A Quick-Start Guide To Affiliate Marketing This is a FREE REPORT. You can give it away from your own website to build an opt-in list, include it in a paid –or free- membership site, or offer it as a Bonus Gift with your existing products. You can also brand this report (for free) with your own affiliate links. Plus, you will get a special squeeze page to offer the report from. For details on how to do this, click here. Affiliate marketing… What exactly is it? Well, basically, it means that you are marketing other people’s products and businesses in exchange for a commission. The typical commission runs between 30 and 75% with 50% being the average. It works very simple… When you join an affiliate program you are given an affiliate link that goes to the website (sales page) of the product owner. This special link is encoded with your unique affiliate id, and when you send someone to the product owners site through your special link and they make a purchase you receive a commission. Affiliate marketing works out great for both you and the product owner, because you make a nice paycheck and the product owner makes more sales and cuts down on advertising costs at the same time. One of the great things about affiliate marketing is that creating your own product is no longer necessary. You can sell as many products as you wish, simply by driving traffic to the affiliate sales pages, and you will never have to deal with customers support, complaints or refunds. But watch out… As an affiliate marketer, you need to be unique. If you are not making yourself stand out as an affiliate, then you risk your entire business. You see, the competition is HUGE. Thousands of people all over the world market the same products like you do online, and if you can’t differentiate yourself from your competitors, you are basically giving your business NO chance of long term survival. But don’t be afraid. This report will help you to become a successful affiliate marketer. One thing that any affiliate needs to be successful, is some basic internet marketing skills and the desire to succeed. Don't panic if you don't know anything about marketing online, because there is plenty of fantastic information available on the subject all over the internet. Just go to Google, and enter the term “internet marketing.” You’ll find ten thousands of sites with valuable –and often free- content and tips. Now, I assume that you already have some basic knowledge under your belt, so we are going to dive right in and talk about some simple tactics that affiliate marketers can use to increase their chances of success. First, you will need a unique web page to promote each separate product you are marketing. It's very important to not place all your affiliate programs together on one website just to save some money on web hosting… It is better to have your own website, or at the very least a subdomain, focusing on each and every product and nothing more. This way you can streamline and target your marketing efforts to achieve better results. It’s very annoying for your visitors if they see affiliate links spread out all over the place. You should never confuse your visitors, or they will leave and never return again. Another thing you can do is to include product reviews on your site, so visitors will have an initial understanding of what the product can do for them. If you can’t afford a website, you can setup a simple blog. Blogger.com is a good place to start. I have my own Resale Profits Blog hosted there, where I talk about new products that are released on the market. Google gives a high ranking at Blogger blogs because Google now owns Blogger, and I get a lot of traffic from there. If you don’t know how to setup your own blog, download a copy of the Clickbank Review Cash Blog guide. This step-by-step guide will help you to setup your own review blogs quickly. When possible, collect and include testimonials from users who have already tried the product and add them to these pages. This increases your credibility and will convert more visitors into buyers in the long end. You should also include articles that you write, highlighting the uses of the product, on your website. These additional pages will help increase your free search engine traffic. Be sure to make your pages attractive, easy to navigate, compelling and include calls to act on the information, like asking people to subscribe to your newsletter, or adding their details to your autoresponder, so you can follow up on them. Your headlines and web copy should attract the readers to try and read more, or even contact you with questions about the affiliate program that you promote. Highlight your special points. This will help your readers to learn what the product is about and will make them want to find out more. And, the ultimate goal is to make them click on your affiliate links, so you make more commissions. Another important factor is to collect contact information from your visitors by giving away a free report. This allows you to further educate your prospects and follow up with them in the future with more information on the products you offer. For this to work well, you will need a good autoresponder service. Here’s the drill… Start with creating a special report about the topic of the affiliate product that you promote in MS Word. This report can be 4-6 pages long. There’s no need to write a novel... People like reading short reports, so it’s best to deliver your information this way. Then, turn the report into a PDF file. You can do this here for free: http://www.freepdfconvert.com - Or even better, get a copy of eWriter Pro. This handy program creates unlimited PDF files from your own PC. Once done, zip the file using jZip (this one is free, while you need to pay for the other popular unzip tool Winzip), and upload the file to your web server. Then, write a series of seven autoresponder messages that will be automatically mailed to the people who sign up to receive your free report. According to research, a sale is usually closed on the seventh contact with a prospect. Hence the reason you will want to create a series of follow up messages. When creating your autoresponder emails, always give away quality information or tips, and focus on important points like how the product can make things easier and more enjoyable for people who purchase it. It’s recommended to use compelling subject lines in your emails. But try to avoid using the word “free” because many email spam filters dump those kind of emails into the junk folder before anyone reads them. If you are really lazy, or don’t like to write at all, you can download a