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]


One of the main reasons why most newbie affiliate marketers give up after 3 months is the fact that they can’t build up traffic to their affiliate website. It’s a thorn in most marketers’ sides, but one that can be easily resolved if you put the effort in. Below I have covered a few areas that will get you good targeted traffic to your affiliate deals.
A sound product strategy is a must for new affiliate marketers. Ideally, you should choose a niche that you can make money online with and has a lot of product vendors. This will give you a wide selection of products to offer your online community. However, limit yourself to two or three products at a time, so that you become the expert others turn to and trust when reaching for their wallet.
Probably the oldest online affiliate program around, Amazon Associates kicked things off way back in 1996. You’ll get the most use out of their blog  if you’re already signed up as an affiliate as they share a heap of affiliate discount codes and special product offers. It’s an easy way to stay on top of the latest deals and items you can be sharing with your audience.

If you regularly post new content, you build up your range of site topics – and this means more opportunities to install Affiliate Links. If you have hundreds of products with Affiliate Links, you can usually look forward to many daily commissions: but you do still have to include informative articles as well, to keep a nice balance of content on your website.
Online reviews, then, have become another form of internet marketing that small businesses can't afford to ignore. While many small businesses think that they can't do anything about online reviews, that's not true. Just by actively encouraging customers to post reviews about their experience small businesses can weight online reviews positively. Sixty-eight percent of consumers left a local business review when asked. So assuming a business's products or services are not subpar, unfair negative reviews will get buried by reviews by happier customers.
JVZoo works exclusively with digital products, primarily e-commerce, online courses, and internet marketing offers. Because there are no limits placed on the number of links, buy buttons, or calls to action on a website, JVZoo can sometimes be somewhat low quality both in terms of offers as well as products. Nonetheless, it has proven itself to be a fierce competitor to companies like ClickBank.
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To cease opportunity, the firm should summarize their current customers' personas and purchase journey from this they are able to deduce their digital marketing capability. This means they need to form a clear picture of where they are currently and how many resources they can allocate for their digital marketing strategy i.e. labour, time etc. By summarizing the purchase journey, they can also recognise gaps and growth for future marketing opportunities that will either meet objectives or propose new objectives and increase profit.
While the previous sentence makes sense to just about everyone reading it, we also know that in practice, content promotion is more often an afterthought than a key part of content planning. It shouldn’t be a special case to improve organic search visibility, social engagement, industry media pickups and influencer shares of your content for all the (relevant) world to see, but the standard when it comes to B2B content marketing.
The topic you choose must have enough depth that you can create a lot of content for it. This is important for building an authoritative site, for search engine optimization, and most importantly, for the end user. If you don't have enough content about a topic, you're not going to be taken very seriously as an authority on the topic and it's unlikely you can convince someone to make a purchase from you. 

The first step to any Internet marketing campaign is the keywords. How will potential customers find you in the search engines? Work with different keyword combinations to determine the keywords you want to be found under. Make sure you balance broader keyword combinations with more specific keyword combinations. The average person searching on the Internet may start with a broad query, but they quickly narrow it down as they see returned results and learn more about what they are searching for. For example, someone searching for digital cameras may start with “Digital Cameras”… after clicking a couple choices, they may then search on “Nikon digital cameras”… after clicking a couple more choices, they may search on Nikon Coolpix cameras, then narrow it even further to Nikon Coolpix 4800 Digital Camera. The more specific they become, the more likely they are to purchase.
Aside from the obvious advantages of running your own business, being able to work online from anywhere at any time, and having the freedom to choose just how hard you work, there are a few other perks. Affiliates with a strong social following (also known as influencers) can expect to receive freebies from advertisers looking to boost their brand awareness.

