An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing For Beginners

As the global economic situation continues to deteriorate, more and more people are beginning to look to the internet, seeking a way to make themselves a little extra income. There are many possible ways to make money on-line; arguably the most established form is through affiliate marketing.

Most people wrongly assume that affiliate marketing is a new buzz phrases cooked up by internet users, which is entirely incorrect. Affiliate marketing has been around for a long time, anyone who is familiar with the concept of commissioned based sales will already understand what affiliate marketing is all about.

o Definition of affiliate marketing – Quite simply, affiliate marketing deals with the promotion of a third party product, in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds from any successful sales. In the past these sales would have been tracked on paper, the internet changed all that. Modern affiliate marketers have very little involvement in the allocation and payment of contracts, as everything is now automated. Instead they are free to spend their time on the actual marketing of the affiliate products.

o Choosing a program – The most common way that an internet marketer will attempt to generate an income stream through affiliate marketing is very straightforward. They will sign up with one of the major affiliate product networks, the most prominent being ClickBank. Once they have an account set up they will try to find suitable products that they can market, from within the affiliate network. Once they have located a product that they feel would be successful, they will begin the marketing process.

o Marketing process -The marketing process can consist of either paid forms of advertising such as PPC (Pay Per Click), or it can consist of free forms of advertising, such as writing articles and publishing them to large article directories. The article contains a tracking link to an affiliate product, anyone reading the article may be likely to click on the link, and hopefully make a purchase.

o Website created – Quite often the affiliate marketer will actually create and operate a website, which will be used to attract visitors. Upon the website the affiliate marketer will place advertisements and offers for a range of affiliate products. Once again, when a visitor clicks on a banner or a text link, and proceeds to purchase the product, the site owner will receive commission from the sale.

Overall, affiliate marketing is an exciting and challenging way to attempt to generate an on-line income.

Hiking Boots – Parts And Construction

When shopping for a pair of hiking boots, it is important to know how they are made. No, you do not need to know how to make your own, but you have to understand what goes into them and how it affects the comfort and durability – the overall quality – of the hiking boots. In this article I will describe the parts of a hiking boot, what they are made of, and how they come together to form the ideal hiking boot for you.

Like any shoe, a hiking boot consists of an upper and a sole joined together by a welt and with an inlet at the front covered by a tongue, and the whole is lined with various pads and cushions. I will discuss each of those parts in detail, in terms of what they are made of and what to look for in various types of hiking boots.

Sole and Welt

Let's start at the bottom. The soul of the hiking boot is the sole.

Soles are usually made of synthetic rubber in varying degrees of hardness. A harder sole will last longer, but generally will have poorer Traction on hard surfaces (such as bare rock) and will provide less cushioning. A softer sole gives you the cushioning you need for long hikes and the transaction you need on rough ground, but it will wear out faster.

Manufacturers have made their trade-offs in choosing the materials to make their boots out of. The final choice is up to you when you choose which boot to buy. If you expect to do most of your hiking on soft surfaces, such as desert sand or bare soil, you might lean more towards harder soles. But most of us hike on fairly rugged trails with a good deal of bare rock, and we need the traction of a softer sole.

Inside the sole is a shank. It is a stiffening structure, either fiberglass or steel, that prevails the sole of the boot from twisting and that provides arch support. Shanks may be only three-quarter or half-length. Hiking shoes generally have no shank at all, deriving all their stiffness from the molded rubber sole. Good day-hiking boots may have a full-length fiberglass shank. High-quality backpacking boots will give you the choice of fiberglass or steel. It will depend on how strong you need your hiking boots to be, and how heavy.

Look for deep, knobby tread. Deep cuts in the sole allow water and mud to flow out so you can get traction. "Fake" hiking boots, designed to look like hiking boots but not to perform like them, may have thinner soles and shallow tread. Working boots also may have shallow tread, and they generally have harder soles than hiking boots have.

The welt is the connection between the sole and the upper. Virtually all hiking boots these days are glued together rather than sewn. If you are buying a very expensive pair of backpacking boots, give preference to a sewn welt. Boots with a sewn welt will be easier to resole when the original sole wears out. For hiking shoes or day-hiking boots, when the sole wears out, the upper is not worth salvaging, either, so a glued welt is just fine.

