Choosing the Right Affiliate Marketing Mentor





Affiliate marketing mentorship

A good affiliate marketing mentor is someone who has already achieved success in his/her own affiliate marketing business and is willing to share the knowledge – both experience-based and otherwise – s/he has acquired about this business, from the viewpoint of both affiliate and merchant. But being able to choose the right affiliate marketing mentor to follow and emulate, especially when such choosing involves payment of a fee or other costs, is not easy; and it is for this reason that we wanted to share a few thoughts about this topic with you.

It is important that you know what programs, features and methodologies an affiliate marketing mentorship package should encompass, and understand why the mentor offers a particular set of items in such a package. Keep in mind that affiliate marketing has been a popular Web-based business for decades, and it is still among the most viable business types pursued by online entrepreneurs today.

That having been said, however, there is still a large section of the population that knows little or nothing about affiliate marketing; and most people who have recently discovered this business assume that they can easily make big money in a short period of time (overnight?) with little or no work; but this assumption is no more accurate than the one which suggests that owning and operating a successful home-based business requires only a phone and a computer with Internet access.

Balancing affiliate links and banners

The point is that, achieving success in the affiliate marketing business is not an easy task and certainly will not happen overnight. On the contrary, management of an affiliate marketing business has been compared to an ongoing assignment where you need to learn new methods and test various advertising strategies and tactics, whereby the affiliate may even need to sign up with numerous affiliate programs just to determine which merchants performs best.

Another misconception that exists about affiliate marketing is that more affiliate links and banners placed on a website translates to more commissions earned; but too many links and banners on a single website will more likely have the opposite effect in the sense that visitors will see an unattractive pile of non-sensical and unappealing content, and therefore leave that site for another which provides interesting content that is of more interest to them.

Of course there is a way in which to promote multiple affiliate products on your website if you really want to do so; but you would have to make sure that the promotional links and banners jive with the theme and topic of your site, as well as your niche-specific content. Keep in mind also that three or four affiliate links on your site should really be enough to attract a visitor’s attention, depending on the size of your web page.

Affiliate marketing mentor defined

There are affiliates who think that if they add affiliate materials to their site, they can make sales right away; and maybe they just don’t know that affiliate marketing is more about advertising than anything else, because if there’s no traffic coming to a given site, chances are that sales from that site will be non-existent. So the important thing to remember is: the more exposure (through advertising) an affiliate link, or the site on which affiliate links are displayed receives, the more activity these links are likely to generate.

If you want to get involved with, or you’ve already joined, an affiliate program but you are among those who harbor the above misconceptions about this type of business, then you really might need a mentor to help you figure out where to start and what to do in order to achieve success.

The word mentor is defined in dictionary as “a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.” So an affiliate marketing mentor would essentially be an individual who has acquired sufficient affiliate marketing wisdom and knowledge to be trusted as a competent teacher. In other words, such a person is an expert in the field and therefore can give expert advice and guidance as well as supervision to another person.

So when we say affiliate marketing mentors, we refer to experienced counselors that have made affiliate marketing their specialty. Of course, it is good for an affiliate marketing mentor to know and apply some theories and generalities regarding your business, but there’s nothing more helpful and effective than telling the client what works today and identify those things that could probably work in the future, including new trends, trend changes and other such market-related data.

Measuring a mentor’s success

A mentor should be a source of knowledge for his/her clients, and the first one to instruct those clients on how to generate more affiliate income. S/he also needs equipped with the keys to success for affiliate marketers as well as for merchants, and be able to guide clients as they try to do the things that can help boost their profit margin, because once they do well in their business, they will, no doubt, give credit to the mentor for the role s/he played in their success.

More succinctly put: Client Success Equates to Mentor Success!

There are some articles on affiliate marketing which states that, in order to be triumphant in the affiliate marketing business, the affiliate needs to encompass and develop these traits: persistence, patience and thirst for knowledge. And part of a mentor’s job to help clients develop and nurture these traits within themselves.

Once the clients have developed the abovementioned characteristics, it will become easier for the mentor to explain to them that attaining success in affiliate marketing requires an investment of hard work, some money and a substantial time commitment. These traits will also teach them to persist and never to give up on their goals and objectives.

Moreover, before a mentor trains his/her client to be proficient in search engine optimization, link exchanges, email marketing, newsletter marketing, reciprocal exchanges and advertising in forums, s/he should first become an expert in these fields. They will surely find it hard to learn these things alone and without supervision from the one they trust to have this knowledge. So the mentor must make sure that s/he is knowledgeable in these areas before accepting any invitation to be a mentor to someone else.

