Avoid the scams! - Make Affiliate marketing pay for you
Making money online is everybodies dream, but there are few people who actually realise this dream. Truth is, there is very little free information out there to tell you which affiliate programmes to join, what paid email site are legitimate or which persons "system" is worth paying $100 for. It is hard to know who to trust in cyberspace.
Affiliate Marketing Sense
This is a very good question, and to answer it, business does not happen if marketing does not take place. Marketing is actually the force behind any kind of commercial enterprise.
Maximise Your Commissions From Affiliate Programsby Kevin Sinclair
The majority of affiliates are not earning much money from the affiliate programs they belong to. It doesn't have to be this way. Here are a few tips and techniques that will help you to maximise the commissions you receive from the affiliate programs you belong to.
Choose your affiliate programs with care.
The most critical thing you need to do is choose your associations with care. If you do this wrong, you limit your ability to earn good commissions before you even start.
The programs you choose must fit with the product or service range that you are offering. It is important that they are natural add ons to what you are selling. Alternatively, they must complement the theme of your site. For example, if you offer web design services, a natural add on could be an affiliate program for web hosting.
If you do not offer your own products or services, then your web site needs to convey useful information on a topic of your interest. Affiliate programs relating to this topic of interest would be good add ons for your site. For example, if you have a poetry site, useful affiliate programs could be poetry books, greeting cards, or flowers.
Limit your choice of affiliate programs initially so you can concentrate your efforts on learning how to market them effectively. Having too many programs will dilute your focus and make it harder to learn what works best. Once you are successfully selling and making reasonable commissions from your initial choices, you are then in a better position to choose new programs to add to your site.
Don't choose based on what pays the highest commission. Instead, put yourself in the shoes of your customer and choose what would best serve their needs. When you do this, you will choose programs that will sell very well and make you more commission in the long run.
Once you have decided on a small list of programs you think are suitable, buy the product or service yourself before making your final choice. This will enable you to test the service delivery and product quality to ensure that it is totally suitable for you to recommend to your customers and visitors.
Your credibility with your customers will be damaged if your refer them to another merchant who does not provide them with good service or product quality. Therefore, always test the product or service before you give a personal recommendation.
Most marketing experts say that the best way to sell products through an affiliate association is by personal recommendation. Once you have used the product, you are then able to write a review that tells your customers or visitors what you liked about it and how it helped you. A personal recommendation will sell more than any advertisement.
Opt In Lists v. Web Sites
Your advertising message will produce a stronger response from people that already know and trust you. Therefore, your own opt in list or ezine is going to be more effective than your web site at generating commissions. If you don't have a means of staying in contact with your customers or visitors, you are severely limiting your income producing potential.
Banner links on web sites are less effective than text links. More people will click on a text link than a banner. With text links, you are able to pre-qualify people before they visit your affiliate partner's site, and you will find that more convert to sales.
To supplement your promotional activities, consider advertising that gets people to visit the details of the affiliate program on your site, or alternatively, sends them direct to the affiliate site using your affiliate link. Paid ads in ezines can be relatively cheap and can provide you with highly targeted prospects for your promoted product or service.
Many ezines accept paid advertising. Check out List Resources.com http://list-resources.com/ who has a directory of sites that list newsletters and ezines. Another option to consider for low cost ezine advertising is the "2 Bucks an Ad Program" http://www.ksinclair.com/2bucks.htm
Free classified ads are another option but are less effective than targeted ezine advertising. Ensure that you update or change your ads every couple of days to keep them near the top of the listings. Also, check out The Grandfather Of All Links FREE Advertising Directory which has over 10,000 + places to advertise for free. http://www.ecki.com/links
Some find Google Adwords or similar services very useful for generating affiliate sales. However, use caution and test carefully before spending large amounts of money on this service.
Track Your Results
Always test and track the results of the ads and promotions you run. Use the information gained to fine tune your efforts. If you don't track your results, you will not know what is or is not working for you. The best decisions are made based on good information.
Search on Google to find a service to track your advertising and promotion activities. Use free trials where possible so that you can test their services with your next adverting or promotion campaign before spending your money on the service.
You can maximise your commissions from affiliate programs. You need to carefully choose the programs you will participate in based on what would best suit your customers or visitors. A personal recommendation is the most effective selling tool especially if it appears in your own ezine or opt-in list. Other advertising tools should also be used to enhance your earning potential. Always test and track your results so that you can maximise what works best for you.
About the Author
Article by Kevin Sinclair, CPA, of Personal & Business Success Resources.
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