Upper

The upper of the hiking boot brings warmth, protects the sides of your feet from rocks and brush, and repels water. It must also allow your feet to "breathe," so that moisture from perspiration will not build up inside the boots and cause blisters.

Uppers of hiking boots are usually at least partially made of leather. High-quality backpacking boots are often made of full-grain leather (leather that has not been split). Lighter boots may be made of split-grain leather (leather that has been split or sued on one side), or a combination of split-grain leather with various fabrics.

Fabrics that are combined with leather are usually some type of nylon. Heavy nylon wears almost as well as leather, and it is much lighter and cheaper than leather.

In any hiking boot, especially those made of combinations of leather and fabric, there will be seams. Seams are bad. Seams are points of failure. Seams are points of wear, as one panel of the boot rubs against another. Seams are penetrations that are difficult to waterproof.

The uppers of backpacking boots are sometimes made of a single piece of full-grain leather with only one seam at the back. This is good, for all the reasons that seams are bad, but it is expensive.

You're going to have to deal with seams. But as you shop for hiking boots, look for customer reviews that mention failure or undue wearing of the seams, and avoid those brands.

Inlet and Tongue

There are two things to look for in the inlet and the tongue:

1. How the laces are attached and adjusted

2. How the tongue is attached to the sides of the inlet

The inlet may be provided with eyelets, D-rings, hooks, and webbing, alone or in combination. They each have these advantages and disadvantages:

* Eyelets: Simplest and most durable way to lace a boot. Not so easily adjusted.

* D-rings: Easier to adjust than eyelets, more durable than hooks. More failure-prone than eyelets. (They can break, and they can tear out of the leather.)

* Hooks: Easiest to adjust of all lace attachments. Subject to getting hooked on brush, or bent or broken in impacts with boulders, main cause of breakage of laces.

* Webbing: Cause less chafing of laces, slightly easier to adjust than eyelets, slightly more durable than D-rings. More failure-prone than eyelets.

The most common lace attachment of any hiking boot is eyelets below ankle-level and hooks above. You may see eyelets all the way up, as in classic military-style combat boots, or a combination of either D-rings or webbing with hooks.

The attachment of the tongue is a critical factor in how waterproof the hiking boots are. Provided the leather and / or fabric and seams of the upper are waterproof, water will not get into the boots until it gets higher than the attachment point of the tongue.

Most hiking shoes and day-hiking boots have the tongue attached all the way to the top. If the tongue is not fully attached, consider carefully wherever you will need that extra inch or two of waterproofing.

High-rise backpacking boots have the tongue attached only partway up, but that still reaches higher than most day-hiking boots. It's difficult to get the boot on and off if the tongue is attached very high.

Linings and Pads

There are many pieces that go into the lining and padding of a hiking boot, but two in particular you need to pay attention to:

1. The sole lining

2. The scree collar

The sole lining must be appropriately cushioned. You want a firm, durable surface in immediate contact with your socks, but enough cushioning below that to absorb impact.

The scree collar is a cushion around the top of most hiking boots. It enables you to pull the boots tight enough to keep out loose rocks ("scree") but without chafing against your ankle and Achilles tendon. This is the thickest and softest cushion in the whole hiking boot. It must be soft enough to conform to your ankle and Achilles tendon as they move, and still keep close enough contact with your leg to keep the rocks out.

Very high hiking boots, such as military-style combat boots, may have no scree collar at all. The height of the boot is what keeps the rocks out.

Throughout, the lining and padding of the hiking boots must be thick enough to provide warm, durable enough to last, and smooth enough that it will not cause chafing and blisters.

Conclusion

So, these are the things you need to pay attention to when going a pair of hiking boots. Be prepared to compromise, and pay attention to which features are really important to the style of hiking you intend to do.

Link Exchanges or Business Development Strategy

Viewing the ever growing issue and concern of Link Exchanges and the method by which they are being performed, I can clearly say to every white hat SEO consultant that WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

I myself as a manager in several organizations receive my share of irrelevant and sometimes incorporating changes of link invitations from companies / organizations that have absolutely no relevance to my area of ​​business and / or complementary industry. I am always amazed that those companies portrays them in such a poor manner.

