Getting Started with Affiliate Programs

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Affiliate Marketing is probably one of the most popular forms of Internet Marketing, since it doesn’t involve having to create, stock, or sell problems of your own. You simply earn commissions from referring customers to the affiliated product. It is pure marketing, in that you promote and advertise for a third party.

As I mentioned before whatever you do with Internet Marketing you are basically connecting customers and products. Therefore, finding the right customers, and the right products, is essential.

These days most large online retailers, such as Amazon and eBay, have affiliate programs. There are also vast networks of affiliate programs for almost every industry you can think of. Commissions will vary widely, from around 6% for a book or DVD from Amazon to 75% or more from selling digital products such as eBooks, Software or Memberships. Some affiliate programs will pay fixed fees, such as $50 per customer. Some will even pay recurring commissions, for services that are billed monthly or members for private sites. It’s easy to see why this form of marketing is attractive.

If you want to earn good money from affiliate programs it’s essential you aim for one that suits you. Some marketers will swear by targeting smaller, less overcrowded niches, so you can focus your efforts there and become a big fish in a small pond. Others will aim for higher payouts, so even though the amount of sales might be lower, the overall profits are good. It’s different for everyone.

One of the first things you do is decide what, and how, to promote. Traditionally paying directly for clicks has been proven to work, but getting it wrong can cost you dearly. Using a system such as Googles Adwords you bid on keywords, pay for every click from that keyword, and direct that visitor to a page where, hopefully, they’ll buy. As an example we’ll say you’re promoting a company that sells motorcycles. These are high value items, with considerable potential rewards. If an average sale of $10000 nets you $650 in commissions, and 1 in 1000 customers you send to the website buys, you know that you can afford to spend around $1.50 per customer. Spend less per customer, make more money. You’d therefore target keywords in Google with terms such as “Buy Motorcycle” – but that would be too vague, and cost dearly. So perhaps “2013 Suzuki GSX-R 750″ is a little more targeted. Perhaps you’d discover customers are unlikely to buy a motorcycle online at all, or it’s only 1 in 10000 who’d buy, but the beauty of Pay Per Click campaigns with Adwords and others is that you can quickly get a feel of how much traffic will cost, and how much you could potentially make. Another example is to target local sales, e.g. “Cable TV in Virginia” or “Broadband in Miami, Florida”. Still massive markets.

The other major way of getting traffic is through the search engines directly, so called Organic Search. These are the sites people visit when searching for information or even when looking to buy. To be successful here your site, or pages on your site, must rank highly, preferably on the first page, for terms people use to search. Getting ranked high is an industry in itself, but in short the keywords you use, the sites that link to you, the age of the site, and the content all contribute. It’s always best to aim your site at your human visitor first and worry about the search engines last, as good quality content, regularly produced, will always win out. Sites such as Blogs, Review Sites, and Forums are all easy to build content for in specific niches. Take for example Amazons affiliate program. You might decide to drill down through the categories (Amazons “Best Sellers” in niche categories are a good start) and start promoting their “Garmin Approach G3 Golf GPS Unit”. It’s a specific item in a popular but still less crowded niche (and as a bonus, golf players tend to have more disposable income). You could build a few pages around that product, and others, and start including articles on GPS systems in golf to build content. At around $160-$200 a pop the commissions could add up on this one item. WordPress is a great platform for building niche sites. A content site that grows over time could slowly target every variation of keyword, increasing your rankings as you do.

The great advantage of affiliate marketing is that once you’ve found that ideal product and that ideal audience you build from there, either tweaking your PPC campaigns, adding more products to your portfolio, adding content to your sites, or driving traffic from other sources such as social networks, youtube, or even offline (print ads, flyers, phone). Most of the effort involved in affiliate marketing is driving all this traffic. Some affiliate programs even increase commissions are you get more sales, and the top affiliates often benefit from one-to-one partnerships rather than fixed percentages.

Most marketers will start with affiliate marketing due to the ease of starting up. I won’t say it’s easy making a big income, but once you understand how it works there’s only really one way to go… up!

