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Jerry Jenkins, Leonardo Boff, de Deus, Kenneth E. Hagin, Philip Yancey, Affiliate Marketing, C. S. Lewis, Marketing Magazine, Robin Jones Gunn, Tim LaHaye,

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									                                                               Volume 5 Number 7
                                                                        June 2009

      The journal of affiliate marketing and management best practices

Expanding Your
Affiliate Business
Use Social Networks to Expand
Your Affiliate Business
Building and
Monetizing                              Making the
an Authority                          Leap from the
Website                            Computer Screen
Creating Your Own Products
2                                                                                                                      Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                                                                                                                       Download the black and white version at
Table of Contents                                                                                                           

                                                         Use Social Networks to
                                                          Expand Your Affiliate
 COVER STORY                                                                By Kathy Jackson
                                                                                                                                                PAGE 3
                                                 Social networks bring people together in a huge
                                                   cyber meeting place and can really help you
                                                    expand your affiliate business. This article
                                                   discusses the rules and possible pitfalls for
                                                 working with a social network and its members.

7 Building and                                              11 Creating Your                                              15 Making the
Monetizing an                                               Own Products                                                  Leap from the
Authority Website                                           Product creation can be a
                                                                                                                          Computer Screen
Although an authority                                       very profitable venture and
                                                                                                                          Even though the Internet is
website is a lot more                                       can quickly lead to
                                                                                                                          your playground, don't
trouble to build than the                                   promotional opportunities.
                                                                                                                          underestimate the
average marketing                                           This article examines the
                                                                                                                          potential of the good old
website, the expansion of                                   creation of a product from
                                                                                                                          offline world. In this article,
your business will be worth                                 its conception and creation
                                                                                                                          we will take a look at some
the effort. Get started with                                to its promotion, and sales
                                                                                                                          of the available options.
this step-by-step guide.                                    and delivery.

New to Affiliate Classroom?
Click here now for a free introduction to affiliate marketing.
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by sharing this magazine with others, visit the Affiliate Classroom website and look for the link to our
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About Affiliate Classroom Magazine
© Copyright 2009, Lurn, Inc.™ and the individual authors. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction of any portion of this publication is forbidden. Contact the
Managing Editor to request permission to reprint articles. All contents of this issue, including design, photos, graphics, and text are copyrighted. All brand names and
trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

Staff, Helen Montgomery, Managing Editor
Lurn, Inc.™ 100 Lakeforest Boulevard, Suite 610 Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Affiliate Classroom Magazine is published monthly by Lurn, Inc.™ Back issues are available at

                                                                                                                        Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
3     FEATURE STORY                                              Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

     Using Social Networking
     to Expand Your Affiliate
     Business By David Long

                        MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and a whole lot of other less-well-known
                        Internet names all fall under the heading of social networks.
    When                The reason is obvious. They bring people together in a huge cyber
                        meeting place. That can really help you expand your affiliate business.
    marketing via
                        The original impetus for those sites wasn't commercial (except, possi-
                        bly, on the part of their founders). It was just to expand the potential of
    any social          the web to allow contact and interaction between people (often total
                        strangers) in a fun, safe way.
    network, the        As such, they were always wary of individuals who signed up solely for
                        the purpose of making a buck off their huge membership.
    basic thing to
                        They all realized pretty quickly, though, that not only was that inevitable,
                        there wasn't anything particularly wrong about it, if it was done the right
    remember is         way.

    not to abuse        So, the rules of those sites (or at least their interpretation) relaxed a bit.
                        The result is a group of sites that allow commerce, or at least contact
                        for commercial purposes, provided it's done according to their terms of
    the trust both      service.

    the site and its    The "Rules"
                        The terms of service for each site differs a little bit from one to the next,
    membership          of course. But, even without reading them all, you can guess what they
                        contain. (I recommend that you do read them, however, before making
    have                use of the site for affiliate marketing purposes.

                        Better safe than sorry. Here are the terms of service for,
    developed. In       for example (

                        I won't take the space here to repeat them (look halfway down the
    other words,        page), but you'll notice the terms say nothing about forbidding use for
                        commercial purposes.
    subtlety is the     Quite the opposite — they discuss how your website or application can,
                        must, or should use Facebook. When marketing via any social network,
    word of the day.    the basic thing to remember is not to abuse the trust both the site and
                        its membership have developed. In other words, subtlety is the word of
                        the day.

