The objective of this guide is to provide an exhaustive insightful lowdown on the exciting world of affiliate marketing. There are many of us that surf the net, own valuable blogs and sites and yet are on the fringes of affiliate marketing activity. For many, it is a lack of understanding of the concept of affiliate marketing that prevents them from taking the plunge. Some believe that you need to have a degree of sorts in marketing to succeed in affiliate marketing; nothing could be further from the truth. Affiliate marketing is simplicity personified, it is for everybody. Anybody who is prepared to work hard and smart at it will succeed here.
Most of us have come across success stories of super-affiliates. The income figures they present are mind-boggling. And since most of these affiliates present those awesome income figures in context of a sales pitch, you’d be fully within your reasoning and rights to take them with a pinch of salt. But make no mistake there are many genuine really great success stories out there to motivate. You can make a handsome living being an affiliate marketer or at the very least earn useful dollars ranging from a few hundred to a thousand and more. It depends on your effort, the niche you choose, and the affiliate company you work with.
Affiliate marketing involves advertisers, also known as merchants making use of the services of individuals and companies to market their products and services. The marketing material usually consists of banners and text links. These can be used creatively in a number of ways and placed strategically across various online properties. The objective is to get visitors to click on the banners or links and send them to the seller’s website where if a sale transaction occurs, the publisher gets a commission.
Because affiliate marketing is commission driven, it incents individual effort. There is no cap on what you can earn. You are only limited by your efforts. In fact, commissions increase with performance.
Because there are so many affiliate programs, in fact, several tempting promotions in every single niche, you have to choose advertisers judiciously. The simple maxim here is that you give the advertisers a reason to choose you. Simple precept but it requires effort to put into practice. Get your site and blog established, get some traffic. If possible, try and acquire a domain that carries some page-rank. Always keep in mind that once you begin on the path of affiliate marketing, you have to keep walking. You cannot afford to rest on your achievements or you will stagnate.
For an affiliate, content is by far the best means to attract traffic and convert. Meaningful content is the strongest reason for a site visitor to click on an affiliate link. The content can be in the form of text, images, videos, anything. In fact, you should aim to try and develop skills that make readers aware of latent needs. This will help. Not only will you have a chance at getting conversions from visitors that are actually on your site more or less primed for a purchase, you can prime visitors by pre-selling them a product or service. You need to know what you’re talking about. Get to know the product and service so that you can accentuate its salient features. Merchants release discount deals on a periodic basis, inform your readers about these. Everyone is looking for a good deal.
As the range of goods and online services offered via the Internet has grown at an incredible rate over the last few years, therefore so has the competition. Web site visitors need to have a very good reason for clicking on a link or banner.
Website visitors are notoriously short on patience and that includes both you and me. Your site should load fast and so should the banners. Very often snazzy graphically rich banners not only take time to load, they can also fail to communicate clearly in trying to say too much. Select banners that appear to have a balance between the artwork and the actual message.
Although banners can lure cursors, text links to affiliate sites are very powerful if used correctly. The correct way to use these is to first pre-sell the item or service to the visitor to give him information so that he can make a decision.
Whether or not the link should open in a new window is a matter of personal choice and experience. In fact, once you get the general guidelines of affiliate marketing you have to get down to trial and error and find out what works best for your site. Some publishers consider it polite and decent that the affiliate link open in the same window and the visitor’s browser not be crowded. Having the link open in a new window has its own very useful advantage; the visitor can always come back for the content on the site. Blend the ads, don’t camouflage them. At the same time they shouldn’t be too garish. It is basically the publisher’s call on how he wishes to strike a balance between blend and contrast.
One form of affiliate advertising is generally looked upon with some concern is affiliate ads that use pop ups. They can be annoying, so if you wish to use them, be discreet in your choice of advertiser. Pop unders are an alternative.
Do not hesitate to communicate with the merchant in case you have a doubt or a good idea to market their products. Advertiser and publisher communication can yield pleasantly surprising results for both.
When you decide to promote a product, keep in mind that you are going to put your website’s reputation on the line. By all means create interesting copy but do not compromise on facts. Your visitors are going to place trust in you and given that the consumer today is very informed, it does not take long to lose reader goodwill. Go slow and steady in developing your reputation. You don’t have to be one of the foremost subject matter experts on what you choose to promote; but be informed and up-to-date with what your chosen merchant releases in the market.
One medium that lends itself most beautifully to affiliate advertising is emails. Direct mail is a favored technique with affiliate marketers. It allows for massive targeted reach. At the same time it demands high integrity and compliance with spam laws in force in the email receiver’s country. If you venture into direct email marketing to promote affiliate products, ensure that your efforts are above-board and you are not guilty of spamming.
Affiliate marketers that develop the knack of locating targeted prospects report high rates of success. This is the reason why targeted leads are so valued. Search engine traffic, professional groups and forums, and newsletters are some valuable sources of targeted traffic with greater conversion prospects.
Affiliate marketing requires patience. Don’t get disheartened and take down advertiser banners or substitute them every few days. As you continue to persevere with affiliate marketing, you will find that the ratio of returns to effort increases in favor of returns with time. Traffic is key. Once the traffic comes, clicks will follow and some will convert. But first, focus on getting traffic to your site. When selecting a merchant, take into consideration the payment threshold. It has be such that you can hope to achieve. Ensure that the mode of payment favored by the merchant works for you.
As a final piece of information, be wary of affiliate offers that require you to pay to join. They are in all probability MLM schemes masquerading as affiliate schemes.