Finally, a popular affiliate site that sells digital products is Clickbank. You can often enjoy 50% commissions plus on products from here, since the seller has no real overheads other than providing their products digitally. Other websites even offer 100% commissions on digital products, usually direct from the site rather an affiliate network, since to the seller the value is not that initial sale, but rather the lifetime of the customer. All this is worth noting when you consider that affiliate marketing not only refers to you making sales as the affiliate, but the flip side – getting affiliates to sell for YOU…

 

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Making money with the Internet, the basics

I’ve always thought that making money online is really a numbers game, but it isn’t complicated. Most of it is common sense, but a quick overview is always useful. I’m talking about marketing your own or others products here. Anything else, such as freelancing, surveys, viewing ads, writing posts, is not marketing. It’s work.

Websites tend to generate profits either directly, by selling a product, or a service, or passively – perhaps by allowing paid advertising, promotions, and the like.

This is true for almost everything online. For example, behemoths such as Amazon mirror a traditional store model. There’s a range of products, that a visitor can buy directly. There’s a profit on each item, just like a bricks and mortar store, but apart from all the neat tricks such as recommendations,  customer interaction, allowing other people to sell on your store (for a small price), and the subtle push to make impulse purchases (by storing your details, having a quick one-button checkout) it works just as , say, a Walmarts would.

eBay and Paypal offer a storefront and they charge fees to list your item, big blog networks such as Gawker will do promotional posts, run joint ventures with other companies, and display ads, and services such as Mailing List providers and Web Hosts will charge a fee (often recurring) to use their services.

What everything needs however customers, and on the Internet this translates as visitors and hits. Getting as many customers, to the right product, is essentially what marketing is all about.

Not all these visitors will buy from you. Through some simple tracking on your site you can see how many hits/visitors there are, and how many of those actually buy. That’s your conversion rate. This rate is bolstered by two things. Obviously, have a great product and a great site that sells it well is one, the other is the type of visitors you attract.

Let’s take a fictional example. You have a book to offer all about fishing. The site is a simple sales page, just one page, that acts as an advertisement.  You get 100 visitors a day, and sell 1 book per day. That’s a conversion rate of 1%. To increase this, you can get more visitors. Or you can ensure that more of the visitors are not just random hits, but people actively looking for your fishing book.

You can get quality visitors by making your site show up in search engine results for relevant terms (such as “fishing tips”, “how to catch carp”, ” fly fishing for beginners” etc). You can advertise directly, perhaps by buying ads on fishing sites. You can advertise passively by joining in discussions on fishing forums, or perhaps even pay others to sell your book for you, for a cut of the profits (affiliate marketing). Any kind of marketing to attract visitors will use carry some kind of Cost per Acquisition (CPA), unless it’s free.

Increasing profits is down to the price. Is it better to sell 100 books for $2 each or 10 for $20 each? This is a simple balance on paper, but price can prove to be a very careful balancing act. People might feel your book is low quality at $2. Perhaps $20 is too much. Perhaps it’s such a niche subject you’d struggle to get visitors in bulk, or perhaps there’s so much competition the lowest price might be the best strategy. In order to make a profit you have to take into account how much it costs to sell the item. If your book costs you $5 per copy to print, for example, or if it’s costing you $100 to attract those 100 visitors ($1 per customer), you have to incorporate them as overheads into your sales price.

In short:

Visitors / Conversion x price = profits

More visitors, a higher conversion, a higher price, more profits…

Get the right product with a website that sells it effectively, and get the right customers, then you can start making profits. Increase any of the figures and watch the cash roll in!

 

 

 

Welcome To Netpreneur Now!

Welcome To Netpreneur Now

 

This site, in it’s various forms, has been online since the early 2000s. A lot has changed. There was a boom, of sorts, with people running all sorts of home business on the Internet throughout the latter part of the decade, but this appears to have slowed now. Partly because of unrealistic “get rich quick” type schemes, partly because of the economic downturn (which perhaps you’d think would encourage people to start, not leave), and partly because of negative connotations.

This is a shame. I’m rebooting this website because I believe there is still plenty of room for people to enter this business. Forget making millions overnight, and forget spamming and scamming, the core principles of Internet Marketing still stand.

You can view the “old” Netpreneur Now here. Please remember many links from there will no longer work, but it will stay live while I move anything worth saving, here.

 

Let’s start at the beginning…

 

My definition of Internet Marketing is simple. It is “Marketing”, i.e. advertising and promoting, on the Internet…

The Internet is a strange place. For one it’s a great leveler. Anyone can launch a website. There’s an incredibly low barrier of entry to launch a website, and with it a business.