                                                                 Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
4     SOCIAL NETWORKING                                                 Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

The "hard sell" is not appropriate on social networking sites because
people don't go there looking to buy something.

But, as with Google and a million other sites that people use for some-
thing other than shopping (even when it's an aid to shopping), no one
objects to information, even when it's product or service oriented. Just
keep it low key.

In fact, many successful entrepreneurs have been using MySpace and
the rest for years without a problem.

Rosalind Gardner of Super Affiliate Handbook fame has a profile there,
and she uses it as a sale vehicle (and uses it well). Kim Wingfield of            Being known by
Serpentine Hair ( is another vendor and
Internet entrepreneur who knows how to take advantage of social net-
                                                                                  a lot of people
In both cases (and you could easily cite a hundred more), these busi-             may be
nesswomen know the power of Internet marketing. Both create a
friendly, informative profile, useful commentary, and other non-cost
content to sell their products.                                                   satisfying, but
The results are high traffic, leading to healthy sales.                           you have to go
Their method is simple: use social networks to give something valuable
away. In short, it's the same method you use (or should use) on your              beyond fame if

Give valuable content (or free samples) away, and people will spread              you want
the word, along with seeking you out to buy what you offer.

After all, being known by a lot of people may be satisfying, but you
                                                                                  fortune. You
have to go beyond fame if you want fortune. You have to turn that
"name recognition" into traffic and therefore sales.                              have to turn
You can do that by giving social network website users a reason to do
more than simply remember your name.                                              that "name
Paid Ads                                                                          recognition"
Of course, the non-cost way isn't the only (and not always the best)
way for every affiliate marketer to use social networks. Facebook and
                                                                                  into traffic and
others have ad programs. (They're looking to make money, too, natu-
rally.)                                                                           therefore sales.
Whether it's worth the cost to you can only be an individual decision
based on your specific circumstances. Some guidelines may help you
decide, though.

Guidelines: The basic rule of thumb for whether to pay for ads on so-
cial networks applies here the same way it does for any other ad pro-
gram: does it more than pay for itself?

You can find out for sure only by experiment (assuming you have the

                                                                           Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
5     SOCIAL NETWORKING                                       Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                       budget to try in the first place).

                       Rates vary from site to site (and within sites), so there's no formula that
                       suits everyone. Develop your own by performing some simple arithme-
                       tic. Do you get more revenue back (plus a little) than you spend?
                       No calculation could be simpler than that. You'll need to measure for at
    social             least a month to have enough data to make a reasonable decision.

                       Perform a Personal Cost-Benefit Analysis: Remember to include in
    networking site    your calculation, though, the time you spend creating and maintaining
                       that ad program.

    you use, it's      Everything you do there is time spent that could have been applied to
                       doing something else, somewhere else, something that might bring a
    important that     higher return. (Economists call that "opportunity cost.") Also, the deci-
                       sion is more than a hard-dollar one, of course.

    it fit in with     Often the positive word of mouth benefits you in the form of potential
                       future sales, and that can be worth paying for.

    your marketing     Select the Right Site for You: The other major criterion to bring to
                       bear on your decision is whether your product, service, or style is ame-
    style and goals.   nable to a specific social network.

                       That is, can you operate safely within the terms of service and achieve
    That's really      your affiliate marketing goals? Social networking sites differ in "tone,"
                       and so does one affiliate marketer's business model from the next
    just an
                       Facebook, for example, started as a vehicle for college students to get
    instance of the    in touch with one another, make new friends on campus, etc. It ex-
                       panded to include people from all demographic groups, but the same
                       friendly, easygoing style is evident throughout the site.
    more general       Twitter, by contrast, while certainly a friendly vehicle, is intended more
                       as a "how are you doing this second?" kind of site. It's a little edgier
    marketing          (though not hugely so).

    principle that     Whichever social networking site you use (and you'll want to consider,
                       and even use, many), it's important that it fit in with your marketing style
                       and goals.
    you want to        That's really just an instance of the more general marketing principle
                       that you want to target the right demographic in the right way. Be sure
    target the right   you are aiming correctly, going after the group with the right message
                       "spoken" as they want to hear it, as well as going after the right group.
    demographic in     If you market DVDs, for example, Netflix has a community that can be
                       perfect for you. Flixster is another worth looking into.
    the right way.
                       If you're into photography, and perhaps sell cameras, Flickr is an obvi-
                       ous choice.

