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New Webinar with John Gagnon! 5 Reasons You Need To Use Bing Ads in 2015

For the past few years, Bing has been making quite the impact on the competitive landscape for search engine marketing, comprising 29% of the search marketplace. 2014 alone saw many …


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Google CEO Predicts the Internet Will "Disappear"

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has predicted that the Internet as we know it today will disappear in the future, thanks to the Internet of Things.

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3 Underused Insights From AdWords’ Dimensions Tab

These three pieces of data that can be found in the Dimensions tab often go unnoticed, but they can be extremely useful for search marketers.

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9 Ways You Can Become An Affiliate All-Star

Affiliate marketing has become a trending topic in the digital marketing community, and for good reason! This low-risk, high-reward opportunity is great for those who want to monetize their love of a product.

Despite some claims, affiliate marketing won’t make you an overnight millionaire. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a serious profit. Successful affiliates are advocates for the products they’re referring – and they’re reaping the rewards!

Keep reading to find out if affiliate marketing is right for you – and tips on how you can become an affiliate all-star.

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Think of affiliate marketers as the middlemen between clients and brands. Is there a product or service you don’t hesitate to recommend to family or friends? Partnering with these brands is a great way to get rewarded for your endorsement.

Affiliate marketers earn commission by referring traffic and sales to a retailer’s website through their own promotional efforts. Prospective affiliates can join a program through a merchandiser directly or a network that manages multiple affiliate programs.

What Are The Benefits Of Affiliate Marketing?

  • Low-Risk, High Reward: Becoming an affiliate usually doesn’t requires no start-up fees or investment.
  • Advanced Tracking Tools: A good affiliate program provides you with the tools to measure your campaign’s effectiveness.
  • No “Selling” Experience Required: It’s as simple as creating good content.
  • Not Your Average Job: Create a steady flow of income by promoting a company’s products and services.

Choosing A Niche

When choosing an affiliate marketing program, first ask yourself a few questions:

  • Are you knowledgeable in the topic?
  • Is the content something people are searching for?
  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Is there room for growth? Can you add value to the content?

Your answers will help you identify if a niche is right for you.

How Do You Drive Traffic?

When you sign up, you’ll receive a unique affiliate commissions code. This is used to track the visitors and sales that were directed from your efforts. But how do you drive traffic to a merchandiser’s website in the first place?

Some common affiliate promotional strategies include:

  • Blogging
  • Building up an email list
  • Social Media
  • Videos + Podcasting
  • Writing reviews
  • Word-of-mouth
  • Paid advertising
  • Banners
  • Email Marketing
  • Social media ads
  • Contests

Don’t be afraid to get creative in your approach! Blogs like Affiliate Tip, AM Navigator, ShareASale and ABestWeb are great resources for campaign inspiration.

How Do You Build An Audience?

There are a number of tracking tools that give you the power to track the reach of your campaigns. Some frequently used services include:

  • Google Analytics is a free service that lets you measure your advertising ROI, track your social reach and manage your applications. With its suite of features, you can analyze visitor traffic and ensure you’re getting the most out of your marketing efforts.
  • Page Insights provides information about user activity on your Facebook page. You can view metrics, identify your most engaging posts and gather information on your audience.
  • YouTube Analytics lets you monitor the performance of your channel, with up-to-date metrics and reports.

9 Ways To Be An Awesome Affiliate


What’s Next?

Have a passion for email marketing? Consider becoming an AWeber affiliate! You’ll receive 30% recurring commission for every referral that signs up for our service. And we provide you with the tools you need for success. Visit our Partners page to get started.

