Affiliate marketing is tough, there’s no denying it. Especially if you’re just starting out; you first have to build your website, then, you have to get traffic to it (that’s a whole different can of worms). Finally, after weeks or probably months, you start getting a steady stream of visitors to your site. Now, it’s time to start selling to them.
Yes, I know, “selling to them” is an ugly term, but let’s face it –it’s what we’re here for. Whether you’re trying to build a business that will allow you to quit your day job or simply trying to make a few extra bucks – affiliate marketing (promoting other peoples products and services) is the quickest way to get started. Here are five ideas to help you start earning those commission checks:
1) Become an authority – Whatever your niche is, regardless of how large or how small it is - visitors come to your site with the assumption that you know what you’re talking about –you have the upper hand, don’t disappoint them. Give your visitors good, original content, keep your site fresh, report about what’s going on in your niche and your visitors will come back to your site again and again – this is called authority site building (32 hits) and it’s one of the most powerful techniques for building web success.
2) Know what you’re selling – Don’t sign up for every affiliate program you see and fill your site with every banner and every offer you can find. This is counter productive and goes against the authority site building process described above. Sites like this (often called banner farms) have been around since affiliate programs began and they’ve NEVER sold anything! If you’re an authority within your niche, then you really ought to have first hand experience with the products and services you’re recommending. Banners won’t sell to your audience, thoughtful (warts and all) reviews will.
3) Don’t sell it PREsell it – As affiliate marketers, it’s NOT our job to sell. We’re in the business of recommending products and services and sending interested visitors to their sales pages. This is called Preselling, it’s the process of warming your visitors up to an affiliate product (For more information, read Ken Envoy’s free ebook “Make Your Content PREsell (12 hits)”). Let the affiliate programs landing page do the high-pressure selling, you’re just recommending a product you like to your visitor.
4) Always include a call to action – This is a very subtle technique and one that is often overlooked; you need to tell your visitors what you want them to do. If you want them to fill out a form and hit submit – tell them! If you want them to go to the sales page for a particular product –tell them! It sounds pretty simple but it is a basic selling technique that is often the difference between being a good salesman and a great one. Here’s a few call to actions to give you a better idea of what they are: “Click here to learn more” or “Check out their website now” “Only a fraction of the visitors you send to the sales page ever buy and of the few that actually do buy, most will NOT buy on their first click through”
5) Be Patient, don’t quit or get discouraged – This is the big one. Only a fraction of the visitors you send to the sales page ever buy and of the few that actually do buy, most will NOT buy on their first click through, it can be days even weeks or months before today’s visitor, actually hits that buy button and plunks down their credit card number. In other words, even if you do everything right the odds are you won’t see your first sale for at least a month after you start getting traffic to your site. You have to just keep plugging away; you never know when success is just around the next corner.
In conclusion, the five ideas above are by no means the only things you’ll need to concentrate on to make your site successful, but in my view they are up there very near the top of the list. Re-read this list whenever you start to get discouraged! Oh and pay special attention to number five – if you can fully digest that one, you’re well on your way to being successful.
David Olsen has been an Internet Marketer since 1999. In his career he has developed well over one hundred affiliate websites and promoted dozens of products. He is an expert in SEO and writes extensively about it at his flagship website, Affiliate Profit Center. Read about more SEO and Blog Marketing here.