Give your website some way of generating income and get people to visit it and that’s the bare bones of the system!

Of course that just skims over the surface, but I’ll cover much of this in more depth over the many blog posts to follow.

 

Extra cash? Your own business? A website, running on Autopilot? No need to handle stock? Do something you love?

 

These are the kinds of buzzwords that used to give this industry a bad name, but I’ve put them there because those – at least – are true. As I said, the entry barrier in cost and time is very low, and all the information you need is not “secret” or hidden away. You’ll find hyperbole and obfuscation along the way, but smash through that bull**** and I think you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised!

For now this is a “bare bones” site that is going to grow pretty quick. I’ve done it before, I know what to do. And along the way I’ll show you, too. I’ve literally got this far (minus the archive link) with a few button presses and a bit of prose here and there. It will get better, and I want you along with me on the ride.

 

Internet Marketing — The Other Side

I’ve been away from this site – and business – for a while, so I thought I’d come back with a look at… “The Other Side”.

I may talk about all the usual things in this blog, such as traffic, affiliate programs, advertising, promotion (and much more) so maybe it’s about time to mention some of the other viewpoints around.

Take a look at these sites then continue reading:

Scamworld

Warrior Forum Sucks

Salty Droid

 

Now I won’t try and state the obvious so much. I’ve never really hidden that “Internet Marketing” is two sides of a coin. There’s the obvious business model of promoting products to prospects, to get sales and/or commissions. This is no different to many, many other business models such as the guy who stands in your shopping mall selling cable, breakdown cover, insurance, legal services… He’s after commissions for sales. It’s also no different to those who place advertisements in magazines and newspapers, send mailshots, do telephone campaigns… or – in our case – run promotional campaigns over the internet.

Then there’s those who are out to blatantly scam, promise undeliverable goals, spam, join the “good ol’ boys club” where it’s just some kind of inner circle who like to buddy up.

It’s easy to become irate and poke a finger and blame people when things go wrong, but we’re all adults. Many people have become rich in this business but many, many more have made a comfortable second income or some pocket money doing something they see as a hobby. The niche doesn’t have to be part of the go-around of selling Internet Marketing products to other Internet Marketing customers. And you don’t have to spend $1000′s to learn any big secret. I’ve said this many times.

I’ll let you make your own mind up. Just remember it really is your mind, and you don’t have to believe in any dreams, but neither do you have to believe those who shoot them down.

 

Instant Video Articles

Here’s a unique idea…

Turn your videos into articles!

This is a really intriguing product that will allow you to turn any e-mail or report you have lying around into a video.

That means you can tap into the power of youtube and other media sharing sites, driving traffic to your own offers and promotions!

The process is really quite simple, and to help you out there’s a video below that shows you exactly how it’s done.

Instant Video Articles – Instructional Video

Firesale Magician

Here’s a great new PLR product I’ve just discovered, that shows you how to run an Internet Firesale.

Firesales are something “brick and mortar” stores have used, now with this report you can learn the correct way to structure, run, and succeed with your own Firesale!

The best thing about this package is the amount of PLR goodness you get. PLR of course means “Private Label Rights” and it grants you the right to treat this package as if you had created it yourself, even down to renaming it or crediting yourself as the author. A boon for resellers.

Included:

The Firesale Magician Report – which you can brand or edit to your hearts desire.

A Giveaway Report – ideal for list building or tempting prospects to purchase your main report. This is also brandable, and it even comes with…

A Squeeze Page – designed to suck customers in to your free report, and from there onto your paid ebook.

Graphics, Templates, and more – so you can edit the site or use the images in your own promotional activities.

And to make it even easier, you’ll get prewritten blog posts, autoresponder emails, e-mail ads, a keyword list, and even an affiliate program you can use for extra revenue should you wish!

This is in all honesty one of the most complete PLR offers I’ve ever seen. The guide is amazingly useful for those who want to enter the exciting world of Firesales, but the PLR part of the project means you can build a complete site with lead funnelling and more to resell it.

Firesale Magician

PS. There’s a special offer on at the time of writing, where the first 50 people get a real bargain. Check the link to see if it’s still valid!

