Advice on affiliates and startup marketing please


I have recently set up a website business in the busy world of weddings. I realise this is a somewhat saturated marketplace but i believe i am offering something slightly different/better than what’s already out there. I have a few ideas about what i might/could do to market the website but i’d like some advice from people who’ve used an of these techniques successfully or otherwise.

  1. Social media - this is already set up and i have gained 79 FB likes (woohoo!) so far. I have over 100 twitter followers and have also started using Pinterest, so all small scale at the moment but hoping to gain momentum over time.
  2. Blog - just started.

What i’m thinking of doing…
1. Local marketing - I have thought about contacting wedding vendors (photographers/florists etc) local to my area to see if they want to a) Gain free advertising by writing about their services that i will add to my blog and/or b) Offering them a commission based incentive.
The only way i can think of offering a commission based incentive is to provide each vendor with a unique code so any user accessing the site with this code would automatically add to the vendors online tally. This would be a lot of work to code into the site from scratch so i wonder if there’s a better/more efficient method…is this what online affiliate marketing organisations do or could help with?

2. Online marketing - i’m still not clear how affiliate marketing works but would this be worth looking into? Would i have to pay regardless of whether i gain any sign-ups on my website? Do any affiliate programs offer a trial?

3. Press release - I have a list of relevant blogs that I will submit a press release to…are there any tips to submitting press releases?

Any tips on any of the above will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance


An issue I see with 1) is that the majority of businesses can’t write good copy / too busy/lazy to do so. You may need to hold their hand in producing articles, which is time consuming. Unless you have provable substantial traffic that is well targeted to their target demographic you may have a hard case persuading them - you have a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario. With regards to affiliate sales, you need to be able to track a sale to final point of payment completion (i.e. on their site), or take product enquiry details on your site and pass them through while trusting to their honesty (either scenario has major issues)

With regards to 3), a site that I administer gets a lot of press releases which are filtered through for good content. In our case it’s an industry news/business information site that has global reach, so some common causes of elimination are a) the heavy sell - if it’s just a sales pitch without any useful information, or isn’t newsworthy b) overly definitive - e.g world’s best / no.1 / other unproven claim. It might get reworked by an editorial team member, might get binned. c) scope - too local, only relevant to a small geographical area. If a press release has information that is likely to have a ‘long tail’ of relevance then it’d be favourable, but very few companies (although it is growing) write press releases with web traffic/seo in mind.

Hi EastCoast

Thanks for your input.
The chicken-egg scenario is a bit of a hurdle I can see that.
So what would be a good starting point?
I am looking at marketing on a local scale as a two way thing as other businesses will benefit from returned free advertising although i’m acutely aware that my website reach currently is small and so people aren’t going to be falling over themselves. I could develop an online form that walks users through adding a short blog post (i.e, prompt a title, images, background, offers etc etc.) which may make the process easier.
Or maybe i’m looking at this the wrong way and should be concentrating on other aspects of pushing the web business?

I have joined in the hope of finding decent posts but i’m at that catch 22 hurdle again in that my site is new and therefore hardly figures in terms of visits.
I also thought of getting the site reviewed by relevant sites with a possible giveaway prize too…do you think this would be beneficial (obviously assuming the review is favourable)?

What about Facebook then? I paid for a sponsored ad and gained a few followers but what’s the deal with FB…do i need to ‘like’ relevant businesses also to increase my relevance?
Have FB offers worked for anyone…'like us on FB and receive a free …"?

Probably too many questions here but appreciate any advice.


I am looking for Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The industry has four core players: the merchant (also known as ‘retailer’ or ‘brand’), the network (that contains offers for the affiliate to choose from and also takes care of the payments), the publisher (also known as ‘the affiliate’), and the customer. The market has grown in complexity to warrant a secondary tier of players, including affiliate management agencies, super-affiliates and specialized third party vendors.