Archive for April, 2008

Make the most money with niche markets

Affiliate marketing and working with niche markets is the way to go today if you are young and eager to make a lot of money. I’m not saying that affiliate marketers never have to work a single day in their lives and just rake in the cash while sitting out by the pool, but there are tremendous perks to this job. Do you hate going to work every day? Commuting, whether by car or mass transit, is an absolute bore. The hours you spend every week commuting are lost hours that you will never get back before you die. So why not choose something better?

The best thing about affiliate marketing is the freedom to work in a relaxing environment. The “office” could be your home desk, the kitchen table or, why not?, a table by the pool. Every day is “casual Friday” and all your tools are concentrated in the computer. No paperwork to shift around from one desk to another. And the earnings are on par with the setting. The more effort you’re willing to put in building a maintaining a nice website, the more money will come in every day. If this isn’t a good deal, then I don’t know what a good deal could be.

Some people think that affiliate marketing is too much work and that splashing some AdSense ads on a page is far easier. It might be so, but how much money can you get out of AdSense? Two or three dollars a day? Come on, that’s not money but loose change. Affiliate marketing may be a bit harder than AdSense, but this is where people actually spend money. If you play with the big boys, you could make as much as $175 out of every sale. That’s the equivalent of 58.3 days of AdSense at $3 per day you can make in one day.

What many people don’t realize is that the global economy is going through a huge spending period. Across the world people are willing to pay good money for all kinds of products and the Internet has made it easier than ever to spend money. eCommerce has made it possible for people to buy things they had never had access to before. Orders pour in and products and services move across countries because people can search the Internet for answers to their problems and are willing to pay for solutions, regardless or where they come from.

It’s like a river of money moving across the planet and you can become one of those who help connect the buyers with vendors and cash in commission while never leaving their armchairs. The gap between offer and demand is huge nowadays because there are far more people with money out there than there are people who sell things. The key is to find products that are underrepresented, highly demanded and pay high. Until now affiliate information packages do not address this. Many of the marketing programs out there are about re-selling the program you have just purchased.

But things are about to change for you because help is on the way. MakingYouRicher is a comprehensive guide on niche marketing that teaches you how to make thousands a month by learning where to find the highest paying products that are searched for by millions. Visit www.makingyouricher.com/index.html and see for yourself all the opportunities that are only waiting for a quick witted marketer to take advantage of them and get rich fast.

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Perils of affiliate marketing

While there is serious money to be made in the world of affiliate marketing, it should not be entered into willy-nilly. Just like any other business venture, the proper research should be done so that you know ahead of time how much money, time and effort you can expect to spend before you see a profit. Here is a short list of expectations that people sometimes have wrong about affiliate marketing.

• Just like a good highway, you have got to have traffic. You can be selling the best product in the world, have an attractive website design and have the best content on the Internet and if no one can find your site, you aren’t going to make any money. What to do? You can buy advertising to drive traffic to your site, but that costs money, usually more money then you are taking in. It’s a very fine line to walk; a tightrope that most people fall off of into debt. It is going to take time and experience to learn the proper formula, and you should expect some debt until you figure out the right combination.

• Remember, if you follow the same tips as everyone else, chances are the market is already saturated with sites using the same techniques. This may be the toughest part of affiliate marketing. Trying to figure out exactly the right technique to attract customers to your site and away from 100 other affiliate marketing sites that are selling essentially the same thing. The only real way to handle this is to stick to the basics. Believe in the product you sell, design an attractive site to sell it and write good content to keep people on your site and clicking on the links on your site. If you are patient, this formula, more often then not, will work, but it will take some time.

• Updates, updates updates. Many new affiliate marketers think that all you need is that first shiny, new webpage with original content and then you just leave the page be for the next six months and watch the money roll in. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to be ready to add new content to your page every two weeks at the most. Change the theme on your page to show visitors that you’re updating constantly. If you are coming up on Easter or Thanksgiving, change your site to show this. It’s reassuring to web surfers that they are visiting a page run by someone who is paying attention.

The road towards affiliate marketing success is full of potholes. But it can be navigated with patience and hard work. You may not strike gold right away, but keep digging, the shiny nugget is right around the corner.

More common affiliate mistakes

In the last few years, affiliate marketing has exploded on the Internet. In pretty much every web search that is done during every second of the day on the Internet, people are steered towards affiliate marketing sites. Some work, some don’t and some are gone before they even have a chance to get going. Let’s go over a few common mistakes affiliate marketers make when setting up and running their site.

