Current VP of Marketing, Sales and Ecommerce at a Toronto based startup (StickerYou.com) where I have helped to achieve nearly tripple digit Y/Y growth. Past partner in an email marketing startup (EmailTrack.com) with B2B and B2C experience in small companies and HP (B2B Manager LA and Canada)
Consider service providers which work in specific employee sub-segments. For example, create a relationship with service providers servicing the aboriginal segment. This is just an example, but you can work with service providers who hire people with certain disabilities, etc.. Service providers are always looking to staff at entry level positions.
I would be careful with removing such a blog post. If a post is receiving a lot of traffic it is because likely people have linked to it. Removing such a blog post will result in your back-links being removed and the link juice will be lost. If there are enough external links pointing to your post your entire domain may suffer. If you really want to remove such a post you would first have to do some back link analytics to see who is pointing to your post and whether the links are follow or no follow. Removing a page which has only external no-follow links will not result in a penalty. If you want more info let me know.
Facebook would like you to believe that everything just happens on FB and you don't need any content outside of the FB eco system. I can absolutely tell you that's not the case. There are hundreds of thousands of people putting stuff up on instagram / FB and that does not make them influencers. If your goal is to become a blogger then you need a blog :) If your goal is just to become some sort of an influencer, then you can become one on any of the SocialMedia platforms and you don't really need a blog, but in my opinion, when you have your own blog you free yourself from any one medium as you actually own the content, the way it's displayed and where it will be featured. To summarize, I would always start with good content and you might as well get a blog. There is no down side.
First you have to know a bit about Affiliate marketing and realize that actually there are at least very different types of affiliates and they all serve different purposes in the sales cycle. Some help push value conscious consumers over the edge (ie, coupon based sites that you refer to), but others drive a totally different purpose.. They are more upper funnel (Loyalty, Content, Non-Profit publishers). I could help you create a plan and policies to effectively navigate the affiliate space. Good luck :)
Well, the most basic answer is that you could look for certifications. However, that only takes you so far. Any PPC professional worth his/her salt also has experience with PPC management software (Kenshoo, Marin, Acquisio), etc. Ask what experience they have and what they like dislike. I have my favourites :) More over any good PPC expert has their own strategies for managing and structuring campaign. Ask what strategies they use. GIve sample cases and how they think. However, you really have to know what you are doing to hire well. I would suggest you get a PPC expert to do the interviewing and screening for you. Identify 2/3 good people and you hire one that you like for the personality fit.
Good Luck :)
I've read all the answers provided and even though I think they are valid, I believe they miss one critical thing. The value of you obtaining a customer is not the $9.99 that you may get from them (or whatever you are charging), but the data you gather. In the financial industry to the contact is worth far more then anything you could ever charge a monthly fee for. The devil is in the details but I have lots of ideas on how you could monetize. We can talk further if you'd like.
Traction, if defined as getting interest or sales from customers is extremely important. Lots of people think that they may be able to get investors in just on an in idea. The truth is this almost never happens for 1st time entrepreneurs. On the question of major milestones however, I would not worry about this as much. The important thing is to continue to re-evaluate your assumptions, target audiences, product to market need fit. You will find your milestones keep shifting that that is perfectly fine as long as you are getting traction or on your way to getting traction.