Archive for March, 2008

What is the best way to select an affiliate program?

The world of affiliate marketing is full of opportunity. There are very few jobs in life that take such little effort that can lead to such big rewards. But as is the case with most jobs, what you put into it will closely reflect what you get out of it.

So, how can you maximize your time as well as your dollars? Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction when it comes to picking out the affiliate marking opportunity for you.

• You gotta believe! One of the golden rules of affiliate marketing is that if you don’t believe in the product, how do you expect the people you’re steering to it to believe in it? You can’t. You should only choose a product that you like, a product you have tried and found to be of good quality and maybe even a product you actually use! Remember, you have two choices when you set up your affiliate website, you can just toss a bunch of links on a page and hope people click on them, or you can create a cool page full of great and interesting to read content on the product your linking to. If you’re trying to write content about a product you think stinks or isn’t a good buy, it’ll show. The more passionate you are about that product, the better your chances are of making money.

• Knowledge is the key! This one is a bit tougher, but it’s becoming easier by the day. There are, simply, thousands of affiliate marketing opportunities out there for you. And even better, almost all of them are free, so you have a pretty good selection to choose from. The second golden rule of affiliate marketing is to choose a product that you know a lot about, or, at the very least, a product that you can talk a lot about. Need an example? Say you’re in an affiliate marketing program with Amazon.com. It would probably help your site if you’re an avid reader (if you link to the book section) or if you can do album reviews (if you link to the music section.) This is good advice even if you aren’t linking to an online superstore. If you are linking to a candy company, provide some content about how candy is made or who invented it. If you’re linking to a company that makes skateboards, talk about Tony Hawk or the X Games. Getting people to read your content and convincing them to click on that link and to buy that product is the whole point of affiliate marketing. You’ll be much, much more effective if you are knowledgeable about what you’re trying to sell!

Affiliate marketing is a gold mine waiting to be picked. The amount of money you can make is staggering, but you can make a lot more if you follow the golden rules. By being passionate about what you sell and being knowledgeable about the field, you’ll convince many more folks to click away and buy.

What is residual affiliate marketing?

When most people start exploring the world of affiliate marketing, they think that they might run a site that will link to sites like Amazon or eBay where people will need to buy a book or a CD or start or win an auction for them to get paid.

But there is another kind of affiliate marketing that can earn you money without lifting a finger. Don’t believe me? It’s true!

If you link to a site that requires a customer to buy a membership in something, say a gym membership or maybe an adult site that requires a monthly fee, you don’t just get paid once when that person signs up.

Every time that customer pays their monthly membership fee, you get paid. Honest! It’s called residual affiliate marketing and it can be an amazing way to make money from home on your website.

Everyone dreams of sitting at home and making money without doing anything. Well, this is a legitimate way to do just that. Different kinds of membership sites tend to keep customers for different amounts of time. If someone remains a member of a site or a program that you linked them to, you could get residual commissions for years to come. If they cancel after one month, then you would only get one commission. This is why it’s extremely important to link to quality websites. You’re maximizing your effort. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you wouldn’t use that site, don’t expect the people you’re linking it to to use it either.

How can you maximize this profit stream? The best way to do it is to choose who you link to carefully. Try to go with sites that offer high quality products that get used up. Things like vitamins are a great choice. They tend to be expensive and people develop a good brand awareness with things like medicine and vitamins so if a customer is happy buying them from a site you linked them to, they will become regular customers. A happy customer for the company you link to ends up being a constant revenue stream for you!

Residual marketing can be an absolute gold mine for some web users. It doesn’t happen automatically though, you’ll need to make sure you link to quality products and services if you expect people to use them again and again. Make your choices wisely and you’ll be shocked at how much money you can make!

What is affiliate marketing?

Affiliate marketing has quickly become one of the most popular and the most effective ways to advertise on the Internet. The premise of affiliate marketing is very simple.

A company, let’s say eBay, goes to another web site and asks them to place a banner or link to eBay on their site. Every time a user clicks on that eBay banner and visits the site, the owner of the original site gets a commission. It’s as simple as that.

