All posts by Bob Zhang

digital marketer, blogger, and to know the world better : )

Affiliate Marketing Checklist 2020

From setting up a new program to messaging cohesion and optimizing partnerships, conducting regular affiliate audits ensure that your program is successful. Hope this checklist can help you effectively manage your affiliate program.

Account Audit

Is all your publisher-facing information up-to-date? Review the following information for reference.

General Network Account Information

  • Program description (bio)
  • Logo
  • Automated event emails (pending applications, acceptance into program, etc.)
  • Newsletter templates
  • Contact information
  • Affiliate page on your websites


  • Logo
  • Banners (seasonal and relevant)
  • Video
  • Textlink
  • Product Feed

Banner Size:

  • 300X250, 728X90, 60X600, 120X90, 125X125, 468X60
  • 300X600, 325X50 (mobile), 335X280

banner size

Commission Terms

  • Publisher groups and tags for easy reporting and newsletter outreach
  • Dynamic commission if necessary
  • PPC rules (brand safety)

Publisher Approvals

  • Avoid auto-approval because of quality over quantity

Pixel Implementation


Promotional Calendar

  • Understand drive times for specific products and categories
  • Based on prior performance and current availability, consider offering affiliate channel exclusives, affiliate semi-exclusives or true exclusives to key partners.
  • Get creative with promotional messaging, adding in seasonal wording where appropriate to create a sense of urgency and relevancy.

Free Shipping & Shipping Deadlines

  • Customers love free shipping.

Promotional Assets

  • coupon code
  • sweepstakes
  • gift card
  • flash sale
  • holiday sale

Newsletter Communication/Mass Outreach

  • promotional coupon, coupon code, duration, and any terms and conditions
  • plan to send reminders of peak promotions closer to the actual run dates
  • creat a list of top publisher contacts and send promotional updates and calendars directly to these contacts, as well as in-network newsletters.
  • creat a monthly newsletter schedule that coincides with your sites marketing calendar


Top Publishers/ Coupons & Loyalty

  • communicate individually with these publishers, addressing any recent decrease and /or ways to continue increasing performance.
  • offer a tiered performance bonus to top partners for exceeding revenue goals.

Content Affiliates

  • Highlight relevant seasonal products, along with updated seasonal creative in communications to content-focused sites.
  • Incentivize content affiliates to post specific seasonal content and promotions.
  • Provide content suggestions  (keywords or best sellers) if possible.

Influencer Marketing

  • Mega, Macro, Micro or Nano influencers

Technology Affiliates

  • Retargeting can be helpful to optimize conversion rates.

Placement Buying

  • Ask for media kits and get the best fit for your budget during the holiday season.


Brand Safety & Fraud Traffic

  • Audit publisher sites to ensure they are not cheating and violating the program terms.

Placement Performance

  • Monitor publisher sites to ensure placements are running as scheduled with the proper messaging.

Budget  & KPI

  • Metrics: Clicks, Sales, ROAS, AOV, CR, New/Existing customer

Multi-Channel Marketing

  • Compare the data among different marketing channels

15 Marketing Models You Should Know

Theories on marketing, communication science, consumer behavior can help us better understand customer needs, create and deliver value, run the business, and manage the brand.


  • Marketing Strategy
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Integrated Marketing Communication
  • Brand Management

Continue reading 15 Marketing Models You Should Know

Digital Marketing Strategy Study Notes

Below is the study notes of the book Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing by Simon Kingsnorth.

This book is not up to date with digital marketing changing fast, so I combined it with related materials for your reference.

Happy Reading!

Continue reading Digital Marketing Strategy Study Notes

Advertising Timeline

3000 BC-AD1

3000BC Written advertisement offering “whole gold coin” for runaway slave “Shem”

500 BC Political and trade graffiti on Pompeii walls

AD 1 First uppercase lettering appears on Greek buildings


AD 500-1799

1455 Frist printed Bible

1472 First printed ad in English tacked on London Church doors

1544 Claude Garamond, first “typefounder” perfects a roman typeface that bears his name and still used today

1600s Newspaper emerge

1650 First newspaper ad offers reward for stolen horses

1655 First use of the term “advertising”

1662 London Gazette offers first advertising supplement

1704 First ads in America published in the Boston Newsletter

1742 First magazine ad

In the late-1700s, the Industrial Revolution began in England and by the early1800s it had reached North America.