set of 180 pre- written Clickbank affiliate emails. It works simple. Just enter your Clickbank affiliate link inside the messages, put them on your autoresponder system, and wait for the commissions to roll in. Do your best to convince the people who signed up for your free report that they will be missing something big if they don't take the time to at least check out the product or service you're recommending. One more thing… Be sure that the content is directed toward specific reasons to buy the affiliate product. And please don't make your emails sound like sales pitches. People are aware of this, and don’t like to be begged. They will only give you their money if they trust you. By providing useful information to your prospects you will increase your chances of earning their trust and respect (and make commissions). One of the best ways to get lots of traffic to your website is by writing articles. For more info on how to write profitable articles, you can download this free report: http://www.articlequickstartguide.com A good rule is to write a minimum of 2 articles per week, with at least 300-600 words in length. By continuously writing and submitting these articles to the biggest article directories, to you can generate as many as 100 targeted prospects to your site in a day. That may not sound like much for all of the work you put in, but statistics show that 1 out of every 100 people are likely to make a purchase. If you can generate a 1,000 targeted hits for your website in a day, that means you can make 10 sales based on the average statistic and the best thing is that the articles will continue to work for you even after you have moved on to another product. None of the the above tactics are difficult to do. It just requires a little time and an action plan on your part. Once you have completed the process for one affiliate program (creating a special free report, and sending out emails to your list) you can move on to the next. After a while, you will end up with a good source of income along with a thriving affiliate marketing business. Ok, now let’s talk about one of the best ways to choose a product to promote. Rule number one is that you should only promote an affiliate product that you have tried yourself. You can't just base your decision to promote an affiliate program on wether or not you “like” the product. Get a copy for yourself, and test it. If you don’t have the money to buy it, ask the owner if he/she will give you a copy to review, because you will join their affiliate program and send them a lot of traffic. It’s a win-win situation for both the affiliate and the vendor, and most of the times, you will get your copy for free ☺ It’s just good business practice to know the product that you consider promoting. This will help you anticipate and prevent any problems you may encounter. Do some research and don't be afraid to ask the vendor questions before you join. Now let's go over some other things you should consider… - Pick a quality affiliate program. Always pick an affiliate program that is associated with many experts in that particular industry. This way, you can be assured that it works. Do some initial research. If possible, track down some of the members and customers to give you testimonial on the credibility of the program. If there are forums and discussions groups related to the product topic, participate and look for reliable feedback. - A decent compensation plan. A program that pays out a residual income, or a payout of 30% or more, would be a great choice. Don't waste your time with programs that do not reward your efforts substantially. - Be aware of any minimum quotas. Some affiliate programs impose pre-requisites before you get your commissions. For instance; you may have to make more than a $100.00 or make ten sales before you receive your paycheck. If the sales target is too hard to achieve you may want to rethink joining. - Quality promo tools. Select programs that have plenty of pre made tools and resources that can help you grow your affiliate business in the shortest possible time. If you have access to an arsenal of promotional tools, like pre-written emails, nice banners and other graphics, or maybe a brandable Ebook or special report, you will be able to make more profits fast. You also need to check out if the program has an automated system that allows you to check your referral statistics and compensation at anytime. - Strong incentives for customers to make additional purchases. Affiliate programs that provide continuous help and upgrades for its products have the tendency to retain more customers. These things can assure the growth of your business. When people buy an upgrade, or One-Time-Offer, you will also benefit and make a higher commission. Here are some other points to consider: - Will it cost you anything to join? Most affiliate programs being offered today are absolutely free of charge. So why settle for those that charge you some dollars before joining. - When do they issue the commission checks? Every program is different. Some issue their checks once a month, every quarter, etc. Select the one that is suited to your payment time choice. Clickbank makes it easy, as commissions are automatically added to your account, and you decide when checks are being mailed out to you. The same goes for Paypal. - What is the amount of commission paid? If the program pays per sale (which are the ones I prefer) you can expect to make anywhere from 5% - 75% depending on the program. You will also find programs that pay for each hit or impression. The amount paid for those type of programs is not much, so you must be prepared to send large volumes of traffic through your affiliate link to make a nice paycheck. Being familiar with all the important aspects of your chosen program can help you growing your affiliate business. As I said before, affiliate marketing doesn't require product development, dealing with customer support, complaints or refunds. As a matter of fact it is one of the easiest ways of starting an online business and earning more profits. Remember; there are thousands of affiliate programs online so you can be picky. Select the best so that you can avoid wasting your time and losing money on advertising. A quick way to find out if a product is in demand is to do a quick Google search for the product and see if anyone else is promoting it. If you see several Google ads on the side of the search results page you can be fairly sure that there is a good market for the product. On the other hand, if there are very few (or no ads) for the product, then you may want to drop that product