Getting Started with Affiliate Programs

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Affiliate Marketing is probably one of the most popular forms of Internet Marketing, since it doesn’t involve having to create, stock, or sell problems of your own. You simply earn commissions from referring customers to the affiliated product. It is pure marketing, in that you promote and advertise for a third party.

As I mentioned before whatever you do with Internet Marketing you are basically connecting customers and products. Therefore, finding the right customers, and the right products, is essential.

These days most large online retailers, such as Amazon and eBay, have affiliate programs. There are also vast networks of affiliate programs for almost every industry you can think of. Commissions will vary widely, from around 6% for a book or DVD from Amazon to 75% or more from selling digital products such as eBooks, Software or Memberships. Some affiliate programs will pay fixed fees, such as $50 per customer. Some will even pay recurring commissions, for services that are billed monthly or members for private sites. It’s easy to see why this form of marketing is attractive.

If you want to earn good money from affiliate programs it’s essential you aim for one that suits you. Some marketers will swear by targeting smaller, less overcrowded niches, so you can focus your efforts there and become a big fish in a small pond. Others will aim for higher payouts, so even though the amount of sales might be lower, the overall profits are good. It’s different for everyone.

One of the first things you do is decide what, and how, to promote. Traditionally paying directly for clicks has been proven to work, but getting it wrong can cost you dearly. Using a system such as Googles Adwords you bid on keywords, pay for every click from that keyword, and direct that visitor to a page where, hopefully, they’ll buy. As an example we’ll say you’re promoting a company that sells motorcycles. These are high value items, with considerable potential rewards. If an average sale of $10000 nets you $650 in commissions, and 1 in 1000 customers you send to the website buys, you know that you can afford to spend around $1.50 per customer. Spend less per customer, make more money. You’d therefore target keywords in Google with terms such as “Buy Motorcycle” – but that would be too vague, and cost dearly. So perhaps “2013 Suzuki GSX-R 750″ is a little more targeted. Perhaps you’d discover customers are unlikely to buy a motorcycle online at all, or it’s only 1 in 10000 who’d buy, but the beauty of Pay Per Click campaigns with Adwords and others is that you can quickly get a feel of how much traffic will cost, and how much you could potentially make. Another example is to target local sales, e.g. “Cable TV in Virginia” or “Broadband in Miami, Florida”. Still massive markets.

The other major way of getting traffic is through the search engines directly, so called Organic Search. These are the sites people visit when searching for information or even when looking to buy. To be successful here your site, or pages on your site, must rank highly, preferably on the first page, for terms people use to search. Getting ranked high is an industry in itself, but in short the keywords you use, the sites that link to you, the age of the site, and the content all contribute. It’s always best to aim your site at your human visitor first and worry about the search engines last, as good quality content, regularly produced, will always win out. Sites such as Blogs, Review Sites, and Forums are all easy to build content for in specific niches. Take for example Amazons affiliate program. You might decide to drill down through the categories (Amazons “Best Sellers” in niche categories are a good start) and start promoting their “Garmin Approach G3 Golf GPS Unit”. It’s a specific item in a popular but still less crowded niche (and as a bonus, golf players tend to have more disposable income). You could build a few pages around that product, and others, and start including articles on GPS systems in golf to build content. At around $160-$200 a pop the commissions could add up on this one item. WordPress is a great platform for building niche sites. A content site that grows over time could slowly target every variation of keyword, increasing your rankings as you do.

The great advantage of affiliate marketing is that once you’ve found that ideal product and that ideal audience you build from there, either tweaking your PPC campaigns, adding more products to your portfolio, adding content to your sites, or driving traffic from other sources such as social networks, youtube, or even offline (print ads, flyers, phone). Most of the effort involved in affiliate marketing is driving all this traffic. Some affiliate programs even increase commissions are you get more sales, and the top affiliates often benefit from one-to-one partnerships rather than fixed percentages.

Most marketers will start with affiliate marketing due to the ease of starting up. I won’t say it’s easy making a big income, but once you understand how it works there’s only really one way to go… up!