1200 Articles With No Work And At No Cost

Many Internet Marketers know the power of articles. After all, they allow you to create a “presence” on the internet, establishing yourself as an expert at the same time. They also bring you traffic, both from various article directories and from those who propagate your article – such as newsletters, blogs and websites.

There is another way to profit from articles… run your own article directory!

There are many ways to do this. You could manually create webpages that hold articles, or you could use one of the many scripts that will create and maintain a directory for you. You could also use wordpress, or any blogging or cms platform, to do the same job.

I’ve created a directory at:

http://www.netpreneurnow.com/internet-marketing-articles

And although it needs some work on the design, it now holds over 1200 articles without any work on my part!

How did I do it?

1. Install “Article MS” from Article Trader.

2. Install the “UAW Plugin

Follow the instructions for the plugin, and a service called Unique Article Wizard will drip feed unique article content directly to your site!

How does this work?

Article publishers like UAW and Article Trader make their money from promoting articles for a fee, sending them to thousands of directories just like yours. It’s a win/win for both publishers and authors.

By being a publisher, you get valuable content for your site. The UAW service will automatically post articles according to the categories you have set up. As you can see by mine, I’ve set up categories for subjects such as “SEO” and “Affiliate Marketing”.

The next step is to monetize the site. This can be achieved by adding ads to each page – such as Adsense or Clickbank ads. You can also add affiliate links, or even banners or other content. You can also edit the e-mails sent out to authors as they post articles, and to new members. These, of course, can offer other services that you provide.

There’s a little bit of work to make a plain Article MS site more attractive, but even in it’s native form it works. There are templates available you can purchase on the web, or if you have the ability you could of course create your own. You can also take as much or as little control as you wish, such as moderating all articles or not and using the rating system and other features to order your articles.

Need content for your site? Try this little tactic and watch your pages grow!

PS. For best results, it’s worth adding your new directory to your google sitemap. You are using one… aren’t you?

PPS. UAW also offers a WordPress plugin if you would like to take that route to building content…

For more information on article marketing, you can download my free guide.

Finding Your Niche

Back To Basics Part 2: Finding Your Niche

The introduction to this series can be found here

A “niche” can be any specific category you aim to market. For example, model cars is one, so is fishing, holidays to tenerife, brain training, the bridges of London, and of course – Internet Marketing.

You can go ahead and start to build a web presence around anything you wish… but you should really take a moment to think about a few key points.

1. Experience and Interest

If the subject you are going to tackle is of no interest to you, why bother starting? You will soon stall due to a lack of interest on your part. It also helps if you have some experience in that subject but that is not necessarily a requirement.

If, for example, you are a plasterer, or a policeman, a traffic warden, or an accountant – you have experience in those and related subjects. If your hobby is fishing, or stamp collecting, or you’re an avid historian, or a big fan of 1960s art decor – then those are other niches you can tackle.

It helps if you have experience or an interest in any niche you decide to tackle, but I repeat – not a necessity. If you happen to discover a hot topic you can learn as you go.

2. Other Peoples Interest

This point is more important. If no-one else is interested in your chosen niche then there is no money to be made. It’s that simple. If you spend a long time researching and developing a site that is TOO niche you’re heading for a dead end. Sometimes you can go more general, and cover your interest as a sub-niche, but otherwise just don’t bother.

For example: If you have a burning desire to create a site about an obscure 1900′s silent-era movie star but most people have forgotten him, why not create a more general site about the silent movie era instead, covering that star on a sub page.

3. Competition

If the niche you chose has a wide interest, but there are hundreds of sites targetting the same niche, you will have a lot more work to do. It’s still possible to succeed by bettering these other sites, or offering something they don’t, but in general it’s worth thinking about first. Some niches are big enough to allow a LOT of competition (think Internet Marketing!).

The ideal niche has a big interest but a low competition. These are hard to come by, so sometimes it’s better to compromise and head for a side niche of some kind. You’re unlikely to make a dent in the Credit Card market – but you could possibly make a go of it in the “how to manage multiple credit cards” or “winning with credit card awards” niches.

4. Profitability

Finally, since you’re in this for the money, you need to think about how profitable the niche you chose could be.