Your brand is delicate. It can be compared to rare lily, having to be coaxed carefully and softly into full bloom. What does that mean for your brand? You have to very deliberately curate and grow it, avoiding the many pitfalls that even big brand often fall into. One single brand image problem and you could lose a chunk of your user base. A good strategy for cultivating a strong… [Read More…]


Affiliates were among the earliest adopters of pay per click advertising when the first pay-per-click search engines emerged during the end of the 1990s. Later in 2000 Google launched its pay per click service, Google AdWords, which is responsible for the widespread use and acceptance of pay per click as an advertising channel. An increasing number of merchants engaged in pay per click advertising, either directly or via a search marketing agency, and realized that this space was already occupied by their affiliates. Although this situation alone created advertising channel conflicts and debates between advertisers and affiliates, the largest issue concerned affiliates bidding on advertisers names, brands, and trademarks.[39] Several advertisers began to adjust their affiliate program terms to prohibit their affiliates from bidding on those type of keywords. Some advertisers, however, did and still do embrace this behavior, going so far as to allow, or even encourage, affiliates to bid on any term, including the advertiser's trademarks.
Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest developing online industries now. It’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will increase by 10.1 percent between 2015 and 2020, reaching an overwhelming total value of $6.8 billion. The business is clearly large enough for everyone to get their share. With proper approach and some dedication, even affiliate marketing rookies can earn nice money out of it. We honestly hope that “Affiliate Marketing For Dummies” guide will make it all a bit easier.
A browser extension is a plug-in that extends the functionality of a web browser. Some extensions are authored using web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. Most modern web browsers have a whole slew of third-party extensions available for download. In recent years, there has been a constant rise in the number of malicious browser extensions flooding the web. Malicious browser extensions will often appear to be legitimate as they seem to originate from vendor websites and come with glowing customer reviews.[32] In the case of affiliate marketing, these malicious extensions are often used to redirect a user’s browser to send fake clicks to websites that are supposedly part of legitimate affiliate marketing programs. Typically, users are completely unaware this is happening other than their browser performance slowing down. Websites end up paying for fake traffic number, and users are unwitting participants in these ad schemes.
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.
With an entire blog dedicated to helping affiliate marketers and entrepreneurs make more money online, checking out Luke Kling’s blog is well worth your time. The affiliate marketing blog content focuses on staying ahead of trend and bringing you timely news that can directly impact your affiliate marketing strategies.  He also offers some interesting insights through his personal posts.

Hi, Nice article. I am not sure about the process though. I can understand, finding a niche. But, when it comes to affiliate programs I get a little lost. Would I be promoting someone else's products? If so, no problem. I know I need to research high end products with gravity, are these products ones in certain stores, or companies, etc.?? If so, do I need to get permissions to be on an affiliate program with that company? Also, if it is products with a company, then how do I offer promotions on their products since they are not mine? Thank you, Nanette Vlahusich
A huge mistake beginners make is thinking they need to do everything alone. Focus your energy on the most vital areas of your business; the areas that encourage growth and will help you reach your goals faster. If you work on too many projects at once you will find your progress is slow and hindered by many barriers. You can’t be an expert in every discipline, so outsource work where you can. Set aside a budget for delegating work to third parties that prevent you from paying attention to more important areas of your business. Taking on more and more work yourself will see you bogged down unnecessarily in tasks that will significantly slow your progress. Outsourcing will also allow you to have more valuable time away from your computer.
A strategy that is linked into the effectiveness of digital marketing is content marketing.[39] Content marketing can be briefly described as "delivering the content that your audience is seeking in the places that they are searching for it".[39] It is found that content marketing is highly present in digital marketing and becomes highly successful when content marketing is involved. This is due to content marketing making your brand more relevant to the target consumers, as well as more visible to the target consumer.
I personally prefer to do it that way--you can create a more convincing review that's more likely to make sales. It's not always possible or practical, though; for example, would you break up with your significant other just to test a product for getting your ex back? ;-) In cases like that, or if the product is expensive, it's usually best just to use the vendor's affiliate resources instead.
7. Use Pinterest Buttons – The “Pin-It” switch can quickly be set up in your internet browser. Then you can easily pin photos as well as details from various other sites to your pinboard. There is likewise a “Pin-It” switch you can make use of to invite individuals to pin images from your site to their pinboard. You can additionally include a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your blog site and also social pages to get more individuals to your Pinterest board.
Hi Kal, thanks for your comment. I am not sure what happened to those people whom you mentioned in the comment. Are they alright? I guess, as the writer I am at liberty to include marketers whom I like or have interacted with. For this post I have included only those marketers with whom I have some level of interaction. Harsh for example wanted to hire me for his blog. I have known Matthew Woodward since the time he started his award winning blog and so on.People like Frank Kern are so busy that they won’t even notice if I have written about them and they don’t actively blog too, I guess.
The field is replete with terms that might confuse and perplex the average individual. What is a squeeze page? What's a sales funnel? What's a CPA? What's SEO? How do you setup a good blog to filter the right type of relevant traffic and get your offer in front of eligible users? What's a massive value post (MVP) really mean? Clearly, there are an endless array of terms, some of which you might already know or might not depending on how much you presently know about the field.
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.
The combination of charisma, charm and intellect has helped catapult Sharpe to the top of the heap. In a recent conversation with him, I wanted to learn what it truly took to become an expert digital marketer. And one of the most important takeaways from that phone call was that if he could do it, anyone could do it. For someone who failed so devastatingly very early on in life, to rise from the ashes like a phoenix was no easy feat.

