AFFILIATE MARKETING – AN EASY WAY TO SUCCESS
Affiliate marketing is when you sign up to promote other people’s products (or services) for a share of the sale in the form of commissions.
As an affiliate marketer, you usually don’t need any special training or start-up funding.
Your tasks as an affiliate marketer will be to drum up traffic to the product owner’s pitch page, allowing them to convert the prospect into a buyer.
The more targeted you are with your traffic promotions, the higher your conversion rate will be.
There are many things you can promote as an affiliate. On Amazon, for instance, you can promote anything tangible (and a few digital download to boot).
If you want to be in the paintball niche, you can include links using your Amazon associate (affiliate) ID to sell specific paintball guns, paintballs, and attire.
You can go to sites like ClickBank or PayDotCom and get a unique affiliate ID to promote an endless supply of information products.
They house everything from acne to organic gardening.
You can even become an affiliate promoting actions.
There are many Internet marketers who focus their business on getting a steady stream of traffic to take an action, such as filling out a survey online.
With affiliate marketing, you don’t have to worry about developing ideas and creating products.
You don’t have to deal with customer service follow-ups or continually process more products for the marketplace.
Your job is often made easier by product owners who care so much about their own success, that they provide a toolbox to help you with yours!
The toolbox usually includes readymade emails, web reviews, and banner ads you can use with your own link embedded in them for instant plug-n-play success.
Most Internet marketers will eventually blur the lines of product owner and affiliate marketer.
Product owners continually use their list of buyers to promote affiliate items, and affiliates often build such a good reputation in a niche that they’re urged to come out with a product of their own.
How much can an affiliate marketer earn? There are no limits.
You can market multiple niches and work as much or as little as you want to generate targeted traffic through your links.
Super affiliates earn six figures or more, but even a beginner affiliate can earn enough to pay the bills each month – with some change to spare!
HOW TO MAKE AFFILIATE LINKS
Making affiliate links is very easy. First, you want to go to the site and register for a free affiliate (or associate) ID. On ClickBank, they call it a nickname.
On Amazon, it’s an associate ID, and on PayDotCom, it’s your affiliate member username.
On ClickBank.com, you’ll go to the marketplace, which is the link at the top of the page. Enter your keyword(s) and find the product you wish to promote.
You can view pitch page to review the sales letter, but click Create Hoplink when you’re ready to get your link.
Enter your ClickBank nickname and click, “Create.” You’ll see two options, as shown below:
<a href=”http://Nickname.Publisher.hop.clickbank.net/” target=”_top”>Click Here!</a>
The first one is your direct link, and instead of nickname and publisher, you’ll see your personal nickname and the publisher’s ID.
The second one is ready for insertion into a web page. This makes the words, Click Here hyperlinked to the site via your own personal affiliate link.
On PayDotCom, you’ll log into your affiliate account and click on Promote Products at the top of the screen.
Next you’ll click on the option that says, “Create a new campaign…from marketplace.”
Search the marketplace to find a product you wish to promote. When you find a product you’d like to promote as an affiliate, click the Promote link.
Here, you’ll see your raw affiliate link that you can use – as well as any other tools the product owner provides, such as banner ads, email announcements, etc.
In Amazon, you’ll log into your associate membership and then on the left sidebar, click Build Links.
You can choose which types of links you wish to build, such as a text link.
Here, you’ll enter the full URL of the product or search results page you want to promote and enter the words you want to be hyperlinked.
You’ll be able to quickly cut and paste the HTML code into your website or blog.
Each affiliate program has a similar system in place to help you create viable links.
Basically, for each one, you’ll log in, enter your username, and generate a link to copy and use online.
It’s easy, but if you get stuck somewhere, email the product owner and ask for assistance.
LAUNCHING YOUR OWN AFFILIATE PROGRAM
If you have your own product, launching an affiliate program is a necessity if you want to reach your full profit potential.
Even if you manage to control a massive 10% of your entire niche market on your own, that still leaves 90% of that niche’s traffic on the table.
