How to (ethically) make money using affiliate marketing on your website or blog.

5 Steps to Monetize Your Blog With Affiliate Marketing

You’ve established your blog as an authoritative leader on a specific subject matter and developed a strong online persona.

Your content informs and entertains readers and provides value.

Since your loyal readers trust your voice, they’ll trust your product and service recommendations.

Affiliate marketing can monetize your site while still maintaining content integrity. You earn commission by promoting a brand’s product or services on your site and driving buyers to that brand.

Follow these steps while you embark on affiliate marketing and advertising:

Partner with Relevant Affiliate Programs

The more an affiliate ad relates to your content, the more likely a reader will click on it. When a site visitor clicks on the ad to sign up for something or make a purchase, you get paid. Novice bloggers on the road to monetization should start with Amazon Associates, recommends Mashable. Amazon commissions can range between 4 and 15 percent. Pro Blogger highlights the affiliate programs LinkShare, Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Google Affiliate Network.

Invest in Affiliate Aggregator Service

VigLink connects to more than 30,000 affiliate programs and …

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Content Hacks eBook

Content Marketing Hacks – 34 Time-Saving Tips and Tools

No time for content? Let’s hack it!

We understand. Creating high-quality content on a consistent basis is incredibly time-consuming. But if we want to keep the traffic and leads coming in, we have to keep creating more and more!

Sometimes it isn’t about the time. It mighbe be that your company currently lacks the as the resources and people-power to get it done. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for you!

To help make your marketing life a little easier, we present a collaborative eBook from us, HubSpot, and a bunch of smart marketers. We all shared our favorite “secret content weapon” tips. Those tips that help us out when:

We can’t think of what to write We can’t come up with a killer title We need to come up with great content fast Our design mojo left the office at noon.

From planning and writing to designing and more, you’ll learn what the pros use to make the most of their time with topics such as:

“Turn client questions into content topics.” (#2) “Beat writer’s block with …

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Who owns that blog post? The Writer? The agency?

Content Ownership – Who Owns That Blog Post?

As an agency, you pay for content to promote your business (smart move). Once you pay for it, you assume it’s yours and it will not be resold or republished by the writer. You probably never gave it another thought.

As a writer, you pour your heart into the best blog post EVER. Your company or client publishes it on their blog with your byline, maybe even with your photo, and pays you for it. Maybe you add it to your LinkedIn publications or share a link to it on Twitter. Maybe not.

But, who owns it now? What happens when an employer supplies content to other companies? Can they claim the content as their own? And, who SHOULD own it?

As someone on both sides of the issue (I’m a writer for a business I co-own and I hire writers to supply content to our clients), this is of interest to me, though it’s never been a matter of contention with our awesome writers or my fabulous business partner.

In fact, one of my writers asked me if it …

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Why does my pharmacy need a blog? I'm a busy pharmacist!

Why Do I Have to Blog for my Pharmacy?

“I just want to start utilizing social media to promote my business. Why are you telling me I need to blog, too?” — Sincerely, Your Neighborhood Pharmacist.

We understand. Not everyone is a writer, and blogging does take a considerable amount of time and/or money, one or both of which might be in short supply! Then there’s the matter of what you should write about (do people really want to read about the latest prescription drugs? vaccinations? studies?). No wonder people want to skip right to the seemingly simple process of posting on social media and watching the customers beat down the doors! But trust me, it’s worth it.

Blogging Brings More Visitors to your Website

Companies with active blogs have 55% more website visitors than those not blogging (HubSpot).  Why would that be? Search engines love good, fresh content. Use the right keywords and target the right buyers, and you will see your search engine rankings improve over time without having to shell out thousands every month for Adwords or other PPC. Your outstanding content may …

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Blogging ROI - Five Metrics to Watch and Five Adjustments to Make

Measure and Improve the ROI of Your Business Blog in Five Easy Moves

Who should read this: Business bloggers or business owners investing in blogging who are not sure it is worth the investment, anyone who wants better results from their blogging, or anyone considering blogging but wondering if there is any way to know if it is producing the ROI they expect.

You’ve embraced blogging and are doing a great job writing quality content on a regular basis. You’re starting to generate some more traffic and even a few leads, but you’re still not sure if it’s worth all the time, effort, and money you’re spending. If you need some help figuring out what to measure and how to improve the numbers you see, you’ve come to the right place.

