The Best Digital Marketing Strategy, 2017. Pic by Matt Gibson

Competition in the world of online marketing is fierce - I mean really fierce. Fortunately, there is also a lot of change that brings with it huge amounts of opportunity, and 2017 is no different.

This year I have chosen a hybrid strategy that forms a symbiotic marketing mix that will do everything from building your brands' trust and authority to increasing reach, generating buzz, building relationships with important influencers and ultimately generating more organic search traffic from Google.

I call it confluence marketing.

Why?

Free beginner guides for entrepreneurs. Pic by James Jordan.

It’s hard work trying to find the time to develop a new business idea, create a business plan, build a website, create content, marketing, promotions, networking, investments, and everything else that has to get done.

Free email marketing setup guide. Pic by Wayne Stadler

Modern email marketing campaigns, especially from small businesses, need to be able to grow a killer mailing list and deliver awesome emails to the right audience as efficiently as possible.

In case you're still a bit undecided about whether an email marketing campaign is right for your business, here's an old saying that should help:

Motivational wallpapers and backgrounds. Pic by DyosEL

I love finding new motivational quotes from successful entrepreneurs and other personalities and find that reading an inspirational saying each morning, before starting work, makes a big difference to my day.

There's something encouraging about knowing that these people made it big and are sharing a bit of their wisdom with us. And, luckily, there is one fantastic site called Strange Fox that specialises in turning inspirational and motivational quotes into fantastic phone wallpapers and desktop backgrounds for women... absolutely free.

Home office furniture. Pic by Joey Parsons

The humble desk and office chair have come along way. Now we have adjustable ergonomically designed swivel chairs that do everything but make the coffee. In fact, it can't be too long before we get a smartchair - an iChair - that can control the coffee machine.

But, as it turns out, making yourself as comfortable and supported (in all the right places) may not be as good for you as it seems. In fact, the less our bodies have to do the weaker they can become and more susceptible to injury and other problems.

Free Website designs from top website builders. Pic by Yann Coeuru

Website builders have forever changed the world of Web design by allowing us to use free, responsive themes and templates to manage the look and feel of our sites without having to learn anything about Web development.

But which ones offer the best free templates that will simultaneously be quick and easy to use, make your site look beautiful, respond to any device (mobile support), and offer excellent built in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) features to help drive organic traffic from Google?

Grow your business (Fill empty seats). Pic by Andrew

The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a United States government department tasked with supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses. But what can it actually do for you?

We were curious about this so we asked our community for their stories about how the SBA - including the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) who are also funded/supported by them - had impacted their ventures. Not including their websites that offer a huge online repository of information, articles and business resources (we'll list a bunch of important online resources for you to explore at the end of the article).

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Latest idea

Online affiliate programs allow publishers to add links to their content that drive traffic to a merchant who shares a percent of any profits generated by that traffic. It doesn't cost the buyer a thing either.

Create an app that grabs affiliate commission from users' traffic and goes to a charity or organisation of their choice.

Support charities with affiliate comissions

Donors would create an account, specify which charities they would like to support and then shop normally. Your app would automatically grab affiliate commissions and disburse them to the charity.

Your company would take a small commission for promoting the charities and managing their payments.