Monday, 10 May 2010

Establish an Online Presence - SEO, Social Media, & Affiliate Marketing Networks

Today's guest article comes from the Internet Master of Affiliate Marketing, Mike Filsaime! Mike says:

With over 6 billion people connected to the Internet worldwide, it is no surprise that anything can be found on the Internet. In fact, if you wish to make it in this new e-commerce world, you will need a solid online presence. This means integrating good SEO tactics, social media efforts and developing affiliate marketing networks. It is the only way to get yourself seen by both consumers and affiliates.

Basics of SEO
You could spend years studying SEO and never understand it all. Search engine optimization is constantly changing as search engines constantly change their requirements. Every time search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing make changes, someone comes along and tries to cheat. In turn, this causes the search engines to change their strategy again.

However, some basic SEO techniques are completely white hat and never go out of style.

Original Content - Instead of wasting time figuring out ways to cheat the system, focus on creating original content. Even if you beat the search engines, real people will want to read new stuff.
Quality - Along with original content, you will want quality writing. While the search engines may not recognize the difference, people do. High quality content will keep people coming back.
Continuous - Search engines and people like pages that are updated frequently. At the very least, you need to provide fresh content once a week. Ideally, you will want to provide content on 5 days a week.

Basics of Social Media
There was a time when businesses did not have a presence online and when they did, it was just a website. Now people want and expect businesses to have a social media presence as well. This could be places like Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter. The idea is to give people a place to find out what is happening and to provide feedback.

A social media site should include:

Promotional Information
New product descriptions
Polls/Surveys of potential products
Exclusive deals, coupons or offers

Basics of Affiliate Marketing Networks
Affiliates are a great way to promote your product. They can drive traffic to your site and increase sales. You can use both SEO techniques and social media outlets to attract potential affiliates.

An affiliate marketing system will need:

Tax records - You need the complete tax information on every affiliate you accept before you send out any payments. At the end of the year, you will be required to send out tax documentation to these people and to the IRS. Without the proper forms, you will find yourself paying taxes for your affiliates.
Promotions - While not always a requirement, many people have prizes, bonus and other rewards for their top affiliates. Again, you will need a system to track any promotional items given away. If you fail to track these items, you will have to pay taxes on these prizes.
Tracking ROI - ROI is one of the most important things you will have to deal with. Whether you outsource this or do it yourself, you will need to find some way to track your success in SEO, social media, and affiliates. This way you can determine what is working and what needs to be fixed.

Would you like have a service for your online business that tracks all W9 and 1099 information for your tax records on files? Try this free service for online business owners that requires payees to fill out a tax profile, visit to keep your business away from tax nightmares and raising flags with the IRS.

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