@Geeknrolla: Mo money, mo affiliate marketing says Joe from Skimlinks

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josestepniewskiHardly anyone knows how to spell it, fewer people still know how to do it. But thanks to Joe Stepniewski, co-founder of Skimlinks, you too can learn the secrets of the dark arts of monetisation.

Basically, stick to affiliate marketing rather than advertising; Joe showed some stats demonstrating CPM return slowdown; its dropped consistently over the last few quarters and doesn’t guarantee conversion because it can be poorly targeted. If you have to advertise, do it directly; try to arrange monthly advertising tenancies with targeted sponsors; look for themed sponsorship opportunities with brands/companies you’re passionate about so that you can really get behind them.

Affiliate marketing is your friend; there are low barriers to entry, it’s quick to get going, it works with lower traffic volumes and it’s a level playing field; smaller sites get exactly the same deals as larger sites. Joe showed stats indicating affiliate marketing has experience 13% growth this year vs. 9% overall online ad growth.

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Text links are the favourite form of monetisation because they convert the best and avoid the need for ad space. They allow for more creativity and tighter integration, and can make great use of tools such as voucher codes and APIs.

Social media platforms and user-generated content are also good, they convert very well. So well that in the US the Federal Trade Commission requires that testimonials driving word-of-mouth marketing have got to be provably real.

Affiliate links to retailers from forums and blogs can return up to 10% conversion rate; Twitter and IM even more, but you need to be very considerate of users; disclose, disclose, disclose. Joe’s kindly offered to send the presentation to anyone who asks. shared his slides below.

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