If you are determined to make your affiliate efforts more of a business model that will help you leave your job, then there are a few things you need to consider first, you need to have a plan.
The Internet Is Changing And You Need To Change With It…
If you are building one page websites or just relying on free services such as Squidoo or Hubpages, Scribd or Associated Content then you will only have a limited self life with anything you do online, things are changing fast especially in the area of making money online.
If you are currently using Squidoo to promote products then you might want to read our post on Squidoo Drops the Hammer On Affiliates.
The very first thing you need to consider is building a long-range marketing strategy, you know it’s the same as setting your goals of what you want to achieve and where you want to be in the next 12 months two years and further into the future.
To develop the right strategy you are going to have to start paying close attention to the ever evolving online affiliate marketplace, with this knowledge you will then have to develop an affiliate marketing plan that will allow you to network with other affiliates (collaboration) which will keep you in the loop with things that could be effecting your affiliate business.
By joining other blogs on the topic of affiliate marketing or forums such as the Warrior Forum this will allow you to find out what your associates are doing successfully as well as what is no longer working. Doing this type of back-end research will not only save you a lot of time and headaches in the future but has the ability to put extra cash in your bank account which to me is a very sound plan.
Another tactic that you are going to have to develop if you are serious about doing business and this is something that can potentially keep your income growing constantly while building trust and loyalty with your visitors. It’s called lead capture or ensuring you have an opt in form on the front page of your site as well as your internal pages so that you can start from day one building an email list, this allows you to have contact with your subscribers and site visitors. If done correctly it can also bring visitors back to your site time and time again.
The way to do this is not to promote but to give them relevant and quality content that truly helps in their search to solve a problem you will build a loyal following with very few unsubscribes. Remember a lost visitor from your site or a unsubscribe from your list can potentially be a missed sale for you.
Many who have the attitude that this is a fast money business will fail and the primary reason is this, “they fail to capture the visitor’s attention and then their email address” as they don’t realize the importance of this marketing strategy and end up throwing away all the traffic that comes down the pipeline and the sales as well. There focus is totally on the money side so they don’t have any effective plans for long-term growth or survival online.
Your Email List Must Be Thought Of Like This “OPPORTUNITY”
Your prime objective should be this, to educate and help every customer that visits your site, this can turn a wary prospect into a buying customer and will allow you to market your affiliate products and services through the trust and association you have created. Once this happens the money will come, don’t rush and don’t get greedy or take short cuts that can potentially damage your trusted name and any sales.
Once you have built up your email list you will be able to send out the occasional email that is promoting different products within that niche without having to go through all the problems of building another site and new marketing promotions. You can read more about email marketing on this page.
However if you are like many overnight affiliates that in the past, and are even still doing today, have built there website around one specific niche only called a micro site, these can be awkward to maintain for a new affiliate and usually end up with you wasting your time.
You might encounter problems when it comes to sending out emails that are recommending another product. If you have had the foresight to build your site around a generic niche like Weight Loss or Computer Security just as an example of a broad niche you then have the opportunity to market many different products in that category from the one website.
Using this type of strategy gives you an increased measure of control in the ‘conversion” process, in that you can promote any product on your site that relates to that niche market otherwise you’re at the mercy of a single merchant’s web copy and product which is a very limiting factor for you to create growth for your business. I have written a complete post here that will help you plan a solid strategy.
Your job is to draw the customers to your website (and bigger is better) and expose them to your top quality content and knowledge on the subject of concern many times over. By doing this you are preparing them for when they actually go to the vendors site, and if all has gone to plan and your sales funnel has worked the “Buy Now” signal will already be turned on in their minds.
Things You Need To Be Wary Of
This does not happen to often but you need to be aware of this as an affiliate marketer, especially if you have put all the effort in to create a campaign to promote a product and the merchants only intention is to cheat you out of your hard-earned commissions. You need to know that the vendor has the ability to track everything all the way through to the point of sale.
This has happened on one occasion to us and the only solution is to make sure you remove all of those affiliate links from your site as soon as you can and move on, this is why we now use Gotrythis to manage all our affiliate links. Of course you can avoid all of this by sticking with the bigger affiliate networks and not join individual affiliate programs that don’t supply enough business information.
You can use tools that are provided by the affiliate networks such as in the case of Clickbank to evaluate the potential of a vendors product or service before you join that program by looking at the gravity or the popularity in the Clickbank Marketplace. You can find out more on Clickbank on this post.
One of the advantages of having a good plan is that you will realize very fast that joining the bigger affiliate networks is a smart choice simply because they are tried and tested and you actually have statistics that you can use to determine how profitable your efforts can be, it also ensures that the products you promote are of a good standing and that the vendor has been approved by these larger affiliate networks.
Having a good and solid affiliate marketing strategy means overtime more profit for you and a much better chance of surviving as an affiliate online.