Newsletter 12/26/13

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Affiliate Marketing Program

5 Recession Proof Affiliate Opportunities

The world is experiencing unique economic times.  A weak US dollar, over extended world economies are creating challenges for many.

During uncertainty people hold back on spending on large tickets and luxury items but if you look carefully, you can find affiliate opportunities you can incorporate into your portfolio that can augment your revenues.

Fortunately for most affiliate marketers, making the move from recession-proof affiliate products that consumer’s use, regardless of their economic status, is fairly simple.

So, if your affiliate commissions have been falling off of late, here are a number of recession-proof product and service suggestions for your consideration.

1. Tax Preparation and Filing Services
It’s that time of year again – Tax Time.
Several IRS authorized merchants can be found at Commission Junction (affiliate portal), including TurboTax, H&R Block and QuickTax, the latter of which pays a 30% commission on all their products, including a premium tax preparation service which costs $69.95.

2. Education and Workforce Training
People who are unemployed or underemployed are looking for ways to sharpen up their workforce skills.  Adults are starting new businesses at a record pace and need to learn new business skills.  Many individuals are looking at continuing education (CEU) courses,Affiliate-Marketing-Opportunitycareer changes or online self-paced business and internet marketing course.  Some companies that offer affiliate programs are and (affiliate program).

3. Business Opportunities
Employed and Unemployed people are actively creating a Plan B.  In the U.S alone, 29 million adults are either starting or are running new businesses.  These new business owners need training, instructional information products in the form of e-books, podcasts, webinars and conferences to new entrepreneurs; to mention a few.

Almost every business needs business cards, office supplies and computer equipment: to mention a few.  Check out Commission Junction to see which merchants will be right for your business.

4. Job Search
Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of jobs out there but there is a lot of people searching for them.  Join and affiliate program and direct your visitors to their sites.

5. Resume Services
Job seekers need to have their resumes updated. Some services, such as pays commissions of 12.5% to 25% and their resume writing package prices top out at $357.90 for executive level positions.

While the affiliate programs above do not represent all of the opportunities out there waiting for affiliate marketers, it does demonstrate that even in bad times – we can thrive but one must be open-minded, perceptive and swift.

To my affiliate partners out there – get out there and prosper in 2013!

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10 Things I Know About …. Building Your Business Online

A website might not be the right strategy for your business.  There are many affordable ways to build your business online. Website alternatives include: a blogs, landing pages, local directory listings, facebook fan pages or groups, Twitter account, LinkedIn, Flickr and Pinterest; to mention a few.

Business owners need to market their companies online but most have no idea where to begin. They need simple step-by-step “how-to” instructions in order to achieve results. Find educational programs that walk you through the “how-tos” of online marketing quickly and correctly.

Early adopters website, more often than not, lack fundamental web navigation strategies. Poor navigation results in unhappy customers.  Unhappy customers result in lost sales.

You need to research what your competitors are doing on the Internet.  If you don’t know “how-to” assess your competitors’ websites, backlinks, keywords, or social media marketing strategy, find someone that does.  Understanding your components game plan will help you grow your business online.

If you have or plan to development a web presence, you need to have a strong WHAT.  WHAT is the purpose of my web presence?  Once you’ve determined the WHAT, you can then develop a strong website schema and marketing plan.

To understand if your website is bringing you business, you need to understand where you’ve been, where you are and where you want to go.  Website analytics are a must-have to help you evaluate if your website presence is working for your business.

Congratulations you have a website. Now you need to build your Internet marketing plan so you can generate traffic to your site.

Social media is not going away. More than likely, you don’t need to have a presence in all of the social media networks but you need to select one or two outlets that target you audience and do a good job in that network.

If you don’t understand organic search engine optimization, you will struggle with developing a strong online presence for your website, social media marketing and localization strategy.

Establishing a strong web presence requires a plan.  It is integral part of your company business development strategy. You need a measurable plan if you want to build your business online.

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A Big Idea for Small Businesses

Shop Small.  A Big Idea for Local Small Businesses

Reserve some of your Black Friday budget for the Second Annual Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses are the backbone in this country. By shopping small this holiday season, you can help support your local businesses.

Shop small can helps in a big way!   Here are 10 gift-giving ideas for Shopping Small this holiday season.

  • Gym membership – an appropriate gift for all ages!
  • Gift of personal pamper – gift your family and friends a manicure, pedicure, body massage, hair stylist or barber visit, the mention a few.
  • Gift certificate to a local restaurant
  • Car care gift certificates for gas, oil changes or a car detailed.  I could use one of these!
  • A box of sweets from your local bakery – YUM!
  • Visit your local crafts artisan and buy a scarf, pottery, jewelry, a beautiful wooden box, a painting.
  • A ticket to see a local musician or band.
  • A ticket to see a movie in your hometown theater.
  • Clothing or jewelry from a local specialty shop.
  • A donation made in honor of a loved one to your local food bank.

Shop Small shares eMarketing4us’s mission to help small businesses grow.

Get out there this holiday season and shop differently by supporting your local businesses.

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Google Plus

Known as Google Plus, and often abbreviated as Google+, this new social media platform is definitely a platform that entrepreneurs and business owners need to carefully monitor.


