What Is Affiliate Marketing?
By definition, affiliate marketing is the Internet marketing practice whereby a business owner rewards you (as an affiliate) for each visitor or customer brought about by your marketing efforts. Think about yourself being a sales person for a company or product. When you produce the results a company is looking for, you get paid accordingly. That is in simple terms what affiliate marketing is all about.
Why everybody is doing it?
Affiliate Marketing is probably one of the easiest and most utilized form to earn money through the Internet. This is because when you decide to engage in this form of doing business, you do not have to worry about a lot of things, such as initial Capital, creating your own products, developing promotional materials, providing assistance, shipping, storage, etc. In most cases, the owners of the affiliate businesses (or merchants) are responsible for having all these necessary requirements, while all you need to do is promote the products and make sales.
However, like any other business venture, the chances of success in affiliate marketing is not guaranteed and it is not an “Automatic” income generator as many will tell you. To significantly increase your chances of success, here are some tips that can guide you through the process:
1) Finding The Right Affiliate Network
There are so many affiliate networks that you may be tempted to signup for the first one you see. Before doing so, there are some factors which you need to determine if a particular affiliate network is right for you.
• Policies – Are services, sales and payment terms easily understandable?
• Knowledge Base – Is there a FAQ area that can help you answer any questions you may have? Do they have a beginner’s guide for affiliates?
• Affiliate Managers – Does the affiliate company have real people on the other end of the phone who can answer your questions and provide you with assistance?
• Community Proof – Have you heard people, talking highly about particular companies, products or services? See this example about the Google Affiliate Program.
What you need to know is that there are so many different types of programs out there that it can be quite overwhelming when it comes to choosing what is best for you. As I said before, there are no “magic systems” for success. The best thing to do is to experiment with different ones and find which one converts best for you.
To help you out with your efforts, you can check out websites such as Amazon and eBay. Check out the most popular products as well as the most successful sellers. Chances are, whatever niches are most popular in those websites are best to engage in.
2) Select the Right Product
Navigating through the information and browsing offers available for you to promote on your chosen affiliate networks depends highly on the niche you are in. Do not get fooled by choosing only high payouts, which in a lot of cases do not convert to sales. You should analyze click thru rates, click to lead conversion ratios, and most importantly, whether or not the ad’s target audience is the same as that of your site.
Also, there is one that I call “seasonal niche”. This is the one that you should be on a constant awareness as they are normally the most popular ones and can increase your chances on generating actions from your visitors.
One example that comes to my kind right now is with the unfortunate departure of Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace). When the news broke out, even Google had a hard time to maintain it’s website running. Literally, an Internet chaos was generated because of this event. Now imagine that you had a website or created a website that is related to, say Music. You could have during a certain period of time, promoted anything related to Michael Jackson. Just take a look at Amazon’s sales of MP3’s during this period and you will see what I mean. Some other examples are, Father’s Day, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, etc.
Aside from checking out what each affiliate or affiliate network have to offer, one way to assist you in finding products or services, is by using Google’s Product Search engine. This will show you the latest trends of what people are looking for and might give you an idea of what product to promote.
Anyway, when in doubt and regardless of specifics, the best advice I can give you is to run a small test on multiple offers. After that, let the numbers speak for
themselves and see which is working or not. just remember to NOT sell something that people can get for free.
3) Promote Wisely
Once you’ve already chosen an affiliate marketing program to get into, you will need to promote your business. Promotion is one of the hardest things to do in this business primarily because competition is too high. Research all available platforms that can help you gain as much targeted traffic as you can and advertise your products in forums, classified, blogs and even on Twitter. You can also run your own email marketing campaign. If you have a blog, provide content related to the product you are promoting and give your opinion if possible. Just keep in mind that the more sources you have, the better your affiliate marketing business will perform. Obviously, one thing to avoid is Spamming.
There are many things you need to be aware of to achieve success in Affiliate Marketing. The suggestions above, if implemented, should serve as guidelines to assist you in your online business objectives.
How about you? Do you have any ideas to share with us? How are you doing on your Affiliate Marketing efforts?