1841 Volney B. Palmer becomes first “newspaper agent” (advertising agent) in America

1844 First magazine ad runs

1869 Francis W. Ater founds ad agency bearing his father’s name, N. W. Ayer & Sons, in Philadelphia. He initiates first “for commission” ad contract (1876), first market survey for an ad (1879), and first on-staff creative services (art in 1890, copywriting in 1892)

1888 Printers’ link first U.S. publication for ad profession



1900 Psychologists study the attention-getting and persuasive qualities of advertising

1900 Northwestern University is first to offer advertising as a discipline

1903 Scripps-McRae League of Newspapers appoints ad censor, rejects $500,000 in ads in first year.

1905 First national ad plan is for the “Gillette Safety Razor.”

1905-1930s Claude Hopkins develops scientific mail-order copy testing

1911 First “truth in advertising” codes are established by what is now called the American Advertising Federation (AAF)

1914 FTC Act passed



1920s Albert Lasker, “father” of modern advertising, calls advertising “salesmanship in print.” First ad testimonials by movie stars appear. Full-color printing is available in magazines.

1922 First radio ad solves radio’s need for financing.

1924 N. W. Ayer produces first sponsored radio broadcast, the “Eveready Hour.”

1929-1933 the Great Depression

1930 Advertising Age magazine is founded.

1938 Wheeler-Lea amendments to FTC Act of 1938 grant FTC further power to curb false ad practices

1939-1945 WWII



1946 America has 12 TV stations broadcasting to the public.

1947 Lanham Trademark Act protects brand names and slogans.

1948 46 TV stations are operating and 300 others are awaiting FCC approval.

1950 First political ads, by Gov. Dewey of New York, appear on TV.

1950s David Ogilvy’s “Hathaway man” and “Commander Whitehead” become popular ad personae

1950s Rosser Reeves develops the unique selling proposition (USP) or unique selling point



1960s Doyle Dane Bernbach’s “Think small” ad for American Volkswagen becomes one of the

most famous ads of the decade, establishing a strong market position for the smallest European import. The agency’s slogan for Avis, “We’re only No. 2, so we try harder,” is also very successful. New York’s Madison Avenue becomes known worldwide as the center of the advertising world and features the best in advertising creativity.

1960s Leo Burnett creates brand icons and “inherent drama:

1950s David Ogilvy develops research-based image advertising and storytelling

1960s Bill Bernbach focuses on the art of persuasion

1967 First Super Bowl is telecast. Cost of a 30-second spot: $40,000.



1971 Armed services begin first advertising for the new “all-volunteer” military (“Be all that you can be in the Army”).

1972 The Ad Age article “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind” by Al Ries and Jack Trout

details the strategy of positioning that dominates the 1970s.

1973 Oil shortages begin period of “demarketing,” ads aimed at slowing demand.

1970s (late) Growth in self-indulgence, signified by popularity of self-fulfillment activities, spurs some agencies into making infomercials.



1980s Ad agency megamergers take place worldwide.

1982 First edition of Contemporary Advertising is published.

1984 The Internet (government controlled since 1973) is turned over to the private sector.

1986 Marketing Warfare by Al Ries and Jack Trout portrays marketing in terms of classic warfare manual written by General Clausewitz in 1831.

1989 Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web, allowing surfers to browse the Internet.



1990s A recession leads marketers to shift funds from advertising to sales promotion.

1994 Media glut leads to market fragmentation; network TV is no longer sole medium for reaching total marketplace. Ad professions adopt integrated marketing communications (IMC) as the new strategy to build market relationships.

