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Affiliate Marketing - What the Publishers Fail to Tell You

Charles Essmeier

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The Internet has changed our lives dramatically in the past ten years or so. It began as a curiosity and quickly became one of those things that no one can live without. Need a recipe in a pinch? It’s on the Web. Need tickets for a ballgame? Go get them. Want to make some money without having a retail store? Set up a Website and go. Of all of the things that the World Wide Web has altered, nothing has changed so much as the face of retail.

The Internet now makes it possible for nearly anyone to have a retail presence without having to compete with the likes of Wal-Mart. With the advent of affiliate marketing, retailers don’t even have to stock product anymore. Through affiliate marketing, a Website owner just registers with a retailer, advertises a product on his or her own Website, and provides a link to a site where the potential customer can buy the product. If the customer buys, the Website owner, or “affiliate” gets a piece of the sale. It’s seemingly a perfect way to sell, as there is no overhead for the seller. You just need a Website or a mailing list.

The “there’s nothing to it!” approach to selling has led many wannabe millionaires to jump into affiliate marketing, convinced that their first million will be theirs just as soon as they put their Website online. Unfortunately, the vast majority of affiliate marketers make very little to no money at all. What is it that the publishers who encourage affiliate sales don’t tell you?

The deep dark secret that no one wants to talk about is that in order to make sales, you have to have customers. If you have a Website, that means you need visitors. If you’re selling Product X as an affiliate, you aren’t alone, and your brand spanking new Website has to compete with the publisher of Product X as well as every single affiliate the company has in order to find customers and make sales. The single hardest thing to do in the world of Internet commerce is to get traffic to your site. That's the part that no one wants to talk about. What can you do about it?

You can buy advertising; Google Adwords is but one place to do it. You can optimize your Website to be search engine “friendly” by either studying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques or by buying one of a number of SEO software programs. You can write articles like this one and publish them to various Websites, which will eventually bring traffic to your site. There are any one of a number of things you can do, and a Google search for “Web traffic” will probably yield many more suggestions.

You shouldn’t be discouraged by the problems associated with bringing traffic to your site if you are engaged in affiliate marketing. You should, however, be aware that the task of generating traffic is a tough one, and it’s probably the biggest obstacle standing between you and potential sales. If you can conquer the traffic problem, you can, indeed, make a lot of money on the Web.

©Copyright 2007 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of http://www.Retro, a site devoted to affiliate marketing, and , a site about the product called the Day Job Killer.


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