Makers Gonna Make

Affiliate Marketing

BOE 232 Tutorial for California Affiliates

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Rambles |

BOE 232 Tutorial for California Affiliates

I created this video after chatting with my co-workers here at Snow Consulting about how to make filling out the affidavit as painless as possible for affiliates.  I hope this helps my fellow CA affiliates!

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Is Online Marketing Outpacing Traditional Marketing?

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Marketing |

Is Online Marketing Outpacing Traditional Marketing?

Online accessibility has completely revolutionized the way people shop, and traditional advertising methods no longer justify the cost. Savvy Internet users can research products, study companies’ reputations, and find goods and services more quickly. Even people who shop locally check the Internet to find local businesses that carry the products they want. Credit card sales offer tremendous convenience for retailers, and online ordering allows companies great cash flow benefits. Interactivity gives companies feedback on new products, polls customers through surveys, and creates loyalty with quizzes, public service information, and trivia games.

Companies get many advantages from online marketing such as interactive features, 24/7 marketing, and the ability to target consumers more efficiently. Software connects warehouses and sales departments to improve customer shopping experiences. Managing the complex processes, however, could present some companies with problems. Fortunately, web-based solutions include multichannel marketing, advanced database technologies, and Contract Manager software which offers flexibility to manage mobile applications, a variety of hardware devices, informational access points and customer service.

Offline vs. OnlineSystems such as Click-2-Talk allow customers to contact companies by phone when websites fail to give them the answers they need. Tailored advertising campaigns let companies offer coupons on their sites designed specially for each viewer. Contract management software helps organize responses, handles inventory and contracts, and saves time during business negotiations. Company representatives can create contracts with simple templates that cover standard terms and unique arrangements. Owners can limit authority to change contract language, and easy mobile accessibility allows negotiators access to company resources, libraries, and existing contract terms and specifications.

Contract management allows executives to keep contracts in one place, and timely alerts warn representatives when existing contracts expire or conflict with new business initiatives. The Internet has made the greatest impact on marketing within the past century, and social media allows direct participation between consumers, manufacturers and retailers. Direct website marketing has replaced mid-level distributorships, and sales forces have cut back on staff in all types of industries.

The Internet marketing model makes salespeople accountable for their time, but the system also replaces many traditional duties of sales representatives. Historically, sales reps spend a great deal of time cultivating relationships, delivering information, and handling customer service issues, which online applications now handle with greater accuracy and efficiency. Contract software solutions give marketing teams easy access to a vast amount of data, and salespeople can concentrate on presentations that convert to returns on investments.

Social media networks can move products and services automatically. Online marketing allows companies to reach people globally, craft interactive campaigns that respond to customer input, and offer details about customers’ buying habits. Online services manage repeat orders, order tracking, information requests, financial reporting, and routine sales quotations. Contract manager software tracks compliance, makes contract creation simple, and allows company sales forces to make higher profits with fewer staff members. Global marketers can research cultural differences and update their websites to make them more friendly for conducting foreign business. Companies that fail to create Internet strategies will inevitably lose business to their competitors in the electronic age.

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The Inaugural Affiliate Summit Central

Posted on May 21, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Conferences & Networking |

The Inaugural Affiliate Summit Central

[singlepic id=122 w= h= float=left]Another conference down, another Affiliate Summit for the record books. The first ever Affiliate Summit Central has drawn to a close. This time around, I attended as a humble affiliate instead of a vendor. Sessions galore were on my agenda for this show, with my only real goal being to get some tips for my sites and Dominic’s, so mission accomplished! I even got some work done for the good ‘ol day job while I was at it!

The mini conference, just a day and a half long, kicked off Monday night with an official welcome party at Maggie Mae’s. It was a terribly crowded joint with a muggy heat and amped up band, so I didn’t end up staying long.  Instead, we wound up in the hotel bar chatting for quite some time and enjoying a glass of one of my favorite wines.

I started out Tuesday morning for a day full of sessions. I hit the second half of a session on optimizing WordPress for speed and sat in on a session for merchants on deals and coupons before a Texas style BBQ brisket lunch. After some grub, I learned more about compliance from Kellie Stevens than I knew existed and got some awesome tips from Jeremy Palmer. The day was rounded out by some great brainstorming with Karen Garcia and others on Pinterest marketing and a surprise balloon artist!