• Make sure you completely understand the affiliate program you’re signing up for. It can be really tough to turn down that one program that brags about the huge commission, but if the program is selling car parts and you don’t even drive, you might want to pass it up. If you know a lot about sports or pets or horses, try to find an affiliate marketing program geared towards your area of expertise. You might not become a millionaire overnight, but in the long run, you’ll make a LOT more money that way, and you’ll enjoy the affiliate marketing experience a lot more, too.

• If you have the option on your site for folks to sign up for emails, make sure the ones you send out are informative and fun and not spam. Yes, you want to make sure you get the links of the product you’re selling in the email, but you have to take the time to set it up so it doesn’t look like spam or people will get annoyed with your site, opt out of your emails and never visit your site again. It’s the difference between taking a bit of extra effort and not. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, you’ll see the reward in your sales.

• Try to write your own content. It’s not unheard of for a person to visit 4-5 different affiliate marketing websites and see the exact same content on all of them. The site creators simply used the same public domain copy and didn’t even bother to change it up at all. Don’t let this happen to you. The only way your site will stand out among all the garbage is to make sure your content is completely unique.

Making mistakes when you start a new business are common. It’s going to happen, so don’t panic when it does. But with a little research, and a bit of common sense, you can avoid most of the mistakes that plague the laziest of the affiliate website creators.

Marketing in niche markets

One of the great things about the Internet is how it works as a complete reference. The encyclopedia, the dictionary, the White and Yellow pages and even maps have all become antiquated with the invention of the Internet. How can this help you, the new affiliate marketer? It’s easy. The big money in affiliate marketing is found in niche marketing.

Before we get into it, what exactly is niche marketing? Niche marketing is marketing to a particular group instead of the public at large. Now, on the surface, this sounds a bit strange. Don’t you want EVERYONE to buy from your website? Of course you do, but making a site that appeals to everyone and writing web content to sell your product that appeals to everyone is impossible. That’s where niche marketing comes in. You pick a product, say, Hickory Farms meats and cheeses and you do your best to market these products. When you take on a niche product, you have to ask yourself a series of questions.

• Who is going to buy my product? Well, if you’re selling Hickory Farms products, chances are you won’t be selling to many teenagers. Your market is going to skew older, so you want to write copy that is going to appeal to an older audience. Hold off on the slang, the off-color jokes and the pop-culture references.

• What benefits does my product have? In this case, Hickory Farms is a company that has been making quality products for generations. You can play up the history aspect, you can play up the quality aspect. You can even play up the holidays aspect, since they are a company that always seemed to peak during the holidays. Every product out there, every single one, has a list of benefits you can highlight. Make sure you know them and make sure you tell your customers all about them.

• Do I know enough about this product to write new, interesting content about it every few weeks? This is the BIG question. If you’re passionate about Hickory Farms and you love their products, then you should feel confident that yes, you can write a new article about their product line every few weeks. If you agreed to participate in an affiliate program only because the commission was high and you don’t know thing one about the product you’re selling, you might want to rethink your choice.

While niche marketing may sound a bit odd on the surface, it really is the way to go. Making your site focused and concentrating your energy on a particular group will make it seem more legitimate and you can count on better business in no time flat.

Is affiliate marketing MLM?

Because affiliate marketing works so well and seems to genuinely benefit both the website that is advertising as well as the website that is hosting, people tend to look for problems that just don’t exist. One of the “problems” that has dogged affiliate marketing for years is the idea that is is a multi-level marketing scheme.

What is multi-level marketing? It’s much better known as a pyramid scheme. In most traditional cases, pyramid schemes are illegal. They work by constantly signing up new people to sell a product that doesn’t actually exist. The people at the top of the pyramid make money be collecting a commission off of all the sales that happen below them in the pyramid structure.

In recent years, pyramid schemes have tried to gain a bit of respectability by offering legitimate products like phone cards that made the whole operation legal. But, in essence, pyramid schemes are still tainted by the perception that they are inherently dishonest and, unless you start a pyramid scheme and are at the top of the pyramid, you’re earning money for someone else.

Affiliate marketing is, in no conceivable way, multi-level marketing. In most cases, a site that wants to advertise pays another site to direct traffic to them. There are multi-level affiliate marketing set ups that have one site direct traffic to another site and then that site directs people to the site that pays both previous sites, but even in this case, the customer isn’t tricked or misled and there isn’t any sort of financial transaction that takes place, either. Multi-tiered affiliate marketing is simply another way for web pages to create traffic and revenue.

The way earnings work for multi-level affiliate marketing is different than a pyramid scheme, as well. Is it true that in the end, the site that is being linked to makes the most money? Sure, but that’s because they are the ones offering the product or service. The other sites are simply steering customers to them. With multi level affiliate marketing, everyone makes money and assuming a legitimate good or service is being sold at the end of the path, the consumer ends up happy, too.