                       For book lovers, and booksellers (or anything related to writing),

                                                               Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
6     SOCIAL NETWORKING                                                    Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

Goodreads is a great place to investigate. Of course, there's nothing
wrong with generic social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook,

The point is to try to match your interests, attitude, and products/
services to the right social networking site. There are so many out
there, you'll have no end of worthwhile options.

In each case, once again, be sure to read the terms of service and work
within those guidelines.

Getting banned represents a dead loss of your time and effort, as well
as creates the potential for negative word of mouth, a big sales killer.
                                                                                    Try to match
It can be helpful to get a general overview of some of the top sites, so            your interests,
here's a place you can check: TopTenReviews (http://social-networking-
                                                                                    attitude, and
It gives a helpful, at-a-glance overview of the minimum age require-
ment, the percentage of users under 18 years of age, rankings, and
other useful information. Wikipedia has a few dozen listed with some
useful info (such as Alexa Page Ranking), as well (http://                          services to the
The Final Word                                                                      right social
So, expand your affiliate marketing efforts in a low-cost, high-return way
by making use of social networks in a way that suits your goals. And,               networking
hey, you'll probably have a lot of fun doing it, too!
                                                                                    site. There are
                                                                                    so many out
                                                                                    there, you'll
                                                                                    have no end of

About the Author
David Long is a freelance writer and editor with over 20 years of
experience. His PLR articles and eBooks have appeared on hundreds
of websites. They cover topics that include Wine & Beer, Travel,
Gardening, Health & Fitness, Pets, Stocks & Bonds, and dozens more
subjects. He can be contacted for hire at

                                                                           Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
7      FEATURE STORY                                                          Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

     Building and Monetizing
     an Authority Website
     By Kathy Jackson

If you have higher goals as an Internet marketer than to just to survive
and make a few bucks, you might want to consider building an authority
website. An authority website is a lot more trouble to build, but the ex-
pansion of your affiliate marketing business will be worth the effort.

The dictionary defines “authority” as: “an expert whose views are taken
as definitive.” So an “authority website” implies that the webmaster is an
expert on the niche topic.
                                                                                       Before you
An authority website has more pages, more content, and more links                      build an
that any other type of marketing website. The quality must remain high
and the content must always be relevant and timely, so maintaining an
authority website is more time-consuming than maintaining any other                    authority
type of website. But the time is well spent, and it can certainly be finan-
cially rewarding.
                                                                                       website, you
So here is a step-by-step plan for building an authority website:
                                                                                       must have far
Step #1: Choose Your Niche…Carefully
                                                                                       more than
It is better if you choose a niche with which you are already very famil-
iar. Prior knowledge will greatly reduce your learning curve. Before you
build an authority website, you must have far more than basic knowl-
edge about your niche. You must know all about it.
It’s equally important that you really love the topic, or at least like it a lot.

You’re going to spend a great deal of time reading, writing, and thinking              about your
about it. If you aren’t really interested, burnout will happen sooner
rather than later.                                                                     niche. You must
How? Read, talk to people who are experts, gain personal experience,
etc. You want to determine whether there is enough interest in the                     know all about
niche you choose to make it financially feasible. Surf the web. If a niche
is profitable, it is being widely discussed on the Internet, and there are
lots of marketers selling products related to the niche.                               it.
Step #2: Research Customer Demographics
A certain segment of the population is most likely going to make up the
largest majority of your customers. You need to know who they are. Are

                                                                               Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
8     AUTHORITY WEBSITE                                       Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                       they men or women? Are they young, middle-aged, or old? Do they live
                       an active or inactive lifestyle? What is their average income? What are
    Quality is the     their buying habits?