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Benchmark Email PayPal Integration

For those Benchmark users out there, you now have the option of adding your Paypal customers to one of your existing contact list.Related Articles

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Five Ways to Counteract Facebook's News Feed Post Crackdown

What can you do to counteract the ill effects of Facebook’s recent changes to its News Feed algorithm… and continue to get the most out of the social network? Read the full article at MarketingProfs

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Inside Microsoft’s New Rendering Engine For The “Project Spartan”

Last week, Microsoft made its biggest announcement for the web since it first introduced Internet Explorer in 1995: a new browser, codenamed “Project Spartan31.” So, what does this mean for us as designers and developers? What rendering engine will Spartan be using, and how will it affect our work? We spoke with Jacob Rossi, the senior engineer at Microsoft’s web platform team, about the new browser, the rendering engine behind it, and whether it’s going to replace Internet Explorer in the long run. This article, written by Jacob, is the result of our conversations, with a few insights that you may find quite useful. – Ed.

Project Spartan31, a new browser by Microsoft, was officially announced last week.

Spartan is a project that has been in the making for some time now and over the next few months we’ll continue to learn more about the new browser, what it has to offer users, and what its platform will look like. It will be a matter of few months until users and developers alike will be able to try Spartan for themselves, but we can share some of the interesting bits already today. This article will cover the inside story of the rendering engine powering Spartan, how it came to be, and how 20 years of the Internet Explorer platform (Trident) has helped inform how our team designed it.

Lessons Learned From Internet Explorer

Twenty years ago, Microsoft first introduced Internet Explorer to the world. For many users, it’s a household name and a brand recognized across the globe, but for web developers, those quirky older versions of Internet Explorer often make it difficult to recognize Microsoft’s recent efforts in supporting and implementing web standards. Though Internet Explorer’s legacy versions are likely to be remembered by web developers for bugs, hacks and dirty workarounds, IE did shape the web in a positive way4 for web developers by bringing CSS, dynamic HTML scripting and the DOM, AJAX/XMLHttpRequest, drag drop, innerHTML, hardware acceleration, and other technologies to the web.

On the browser team at Microsoft, we consider ourselves a learning organization. Each year, we take the time to reflect on our achievements and our failures to learn and grow. From that, each release of IE has made a lasting impact on how we engineer. Our learnings about the importance of cooperation amongst browser vendors, standards, compatibility, interoperability, performance, and security all come together to shape how we designed our new rendering engine.

Microsoft’s New Rendering Engine

The new Microsoft browser is going to be powered by a new rendering engine, EdgeHTML.dll. Windows 10 already has it integrated, and it will be separate from Trident (MSHTML.dll) that powered Internet Explorer for decades.

As we know, the latest versions of Trident powering Internet Explorer 11, did show a remarkable support for standards (I started to make a list5 of some of the notable ones, but stopped after I hit 75 specs). But its progress was heavily weighed down by the burden of legacy support for IE5.5, IE7, IE8, IE9, and IE10 document modes — a concept the web no longer needs.

So we set about to create a new engine using IE11’s standards support as a baseline. I watched Justin Rogers, one of our engineers, press “Enter” on the commit that forked the engine—it took almost 45 minutes just to process it (just committing the changes, not building!). When it completed, there was a liberating silence when we realized what this now enabled us to do: delete code, every developer’s favorite catharsis.

In the coming months, swathes of IE legacy were deleted from the new engine. Gone were document modes. Removed was the subsystem responsible for emulating IE8 layout quirks. VBScript eliminated. Remnants like attachEvent, X-UA-Compatible, currentStyle were all purged from the new engine. The codebase looks little like Trident anymore (far more diverged already than even Blink is from WebKit).

Project Spartan6
Project Spartan will be powered by a new rendering engine and the Chakra JavaScript engine, introduced with IE 9.

