Affiliate Marketing – An Overview

Affiliate marketing on the internet is everywhere. Products being sold range from exercises to help with plantar fasciitis to video game copying software. There are countless ways to market products, so we're just going to take a brief look at a few of the places people can use to get started, some startup tips and you'll be ready to start on a road to recycling, free "money.

One of the best ways to get started in affiliate marketing is to sign up at an affiliate site. Examples of this are ClickBank and Commission Junction. What these sites do is get together people who want to sell products and people who are interested in advertising for them. To refer to the examples above, you can promote pretty much anything from medical help to entertainment and computer software. I'm personally planning on doing solar panels next, as a system to reduce heating and cooling costs as well as general electrical overhead.

Most of these types of sites have a list that's quite extensive, and you can chose any product you like. Then you have the site create what's called a Hoplink for you. This is a personalized link to their product that tells the seller that the patron came from your link. This is what gets you credit for the sale. Sounds simple enough right? But how do you get that link out there?

Of course, it's important to do some research about the product you're selling. Once you can speak about it on a reasonable level, it's time to build a base of operations. Websites like Squidoo are wonderful for this. Squidoo is a ready-formulated lens building site. A lens is a website, but one with a specific purpose. It's called a lens because it focuses specific attention on the keyword chosen to target it at. Basically, you take a keyword people are searching on the internet related to your product, and you make that keyword the base for your lens.

So now you write up a fairly simple site promoting the product in question. There's tons of websites now promoting products and everyone has their own particular way of doing it so we're not going to focus attention on that. Go nuts, make something creative and jazzy, or serious and solemn.

Now you have your site trying to promote that product. How do you get people to look at it? The first thing to do is get your site indexed by search engines. There's products and services out there to do this for you, but you can easily do it yourself by finding and submitting to an RSS feed. Basically these sites link themselves to you so that search engines can just go through them and find new web sites.

Building multiple websites with different keywords and linking them to each other does not hurt, but the best way to get traffic is to get bumped up the actual search results list. The way to do this is to create backlinks. Backlinks are links from other sites directly to your lens site. Search engines see other people linking to you and bump you up result lists. So where can you get links to your site?

Well forums are a place to start. You have to be careful though, most forums do not appreciate people taking up their space with ads, especially if they're not getting a cut. There are some forums out there that are specifically for posts of that nature, however. Finding these and submitting to them is a great way to get started. Some people buy their own web domains and use these both for the "lens" site as well as backlinks. Free domains like Yahoo Geocities can be useful for this.

So to recap, first you pick a product you wish to promote, and find some good keywords that describe it. Push those keywords on a lens site, and use social networking sites, other domains and forums, etc. to get the search engine's "attention" and you're on your way. Of course, it's still a matter of getting the right people to your information, buyers. Google and others offer "readers" and the like to tell you what some good ones might be.

I hope this helps to clarify what affiliate marketing on the internet is and how it works. Good luck on your first dollar!

Displaying Photography on the Web

Getting Started:

When deciding to display your photography online, there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account as presenting imagery on the web. What I will cover today is image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the impact of image file formats.

Image Scan Quality:

Resolution is the image quality measured in terms of how many pixels make up your image. It is commonly referred to as “ppi”; (pixels per inch). One of the common dilemmas when scanning photo transparencies to digitize them for use on a person’s website is how detailed of a scan do you need to provide your webmaster to post your imagery online. I’m going to sidestep the issue of image copyright concerns for the time being as I’ll cover that in an upcoming article on its own. However, because your images are to be viewed on a screen, all web graphics should be no larger than 72 ppi and thus anything higher has no improved effect, and only creates longer download times. This will also reduce what an individual could do with the image file if they had alternate motives.

Image Dimension Size:

Pixels are the unit of measurement for the screen and most webmasters design a website to fit one of the standard display sizes. Based on statistics that can be looked up on the internet, we have found that most people today have their monitor’s set to display at least 1024 x 768, if not larger.

