Affiliate Marketing - Lesson 3

Site updated on January 15, 2010  •  Updates (0)  • 

Building Affiliate Marketing Websites

There are some myths in affiliate marketing, which attract a lot of people to it believing they are true. First is they think managing an online business is easy and second, they think that one can make a fortune through online marketing in an instant. Probably not even 10% of those who are into affiliate marketing became rich overnight. There may be some who fortunately achieved overwhelming success in just a short span of time after setting up an affiliate program, but not a majority of them can confidently say they only had luck. Anyone who is successful in this kind of business would say he worked hard to get to where he is right now. Success in affiliate marketing takes time and hard work, but it’s worth it.

If you are planning to start an affiliate program, one of the things you have to consider is having your own website, not just an ordinary website but a professional looking one. How do you build an affiliate marketing website? What are the easy steps to build one? First, you must have already decided on the theme or niche of your website. It would be better if you already have an idea what products or services to promote as this would help you plan the design and lay-out of your web pages. The next thing to do is to choose a domain name and get it hosted. The domain name is a unique name used to label the actual address of your website on the Internet. In deciding what domain name to register, look into the type of products you are endorsing and the theme of your site. Having the right keywords in your domain name would give you better chances of drawing more visitors to your website. Also, choose a top level domain or extension, such as .com because it is more popular. In selecting your web host, consider the security of servers and up time guarantees.

Now, you can start creating your webpages. Don’t be disheartened when you know a little in this field. There are page generation tools and fast launch sites available online; you just have to search for them. Countless online sources could help you build an affiliate marketing website, though you might need time to study and learn the whole process. This is one of the reasons why your site or the products you are going to promote must match your interest. Building your marketing website for the first time would be a lot more fun if you know very well the theme of your site. If you don’t have time to make your own website, you can use templates or purchase readily available websites. The latter, however, is a more expensive option.

Creating an affiliate website on your own would be cheaper and more interesting. In the process of building your website, you may also increase your knowledge in Information Technology and the use of computers, softwares and the Internet. As you educate yourself in these fields, you are increasing your advantage against other affiliate marketers. It helps a lot, though, if you already know the basics in web page development like programming languages and graphics softwares because you can make your site extra corporate-looking, more convenient to use or easier to navigate. Furthermore, if you are knowledgeable and skillful in this area, you can already concentrate more on the content of the page rather than the design.

The key to draw visitors to your website is to have high quality content; thus, the next thing you must pay attention to in building your marketing website is this. There may be several other factors that contribute to the success of your affiliate marketing site, but a good content tops the list. This is precisely the reason why users choose to enter your site. They want to get information and so when they don’t find it, they would definitely go elsewhere. Write interesting articles related to your theme as this would make them frequent your site. If you have already looked for affiliate programs that complement your site, add links to the business sites and other very good informative sites. Links contribute to how well you will be listed in major search engines as well. Also, create pages for the products you are endorsing, but don’t just promote the products by putting hyped-up ads. Keep your readers interested by injecting lots of relevant and useful information. This would make them click the link to the business site and buy the product. Remember that no good content means no frequent visitors, no sales and ultimately, no commission.

Make your site simple yet not without a touch of class in order to make it appear more of a business website rather than a personal website. This would be pleasing to the eyes and more interesting to browse. To help you with the design, you can check some successful online stores to get an idea on how you can make your site look better. Make sure you don’t place too many banner ads since these could distract some site users; and thus, instead of clicking your ad, they might just leave your site and look for other interesting websites. After all, banner ads are not the only means of advertising your products. Now your website is complete, submit its URL to major search engines to increase your traffic.

Grow from where you started. Learn about use of keywords for search engine optimization and apply them in your content. Update your site regularly or add new webpages. Make sure to inform your prospects about the latest updates in your site. You can use newsletters to accomplish this. The Internet offers a huge source of information about just anything, make use of it. Continue to educate yourself on how to improve your website and soon you’ll find yourself successful in affiliate marketing.

Here’s Why You Need To Use Landing Pages

All the products that you want to sell online are ready. You have already signed up with the Google Adsense program or with other affiliate marketing programs and you have already prepared the ad you want to post on your affiliate’s site. Your mind is now set to being the next most successful online businessman. But is there anything else that you might have forgotten to prepare? Maybe none. But how about your landing pages? Are they all set for your business?