Some niches are obvious. Taking Credit Card’s as an example again, it’s easy to see that affiliate programs and maybe ebooks would be profitable. As for that silent movie era site, then DVD sales, posters, books, etc could work. All these sites could support advertising too.

If you target Golf – another big market – then you know that the average golfer is affluent, likes to spend on their sport, and avidly seek to better their handicap.

It’s worth thinking about these various points before you go ahead with your new niche.

But what if you can’t think of an idea at all?

First, there’s the popular news stories of the day. Sometimes you can quickly get a time sensitive site up to catch a buzz, but the site by it’s very nature would be short lived. For example, here in the UK there’s an election – but by the time it’s over any site covering it is long gone. The same for the recent volcano that stopped flights over much of Europe’s airspace. Hot news at the time, but gone right after.

You can also get ideas by looking at the problems people have. Find a problem, provide an answer, and you’re on to a winner. Perennial human problems include how we look, how we feel, our worries about our families, and debt, and so on. More specific problems include those wannabe gardeners who can’t get anything to grow, that fisherman who can’t get a bite, and (again) that golfer who just can’t improve his score.

Provide an answer to a popular problem and you’re set.

Other good sources of niche ideas can be found in the world around you. If you put your marketer’s hat on you’ll seen tons of ideas in your everyday life. Say you cycle to work, and are sick of avoiding cars. Or you spot a billboard advertising some holiday destination, and you start daydreaming about being there. Or you are talking to a neighbour who’s grumbling about the state of his lawn.

Advertising, in all it’s forms, focuses on various niches by it’s very nature. And magazine articles, or even problem pages, cover very specific interests.

There are millions of niche ideas out there. Just keep an open mind and you’ll find one soon.

Note: I’ve specifically avoided Internet Marketing niches in this article because I didn’t want to dilute the message. But this is a good example of a general niche that quickly becomes ultra focused. People have trouble getting traffic, hence the Search Engine niches, sites about Article Marketing, etc. You might want to create more content, so there’s sites about articles, and creating products, and graphics. Or you may want a bigger subscriber list, so – you guessed it – there’s a proliferation of List Building sites…

The Specifics

The quickest way to research a potential niche is to use Google. Google’s Keyword Tool gives you approximate search counts for various terms.

Simply enter some keywords specific to your niche into the tool and you’ll see a list of keywords and their counts.

You can also use Google to find competition. Simply search for a keyword and see how many results are there. This can be deceiving, but it’s a good indication nonetheless.

Finally, Google’s Search Suggestions that pop up whenever you type a search at Google show some of the terms people have been looking for.

Example:

We are going to look into Disneyland as a potential niche. No particular reason, except I just – in passing – noticed an article about it. As I type it in, I notice search terms such as “Disneyland Paris” and “Disneyland Florida” come up. Also “Disneyland Paris Tickets” and “Disneyland Paris Packages”. I’m in the UK, so obviously these suggestions are location based.

At Google’s Keyword Tool I get these interesting results (chosen from the myriad provided):

Disneyland 9,140,000
Disneyland discount 90,500
Disneyland Package 49,500
Disneyland Information 5,400
About Disneyland 6,600
Disneyland Video 22,200
Disneyland Videos 9,900
Disneyland Jobs 18,100
Disneyland Discounts 22,200

And so on.

These give you some ideas on what people are looking for. Key amongst them are people want packages and holidays, discounts and information.

I also put in one or two other interesting results. People are looking for Disneyland Jobs, for example. And some search results double up – so About Disneyland and Disneyland Information are the same thing, as are the results for “Video” and “Videos”.

These immediately give me ideas for sites. How about a site showing the jobs available, how to get in, etc? I don’t know much about that – but I could research it, and even interview or work with someone who’s been employed there. I could also throw up a site packed with videos of Disneyland culled from Youtube and others.

In Google’s Keyword Tool you can also click on the magnifying glass icon to get a more detailed view of the results that make up that result in Google Insights. So “Disney Discounts” at 22,200 searches shows some interesting keyword terms such as Disneyland Coupons. Again, an instant idea for a site (where to get these coupons, maybe even provide them from an affiliated travel agent, etc). Insights also shows you “rising search terms”, or what’s hot at the moment.

Google’s Keyword Tool is a wealth of information. Use it well.

Now for the competition. As you can expect there will be a lot of competition for this niche. Clicking a result in the Keyword Tool will throw you right into the search results, but clicking a result in Insights will drill deeper through to even more specific terms.