[singlepic id=131 w= h= float=right] The Austin Hilton was a terrific venue for this smaller show.  It had the perfect sized conference facilities, while being just a block away from historic 6th St., with many live music venues.  If you were so inclined to explore further, the metro station was right outside as well.  I stayed after many folks left for ShareASale’s Think Tank at Lake Travis, so I had the pleasure of dining in the Liberty Tavern for lunch and Finn & Porter for dinner.  Both great places.

Affiliate Summit would not be complete without an Under the Stars party by ShareASale, of course! Before hand, food was needed! A group of us headed to a nice place called Haddington’s, a gastropub where we were not disappointed with the upscale pub grub. Then we walked over to the party at the Hangar Lounge, a three story venue with a live band on the rooftop area. It was a grat party, complete with a photo booth. Brian Littleton does not disappoint!

All in all, I’d say I got out of  Affiliate Summit Central what I wanted.  A nice trip to Austin, seeing some good friends, and a lot of great nuggets of information to bring back to my personal affiliate endeavors!

Most are not from the conference itself, but see all of my photos from Austin:

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Understanding What “Deep Link” Means And How To Get More For Your Site

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Guest Posts, Marketing |

Understanding What “Deep Link” Means And How To Get More For Your Site

Guest Post by Sam Mauzy.

Deep links lead clients to specific pages that they are looking for without having through the entire content. They are quick links to various areas of interest in your web page. To understand how to use these links for your benefit, you need to take some time to consider their advantages.

Increases relevancy of the website

By using chosen keywords as your anchor text, you enable users to directly access the relevant pages without bouncing around in your main page. It’s easier to rank the pages with the anchor text instead of the whole page. This makes your web page more relevant and highly ranked.

Ease of page navigation

Deep linking provides a simple way of navigating through pages and pages of content. By giving users means of going direct to what is relevant to them you make it a pleasant journey going through your webpage. It saves them time and the search engines will return better rankings for your pages. A good navigational structure for your webpage attracts traffic and makes your web pages trustworthy.

Search rankings

deeplinksUse of deep links ‘tell’ the search engines that other people are interested on the pages of your website, not just the homepage. It goes to show that they regard the content of your website highly and go beyond looking at your attractive main page. Search engines will therefore rank your site and specific pages as important and put them high in their rankings of useful sites. Of course this translates to more traffic and business for you at the end of the day.

Increase in traffic inflow

Deep linking increases traffic flow to your pages and your website. This is because search engines will rank your page high as they take your site to be important depending on the number of deep links you have. Also, when clients get what they want with ease, they also rank your site as useful and pass the word around that your website contains specific content that they want. This automatically opens your site to more clients and more opportunities. Increased traffic for any website is good business.

Domain authority

External deep links coupled with internal ones make your webpage have authority over other pages. Remember the search engines highly regard sites that have a lot of back links and they rank them high up. When other highly ranked websites have your links, the search engines are convinced that your website has authority over the others and that your content is more important. For example, Wikipedia can be said to have authority over other similar sites and that’s why it’s ranked so highly by most search engines, all these thanks to deep linking.

You will boost your search engine ranking if you are able to get more for your site. Another thing that most website owners also do today embedding back links to other pages apart from the home page, and submitting those link pages to different directories. This is a great way of having your website to have more traffic through the search engines. You don’t even need to do the job yourself, as there are service providers that can do deep link submission for you, giving you an opportunity to take advantage of this important SEO marketing strategy. You only need to look for providers who can do it in a way that does not appear as spam to the search engines.

Sam is a contributing blogger for a site that specializes in ecommerce conversion rate optimization. 


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3 Essentials to Effective Internet Marketing

Posted on Mar 30, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Marketing, Social Media | 1 comment

effective internet marketingInternet marketing is the new gold rush in the commercial world. And it’s not just big businesses that are whole-heartedly embracing online avenues, small businesses and even single-person entrepreneurs and freelancers now view the Internet as the de facto method for sales growth, exposure, and blog allegiance. Here are a few ground rules for responsible and effective Internet marketing:

Use affiliate marketing smartly.

Don’t litter your blog with hundreds of affiliate links and then get shocked when your readers are turned off. Pick and choose your affiliates carefully, as you would colleagues or partners in any kind of business environment. When you align yourself with an online merchant, you’re in a sense tying your reputation to theirs. If you’re against synthetic chemical-laden manufacturing, for example, and you’re considering affiliate links from companies who manufacture custom water bottles, make sure the company you endorse produces polycarbonate alternative bottles. The point is to make your links consistent, credible, and ethical. Nothing will destroy your credibility quicker than completely selling out your principles over a single affiliate.

Don’t be too repetitious.

