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How to choose the products to promote.
Affiliate Marketing has become a relatively easy and convenient way of earning money, thus, attracting quite a number of followers. For those who are new to the business, they have quite a lot to learn before they get to reap the bigger fruits of affiliate marketing. In fact, theres so much to learn, it is quite difficult to focus on where and how to start on your own affiliate marketing venture.
The focal point of affiliate marketing, or of any business enterprise for that matter, is the product. No exchange ever happens if there is no product involved. For those who are new to affiliate marketing, choosing a product to promote might make their head spin like crazy.
The following tips regarding what kinds of products an affiliate marketer should promote are perfect for beginners. For those who are more experience in affiliate marketing, however, do not fret. You might also get a few tips from this article (or this article might just confirm what you already know, which isnt all that bad, either).
The first step in choosing a product to promote using affiliate marketing is not being too specific just yet. Focus on a certain group of products you might find interesting enough to sell, and soon, well get to the part where you choose the specifics of what youll be promoting.
For starters, CHOOSE A TYPE OF PRODUCT YOU BELIEVE IN. Promoting in itself is a great task, perhaps, the main focus of all your affiliate marketing activities. For those who arent exactly experts at promoting just yet, you might have to rely on your belief of the product above anything elsethe more you believe in the benefits your products have to offer, the easier it would be to promote them. Anyway, if you, a real human being, find your product good enough, you might discover that other human beings find it good enough, too.
For those who are simply starting out, you might find it easier to PROMOTE A PRODUCT THAT IS ALREADY POPULAR. Promote those with brand names that stand out. Competition might be fierce, but since your product has already been able to establish a name on the market, it would be much easier to sell. A few newbie affiliate marketers think that promoting lesser known products would be easier due to the smaller competition.
They cant be any more wrong. The fact that they are newbies promoting unknown products makes for the worst combination of all. Yes, competition might be fierce, but if you are just as fierce with your marketing strategies and promotions, you will eventually find yourself earning just as well as more experienced counterparts.
DO A MARKET RESEARCH. It sounds like an expensive activity to undertake, but it isnt. All you have to do is be observant. Try to observe people around you: family members, friends, strangers passing you by on the streets, and people you ride with on the public transit. What products are they using?
Put yourself in their shoes and try to think what kinds of products they might like to purchase. Ask them, if you have to. Try to observe how they react to certain product names, and how they do not when it comes to others. You might find yourself flashing a light bulb once in a while. Take advantage of what you have learned. They might come in handy as soon as you gain the information, or at a much later time.
Once you know what kinds of products you would want to promote, it is time to narrow down the list. This might be, initially, a tad confusing, but once you have established the categories of products you would like to promote, this part becomes much easier to undertake.
If you were lucky enough to know the specific product to promote given the tips above, then you might want to try SEARCHING FOR YOUR PRODUCT THROUGH YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SEARCH ENGINES. If you have already set your heart and mind on promoting a certain product, look for it, and try to find out whether the product can be promoted through affiliate marketing.
However, if you are like the rest of affiliate marketers just starting out, and, well, still confused on the specifics of the product you would promote, you might want to JOIN AFFILIATE MARKETING NETWORKS. In this case, search engines are as much your friends as the first case. Find marketing networks that have large product databases, and preferably, do not have any membership fees.
Once you know what products to promote, there should be no turning back. Everything else will fall into place. Though the next steps to finalizing your affiliate marketing venture arent exactly walks in a park, at least they are now focused towards a single goal, and that it to successfully promote the products you have just chosen.
…if you want to increase your sales, that is
The past few decades have bore witness to the internet being one of the best ways to earn money. Improved communication and safer money transfers make it easier for both the sellers and the buyers to indulge themselves in the act of buying online. Thus, the boom of Affiliate Marketing. The main reason why affiliate marketing has become so popular lies on the simple fact that all you have to do is apply for an affiliate program, pay for the programs fees (if there are any), establish your pre-seller site, and write away. Simple, isnt it?
