Monthly Archives October 2014

Brave New Social Media World

Posted by site_master on October 23, 2014  /   Posted in Uncategorized

Technology and social media is ever changing, moving in directions we can never pinpoint exactly. Following in its wake are the many discussions, legal issues, policies and controversies, in which we seem to be constantly mired. Critics of this new way of going about business and social interactions communicate that social media and technology are driving a detrimental wedge between regular human interactions hence killing conversations. In rebuttal: has social media changed the way we go about our daily lives? Yes. Do technology and social media have the capability to interfere with the way we fundamentally communicate with each other? For sure! Are there valid points on both sides of this argument? Better believe it. Is technology and social media the sweet, sweet kiss of death for the art of conversation? Well, maybe.

True, everyday we see people on the move with their cellphones less than a foot from their faces, glued to a virtual wonderland engaged in miscellaneous activities. Engaged… but disconnected from actual relationships, a point skeptics stress. Conversation is fluid, conversation is a dialogue and dialogues can be short and sweet or last for decades. At the risk of contradicting myself I’d like to point out that what’s being seen and commented on isn’t as much of a change in conversation so much as a change in the landscape the conversations are being had. Instead of discussing the latest gossip on the block during teatime in Mary Sue’s living room, it’s a Facebook thread, Twitter banter or group text complete with emoji. Different landscape but still a conversation. What would have been a three hour long catch up session over coffee between two old friends who hadn’t seen each other in a year, it’s a few texts exchanged every month to stay current or just a perusal down a Twitter feed or Facebook wall. Different landscape but still a conversation.

This is not to say that a good old fashion sit down is obsolete. We just use technology to better coordinate when and where the sit down is going to be. However before things get out of hand (or turn into heads up displays) we just need to remember to take things in moderation. Can’t stress it enough, moderation, moderation, and more moderation.

Take texting and driving. It seems like there are endless cases of this glaring negligence most of us are guilty of committing. Just this past August a woman in Bunnell, Florida named Cacilia Carter, who suffered irreversible brain damage in 2010 as a result of a guy texting and driving, won a 4.3 million dollar lawsuit against said texter….  her boyfriend. The two were in the boyfriend’s car when he rolled a stop sign to answer a text. A tractor-trailer rig was oncoming and Carter and her boyfriend drove directly into the trucks path. This would be an example of too much. That text can wait. That conversation can be paused.

What we have here is a fairly new way of doing things we are all getting used to and just now figuring out all of it’s applications. Social Media has rocked advertising to its core and brought the old school to its knees. It’s a brave new world, (forgive the cliché) but the important thing is to adapt the right way; to control the social media and not let it control us. Too much of anything is a bad thing and maybe we’re just figuring out where that happy medium is.

Your FREE Affiliate Marketing Best Practices Lesson

Posted by site_master on October 21, 2014  /   Posted in Uncategorized

affiliate-marketing-tutorial

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. Translation…You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

You’re happy because you earned some passive cash, which can turn into more.

The company is happy because they have a new sale from a customer that they might not have normally been able to reach. And the customer is happy because they learned about a product from you that will hopefully fulfill a need or desire.


Here's an infograph showing the purchase process

Affiliate Marketing Beginners Lesson eBook

Download ebook to go along with audio (below)

Affiliate Mission by Priest Willis, Sr Affiliate Marketing Best Practices
00:00:00 00:00:00

Priest Willis, Sr is Director of Affiliate Marketing for Affiliate Mission – the fastest growing affiliate management startup in North Carolina. Priest got his start in affiliate marketing in early 2000’s where he cut his teeth building a few niche affiliate sites and managing company sites like Lenovo, Atomicpark.com and BuyCostumes.com. After joining BuyCostumes.com as their dedicated Affiliate Manager, he grew their affiliate program exponentially and won several industry awards as a result. He shares his adventures in life, online marketing and entrepreneurship over at PriestWillis.com.

Google Panda – Explained

Posted by site_master on October 17, 2014  /   Posted in Uncategorized

As everyone may be aware by now, Google released an algorithm change in March 2011 called Panda (a.k.a. Farmer) that changed rankings in many sites, maybe even yours. The change pushed many sites down in the rankings and others up. Several affiliates have been concerned about this new approach ever since and rightfully so. Since the original release, Google has since put out several updates. Here is a timeline of those updates:

Google Panda: The Timeline

There are some great articles and blog posts that you can find but this has certainly changed the way SEO will be done in the future.  Have a look at some videos and other information below that explains the origin and maybe provide some insight into what you can do differently to cage the ‘Panda’.

How Google’s Panda Update Changed SEO Best Practices (video)

http://www.seomoz.org/blog/how-googles-panda-update-changed-seo-best-practices-forever-whiteboard-friday

http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2172844/Understanding-Negative-SEO-How-to-Defend-Your-Website

Infographic: The Google Panda Update

http://searchengineland.com/google-panda-update-112805

Quality guidelines

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769#3

Data Feed Tips 101

Posted by site_master on October 17, 2014  /   Posted in Uncategorized

Data Feed 101: Data Feed Tips

Several advertisers offer and update  data feeds on a regular basis regardless of time of year. In order to be the best affiliate you can be, it’s important to utilize and optimize these data feeds to make your site as useful as possible and therefore increase the likelihood that your traffic will convert.