What remained was a clean slate. A modern web platform built with interoperability and standards at its core. From there, we began a major investment in interoperability with other modern browsers to ensure that developers don’t have to deal with cross-browser inconsistencies. To date, we’ve fixed over 3000 interoperability issues (some dating back to code written in the 90’s) on top of the over 40 new web standards7 we’re working on. For example, longstanding innerHTML issues are now fixed. Even recent standards, like Flexbox, are getting renewed love so that the new engine matches the latest spec (this will show up in a future Windows 10 preview build). Project Spartan will also have an updated version of the F12 developer tools. A few of my personal favorites that are in the preview builds or on their way:

  • Preserve-3d
  • The most advanced support for ES68 at the moment
  • XPath
  • Web Audio
  • Media Capture API
  • Web RTC 1.1 (ORTC)
  • Touch Events
  • Content Security Policy
  • HTTP/2

As it turns out, a modern and interoperable rendering engine alone isn’t enough to magically make the web just work. To do that, the browser also has to make sure that sites provide the browser with the up-to-date, “modern browsers” code. So our new engine also comes with a new user agent string. If user agent string tokens were stickers, then the new engine’s UA String looks like the backs of most web devs laptops these days. But this yields surprisingly positive results in compatibility and enables lots of sites to send our new engine modern content. It also gives me one more opportunity to beat the drum again: user agent sniffing should be avoided at all costs!

“That’s great, but my company has sites that require IE8.”

In order to ensure that we also retain backwards compatibility, we will not be getting rid of Trident. Instead, we designed and implemented a dual-engine approach, where either the new modern rendering engine or Trident can be loaded. This switch happens transparently to the user. Windows 10 will use EdgeHTML for the web (so no more worrying about doc modes) and only load Trident for legacy enterprise sites9. This dual-engine approach enables businesses to update to a modern engine for the web while running their mission critical applications designed for IE of old, all within the same browser. Even better, with the dual-engine approach we can ensure that only essential security fixes are made to Trident, minimizing code churn and ensuring that compatibility is preserved for enterprise sites, while we focus on innovating in the new (and always up to date) rendering engine untethered.

Spartan is the browser we expect people will be using on Windows 10. That said, there are a set of businesses that have built key tools on top of Internet Explorer’s legacy extensibility model (e.g. custom ActiveX, toolbars, browser helper objects, etc.). So, Internet Explorer will be made available on Windows 10 for some enterprise web applications that require a higher degree of backward compatibility. This version of Internet Explorer will use the same dual-engine approach as Spartan with EdgeHTML the default for the web, meaning developers won’t need to treat Internet Explorer and Spartan differently and our standards roadmap10 will be the same. The browser will be powered by the Chakra JavaScript engine11.

“That’s great, but some of my users still have IE8.”

We hear you. What’s painful for web devs to support is also painful for our browser team. Back in May, we talked about getting our users upgraded as a top priority12. Later in August, we announced a browser support policy13 that will encourage users to get up to date. Most significantly, we announced last week that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade14 to customers running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 who upgrade in the first year after launch. Furthermore, we’ll treat Windows 10 as a service—keeping users up to date and delivering features when they are ready (“auto-update”), not waiting for the next major release. This means the new rendering engine will always be truly evergreen.

The Roadmap Ahead

Another welcomed change that we’ve been rolling out over the past year is a promise for increased openness about our web platform plans and roadmap. Over the last year, you’ve hopefully experienced some of this through our open standards roadmap15 (one of my personal side projects), our Reddit AMA16, regular dialog through @IEDevChat17, and sharing preview builds18 very early in our development process. You’ll see more of this over the next year.

For standards support, we will maintain a pipeline of new features we’re working on. What’s ahead in the near future are Web Audio, Image srcset, @supports, Flexbox updates, Touch Events, ES6 generators, and others that have all seen commits in the recent weeks. What lies beyond are big ticket items like Web RTC 1.1 (ORTC) and Media Capture (getUserMedia() for webcam/mic access). Beyond that, we’re starting to use your input19 (and other factors, such as real world usage data gathered through the Bing crawler, which now can run our new engine) to shape how we prioritize our next platform investments.