The history of affiliate marketing goes back to approximately 1994 with the trailblazing music website www.CDNow.com. They were, as far as most people know, the first site to pay other sites for directing Internet traffic to them. Internet giant Amazon.com soon caught on and became the site most associated with affiliate marketing. Today, the practice of affiliate marketing is used by essentially every major web site in the world.

Why affiliate marketing? One of the reasons that affiliate marketing has proven to be so popular is that it is completely based on performance. In most cases, the company doing the advertising doesn’t pay a single penny to the site that is carrying their ad unless there is evidence that Internet traffic has been driven to the advertising site. There are, however, other ways of doing affiliate marketing.

Some advertising sites have paid the site hosting their link based not on the number of times an original IP visits through the link, but on the number of times the banner ad was “seen.” This method presents a whole host of problems since things like hit counts can be forged and there is no way to insure that just because someone visited a web page that had your logo on it that they even saw it or if they did, that they even knew what it was.

Other methods of affiliate marketing include paying only when a link is followed AND some kind of transaction takes place. This can be tough on the site hosting the link because the attention span of the average Internet user isn’t long enough in most cases to follow a link and then either complete a purchase, or fill out a form of some kind. The conventional method simply pays a host a commission for every time an original IP is directed to their site.

In a matter of only a few years, affiliate marketing has become one of the most cost effective ways to drive traffic to a site. Since, in most cases, both the advertiser and the host profit from the set up, there is no reason to believe that affiliate marketing won’t be a dominant advertising method well into the future.

What are Two-tier affiliate sites?

Most experienced web users are familiar with affiliate marketing and how it works. You provide a link on your website and when someone follows it and buys a product, you get a piece of the profit. It’s easy. But there is a new way to make some serious bucks when it comes to affiliate marketing.

It’s called two-tier affiliate marketing. Don’t let the complicated name fool you. It’s just as easy to make money from two-tiered marketing as it is from the traditional style.

The way two-tier affiliate marketing works is that not only do you make a buck or two when someone follows a link from your site and then buys a product or service, but you also make a buck whenever someone follows the link from your site and then signs up to become an affiliate marketer just like you! It’s like getting double the profits for no extra work!

And the best part? It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Every time that new affiliate marketer makes a sale of a product or service, you continue to make a few extra bucks. Not only that, but when they get someone to sign up for affiliate marketing, you get a piece of their profits too! It may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. If you can get a whole host of people to sign up for affiliate marketing through you, you continue to make money off of their sales as long as they are in the program.

And don’t worry about any legality problems. You’re selling legitimate products and services so anyone that suggests that what you’re doing is multi-level marketing is dead wrong. The set up may be somewhat similar, but it is completely legitimate and you are rewarded on how good of a job you do signing people up, exactly like a real job. You only make what you earn!

And the best part of it all is there is no limit on how much money you can make. If you are a wiz at getting people to sign up for affiliate marketing through your site, the amount of commission you could be chalking up is staggering. Two-tier affiliate sites might just be the best and easiest way for you to run a business from home that is profitable and has almost no hassle. So, what are you waiting for? Join up today and start collecting commission now!

Using articles to make money

Looking through the universe of online affiliate marketing, you’ll notice that most sites fall into two categories. There are sites that simply have a list of links to other sites that sell products. You’ll notice that these sties come up often in web searches on Google or Yahoo, but they don’t seem very useful since all they have is other links and no actual content of their own.

The other kind of affiliate site is the kind that you want. It is a site that has all the same links that the others do, but it also has content. Now, what does “content” mean, anyway? Content is simply an internet term that means articles or information on a web page. Why do affiliate sites that use content work better than those that don’t? It’s simple.

If you click on a site, say, a site about growing roses, which would you rather find? A list of links that you have no idea if they are any good or not or if they even link to a reputable company? Or an informative, well-written article about growing roses that has a link at the bottom for a company that, while you still don’t know if they are trustworthy or not, the person who wrote this content thinks so and they sure sound like they know what they are talking about. Which one do you think does better sales every month? Exactly. The site that uses articles.