Finally, a popular affiliate site that sells digital products is Clickbank. You can often enjoy 50% commissions plus on products from here, since the seller has no real overheads other than providing their products digitally. Other websites even offer 100% commissions on digital products, usually direct from the site rather an affiliate network, since to the seller the value is not that initial sale, but rather the lifetime of the customer. All this is worth noting when you consider that affiliate marketing not only refers to you making sales as the affiliate, but the flip side – getting affiliates to sell for YOU…

 

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Making money with the Internet, the basics

I’ve always thought that making money online is really a numbers game, but it isn’t complicated. Most of it is common sense, but a quick overview is always useful. I’m talking about marketing your own or others products here. Anything else, such as freelancing, surveys, viewing ads, writing posts, is not marketing. It’s work.

Websites tend to generate profits either directly, by selling a product, or a service, or passively – perhaps by allowing paid advertising, promotions, and the like.

This is true for almost everything online. For example, behemoths such as Amazon mirror a traditional store model. There’s a range of products, that a visitor can buy directly. There’s a profit on each item, just like a bricks and mortar store, but apart from all the neat tricks such as recommendations,  customer interaction, allowing other people to sell on your store (for a small price), and the subtle push to make impulse purchases (by storing your details, having a quick one-button checkout) it works just as , say, a Walmarts would.

eBay and Paypal offer a storefront and they charge fees to list your item, big blog networks such as Gawker will do promotional posts, run joint ventures with other companies, and display ads, and services such as Mailing List providers and Web Hosts will charge a fee (often recurring) to use their services.

What everything needs however customers, and on the Internet this translates as visitors and hits. Getting as many customers, to the right product, is essentially what marketing is all about.

Not all these visitors will buy from you. Through some simple tracking on your site you can see how many hits/visitors there are, and how many of those actually buy. That’s your conversion rate. This rate is bolstered by two things. Obviously, have a great product and a great site that sells it well is one, the other is the type of visitors you attract.

Let’s take a fictional example. You have a book to offer all about fishing. The site is a simple sales page, just one page, that acts as an advertisement.  You get 100 visitors a day, and sell 1 book per day. That’s a conversion rate of 1%. To increase this, you can get more visitors. Or you can ensure that more of the visitors are not just random hits, but people actively looking for your fishing book.

You can get quality visitors by making your site show up in search engine results for relevant terms (such as “fishing tips”, “how to catch carp”, ” fly fishing for beginners” etc). You can advertise directly, perhaps by buying ads on fishing sites. You can advertise passively by joining in discussions on fishing forums, or perhaps even pay others to sell your book for you, for a cut of the profits (affiliate marketing). Any kind of marketing to attract visitors will use carry some kind of Cost per Acquisition (CPA), unless it’s free.

Increasing profits is down to the price. Is it better to sell 100 books for $2 each or 10 for $20 each? This is a simple balance on paper, but price can prove to be a very careful balancing act. People might feel your book is low quality at $2. Perhaps $20 is too much. Perhaps it’s such a niche subject you’d struggle to get visitors in bulk, or perhaps there’s so much competition the lowest price might be the best strategy. In order to make a profit you have to take into account how much it costs to sell the item. If your book costs you $5 per copy to print, for example, or if it’s costing you $100 to attract those 100 visitors ($1 per customer), you have to incorporate them as overheads into your sales price.

In short:

Visitors / Conversion x price = profits

More visitors, a higher conversion, a higher price, more profits…

Get the right product with a website that sells it effectively, and get the right customers, then you can start making profits. Increase any of the figures and watch the cash roll in!

 

 

 

Pulling It All Together

Internet Marketing is all about pulling together a lot of strands to make them work as a whole.

I frequently provide offers of new software and guides, and you may or may not be tired of reading them. Like other marketers, I sell. It is, after all, the whole point of marketing.

However, unlike some others, I also provide ideas. I won’t just give or offer a product. I’ll explain how they can work for you, and give ideas on how you can re-sell or use them.

Depending on your level of experience, it may be obvious to you what to do with them. Or it may not. I try to cover all bases. There’s nothing worse than someone new to this who purchases a product then are at a loss with what to do with it.

I can’t, obviously, explain the in-depth steps to working with something for every item I see. I tend to look at the bigger picture, and may sometimes over-generalise. I’ll say things like “this would be an ideal upsell”, or “this product will help with backlinks” or “that product can increase site ranking” and “the PLR for this would make it an excellent list builder”…

To some, that kind of talk is straightforward. To others, no chance!

As marketers we can’t provide blueprints that would suit everyone. For one, it would mean a load of exact copycat sites using the exact same principles after the same markets. It just wouldn’t work.