Landing pages are simply web pages where visitors are directed to whenever they click a result in a web search or whenever they click a web ad. For affiliate marketing, landing pages would refer to the web page where you, as a merchant, would want your potential customer to be directed after clicking your ad on your affiliate’s website. Landing pages are, at most times, nothing really different from other web pages in a particular website, especially if the said website is an e-commerce site. Some online businessmen would even use the homepage of their websites as the landing page for their ads. Are these businessmen making a big mistake? Or should you follow their method in creating landing pages for their ads?

Well, you can always follow what most online retailers do, directing their potential customers to the homepages of their websites. But if you want to achieve something more from your online business, and if you want to earn a lot of profits, you better create a special landing page for your web ads. Why? Here are a few reasons why you need to use landing pages for your web ads. And take note, it would do you a lot better if you create a great landing page than a so-so one.

Reason no. 1: It is the only way you earn conversions in an affiliate marketing program.

There are a variety of affiliate marketing programs today, but most of these programs let the merchant pay the affiliate in a pay per click basis. Basically, all you have to do is sign up with the program and submit your ad. The program owner would then distribute your ad to various affiliates who would then place your ad on their websites. Whenever your ad is clicked, a visitor would be directed to your landing page and you would have to pay the affiliate for his service.

As a merchant, you earn in an affiliate program through conversions—that is whenever a visitor that is directed to your site actually buys a product on your site. Without these conversions, you actually earn nothing from the program. Also, the more visitors that your affiliates have directed to your site, the larger would your expense be. And the only way that you can recover from these expenses is through conversions.

Now, you sure won't get any conversion if you have posted an ad on your affiliate's site without an actual landing page for the potential customer to be redirected into. It's just like advertising a product without actually having a store to sell your product. Your advertisement may be enticing enough to encourage people to purchase a product, but without the landing page, how will they know how to purchase the product

It is therefore important to have landing pages for your ads because it is the only way for you to earn something in an affiliate program. Without landing pages, all you do is spend money paying your affiliates without actually getting anything in return.

Reason no. 2: Other web pages may just not be enough.

Many people make the mistake of making their website's homepage as the landing page for their ads. The same is true for those who make use of other pages like a "contact us" page or a product page. Homepages are often designed to serve multiple users and contains a lot of links to other pages or to other websites. The same is with the other two pages mentioned. If you want to be successful in an affiliate program, we're sure that you don't want your landing page to cater to the needs of various people, most of which may not be really interested with your product.

When choosing a landing page, you must always have the customer directed into that page in mind. Therefore, your landing page must be relevant to the keywords and the contents you placed on your ad. It is also important that the landing page can induce your visitor to take action—that is to purchase your product or at least provide leads for potential customers.

Final Word

You probably entered into an affiliate marketing program with these things in mind: to save on advertising expenses and to gain more profit. But if you get into an affiliate marketing program without actually having a landing page, you'll end up paying too much without getting anything in return. So if you still don't have a landing page for your ads, you better start creating one now. And don't get us wrong; it isn't enough for you to have just a landing page—it should be a great landing page!

Top Seven Ways Writing Articles Can Explode Your Business

In today's highly competitive internet universe, the importance of attracting highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be overemphasized. Routing web traffic to your site can be your only means of survival, especially in the cutthroat world of ecommerce. Getting a high search engine ranking can be very difficult. Fortunately, there is plethora of website promotion strategies you can use to drive traffic to your website.

There is a wide variety of strategies you can adapt, from paid advertising to affiliate marketing. However, most of these techniques require payment. Nevertheless, there are ways to promote your website and increase your web traffic without spending anything. Writing articles is one of the best web site promotion strategies you can use, and they can be very effective. How, you may ask, can writing articles help improve your web traffic? Here are the top seven ways in which it can help explode your business.

1.Reach more people

When you write good articles, it would be a shame not to share them with other people. You can post your articles in your website or you can submit them to other sites such as e-zines and online publishers. By submitting your articles to these sites, you give exposure not only to your ideas but also to your website. Simply include a link back to your site or include your information in the resource box. With this, you get exposure and free advertising as well. Submit your articles to popular e-zines and take advantage of their popularity. Other sites who find your article relevant may also link back to you. Thus, you increase your link popularity, which is one of the most important strategies in the internet world. Remember that most people are looking for information online and by filling this need with your quality article; you may reap the benefit of more exposure and higher web traffic.

2.Free Advertising

Submitting your articles to other websites presents an opportunity to advertise your website without paying exorbitant fees. Although you should avoid marketing language in your articles and make it informative and useful to your readers, you can always include your site's link in the resource box. In addition, by making your article relevant and helpful to your readers, you are making a good impression for your website, which could ultimately lead to a visit and hopefully a purchase. Good quality content in an article is far better and more effective than a few lines of ad space. You have a very special opportunity to presell your product or service to your prospective customer.