Not quite. A number of affiliate marketers do not witness success (or any sales at all) because of the part where they write away. Writing for your affiliate marketing site does not require the skills of a Pulitzer Prize winner, but those of a smart affiliate marketer. Your articles need to have certain qualities that would utilize online resources best, and, of course, turn prospects into closed sales. This article brings you five types of articles your affiliate marketing site should have, if you want to increase your sales (which I know you do!).
People want information. Small is the probability of having a person enter your site and establishing a sale the first time around. They probably didnt even notice the sales pitches you have placed all over your site in the first placethe main thing that must have been going through their minds is that they need the product, and fast! Generally, people hate hard core sales pitches.
They want to know more about the product. So give your prospects what they want. Give them honest and sincere information on your affiliate marketing site in the form of reviews. Be honest with your reviews. Place any cons that might come in buying the product. And since this is an affiliate marketing program, market your product as well. Do so in a way that promotes the product and not sell it.
Prospects want to know the features of a product the first time they get around to wanting to buy it. If the features of your products are to their liking, they would want to know more about the products. Let them know more of the benefits, instead of features, that come in buying your product. Your product is not the only one in the market, and it probably has other competition out there that have as good, or even better, features than the one youre selling. But if you can provide your prospects with more benefits than the competition can, the more likely will these register as sales increase.
If you are confident of your products ability to sell in the market, do product comparisons. Also, do so in the fairest way possible. Do not highlight all the cons of the competition while highlighting your own products benefits. Highlight the benefits of the other product, then compare in such a way that your product comes out on top. Be smart in selecting which benefits of the competitors product you are going to highlight.
If the competitors product has qualities that yours cant beat, then opt to overlook that quality, and focus instead on the other products benefits which your product can beat. Make sure sales come your way, and not the competitors.
Your prospects need to know that real people are using your products. Find people who can attest to the benefits of your products in the real word. You might want to keep the contact information from previous sales. It would be good if your previous customers can provide you with photos of themselves, alongside the products if possible. Once you can convince your prospects that your products are good enough for real people, your sales have nothing else to do but increase.
Keep your affiliate marketing site fresh with news briefs. You might want to include promos, developments, and previously unknown information regarding the product (such as studies show that this product (benefits of the product) or Top Marketing groups regard this product as one of the most revolutionary products of the 21st century). Keep your news briefs concisedo not bombard it with too much information. If you happen to have a dozen new information regarding your product, post them on your affiliate marketing site as a weeks worth of news briefs.
These types of articles can be used all at once, or in a combination. Choose what best works for your affiliate marketing program, or product, and you can be on your way to claim sales commissions that just keep on increasing.
Variety is a good thing but when there are so many choices for a single purpose, it can be very confusing. Such is often the case when prospective affiliates try to make their decisions regarding the best affiliate marketing program to use. Since the choice of an affiliate marketing program is critical to your success, find out which among the hundreds now available is the best program to use. Here are some criteria to look for:
The affiliate marketing program is top quality
Always go for the affiliate marketing program that is backed up by a reliable and trustworthy team with the appropriate and sufficient knowledge about the industry. Check the affiliate product and services as well. Are they for real, offer good value and are saleable? Remember that you will be putting your own credibility on the line when you sign up for that program. If it’s trustworthy, then you will be viewed as such as well.
The affiliate product is ‘hot’ or getting there
Stay current on market demands and about the ‘hottest’ and ‘to watch out for’ products. A simple search online will help you find out the kind of things that people are looking for and are willing to buy. There’s a good chance an affiliate marketing program is selling that product. When a product has a high market demand, it’s much easier to sell.
This is good news for you as an affiliate of that program since there won’t be any backbreaking work to do just to get the product off the ground. It will sell on its own or for minimal effort.
The affiliate marketing program pays high commissions
Ultimately, the affiliate’s goal in signing up for an affiliate marketing program is to earn money. In affiliate marketing, earnings come in the form of commissions usually a percentage off the sale of a product. Why settle for a low-paying program when there are others from which you can benefit more from given the same amount of efforts on your part?