                       Basically, you are going to have to engage in “profiling.” If you are famil-
    most important     iar with your niche, you likely already have a good idea of who your
                       customers are; but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of learn-
                       ing everything you can find out about your customer base.
    factor in
                       How? Visit forums and message boards that are related to your niche.
    choosing           Participate. This is the easiest and least expensive why to learn about
                       your potential customer demographics. On the other hand, if you al-
                       ready have more money than you know what to do with, you can hire a
    product(s) to      demographic research firm to do the job for you.

    represent. If      Step #3: Research Product(s)
                       When you have determined your niche and have found out who your
    you promote a      most likely customers are, the next step is to find a product or products
                       to promote. (You DO want to make money, after all!)
    lousy product,     You can’t just go find a product on Commission Junction or ClickBank
                       and start promoting it. You need to know everything about the product
    you will quickly   (s) that you promote. (If you have your own product, it’s even better!)
                       It’s important to choose products that are of particular interest to your
                       customer base. The more “necessary” a product is, the more you are
    destroy any        likely to sell.

    credibility        How? Buy the products and actually use them yourself if at all possi-
                       ble. If that isn’t possible, then read every word on the merchant’s web-
                       site and read every word of every review on the web about the product
    you’ve             (s). The keyword here is “authority.” If you want to be an authority, then
                       you must know all of the answers to all of the questions.

    established.       Quality is the most important factor in choosing product(s) to represent.
                       If you promote a lousy product, you will quickly destroy any credibility
    (One “uh oh”       you’ve established. (One “uh oh” erases all of the “atta boys” you’ve
                       accumulated up to that point.) So choose the products that you repre-
                       sent with care.
    erases all of
                       Step #4: Design Your Website
    the “atta boys”    The idea is to design a website that will appeal to your customer base.
                       If you really know who your customers are, this part will be much easier
    you’ve             than you might have imagined. Basically, your website needs to be a
                       place on the web where your customers feel comfortable. They need to
    accumulated        feel that they are among friends who share their interest in the niche.

    up to that
                       •   Simple website design is better than complex website design.
                       •   Your website should be easy to navigate; don’t get “cute”
    point.)            •   Write a newsletter and ask visitors to opt in. (You can advertise
                           your newsletter!)

                                                               Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
9      AUTHORITY WEBSITE                                                Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

•   Keep the website focused on the user and his/her interest in the
    niche, not on products you are trying to sell. Your visitors will buy
    products because they trust you and the information you provide,
    and not because you have better written advertisements than the
    other guys.
•   Provide information about the niche topic that is current, timely, and
    of interest to your customer base. And keep updating the informa-
    tion. Don’t get lazy. Yesterday’s news is, well, yesterday’s news.
•   Present information about the product(s) that you are promoting in
    a conversational way rather than using a blatant “BUY NOW” strat-
    egy. Demonstrate how a product can solve a problem or make life              Your visitors
    better for a customer and provide the information about the product
    (s) in a logical order. Start with the most important or obvious facts
    but cover every detail.                                                      will buy
•   Include a blog and ask your customers to contribute to it.
•   Include an RSS feed.                                                         products
Step #5: Develop a Strategic Marketing Plan                                      because they
The idea isn’t to tiptoe onto the Internet unnoticed. You don’t want to
launch your authority website without any fanfare at all, and you don’t          trust you and
want a tiny little “pop and fizzle.” You want a BANG — a big, loud, and
sustained BANG! You want the world to know that you have arrived.
                                                                                 the information

•   Announce your website launch with a press release. The Internet
                                                                                 you provide,
    is a big, hungry, word-eating monster. There are never enough
    words. There are many news channels that will happily include your           and not
    press release in their daily publications. Send your press release
    via personal email to news media within your niche as well as to
    Google News, Yahoo News, etc.                                                because you
•   Start a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign. Advertise your FREE
    newsletter (or ebook or white paper or software, etc). Yes, you are
    going to spend a good sum on advertising but it will pay off in the
                                                                                 have better
    long run. Be sure that you set an advertising budget that you can
    live with. A PPC campaign will build your opt-in list, your following        written
    as help to establish you as an authority in your chosen niche.
•   Post to your blog daily. Don’t miss a day. This is the quickest way
    to get indexed.
•   Submit your website to the Internet directories. Links pointing to
    your site make your site visible on the Internet and are of the ut-          than the other
    most importance to having your website rank high in the search
    engines’ natural search results. Submitting your site to Internet di-
    rectories such as Open Directory (; click on the          guys.
    “suggest URL” link) and others is a free way to build a solid founda-
    tion of keyword-optimized links and tap into a new source of quali-
    fied visitors.
•   Submit expert articles to article banks. When your website is
    ready to launch, start submitting articles and continue to submit at
    least one article every week to your industry’s websites, media, and
    the article syndication websites.\
•   Learn everything you can about SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