3.Gain High Search Engine Ranking

Create a new web page for your article in your website. Optimize your article to make it search-engine friendly. Use top-ranked keywords and Meta tags that can give your website a high search engine ranking. As soon as you upload your new webpage to your server, search engines will spider through it and you can gain an increase in search engine ranking. Remember that search engine optimized content is a very effective strategy to gain a high ranking in search results.

4.Increases Link Popularity

Instead of looking for other sites who would want to establish reciprocal links with your site, you can simply submit an article to other sites. Just do not forget to include a link to your site in your resource box. When these websites pick up and publishes your article, you automatically get a link partner. Try to get as many link partners as you can. Link popularity is one of the factors used by search engines in determining search engine rankings. Make your article especially useful and appealing, so that more websites will be encouraged to publish it.

5.Optimizes your site for improved search engine ranking

By making your site keyword rich, you can greatly improve the search engine ranking of your site. Remember that keyword density is one of the most important factors that search engines use when determining the search engine ranking of site. However, you should always provide relevant, useful and pertinent information. Avoid the temptation of overusing keywords just to gain a high ranking as this may turn off most web surfers. Relevance and quality is still the most important things to consider when writing articles and it will be doubly useful to your site if you make these articles search-engine optimized.

6.Establishes a Good Impression and Reputation

By writing excellent, original and relevant articles, you not only give your site exposure, you are also creating a good impression on your prospects. Encourage more people to visit your site and do business with you by establishing an impressive reputation through your articles. Be seen as an expert in the field and your will ultimately gain more customers eager to do business with you.

7.Enhances your credibility through references and testimonies

Certainly, your articles are going to receive feedbacks and testimonies when you publish them in e-zines and free article sites. Record these positive feedbacks and comments and use them as promotional material in your website or in any of your advertising efforts. Your credibility will be greatly enhanced by these feedbacks, as it will create a good impression on your prospects as well as your existing customers. In this highly competitive world, excellent credibility and trust may be the only things you need to attract new customers or make loyal patrons out of your existing customers. Original, relevant, useful and pertinent articles are important tools you should utilize to improve and explode your business.

Making Money Selling Other People’s Products

A lot of people are now getting into online businesses and online marketing either to supplement their “real world” income or for it to become their primary source of income. Why? Because online marketing just provides them a lot of benefits!

First, you can reach just about anybody in the world who has Internet access if you market your products online. That means a wider market for you, which can translate to larger profits. Second, setting up an online business requires only a fraction of the cost required to set up an actual business establishment, which means a lot of savings for the business owner.

Another aspect that has attracted a lot of people towards online marketing is the fact that one doesn’t have to have his own products to get started. In online marketing, one can start making a lot of money just by selling, or even by just trying to sell, other people’s products. And getting started with this kind of marketing strategy is actually quite easy. All that one needs to do is to set up an agreement with an online retailer or merchant, and after everything is settled, one can immediately start making money by selling the merchant’s or the retailer’s products.

Incidentally, the most popular and the fastest growing method of selling other people’s products online is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, in its simplest definition, is a relationship between an online merchant or retailer, who has products to sell, and his affiliates, who are willing to promote the merchant’s product on their website.

In a typical affiliate marketing set up, the merchant provides his affiliates with banners and text ads that links to his site. The affiliates will then get these ads posted on their website and they get paid whenever traffic or sales is directed to the merchant’s website. Affiliates are often paid on commission basis, although other online merchants would opt to pay a fixed fee for the affiliate’s compensation.

Starting to make money online with affiliate marketing is relatively quick and easy. All that one has to do is to sign up as an affiliate for an online company that offers affiliate programs. An alternative method, and usually an easier one, is to sign up as a member of an affiliate network—a network that hosts a variety of affiliate programs for different online merchants or retailers. Signing up is usually free, although other companies and networks may require you to pay a particular fee. Such fees, however, are made as payment for additional services that the company may render, like providing you with tools and assistance to jumpstart your online business.

When you sign up with an affiliate marketing program, you are usually required to fill out a form containing information about yourself. Some affiliate programs may also require you to present the URL of your website and describe its contents. This will allow the retailers to verify that you actually have a website with contents that are relevant to their products. Some affiliate programs, however, won’t require you to have a website. After filling out the form and all, you are then allowed to choose the affiliate programs you want to promote.

After signing up with an affiliate program and being an actual affiliate, you are now ready to start making a lot of money by selling other people’s product online. How do you make money? There are actually a number of ways for you to earn money as an affiliate, and most of these ways depends on the type of affiliate marketing program you’ve gotten into.