When considering what affiliate marketing program to use, choose those that offer higher commission rates. Good rates range from about 50 percent to 75 percent. If the program pays lower than that, you might want to reconsider. It may not be worth your effort at all.
The affiliate marketing program has a higher than usual conversion rate
Conversion rate refers to the period it takes for a prospect who clicks on an affiliate site to become a paying customer. In affiliate marketing, this can be notoriously fickle, with leads taking as much as 60 days before ever purchasing anything.
A good indication that a particular affiliate marketing program is the best one to use is its high conversion rate. This means that more visitors to an affiliate’s site become buyers. When there are more buyers, an affiliate’s earnings increase.
To find out about their conversion rate, you can check an affiliate marketing program’s website. Some of them publish this information. If not, you will have to test the product yourself using targeted visitors to see how well it performs.
The affiliate marketing program offers full support.
This is an especially important criteria to look for when deciding what affiliate marketing program to use if you’re a beginner. There are many programs that will offer their system and leave you to your own devices without checking in on your progress.
If you’re not a self-starter or are wary of affiliate marketing programs that don’t assist their affiliates, avoid these types. Use affiliate marketing programs that provide sufficient information, training and affiliate support. You will appreciate this extra feature in case you run into a bit of trouble later.
Another Way to Boost Your Online Income
If one of your goals of being online is to earn an income, still one of the best methods to consider is signing up for one or two affiliate programs. Experienced affiliates are some of the Web’s highest earners and with enough training, support and willingness on your part, becoming involved in an affiliate program may just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. And now, here’s another way to boost your income online: web hosting affiliate programs.
What are web hosting affiliate programs?
These are programs that sell web hosting services through members, called affiliates. The market for website hosting is one of the fastest growing industries today, thanks to a robust Web economy and the continuous appearance of numerous websites, both corporate and personal.
How do web hosting affiliate programs work?
They pretty much work in a similar manner to the average affiliate program with the exception that the products they are promoting are web hosting plans. An affiliate earns when his referral purchases a plan from the program.
A good step for a web hosting affiliate would be to create a standalone site or blog that promotes web hosting and attract traffic to that site. However, posting affiliate links consisting of banner ads and text links from an unrelated website could also work.
Who can benefit from web hosting affiliate programs?
From the customer’s side, virtually anyone who has a website or is planning to build one will find web hosting services useful. From the affiliate’s side, it varies greatly beginner and experienced affiliates, internet marketers, webmasters, web consultants and bloggers will find this opportunity very promising.
How much commission can I expect from web hosting affiliate programs?
Web hosting affiliate programs offer some of the best wallet-friendly commissions in the industry. Commission rates are great, ranging from around $50 to $100+ per successful business referral. That’s considerably larger than other commissions paid through affiliate programs selling more traditional products.
What’s the success rate for affiliates in web hosting programs?
This is a very competitive segment of the industry, which means that once you sign up, you better have a good strategy to back you up. If your idea of earning from these programs is posting an affiliate link on your website and leaving everything to chance, you won’t earn much. If you have a strong game plan, however, a web hosting affiliate program will work well to your advantage.
Some of the web hosting affiliate programs available today include:
Yahoo’s web hosting affiliate program rewards you for the volume of referrals you bring in. Earnings can range from $60 to about $70 for every successful web hosting customer you refer, although you can also make as much as $100 for each referral if you bring them in by volume.
And here’s more: Yahoo! will pay about 20 percent out of the total sales generated from every domains customer you refer.
If you have your own website, you can set up an affiliate link to LunarPages’ web hosting program site. You’ll earn $65 each time you refer a new customer. You can earn more by referring advertisers to the program. Each new customer referred by these advertisers will bring in an additional $5 per.
Web.com is another excellent web hosting affiliate program, offering $80 in commission. If your sales reach over 25 in one month, you can add 12.5%. Over 50, that increases to 50%.
