been geared towards the goals of increasing women's health, and decreasing overpopulation and famine.

Managing an effective social marketing campaign takes a lot of thought, resources, and elbow work. As in regular marketing, a lot of "behind the scenes" work takes place before a 30 second advertisement is ever aired. Effective efforts, however, have made huge differences in the lives of us all. Campaigns have helped us reduce our risks for heart disease and lung cancer; they helped us eradicate small pox and are helping us to realize what the World Health Organization terms, "a world without polio." Your organization, too, can use this powerful tool to help you achieve your goals.

We have a saying that “good data” is better than “big data.” Bid data is a term being thrown around a lot these days because brands and agencies alike now have the technology to collect more data and intelligence than ever before. But what does that mean for growing a business. Data is worthless without the data scientists analyzing it and creating actionable insights. We help our client partners sift through the data to gleam what matters most and what will aid them in attaining their goals.


Another disadvantage is that even an individual or small group of people can harm image of an established brand. For instance Dopplegnager is a term that is used to disapprove an image about a certain brand that is spread by anti-brand activists, bloggers, and opinion leaders. The word Doppelganger is a combination of two German words Doppel (double) and Ganger (walker), thus it means double walker or as in English it is said alter ego. Generally brand creates images for itself to emotionally appeal to their customers. However some would disagree with this image and make alterations to this image and present in funny or cynical way, hence distorting the brand image, hence creating a Doppelganger image, blog or content (Rindfleisch, 2016).
It was recognised that the definition would be a consensus statement; it would not seek to limit or curtail debate about the nature of Social Marketing. The consensus definitions purpose would be to enable the supporting associations to develop a common narrative about the nature of Social Marketing that would assist in furthering their collective aim of capturing and spreading good practice.
Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.
The United Support of Artists for Africa, or simply USA for Africa, was founded to help relieve famine and disease in Africa—specifically the 1984-1985 Ethiopia famine that led to more than 400,000 deaths. This group was actually a “super band” composed of 47 U.S. recording artists, who came together to record one song and donate the profits to famine relief in Africa.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal solution for those looking to gain control of their own income by focusing on performance-based revenue options. Working in tandem with a seller, a motivated affiliate marketer will be able to achieve a passive income from the comfort of their home without worrying about producing their own product or service. Although the success of the job does depend on the affiliate’s marketing skills, it can prove to be an effective way to meet your income goals as either a primary career or a profitable second job.
Awesome article! This is jam packed with great info. I am just starting a personal finance blog with my fiance and we were a little confused about how to start monetizing. We were initially thinking about using Google AdSense but between this post and another blog I read I am surely convinced that’s not the correct route. I’m really happy you have shared this information because it’s provided an excellent starting point for creating income.

Firms that are successful in marketing invariably start with a marketing plan. Large companies have plans with hundreds of pages; small companies can get by with a half-dozen sheets. Put your marketing plan in a three-ring binder. Refer to it at least quarterly, but better yet monthly. Leave a tab for putting in monthly reports on sales/manufacturing; this will allow you to track performance as you follow the plan.

Social marketing campaigns are typically organized into four stages: (1) deepening the understanding of the target audience including the barriers to change behavior and the motivations that can encourage behavior change; (2) message development and testing; (3) outreach and interventions; and (4) evaluation. During the target audience understanding phase, the goal is to identify with as much specificity as possible the demographic and psychographic characteristics of the target audience. Where do they live? What do they buy? How do they consume news, or media? What stands in the way of the behavior change? What might be motivational to change behavior? This information (whether inferred, or determined through research and focus groups) is used to build personas, or fictional character representations of the target audience. Often, these personas are given a name – like “Social Smoker Sally” or “Trying to Quit Tricia.”
I absolutely see the value in affiliate sales (and Pay Flynn is one of the masters at doing this authentically and openly), but I got really turned off it when I saw a lot of bloggers I read and respect writing junky “How to set up a blog” posts that didn’t seem relevant to their audiences purely so that the could get the sweet Bluehost commissions in.
A successful digital strategy is one that helps your business reach its core audience and achieve its goals. To put one in place, it’s essential to know who your target customers are, which search engines and digital channels they use, and what they need. That will help you deliver the right marketing content to the right people at the right time. A successful digital marketing strategy also has measurable goals, such as getting more traffic, boosting conversions, and increasing sales.
But even beyond this, the way you say things is important. Young people often have a language all their own, and if you are directing a message at them, it should be in their language. Some groups of people tend to be wary of any authority, and won't take kindly to having "expert opinion" thrown in their face; for other groups, this is the only thing they will listen to. You should have already discovered what is important to your audience; use this understanding as you design messages.

Another step that can help set objectives is to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis, where you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing your business. By conducting such an analysis, you should identify the key insights and strategic plans that will drive your business over the next one-to-five years. This includes understanding, your five Cs—the consumer, channel, company, competition, and climate—deeply enough that when you finish, you should understand your point of difference in the market and where your opportunities lie," Roberts says. This should inform how you set your objectives.
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Internet Marketing Inc. provides integrated online marketing strategies that help companies grow. We think of ourselves as a business development consulting firm that uses interactive marketing as a tool to increase revenue and profits. Our management team has decades of combined experience in online marketing as well as graduate level education and experience in business and finance. That is why we focus on creating integrated online marketing campaigns designed to maximize your return on investment.
In 2006, the most active sectors for affiliate marketing were the adult gambling, retail industries and file-sharing services.[21]:149–150 The three sectors expected to experience the greatest growth are the mobile phone, finance, and travel sectors.[21] Soon after these sectors came the entertainment (particularly gaming) and Internet-related services (particularly broadband) sectors. Also several of the affiliate solution providers expect to see increased interest from business-to-business marketers and advertisers in using affiliate marketing as part of their mix.[21]:149–150
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