Thursday, November 6, 2008

Successful Affiliate Marketing - How To Become An Affiliate Marketing Guru

Successful Affiliate Marketing - How To Become An Affiliate Marketing Guru
Download Free Copy Of Affiliate Marketing Guide
Affiliate marketing is an innovative technique that uses one website that drives traffic to another website. When these websites link together to sell products to internet surfers, there is money to be made by all.

In fact, it is possible to be an individual or a consortium with no warehouse or inventory yet still able to earn money legitimately from selling products or services via the internet. If the concept seems difficult to understand, let's use an example that illustrates how to make money with affiliate marketing.

Entering "Steelers Shirts" into my search engine ("Google™") brings up several sponsored links—companies or individuals that pay to have their links featured on the Google page.

Below these is the online retailer I hoped to find—the official website of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, my eye is caught by an ad for "ugly Steeler shirts."

I click on that. While scrolling down to view their products (which are, yes, ugly), I see an ad along the side offering a DVD for the highlights of Superbowl XL that the Steelers won.

When I click on this, I find myself at If I buy the DVD from my original Google search, the ugly Steeler shirt guy and Amazon all make money from the sale.

In fact, Amazon wrote the book (and probably then sold it) about successful affiliate marketing. Wikipedia reports that the first uses for online affiliate marketing involved adult materials. Then CDNow responded to a music producer's wish to sell music from its own website by offering a link from their website to the producer's.

Amazon followed in 1996 with its introduction of a plan for "associates"—just like the ugly Steeler shirt guy—the prototype of the affiliate marketing program. But affiliate programs, just like the internet, have evolved over the past dozen years.

These days, very little selling is done by the pay-per-click method demonstrated in the Steeler shirt example. Affiliate marketing experts succeed by exhibiting the patience to be persistent.

1. Decide what you want to sell.

You will not be successful trying to sell everything to everyone. Whatever products or services you decide to promote must be related because you need to target a specific audience.

For example, assume the ugly shirt guy began as a Steeler fan. He then had to decide, did he want to sell gear from other sports teams? Or would he be happier selling unusual T-shirts, and then perhaps adding hats and clothes? So you have to find your passion and let it happen, as the song says.

2. Explore your vendors.

Most sales come from gambling and gaming, retail, wireless communication, and travel. Finance was a huge sector; with the current economy experts are waiting to see what will happen there. Whatever areas you choose, you want to investigate the worthiness of your products and the dependability of your vendors.

Experts say if you read a lot of bad things about a seller or product, then they are probably true, no matter how disappointing this might be to you. You really don't want to be a part of something that's too good to be true.

3. You can build your own website all about your favorite topic and then include links to the products or services you are selling.

There are free website builders out there—use your search engine. Some free website hosts require that you display advertising specified by them. If you cannot find a webhost that allows you the space you want, you might need to search for a low-cost webhost.

As it grows, you will add components such as a blogs, articles, and advertising. Start a blog, and get some debates going, even if you have to recruit friends to get them started. Your website builder will likely include options for starting a blog. You can also set up blogger sites with auto-creation software and submit them to search engines.

Write articles about this topic you love, and find out what products are out there that you can advertise from your website. If your spelling and grammar are atrocious, get a friend to write copy for you, or find an article writer on the internet. Rather than overt ads, mention your products within your articles. This is a more effective technique than a flashy ad.

4. Join an actual network for affiliates.

Your sales are then directed by this network, and your payment comes from this same entity.Sales commission averages in the thirty percent range with a network. Be suspicious if you are asked for money up front.

You will make money for the network and for yourself if your website convinces someone to visit the affiliate network's website and that person buys a product. If they don't buy, you don't. The key is the volume of referrals. In your neighborhood retail stores, there are people walk in and out without buying. What you and the affiliate network want to do, just like Wal-Mart™, is entice the customer to buy.

You can belong to more than one network, but it is probably wise to limit yourself to two. Pay-per-click and banner advertising has become rather ineffective for everything except the largest companies.

Even though it pays a higher percentage than a network does per sale, it probably won't be worth it until you grow enough to attract the big-time advertisers.

5. Study SEO techniques.

SEO means search engine optimization, or the ability to get a hit if someone types into a search engine looking for the topic of your website. It is difficult to get your company's name to the top of search engine lists. If you are a novice, you are unlikely to reach the top of Google search lists even if you study Adwords sites for backlink suggestions.

There are a few tricks to try. One way to pull in traffic is to visit message boards related to your topic that let you leave your link when you sign. Another way is to create a top ten list. You can find books on search engine optimization if you are a do-it-yourselfer, even if you are a feel like you're a software-for-dummies-person.

If all else fails, you can hire a company to optimize your search engine hits, or buy software to handle it.

6. Write a newsletter on your topic to interest your target audience.

If they visit your site or use your links, you can capture their email address by offering a newsletter or e-zine. You will then be able to market them whenever you have new products or just to gauge their interest periodically.

The top affiliate marketers all agree that you must pick your niche and remain persistent if you want to make money.Riches don't happen overnight. Many who have found successful affiliate marketing techniques agree that it takes about a year to become established.

Anyone who promises to sell you a book that guarantees overnight success is just interested in selling his book. To make money at affiliate marketing, you have to approach this as a business, establish a records system, and track what works and what doesn't. Good luck!

Kelly Yuile's website has the best proven ideas and opportunities to work from home with a home based business. Subscribe to our work from home with a home based business newsletter and receive 6 FREE e-books worth over $200 to help boost your online income at

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