If you want to be able to work part-time from home, or ideally sit at home and earn a full-time income on part-time hours, affiliate programs have the advantage offered by allowing you to market a selection of products including big-ticket items.
More experienced affiliate marketers tend to favor big-ticket items for their income opportunities. Even though many people believe that the commission on a big-ticket item is too restrictive, several people have learned to exploit this thinking foreseeably by branding themselves as experts in the field of affiliate marketing in general.
Affiliate marketing for dummies | Introduction
If you want to be able to work without having to keep your finances completely straight, and, be able to spend time at your most convenience when it comes to involvement with your online business, then you need to pay close attention to the idea of affiliate marketing while at the same time developing a fool-proof plan to gain success in your marketing effort.
The idea of profit-sharing is what makes affiliate marketing such an enticing prospect for many people, in particular, for those who are just starting in Internet marketing.
It is one of the most popular and successful types of online marketing schemes in the world today, with more than enough room for anyone who is seeking to use this sort of marketing technique to generate an income online. Of course, to benefit from affiliate marketing, you need to be able to promote a high-quality, hassle-free program that will enable you to gain the kind of success that you are dreaming of.
Do you need a website?
It is great to have your website; however, unless you are promoting a big-ticket item or if you feel that demand for certain products is steady, consider limiting your merchant partner’s page to those products – especially if you use payment services – so you can focus your promotional efforts on the more lucrative options.
Remember that your prospects are most likely to purchase the big-ticket items if they view you as an expert in the field for which the product was created. This means that you must develop the skill set to effectively promote big-ticket items. And even if you don’t view your merchants as big-ticket items, you will likely view your prospect list as such. So consider positioning yourself as a leader in the field and cashing in on your customers’ desire and need for these big-ticket products.
Doing so will not only help you grow your sales, but it will also help you down the line, because of the strongly preferred brand awareness that will be developed when your prospects view you as an expert in your field.
The Two Types of Affiliate Programs
There are two types of affiliate programs; pay-per-sale and pay-per-click.
Pay Per Sale:
Pay per sale affiliate programs are the most effective of all and are associated with the largest number of successful online entrepreneurs. Of the two types, the pay per sale is associated with the lowest percentage of failures and passions, but it also has the highest drop-out rate of all the options.
Pay per sale programs are dependent upon an affiliate company; the affiliate merchant would have a link to your website and when visitors buy, you would receive a commission based on a determined percentage of the sale. The commission could be an initial sum or it could be a defined amount. If the visitors don’t buy, you would receive no further compensation. However, the largest pay per sale affiliate network is ClickBank.
Pay Per Click:
Pay per click affiliate programs are what is referred to as learning the ropes – you would click on a link to a website promoting a product and, if someone goes to the merchant website and makes a purchase, you would receive compensation, usually via percentage of sales.
Blogs are a hot topic and, with the continuous boom happening in the blog world, it would make sense to establish a blog for your affiliate marketing business promotional content. However, it is not a means of getting quick traffic. You will not make the big bucks with ClickBank links in your blog posts unless you can provide well-written content that envelops and conveys the message to the targeted visitors. The promotional and sales messages have to be top-notch and provide value to prospects.
Essentially, an affiliate company provides the link between the merchant and the affiliate. The affiliate, using their website or blog, promotes their affiliate links to encourage visitors to click on them. When the visitor clicks on the link and ends up at the merchant website, the merchant can ascertain the source of the traffic and discount or discount the price. It is through this method that the affiliate company communicates with the affiliate and takes commission from the sale.
So, why should you form affiliate relationships with online companies?
Once you’ve chosen a popular product within your niche, you shouldn’t be afraid of contacting the merchant regarding an affiliate partnership. Most of the time, the merchant is more than willing to negotiate for an arrangement between them and you, where you agree to get paid for promoting their product. If they don’t initiate the partnership discussions with you, then you should assume that they are most likely not interested in working with you.
o If you want to attract a specific and targeted audience, i.e. you want to sell the best affiliate products to them, i.e. the people who are interested in the product.
o You want to make money online, which is where most affiliate marketers are failing.
o You want to get home multiple streams of income, having the ability to promote other relevant products to your same niche audience.
o Building relationships with well-known people in your niche audience. By providing value and helping them you will build their trust and they will tell their friends about you. It’s how trust is built.
o Marketers who understand this realize the importance of building a list of contacts. Whereas one person may be interested in one product you are promoting, and another person could be more inclined to purchase the product because of the trust they have with that person, you still can make the sale.
What if they refuse to negotiate?
If they won’t negotiate then keep looking. If they are serious about making money from your efforts, they will ask you a few basic questions, such as: how long have you been a member of their program, what type of website are you marketing, what is your referral link going to be, etc.
