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Intro to Affiliate Marketing

Intro to Affiliate Marketing

As with MLM, Affiliate Marketing is referral marketing but with some major differences.
For one, affiliate marketing it is mostly made up of one tier and not multi level. Two, there are no distributors. You have no downline. Infact you don’t even need to own a product. As an affiliate marketer you basically become a middle man between consumers and merchants. You become a publisher for companies / merchants you endorse. For example, you can endorse just about anything, from golf shoes to baby jewelry, from cookware to iPods. The possibilities are endless.
Affiliate networks such as Clickbank and Commission Junction give you all the marketing tools you need (banners ads, graphics, text links etc.). These will include your personal affiliate link to begin promoting products.

Some of the top merchants who participate in affiliate programs include.

— Sony
— Dell
— Verizon Wireless
— Staples
— eBay
— Amazon
— AT&T
— Apple Store

Commission payouts will vary from merchant to merchant.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Simply refer people from your website/blog to your merchant’s websites (using your affiliate’s links/banners). If they purchase a product you get paid a share of the profits (affiliate commission).
Sounds simple enough right? Well, not exactly.
They are millions of affiliate marketers online today who commit fulltime to affiliate marketing but interesting enough, they are only about 5% who are really making money from it. To ensure you get the best possible results you need to make sure you have the following in place before getting started.

Your Niche Market

Your first step would be to choose a niche market you are knowledge about. This can be about arts and crafts or baby earings (I’m sure you can come up with a better one). The point is to take what you know and love and turn it into your own unique content – a website or blog.
Your site will act a hub and direct all your traffic (visitors) to the merchants you represent.

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If you love golf, great! You can easily write a review on your first PGA tour experience. You can even talk about Tiger Wood’s best game ever. You can see where this is going, but don’t create a blog about golf and then promote products that don’t relate with your theme. This will only be viewed as spam. Having an affiliate link that reads “buy me” simply doesn’t work. Ads are all over the internet by the millions. And yes, just like you everyone tends to ignore them. That is why taking the time to build relationships with your visitors is very important. If your web content is filled with high quality value your conversion rates (visitors who turn into buyers) will tend to be way higher than those websites that are filled with pure banner ads and sales pitches.
The reason is because they fail to build rapport. They fail to educate. They fail to build trust with their visitors with thru their web content.

When you build high quality value, you gain rapport and credibility with your visitors. Your affiliate links are no longer ads they suddenly become recommendations from a trusted source.
A visitor wants to know that you have their best interest in mind, not their wallets.
As an affiliate marketer you must take into consideration that no one like to be sold but they love to buy. You don’t sell them anything. You simply provide them with enough high quality information that your visitors will appreciate it and won’t hesitate in visiting your merchant’s websites when you make a recommendation.

If you bluntly publish a sales copy /ad they will bluntly tell you how they feel by leaving your site. Not only will they leave your site but I can almost guarantee they will never return. And that is not what you want. Instead offer them quality content that they value and respect because it is going to be the only thing that keeps them coming back.

How you reach a visitor and what you say to them will dictate how well you convert them into buyers. Happy visitors turn into happy customers!

Your next task is simply to drive enough traffic (visitors) to your merchant websites where they can purchase a product or service. But it is here. The top reason why such a huge number of affiliate marketers fail is lack of quality traffic.

Traffic. Where Do I Get It From?

It’s the biggest challenge for affiliate marketers. For many, driving traffic to their blog/ website (content source) seems difficult and sometimes impossible.
You can choose to pay for it using PPC (pay per click) such as Google Adwords or invest in ezine (online magazines) advertising.
If you’re on a tight budget or have none at all free traffic generation methods such as article marketing or link exchanges work very well. You can also build traffic by participating in niche forums and social networking sites and including your link to your website or blog. Remember you want the traffic going to your website where you can better influence your readers with other content you provide.
This will be the most important part in your affiliate marketing business. Your income depends on the web traffic you generate. So get creative.
Once you have a steady stream of traffic you can include videos / articles reviews on certain topics and products and giving your personal recommendation – your promotional link.

In The End How Does Affiliate Marketing Hold Up?

Pros:
— Free to join
— Commissions (will vary)
— No inventory or product to maintain
— Zero to minimum investment
— No advertising cost (unless you choose to)
— No shipping cost
— 24/7 income source
— Short learning curve

Cons:
— Stiff competition
— Can be time consuming

Becoming an affiliate marketer is a job you can do on either a partime or fulltime basis. The only thing that will be required is a fulltime commitment.

Asael Moncada is the creator of the creator of MLMIncomeFormula.com and has helped hundreds of people create money online.

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