1. Boost your posts. "Give your social media content a boost. Businesses are finding it more and more difficult to get their message heard. By the latest estimates, Facebook is showing only 6 percent of a business' content to their fan base. So give your content a paid boost. If you have more than 100 likes on your page, a 'boost' button will appear at the bottom of each post. Use it. For less than $30, you can get your message out to thousands of unique users."


JVZoo’s strength is that it allows experienced marketers to gain access to product launches and a huge range of online courses while setting up sales funnels and customized landing pages. It’s definitely not for someone who wants to monetize a blog or earn money by having users click through and buy physical products. If you’ve carved out a strong presence online in the marketing space, JVZoo might be a perfect fit.

Since the emergence of affiliate marketing, there has been little control over affiliate activity. Unscrupulous affiliates have used spam, false advertising, forced clicks (to get tracking cookies set on users' computers), adware, and other methods to drive traffic to their sponsors. Although many affiliate programs have terms of service that contain rules against spam, this marketing method has historically proven to attract abuse from spammers.
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.
Hi Sean! Your article is terrific! Yes it is really important to look after these points. See, a businessman must know how to roam around the net. People are all over it, visiting every blogsites, giving articles, sharing each other’s links, and commenting about each other and these all leads to having a good camaraderie among business owners! Internet indeed gives us lots of opportunities.
If you try to sell a product that is in low demand then chances are that you are not going to get many sales no matter how hard you try. So it is a good idea to spend a bit of time researching and finding out if a product that you are thinking of promoting is a product that your audience needs. If your site gets decent traffic then you can conduct an online survey and easily get input from your visitors.

This guide is designed for you to read cover-to-cover. Each new chapter builds upon the previous one. A core idea that we want to reinforce is that marketing should be evaluated holistically. What you need to do is this in terms of growth frameworks and systems as opposed to campaigns. Reading this guide from start to finish will help you connect the many moving parts of marketing to your big-picture goal, which is ROI.


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).
Your social media strategy is more than just a Facebook profile or Twitter feed. When executed correctly, social media is a powerful customer engagement engine and web traffic driver. It’s easy to get sucked into the hype and create profiles on every single social site. This is the wrong approach. What you should do instead is to focus on a few key channels where your brand is most likely to reach key customers and prospects. This chapter will teach you how to make that judgment call.