1997 AOL launches Instant Messenger (AIM), allowing online chat and opening the door to social networking.

1998 Google begins answering search queries.



2000 The Internet is the fastest-growing new ad medium since TV, with 400 million users.

2002 A general economic slump hammers ad spending.

2005 Online advertisers spend $8.32 billion to reach the 170 million wired U.S. residents.

2007 The iPhone takes social media mobile.

2007 U.S. ad agency revenue surges 8.6% to $31 billion, led by double-digit growth in digital advertising.

2009 Broad global recession leads to cutbacks in ad expenditures.



2010 The Old Spice Guy viral campaign achieves 113 million online views.

2012 Google captures over 30% of the $100 billion digital advertising market.

2013 Growth in global advertising is 3.5%, led by mobile advertising, expanding by 67%.

2013 The Man of Steel movie collects $160 million in product placements, paid by 100 promotional partners.

2015 YouTube is watched daily by more people, ages 18-49, than any cable network.

2016 Fiftieth Super Bowl




Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 Overview


“这场无妄之灾说大不大说小不小,总会过去的。过去之后,遇难者会被永远湮灭在新的喧嚣之下,而因之被强化的一系列东西却会在相当长的未来被固化并被习惯。人们会忘却这些东西产生的背景,更不会去思考这些东西背后的逻辑与成因,只会对这些东西习以为常并认为是天经地义。不必很长时间,你回头看时,就会发现你生存的这艘大船在它既有的方向,又一次加速了它的速度并强化了它的方向锁定。” by 老枪

Continue reading Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 Overview

Weely Reading Picks| 2019 Top 15

Here are the handpicked top 15 posts from weekly reading. Happy Reading.










Study Notes: Management

Below is the study notes of management from Coursera course Fundamental management and book Management by Stephen P. Robbins and Mary A. Coulter.

Stephen P. Robbins also writes Organizational Behavior so you will find some content are similar in the two textbooks. To save your time, it is not necessary to learn the Coursera course because it is fundamental and most about concepts.

Many theories about management, OB, leadership is helpful for us to understand how an organization works and develop our skills related.

Framework: 5 Functions of Management

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Leading
  • Controlling

Fundamentals of Management

Reading Materials:

Management Book

  • Management by Stephen P. Robbins and Mary A. Coulter
  • Manager Handbook from Harvard Business Review

Project Management Book

  • (PMBOK® Guide) – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge-Project Management Institute
  • The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management by Eric Verzuh
  • The Economist: Guide to Project Management
  • HBR Guide to Project Management


  • Harvard Business Review
  • MIT Sloan Management Review



Weekly Reading Picks| Volume 50

Bob’s Weekly Reading Picks

2019.12.22 volume 50


  1. Content Marketing Hub by BackLinko
  2. 2019 – The Rakuten Marketing Year that Was
  3. PerformanceIN’s 2019 Top Performance Marketers List
  4. 2020 Calendar of Affiliate Marketing Conferences
  5. The 18 Most-Followed TikTok Brands and Influencers
  6. Companies should take California’s new data-privacy law seriously
  7. Designing Better Online Review Systems Continue reading Weekly Reading Picks| Volume 50

SEO All In One

SEO Guide

1.SEO Books

  • The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization
  • Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies
  • Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day
  • SEO 2020 Learn Search Engine Optimization With Smart Internet Marketing Strategy
  • SEJ| SEO ebooks

2.SEO Guide

3.How to Become an SEO Expert

4.SEO Tools

SEO Analytics Tool

Keyword Research Tool

Backlink Tool

Crawling/Indexing Tool

Content Tool


Local SEO Tool

Mobile SEO Tool

Technical SEO Tool

SEO Toolbar

5.SEO Step by Step

SEO Ranking Factors

Google Algorithm Update

On-Page SEO

Backlink| On-Page SEO

Link Building

Local SEO Directories


International SEO

SEO Checklist

6. SEO News

7.SEO Blogs

8. SEO Conferences

• Mozcon
• Searchlove
• SMX Munich
• SEMpdx Engage
• Brighton SEO