The Vital Elements of Affiliate Marketing

The fact of the matter is…

There is an aspect of affiliate marketing that many seasoned affiliates – those who are struggling and some who have found success in varying degrees – are hesitant to discuss due to a perception that disclosure would make it more difficult to attract newcomers (newbies) to the business. This particular aspect is the cold hard fact that over 90%, but less than 95% of affiliates will actually make less than $100 a month; and those who exceed earnings of $100 a month, but haven’t reached the pinnacle of success, probably comprise another 8% to 9% of the affiliate workforce, leaving only one to two percent at the elite status of super affiliate marketers.

It is therefore important for any aspiring or newbie affiliate marketer to understand that s/he should not count on making a full time income unless and until s/he is able to acquire the tools, resources, online marketing skills and relationships necessary to launch the type of affiliate marketing business that will be sustainable for the first few years, and could eventually generate revenue on a consistent enough basis considered enough to meet the high bar of success as it pertains to the affiliate marketing business.

Basic elements and traffic flow

The basic elements required for kicking off an affiliate marketing career are:

  • A good web site that converts!
  • Adequate search engine optimization (SEO)!
  • Interesting if not compelling content!
  • Website visitors, or traffic in AM jargon!
  • Supporters: returning visitors who like you (via your site)!
  • Reputable and reliable merchants
  • Great products to promote!

The one thing an affiliate marketer must have in order to succeed is a constant flow of traffic from which s/he could establish relationships which will produce the base of followers/supporters some of whom, with minimum prodding or coersion, will purchase products via the affiliate’s website. However, this traffic-to-relationship-to-buyer conversion is a lot easier said than done, which is one of the reasons that over 90% of affiliates make $100 or less a month. Consider this ratio for a moment: 1:200 is the number of visitors who will buy products via a typical affiliate’s website!

So unless the affiliate is promoting high-end luxury products with big price tags (cars, yachts, jewelry, real estate, etc.), s/he will need a substantial traffic flow on a daily basis, and that’s where adequate SEO can be instrumental in getting that affiliate’s website listed in the search engines (preferrably on the first page) so more people will be able to find it. That having been said there is a misconception about affiliate marketing that oo many people buy into, and when they learn the truth about how they should actually do affiliate marketing it is often too late.

Dispelling the misconception

But contrary to popular opinion – or misconception – affiliate marketing is not a get rich quick type of program; and success is not achieved by placing a few product links and banner on a website (poorly optimized or not) and then money will start rolling in; and those who hold this belief should not be surprised if they never make a single sale or any money at all. There is a lot of time, work and creativity involved in developing and nurturing a successful affiliate marketing business, some of which have alreay been mentioned above; and even when the time and work have been put in, there is still more to be done.

Understand also – if you are that aspiring affiliate marketer – that there are no guarantees of success, or even that you will ever make your first $100 or how long it will take you make; because, as with every other affiliate marketer, how much money you make depends solely on how much time, effort and money you are willing to put in. If you are a quick learner and really good at affiliate marketing, you could make 2,000 in 2 years; and this is based entirely on whether or not you’re starting from 0 with another full time job that prevents you from devoting a lot of time to your affiliate marketing program.

In view of everything already said on this page, if you decide to give affiliate marketing a try, you would be doing so with the realization that it is not an easy business; but you should also know that the toughest part are the challenges you will be confronted with in the first five to six months; and if you check your stats and see that you are only making a few dollars, you might find yourself wondering if all the hard work was worth it; but the important thing to remember is to stay committed with your hard work, and the commissions should start growing as you keep working.

Practical expectations, realistic results

One of the biggest factors in affiliate marketing is the traffic that goes through your website; because even though you’ll get a lot of traffic passing through your website, only a fraction of the traffic will be buyers. The key however, is knowing your visitors and then being able to determine which affiliate programs you can offer to meet their needs. There is also the concept of pre-sale, which is the ability to put your visitors in the required mindset for them to actually click on one or more of your prduct links.

By sticking with affiliate marketing, you’ll learn more and more over the years; but you shouldn’t expect to be the best when you first start out, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication. Just keep in mind that by putting the time and effort into your programs, and building the necessary relationships and base of supporters, you’ll be well on your way to making it in the very profitable and exciting world of affiliate marketing, even if you have to endure a few years of growing pains before seeing measureable and/or acceptable results. Good luck!

A Newbie Entry Guide to Affiliate Marketing

Business in the Internet space

With aid of the Internet (or the Web as it is often referred to) we can have almost everything right at our fingertips; and with just a few clicks we can get access to thousands, or even millions of pieces of data and relevant information on virtually any field of interest. And over the past two decades the Internet has – and continues to – effect torrential changes in many facets of human endeavors, including commerce, education, health and finance, among others.

