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Quick Guide – Affiliate Marketing.

As a newbie marketer you probably feel a little intimidated  by the sheer number of opportunities you’ve got to chose from. Most likely if you have subscribed to a few experienced marketers you would have come across many emails trying to sell one digital item or the other and you may be interested in doing something similar, that is, selling other people’s product for a commission. This is what affiliate marketing is all about.

Affiliate Marketing is where you (the affiliate) generate sales for some other product vendor(s) and in exchange they pay you a commission for each sale that you make.

Starting your business with Affiliate programs is always a good way to start your online business as it is a lot quicker and easier especially if you do not feel ready to create your own product.

Essentially, an Affiliate is a salesman or a subcontractor, if you like. You enter into an agreement with an individual or company, to sell their product or service. They, in turn, provide you with a webpage with it’s own unique we address, which identifies you. The company takes care of tracking your unique address, completes and delivers the product or service to anyone purchasing through your page, and makes sure the sale is credited to you. Your only job is to drive traffic to your affiliate sales page and collect the commissions.

Steps to Affiliate Success

Step 1: Get Into The Right Mindset

You will never be successful at affiliate marketing (or any type of online marketing) if you are just thinking about how many sales you will make. The Product and offers you promote must align with what your target market wants in order to get sales that result in commissions. Don’t offer just any product for the sake of earning commissions. Choose products you are interested in and would want to buy. It makes the sales process more convincing.

• You must be committed to making this business work. Persistence and a lot of patience is required. It takes time to build the business.
• You must also be able to handle outside distractions well. The ability to remain focused and follow a well laid out plan makes a huge difference.

Step 2: Pick A Niche That You Are Very Passionate About

Most Internet marketers succeed at promoting something they are interested in and/or have knowledge in. Most customers can tell when you are just going through the motions in promoting something, but not really being interested in it. This lack of interest will hurt your commissions severely.

• Picking a niche you like will also make it easier to do research on the topic in question to improve your knowledge of the target market and the product offer.
• Think about what gets you excited, what you talk about often with others or what aligns easily with your skills, etc.

This is the niche you should be focused on and products in this niche are what you should be promoting if you plan to succeed at affiliate marketing. To get a rough idea of how popular your niche is look up how many results are returned in Google, you can also do a more in depth check in Google’s Keyword Planner

Step 3:  Create A Website And Other Web Assets Around Your Niche

Choose a domain name that relates to the niche you’ve chosen for SEO efforts and for consumers to remember the name of your site more easily. You don’t really have to register an exact match domain name, but make sure the domain name is closely related. Once you have an idea of the name you would like use search tools at domain name registrars GoDaddy.com  or Namecheap.com to find out what domain names are available and then proceed to register your preferred name.

Other web assets to consider setting up  include Social Media Accounts. Start with the major ones, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 

Step 4. Get Good Quality Web Hosting

Select a quality Web host, such as HostGator.com or BlueHost.com, to host your site. A quality Web host is one with good up time of your site, good customer support, and lots of good reviews. You want to select a web hosting service that does not go into a meltdown when your website starts receiving heavy traffic.

 

Step 5: Research  Various Affiliate Platforms

Research several affiliate platforms to find the one(s) you will use in your affiliate marketing efforts and to find the products you will promote.

Three main affiliate platforms are:
JVZoo.com
ClickBank.com
ShareASale.com

All three platforms offer different products from different categories; JVZoo offers digital products, ClickBank offers digital and physical products, ShareASale offers physical products.
All three platforms require registration before use and promotion:
• JVZoo and ClickBank only require one registration to be both a product vendor and an affiliate
• ShareASale has two separate registrations for product vendors and affiliates.

You also want to familiarise yourself with their payment terms and conditions, for example, the mode of payment, payment dates or  cycle and their payment thresholds.

 

Step 6: Find Quality Products That Match Your Niche

Use the drop-down menus in each platform to narrow down the category and subcategory that matches or closely matches your preferred niche.
Consider various stats such as commission amount or percentage, popularity, avg $/sale, initial $/sale, avg %/sale, avg rebill total, avg %/rebill, and gravity to find the best product or products for you to promote and profit from.

Take your time and do a detailed research into all the product statistics provided by the different platforms.  Some platforms e.g  JVZoo also give you the total figures for number of products previously sold and also the percentage of refund requests processed for the product. This gives you a clear idea of the popularity or otherwise of the product.
Apply the various filters available to find the perfect offer(s) on each platform to promote. A well selected product using the correct criteria increases your chances of conversions.

 

Step 7: Create Useful Content To Help Your  Convince and Convert Your Visitors

There are three main types of content to provide on your site/blog to convince people that an offer is worth their purchase through your link:
Product reviews – provide an unbiased honest review as much as possible. This creates and develops trust, eventually once you have proven yourself as a trustworthy reviewer, you will see your sales increase.

How-To’s – give your visitors various ideas on how best to use the product and get their money’s worth from it. This alone may be the content that converts the casual visitor into a buyer.

Comparisons – good research into close competitor products along with the pros and cons of each.
Use a combination of text, audio, and photos/videos to show people what the product offer is like and why they should purchase it.

 

Placing your affiliate link inside of your product review is a good way to get people to use your link to purchase. Depending on the size of the review, you can use your affiliate link between 1-3 times, with it definitely going at the end of the review at least.
Place banner ads and sidebars on your blog to promote relevant affiliate offers, as this will get your visitors’ attention and entice them to click on them, activating your affiliate links.

 

Step 8: Add Extra Bonuses To Increase Your Sales

Providing extra bonuses differentiates your offer from other affiliates promoting the same product.
Here are a few ideas of bonuses you can offer:
• Ebooks
• Reports
• Videos
• Webinars
• WordPress Plugins
• Software programs
• etc.

Either create the bonuses yourself, use outsourcers to create them, or use quality PLR to create them.
Try to make the bonuses relevant to the main product offer to add extra value that people will notice and be more enticed to click onto your link and purchase from you.

 

Step 9: Build Your List Along The Way

Always strive to build your email list, even in affiliate marketing.
It takes an average of seven interactions for most people to buy anything from you online. This makes it vital to add these visitors to your opt-in list so you can follow up with them, build a relationship so they purchase products from your affiliate links.
Use opt-in boxes on your site/blog, including review pages, etc., to get people to subscribe to your list.
If you provide quality bonuses during affiliate commissions, people will be more eager to join your list and watch out for your affiliate promotions (i.e. purchase the offer via your link).

Step 10: Focus On One Project And Grow With It

Avoid the “shiny object” distractions. Try to focus on one line of affiliate products preferably inter-related ones so that you are able to cross sell and upsell the products. Avoid trying to sell too many products that are spread across many unrelated sub categories as you will end up trying to split your efforts haphazardly thus confusing your visitors. Offering related products makes it easier to build sales funnel and upsells thus increasing your profits.