But, by learning the basics, you’ll soon see the methods that can be used, and the principles to adhere to. Ideas that are flexible, and systems that can be tweaked to your liking.

So in part to help those clueless souls out there, I’m going to talk you through internet marketing from a newcomers point of view.

I’ll just give you direct links to the services you need, without leaving open recommendations that may just, in the end, confuse. And I’ll explain how to use those services.

Our goal is to create a site that makes money.

We’ll research a niche, build a site, sell products and advertising, build a list, and promote it.

All in easy to follow steps.

Stay tuned!

* This course will be free, but the products and services I use won’t be. It won’t cost much, but it will cost something.

Membership Site Tactics 2.0 for $1 ($995 in Free Gifts)

Membership Site Tactics 2 $1 Trial - Build  your own Membership Site

Membership Tactics 2 is currently on offer for a $1 trial.

It’s crazy – the membership site “design software” alone
is worth over $197. Yours for $1. And that’s not even
including everything else.

Check it out here:

You’re going to get nearly 2.7 hours of video training
as well.

You’ll discover the secret for working 5 hours a month
and making nearly $20k from your membership site.

And the one traffic secret for filling up your fresh
continuity program with members.

Click the this link now

$1 for a limited time… Think of it as an early present for 2010.

We all know how a Members Site is the premier source of a recurring income. You owe it to yourself to try out this offer before it is pulled

How To Promote In 3 Easy Steps – Marlon Sanders

Marlon Sanders has released a new video entitled “How To Promote In 3 Easy Steps“.

As well as this video, you’ll also have the chance to win $300!

Marlon is a personal favourite guru of mine, and I have been following him and his products for years. He has a truly unique presentation style and brings an element of psychology to the marketing world.

To watch the video and have a chance at that $300 just follow this link.

And if you want to find out more about Marlon, you can view my mini resource of Marlon material here. Please note it is way out of date, there’s a lot more material to add, but what’s there is very informative and eye-opening.

* If you’ve never experienced Marlon in full flight before, there’s a great video of one of seminar appearances floating around. Ah… here it is … Dead Ducks Don’t Quack!

The Irresistable Offer

Amazing Conversion Rate

Amazing Conversion Rate

In the first of my “Back To Basics” posts yesterday I mentioned that half the battle in Internet Marketing is to find that mythical perfect customer, to whom you would supply the perfect product.

And guess what came across my desk later that day? This video course from Rob Howard and David Bullock entitled “The Irresistable Offer“.

This is all about converting traffic into buyers. After all, why spend all your time, energy and money driving traffic if that traffic is useless to you?

So if you want to discover what makes your perfect customer tick, and find out his buying patterns and keywords, or if you want to push your conversion rates to the heady heights of as much as 20% you need this.

And if you want to work less, and enjoy more, with your business running on autopilot (every marketers goal) get this.

The Irresistable Offer

There are three videos included, total running time of 53 minutes.

  1. How to find your perfect customer.
  2. How to write killer presell content.
  3. Raise Your Response.

Get this, it’s only $4.97, and start increasing your profits today.

PS. I love David Bullocks products (as I’ve stated many times before). He delivers. I like the way he thinks, with statements like “Nothing in Internet Marketing is Hard” and “Why Have I Failed To Make Money” sprinkled across his site. In any case, you have a full 100% money back guarantee stretching to 56 days if you’re not happy. And perhaps the fact that you’ve paid – and not got it for free – will spur you on to actually watch and benefit from these videos.

PPS. A note for Affiliates:  You can earn instant one hundred percent commissions paid directly to you via PayPal, and even grab 75% of the back end.

PLR Bargains – Dimesale

Here’s a quick update on a new Dimesale from Greg Lloyd.

(If you’re quick you’ll get it for around $5 !)

These come with Private Label Rights and Master Resale Rights. Meaning you can:

  1. Edit the packages to sell as your own.
  2. Include in your own packages.
  3. Create your own Sales.
  4. Giveaway – perhaps with an OTO or Upsell
  5. Or – as they are mean to be – learn from yourself!