Don’t ignore the details. Once you find a merchant that you are happy with, see if they will allow you to include their links in your website or e-mail campaigns. You can also, include affiliate marketing information in your e-books, newsletters, weekend letters, or your blog posts. Include affiliate marketing links that go to their websites with your other campaign links.
What should you promote?
In affiliate marketing, there are many lessons to be learned, but none are more important than making sure that the product you promote is of quality.
Of course, to have a successful career as an affiliate marketer, you need to choose the appropriate products to market. Choosing to market single items makes it more difficult to create a truly profitable income. Therefore, you should choose to market a product that is in high demand, in addition to having the ability to create your own. If you are new to affiliate marketing, start with one item and move on to more after some time.
In addition to your goal of making money through affiliate marketing, you should think about the commission you’ll receive for marketing a product. If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you should start with a product or service that you truly love.
If you have already marketed this product and developed the need within your readers and/or customers for this specific product, then consider moving on to another product. Selling an item based on the current failures or successes of your competitors is a favorite strategy of many affiliate marketers. This is a good way to keep your competitive edge against your competitors, while also increasing your commission.
Once you’ve determined which marketing opportunities are going to be the most lucrative for you, focus on those links. When you are consistently making money from one specific marketing site, you can replicate this success over and over and expand your success.
You should also try to create promotional material for the product you are marketing as this will allow you to stand out from the crowd. For example, if you are promoting a dating site, you could create a personalized e-mail that targets the reader to encourage them to join the affiliate program.
It can also be beneficial to be creative with your e-mail. Think of creative ways for inserting links and banners and make sure they are connected to the subject material. Brainstorm, analyze, and write all of the necessary links down so that you have an easy time presenting your offers to the reader. It also helps to remember that these types of promotions are often the best when dealing with expensive products such as those associated with high ticket programs.
These are just a few of the many things you can do with your affiliate marketing business to take it to the next level. There are many other steps you can take, but starting with these is the most logical and important steps you can take to ensure you are on your way to success.
How to be successful at affiliate marketing
If you want to do a good job at marketing products with affiliate programs, you need to learn how to present the product in a way that shows success, and you should make a connection with the prospect before putting him/her on a list. There are some important things to bear in mind when working on affiliate programs, some of which include:
1) The importance of privacy
The failure of many Internet companies to protect the privacy of personal information can cost them a large part of their market share. In October 2005 the Federal Trade Commission learned that personal and financial details can be determined without consumers’ permission in many ways.
2) Test the product
One of the finest ways of knowing if the product you’re promoting is a hit is to buy it and test it out yourself. If you’re serious about selling a highly sought after product, the very best way to do this is to purchase it and test it out carefully. By doing this you’ll be able to give an honest and thorough review of the product, which will arm you well to sell to others.
3) Keyword Research
Free and paid keyword research tools are essentially the same. The free one does not offer as much data, but if you know what to look for in the free tool, you can feel safe going with the paid tool even if data is not available. Keyword research is based on two criteria,
(a) search volumes for a given monthly search volume and,
(b) search volumes versus search engine activity.
This takes a lot of analysis. There are of course free keyword tools; those are generally outdated. If you were to perform a detailed keyword search on the Internet it would take hours. If you were to use a keyword tool from a website that specializes in keyword research you would likely pay not less than $50.00. In comparison, an Internet “organic” keyword search may cost you $0.00.
It is also vital to understand how to price your product. What specific keywords are you looking for that will send you to sales? You can focus on product name keywords or product title keywords. Title keywords are especially important and are closely related to sub-keywords.
If you sense that the product you’ve chosen is a burner, move on and choose a different product. If you sense that the product is a seller, then you can take the risk removed from your original product idea and add a different product. If it is a flop, you may be able to refund your old product and get a discount on your next one.
4) Create a quick website
You don’t need to be a professional designer to create a simple sales page website. If you understand HTML and WYSIWYG, you can create quickly and easily. If you do not understand these two technologies, you can still create a simple sales page website.
The very first thing you should do is: Create a domain name. Buy yourself a domain name that describes what your site will be about. It is so much easier to build a site if you know what you are getting yourself into. You can often find domain names for as low as $8.00. If you are not ready to spend a pile of money on a domain name, you can quickly find a host that will maintain the domain for you for around $5.00 a month.
Hosting your site:
If you’ve chosen your domain name, obtained your hosting, and created your sales page website with a sales copy, you are now ready to add affiliate programs. You can find dozens of affiliate programs to join from with names like Commission Junction, LinkShare, ClickBank, and ClickOne administrations. Don’t forget to add Google AdSense and/or a similar program to earn additional revenue from your site. These two programs are an easy source of revenue.
Although there are many ways to create a successful affiliate marketing campaign online, another very important idea that you need to think about if you want to have the financial freedom to do as much or as little of the work as you desire, is whether you want to promote relevant or new products or services.
