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Monday, 30 April 2012 17:49

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What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing refers to an electronic commerce version of traditional concept of agent/referral fee sales channel. But affiliate marketing is different from multi link marketing. Affiliate marketing is a revenue sharing venture between a website owner and an online merchant.Affiliate Marketing (AM) as a network helps in driving up the sales on a cost per acquisition basis. Affiliate marketing sometimes overlaps with other internet marketing methods, because affiliates use methods such as organic search engine optimization, paid search engine marketing, email marketing and display advertising. Affiliates also use less orthodox techniques such as publishing reviews of products or services.An e-commerce affiliate is a website that links back to an e-commerce site such as Amazon.com. Though affiliate marketing helps to cut out the middleman, still affiliates need to trust the software and people behind the e-commerce website they are joining.

If a person wants to make money online, affiliate marketing is the easiest way of doing so. Just by promoting the products of other companies in return for a commission on each sale generated helps people make money. Affiliate marketing helps people to earn some extra cash from their websites, or individuals who want to opt for a serious money making work-at-home business that they can perform from anywhere in the world.

Affiliate Marketing is associated with finding out good products, building websites, conducting market research, making websites more search engine friendly, creating new ways to promote products, developing content, email marketing, pay-per-click marketing, social networking, and earning money by displaying ads.

Who is an Affiliate?

An affiliate is in reality a commercial entity with a relationship with larger entity. A corporation is referred to as an affiliate of another company, but it is not strictly controlled by it. In the realm of internet, affiliates are those who promote products of others on the net. Most affiliates promote products through their websites or email lists. Any website address or a hyperlink can be turned into a promotional vehicle.

However, as e-commerce grows, e-commerce affiliates are no longer restricted to website owners. Even bloggers and online community members of forums can become affiliates as well. Affiliates are also referred as publishers. However affiliate marketing is an unviable option for scammers and spammers. The affiliates need not be marketers. They can actually be e-commerce websites that actually sells the products and services.

Who Can Do Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing can be done by different types of companies and individuals including affiliate networks, affiliate management companies, in-house affiliate managers, specialized 3rd party vendors, and various types of affiliates/publishers who promote the products and services of their partners. Affiliates seek out appropriate affiliate programs through personal recommendations, networks listings, as well as through affiliate directories. They can follow the below mentioned method to promote products online, such as

Market Research

It tells why it is necessary to conduct a research in a campaign. Researching a market not only saves time, money but also helps to find untouched profitable markets.

PPC

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) tells about how PPC, a type of online advertising where one gets paid only when somebody clicks on the advertisement is helpful. Alongside Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it’s one of the major methods affiliates use to draw traffic towards their websites.

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tells about how to boost a website’s ranking in the “natural” or “organic” search engine results using some general or some specific related keywords.

Site Building

Its related to how to build a basic web page, purchasing a domain name and uploading the website, and creating redirects.

Marketing Ideas

Its about how to use creativity to promote products, specifically “outside the box” affiliate campaigns.

Content Creation

It talks about the need of creating an e-book, mailing list. Why the need for content is essential for affiliate marketing techniques such as blogging, and to promote websites. Also why write pre-sale and sales letters, write product reviews, and email subject lines.

Affiliate Tools

A0PPC Tools

The topic covers subjects related to how the PPC tool 91Google Quality Score Checker92 can be used to improve the price for PPC ads. This also includes checking the relevancy of ads, better returns per click and advice for ways to improve ad score.

SEO Tools

Under this topic, how the SEO tool 91Backlink Checker92 helps to increase the number of links to the website (backlinks) that ultimately decide the rankings of websites in the search engines is covered. This includes matter related to links to a website, anchor text, Page Rank, and search engine where the link was found.