DreamHost offers you two choices for the type of commission you’ll earn: one-time credit for every referral you bring to their web hosting affiliate program or you could choose to earn recurring credits for payments made by your referrals to DreamHost. One-time payments will earn you up to $97 while recurring payments give you 10% off the payment amount of your referrals.
DreamHost is also one of the web hosting affiliate programs that offers a two-tier payment scheme. If your referral brings in their own referrals, you’ll earn a one-time payment of $5 or 5% of these referrals’ payments to DreamHost.
The number of referrals you can generate for your affiliate marketing program can range from a few dozen to several hundreds. Great if there are only a few names on your list so far since they would be easy to familiarize with but what if you’ve collected enough names equivalent to a mid-sized city’s worth of phone numbers? Without an organized system, you could easily lose potential income from referrals you can’t monitor. Learn how to keep track of your affiliate referrals offline and online so you’ll never have to waste your efforts.
Offline tracking techniques
Just because you’re in affiliate marketing doesnt mean all your affiliate referral prospecting methods are limited online. Offline activities can be incredibly useful for generating leads.
If you’re the type of affiliate who has an active social networking life, you probably make use of conferences, trade shows and meetings to mine affiliate referrals. If you do, then make sure you are organized enough to take advantage of all the prospects you get in touch with during these occasions.
An excellent way to do this is to obtain a prospect’s business card. That piece of paper should hold enough information for you to use later to get in touch with that person. If you attend multiple events or are constantly generating leads online, make a few notes on the back of the business cards so you never forget important information about the person, such as the event they attended, what they said and other business-related stuff you might have discussed.
Keep all business cards collected specifically for your affiliate marketing program separate from your other business cards. This will prevent confusion later when you begin communicating with these people. Don’t be afraid to use labels and to make notes this will help ensure that you keep track of all your affiliate referrals and never forget critical information and data.
Online tracking techniques
One of the fastest and most convenient ways to track affiliate referrals is to use online resources. Some of these include:
An affiliate referral tracking application
Once your referral activities begin in earnest, you’ll find it difficult to manually track the number of referrals you bring to your affiliate company’s website. You’ll need a reliable application to perform this efficiently. Some of these referral tracking applications may be downloaded for free, although you might prefer premium editions if your affiliate business is big enough.
These applications are quite easy to use so you can conveniently keep track of the activities of your affiliate referrals. Many of these applications even offer extras, such as features that allow you to monitor your banner exchanges, start pages and affiliate links essentially the kind of activities you’ll been doing in order to promote your website.
Your affiliate marketing program’s tracking system
Majority of established affiliate marketing programs have their own tracking system for their affiliate’s referrals. Check your program for this. You’ll usually only need your own affiliate ID in order to gain access to your stats.
Your affiliate program is able to do this because the affiliate links you post on your web pages are coded. This usually comes in the form of a tracking cookie. Each time your visitors click on that link and arrives on the affiliate company’s website, their tracking system will register the unique code coming from your site.
Activities related to this code will be kept in the company’s system which you can view at any time.
Arguably the best and most exciting part of becoming an affiliate is receiving your payment for the very first time. After all, that check or deposit notification represents all those weeks (or even months) of hard work, tireless promotion and lead hunting on your part. Finally, there’s proof that your affiliate marketing efforts are beginning to pay off. To understand how the payment system of affiliate marketing program works, learn the basics of affiliate commission payment schedules.
Your earnings as an affiliate come in the form of commissions. This is a set percentage or portion of the total price of an affiliate product or service that you helped promote or sell. In many cases, it can also come from a portion of the monies generated through the efforts of downline members in your team.
The payment of commissions to affiliates is ruled by a schedule. This can vary from one affiliate program to the next, although a minimum amount and cut-off date are generally imposed.
If you’re wondering why affiliate programs do not automatically send you a check for every sales income you generate, it’s quite simple, actually. Affiliate programs need to maintain a standard when it comes to paying their affiliates to make sure that the process is seamless, glitch-free and fair to all. A program without a commission payment schedule risks becoming disorganized and erroneous.