                                                                          Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
10   AUTHORITY WEBSITE                                    Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                      and continually upgrade your website.

                  Remember, a website launch is not an ending. It is a BEGINNING!

                  Step #6: Monetize Your Website
 When you         It takes time, patience, and some money to make an authority website
                  pay off. But once you get an authority website making money for you, it
 review           will make a great deal of money, and it will do so consistently.

                  The visitors to an authority website aren’t looking for products to buy.
 products, you
                  They are looking for information that will help them NOW. If the visitor
                  trusts you and sees you as an authority, when you recommend a prod-
 must be          uct that will solve a problem for the visitor, he will buy it. If you recom-
                  mend a seminar or a webinar that will provide valuable information, the
 absolutely       visitor will pay for the privilege to attend.

                  So within your content, you recommend products that will solve prob-
 unbiased in      lems for your visitors. You don’t promote the product itself; rather, you
                  promote the solution to the problem that the product will provide.

 your             When you review products, you must be absolutely unbiased in your
                  assessment. List the disadvantages as well as the advantages. When
 assessment.      you compare products, the same thing is true.

                  Monetizing an authority website is dependent upon the website owner
 List the         building real credibility as an authority with a reputation of absolute hon-
                  esty. There’s no shortcut.

 as well as the
 When you
 products, the    About the Author
 same thing is    Kathy Jackson is a Texas rancher and a contributing author for several
                  farm and ranch publications. She is also an experienced freelance
 true.            writer of email newsletters, review copy, educational materials, and blog
                  posts on a wide variety of topics, including many aspects of online
                  business and affiliate marketing. Internet marketing is one of Kathy’s
                  burning interests. You can read some of Kathy's articles on the Affiliate
                  Classroom Blog at She can be
                  contacted via email at

                                                          Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
11     FEATURE STORY                                            Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

     Creating Your
     Own Products
     By Mark Thompson

                        If you are a successful affiliate marketer, then it’s only natural that you
                        might want to take your online business to the next level. The lessons
                        you have learned and the skills you have mastered will be helpful in
                        many areas of Internet marketing.

                        However, one area in particular should be ideal for your skills, and
                        that’s in creating your own products.

 Each of the            The first, most obvious reason for this is that product creation can be a
                        very profitable venture. Additionally, you can quickly establish yourself
 stages outlined        as an expert in the niches you target by creating good-quality products.

                        This can quickly lead to promotional opportunities; I have lost count of
 here is                the number of interviews I’ve been ask to do as a result of people read-
                        ing my products.

 important in its       To create a successful product, you need to go through four distinct
                        stages, each of which we will look at separately — conception, creation,
 own right; get         promotion, and sales and delivery.

                        Each of these stages is important in its own right; get one of them
 one of them            wrong and even the best product can be a complete flop. Get all the
                        aspects right, and you can generate a full-time income for yourself in a
                        very short period of time.
 wrong and even
                        Stage #1: Conception
 the best
                        The conception stage focuses on what your product will cover. Obvi-
 product can be         ously, you can create your product about anything you want; but it
                        should be something about which you have acquired a good deal of
 a complete             If you use article marketing to promote affiliate products, you would be
                        surprised at how much knowledge you have about the niches in which
 flop.                  you promote products. This knowledge alone could be used to create a

                        Digital products generally fall into two categories: products that are re-
                        lated to Internet marketing, and products that are not. Which area you
                        target is up to you; both have advantages and disadvantages.

                        IM-related products can make a lot of money for you; in fact, several

                                                                Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
12       CREATING PRODUCTS                                                   Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

such products have made over $1 million in sales! (However, don’t
expect to make anything near this with your first product!)