Market Research

The topic covers matters related to how the Market Research tool 91Keyword Suggestion Tool92 helps to develop new keyword ideas. Using this tool a list of suggestions can be generated about how a set of keywords or a particular keyword can be used to improvise the search in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Writing Tools

It tells how to use the 91Article Compare92 tool to match two articles and find out the difference between the two articles. Using this tool such text in the passages are highlighted where no change has been made. This gives a clear indication as to where the modifications need to be made to tackle the problem of plagiarism.

Webmaster Tools

Under this various steps have been covered about how to use the 91XML Sitemap Generator92 tool to create search engine friendly sitemaps, for uploading on various search engines including Google.

Others

Tools such as 91Character Count92, 91Text Wrapper Tool92, 91URL Redirect Generator92, 91Meta Tag Generator92, 91Free Clickbank Calculator92, 91PageRank Calculator92, 91Domain Whois92, and 91Domain Location92 can also be used to improve the quality of the text in the website.


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It used to be that the only reliable way to find information online was to use a search engine. However, with the advent of Web 2.0 (interactive, dynamic websites that promote or operate as social networks), people can now easily find information and websites that other human beings recommend. The most recent instance of this is social bookmarking, where in websites like Del.icio.us, Digg, and Furl allow users to share their personal favorites (bookmarks) with others. Users tag each bookmarked website with the keywords they feel are most applicable. Now, instead of using a search engine to find information, people can search tags that will display all websites bookmarked with specific tag.This is human referral or vote for the site and its relevance to the subject being searched.

Other versions of social networking include blogging social networks - primarily Technorati.com. Technorati indexes blogs based on the amount of incoming links those blogs have, as well as the tags associated with their posts. The most popular social network is MySpace. The website enjoys over 20 million unique visitors every month, however few businesses or website owners have thought to penetrate this incredible resource.Also YouTube and BlogTalkRadio, two powerful new social media networks have emerged that are revolutionizing audio and video. These mega networks allow citizen filmmakers and broadcasters to share their visions with the world and spread the word about what matters to them. Few businesses realize it yet, but these media networks are potential goldmines stock full of future Speilbergs, Bloombergs, and Oprahs - all potential broadcasters of your marketing message.

How Will Social Networking Help in Growth of Site Traffic?

Its’ reported that two out of three people online in June 2006 visited a social networking site. In fact, 1 out of every 20 website visits is to a social networking website. Experts say that social networks are starting to eclipse traffic from the major search engines Yahoo! and Google. So if a company is not present on any of the major social networks, its’ missing out on the easiest, fastest way to access 67% of internet users.

 How Do One Get Involved in Social Networking?

Working with social sites is similar to working with the media. Give them a good enough story, secret, tip, or resource that they can sink their teeth into and you'll have an army of talkers spreading the word about you and your business. And this translates into referrals, which convert into sales on an average of 667% better than cold leads (search engine results). So even if one reaches less people through social networking, the conversions will be far higher. Various social networks through a variety of methods:

Social Promotion

Its particularly effective for clients who target teens, young adults, musicians, or other highly active social groups. Implementing social promotion campaigns on networks like MySpace, FaceBook, Catch27, and CraigsList to spread the word about ones business. Even if the business does not target the "myspace crowd," one can almost always devise a creative campaign to get the net buzzing.

How Does Social Networking Work With SEO?

As more and more internet users begin to use tags to find information (a tag is a keyword that a human associated with a website, vs. a keyword that a search engine attributes to a website), Search Marketing professionals cannot ignore the growing dominance of the social networks.

However, we view the partnership between social networks and search engines as an excellent and balanced marriage. Sure, social networking gets you in front of people who no longer use search engines in lieu of finding their information through referrals or bookmarks/tags. But the added, and perhaps more exciting bonus, is that while one grows in popularity with social networks like Digg and MySpace, the search rankings will continue to increase popularity signals.

