Your customers, prospects, and partners are the lifeblood of of your business. You need to build your marketing strategy around them. Step 1 of marketing is understanding what your customers want, which can be challenging when you’re dealing with such a diverse audience. This chapter will walk you through (1) the process of building personal connections at scale and (2) crafting customer value propositions that funnel back to ROI for your company.
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.
If you’re a business owner who owns a website, you’ll probably want to involve yourself in internet marketing. Otherwise, your website is practically useless. There are a lot of things that potential customers are looking for about your business – such as information, graphical representations (in layman’s term: pictures), history, reputation, and the list goes on and on. You have to satisfy the curiosity and doubts of your customer or your business will go nowhere.
Decide if marketing is a career fit for you. Consider taking a personality test, which will reveal your preferences. A test similar to the popular Myers-Briggs test can be found at 16personalities, and there are many others. This test will reveal your work preferences. See how of your preferences match the skills needed to be an Internet marketer.[1]

An affiliate marketing program is a lot of work, and in most situations there's a lot of competition so you're not going to be bringing in money immediately. Business owners and entrepreneurs suppose that all you need do is setup a site and choose an affiliate to associate with and then just let it run its course. But according to Three Ladders Marketing, only 0.6% of affiliate marketers surveyed have been in the game since 2013. That means that affiliate marketing takes time and effort to build and make money.
Building trust with your audience is paramount in affiliate marketing, and the quickest way to lose trust is to recommend products either you haven’t used before or that aren’t a good fit for your audience. Also make sure you never tell anyone to directly buy a product, you are simply recommending the product. The more helpful you are and the more you make quality recommendations, the more likely your web visitors will come back for your expertise. 
Let no one tell you that email marketing is dead. An email list is crucial for every affiliate marketer. You can start building up your email list with a lead magnet (like the information products mentioned previously) or even just by encouraging your audience to sign up for your updates. You can then push your content to this audience via email and also direct them to your affiliate offers. Don't be sleazy about the sales, but if you build up enough trust with your email audience; when the time comes, they will not mind purchasing a product from you. 
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[22] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[26]
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect on May 25, 2018, is a set of regulations governing the use of personal data across the EU. This is forcing some affiliates to obtain user data through opt-in consent (updated privacy policies and cookie notices), even if they are not located in the European Union. This new regulation should also remind you to follow FTC guidelines and clearly disclose that you receive affiliate commissions from your recommendations. 
Use affiliate links every time you can and not just for the obvious stuff but for everything you mention that can be found on Amazon. Have a recipe that uses salt? Link to that (see this example). You can link to the actual name of the product or use type: “I like to use this salt” so people actually click on the link to see what it is. I wouldn’t use this method on all links but I do use it especially when I’m listing several items.

I always feel like this was and still is the best blog ever created. This is because of the unique way the blog is posed. The posts have a conversational tone that humanizes the content and makes it easily understandable. It’s an authoritative site, loaded with inbound marketing strategy, templates, infographics, analytics and landing page tips. In this content marketing blog, you will find posts covering SEO advice, sales, academy, web design and social marketing. It’s a one stop shopping parlor that I recommend checking out.

Although your blog posts should focus on a very specific niche and web of related topics, you need to know how well these articles can potentially rank on Google. Use tool like Google Keyword Planner to view your target keyword’s monthly search volume and competitive metrics when deciding on blog titles. Remember, the target keyword should be used in your META title and throughout your body copy.
Not promoting the right products is a common issue with newbie affiliates. Would you purchase the product you are promoting through a website? Think about it. You can advertise a Ford dealership on your website until the cows come home, but will anyone seriously purchase a brand new car via a website without visiting a garage? I don’t think so. Don’t market cars, houses, wedding venues, perfume or dogs online. Do market products people will actually buy from a website without seeing them in the flesh!
This one’s not for everyone, but adding a few symbols to your LinkedIn profile can really help it stand out from the crowd. You don’t want to over do it, but putting arrows or bullet points next to your core skills or abilities can point potential clients to what you want them to read. There’s a great list of symbols here that you can just copy and paste.
In order to target local consumers, make sure that your company details are available and updated in Google maps. It would be nice to have several customer reviews with high ratings there. Also think about publishing more local information on your blog (e.g. news and gossips, hotel or restaurant reviews) or just include geo-specific content everywhere, so that people in a certain geographic area could see it first. That's one of the top Internet marketing tips for beginners. Go local in order to make your online marketing for small businesses to deliver fruitful results. 
Your ideas are wise, practical and valuable as well. I think you’ve just given such definitive list of ideas to employ in your marketing business. I really like this content! 🙂 You’ve listed such helpful, effective ideas to include in your marketing strategy, From social marketing up to the content marketing. Thanks for the shared knowledge! This is an epic article. 🙂
The Truth? You don't often come across genuine individuals in this space. I could likely count on one hand who those genuine-minded marketers might be. Someone like Russel Brunson who's developed a career out of providing true value in the field and helping to educate the uneducated is one such name. However, while Brunson has built a colossal business, the story of David Sharpe and his journey to becoming an 8-figure earner really hits home for most people.
Affiliate marketing overlaps with other Internet marketing methods to some degree, because affiliates often use regular advertising methods. Those methods include organic search engine optimization (SEO), paid search engine marketing (PPC – Pay Per Click), e-mail marketing, content marketing, and (in some sense) display advertising. On the other hand, affiliates sometimes use less orthodox techniques, such as publishing reviews of products or services offered by a partner.[citation needed]
I’m running an in-house Partner Program here at LiveChat so I’m probably the right person to reach out to if you have any questions or doubts. Feel free to do so anytime via email or Twitter. From my posts on this blog you’ll learn how our project is progressing and how you can leverage various features and business opportunities we provide. Expect me to share valuable insights and partners’ success stories you can benchmark or - at least - get inspired by. Happy marketing!
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Thanks for sharing this post Kim. Great summary of top affiliate programs out there! I started setting up affiliate links on my site on a Resources page after hearing Pat Flynn and Leslie Samuel talk about affiliate marketing in their podcasts. My new site is in its infancy, and I now have it with a designer to make it look better and to optimize elements of each page. So I plan to promote my affiliate links more in the future when the site is looking better. I took the approach of “go ahead and start blogging even though the site isn’t really set up yet!” I’ll use my podcast as a way to further promote my affiliate links – primarily about course design and elearning.
StudioPress is a WordPress hosting service and framework that is designed to make setting up and running a WordPress site much simpler and easier. StudioPress comes with its own unique themes and SEO tools, collectively known as the “Genesis framework.”. Their affiliate program is solely for referrals to pay for a StudioPress framework account or buying a StudioPress theme. Previously, the affiliate program also included web hosting, but this is now managed separately by StudioPress’s owner, WPEngine.
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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