Obviously, aggressive marketing requires certain levels of redundancy. How many times have you seen a company tweet the release of a new product a thousand different ways? Or send out multiple email newsletters in a single week? But don’t keep posting the exact same link to your Kickstarter page over and over again with no new information. This just makes you seem either desperate, dense, or dim-witted, depending on who your friends are. Always provide new information or a new context when reposting your own link.

Utilize several different platforms.

If you’re stuck on just Twitter or just Facebook you’re missing the point of social media. It’s not about one application, it’s about the totality of social media sites sharing, integrating and working together with powerful Internet tools like SEO. If you’re releasing a new project combine crowdfunding, viral video on YouTube, microblogging, podcasting, Fan Pages and whatever else you can think of. A successful Internet marketing campaign is rarely relegated to a single site. Diversify your portfolio, so to speak.

Do you consider yourself a self-promoter, a marketer, an advertiser? If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably dabbled in Internet marketing and will do so again in the future. Make sure you’re representing yourself and your brand effectively without being seen as distasteful, spammy, or tedious.

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Unlocking Your Future – the Key to Working from Home

Posted on Mar 23, 2012 in Affiliate Marketing, Career, Guest Posts, Social Media |

Guest Post by James Martell

In my dad’s day, a businessman commuted from the suburbs to the office for hours each week, often traveling on business trips to meet with clients or suppliers, and spent more time away from home than he ever did with his family.  Those days are disappearing, and it’s time to embrace a new normal.

Blast from the past

Back in 1998, when I first started understanding how the internet would be the future of business, everyone was a bit leery of it.  When I did my first promotion for a company in the United States, everybody thought it was crazy for a Canadian like me to do business with someone from another country, not to mention someone I had never even met.  I must admit I had my own doubts about it, but they were all laid to rest when the first check cleared the bank.

Today’s Information Age

Flash forward twelve years and the internet is the way we all do business, so why are so many of us still leaving our homes and families to punch  a time clock in an office?  Working from home is the key to your freedom and happiness; you just have to follow some simple guidelines and success can be yours.

Create your own space

Start by creating your own work space.  Working from home is great, because it allows you the freedom to manage your own time and do with it what matters most, but you can’t treat your work time like home time.  Creating a separate space to be your work area is essential, and allows you to mentally focus on your work, as well as keep things organized.

Some people I’ve talked to prefer to create their own office, complete with a nice home office computer desk and filing cabinets.  Others prefer to make a section in their garage or a corner of the bedroom their work area.  However much space you need, or the tools you require, just make sure it is a space that is all your own, and dedicated solely to your work.  No setting up on half the kitchen the table and pretending you can eat dinner around it or the kids won’t scatter it.  It just doesn’t work!

Social marketing

Use the internet to work for you.  It’s important to realize that there’s a lot of competition out there these days, and you’ll need more going for you than just a well written landing page if you’re going to be a success.  You’re going to have to make what you’re offering look appealing to the consumer and convince them that others think it has value too.  Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s a product or a service, one of the best ways to sell it is with social marketing.

Just as our parents turned to the yellow pages or watched ads on TV, today everybody goes to search engines like Google when they want or need something.  It’s the first place many of us get our information now.

When we want to know if the information we gathered from the web is credible, we rely on people we know for endorsements.  The power of word of mouth has grown immeasurably since the advent of Facebook and Twitter. Millions of consumers are turning to these resources before making purchases and more and more of us are doing the actual buying or ordering on the internet as well.  I’m sure you’ve found this to be true in your own life just as I have. These are great tools that you can use to your advantage.  By getting people to talk about your product or service and consumers will seek you out.

Tools of tomorrow, here today

If all this sounds like a lot of work, just remember, you don’t have to do it all alone.  Working from home isn’t for hermits or the antisocial.  Thanks to today’s technology, it is as vibrant and active and social as you want to make it.

  • Increase knowledge and education with webinars.
  • Bring the boardroom right into your home by holding meetings and networking with them through business video conferencing or Skype.
  • Utilize smart phone apps or laptops to access everything you need anywhere you go.

Do all the things you want to do with your life, and still have the access to handle all your business needs and communicate with the people you need to accomplish it all.  Social networking is first and foremost about keeping social as much as you can.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be on the path to success, and free to enjoy it when you achieve it.  Your future is just waiting for you.

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James Martell, author of the Affiliate Marketers Handbook works from his home office computer desk teaching others how to make money with affiliate programs utilizing powerful tools like business video conferencing.

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