Measuring your business blog is a great way to identify ways to improve its performance. If the primary goal of your business blog is to generate leads, for example, you’ll want to gauge how well it’s generating leads today and discover which articles and specific tactics are particularly working toward achieving that goal.

Once you can identify the key factors that make …

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CMS infographic

Which is the Best CMS in 2013?

When I started creating websites back in 2000, I wrote most of my code in DreamWeaver. CSS was pretty new, and lots of people were still designing with (horror of horrors) tables.

That was back in the dark ages, before Content Management Systems (CMS) made it possible to organize a website from a central online location. Suddenly, people with no more technical ability than is required to edit a Word document can write, edit and publish gorgeous, SEO-optimized website content without calling their website designer!

So Many Choices in CMS

There are dozens, and maybe even hundreds of content management systems, but I’ve never seen the need to use any other than WordPress unless the site was heavy on ecommerce.  Its simplicity (you can have a site up and running in minutes), easy of use, great SEO setup, thousands of themes and plugins (lots are free), and enormous user-supported forums make it perfect for us and many of our clients. I’ve even moved clients from Joomla or static html sites to WordPress with excellent results.  Now we won’t …

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Measure the success of your website with #analytics - Don't play pin the tail on the donkey with your marketing!

Measure and Improve the Success of Your Website with Analytics – It’s Easy!

If you’re not using analytics to measure your website’s success and to inform your online marketing strategy, you’re playing the online marketing version of pin the tail on the donkey – aimlessly drifting about, hoping something will stick, and in the right place! Everything you do, everywhere on the web, should be with the aim of driving visitors to your website and landing pages. To that end, it’s time to get comfortable with analytics.

If your website isn’t already using Google Analytics, HubSpot, or some other software to measure your results, get in touch with your website manager and ask them to set it up before you go any further. All set? Good.

What do all those Numbers Mean?

It can be tempting to just pick one number, maybe unique visitors or pageviews and just compare that month to month. However, if you do that you’re missing out on a lot of valuable data that can help you see how you’re doing and, even more importantly, how to improve. Let’s look at eight major metrics, what to aim for, what they …

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don't make these blogger mistakes

Facebook – Five Mistakes Bloggers Make

Everyone knows the importance of using Facebook to help promote blogs. But when you are first starting out, it’s good to be aware of some potentially damaging mistakes BEFORE you make them.

Not Setting Up a Facebook Business Page for Your Blog

If you have a business blog and you wish to promote it on Facebook, you must have a Facebook Page dedicated to it.  Using a personal profile for your business can cause you to get shut down.

Facebook pages also give you added functionality. Use them to create special landing pages and promote freebies and contests when you use third-party apps (only available for pages). Pages also have access to insights (analytics) not available to personal profiles. If you have been using your personal profile mainly for your business, you can convert it to a page, which allows you to keep your “friends” as “likes”.

Not Sharing the Content of Others

Many beginner bloggers post Facebook status updates …

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Social Media Content – Why Quality Matters

Some say “content is king” when marketing your business. We say QUALITY content is king. Whether you’re blogging, updating a status, or tweeting for your business – what you share matters. So often when people don’t get the engagement they want from social media marketing, the problem lies with their quality of their content.

Just like most things in life, much of your social media marketing ROI is dependent on what you put into it. In this case, we mean the quality and consistency of the content used in particular. Here are a few areas every business owner should evaluate from time to time to keep quality in their content.

Tips to Evaluate Your Social Content

Is Your Content Consistent? This is a big one. Higher engagement results when fans can depend on your content. You should post to social media platforms at least once a day. In fact, many companies find improved benefit in posting multiple times a day. This will help establish your company’s presence and credibility. Insider Time-Saver Tip: Use Buffer or

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copyright infringement

Image Copyright Infringement – Part of the Template?

So, you followed the rules and think you did everything right, but suddenly you have a letter from Getty Images or other owner of image copyrights demanding payment for images you used without permission.  Wait!  What?

You’re not the first, and you won’t be the last.  Here’s what may have happened.  You, or your website designer may have used a purchased template for your website. No harm in that – no sense reinventing the wheel!  However, if you didn’t read the fine print, or your template provider failed to reveal that:

“All images used in our website templates are copyrighted by their respective owners and are subject to limited use. You do not have rights to reuse the images in their modified or present forms anywhere else including other templates or websites.”  (DreamsTime), you could be in trouble.

How do they know I’ve used a copyrighted image?

Reportedly, they use programs such as Picscout Image Tracker which show where their images appear online. Interestingly, that company also offers a service that gets people in touch with …

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