The less positive side of IM-based products is that they tend to get a
far higher number of refunds; 5%– 10% is normal. On the other hand,
while you won’t make as much with a non-IM product, you will have far
few refunds to deal with.

Personally, I produce both types of products. The IM-based ones are
based around the techniques I devised to make affiliate sales. I                     Your digital
choose the non-IM-based ones as a result of monitoring the affiliate
sales I make.
                                                                                     product can
Once I’ve made 100 sales of a product via article marketing, I know
that there is a good market for it. I’ll then look at the niche and see if
there is room for another product.
                                                                                     take many
After looking at the niche, if I decide an opportunity exists to make a              forms. Ebooks,
sellable product, I move on to the creation stage.
                                                                                     videos, and
Stage #2: Creation
Your digital product can take many forms. Ebooks, videos, and audios,                audios, or a
or a combination of any of them, are all good ways to create a product.
Your products don’t need to take you a long time to create.                          combination of
You can create low-priced products and sell them via forums to start
with. Then take feedback from these and create a much bigger prod-                   any of them,

My very first product was a series of five videos that showed people                 are all good
how to do simple SEO. It took me a few hours to promote and made
about $700. My second was a 16-page report that I wrote in a day and
sold in a forum for $10. I made over $3,000 in 48 hours. More impor-
                                                                                     ways to create
tantly, I asked everyone who purchased my second product for feed-
back.                                                                                a product. Your
Once I had the feedback, I then spent a month expanding the second
product into a 120-page report. I improved the areas that people sug-                products don’t
gested needed improving and added other sections that buyers said
would be useful.                                                                     need to take
I then created videos to go with it and launched it on ClickBank, where
it still sells lots of copies every month.                                           you a long time
If you decide that there is a niche that you can target, then the best
way to create a product is to purchase the best-selling products cur-                to create.
rently in that niche. Read them cover to cover and take notes.

Now you need to improve on those products and give your customers
a much better product.

Creating a product can be as easy or as hard as you want to make it.
You could have a product on sale within a few hours of reading this if
you wanted. Here are some ways of getting a product on sale. As you

                                                                             Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
13   CREATING PRODUCTS                                      Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                    go down the list, the time and level of difficultly increase, but so do the
                    potential profits.

                    •   Purchase a Master Resale Rights product that comes with a sales
                        page, and you have an Instant product for sale.

                    •   If you want to take it one step further, you could get new graphics
                        for the e-cover and the sales page.

                    •   To take it further still, rewrite the ebook and the sales page, and
                        you now have a unique product of your own.

                    •   Create your own videos demonstrating how to do something.

                    •   Write an ebook about a product and a create a sales page

 Don’t go           Finally, in this section I should point out the value of outsourcing, I al-
                    ways outsource the creation of the graphics and the sales pages of my
                    products. I want the most professional-looking product possible, and
 overboard with     professional graphics are a must.

                    It is also possible to outsource the writing of an ebook. If you really
 personalization    don’t like writing, then this is worth considering.

 here. The key is   Stage #3: Promotion
                    Promoting your products properly is vital. Promotion has two effects: it
 to get the         generates sales, and it gets you affiliates who will make sales for you.
                    You can promote your products in many ways; article marketing, pay
 person to click    per click advertising, and forum posts are a great way to get sales ini-

 on the link and    By attracting affiliates, you can let them do all the promotion work.

                    Initially you should also post about your product on JV blogs and in
 opt in to your     Internet marketing forums. You may find members who have an exist-
                    ing list of subscribers in your niche.
 list.              Don’t be afraid to give away review copies of your product; these are
                    great for getting reviews and even testimonials for your sales page.

                    Also consider doing a press release about your product. These can be
                    great for getting interviews and getting word out about your product.

                    Stage #4: Sales and Delivery
                    The final piece of the puzzle is delivering the product to your purchas-
                    ers. Don’t be tempted to use email for this. Buyers expect to be able to
                    get their purchases immediately.

                    I have one product that is set up to be delivered via email once the cus-
                    tomer confirms their email address; it’s a nightmare! Unfortunately, as
                    it’s a weekly product, there is no way I can change it.