Finch Sells is a great resource if you’re new to affiliate marketing, since Finch describes how he got started with affiliate marketing, explains how the industry is segmented and provides advice on how you can begin in an easy-to-understand and comical way. He also provides a priceless Survival Kit and a list of resources that ranges from blogs to events to tools.
According to Statistica, 76% of the U.S. population has at least one social networking profile and by 2020 the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion (650 million of these from China alone). Of the social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most dominant - as of the end of the second quarter of 2018 Facebook had approximately 2.23 billion active users worldwide (Statistica). Mobile devices have become the dominant platform for Facebook usage - 68% of time spent on Facebook originates from mobile devices.
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]
John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation and the number 698 fastest growing company in the USA in the 2017 Inc. 5000. As a digital marketing expert and in-demand public speaker, Lincoln is consistently named one of the top influencers in the industry. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Search Engine Land "Search Marketer of the Year" award. Ignite Visibility crafts custom digital marketing strategies for clients, including services in SEO, social media, paid media, email marketing, Amazon and more.
Affiliate marketing is commonly confused with referral marketing, as both forms of marketing use third parties to drive sales to the retailer. The two forms of marketing are differentiated, however, in how they drive sales, where affiliate marketing relies purely on financial motivations, while referral marketing relies more on trust and personal relationships.[citation needed]
There are plenty of guides to marketing. From textbooks to online video tutorials, you can really take your pick. But, we felt that there was something missing — a guide that really starts at the beginning to equip already-intelligent professionals with a healthy balance of strategic and tactical advice. The Beginner’s Guide to Online Marketing closes that gap.
A disadvantage of digital advertising is the large amount of competing goods and services that are also using the same digital marketing strategies. For example, when someone searches for a specific product from a specific company online, if a similar company uses targeted advertising online then they can appear on the customer's home page, allowing the customer to look at alternative options for a cheaper price or better quality of the same product or a quicker way of finding what they want online.
ShareASale has been in business as an affiliate marketing network for 18 years. Their technology has received accolades for speed, efficiency and accuracy and they have a reputation as a well-known, honest business within the industry with over 3,900 merchants. Payments are made automatically on the 20th day of each month when your account balance reaches $50 or more for the previous months’ transactions.
Cross-platform measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-channel affects consumer's behaviour, although when advertisements are on a consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects to cross-platform measurement involves de-duplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached (Whiteside, 2016).[42] An example is ‘ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Television and radio industries are the electronic media, which competes with digital and other technological advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platform with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms (Fill, Hughes, & De Franceso, 2013).[45]
Because 2Checkout exclusively sells software and digital products, it is best suited for established influencers whose target audience is interested in buying products in this niche. But while you won’t find any physical products for sale, 2Checkout is probably the market leader in selling software of every type, including very specific use case items (like software that can convert Microsoft Word documents to PDF, for instance).
Shawn’s Affiliate Marketing Blog provides the latest industry news and advice on how to make money online. Like many other bloggers on this list, Shawn is honest in saying that you won’t get rich through affiliate marketing, but you can make a little extra cash on the side. He also only endorses the products and services that he uses himself, so you can rest assured that these are quality products/services.

High level of competition: Affiliate marketing has become the most popular online marketing system due to its profit margins. This has attracted entrepreneurs to create many new such businesses online. Because of this, there is great competition as everyone fights to get the attention of consumers. This has made it difficult for new businesses to grow.
Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.[citation needed]
PeerFly only has a limited number of products at the moment, but they have tremendous momentum and are growing by leaps and bounds. Their payout rates aren’t spectacular, but everything is upfront and transparent, and affiliate satisfaction is very high. PeerFly is perfect for authentic marketers who want to offer high-quality products to their visitors as opposed to “get rich quick” schemes and opaque offers.
Going into network marketing? Understand that if you're not close to the top of the food chain there, your ability to generate any serious amount of income will be limited. Be wary of the hype and the sales pitches that get you thinking that it's going to work the other way. Simply understand that you're going to have to work hard no matter what you pick to do. Email marketing? Sure. You can do that. But you'll need a massive and very targeted list to make any dent.
Is your brand ready to leverage the boom of wearable technology? Wearable technology is already impacting the future of Internet marketing and thus, advertisers are investing resources to stay ahead of the curve. To understand where the marketing industry is going with wearable tech, you need to understand where wearable technology came from, how the…
Creating a unique tracking ID for an Amazon link is easy. Simply log in to your Amazon affiliate dashboard, click “Account Settings” at the very top on the right, then click “Manage Tracking IDs”. From there you can make a new tracking ID so you can track which web page/campaign sold what.  You can learn more about using Amazon’s Tracking IDs here.
This is the standard affiliate marketing structure. In this program, the merchant pays the affiliate a percentage of the sale price of the product after the consumer purchases the product as a result of the affiliate’s marketing strategies. In other words, the affiliate must actually get the investor to invest in the product before they are compensated.
Learn how to analyze data — Know how to use marketing tools and analyze performance data. Do the math to determine your marketing costs in order to bring traffic to your site, and calculate conversions and commissions to determine what’s performing best for you. Tweak copy or the location of a CTA to optimize success of the page. Study success for all of your highest performing pages, and try to lift conversions. A performance increase of just a couple of points could mean a big lift in sales.
By doing this you will be able to select the most valuable parts of each strategy and start to build a bulletproof strategy of your own. It is important to recognize early on is that there is no “one size fits all” in Internet marketing, and that the same strategies don’t work for every niche, or even necessarily in the same niche. What works for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa. So decipher what works for you through a continual process of trial and error. Develop a system of your own. It will take some time but will be well worth it in the end. And who knows, one day you might be able to sell your system online as a top-selling product!
As this article aims to cover affiliate marketing for beginners, here’s a little example for you. So, let’s assume John is an affiliate. He has a website which is all about skateboarding. On it, he has a blog where he shares videos of his latest stunts, pictures of the parks he’s visited, and in-depth reviews of the best and worst skateboards he’s ever used.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you only promote one merchant’s products, you are stuck with their commissions, their landing pages, and ultimately, their conversion rates. It is important to work with many different merchants in your niche and promote a wide range of products. This affiliate marketing strategy will diversify the amount of commissions you make and create a steady stream of revenue when building an affiliate website. 
Established in 1997, FOREX CLUB (the company) is the brand name for a group of companies that provides clients from over 120 countries with platforms and services for trading forex, CFDs and other online trading and educational products. We offer every client effective tools in training, analytics and education, as well as personal support where they want it. FOREX CLUB has over 650 employees worldwide.  In 2011 alone, over 45,000 traders chose to learn forex trading with us.  FOREX CLUB was one of the industry’s first to offer zero spread trading and commission refunds on all unprofitable trades.
There are a number of ways brands can use digital marketing to benefit their marketing efforts. The use of digital marketing in the digital era not only allows for brands to market their products and services, but also allows for online customer support through 24/7 services to make customers feel supported and valued. The use of social media interaction allows brands to receive both positive and negative feedback from their customers as well as determining what media platforms work well for them. As such, digital marketing has become an increased advantage for brands and businesses. It is now common for consumers to post feedback online through social media sources, blogs and websites on their experience with a product or brand.[25] It has become increasingly popular for businesses to use and encourage these conversations through their social media channels to have direct contact with the customers and manage the feedback they receive appropriately.