and move on. On a side note; if there are too many ads for the product then your competition will be pretty stiff and you may want to reconsider promoting it. Now let's get over to some quick tips to increase your commissions: - Participate in chat rooms related to the product you're reselling. Start a conversation with a person without trying to sell to them. Later on, while you are chatting, you can mention the product you're reselling. - Create a free Ebook with links to your affiliate site, and give it an appealing title. The subject of your free Ebook should entice your target audience to download it. You can submit it to some free Ebook directories for even better results. - Start your own affiliate program directory. Join a large number of affiliate programs and list them all in a directory format on your web site. Then you can advertise your free affiliate program directory. - Write your own affiliate program ads. Using different ads will give yourself an advantage over all the other affiliates who use the pre-written content. - Using a personal endorsement. Only use one if you've actually bought the product or service. You can tell people what kind of benefits and results you've received using the product. Endorsements increase the credibility of the product you are promoting. - Advertise the product you're promoting in your signature file. Use an attention getting headline and a good reason for them to visit your affiliate site. Make sure your sig file doesn't go over 5 lines. You can use this in your outgoing emails, on forums and in blog comments. - Participate in web discussion boards. Post your comments, answer other people's questions, and ask your own questions. If you can work in how your product can help solve someone's problem all the better for you and don't forget to include your sig file when you post. - Create a free newsletter around the topic of your affiliate product. It doesn't have to be fancy, just informative and helpful. Then use it to advertise the affiliate programs you've joined. Submit it to online Ezine directories and promote it on your web site. - Use bonuses to sell your affiliate products. Using bonuses is one of the easiest ways to motivate people to purchase from you. Remember, you're often competing with many other marketers. By offering a relevant bonus with the product you're trying to sell, you'll make the prospects buy from you. - Start a private web site. Use this site as a free bonus as well, especially if people buy the product you're promoting. You can also allow people to join for free and then advertise your affiliate programs inside. This does two things. It allows you to keep in touch with your prospects and makes them feel as if they are receiving extra value when they purchase from you. - As we discussed earlier, use product reviews and testimonials. They are one of the best methods to help make a sale. That's why you will see so many testimonials on a sales page. Take your time and write intelligent product reviews of the products you are marketing and collect testimonials from the people who purchase from you. - Use a blog to provide useful information in your niche and include your well written product recommendations. When you post regularly you'll be able to start generating a steady stream of traffic and sales from the search engines. Just be sure to keep your blog focused on good keywords that relate to the products you are promoting. Blogger.com is a good place to start. So is WordPress.com - Build a list of prospects. The easiest way of doing this is by providing an email opt-in form on your website. Create a system where you offer a bonus if the visitor joins your list. Use a good autoresponder system like Aweber to collect email address and load a series of 7-10 emails with useful information and resources. As time goes by your readers will find your information useful and you will be able to convert them in to paying customers. Another advantage of having your own email list is that you can setup a One-Time- Offer (OTO) when people join your list. You can place the OTO on your “Thank-You-For-Subscribing” welcome page, right after they have submitted their name and email address. You can create a collection of products that relate to your list subject, and make your new subscribers a special deal when they buy from the OTO. OtoBully is an easy to install and affordable script that will take care of everything. Plus, you will get a set of instructional videos on how to set it all up, and 3 ready made plug-and-play web sites with 25 Master Resale Right products included. Another great tool to use is Twitter. You can announce new blog posts that you make to your followers (the people who follow your “tweets”) via a short 140 character message. In my (free) Twitter guide; “What Are You Doing?”, I have asked some well know Twitter users how they use Twitter to market their online business. You’ll be surprised how they get away with this fast growing social service ☺ Good, we’re almost done… Give some of these strategies a try. I don't recommend trying all of them at the same time. Just focus on two or three at first and see the difference it makes to your commission checks… Remember: Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective and powerful ways of earning an income online. It's how I started my own business many years ago, and it has worked out great for me. It can be the same for you especially if you avoid common mistakes that can hurt your chances of success. Like all businesses, there are lots of pitfalls in the affiliate marketing business. Some of the most common mistakes can end up costing you a large portion of the profits you make and you may not even realize it's happening. Many people want to earn from affiliate marketing as fast as possible and I can't blame them. Who doesn't like quick cash? ☺ But, in their rush they choose what I like to call “a bandwagon product”. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, try to choose a product that you and your prospects are truly interested in. Take the extra time to plan your actions and do some research about that product to see if it is in demand. Keep these tips in mind when you sign up for an affiliate program, and you will soon see more sales coming in. For more information and tips on how to profit online with affiliate programs, I highly recommend you to download a copy of the “Affiliate Marketing Domination” guide. It is packed with proven techniques to get the most out of your affiliate business. To Your Success! PS: You can brand this report with your own affiliate links. Click here to find out how.