An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing

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In our introduction to affiliate marketing we are taking a case study to view how an affiliate management system can boost a sites reach to customers as well as earn webmasters an extra dollar a day.

The first thing in partaking in affiliate marketing is registering with an affiliate network. There are many to choose from and commission rates of merchants registered to each network vary hugely.
To name a few of the leading affiliate networks – Affiliate Future, Affiliate Window, Commission Junction and Trade Doubler – all have a huge selection of merchants signed up and offer an array of affiliate options.

There are several ways to partake in an affiliate campaign, decide on a merchant first or to make monetise an existing site. If you choose to monetise and existing site you may find yourself in a particular niche receiving highly targeted traffic. You only problem therefore is to select appropriate merchants whose product would best suit your established audience.

To target an audience from scratch you will first have to research the sector in order to select an area that either interests you the most as the webmaster, or most likely would has the potential to make you the most money.

When identifying a sector to target you should identify and evaluate several areas. The commission rate offered by leading merchants in that sector is important to you as an affiliate, as you will want to link to sites with the most appealing product ranges in order to boost conversion. The competitiveness of the sector is also important if you are entering a market and trying to establish yourself.

Lastly you should research as much site centric data as possible including the average basket size of merchants as well as conversion rates. Most leading merchants will advertise this data in order to encourage affiliate sign ups, but it’s essential to get the biggest slice of the pie by sending visitors to sites that you can trust will convert users with good average basket values.

As one case study Oak Furniture Land are a leading merchant on both Affiliate Future and Affiliate Window. With an average shopping basket size is over £700 and 2% ecommerce conversion rate, an established audience convert high value orders due to amazing prices on coffee tables, sideboards and other hardwood furniture.

We will view next time third party affiliate management and affiliate marketing in the social sphere and how that can affect you potential earnings. This particular merchant’s affiliate program is run by Existem and direct affiliation is also an option.

Haiti Earthquake

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Haiti earthquake – the problems get worse.

Just a note of support to the millions of people suffering ring after the catastrophic Haiti earthquake earlier this month.  Charity donations are still urgently needed to support the owrk of aid agencies working at the haiti earthquake disaster zone.

I have been watching the news coverage for several days, and the Haitian people seem to be remarkably peaceful and patient given the enormity of their crisis and need. Despite the problems with roads, there should be a way to get supplies into Port Au Prince. News programmes are showing doctors operating with rusted saws – at least the doctors are being resourceful and helping the people, but after this many days, there should be more organized help for these people affected by the earthquake in Haiti.

Dubai Flights of Fancy – Dunes, Balloons and Skid Marks

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Flights to Dubai Desert Experiences

Bonkers Dubai is like no other city on earth. Sprouting from the desert, it boasts the tallest, biggest, fastest and largest of just about everything – flashy.

Dubai is fast becoming a popular destination for travellers – both Dubai and Abu Dhabi Airport are major international hubs – and holiday makeres who find cheap flights to Dubai allow them to explore this crazy town

Float above Dubai in a hot air balloon

If you start to feel blasé about Dubai’s extraordinary architecture, it could be time to escape the city and see the dramatic desert landscapes that surround it. One of the most exciting ways to see the desert is to take a sunrise trip in a hot air balloon. The tropical cityscape lies in one direction, and the rugged Hajj mountains in the other, with desert stretching as far as the eye can see.

Bash some dunes

If heights aren’t your thing and hot air ballooning is out, give dune bashing a try. This desert safari experience involves riding the sand dunes in a 4×4 vehicle, often with other activities included in the package, such as a camel ride, an evening barbecue, and belly dancing performances. There are heaps of tour companies in Dubai offering dune bashing safaris, so they’re easy to arrange for individuals or groups. Not for those who get car sick easily!

Live your Formula 1 racing dream

If you’ve ever played the latest Xbox 360 and PS3 games and dreamed of climbing into a F1-style single seater, and getting strapped in to drive on a race track, get yourself down to  Dubai Autodrome’s Race & Drive Centre. Wings, slick racing tyres and the roar of 180 BHP: you get to drive a high performance racing car and learn advanced driving techniques from an experienced instructor who acts as your co-driver. Fast and fun.

Educational Toys and Charity Christmas Cards

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Charity Christmas Cards

Christmas shopping has begun early for the Shelf the aim is to have all cards and presents ready to send the moment there is a window of postal opportunity. This years cards shall be selected from the wonderful charity christmas cards offered by organisations who hope to provide relief natural disasters around the world.

Educational Toys

It may just be that I’m in a particularly bad mood, having been into the toy department of a noted High Street chain store (are we allowed to mention brand names?) to find shelves labelled ‘Boys’ Toys’ and ‘Girls’ Toys’, where the boys’ toys were Lego, dig-your-own-dinosaur kits and generally anything constructive, educational or interesting, while the girls’ toys were, without exception, pink and sparkly, and were concerned with personal appearance and/or celebrity, but I find this actually offensive (it’s tomorrow, and I’m still cross).

Open a savings account with Fish Bank

One marvelous educational toy to get both boys and girls learning about money is the Fish Bank – a perfect way to get the kids to start a savings account

Quirky and interactive, fish bank creatively rewards your saving with cool animations each time you deposit a coin. Able to recognise all sterling coins, it automatically keeps track of the total amount of money deposited and you can even set a savings account goal to reach so when the goal is met there is a payoff.

Charity Gifts for Children?

The popularity of charity gifts may encourage you to choose something for a child.  With the bes intentions at heart we would warn to tread carefully.

I don’t think a present of a goat for a child as a present at all. As for myself I certainly would not appreciate getting a goat. Am I the only one who feels this way – or have I missed the point?

Model Dresses Get a Dressing Down

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Following our discussion about food hampers for gifts to aid agencies we thought that a quick look at the changes in dress size would be revealing -

Dresses for models wont suit everyone

During the research it became apparant that dresses modeled in today’s fashion shows are unlikely to reach the high streets as they are designed with classic model figures in mind – giving rise to the debate about how a model looks and dresses.

Its true, current trends in fashion & the media in general encourage eating disorders and cause people to be unhappy with their bodies.

However it also true that more people suffer complications & death due to a poor diet & obesity than due to anorexia & bulemia.

Hold the fashion industry to answer for its crimes by all means, but lets not lose sight of the fact that its eating too much which is really doing the damage.

Most people object to unhealthy models, I don’t think you’ll find a huge amount of people who are saying thin people should be replaced by fat people on catwalks. Just that the models should be healthy, as much for their own sake as anyone elses.

Pouting/scowling, wafer-thin models, especially enhanced with dodgy Photoshop jobs, give the dresses they wear and air of sophistication that most cannot achieve

Then again, the excuse is that fashion isn’t about “real people” at all – it’s about designers topping each other’s efforts at outfits, and the industry wants skeletal models because they have the least impact on the shape of the clothing – especially dresses and lingerie. Society would be better off if we collectively admitted that the catwalk has limited, if any, relevance to the real world or the shapes of everyday people and accepted it as the form of performance art it is.

Personally, I think the gossip magazines’ “look at the flab!” celebrity compromise photos are more damaging, as they’re using dodgy angles or places where nearly everybody on this Earth has a little puppy fat to pretend that people on the thin side of average are “shockingly obese”. This can’t help anyone with low self-esteem who ends up reading such things and worrying about the dresses they should wear. Does nobody realise that humans have survived to this point because we’re able to store some food about our bodies in case of starvation?

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