The software included is:

  • Membership Building For Profits in the 21st Century
  • Facebooking Craze For Internet Marketers
  • E-Book Reseller Riches
  • Cashing in Big on the Health and Wellness Industry
  • Dog Obedience
  • Cat Training
  • $1000 in One Week on Ebay
  • Overcome Shyness 101
  • Get Your Ex Back
  • Copy Your Way To Success
  • Article Master Series

Here’s another tip:

Create a Blog – say, “Overcoming Shyness”. Each day or week post extracts from the book, with an option to buy the complete book. OR post the complete book, and use affiliate links for income. Don’t forge tthe “Article Master” product above also contains a ton of fresh articles.

Download Here – and remember, you’ll get full access to Greg’s DimeSaleDollars.com…

100% Instant Commissions included.

All Our Freebies

Over the years, we’ve given away a lot of e-books and software tools at this site. In addition, we’ve provided links to even more downloads from third-party sites.

Of course, you won’t need all of these. And I wouldn’t recommend you download everything even if you did.

It’s all too easy to drown in an avalanche of information, and end up not digesting any of it at all!

The best way to proceed is to download a few books or tools that interest you and read them, or at least skim through them. If you find the information useful, store it away in a “to be read” folder and act on it. If it’s useless to you, simply delete.

I used to download everything until I had hundreds of e-books that I never read at all. And I wasted a lot of time sifting through this and not acting on it at all. Even worse, I missed out on some truly useful guides that could have saved me a lot of time – and money!

You see, the best thing about this industry is that a lot of other folk have been before you and already made the mistakes. And a lot of other highly skilled people have tracked and tested beyond belief to find out what really works – and lived to tell the tale :-)

Here’s all the freebies we’ve offered — but with one caveat: as I’ve said, ensure you filter what’s useful to you, and act on it.

10 Free Marketing Gifts -  a carefully selected giveaway from ourselves.

Our Super Six Giftpack

Our free Members Siteyou’ll need to register here (just an e-mail subscribe)

Our Mega Bonuses Page – a BIG list of everything we’ve come across so far…

Every “Freebie” Post in this Blog

Take care when downloading, and in advance I’m sorry for out-of-date books and dead websites. This happens, but good information is never out fashion!

Back To Basics: Introduction

I realise not everyone who comes to this site and blog are versed in the “lingo” and buzzwords associated with “Internet Marketing“.

That’s the reason for this series of posts that will (hopefully) help you get started, or – if you’re coming back to the fold, refresh your memory.

First up, we’ll start with a definition – my definition – of what Internet Marketing is.

(Please note if you’re already Marketing, this will all be a little humdrum to you. You can safely ignore this series!)

Internet Marketing is Marketing on the Internet. That is to say, it’s all about connecting buyers with products.

To complicate matters further, a Buyer means a customer. They don’t necessarily need to buy something upfront, but – somewhere down the line – you’ll hope that they do.

And a product doesn’t necessarily mean something tangible, like a new broom, a book, or a helicopter. It could mean a downloadable piece of software, access to information, membership to a site, or a subscription to a service.

If you connect the two – you’re in business.

The whole science (or art!) of Internet Marketing is finding and indentifying those buyers, and connecting them to the products. The products could be something you’ve created yourself, they could be stock you hope to sell and profit from, or they could be products you can earn a commission from.

Then there’s the important “Internet” part of the equation.

You see, using the Internet you can access literally millions of potential customers worldwide. There has never been an easier way to do this. This is perhaps the only business you could set up in your own home, or even just a desk in your own home.

However – there’s no point simply throwing offers at millions of people, you’d quickly go bankrupt. You need to target your business. I.e. You only want to contact those people who may be interested in your product.

This part of your business is Promotion. It’s something we’ll cover in detail later.

Finding the right people and the right product are a huge part of the process. If you could discover the right group of people, a group that has a large disposable income, who are hungry for a specific tool or product, and there are few other businesses (the dreaded competition) offering this solution – then you’ve hit gold, my friend.

Again, this is something we’ll cover later.

Since this is the Internet, you’ll also need a website of some sort. You’ve guessed it – we’ll cover that later!

And because you want to save time, you’ll learn a lot of techniques that can be automated.

For now, you can read the various other beginners guides I’ve written in the past. They mostly cover the same ground, but from different angles:

Beginners Guide @ Squidoo
Newbies Start Here!
(old) Beginners Guide
No Bull Guide
Building An Email List (at Squidoo)
Traffic Tips Master List

See you soon with the first part of our Back To Basics articles: Identifying Your Market.


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