                                                            Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
14      CREATING PRODUCTS                                                  Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

There are a number of sales and delivery methods you should consider.

The prices of these vary; for example, ClickBank charges you $49.95
for the first product you add and $29.95 for additional ones. They also
charge a fee on each on sale. Others, such as PayDotCom, charge a
small fee for each sale.

Still others, such as e-junkie, charge a small monthly fee irrespective of
how many products you sell.

The benefit of using services like these is that they have a sales proc-
ess in place that is tested and works. It’s up to you to decide which
method best suits your product.
When determining how to sell and deliver your product, take into ac-
count how you receive your money and how many affiliates you are
likely to get by using that service.                                               how to sell and
Some Advice Learned the Hard Way                                                   deliver your
If you create a digital product, make sure that you use some sort of
download protection software. I don’t dare think about how much
                                                                                   product, take
money I lost when I launched my first big product because I didn’t use
download protection.                                                               into account
Also, don’t take refunds personally. Some people are serial refunders
— they buy every product that looks good to them, and soon thereafter,             how you receive
they ask for a refund.

To make it worse, they will add comments such as “This is the worst
                                                                                   your money and
product I have ever seen.” Ignore comments like that, and trust your
product.                                                                           how many
Above all else, don’t let those last two paragraphs discourage you. Cre-
ating products really is one of the best ways to make money online. It             affiliates you
also gives you a great feeling when you check your stats and see you
made lots of sales of a product that you created. To quote a noted prod-
uct maker: Just Do It!
                                                                                   are likely to get
                                                                                   by using that

About the Author
Mark Thompson spent many years working in an IT consultancy in
London. Following a re-evaluation of his goals and lifestyle in 2004, he
sold everything he couldn't fit into the family car and moved to rural
Spain, where he now pursues a variety of online ventures. Visit his
website to learn more about the
benefits of his low-cost online business coaching.

                                                                           Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
15     FEATURE STORY                                          Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

     Making the Leap from the
     Computer Screen
     By Katalin Torok

                      You have built a successful online venture, and you are ready to take
                      the next step. As an online entrepreneur in the rapidly evolving Web 3.0
 Even though          era, you have dozens of business models and trends you can consider.

                      But even though the Internet is your playground, don't underestimate
 you have             the potential of the good old offline world when it comes to expanding
                      your online business into new territories. In this article, we will take a
                      look at some of the options available for diversifying an online business
 developed your       with offline markets and aspects.

 business with        Sell Your Content in Offline Form
 the web user of      You have built a website and developed content for it that is highly rele-
                      vant to your niche. Even if you are not yet an authority on your subject,
                      your content is an asset with market value.
 the 21st             If you want to start small, you can approach offline publications in your
                      niche and offer your articles for reprint, or offer to write articles on your
 century in           niche. Being published in offline media will provide multiple benefits. By
                      getting your name out there, you are directly promoting your existing
 mind, there are      online business.

                      You will also start to establish yourself as an authority on your chosen
 still lots of        subject, while in the best-case scenario you are also being paid to do
                      so. The next step towards marketing your content offline is publishing it
                      yourself. Even though you have developed your business with the web
 people out           user of the 21st century in mind, there are still lots of people out there
                      who are more comfortable in the offline realm.
 there who are        Do some market research and find out if your audience would be inter-
                      ested in consuming your content in printed form. You might find seg-
 more                 ments of your target audience whom you cannot reach with online-only
                      offerings, but who will gladly accept, and who is ready to pay cash for,
                      your useful guidance in printed form.
 comfortable in
                      Here are a couple of ideas to start with:
 the offline          •    You can create a collection of articles and turn them into a reader
                           on your subject.
 realm.               •    If you have a well-rounded collection of content, rework your web-
                           site content into book form.

                                                               Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
16      COMPUTER SCREEN                                                   Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

If you already have ebooks or online courses, offer printed versions of
these in order to reach new audiences.