This is the number one reason why you should be knowledgeable about the products you wish to sell. It will be a million times easier to write content that sounds like it was written by an expert if you know your way around your product. If a web surfer stumbles upon your site, finds your articles well-written, informative and fun and then sees a link to buy a product related to the article, your chances of making money off of that customer go up 100 times. The big secret to affiliate marketing isn’t a magic formula or miracle catchphrase. It’s well-written content.

There are even companies out there that will write content for you, for a small fee. It may seem like a silly thing to invest in on the surface, but once you see the hard numbers that show how much better affiliate sites do with content then without, you’ll be on board in no time flat.

The biggest mistakes affiliates make

For those that are new to affiliate marketing, the whole thing can seem too good to be true. A real business from home that make you more then enough money to live on and you don’t even have to bother with products or shipping. Many new affiliate marketers simply jump into the business without properly researching it first and end up frustrated and angry that they aren’t making big time money within the first few days. Here is a quickie guide to common mistakes that affiliate marketers make and how you can avoid them.

• Patience is the key. For even the best affiliate marketers, it takes time to build a customer base. The people that are legitimately making $10,000 a month in affiliate marketing spent years getting to that level, not days or even months. For some that are new to the trade, it seems like that level of success is an overnight thing, but it isn’t. Once you pick an affiliate program, after researching it ahead of time, of course, you need to stick with it. You should change your content on a regular basis, update your site weekly, add in some holiday-themed pages and make sure you stay up to date on product information from your parent company, but the most important thing to do is to simply stay the course. If you jump ship after a month, the chances of your affiliate marketing site taking off are slim to none.

• The second big problem that many affiliate marketers fall prey to is subscribing to too many programs at once. By doing this, it makes it very hard to provide top-level page design and content relating to all of these programs at once. You should only subscribe to two or three programs at once. This will allow you to give these programs your laser-like focus so you can turn them into money makers sooner rather than later. Patience is, again, very important. It may seem like the best way to go is to load up your site with two dozen affiliate marketing sites but there is little chance that will make you any money. If your site is focused, you’ll be in much better shape.

The vast majority of mistakes that new affiliate marketers make are ones out of inexperience. They want to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. What they don’t realize is slow and steady wins the race. Dedication, hard work and focus are the best friends of affiliate marketers.

Treat Your Affiliate Marketing Site Like A Business

Maybe the single greatest part of affiliate marketing is that is can make you as much money as a real online business that sells a product or service without all the hassle that comes with inventory, shipping and returns. But that profit only comes with proper planning and care.

Let’s take a look at a few things you need to do to make sure that your affiliate marketing venture is worthwhile and done the right way.

• Do you research first. If you were considering starting a business in the real world, you wouldn’t just go rent out a piece of property, get the permits and open your business the next week. You would learn everything there is to know about the business you chose and you would try to make your business as successful as possible. While you may not need the same level of dedication with your affiliate marketing site, you should have a good idea of what you want you site to sell, what product you want to sell and where you are going to get your content from before you start. Are you a good enough content writer to have 15 different programs on your site, or do you only have strong feelings for two or three products and you want to stick to them? You need to give your affiliate marketing program a real chance to work so once you pick a style and theme, stick to it for a while to see if it makes you money or not.

• Learn the basics. You don’t have to be an expert web designer or web content writer to make money off of your affiliate marketing site, but it sure helps. Luckily, there are a slew of fantastic low-cost programs out there that can walk you through web site creation step by step so that even if you don’t know HTML from Java, you can have a great looking website. The same goes for web content. Your content needs to be informative, fun and interesting AND it needs to sell your product all at the same time. It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. You can head to your local library or bookstore to find books on how to write web content or you can simply read other affiliate marketing sites to get some pointers. If shoppers aren’t captivated by your site, they won’t use it. Plain and simple.

While it can be tempting to just throw up a quick, basic website with little to no content so you can start making money right away, the experienced affiliate marketer knows better. Take the time and do it right and you’ll see the results in your bank account.

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