Finding out the schedule of commission payments for your affiliate program
When you sign up as an affiliate for a program, it’s important that you check their FAQ section. Affiliate marketing programs often provide the most basic information about themselves on their website. Their FAQ section should clearly state the schedule of commission payments they have imposed for their affiliates.
If the information is unavailable, you can ask your sponsor (if you have one) or your affiliate program. The schedule of commission payments to affiliates is an important consideration when choosing an affiliate program. Do not sign up for an affiliate program without this information so you will be able to avoid disappointments later.
How often is the payment disbursed?
The schedule of commission payment varies, depending on the preference of the affiliate program. The affiliate pretty much doesnt have any control over this matter. Schedule of disbursement can range from bi-monthly to monthly payments. Some, such as LinkShare, disburse commission payments on a weekly basis, a considerably shorter amount of time.
What methods are used for affiliate commission payments?
There are three methods generally used by affiliate programs. These include: electronic payment processing (such as PayPal), checks and wire transfer. The length of time it will take for your commission payment to reach you will depend on the transaction method.
If the payment is coursed through electronic payment systems, this will usually take as little as 24 hours. Checks (usually delivered via postage mail or courier) usually take from 3 to 7 business days longer if the affiliate is located in certain areas. Wire transfers take from 3 to about 6 business days.
Is there anything that will affect the schedule of affiliate commission payments?
Generally, the schedule of commission payments for affiliates are pretty much set. However, there are certain things that might cause delays. One of the most common is whether an affiliate’s earnings have reached the minimum amount.
Affiliate programs often impose a minimum earned amount per pay period ranging from $10 to $100. If an affiliate earns less than that, his current earnings will be carried over to the next pay period until such time that he will meet the minimum required. Only then will his payment be released.
Why They Work and How to Use Them
Someone’s good word can be incredibly powerful. As a consumer yourself, wouldnt you rather purchase a product that has been recommended to you by a friend even if it is unfamiliar to you? Given a selection of similar products, wouldnt you rather try one that has had some glowing reviews even if you’ve never heard of them before? Such is the power of testimonials when used in promoting affiliate sites.
These days, testimonials are a common strategy for building credibility and generating buzz about a product or a company. The world’s largest corporations spend billions of dollars in harnessing the power of a good word alone. In affiliate marketing, testimonials are regularly utilized to promote an affiliate’s site, attract new customers and recruits and compete directly with another known brand.
Why affiliate marketers use testimonials
The role of testimonials in promoting an affiliate marketing site is to try to influence consumers’ buying decisions and behavior. Carefully chosen testimonials can be very effective in convincing prospects to try the affiliate product, service or membership. It has such power that many affiliate marketing sites regularly publish testimonials from satisfied customers on their home pages for visitors to view.
Many of the affiliate marketing programs in the industry today are fairly new while others have been operating quietly under the radar. Their relative anonymity can work against them, particularly since the affiliate marketing field tends to be very competitive.
To stand out, affiliate marketing programs try to increase their credibility factor by inviting famous personalities to speak for them through testimonials. While this can be very effective particularly if the celebrity has a large fan base, it can also be quite expensive. Not every affiliate marketer can afford to pay a celebrity just to place their name on his site.
To compete, affiliate marketers turn to their own customers and members, specifically people who have had sufficient experience in the program and those who have experienced success. A fully satisfied customer’s testimonial, if it’s well-written and based on a true experience and event, can be as convincing and effective as that of any celebrity.
Using the power of testimonials for promoting an affiliate’s site
Building your credibility can be tricky, particularly since the affiliate marketing industry continues to evolve. However, if careful strategies are employed, there is a high likelihood that you can succeed as an affiliate. Consider the following factors:
Testimonials exhibit much more power in promoting your affiliate’s site if they are expressed in more details. If a testimonial from a customer or another affiliate states that the program is ‘excellent’, it should be followed by a specific description of the program’s most useful features what makes it excellent, how it has helped the customer or affiliate, why it’s reliable, etc.