It can be a little confusing for those new to Multi level affiliate marketing to tell the difference between it and a pyramid scheme. But rest assured the two have very little in common, most importantly the fact that almost all pyramid schemes are illegal while multi level affiliate marketing is quite legal and a very effective tool in Internet advertising.

How to write articles to boost sales

If you’ve been checking out this series of articles, you’ve seen how important it is for any serious affiliate marketer to have good web content. Good content can mean the difference between someone clicking onto your site and clicking away a moment later and someone staying for a while and then clicking through to buy the product or service you’re trying to sell. But what if you just aren’t a very good writer? What if your mind is programmed for business, not English. Don’t worry, there are options for you.

• Search the public domain. There are millions of articles that are currently in the public domain that you can use on your web site free of charge. A simple web search can bring up hundreds of these kinds of articles. And the best part is you can edit them, change them, alter them or do whatever you want to them so that they sound exactly like you want them to. You don’t have to worry about paying any authors or stepping on any toes. This is an excellent way to go if you don’t want to write content yourself.

• You can pay companies to write content for you, and in most cases, it’s cheaper than you think. When you consider how important good web content is, paying someone a few dollars to write exactly what you need isn’t such a bad idea. Of course, some companies charge more than others and it always pays to shop around, but don’t shut yourself off to the idea of paying for content. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money and this is one of those cases if you don’t want to write your own web content.

• Maybe the best choice of the three is to simply read and learn. Spend a week or two clicking around on the Internet and reading the web content on other affiliate websites. Take as much of that content in and then try to write in a similar style about the product you’re trying to sell. You don’t instantly become the best writer in the world this way, but studies have shown that the more you read, the better writer you’ll be. Experience pays and the more you know about how to write in this style, the easier it will be.

Having solid web content can’t be overstated. You will never have a truly successful affiliate marketing website unless you have good content. If you can’t write it yourself, you do have other options, but the best thing you can do is to learn how to write in this style. It will be an investment that will pay off time and time again.

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Get your Affiliate Site ready for the holidays!

For many affiliate marketing sites, the holidays are a dream come true. Some affiliate sites see their traffic double or even triple as millions of shoppers from around the world bypass the mall for the convenience and fun of online shopping. Most people would agree that if they had a choice between navigating snowy roads, finding a parking space and then battling crowds only to stand in a checkout line for 30 minutes or staying at home in their pajamas with a hot cup of coffee and doing their shopping that way, they would choose the latter.

So, how can you make sure that your affiliate marketing site is ready for the holiday shopping season? Let’s take a quick look at a few things you can do to spruce up your site and get it ready for that special time of the year.

• First off, if you don’t have your site all spruced up by the Monday after Thanksgiving, don’t worry about it. Evidence shows that “Cyber Monday” isn’t really the sole busiest shopping day of the year, but it’s more spread out between that date and the 15th. You can still revamp things and capitalize on the Christmas shopping season.

• Make sure you have a handle on the cut off dates for shipping. No matter what product you link to, they should have clearly posted dates for shipping, both domestic and internationally, for Christmas. Make sure you post those dates on your site, too, so that no one ends up disappointed on Christmas morning.

• If you deal with a major online superstore like Amazon, remember, you don’t always have to sell books or CDs. Some sites offer big rewards to affiliate marketers for gift cards, and since they are a smaller item to ship, they usually have later deadlines then gifts so people can order then after the cut off deadlines and still get them by Christmas.

• Try and concentrate on specialty niches. While it may be tempting to get into an affiliate marketing program with Sears or Wal-Mart, most people have these stores near them. If you with someone like The Sharper Image or L.L. Bean, you’re dealing with very high-end product that is unique. You’ll make more money and you’ll find that you’ll do better business on your site.

The holidays come only once per year and the chance to capitalize on it is brief. But if you tune up your affiliate marketing site in time, you’ll be full of extra cash as well as holiday cheer this season.

Creating multiple streams of income

One of the great things about affiliate marketing is the idea that you can subscribe to as many different affiliate programs as you can manage, all at the same time. We’ve talked in depth in previous articles about how important it is to have some focus on your website so that you can appeal to customers instead of appearing like a hodgepodge of links. It’s a fine line to walk between having multiple streams of income and having too many programs. Let’s take a look at the right way to handle this problem.