Recognize The Importance Of Building an Email List
There is a saying in Internet marketing that most people rarely build their email list. Those few people who do make the effort to build their list usually never have the opportunity to follow up with that list consistently. There are a few reasons for this. Initially, it is challenging to create a good enough relationship with a new prospect to follow up with.
The second reason is it takes time to build a list of any decent size. With affiliate marketing, it is easy to build an email list because you don’t have to create any product to sell to your list. As such, a good portion of any sales you make are going to be re-invested directly into your list. Over the long term, you are likely to find that you are credited with many sales each year simply because you took the time to build a relationship with a number of your prospects.
Track And Optimize Your Results
You need to track the results of your promotional efforts. You can do this by using a simple Google Analytics report. Thereafter, you should regularly review your actual website statistics to see the progress you are making. By optimizing your results for tracking, you will see a steady increase in the number of new subscribers you are getting and the overall revenue you are earning from your affiliate marketing program.
Provide a user-friendly and responsive website
If you want to have a successful affiliate marketing program, your website must be easy to navigate. It should be full of original thinking and good content. Don’t use too many banners because this will make it look overcrowded and ugly. Also, provide options for people to subscribe to your list regularly. Don’t spend too much time selling your visitor on joining your mailing list, but instead, offer them free quality content and a free eBook if they do reply.
Offer limitless free quality content
Surely, you are in this for the long run, so while you are free to make money by promoting your affiliate program, you also have to make sure that you offer people a reason to sign up to your mailing list.
Don’t rule out the beginner by discouraging them at this step. Remember that the free quality content that you are provided is important in the eyes of the search engines. So for as long as you can keep offering quality content, you will be able to make a huge difference in your search engine rankings.
You should only promote affiliate programs that you use yourself. However, if you ever did have a bad experience with an affiliate program, then you should never promote it again. People can tell when you are being honest and when you are just trying to make up sales. They will respect you for it.
The money is in the list (always!)
The above mentioned 5 tips can be used to generate more sales with your affiliate programs. Since you have read this article, you must have at least a beginner affiliate marketing idea to use the information.
If you have a website, affiliate marketing is an excellent way to generate additional sales for that website. The affiliate can sign up for an affiliate program offered by almost any Web site. Once approved, the affiliate is allowed to place the affiliate links on his website, in his email newsletter, in e-book downloads, in forum posts, and in any other method he might choose to use to promote the affiliate program.
In most cases, if a visitor clicks on the affiliate link, and ends up purchasing something from the website you’ve referred to, the affiliate will get a percentage of the total sale from the merchant. E-books are a particularly popular promotional item for affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing advantages
One of the main advantages of affiliate marketing is convenience. The affiliate can now send e-mails or e-book proposals to people on his email list, without having to get involved in any form of phone call, shipping, or product presentation. At the same time, the affiliate can now reach people through e-mail, rather than having to call them on the telephone.
Another great advantage for the affiliate is less of a commitment is involved. The affiliate does not have to be present in person at the location where the product is located. And, often, the affiliate does not even have to try the product once, and can just refer it to his email list. All that is required of the affiliate is that he shows interest in the product, usually through the Internet, and that he should be able to receive a good commission.
And, perhaps the most appealing feature of affiliate marketing is that the merchant does not assume any risk involving the sale of his product. If the product is not selling, the merchant does not have to pick up any tab costs. And, he knows that the entire process is taking place on the Internet, without the exposure of having to physically bring the product to his store or his distributor’s office.
While it is true that affiliate marketing is a good way to earn some income, it is probably also true that it is not an easy way to create a full-time income. Each of the two approaches described here, and the principles they represent are what must be applied to find some success as an affiliate marketer. Good marketing practices are worthless if they are applied to one product, and poor ones are worthless if they are applied to a large product.
So, what do we do? We must begin with appropriate marketing research, and utilize all the information obtained to select the appropriate product. We must also focus on quality, as the quality of the marketing does matter. High refund rates should be avoided, as this indicates that the product is of poor quality. On the other hand, the product may be popular, but the numbers sales page is full of errors, putting down affiliates, and the product is selling well.
The affiliate marketer will have invested time in trying to show the product to the right audience, and may just be inexperienced in dealing with a turnkey site. The website should be professional, easy to navigate, and include an opt-in box, which will get the visitor’s information.
There are two scenarios here: the purchaser may buy, but while at the website register with name and e-mail address, a percentage of people will opt-out immediately, and the remaining ones will buy within a few days. The important point here is that the sale is closed before the affiliate even gets the product, and this is all the affiliate marketer wants.
A final thought, it is of essence that we think of affiliate marketing as a business, and accordingly set up our plans to run a good one. The hardest part is giving up your normal lifestyle, and concentrate on your affiliate marketing business. Be methodical, and create a plan and system so you can be successful in this area. I wish you the best of luck in building a solid affiliate marketing business!
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