Why this is important, is that if your scan dimensions in Adobe Photoshop say that the image is 8.5 inches by 11 inches, saving the file at those dimension will not allow a user at 1024 pixels by 768 pixels to see the image in its full presentation without scrolling both vertically and horizontally. Adobe Photoshop provides the ability to resize the image to a size that will fit within your website design. As an added bonus, it will also reduce the download size of the image that the view of the image will experience without losing image quality. This is something that you will need to work with your webmaster to come up the proper tradeoff between file size and the presentation size of the image in your portfolio. It is important to realize that not everyone has broadband connections, so thumbnails are very much appreciated by those who use dialup connections. One thing I would recommend is to come up with standard dimension sizes for your horizontal, vertical, panoramic and thumbnails and stick to them as it will make your life, and your webmaster’s much easier.

Image File Format:

There are two types of color that can be used in Web graphics. The colors can be associated with the Web graphic file formats we just mentioned: GIF and JPG.

GIF:

GIF is short for Graphics Interchange Format and consists of the 216 common colors found on all computer monitors and within all Web browsers. These common colors reside in a Web palette and its advantages are that it is supported by practically all web browsers, can include transparent backgrounds, supports interlacing (providing a low-resolution preview of the graphic to the viewer while it downloads), and can be used as an image map (allowing the viewer to click on the graphic as they would a regular link to another site).

JPEG:

JPEG is short for Joint Photographers Experts Group and is superior in rendering color and detail found in photographs or graphics using blends, gradients, and other tonal variations. JPEG files use red, green, and blue (RGB) for graphical color. The strength of these colors is set in from zero to 255 with zero being the least intensity and 255 being the highest intensity. When red, green and blue are combined at zero intensity the result is black. At full strength, high intensity, where the values are set at 255, 255, 255, the result is pure white. As a photographer, it is important to utilize photographs as much as we can within your Web portfolio to present your work in the best possible quality so that it captures the true spirit of the subject work.

Choosing between the two image formats:

These full color images should not be saved as GIF files because of the limited number of colors. By having limited colors, the full color image will represent the true colors using the existing Web palette of 216 colors and will create a poor, dithered, and ugly image. That is why it is very important to use the right file format for each specific graphic. Sometimes it’s obvious that a graphic on someone’s web page was saved in the wrong file format. Photos may look too grainy, or flat-color images may look too fuzzy. When selecting GIF or JPEG for your graphics conversion, it is important to consider the type of image you will be working with. Use a GIF format if you’re graphic consists primarily of line art or flat colors without gradients. JPEG-converted graphics are best for photographs or images with fine tonal variations in colors, such as images with gradients or metallic images. Choosing the right file format is not only important for the quality, but for keeping your images file size to a minimum.

Summary:

With proper usage of image scan quality, the dimensional size of the image, and the correct image file format, you will be presenting your web portfolio in a manner that the rest of the world can fully enjoy your work.

Brand Marketing Online – Creating Your Loyal Customer Base The Easy Way

Brand marketing online is easier than your think these days. The average business owner has no clue about the simple tools that you will read about here. Many of your competition are spending thousands of dollars in advertising and not making the impact they desire. You can stand out from the crowd with these easy and cheap tools of the marketing business. There are a lot of really good ways to brand yourself, but here are what we feel are three of the best performers.

Create a massive and loyal customer base with these simple and cheap marketing tools.

1) Blog Site - The very best tool for brand marketing online is a common blog site. You will be amazed how simple it is to set one up and get your information on it. This marketing platform can be adjusted by just about anyone who can use a word processor. The blog site will use small programs that are called plug-in to automate a lot of the customization. These work much like the apps on our phones. Each does a different thing and there are thousands of them out there. You can also host all kinds of files, posts, and media on them as well. You can set up a membership section to allow for additional information or savings to go to your loyal customers. Blogs are very powerful and inexpensive to run.

2) Flip Style Camera - A camera is an easy thing to get these days. There are a multitude of styles and brands out on the market. If you are brand marketing online, you really do not need to spend a lot of money on these at all. $ 150 would be the most, but I just got a nice one for $ 99. Shop round. You really want one that takes decent stills and HD is always preferred for your marketing videos. Now what will you us this for? In marketing there is a hierarchy of impacts from written, still pictures, audio, video, and then a combination of all of them? You will want to use your new toy, I mean tool, to capture and share all of those. Pictures and video about your business and your life in general will allow your customers to get the sense that they know you. That is very powerful in marketing. People do not buy from companies; they buy from people they trust. Get a camera and start shooting everything!