Check out this video to learn more!

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How to: Create Google Alerts to “Follow” Interesting Topics

“Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Enter the topic you wish to monitor, then click preview to see the type of results you’ll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

  • monitoring a developing news story
  • keeping current on a competitor or industry
  • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
  • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams”   (Google)

To create your Google Alerts, follow these steps:

1. Visit

You will see a page that looks like this:

2. Enter the term you would like to receive alerts about. Ex: Small Business News

3. Choose the type of alert you would like to receive. For example, you may select news,  blogs, discussion, etc.

4. Decide the volume of messages you would like to receive. How frequently would you like an email notification?

5. Lastly, select the email address where you would like to receive alerts.

These settings can be edited any time by simply visiting the Google alerts page above and managing preferences.

image credit: warrentedarrest

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Facebook Tips for Small Businesses!

8 Tips for an Effective Facebook Page for Your Small Business

  1. Create a fan page, not a personal page for your profile. – Keep personal and business pages separate. For professional purposes, keep personal matters private.
  2. Create a simple and memorable URL – A URL with the company name, or part of the company name will be the best option when creating the URL. Once the URL is created, it cannot be changed, so proceed with caution and be sure it is exactly what you want.
  3. Monitor and respond frequently – Fans appreciate a response when they take the time to post on your page. Be sure to take the time to respond as frequently as possible.
  4. Don’t “over-do it” with the posts – Too many posts in a short period of time will surely turn users away.  Regulate how many status updates are being posted each day. Think of yourself as a customer; how much is too much?
  5. Ask for feedback – Followers are more likely to respond if you ask a specific question or if they know you are looking for their input. Rather than share an article, ask for some opinions.
  6. Use your page to share success stories and achievements – Readers want to see the company doing well.
  7. Remember to have some fun – Be sure to post some “fun” posts to keep readers excited. Some quotes, trivia facts, or trending topics will interest readers.
  8. Track your progress – Notice changes in fans. If you are gaining fans, look into who they are and how they may have heard of you. If you’re losing fans, look into who and why.

Facebook can be an extremely effective tool to market your small business. eMarketing4us offers an online course designed for small business to improve their Facebook marketing strategy. To learn more, visit us at

photo credit: marcopako

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A Big Tax Victory for Small Businesses!

Buried in the Health Care bill was a provision that all businesses be required to issue a 1099 to any and all companies and individuals hired and paid more than $600 for goods or services.   The passing of this bill would have been an accounting nightmare for small businesses desperately trying to sustain and grow their business in the aftermath of the Wall Street debacle.

As a small business owner, I hope that this repeal marks the beginning of many successful tax reforms associated with the small business sector.

Small businesses, although struggling, continue to be the backbone of the US economy.  What small businesses need from our Legislators are tax incentives that reward entrepreneurs when we put people back to work and to remove administrative roadblocks that take us away from doing what we need to focus on right now  — growing our businesses.

Photo courtesy of: Alan Cleaver
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Fun Facts Trivia

  • Originally, my site was closed to Ivy League colleges
  • I am a privately held company
  • Users can add people as friends, send them messages and/or provide them with updates on their status
  • My site is controversial and blocked in Syria, China, Vietnam and Iran
  • I have more than 500 million active users
  • 50% of my active users log on to my site in a day
  • My active users have an average of 130 friends
  • People interact with over 900 million objects
  • People share over 30 billion pieces of content each month
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on my site
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups or events
  • More than 70% of my users are outside the US
  • I was founded by Harvard students’ in February 2004

(reverse the letters to find out)



Photo courtesy of Asthma Helper

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4 Tips For Entrepreneurs

1. Don’t quit your day job too soon to be an entrepreneur.

Remember, success isn’t going to happen over night. It may take a while to get going. So, as Amy Drinnon, a successful entrepreneur, suggests, start with what you can manage, financially and time-wise, and scale up as your business grows.   While you are gradually growing your business, educate yourself.   Too often, small businesses run out and get a website developed only to find out later it is a throw away version.   Save time and money by educating yourself. EMarketing4us offers a course, “What you need to know before you build a website”, to help you do just that.

2. Find your niche as an entrepreneur.

This will be key to the success of your business. You can’t do everything for everyone, so find what you can. Nowadays, consumers want specialized products or services, so use that to your advantage.

3. Have an Online Presence.

This is where eMarketing4us can help you! The internet plays a valuable role in every company. “Having an online presence eliminates the limitations of physical location and broadens your customer base by, literally, millions. It’s also a great tool for promoting yourself and letting people, even in your own area, know that you’re there, and what you’re doing.” eMarketing4us offers online classes to help you create a unique and imperative online presence for your small business!

4. Refuse to Quit.

“Just keep swimming; just keep swimming!” Some of the greatest businesses existing today weren’t instant successes. Determination, drive and desire, the three D’s, set apart successful entrepreneurs and unsuccessful entrepreneurs. It’s not a sprint; it’s a marathon!

Use eMarketing4us’ Free Website Grader to get a baseline on how your website is performing.  Use this tool to help you monitor and enhance your business practices to develop a stronger presence on the web.
image source: by Leithcote (Anthony Oliver)
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