Our plans for the platform in the initial release aren’t fixed—developer feedback has and will continue to shape it. So please expect agile changes. Here’s what you can do to get ahead:

  • Test out the new engine
    EdgeHTML can be enabled today within Internet Explorer in the Windows 10 Technical Preview20 (a preview of Project Spartan will come later) by navigating to about:flags and enabling “Experimental Web Platform Features.” If you’re on a Mac or don’t have a machine you can upgrade to Windows 10 preview builds yet, there’s the recently launched RemoteIE21 cloud service that lets you stream a version of IE running the new engine without downloading large virtual machine images (note: we’re still in the process of rolling out the last week’s preview build to RemoteIE).
  • File bugs
    Our investment in interoperability with modern browsers is fueled by data from bug reports22 and real world site impact.
  • Feel free to monitor and give us feedback on our standards roadmap – based on developer feedback23 over 40 different standards have gone from “under consideration” to in development since we launched our open roadmap24 back in May 2014.

Personally, I’m excited to share this inside scoop on the new web rendering engine powering Project Spartan in Windows 10 so early in our development process. We look forward to sharing more of our plans and in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have feedback, reach out to me25 and the rest of our team26. Let’s make the web work for you.

(rb, vf, il)


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The post Inside Microsoft’s New Rendering Engine For The “Project Spartan” appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Friday Round-Up: Twitter translates, Amazon wallet folds, and men are hanging out on Pinterest

Another week is at an end and it’s been a week of change here at MarketingPilgrim. Out there, in the rest of the digital marketing world, not so much. Seems like everyone is caught in the January slump. . . .or worse.

eBay gave their state of the union address and it wasn’t good. They used phrases like “going to get worse before it gets better” and capped it with layoffs for 2,400 workers. Later this year, eBay will be splitting from its sister company Paypal and though Paypal is expected to grow after the split, eBay is headed into dark waters. The hope is that someone will buy the company and return it to its former, collectible auctions, glory. I hope so because I can’t go a day without eBay.

Twitter announced a few new tweaks this week. The “while you were away” feature will push important Tweets you might have missed to the top of your timeline on mobile. This goes against Twitter’s real time philosophy and makes them more like Facebook in that they’re going to decide what’s important to you and what isn’t.

Si usted puede leer esto. . . you might be using Twitter’s new translation tool. Click the globe in the corner of any foreign language Tweet and the Bing translation pops up right below it. It’s a nice feature not just for the casual user but for social media managers who need to keep an eye on what people are saying about a company.

I tested a few Tweets and the translations are pretty good, especially when they were coming from professionals. As expected, casual Tweets with a lot of slang, didn’t always make sense.

In another part of the web, Amazon shut down the Amazon Wallet app this week after a short, 6 month beta test. The digital wallet should have caught on by now but everyone’s still struggling to make the idea work. I wonder why. . .

My favorite story of the week has to be this one from Pinterest where they try to convince you that a lot of manly men hang out on the site.

More men use Pinterest in the U.S. every month than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.

They also say that men are the fastest growing demographic on the site – but of course they are. They’re the only demographic left that isn’t already using the photo pinning site.

That’s it for me this week. I’m off to the Lost in Space reunion convention. Hope your weekend will be just as fun. See you back here on Monday.

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Logo flaunting is out; unbundling is in and other consumer insights

Today’s informative marketing post is brought to you by a misread. That’s right. I found this extremely interesting report because I misread the headline on the press release; Mindshare North America Releases Annual Culture Vulture Trends Report.

No joke, I thought it was a report about the growing vulture population in the US. Vultures – as in the villainous looking birds.

As it turns out, it’s actually a report that delves deeply into the mind of the American consumer and it’s fascinating.

Mindshare’s survey of more than 2,000 consumers led them to discover 10 trends. We’re going to look a 4. You’ll find a link for the rest at the end of this post.

The New Conspicuous Consumption:

Remember when a tiny alligator on your shirt was a status symbol? When a Nike swoosh meant you were cool but not necessarily athletic? We used to be a country that craved logos – the more obvious the better but the Culture Vulture says that 36% of U.S. consumers dislike wearing brand logos of any kind.

That doesn’t mean we’re done showing off . . . .