Which one sounds easier to you? Instead of spending all of your time and effort to get new traffic, you just have to optimize the traffic you already have. Optimizing your conversion rate can include testing your calls-to-action, testing your copy, editing your UX, color schemes, and page layouts to maximize impact. By doing some simple A/B testing and optimizing your landing pages, you’ll get quicker results with much less work.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
While these models have diminished in mature e-commerce and online advertising markets they are still prevalent in some more nascent industries. China is one example where Affiliate Marketing does not overtly resemble the same model in the West. With many affiliates being paid a flat "Cost Per Day" with some networks offering Cost Per Click or CPM.
While there are currently tens of millions of blogs worldwide, close to 60 million powered by WordPress alone, many bloggers are not yet monetizing their sites. If you're one of these bloggers, a good place to start is with affiliate marketing: directing readers to a product or service in exchange for a commission on the sale (or other action) when it occurs.
Making sure that your content is easy for your customers or followers to share seems like a good way to help your online marketing. Having customers spread the word probably helps people see real life examples of your work. I would imagine that finding a professional who can help you create a better online presence would be a good way to boost your marketing as well.
Although it differs from spyware, adware often uses the same methods and technologies. Merchants initially were uninformed about adware, what impact it had, and how it could damage their brands. Affiliate marketers became aware of the issue much more quickly, especially because they noticed that adware often overwrites tracking cookies, thus resulting in a decline of commissions. Affiliates not employing adware felt that it was stealing commission from them. Adware often has no valuable purpose and rarely provides any useful content to the user, who is typically unaware that such software is installed on his/her computer.
We recently noticed that a client of ours gets 80% of their website traffic from blog posts that were more than two months old. This finding, that the ‘Long tail’ of blogging could be where most of your traffic will come from, seems to be little understood or heeded by SMEs. Next time you look at how much you’re paying for pay-per-click traffic, bear it in mind.
While affiliate networks (like Shareasale) are suited rather for affiliates with no particular strategy, I’d suggest you choosing SaaS affiliate programs (software as a service) if you want to work independently on a large scale. SaaS affiliate programs are usually much higher paying, due to the value of software they offer. While it may take a bit more effort to find a customer for B2B-oriented software, revenues from closed deals are incomparable. What’s even more enticing, some of SaaS affiliate programs sell monthly recurring licenses and - therefore - offer fixed recurring commissions!

If you decide to go into affiliate marketing, understand that you will need a lot of very targeted traffic if you want to make any real money. Those affiliate offers also need to provide a high commission amount to you on each sale. You also need to ensure that the returns or chargebacks for those products or services are low. The last thing you want to do is to sell a product or service that provides very little value and gets returned often.
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