Find Affiliate Programs to Join

Make sure your streams relate to each other. This is a tip worth a thousand bucks, alone. Think about it for a moment. Yes, you want to have more than one program on your website at once, but you don’t want 10 or 15 because it’s too much to manage. So, what’s the best way to go? Have 4-5 and make them all related to each other! Say your first program is through a company that sells pet supplies. You’ve written some stellar content on pets sine it’s a passion of yours, but you want more than one stream of income. How about a program through a gourmet pet food distributor? You can SHARE CONTENT then, since you already have great content written about pets to begin with. Want more? Find a company that sells pet treats from around the world. Or maybe one that specializes in pet medications through the mail. The choices are endless and by relating all of your companies, you won’t have to write separate content for each program. You’ll save time and make money!

Have fun with your content. Let’s say you find an affiliate marketing program that you just have to add to your site, but it’s about a topic you don’t know much about. Don’t worry! You can still write interesting and informative content, even if it’s about a product you’re not an expert on. Try a list. Just flip through the TV listings this week and take a look at all the list shows on right now. People love lists. You can make a quickie top-10 list style article and relate it to your new affiliate program. This will allow you to diversify your business and add extra streams of income at the same time. You don’t want your site to be entirely lists, but one out of three or four is fine and it makes your site appear more fun!

Creating multiple steams of income is pretty easy when you look at it. Group your products under the same umbrella to save time or add a program that you can make funny and informative lists on. Your site will benefit and you’ll have happy customers to boot!

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Choosing a “niche market”

Now that you’re considering opening your own affiliate marketing website, you have to pick a product to sell. In previous articles, we’ve talked about how important it is to pick a product you know a lot about since you’re responsible for writing articles that try to get people to buy your product.

But there is more to it then just writing snappy articles and providing a link at the bottom of the page. Knowing how to market your articles will go a long way in determining if your site is a success or a failure.

In the process of picking out a product, don’t be afraid to go “niche.” What that means, essentially, is don’t worry about picking an item that may only appeal to a small number of people. If you pick something like televisions or books, people can go down to their local Best Buy or Barnes and Noble and get those items. If you deal with a company that most people don’t have in their towns like L.L. Bean or Tower Records, people will be more likely to shop with your affiliate site because of the prestige of those companies. People can get a pair of boots or a CD anywhere, but getting those items from those stores is extra special.

Make sure your content relates to the demographic your after. If you’re selling life insurance, you probably want to have content that is going to connect with older folks, not the skateboarding crowd. And this advice goes the other way, too. If you’re selling skateboards, make sure your content is going to appeal to that generation. You wouldn’t want your content to read like an ad for life insurance. Of course, there are some products, like books and CDs, that cross generations, but you can still write your content so it aims at a particular audience. This is the other side of “niche marketing;” making sure that your content is written for exactly the people you want to buy from you.

Niche marketing can be a hard skill to master. Most people want to create a broad affiliate marketing site that doesn’t have a lot of focus so that it appeals to the most people. While this is tempting, you can be left with a site that appeals to no one at all. By zeroing in on the group most likely to buy the product you sell on your site, you can lock yourself into a niche market and, chances are, your sales will explode.

Avoiding affiliate scams

Walking that tightrope between spending money and making money on your affiliate website can be tough. Paying to advertise your affiliate website is a great idea, but only if you’re making more money then you’re spending, and that isn’t always as easy said then done. How can you make sure that you won’t end up in the red? Here are a few helpful tips.

Have realistic expectations. While it is possible to earn a boatload of money by setting up affiliate marketing websites, don’t expect to be bringing in $10,000 a month right off the bat. Every product sells in a different way, and finding that perfect niche takes time. Also, experience is very important in the world of affiliate marketing and the more you have, the better you’ll do. Be patient, stick with it and you’ll see your profits rise with your experience level.

Know how to advertise. Google has an affordable and easy way to advertise through their Adwords program. You’ve seen these ads on Google, they are usually at the very top and on the right hand side of every single search that is done. Google performs hundreds of thousands of web searches every second, so the chances of a search that would trigger your set of key words is pretty high. Just remember that for each time your ad appears, Google will charge you a fee. Make sure you’re getting the most value out of each sale because, otherwise, Google is making money off you instead of you making money off of your customers.

Learn more about search engine advertising and find promo codes

Make sure your affiliate partner is trustworthy. If you’re just starting out in the world of affiliate marketing, it might be a good idea to stick with the big boys like Amazon or Citibank until you learn the ropes. There are less trustworthy sites out there that are looking to have affiliate marketing done that might not deal with you in a completely honest manor. Until you learn the ropes of affiliate marketing, it might be wise to go with a major corporation that you know will pay out and treat you with respect. You don’t want your first marketing effort to be a bad one.

Unfortunately, since affiliate marketing has become so profitable in recent years, there are companies out there that will try to scam you. If you’re an experienced affiliate marketer, you know most of the tricks of the trade, but if you are new to the game, stick with familiar companies until you figure out the best advertising cost/revenue balance.

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