Article or Blog Promotion

We manage several blogs for our various clients (as well as article pages) that contain posts written purely to capture the imagination and interest of our client's target market. For instance, if you sell pet beds, gifts, and items, we will develop a series of blog posts or articles that discuss a controversial or "hot off the press" topic that pet lovers either find highly valuable as an information resource, or highly intriguing or emotionally stimulating. We will then promote it to various social bookmarking and blogging networks, as well as popular bloggers - who will then circulate the story and generate traffic back to your website.

Why Are Social Networking Sites So Popular?

There are hundreds of social networking sites in cyberspace and its easy to become a member in any of them. Is it a fad? A lot of people say this is not so because it is the best way right now to connect people with the same or similar interests regardless of your age and gender.

One can connect with people by putting himself out there. This means creating an account and telling a little bit about yourself which is like introducing yourself in front of the class. With other features like blogging tools, uploading photos, videos and music, joining forums and writing comments, one gets to personalize it and tell people more about who you are which is something that a lot of people appreciate.

But perhaps another reason why social networking sites are so popular and have thousands of members is the fact that it is free. One can post just about anything online as long as it is not pornographic although some social networking sites allow that. It is also very popular among entrepreneurs because they are able to use it to promote their business. Although there are other means to do that, why pay for it when one can advertise for free while you are a member. One study showed that 41% of the members of a certain social networking site are IT professionals. These individuals use it to gain business contacts and gain knowledge about technology.

It is very similar to how retailers want to expand markets. They no longer have to go door to door to make a sale but other means to get similar results. A good example is someone who joins a networking site, joins a discussion, sees an opportunity and then takes it. If that member was able to provide quality service, other people will be interested in availing the same products or services as well.

There are some who say that the popularity of social networks will eventually kill web searching. But industry experts say its not possible because Google which is one of the biggest search engines has a market capitalization bigger than that General Motors or Ford will not allow that to happen. While there may be new features in these social networks in the future, people will still have to use search engines when they need information. Social networking sites are here to stay because aside from maintaining contacts with existing friends and making new ones, there are other things that members can do with it. It just takes someone to think out of the box to find some better use for it which will be welcomed by the public.

About the Company
Begonia Information Systems is perfectly suited to provide any company/individual any kind of assistance in developing/enhancing their presence in social networking/social media domain. This apart from the fact that the company also holds expertise in development related web 2.0, web-portals, websites and much more for its clients.


Published in CMS

Begonia Infosys had been writing about the various privacy violations by Facebook. that has caused people lot of headache. Looks like the shouting by BIS and numerous others websites, bloggers and eminent tech honchos on the internet about the need to rectify the privacy violations on Facebook have finally borne fruit.  BIS had even published some time back a blog titled  Social Networking, Facebook and Infringement of Privacy on this very issue. As such after enduring weeks of criticism over his company's latest privacy changes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today offered a mea culpa in an op-ed column in the Washington Post. But some industry observers doubt that the tweaks he outlined will be enough to satisfy users' concerns. Social networking giant Facebook admitted Monday that it had made mistakes in its privacy policies and promised to roll out new tools that would make it easier for its 400 million users to control their personal data.

Mark Zuckerberg, the 26-year-old billionaire founder of the second most popular site on the internet, made the admission in a column that appeared in the Washington Post on Monday amid growing user anger sparked by a string of privacy glitches. "The biggest message we have heard recently is that people want easier control over their information," Mark Zuckerberg further wrote "Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted." Mark Zuckerberg also said that the company would introduce simpler privacy settings within weeks, as well as a way to block all third-party services. Facebook has often come in for criticism of its privacy policy, whose default setting is to allow large amounts of personal data to be viewed and searched by the public. Criticism grew following the introduction of new features recently that extended Facebook buttons across numerous internet sites and could have exposed users' browsing habits to others.