No easy task

Yes, being an affiliate marketing mentor is significantly more difficult than starting an affiliate marketing business, but mentorship can be very rewarding, especially if the mentor’s client achieves great success. The mentor, understanding that a client’s failure equates to the mentor’s failure, must do everything in his/her power to do the very best s/he can to put clients on the road to success.

Affiliate Marketing With & Without a Website




Website ownership responsibilities

Dating back to the “dot com” boom of two decades ago, a website has always been something that people wanted to possess. Some individuals paid to have websites created, while others learned how to create their own sites with the aid of software platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Weebly and other such providers; and while there were varying reasons for coveting a website, the underlying motivation was most often about making money from home.

We can all agree, however, that whether or not an individual owns a website, making money is often the result of providing a useful (in-demand?) product or service to consumers; but this is where many new website owners – and those who still wish to own one – encounter a significant challenge because, simply put, most people have nothing in the form of a product or service (‘product’) to offer and end up supporting a website from their own personal resources.

Yes! It takes money, time and work to operate a website; and while the cost of a domain name (ranging from $3.00 to upwards of $20,000 yearly, depending on the type of domain and extension), and the cost of Web hosting (ranging from $3.99 to upwards of $55.00 monthly, depending on the hosting company and account type), may not be a lot of money to some folks, there are still costs that must be absorbed if the website is not generating an income.

The website expense solution?

It is because of these costs that so many new website owners have sought ways to make money from their websites and, as a result have joined affiliate marketing programs, many of which are readily available at absolutely no cost for new affiliates. In short, affiliate marketing provides first time website owners the chance to market something online without their own product to sell, and the only requirements are to sign up with affiliate marketing program and agree to adhere its terms.

Affiliate marketing programs are usually owned by online merchants and/or retailers (‘merchants’) who encourage affiliates to sign on and promote the the merchant’s products in exchange for payment of a commission or flat fees to the affiliates for sales and/or referrals generated through the affiliates own efforts and expense.

That having been said, if you are a new website owner or you’re new to online marketing and want to make money from your website but you don’t have enough experience or capital to start your own online business, you might be in luck, because there are a number of affiliate marketing programs for you to choose from.

Becoming an affiliate marketer with the typical affiliate marketing program is often a pretty straightforward and easy process; but many newcomers still have some reservations about signing up, since they lack experience, basic knowledge and many of the skills required to generate sales and earn money. But they still must spend money to maintain their websites, so signing up is often the most practical thing to do, as it gives them an opportunity to earn money.

It’s a well known fact that affiliate marketing can be done without a website, as evidenced by the many instances in which online marketing has been done successfully by individuals who did not own websites; but these marketers utilized different strategies to promote their affiliate products. Such strategies included email marketing, offline promotions, e-book writing, article writing via ezines and participation in online forums, chats and message boards.

The following paragraphs describe such strategies in more detail

Email Marketing

Email marketing, or maintaining email lists, is actually the most popular affiliate marketing strategy that doesn’t require the affiliate to maintain a website. In this affiliate marketing strategy, what you basically do is maintain a list of the email ads of your prospective customers and provide them with articles that are relevant with the affiliate products and programs you are promoting.

Articles that you provide your contacts with need not always be promotional, because many individuals find such types of email annoying. To avoid causing such annoyance it would be better if you provide them with some relevant and informative content with just one or two small text ads that link to your merchant’s site.

Offline promotion, ebooks & free ezines

There are many ways on how you can promote your affiliate products offline. Among the common medium used for such promotions are classified ads, brochures and flyers. Classified ads would generally work better compared to the other two because classified ads in periodicals often get a wider audience.

If you are comfortable with expressing yourself via the written word, writing an e-book can be the best way for you to promote your affiliate products in the absence of an actual website. Just like in emails and newsletters, your readers would better appreciate your e-book if it is not too promotional but rather informative.

Be sure, however, to make the contents of your e-books relative to the actual affiliate products you are promoting. And just like in email marketing, you can just place text ads or banners somewhere near the end of your e-book that links to the merchant’s site.

Ezines are publications or articles that aim to inform individuals about a particular topic. If you don’t have a website and yet want to be an affiliate marketer, you can certainly use ezines to promote your affiliate products through articles that you write in which you insert links to your merchant’s site.

