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?
During my time in Chile, I was inspired by the book The Startup of You by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. The book basically argues that to succeed in a rapidly changing world and fiercely competitive global economy we all need to develop entrepreneurial traits and treat our careers like a startup. I think this is excellent advice as the new career trajectory seems to include a mix of salaried employment and project-based contract work. 

Have a plan — As an affiliate, you aren’t entirely responsible for the sales of this company, but you are responsible for the success of your affiliation with that company. If you want to do well, prepare. Have a professional-grade website. One consumers trust with their contact information. Have a strategy for the content you produce and how you promote posts or products. 

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]
During my time in Chile, I was inspired by the book The Startup of You by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. The book basically argues that to succeed in a rapidly changing world and fiercely competitive global economy we all need to develop entrepreneurial traits and treat our careers like a startup. I think this is excellent advice as the new career trajectory seems to include a mix of salaried employment and project-based contract work.
If you’re not an expert in digital and internet marketing, ask someone who is. There are hundreds of internet marketing coaches and consultants available to you, many of whom can give you a consultation about what you should change to see success. For small business owners who need to focus on other business systems, a coach or consultant can be extremely helpful.

I started a blog which I plan to monetize only through affiliate marketing and my own products, no ads. I’ve been working on building an audience for my blog, for about 1 year and a half, many people think is maybe too much time, but I just want to make sure that I build enough trust with my readers before I start to try to make them buy something.


In April 2008 the State of New York inserted an item in the state budget asserting sales tax jurisdiction over Amazon.com sales to residents of New York, based on the existence of affiliate links from New York–based websites to Amazon.[45] The state asserts that even one such affiliate constitutes Amazon having a business presence in the state, and is sufficient to allow New York to tax all Amazon sales to state residents. Amazon challenged the amendment and lost at the trial level in January 2009. The case is currently making its way through the New York appeals courts.
The flip side of that being too broad is the way we talk about digital commerce, we really are trying to limit it and delineate away from e-commerce or physical products by talking about products and services that literally exist online. They’re marketed, sold, delivered, supported–everything is basically a digital-environment transaction. There’s a range here of stuff that qualifies as that.
Also known as a publisher, the affiliate can be either an individual or a company that markets the seller’s product in an appealing way to potential consumers. In other words, the affiliate promotes the product to persuade consumers that it is valuable or beneficial to them and convince them to purchase the product. If the consumer does end up buying the product, the affiliate receives a portion of the revenue made.

Facebook and other social media networks have made micro-interactions extremely popular. Users love the ability to contribute a variety of reactions to posts and private messages, from the traditional “liking” of posts, all the way to a flurry of animated hearts you witness when you share the love in private Facebook messages. These micro-interactions allow the user to interact with others without reloading the page.
Technological advancements in this new industry have created an accelerated environment, where what was true last month may not remain true in the next. We know that the future of the industry is heading towards hyperconnectivity, hyper-focused marketing, and hyper-relevant content, and as we bear witness over the next 30 years of THE GRAND DIGITAL MARKETING CONVERGENCE, we will see many changes in the definition of what it means to be a marketer, designer, SEO consultant, media buyer, social media manager and countless other job titles commonly associated with this industry.

Internet Marketing Inc. is one of the fastest growing full service Internet marketing agencies in the country with offices in San Diego, and Las Vegas. We specialize in providing results driven integrated online marketing solutions for medium-sized and enterprise brands across the globe. Companies come to us because our team of well-respected industry experts has the talent and creativity to provide your business with a more sophisticated data-driven approach to digital marketing strategy. IMI works with some clients through IMI Ventures, and their first product is VitaCup.
Despite its older origins, email marketing is still a viable source of affiliate marketing income. Some affiliates have email lists they can use to promote the seller’s products. Others may leverage email newsletters that include hyperlinks to products, earning a commission after the consumer purchases the product. Another method is for the affiliate to cultivate email lists over time. They use their various campaigns to collect emails en masse, then send out emails regarding the products they are promoting.

Every website on the Internet needs a graphic designer in order to look professional and unique. Whether you have graphic design experience or you’re just starting out, there are opportunities available for you to demonstrate and hone your design skills. Create your own website and use it as a platform to showcase your work. You can also look for work on freelance websites to get additional work experience on your resume.


Scrolled animation triggers encourage users to keep scrolling down your website pages with specifically triggered interactive elements that increase engagement. Here’s one great example of scroll triggered animation from Apple. These animation triggers are nothing new, but they have begun to be used in a new way. The best scroll triggered animations are minimalist, educational and strategic, designed to increase conversions.

Two-tier programs exist in the minority of affiliate programs; most are simply one-tier. Referral programs beyond two-tier resemble multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing but are different: Multi-level marketing (MLM) or network marketing associations tend to have more complex commission requirements/qualifications than standard affiliate programs.[citation needed]
With website builders, you get what you pay for. While they have plenty of free templates, more professional-looking websites will always cost more money. However, this investment could be worth it, especially as a website is one of the few startup costs for affiliate marketers. The social media profiles you develop are dependent on your niche and target market.

The problem with affiliate marketing, like many other home business options, are the so-called gurus and get-rich-quick programs that suggest affiliate marketing can be done fast and with little effort. Odds are you've read claims of affiliate marketing programs that say you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing almost nothing ("Three clicks to rich!"). Or, they suggest you can set up your affiliate site, and then forget it, except to check your bank deposits.


If we look at Facebook again, what strikes us most is how the company is adapting in order to accomplish its goals. As a result of shifting user behaviour and needs, which are reflected in mountains of complex data available only to Facebook big data scientists, we see constant updates and changes, news feed tweaks, and a fast growing number of ways to advertise.


Providing general to specific knowledge about a product or service can make or break a sale. Everyone will try to sell but, the most convincing argument is probably the most informative. Most people associate the level of expertise with quantity and quality of verifiable knowledge, it instills confidence in consumers. This strategy is consonant, now more than ever, with SEO, websites with more content receive higher rankings, because people spend more time on them, in addition, to the word tag frequency.
In the BigCommerce affiliate program, you receive a 200% bounty per referral and $1,500 per Enterprise referral, with no cap on commissions. Plus, the more referrals you drive through the program, the higher your commission tier will go. BigCommerce uses an industry leading 90-day cookie, so you will receive credit for up to three months for the referrals you generate. Also, there are no obligations or minimum commitments to join the program.
Retargeting is another way that we can close the conversion loop and capitalize on the traffic gained from the overall marketing campaign. Retargeting is a very powerful display advertising tool to keep your brand top of mind and keep them coming back. We track every single touch point up to the ultimate conversions and use that data to make actionable recommendations for further campaign optimization.
Brian Clark: Yeah, so no one would argue that isn’t a viable experience. Yet we hear the buzz terminology applied that ‘your website has to be an experience.’ Of course, all websites are an experience, but are they one that’s transformative? Are they one that provides value in a unique and evocative way that’s also helping you meet your business objectives?

Let’s say that you’re running a company that specializes in shoes. Your customer base knows that you’re a shoe expert but also values your input on other high quality products — like handbags. Maybe your customers have asked you about handbags, and you find yourself recommending the same options over and over again. As a shoe vendor, you’re acting as a marketer for the handbag company.


Since you’re essentially a freelancer, you get ultimate independence in setting your own goals, redirecting your path when you feel so inclined, choosing the products that interest you, and even determining your own hours. This convenience means you can diversify your portfolio if you like or focus solely on simple and straightforward campaigns. You’ll also be free from company restrictions and regulations as well as ill-performing teams.
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