The Common Method

It is a known fact that links are a major concern for every site owner or SEO consultant looking for better rankings and higher PR. Today site owners and even some SEO consultants do not care where they get the links, sending thousands of e-mails through automated programs to whichever company / website that comes across their path. These companies work on a pure statistical assumption that out of all these thousands, few individuals will agree to the exchange.

The problem with this method is that most of us today regards Link Exchange as nothing more than another form of spam. This results in a built up resistance in cooperation to take part in a Link Exchange program as it may indicate your website as a non professional website.

I believe that part of the solution to this problem is for anyone who is looking for SEO consulting to take better care as to who he / she chooses and to take some involvement in the process of his / her company's representation to the world.

Link Exchanges as a Business Development Strategy

After years of conducting Link Exchange activity for my business and those of my clients I started noticeing the effect this program brought to my clients. I further surprised how we could create a more organized and thought-out effect from the beginning.

The Effect: The effect that started to happen for my clients was that slowly but surely they were gaining international contacts and forming business relationships with distant partners, thus enabling them easier access to their local clients and free promotion of their name. It also brought activity into their circle of contacts and other business associates. That of course led to formal relations which evolved into a full international network with a sole existence to serve the respected clients of the international network's members.

Creating the Effect

The development from this point was very natural, as it was logical to assume as a multilateral SEO expert that the bridging between cultural differences and forming the same kinds of relationships with local companies and in their own language will add to the tremendous strength of this business possibility. This is exactly what we did, realizing that giving time and attention to the type of companies you are contacting and industries you are targeting is imperative to the success of your Link Exchange campaign.

Many times I have heard that Link Exchanges work on statistics and the more you send the more links you will have. This theory may be true but the quality of the link is affected by this method, and not to mention the constant depletion of the internet resources such as SERP and directories while e-mailing in ignorance.

You will get more links and much more directed traffic and generated business if you take time and thought to the quality of your Link Exchange program. This had taken a remarkable effect for all the companies I consult and work with and will have the same effect for you.

Another excellent way to broaden the Link Exchange program is to contact the most desirable of exchanges and explain the idea of ​​business development opportunities that may be involved in such an exchange.

Conclusion

To summarize my thoughts and experience on the matter, the link exchange program will stop having a negative effect on the SEO industry, if professionals and non professionals will give the time and attention this major issue records.

I believe that with the simple and familiar advice I have passed along with this short article, there is great potential to create healthy Link Exchange programs where users will truly benefit from the links posted on ones website. Do not forget this is the first and primary reason for the Link Exchange program to exist and why it is effecting your ranking in such a different way.

Stop Branding Them and Brand Yourself

Brand names are the first step to building a presence online. This is what new marketers need to focus on first. Pushing products and programs from the beginning is a critical mistake that many people seem to make. You want to build up some credibility first. Try not to come off as a opportunity pusher. This is someone who joins a program selling product after product claiming that it is the next big thing. You're campaigning a companies qualities, not your own.

Here is a real world example. Take any pro athlete or movie star that we see on TV, they are pushing everything from cell phones to underwear. People are swarming to the stores and buying these things just because their favorite player has a pair or uses the product. They do this not because those golf balls are the best, or those are the most comfortable boxers. They swarm to the stores and get those items because they admire and have a feeling a trust when it comes to their favorite actor or athlete. Those players and ball players have built strong brands. There names alone hold strength and value. You have the same ability to do so. If you brand yourself first and develop a feeling of trust and provide value, you can get out here and sell anything. Look for a targeted area you want to focus on. It is much easier to appeal and attract people with things that you already have knowledge of and are interested in. Your goal is to gain trust and let people know that you only supply things that are of value.

Get yourself together first. Build up your brand name and then start to introduce products later. When you have established your brand, people will buy the things that you believe are worth their time and money. You do not want to take them to places you have never been. Provide them with products or opportunities that are good and you would actually use. It can be computer supplies, maybe its studio equipment. Whatever the targeted market is, become an expert in it. Take the role of authority and provide them with the right products.