Many affiliate marketing programs compensate their affiliates in either of three ways: pay-per-click (PPC), pay-per-sale (PPS), or pay-per-lead (PPL). In pay-per-click affiliate marketing, the affiliate is paid whenever he directs traffic to the merchant’s site. PPS and PPL affiliate marketing programs work rather differently. In PPS, the affiliate only gets paid when his referral converts into an actual sale. In typical PPS affiliate programs, the affiliate would usually get 15% to 20% commission for each conversion. PPL affiliate programs work the same way, although affiliates are paid a fixed fee whenever his referral converts into a lead for the company.

Some affiliate marketing programs are two-tier programs, wherein the affiliate is also allowed to recommend other affiliates to the merchant. In such affiliate programs, the affiliate would not only be paid for the traffic or sales that he would direct to the merchant’s site but also for the traffic or sales directed by the affiliates who signed up with the program through his recommendation.

Yet another way of earning more profits with affiliate marketing is through residual affiliate programs. Residual affiliate programs are affiliate programs where the affiliate gets paid a number of times for as long as the merchant keeps the customer the affiliate has referred to his site. One form of residual program gets the affiliate paid a commission every time the referred customer purchases something on the merchant’s site. Another form of residual affiliate program gets the affiliate paid a percentage every month for as long as the company keeps the referred customer.

With a lot of options available and a lot of ways to earn money, affiliate marketing is undoubtedly the most popular and the easiest way to make money by selling other people’s products online. As to how much money one can get from affiliate marketing actually depends on the affiliate. A dedicated and hardworking affiliate would certainly get more from the program compared to those affiliates who would simply sign up and forget about the program later.

Finding Hot Selling Products to Sell

In order to locate products that sell online, we need to understand what people already want to buy. Finding a good choice of idea or product is always accompanied by interfacing the demand for the product in the current market and the level of competition or market share that the product will be having in the long run.

“What should I sell? What products are hot selling? These are the questions most people are trying to find an answer in order for them to make the definite decision. And if we really want to know the answer to this question, our only choice is to do some research. There are all kinds of twists along the road that may lead you to think you have a high-demand idea. We must be able to understand and satisfy the need, wants and expectations of our customers on a certain product that they’re trying to buy. This three are called the basic needs or minimum requirements in a purchase. Needs are the basic reasons or the minimum requirements consumers are looking for in a product or service. They are called the qualifying or “gatekeeper” dimensions in a purchase. Wants are the determining dimensions among many choices. Expectations, on the other hand, are values or intangibles associated with a product or service. Expectations are actually part of “wants” but they become extremely important when products or services are not differentiated.

For example, in reading a logic book, university students look for the following: Relevant logic concepts use of simple language, easy to understand and affordable prices. These similar ideas can be applied to Internet Sales as well. After all, the Internet is just another place to sell products. The basic concept of demand is the same there as it is anywhere else, and has been all the time.

Now, the second thing that must be considered in finding “hot” products to sell are the level of competition or the market shares do your product will have. Market share or level of competition means the ratio of your brand sales versus the total market sales. While companies would naturally define its target competitors, it is actually the consumers who ultimately decide the competitive frame, or the list related products or services that consumers consider when exercising their purchasing power. We must therefore choose the market segment where we can have a potential leadership or at least a strong challenger role. Because the overriding objective of getting into this business is not just to satisfy the needs and wants of our customers but to do so profitably better than his competition. Otherwise, our competition will end up satisfying the customers better than our own interest.

Third factor to be considered in finding hot selling products is finding out the general interest level about the product. General interest in a product helps us to gauge where our demand and competition numbers fall into the big picture. Simply saying, if there isn’t much demand for the product, and there isn’t much competition, it would seem that it might not be good a good put up for sale. But the research doesn’t stop here; there is one last thing to be considered to exactly find the hot selling products that you’ve been looking for. We must also learn how others are advertising those products. If there are a good number of them doing so, it may mean that it’s a good product to get into. Coming to the last phase of the process is analyzing and evaluating all the information that has been collected. We have to look at all of the data we have collected on demand, competition, and advertising, and make decision as how they all balance out.

And here are several factors or aspects that must be measured: (a) not enough demand means not enough people are going to buy (b) too much competition means not enough of a profit to go around (c) too much advertising drives up the price of pay per click ads, and competition as well (d) not enough general interest, combined with low demand, means there may not be a good market even if there is competition trying to make the sales.

go to part 4