Unlike most eBook authors I tend not to put all of my marketing faith into the hands of affiliates.
Oh it's nothing personal against the affiliate system. I just believe that when you know how to sell your own eBooks, you're able to maintain a far more competitive edge. So that's exactly what I do - 90% of the time.
So what about the remaining 10%? As you've probably guessed from the title of this article, that's where I throw myself at the mercy of my affiliates and give them free reign (and a 50% commission) to hawk my words of wisdom. And even though only a small percentage of my eBooks are affiliate driven, I've still managed to attract a pretty good team of super affiliates.
For the uninitiated, super affiliates are site owners who agree to promote your products for a percentage of the sale. They pull dozens - and sometimes hundreds - of sales with a single announcement to their subscriber list or blog. I have a couple of super affiliates who have generated over 1,000 eBook sales a year for me.
So what does it take to attract these proverbial “needles in the haystack"? There are a few key things you can do to help your cause:
- Don't start putting out your affiliate feelers until you've tested your sales copy.
I have a super affiliate who promoted two eBooks I wrote. One eBook had sales copy that produced a 7%-13% conversion rate, and the affiliate did really well sales wise.
When I came out with the other eBook I didn't test the sales copy before I unleashed it to my super affiliates. Bad move! The copy for the second eBook produced a paltry 1% conversion for that same affiliate. The lesson learned was simple - don't leave the testing to your affiliates. You do the selling first. Prove that your copy has the chops to convert, then invite affiliates on board.
- Give affiliates are a meaty profit margin.
Contrary to popular belief, most super affiliates don't give a hoot about producing volume.
They'd rather promote a higher priced eBook in order to get a greater commission per sale with less sales, rather than promoting an eBook that paid a $10 commission and trying to make up the profits with volume.
Case in point, I have an eBook that pays a $35 commission. I have a related title that pays a $9.95 commission. Even though the second title was related to the first, and it appeared to be an easy follow-up sale, almost none of my super affiliates (or non-super affiliates, for that matter) chose to promote it.
As one super affiliate pointed out, the commission was too low. So if I'm creating a product that I'd like to be affiliate backed, I make sure that I can offer at least $45 per sale.
- Allow affiliates to promote your new eBooks instead of you promoting them directly to your previous buyers.
Even if it backfires in my face (which it has, as I explain below) I always give my super affiliates first crack at promoting my new eBooks. They've supported me in the past, so I like giving them the power to profit first.
Of course there's always the possibility that they may be in the midst of promoting another title, or they're on vacation, or perhaps they just don't like your new stuff. But they'll remember the gesture. And they may not be in a non-promoting mood forever. When the time is right, they will remember your goodwill and push your work accordingly.
Alexis Dawes talks about what it's like to sell ebooks online through her blog. If you'd like to get an inside glimpse at the problems, pitfalls and power moves ebook authors experience, click on over to (http://www.AlexisDawes.com ).