Mark Zuckerberg who had once said ‘There will be nothing private in social networking sphere’ acknowledging the public's response to Facebook's approach to privacy wrote, "Sometimes we move too fast — and after listening to recent concerns, we're responding.  Simply put, many of you thought our controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted," Zuckerberg wrote. "We just missed the mark." He said that the company is planning to introduce simplified privacy settings, as well as an easy way to disable all third-party services. But Adam Ostrow, editor-in-chief of the social media blog (and ABCNews.com partner) Mashable, said that though Mark Zuckerberg's statements may recognize the recent public outcry, they don't directly address the concerns raised by Facebook's most vocal critics. He said "I think what he's done here is essentially acknowledge that there's been a lot of discussion recently about Facebook and privacy issues," said Ostrow. "But it really falls short of saying anything significant."

Rather than forcing users to opt out of sharing their personal data and friend lists with third parties, privacy advocates want Facebook not to opt them in in the first place. And that doesn't appear to be the approach the company is taking, although Mark Zuckerberg didn't provide specifics on the privacy changes being planned. It may be known that these changes have prompted the Log Out of Facebook campaign. The site QuitFacebookDay, is trying to convince users to protest the company's privacy changes by quitting Facebook en masse on May 31. So far, more than 14,000 users have committed to quitting it.  This weekend  an e-mail from Mark Zuckerberg was published in which he also acknowledged missteps. Mark Zuckerberg admitted mistakes by saying "I know we've made a bunch of mistakes, but my hope at the end of this is that the service ends up in a better place and that people understand that our intentions are in the right place and we respond to the feedback from the people we serve," Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an e-mail to Robert Scoble.

In the weeks since Facebook unveiled its latest changes, detractors have focused on the social network's strategy of pushing users toward more openness. One controversial feature instantly shared user data with some websites without the user's permission. Another feature urged users to make public previously private information about personal interests and activities. Ostrow said that Mark Zuckerberg's column today fails to address these highly debated features and it seems unlikely that Facebook intends to roll them back. He also said that users want to know what Facebook plans to do with their data, but the company has yet to provide an explanation. The latest backlash traces back to Facebook's developer conference a few weeks ago, when Mark Zuckerberg announced several changes intended to make the Web more social and personalized by expanding Facebook's presence to other sites. It may be known that on thousands of sites, including ABCNews.com, a "social plug-in" now lets users "like" content and see what their Facebook friends have liked, directly from those sites. On three sites piloting an "instant personalization" feature, a user's profile information and friend list are automatically read by the site and used to shape the user's experience. But over the past few weeks, some of those data-sharing changes have drawn criticism from users, lawmakers and privacy advocates, who argue that Facebook needs to give its more than 400 million members more control over the personal information they share on the site.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, and three other Democratic senators had even urged Facebook to reconsider its privacy changes and asked the Federal Trade Commission to create guidelines for Facebook and other social networks to follow. Several high-profile personalities in the technology community publicly announced that they were deleting or deactivating their Facebook pages in response to the social network's new privacy policy. Even regular Facebook users have also indicated their frustrations with the company's changes on protest pages across the site. For example, a Facebook page called "Petition: Facebook, respect my privacy" has attracted more than 147,000 members. More tech-savvy Facebook users have created dedicated websites intended to challenge Facebook's approach to privacy. One site, called Openbook, aggregates all public Facebook posts into one constantly updated stream and lets visitors query the site for anything of interest. The founders said the point of the site is to draw attention to the amount of information about users Facebook makes public.

It may known that prior to Mark Zuckerberg's Washington Post column, Facebook vice president of privacy Elliot Schrage took part in a Q&A with readers of the New York Times to address privacy concerns. "It's clear that despite our efforts, we are not doing a good enough job communicating the changes that we're making. Even worse, our extensive efforts to provide users greater control over what and how they share appear to be too confusing for some of our more than 400 million users. That's not acceptable or sustainable. But it's certainly fixable. You're pointing out things we need to fix," he said. "We will soon ramp up our efforts to provide better guidance to those confused about how to control sharing and maintain privacy." Lets hope that better sense prevails at the Facebook HQs and they come up with some stringent measures to take control of the privacy infringement situation.

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