3) Facebook Page - This is where your brand marketing online will really start to take off. Use the other two tools in conjunction with this one and you will be on top of the industry in no time. Now we are not talking about a Facebook account profile page. We mean a page or what they used to call a fan page. This will let you post and have more than 5000 users that like it. The key factor is the likes and you can use your camera to add valuable information about your industry here. Just remember that you are never to market or try to sell anything on this page. This is just to inform. You can sell from your blog site and you can move people between the two seasons freely.

When you are brand marketing online, you are selling yourself at the same time as you are mentioning your business. It is important to become a person in the eyes of your customers. As they get to know you, they will begin to trust you and your judgment. That is important to any sales relationship. So no matter what it is you are trying to sell these three tools, if used properly, will make all the difference to your success. The largest factor to consider now is the education on how to best use these tools. Finding a solid marketing and mentoring group will make it easier to accomplish your marketing goals.

Link Exchanges or Business Development Strategy

Viewing the ever growing issue and concern of Link Exchanges and the method by which they are being performed, I can clearly say to every white hat SEO consultant that WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

I myself as a manager in several organizations receive my share of irrelevant and sometimes incorporating changes of link invitations from companies / organizations that have absolutely no relevance to my area of ​​business and / or complementary industry. I am always amazed that those companies portrays them in such a poor manner.

The Common Method

It is a known fact that links are a major concern for every site owner or SEO consultant looking for better rankings and higher PR. Today site owners and even some SEO consultants do not care where they get the links, sending thousands of e-mails through automated programs to whichever company / website that comes across their path. These companies work on a pure statistical assumption that out of all these thousands, few individuals will agree to the exchange.

The problem with this method is that most of us today regards Link Exchange as nothing more than another form of spam. This results in a built up resistance in cooperation to take part in a Link Exchange program as it may indicate your website as a non professional website.

I believe that part of the solution to this problem is for anyone who is looking for SEO consulting to take better care as to who he / she chooses and to take some involvement in the process of his / her company's representation to the world.

Link Exchanges as a Business Development Strategy

After years of conducting Link Exchange activity for my business and those of my clients I started noticeing the effect this program brought to my clients. I further surprised how we could create a more organized and thought-out effect from the beginning.

The Effect: The effect that started to happen for my clients was that slowly but surely they were gaining international contacts and forming business relationships with distant partners, thus enabling them easier access to their local clients and free promotion of their name. It also brought activity into their circle of contacts and other business associates. That of course led to formal relations which evolved into a full international network with a sole existence to serve the respected clients of the international network's members.

Creating the Effect

The development from this point was very natural, as it was logical to assume as a multilateral SEO expert that the bridging between cultural differences and forming the same kinds of relationships with local companies and in their own language will add to the tremendous strength of this business possibility. This is exactly what we did, realizing that giving time and attention to the type of companies you are contacting and industries you are targeting is imperative to the success of your Link Exchange campaign.

Many times I have heard that Link Exchanges work on statistics and the more you send the more links you will have. This theory may be true but the quality of the link is affected by this method, and not to mention the constant depletion of the internet resources such as SERP and directories while e-mailing in ignorance.

You will get more links and much more directed traffic and generated business if you take time and thought to the quality of your Link Exchange program. This had taken a remarkable effect for all the companies I consult and work with and will have the same effect for you.

Another excellent way to broaden the Link Exchange program is to contact the most desirable of exchanges and explain the idea of ​​business development opportunities that may be involved in such an exchange.

Conclusion

To summarize my thoughts and experience on the matter, the link exchange program will stop having a negative effect on the SEO industry, if professionals and non professionals will give the time and attention this major issue records.

I believe that with the simple and familiar advice I have passed along with this short article, there is great potential to create healthy Link Exchange programs where users will truly benefit from the links posted on ones website. Do not forget this is the first and primary reason for the Link Exchange program to exist and why it is effecting your ranking in such a different way.