Rise of Good Intentions:

An increasing number of people are interested in contributing to a good cause but they’re not about to contribute anonymously. They’re using social media to post their Ice Bucket Challenge videos and Kickstarter donations. What that means is that worthy causes will go unfunded if they don’t have the flash. But if you can come up with a clever twist that goes viral, you can raise money to help wayward aliens find their way home. Eat M&M’s for E.T.!

If you try it and it works, I want my cut.


Marketers once taught us that we could get more for our money if we bundled. Cable and phone; accessories with the iPhone; get the shave and the hair cut and save 10%.

In 2015, one size no longer fits all. Instead of bundling for a discount, consumers say they’d rather pay to get exactly what they want – no more and no less. From cars to pizza; customization is in.

Age of Shallow Knowledge:

“A third of Americans feel pressure to stay up to date on the latest news, but don’t have time to read all the articles they want.” To get around that, 47% of those surveyed said they prefer to just skim the headlines rather than read the full article.

When you add small, mobile screens into the mix, it’s even more important that marketers front load their selling points. No more waiting until you reach the end of the article for the big punch. Give it to them straight at the top of the page and if they want the details, they can keep reading.

Marketing Is A Game:

This one made me laugh.

More and more consumers have grown savvy to everyday marketing tactics, and now they’re gaming the system. For instance, 31% say “when shopping online, I’ll intentionally leave items in a ‘shopping basket’ in hopes of receiving a discount from the store…”

It appears that we’ve trained consumers all too well. They know our tactics and they’ve learned to take advantage of them. I’ve tried the abandoned cart trick on numerous occasions. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t; but if I’m not in a hurry to buy, it’s worth trying.

It’s up to you if you want to reward this kind of behavior or not. I wonder what would happen if the abandoned cart email said, “sorry you left items in your cart, we were going to give you a 20% discount upon checkout but now you’ve blown it and will have to pay full price.” I doubt such an email would encourage customers to return but it would get you a mention on a marketing blog like this.

For the rest of the trends, check out the free Culture Vulture Report from Mindshare.

(*I know E.T. loved Reece’s Pieces but M&M’s for E.T. has a better ring.)

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Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track

At the end of the day, I just find your persona incredibly grating.

Funny that I can still remember that comment word-for-word. It’s from an unsubscribe note to my email list dating back at least seven years now.

I heard lots of good things back then, too. I was helping people, sharing what I knew in a way that was useful to my (then tiny) audience. But I don’t remember any of the good comments verbatim.

Even back then, though, the note made me laugh.


Because I knew that it was a signpost. A signal that I was headed in the right direction.

The Internet is full of wonderful things. It’s given me a rich business life, a vehicle to help and teach, lots of friendships, and a wide view of this amazing world. I even met my husband online.

But it’s also populated by a few people who are rude and disagreeable, if not outright trolls.

The day you get your first snotty comment is the day you’ve arrived, in a weird way. It means you’ve escaped your own echo chamber. You’ve grown out of the little cocoon that kept you safe.

And you’re strong enough to handle that, even if you don’t always feel that way.

No one takes a swipe at boring people

If you’re a bland, unremarkable serving of Cream of Wheat, you won’t attract many haters.

You need a strong voice to stand out online — and some will find that “incredibly grating.” You’re on the right track.

You need to stand for something beyond platitudes and conventional wisdom. Some will find that threatening or even offensive. You’re on the right track.

You need to stand tall and own your success and authority. Some will find that intolerable. Let them howl. You’re on the right track.

Don’t worry — if you’re helping people, you’re doing it right. You’ll attract supporters, too. Try to give them more attention than you do the rude ones. Not easy to do, but worth our effort.

But the jerks and even the haters are an inuksuk — a sign on the rough and wild path.

It says:

There is something good ahead. Keep going.

Flickr Creative Commons image by James Pratley.

About the author

Sonia Simone

Sonia Simone is co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Copyblogger Media. Get more from Sonia on Twitter and .

The post Trolls, Unkind Words, and How to Know You’re on the Right Track appeared first on Copyblogger.

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