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Jerod Morris: Welcome, everybody, to the first episode of The Digital Entrepreneur. I am Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital and a digital entrepreneur myself, and I’m excited to be joined today by a name and a voice that you know well, serial digital entrepreneur Brian Clark, the founder and CEO of Rainmaker Digital. Brian, how do you like the new digs here at The Digital Entrepreneur?

Imagine how you would feel if you opened your business on that first day... and nobody came. Unfortunately, that's the way it is on the web. There are millions, if not billions, of websites, all competing for people's attention. A great looking, dynamic website doesn't mean a whole lot if your customers don't know about it. Through techniques like search engine optimization, blog writing, and pay-per-click advertising, your website now has the tools to push its way past the distractions and in front of your potential customers.


“Think of this as the way you promote advertisers on your site, or your general business model. Advertisers may view, sort, and download publishers by their classification,” reads its website. “In the world of affiliate marketing, an advertiser can be a company selling a product like electronics, airline tickets, clothing or car parts, or an advertiser could also be an insurance company selling policies. The most important thing to remember is that you are an advertiser if you are ready to pay other people to help you sell and promote your business.”
Merchants receiving a large percentage of their revenue from the affiliate channel can become reliant on their affiliate partners. This can lead to affiliate marketers leveraging their important status to receive higher commissions and better deals with their advertisers. Whether it’s CPA, CPL, or CPC commission structures, there are a lot of high paying affiliate programs and affiliate marketers are in the driver’s seat.
Email marketing - Email marketing in comparison to other forms of digital marketing is considered cheap; it is also a way to rapidly communicate a message such as their value proposition to existing or potential customers. Yet this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be bothersome and irritating especially to new or potential customers, therefore the success of email marketing is reliant on the language and visual appeal applied. In terms of visual appeal, there are indications that using graphics/visuals that are relevant to the message which is attempting to be sent, yet less visual graphics to be applied with initial emails are more effective in-turn creating a relatively personal feel to the email. In terms of language, the style is the main factor in determining how captivating the email is. Using casual tone invokes a warmer and gentle and inviting feel to the email in comparison to a formal style. For combinations; it's suggested that to maximize effectiveness; using no graphics/visual alongside casual language. In contrast using no visual appeal and a formal language style is seen as the least effective method.[48]
At its core, affiliate marketing is an online referral program where merchants pay commissions to publishers on sales generated by customers they’ve referred. The merchant can be an online retailer like eBay, or a service provider. Individuals and companies referring the traffic are called publishers, or affiliates, who publish content on the web promoting the merchant’s offerings. Customers are the people that click on the promoted content and make a purchase or complete a specified action. Payment is typically in the form of commission, but sometimes merchants offer a flat rate for a specific action, or a bonus for a type of visitor. EPN offers both commissions and bonuses.
Freelancing — I mentioned contracting as a virtual assistant for a multi-VA firm above, but you can also these services – and others – directly to clients. Freelance jobs include things like web design, bookkeeping, social media management, and being a virtual assistant. Even if you don’t think you have marketable skills, all it takes is a conversation with someone about what you know how to do, and you’ve got the potential for a freelance business. Plus, you can always deep-dive into something that interests you (Facebook ads, landing page design, marketing on Pinterest, podcast production, and more) and specialize in that area.
Now, going back to our geeky extrapolations about virtual reality, there is no doubt in your mind, right, Jerod, that if you put on that clunky helmet, that you are there having this virtual-reality experience. Weren’t you the one who told me that there are some simulations where they tried to get people to walk off a cliff, and they could not do it because their brain just said, “No, I can’t do that”?
In February 2000, Amazon announced that it had been granted a patent[18] on components of an affiliate program. The patent application was submitted in June 1997, which predates most affiliate programs, but not PC Flowers & Gifts.com (October 1994), AutoWeb.com (October 1995), Kbkids.com/BrainPlay.com (January 1996), EPage (April 1996), and several others.[13] 
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