Experts say that the information space, commonly known as the “World Wide Web,” grows by over a million pages everyday as more and more people utilize the Web for information, education, entertainment, business and other personal reasons. Moreover, it really doesn’t take a business-oriented individual to realize that this phenomenon can bring about substantial financial gains. That having been said, the unprecedented rapidity of growth in Internet use over the same two decade time span presents business opportunities that any entrepreneurial minded individual would jump at.

In view of the above, if you think that only business persons can make a lot of money from the Web, you might have to do some rethinking of this viewpoint, because you too – if you turn your attention to it – can earn big bucks through effective use of the Internet, even if you don’t have a product/service (‘product’) to sell, or a high-profile and established company. And if you are wondering, how? The answer is through affiliate marketing, which is a very popular Web-based business type you might have come across while surfing.

A win-win for merchant and affiliate

Affiliate Marketing is a revenue sharing system based on contracts and various “terms of use” guidelines agreed to between product owners (‘merchants’) and promoters/marketers (‘affiliates’) who get paid for referring customers to merchants’ sites, and/or promoting the merchants’ products and services on their own websites. It is one of the burgeoning Web-based industries because it is proven to be a cost-effective, efficient and quantifiable means of attaining significant earnings – most of which can be considered profit due to the very low to non-existent overhead – both for the merchant and the affiliate, as well as other players in the affiliate program (affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers).

Affiliate Marketing works effectively for the merchant and the affiliate; the former because s/he utilizes this method to advertise products to a larger market, which in turn increases the chances to earn more; and the latter because of the opportunity to market and sell products and get paid a commission without having to incur the expense of creating those products. The more affiliate websites or hard-working affiliates the merchant gets, the more sales s/he can expect; and by getting affiliates to market his/her products, s/he is saving time, effort and money it would take to look for possible markets and customers.

When a client clicks on a link in the affiliate website, purchases the product, recommends it to others who might be looking for the same item or buys it again, a merchant multiplies the chances of substantial earnings. On the other hand, an affiliate marketer benefits from each customer who clicks on the link in his website and who actually purchases the product or avails him/herself of the service provided by the merchant, because that affiliate gets paid a commission (percentage or fixed amount) for each sale made as a result of such clicks.

For the new affiliate

Consider for a moment that you wanted to be an affiliate marketer and, according to what you’ve learned, make your own small fortune from the Web. You would begin by following the three most basic and easiest steps to your own affiliate marketing business. First you would identify a particular item you are interested in, or passionate about, so you won’t be bored and forced to develop your affiliate website later on. Focusing on a specific area you know very well will help you bring out your best without much risks and effort.

Affiliate Marketing: How to make money and create an income

You can add a personal touch to your site and give your visitors, who are potential buyers, an impression that you are an expert in your field. This way you can gain their trust and eventually encourage them to buy the products you endorse. Next is to look for good paying merchants and products or services related to your interest and create now a website; but make sure, while choosing your affiliate products, that you must consider their conversion rate (—the number of visitors-turned-buyers).

Keep in mind also that there are various affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers that can provide you with information on the most popular, in-demand and profitable products along with the best paying merchants; so the key here is to be wise enough to choose the right one(s). Now that you have decided where to concentrate, have chosen the products to endorse and the merchant(s) you are supporting and have created your own website with a top level domain name and reliable hosting, you are ready to promote.

Start promoting

Promoting is a crucial task, since it is through this activity that you would be able to drive traffic to your business website, increase sales and of course, make a profit. In affiliate marketing, it is entirely possible to earn large sums of money in a short period of time, especially when you’re endorsing high-priced items. Expensive products are hard to sell; but with the right marketing strategies and sales techniques, you can attract visitors to your site, redirect them to the merchant’s site and entice them to buy products.

Techniques, strategies and methods of how to best promote the products would, however, need a separate article and discussion; so in the meantime, just continue to educate yourself by reading affiliate marketing guides, books (ebooks) or other online articles about the best advertising techniques. Remember that there is really no facility for a quick path to success; because while affiliate marketing may seem very tempting due to the numerous encouraging testimonies of merchants and affiliate marketers alike who have benefited from it, it still entails a great deal of hard work and persistence.

Likewise, you need to be creative, flexible and willing to embrace new ideas to market your partners’ products until you find the perfect strategy that works for a specific market which you are targeting. Neither signing up for an affiliate program nor copying ads and leading others towards the merchants’ site guarantees success; and many affiliate marketers fail to understand this, leading them to quit when they don’t make sales and start looking for other programs with which they invariably repeat the same mistake.

Persisting through failure

This type of failure due to inconsistency, impatience and misinterpretation of what the affiliate marketing business is all about and how it should be conducted often lead the unsuccessful “would-be” affiliate to conclude that affiliate marketing is just one of those scams in the Web. The truth is that even as you’re asleep, you can work your way to great financial success if you employ the right strategies in affiliate marketing. So be smart, be creative and be persistent in your affiliate marketing business and surely, you’ll achieve success in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing: How to make money and create an income