By setting up an affiliate program, you can harness the power of having other people make money for you.
Instead of spending your time promoting your product, you can let other people do it for you while you spend your time forming JV partnerships, developing new product ideas, getting new products created, and taking care of other tasks to grow your business.
There are many ways to set up an affiliate program.
Which one you choose will probably depend on what type of product you’re selling, and where you’re located in the world.
A lot of people purchase affiliate scripts that allow them to run their own affiliate program through PayPal.
But PayPal doesn’t allow users from many countries, and if you live in one of those countries, you’ll have to find a different solution.
If you’re selling physical products like shoes or books, you might go through Commission Junction.
Located at www.cj.com, Commission Junction is one of the largest affiliate systems in the world.
They may be a little complex to set up, and they have certain rules you’ll have to comply with, but they have a huge database of affiliates ready and waiting to promote your products.
If you’re selling digital products like software or eBooks, you might want to go through ClickBank.
ClickBank is the world’s largest seller of eBooks and other digital products.
They make it extremely easy to run an affiliate program, and they take care of almost everything for you.
They handle the billing for you, they handle customer refund requests, and they can even handle some of your customer service questions.
They’ll even pay your affiliates for you.
ClickBank does take a percentage of your sales, so if you’re paying your affiliates a 50% commission, you’ll be making quite a bit less than 50% yourself, because of ClickBank’s fees.
They also charge $49 up front to approve your product before you’re allowed to sell through them. But you’ll have fees with any billing solution.
After all, they have to make money somehow.
An alternative to ClickBank is PayDotCom. PayDotCom is very similar to ClickBank, but with a few differences.
With PayDotCom, you currently don’t have to pay an upfront fee to sell a single product through them.
The money also goes to your PayPal account, which can be another big benefit. But for people without PayPal accounts, PayDotCom isn’t going to work.
You need a PayPal account to be paid, and you’ll also have to pay your affiliates out of your PayPal account, as well.
Another easy solution for selling digital products is e-Junkie. E-Junkie has an affiliate program built in, and they also host your product downloads.
They’re very inexpensive to use, charging a monthly fee rather than high percentages.
But not as many affiliates promote products through e-Junkie as through ClickBank or PayDotCom.
Running your affiliate program can be very simple with a hosted solution.
You might be tempted to use a script you host yourself, but it’s probably better to leave it to the pros.
Don’t forget to create an affiliate toolbox, too! In order for your affiliate force to make sales, they’ll need readymade marketing materials such as banners, buttons, eCovers, emails, and articles they can use.
MERGING YOUR AFFILIATE OFFERS
If you launch your Internet marketing business as an affiliate marketer, then you’ll want to know how to merge your offers to play off of one another.
On eBay, it’s called cross-promotion.
You go to an eBay auction for an iPod and find cross-promotions of all sorts of accessories, battery packs, and bling they can add onto their order.
You can do the same with an affiliate business.
Let’s say you want to promote work at home opportunities – like Internet marketing to stay at home moms.
First, you start with an eBook promotion about affiliate marketing.
It’s broad, it fits a large demographic – and it converts well. What else could the stay at home mom – soon to be entrepreneur need that you can sell?
Think of her personal situation. She has kids running around the house, she may have limited space, and she’s in need of a home office.
You could promote affiliate items through Amazon that cater to her home office needs, such as:
- An ergonomic chair
- A space-saving desk that will fit in a corner
- A laptop computer to take work on-the-go
But there’s more she’s going to need.
If she’s learning the ropes of affiliate marketing, she’ll need to understand tactics and tools that are available to make her work easier and increase her profit potential.
You could cross-promote offers such as:
- Article marketing software and guides
- Pay per click eBooks
- Social marketing tutorials
- PLR (Private Label Rights) memberships
This is just the tip of the iceberg.
When you first scout out your affiliate product promotions, think of all the ways you can merge other offers into the mix so that they complement the original product and still suit the needs of your prospect perfectly.