On the other hand, if you have a website, your ezine article may actually work well as content for your site; but when you have no website you can simply submit your free ezine articles to various websites that host ezines, like goarticles.com, ezinearticles.com and others. You can learn more about article writing, or refine your article writing skills to insure success.

Online discussion venues

With or without a website, you just can’t ignore online discussion venues (forums, chats, message boards, etc.) because they are great places for marketing your affiliate products. In chats, forums and message boards as well as discussion boards with topics related to your products, you can easily find people who may be interested in the products you are promoting.

With all these strategies it may seem that a website is really not a requirement to start marketing affiliate products and promoting affiliate programs; and while starting an affiliate program without a website may be easy, achieving success in without a website is quite another thing. A marketer can actually achieve enormous success in affiliate marketing without a website, but it is a rare instance when a “newbie” will reach the same level of success.

Having a website is not a pre-requisite for entering into an affiliate program, unless the program owner requires you to have one; and while this is so, I would still recommend that you have your own website, if not now, then maybe at a later date, because having a website can create a lot of advantages in affiliate marketing.

For one thing, a website provides you with a place where you can creatively promote, not only one of your affiliate products, but all of your affiliate products; and with a website you can also advertise your affiliate products to a wider market.

Again, having a website is not a requirement infor marketing affiliate products; but with the advantages that a website can provide, having one would certainly enhance your marketing efforts and could possibly be helpful in many other ways beyond making your affiliate marketing a lot easier.

Driving Website Traffic Via Google AdWords


The importance of traffic

One of the most basic lessons an aspiring website publisher will learn after s/he creates the first site is how crucial a role traffic plays in the success of that site. This is based on one simple and enduring fact: driving traffic to a website is the most important thing any site owner can do in order for that site to be successful.

It is a fact that any website owner, webmaster or administrator will attest to, if asked. And when the traffic is streamlined (targeted) to a specific topic, niche or product the effect it can have on a particular website is truly amazing; because highly targeted traffic is one of the most important elements in the internet universe.

This is evidenced by a simple fact: that the success of a website does not rely entirely on the site itself; but on the right advertising strategies, without which that site would not attract the high traffic volume needed to be self sustained. In other words, you can’t just create a website and leave it to its own design and mere existence to succeed.

And this is true whether or not the owner has a terrific idea for a website, offers an excellent product/service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content; because attracting targeted traffic is a task that must be taken seriously for any website to succeed and/or make a profit.

A popular traffic source

Fortunately for website owners who are serious about their sites’ success, there are Internet marketing tools designed to help them drive traffic to their websites; and one of the most significant and effective of such tools is Adwords, which is one of Google’s advertising services.

If you are not familiar with Google AdWords, then you may ask, how does Google Adwords work? But to answer this question in the best way, it might be helpful to know what or who Google is, so this is where we will begin. Google is the single largest search engine on the web, receiving over 200 million queries every day through its various services.

As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) it provides; because a high ranking can mean a great deal of traffic for their websites. The SERPs are also great as a venue for advertisers to promote products and service through ads and links.

Consequently, Google launched its Adwords service as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience, because Google Adwords can actually guarantee instant traffic. Per this service, Google displays relevant text-based ads within its SERPs termed as “Sponsored Links,” and whenever a particular keyword is searched for, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed.

Proper use of Google AdWords

So how can you get the highest and best use of Google Adwords? First, you have to open an account with the Google Adwords Service; then you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold.

Afterwards, you should create an ad group, which involves designing an ad, selecting keywords and determining the maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful Adwords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience.

The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your Adwords campaign so you’ll have to make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately, since the most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. This will help you attract qualified leads which can eventually convert to sales. Thus the importance of keywords.

There are keyword variations you can incorporate in order to reach more prospects, and by using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives you can also increase the odds of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner, whereas the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly.

Create an advertising budget

Meanwhile, a keyword phrase (keyphrase) set to match a particular phrase will only appear when the exact phrase is searched for; but a negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages. After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must then define a budget in order to maximize exposure.

Google Adwords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that you can afford and which is suitable for your purposes. You should also determine the maximum cost per click which you are willing to pay, even though Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this recommendation.

Note, a number one position is usually not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate.

To conclude

Google Adwords is an excellent strategy and tool for giving your site maximum exposure; but Google Adwords should not be your only advertising campaign, even though it will definitely help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic that is so critically needed for the success of your website, whether it is a business site or otherwise.