By Graham Lee
So you’ve decided to get involved in Affiliate Marketing. You’ve seen all the hyped up sales talk about how easy it is to make loads of money from affiliate sales, without needing a product of your own. And you’ve thought OK it can’t be that hard, let’s give it a go.
But what does it take to become a successful Affiliate Marketer? What are the ingredients of an affiliate marketing success story? Are there any shortcuts to Affiliate Marketing glory and profitability?
All these questions play around in the minds of affiliate marketers who want to become highly successful affiliate marketers and make it big in this business.
Although affiliate marketing is almost always sold as one of the easiest and most effective ways to earn money online, it is not as easy as it sounds. The most profitable affiliate marketer plans every step or action and then executes them in the best way they can. They make sure that they maximize the potential to earn, by utilizing the right tools necessary for a successful Affiliate Marketing business.
There are many tools available to affiliate marketers, to help them in their task. Some are better than others, some are ‘nice to haves’ but not all that necessary to success but some are essential to success. Some tools you just cannot do without if you want to be highly successful, that is more successful than other affiliate marketers.
The three most important tools are detailed below:
Important Tool #1: Your Own Website
The most important and indispensable tool in Affiliate Marketing is your own website. Many affiliate marketing plans will tell you that you do not need your own website, you can make sales off the back of the product vendors website using your affiliate link alone.
This is not the case. You need somewhere that you can direct your prospects to, that is different from where all the other affiliates are sending their prospects.
So the first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. Your website is the jump off point of all your marketing efforts. Thus, you must first build a user-friendly website, which will appeal to your prospects and encourage them to click on the links to the products and service you are promoting and make a purchase. Therefore, you must first concentrate your efforts in building a website that will cater to what your prospects need.
Imagine just sending you prospects to a sales page, which provides a long sales message, a price and a buy now button. Unless the sales message is very good, many of your prospects will see it for what it really is, a blatant sales pitch, and may just be turned off by the whole thing and leave without buying.
The most important thing you need to consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, initially it may just be that they have a problem they need fixing and are looking for something to fix it for them. They are not necessarily looking for something to buy that will fix it, after all, there are so many free tools out there that may fix the problem they have without spending any money. You need to convince them otherwise, as simply presenting a sales pitch is not going to cut it.
Therefore above all else, your website must be full of original, relevant and useful content. People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. They will enjoy reading independent reviews of products they think will fix their problem. After reading your review or article they may feel more inclined to click on one of your links and purchase what you have endorsed.
Keep in mind also that, on the internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more trustworthy endorser of the product or service you promote. Establishing a good reputation is a good step in building up a loyal consumer base.
Important Tool #2: Incentives
Competition is extremely tight on the internet. You need to remain one-step ahead of your rivals if you want to ensure that you capture a significant share of your target market.
Therefore, you must use every possible means to encourage people not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting. Bear in mind that some people will need a little more encouragement to buy from you, they don’t know you and for that reason alone my simply decide not to buy from you.
How often when you are looking for something online do you go to your favourite vendor first, rather than go to an unknown vendor? The same is true of your potential customers.
As well as provided useful and relevant content on your website, you must also build a relationship with your prospects, so that if they do not buy today, they will return to your website and buy another day. You do this by building a mailing list of prospects.
Building an opt-in email list is one of the best ways to gather prospects. Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Better yet, offer incentives to your prospects to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters. You can present free softwares, access to exclusive services and other freebies that will be helpful to your prospects.
Over time this relationship building will pay off as you send your prospects more offers to other affiliate products they may be interested in.
Important Tool #3: Link Popularity
Having a website, full of quality, relevant content and a means on your website to gather email addresses of prospects is all well and good. But unless you are receiving visitors to your website, both tools will be completely wasted.
The importance of driving highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be emphasized enough. Web traffic is at the very top of the list of the most important entities needed on the internet.
Attracting visitors to your website should be the first step you carry out. Everything you do should be with the sole aim of achieving a high search engine ranking.
There are various ways to achieve a high search ranking, but one of the most successful is back-linking or link popularity. Link Popularity is one of the factors that search engines use to determine search engine rankings. Therefore, to enhance your link popularity, you must launch an aggressive reciprocal link campaign.
One of the best ways to do this – at no cost at all – is by submitting articles. You have already written articles and reviews for your website content, so it is an easy step to utilise this asset to generate free targeted traffic to your website.
When you submit articles to ezines and free article sites, you include your website’s link in the resource box. This will not only gain your website useful exposure, but you will also have the opportunity to advertise for free, just by including a link back to your website. The more sites you submit your articles to, the better your link popularity is.
Make your articles original, relevant and useful so that more websites will pick them up and post them. You should not submit the article you have published on your own website as is, but should rewrite it slightly into a fresh unique article for each article site you submit to. This way there is more unique relevant content that other websites will pick up and post, all linking back to your website.
Maximise Your Affiliate Earnings
The above three tools are only three of the many tools that an affiliate marketer can use to maximize earning potential. They are probably the most important three tools you can implement for maximum sales and profits.
But the possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, creativity, resourcefulness and determination. You can always explore other ideas and adapt other strategies, which you think might help you become a high rolling affiliate marketer. If you hit upon a new unusual strategy that generates lots of sales, then you could possibly turn it into a product yourself, write the method up into a report for example and give it away free or even offer it for sale, and get other affiliates to generate sales for you.
Once you become a High Rolling Affiliate Marketer in your own right, you will have even more opportunities to be more successful and generate even higher profits.
About the Author
Graham Lee is CEO of The Income Zone, where you will find online ebusiness tools for web entrepreneurs. Graham is also the owner of a number of other websites offering tools and information about internet marketing and working online.
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