As this article aims to cover affiliate marketing for beginners, here’s a little example for you. So, let’s assume John is an affiliate. He has a website which is all about skateboarding. On it, he has a blog where he shares videos of his latest stunts, pictures of the parks he’s visited, and in-depth reviews of the best and worst skateboards he’s ever used.
Then, in 2006, I took a job as a sales rep for a small search marketing agency. Sure, I was warned. I had someone even be bold enough to ask me the question “What’s the difference between a used car salesman and an SEO salesman?” I was game, so I arrogantly said, “I don’t know…surprise me!” The answer of “The used car salesman KNOWS when he is lying!” did surprise but I fought it and pushed on acting as if I wasn’t hooked.
Previously known as Affiliate Window but now officially referred to as “AWIN” after acquiring Zanox a few years ago, this network claims to work with over 13,000 active advertisers and 100,000 publishers (affiliates). Founded in Germany, AWIN’s merchants primarily hail from Europe (especially Great Britain) although the U.S. network is growing rapidly. AWIN is currently active in 11 countries.
Don’t just hope and pray that visitors will buy; setup everything correctly and make it happen! If you think that visitors will click on your affiliate links and buy just because you placed dozens of affiliate links on your website then you are wrong! You need to have a structured plan in place. Affiliate marketing is a business so you will have a much better chance of succeeding if you treat it like one.
Never Assume — One huge mistake that your sales team could be making is assuming an ignorant buyer. Internet leads tend to be VERY educated customers, and they will know if you are blowing smoke. Assuming that your customer is uneducated is a huge mistake for any sales person. A good way to not fall into this trap is by asking your customer the research they have already done. Simply saying “What research have you already done on (The Product), because I would hate to waste your time by telling you things you already know” can save you time, and help you close the sale more.
Your brand is delicate. It can be compared to rare lily, having to be coaxed carefully and softly into full bloom. What does that mean for your brand? You have to very deliberately curate and grow it, avoiding the many pitfalls that even big brand often fall into. One single brand image problem and you could lose a chunk of your user base. A good strategy for cultivating a strong… [Read More…]
The first mistake a lot of affiliate marketers make is that they register with too many different affiliate programs and try to promote everything. Pursuing affiliate marketing down this path can become very overwhelming and you won’t be able to promote any product properly. All you need in order to be successful is a handful of good products to promote. Try to understand the market needs and look for products that align correctly with the topic of your site.
A huge mistake beginners make is thinking they need to do everything alone. Focus your energy on the most vital areas of your business; the areas that encourage growth and will help you reach your goals faster. If you work on too many projects at once you will find your progress is slow and hindered by many barriers. You can’t be an expert in every discipline, so outsource work where you can. Set aside a budget for delegating work to third parties that prevent you from paying attention to more important areas of your business. Taking on more and more work yourself will see you bogged down unnecessarily in tasks that will significantly slow your progress. Outsourcing will also allow you to have more valuable time away from your computer.
Customers love to engage with brands and they really love it when a brand reciprocates. Take Wendy’s for example and the famous case of #NuggsForCarter. Carter Wilkerson tweeted at the major fast food chain and asked how many retweets he would have to get to receive a year of free chicken nuggets. Wendy’s replied with 18 million. Your brand doesn’t have to go all out like Wendy’s did, but replying to customer questions on social media platform is a sure way to put your brand above the rest.
ShareASale offers pay-per-sale, pay-per-lead, and pay-per-click programs, with a minimum payout of $50. ShareASale is my favorite affiliate program network because of their large marketplace (they have tons of blogger-friendly affiliate programs) and the ease of use. If you want to make money through affiliate marketing, I highly recommend you give ShareASale a try.
On the other hand, they may need longer to think about it. Perhaps they’re waiting for payday, or they’re not quite sure yet whether they prefer the blue one that they also spotted while browsing around the advertiser’s site. They may go away and come back in a couple of weeks’ time, no longer able to resist the urge to blow their wages on a better board.
Keeping up with the latest trends is a must for any business, but ignoring technology trends in the digital world is the matter of staying in business. Unfortunately, those trends (while easy enough to find mentioned online) are rarely explained well. There seems to be this mistaken idea that anyone who has an interest or need in the practice will just magically get the jargon. As we all know, that… [Read More…]
An Internet Marketer is the person in charge of creating and managing Internet advertising. That includes paid advertisements like banner ads and pay-per-click ads, as well as organic marketing opportunities via search engines and social media.nnYou see, the Internet is no longer just a place where people go to chat and look up facts for book reports. Nowadays, the web's as much about shopping and entertainment as it is research and distraction. As an Internet Marketer, you realize that the Internet screams commerce – and wherever there's commerce, there's advertising. nnBasically, your job as an Internet Marketer is to establish, monitor, and maintain companies' online presence. Generally, that requires two basic tasks: creating content and measuring its performance.nnTo create content, you start by researching available Internet marketing opportunities. Next, you decide which ones you want to pursue based on your budget and audience. You then work with Copywriters, Programmers, and Web Designers to create things – for example, websites, blog posts, links, e-mail newsletters, Twitter "tweets," Facebook pages, articles, YouTube videos, search engine keywords, etc. - that people can read, watch, and click. Your ultimate goal is to help consumers first find your company's website, then buy from it.nnTo achieve your goal, you don't just create online content; you also evaluate it. That requires you to constantly collect quantitative data about your Internet marketing efforts – how many people visited your website, for example, and how many people opened your e-mail newsletter – in order to justify and inform them.nnThink of it this way: If the Internet's an "information superhighway," you're its State Trooper!n
Always disclose your affiliate relationship. Most visitors will probably understand that graphic ads will lead to your getting paid, but if you write a review or use an in-text link as a recommendation, you want your readers to know that may lead to compensation as well. This ensures you retain transparency and trust with your readers, but also, it's required by the FTC's endorsement rules.
1. Publish Great Content. I don’t think I even need to say this, but it’d be neglectful not to mention the importance of kick-ass content. If you can create it yourself, all the better (isn’t free always better?). Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently rewrote the rules of content marketing for small businesses.
Affiliate marketing allows you to make money online, even if you don’t have a blog, website, or any products of your own. Following a few simple steps can get you up and running within hours and earning your first commissions right away. Affiliate marketing really is one of the fastest and easiest ways to make money online and should be a part of every online business owner's portfolio.
Sharpe says that you shouldn't dive into internet marketing until you decide on a niche and figure out what you're passionate about. Do you want to join the make-money-online (MMO) niche? Or do you want to engage in another niche? For example, you could sell products or online courses about blogging or search engine optimization or anything else for that matter. Keep in mind that whatever you're selling, whatever niche you're in, that you need to embed yourself there deeply.
Tara Banda is a brand-builder, copywriter, and social media marketer in Dallas, TX. She has worked with businesses of all sizes — from Fortune 500 companies to local non-profits to startups — to define their voice, promote their brand online through digital marketing, and build lasting relationships with fans and advocates. Tara is a currently a Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal. In her spare time, she is obsessed with learning recipes for international cuisines. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn or Twitter.