Believe it or not, skepticism is healthy when used with testimonials for promoting your affiliate’s site. Words such as, ‘I wasn’t convinced at first, BUT’ or ‘I have always used XYZ product and didnt think of switching to another brand. However, your product has ____ and ____ features that convinced me it was so much better.’
Even with the stated objection, a testimonial can be quite powerful if it is followed by a positive statement.
Keeping it real
Avoid using fake testimonials. ‘Designer’ testimonials are easy to write according to the specifics you require but someone will get wind of the fact and expose you. Once you’re found out, you lose your credibility. That simple act could haunt you for the rest of your life as a discredited affiliate marketer.
A few good words
Try to be selective with your choice of testimonials. They can be quite powerful when used for promoting your affiliate’s site but over-use can work against you. Find the best ones, especially the well-written and detailed testimonials and use these instead. Or, you could take the best sentences and phrases and post those in place of a whole paragraph.
Harness the Power of Offering Freebies to Your Affiliate Site’s Visitors
Who in his right mind would refuse a freebie? Out of 10 people you ask, only about one or two will forego a freebie for some strange reason. The rest will gladly accept it. It’s simply a part of human nature to be appreciative of gifts, particularly useful ones. This is also something that advertisers and business owners understand fully well and thus use to their advantage.
In affiliate marketing, the use of freebies can be especially beneficial, provided of course, that you understand how to deploy them strategically. Find out how to use the power of offering freebies to your affiliate site’s visitors and reap the rewards:
Freebies should be integrated into your marketing campaign
Freebies can be quite powerful as marketing tools for affiliate marketing. If visitors to your website find that free stuff is available, they will stick around and be more willing to come back for more but only if they find it relevant to their needs the very reason they came to visit your website in the first place.
Consider each affiliate marketing campaign you perform and find out how to use freebies strategically. Just because something is free doesnt automatically mean that people will visit your affiliate website and grab what you offer. There has to be a relevance between the freebie and the main product or service you are promoting.
Let’s say your main product is an e-book that teaches the secrets of the affiliate marketing trade to affiliates. A good freebie to offer with this campaign would be a short report on the top 10 mistakes that affiliates make that cause failure in affiliate marketing. Or you could offer a freebie in the form of a script that could help affiliates track their own stats.
Remember that the power of freebies when offered in affiliate marketing is only limited to its relevance. The free stuff should be something that can supplement the main product or enhance its use. Otherwise, your visitors will simply have no reason to try to obtain it.
Offer something better
Just because you’re offering freebies to your affiliate site’s visitors doesnt mean you should allow them to completely ignore your premium offers. If you let this happen, forget about earning an income from your affiliate site.
Remember that all those free stuff you offer are part of your strategy to attract more visitors and affiliate prospects to your website. If you find out later that you’re dealing with visitors who are mainly freeloaders, you might want to rethink your career as an affiliate marketer and switch to becoming a charitable foundation instead.
Always offer your affiliate site’s visitors some form of incentive to persuade them to purchase, subscribe or sign up for membership. Offer a product or service that is considerably better than the freebie as an alternative. So instead of just providing a link they can click to download or obtain your free stuff, you could also say something like:
“Get our free version now OR buy the premium/complete package for just $$$. This is a limited offer and will expire soon. ACT NOW!”
By imposing a time restriction, you also impose a sense of urgency and persuade your affiliate site’s visitors that if they want to take advantage of a better offer, they should act immediately.
This is one power that freebies have over other types of promotions, which makes them very effective when used in affiliate sites. Plus, you can even expect a conversion without performing any follow ups.
Find out the best freebies you can afford.
There is no logic at all to giving away freebies if you have nothing to gain from it. When affiliate marketers and business owners offer free gifts to their site’s visitors, it is a carefully crafted strategy and not just some careless act of generosity.
When you do offer freebies, you have to have something in return, if not now then at least later. Learn to harness the use of freebies for your affiliate site’s visitors carefully. It’s a proven strategy and can be a very valuable component of your affiliate marketing arsenal.