There are websites dedicated to self-published authors, where you can
upload a file of your book and the book is printed on demand when-                To start your
ever someone orders it. (You can order in bulk at a discounted price
any time you need to sell wholesale yourself or need copies for promo-
tion.) Do a web search for "print on demand" to find out more, or check
                                                                                  own shop, you
out these service providers who can help you publish your book one
copy at a time:                                                                   might see an
     Blurb (
     Lulu (
                                                                                  unmet need in
•    CafePress (
•    Booksurge (                                         your niche's
Developing an Online Store                                                        marketplace
Running an affiliate site can be thought of as running an ecommerce
store without inventory and order processing. When referring orders to            and develop
online merchants as an affiliate, your commission is a share of the re-
tail margin from the merchant. But what if you wanted to go after the
entire retail margin? To do that, you need to become a merchant your-
                                                                                  your own
self, and start selling your own inventory of products.
What to Sell?
                                                                                  products to fill
Chances are you already have a niche that you have been working on,
advertising a carefully chosen slice of other merchants' inventories of
goods. To start your own shop, you might see an unmet need in your                it. Or you can
niche's marketplace and develop your own unique products to fill it. Or
you can become a retailer of existing products, some of which you
have been advertising already.
                                                                                  become a
How to Sell?                                                                      retailer of
Opening an online store is easier than ever, thanks to easy-to-use
software solutions and service providers. However, before you take
this step, do your market research and consider the legal implications
for your business. Find out about the legal requirements for operating            products, some
an ecommerce store in your locality, relevant consumer protection
rules and terms of your payment processing vendor.
                                                                                  of which you
As an affiliate, you have the affiliate manager on the merchant's side
to help you sort out the legal side of advertising their wares, as you are
only a mediator in the transaction.
                                                                                  have been
By becoming a merchant, you are on your own when it comes to com-                 advertising
pliance with the laws and rules that regulate online selling. Dealing
with your own inventory and your own customers, you need to care-
fully plan and execute two new aspects of your online business: the               already.
logistics of order fulfillment, and customer service.

                                                                          Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009
17      COMPUTER SCREEN                                              Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

                             You need to consider the scale of the shop you are building:

                             •   How much inventory can you comfortably handle?
 Drop shipping               •   Who will be packing and shipping orders?
                             •   Who will handle customer service inquiries and order tracking?
 provides the
                             Drop Shipping
 best of both                Drop shipping, a hybrid of being an affiliate and an online merchant,
                             provides the best of both worlds. You can concentrate on the online
 worlds. You can             aspects of selling on the Internet without maintaining physical inventory,
                             while your drop shipper partner fulfills the orders. In exchange, they
                             take a cut of the order value in addition to the wholesale price of the
 concentrate on              product. It works like this:

 the online                  1. You develop your online store and fill it with product information.
                             2. Customers place the orders in your online shop, and send the pay-
                                ment to you.
 aspects of                  3. You notify your drop shipper partner about the order and have them
                                ship the merchandise to the customer's address in your name. You
                                pay the drop shipper for the cost of goods and fulfillment.
 selling on the
                             To your customer, the ordering process and delivery is completely
 Internet                    seamless. They never learn that you didn't fulfill the order yourself.

                             While drop shipping provides many benefits, it also comes with its own
 without                     unique set of risks. By outsourcing the order management portion of
                             your business, your trustworthiness and reputation in the eyes of the
                             customer relies on the drop shipper's quality to do its job.
                             If something goes wrong, even if you had absolutely nothing to do with
 physical                    it, you will be the one dealing with the complaints, and your business'
                             reputation will suffer. Therefore, if you opt for the drop shipping route to
                             manage your store, be extremely cautious in selecting your partner(s).
 inventory, while
                             In this article, we covered a few ideas on how you can expand your
                             online-only business into the offline world. Diversifying your business
 your drop                   with multiple income streams not only provides opportunities for in-
                             creasing revenue and profits, but you will be better prepared to face
 shipper partner             uncertainties and difficult periods in the marketplace.

 fulfills the               About the Author

 orders.                    Katalin Torok is an independent marketing consultant with a focus on
                            Web 2.0. Her website and blog contains many helpful tips at:

     Thanks for reading! In our next issue, we’ll talk how to become a super affiliate!
        AC Magazine is always free -no squeeze page, no email address required!
     Download your copy at the Affiliate Classroom website:

                                                                     Affiliate Classroom Magazine, June 2009

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