Disneyland Coupons, for example, has 449,000 results. Many of these are sub pages in general travel sites or Disney sites, but there are some specific ones. There is quite a lot of competition here but I don’t see a *specific* Disney Coupons site. These other results can also, incidentally, give you ideas on how to approach your own site – or even information for your own research.

After this exhaustive look at Disneyland I hope you see how you can select a niche and quickly research it. Next time we will look at ideas for how to approach a site, and monetize it.

Pulling It All Together

Internet Marketing is all about pulling together a lot of strands to make them work as a whole.

I frequently provide offers of new software and guides, and you may or may not be tired of reading them. Like other marketers, I sell. It is, after all, the whole point of marketing.

However, unlike some others, I also provide ideas. I won’t just give or offer a product. I’ll explain how they can work for you, and give ideas on how you can re-sell or use them.

Depending on your level of experience, it may be obvious to you what to do with them. Or it may not. I try to cover all bases. There’s nothing worse than someone new to this who purchases a product then are at a loss with what to do with it.

I can’t, obviously, explain the in-depth steps to working with something for every item I see. I tend to look at the bigger picture, and may sometimes over-generalise. I’ll say things like “this would be an ideal upsell”, or “this product will help with backlinks” or “that product can increase site ranking” and “the PLR for this would make it an excellent list builder”…

To some, that kind of talk is straightforward. To others, no chance!

As marketers we can’t provide blueprints that would suit everyone. For one, it would mean a load of exact copycat sites using the exact same principles after the same markets. It just wouldn’t work.

But, by learning the basics, you’ll soon see the methods that can be used, and the principles to adhere to. Ideas that are flexible, and systems that can be tweaked to your liking.

So in part to help those clueless souls out there, I’m going to talk you through internet marketing from a newcomers point of view.

I’ll just give you direct links to the services you need, without leaving open recommendations that may just, in the end, confuse. And I’ll explain how to use those services.

Our goal is to create a site that makes money.

We’ll research a niche, build a site, sell products and advertising, build a list, and promote it.

All in easy to follow steps.

Stay tuned!

* This course will be free, but the products and services I use won’t be. It won’t cost much, but it will cost something.

Social Media Tactics and PaySpree and 100% Commissions

You probably know that most of the work involved in Internet Marketing is in promotion.

After the initial effort of creating a product, the only way to make money is to get people to see it. This can take many forms, from writing articles, through to getting affiliates (more on this later), paying for advertising, search engine optimisation, and much more.

However, lately one form of promotion that is increasingly taking center stage is using Social Networks to get your product before the masses.

Social Networks are the hot new websites of today. Sites and services like Facebook and Twitter are a hotbed of activity. Some people, for example, use Facebook more than they use Google. In fact, some reports claim Facebook could actually overtake Google!

Today I have an excelent report called Social Media Tactics, which details 77 ways you can use these social sites to send traffic to YOUR sites.

It includes tips on creating a Facebook “Fan Page”, on using Youtube, and LinkedIn, and Google Buzz. It’s ideal for those new to social marketing, and seasoned pros could also learn a valuable tip or two.

Social Media Tactics shows how to create your own Blog using WordPress, using Tumblr to save time, and much much more. It’s a concise and direct report – easy to read cover to cover and leaves you raring to go!

I have managed to secure Master Resell Rights to this exciting report, and so can offer it to you for just $7.

And – in an interesting twist – I’m using the new “instant commission” marketplace of Payspree.com to promote it!

That takes me to the second point of this post.

PaySpree is a new affiliate system that uses PayPal to create instant commission networks. Think of it as Clickbank without the fees, or PayDotCom without the hassle of paying your affiliates manually. You can set up any percentage sales, even 100%!

It’s in beta right now, but fully working. You can join up for free or grab the special offer to really hit the ground running.

I set up this whole offer / experiment this afternoon. This report – Social Media Tactics – powered by PaySpree.com. You can do the same.

Grab Social Media Tactics here

Join PaySpree.Com here

Remember – having affiliates to promote your producs means free traffic, and sales you would not have made yourself. Payspree makes it easy.

And – through the power of PaySpree – you can earn 100% instant commissions on Social Media Tactics!

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