1. Edit, Edit, Edit

When pulling a merchant’s feed, you’ll download the merchant’s description. This means that from the beginning, your description and copy is identical to what everyone else has within the affiliate program. The easiest and most effective way to fix this is to rewrite each of the descriptions to the best of your ability. This is done in the HTML if it’s static or in your own database if you’re able to update the cells. Tools like PopShops will even allow you to make tweaks. This makes the content (anchor links, meta descriptions, etc…) that you feature on your own page completely and wholly unique to you.

Add relevant detail. If you are selling beauty products and the data feed tells you about the colors they’re available in, try to include that information along with something that speaks to those items within your description.

2. Download Your Images and Give Them Names, too.

Some advertisers provide you with images for all of the products in our data feeds. However, the images provided may have different URLs names to where the image lives on their servers. If you can, consider downloading these images and give them relevant names.

Utilize both the ALT and TITLE tags when naming the images. Proper use of both of these tags can make a world of difference in SEO, and that difference can mean more $ for you. Furthermore, Use consistent naming conventions.

3. Customize. Decide what YOU need for YOUR niche.

Blogging 101: A Beginners Blogging Guide

Posted by site_master on October 16, 2014  /   Posted in Uncategorized

Good content can be the difference between a visitor returning to your site or finding another place to shop. It’s a must to keep your site fresh so that the spiders that crawl your site keep coming back. Below is a quick beginners blogging guide that will get you started in the right direction.

  • Keywords are key! Check to make sure that you are targeting keywords that are not chock full of competition and have a good base of people searching for them. Be sure to check out the Google Keyword Tool (hint, Google it) and get a good feel for what people are searching for relative to what your blog is talking about (product names, etc)
  • You must stay in the know! It would be nice to have access to a full suite of reporting tools from Omniture, but for most people it’s out of reach. Google Analytics is a good starting point to measure which content pieces on your site are more successful than others…did I mention it’s FREE!
  • Your blog and host? Several blog services allow you to have a subdomain hosted blog, like myblog.wordpress.org, however you’ll find that visitors will have a harder time remembering a subdomain than they will a regular domain. So make a minimal investment at a hosting company and point your domain to your blog. Many blogging platforms also let you host yourself, so if you’re more tech savvy, you can install a blog on your own web site as a subdirectory (domain.com/myblog) and reap the benefits of a blog that way. If you’ve never blogged before, check out WordPress or Tumblr as your first, go-to resources.
  • Blog with Social networking sites? Many blog platforms have plugins which will push your blog posts out to update your social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This helps in getting the most visibility across your social networks.
  • Your blog can’t make it alone! Active participation in product or industry forums can drive both qualified traffic to your site, as well as help build back links to your site, a valuable SEO factor. Simply pushing content onto your blog will seem like a long road if you practice the “if you build it, they will come” mentality.

Outsourced Marketing vs. In-House Marketing

Posted by site_master on October 15, 2014  /   Posted in Blog

Affiliate marketing, one form of outsourced marketing, has been tested, trusted and has resulted into one of the most effective and efficient methods of marketing brands on the internet. It is based on performance, the Merchant pays for each customers gained by the effort of the affiliate. The Affiliate marketing industry is made up of 4 main elements: the Retailer, which is also referred to as the Merchant or Brand, the Network which is also called the Agency, the Publishers which are the affiliates and the Customers which are the end result of the whole process. The flexibility and versatility of Affiliate marketing is one of its most valuable assets.

Merchants and companies now have the options of working with an Affiliate agency or having In- house managers. The former is outsourcing while the latter is in- sourcing. Every method and approach has its own pros and con. Working with Affiliate agencies has been the in thing with Retailers and its advantages are incomparable with that of In-house affiliates, find the reasons below.

Incomparable Scale and Resources

The scale and resources available for Affiliate Agencies is incomparable to other means of affiliate marketing; the in house-house method inclusive. The scale in that they have been around for a long while. They have built the reputation and credibility over those years. They have the best in human and material resources; a very wide variety of affiliate marketers that know their onions and know how to bring in the desired results for all brands. Affiliate marketing is their job and they have invested largely in infrastructures that will make them bring in the most desired result.

Rapid Result

The second reason why choosing an Agency over the In-house manager is the need for fast marketing results. Marketing your brand is supposed to be serious business and the time taken for results to start rolling in is serious as well.  Because of the quality of affiliates available in the agencies, it takes very little time to achieve results. Implementation of your service is rest assured as they have the most effective software and all other necessary facilities.

The Holistic Perspective

A wider digital landscape is one of the additional edges the Affiliate agencies have. Unlike In- house managers, they can bring in various approaches to play in the delivery of their services, making sure that the best methods are tailored specifically for your brand. Also because of the very large amount of firsthand data available to them, they make their decisions and offer advices based on accrued experience; this is obviously beyond the reach of In- house managers.

Cost Effectiveness

While not denying fact that working with agencies cost a little more than with in-house managers, it is however cheaper in the long run when compared. As a retailer, you simply pay the Agencies and tell them what you want from them; their only business is to deliver. But having an in-house affiliate set up means you have to spend money on recruitment, wages, salaries, other benefits and even pension. You will also have to spend your scarce resources on the continuous training of your in-house managers. You also do not have to waste your time in managing this additional in-house affiliate burden, by using agencies you can focus your managerial skills on other important areas of your company.

With their acumen for new businesses, valuable amount of experience and the advantage to connect brands to a large number of affiliates and in turn customers, affiliate management agencies will always be the best choice to make when you have to make one.

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