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16 Steps to Dominate as an Affiliate

Discussion in 'Affiliate Programs' started by barsha, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. barsha

    barsha Registered Member

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    06/13/2008 1:32 PM Quote Reply Alert
    Step One: Find Your Passion. To find a product that you will be motivated to promote or market you must first find your passion. In doing this you will be more likely to spend time on your business and WANT to do it. As Pud says, “Ask yourself, if you could do ANYTHING in the world, what would it be?”

    Once you have your “WHAT” ask yourself “WHY”.

    What are your underlying desires or goals? There may be various things, more tangible things, which can satisfy the “WHY”. Get your business journal out and write your “WHAT” and “WHY”. Doing this may give you the product or service that is perfect for you.

    Step Two: Find a Product. After you have found your passion, if the product is not staring you in the face, you need to find a product that matches. For ideas, be sure to check out the following places:

    eBay Pulse

    Yahoo Buzz

    Google News

    Technorati Pop

    Technorati Tag

    Amazon

    ClickBank

    Other Recognized eCommerce Sites in the space

    The above will help you gain some insight into what is hot right now.

    Step Three: Survey. Why would the consumer buy your product/service? What is their “headache” or problem are they are looking to get rid of? Don’t guess.

    Example: A company comes out with an amazing new toothpaste. After a test group uses the product for a number of days, a dentist examines them and finds that none of them have any dental problems. Amazing, right?

    Well, the product launches and flops completely. Why?

    Company’s Guess:No cavities = less pain in the dentist chair.
    Consumer’s Reality: I want something that tastes great. This one did not.

    It is not enough to solve a problem, you have to solve THE problem(s). A survey is how you go about finding out what THE problem(s) is.

    A survey takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, present and review. At this point you don’t want to invest very much time and money in a market you haven’t fully tested. So review other information, such as:

    Forums and Blogs having to do with your product/solution,

    Other informational websites about your product and services

    The above are like forced surveys as you can quickly see the trend of the market through comments made and the focus of the informational sites.

    Don’t get caught into analysis paralysis, spend about 1-3 hours reviewing various sites and write your findings in your business journal.

    Step Four: Quick Market Math. Don’t get into a market without doing a little of “quick math” and a few searches to determine if the market will be profitable. You can apply the following steps to any affiliate program or network.

    Step One: Write down the industry and exact product.
    Step Two: Write down the commission per sale.
    Step Three: Based on a conversion ratio of 5%, project revenue.
    Step Four: Determine the “break even” point for CPC.
    Step Five: Open the Keyword Tool in Google AdWords
    Step Six: Enter "main keyword"
    Step Seven: Add all keywords
    Step Eight: Click "Estimate Traffic"
    Step Nine: Highlight Keywords in List
    Step Ten: Open the Traffic Estimator tool
    Step Eleven: Sort by Estimated Clicks Per Day (highest first)
    Step Twelve: Look for keywords in the range of the “break even” point but have at least ten estimated clicks per day.
    Step Thirteen: Verify that at least 100 clicks per day can be had for the "break even" CPC point.
    Step Fourteen: Re-run "Traffic Estimator" and target the actual product name and the author's name and look for traffic estimates of 10+ clicks.

    Step Five: Test via PPC. Once you have determined whether or not the market is profitable, you must test to see if it will be profitable for you. Take your keywords and the target problem(s) you found in the market and create a PPC campaign. My preference is Google AdWords.

    You may find that the market doesn’t convert well for you. That is ok, in fact, it is best to know that it is a dud and get out quickly.

    Note: Google AdWords has changed their policy on allowing PPC ads to go direct from the ad to the Merchant’s site, as a result you will need to have a Landing Page. See Step Nine.

    Step Six: Find a Provider. Finding a provider may be as easy as deciding what Affiliate Network to join.

    You may also be able to go direct with a few providers and search out the best product with the best conversion rate.

    Step Seven: Sign Up as an Affiliate. You may or may not have to wait for approval. If you need a Landing Page created to request approval, see Step Nine.

    Once you are approved, you are ready to start promotion. There are a few things to remember about affiliate agreements with merchants:

    never sign a long-term deal unless you get significant cash up-front·
    read the terms, understand what you are being paid for
    understand the restrictions, if any
    make sure there is not a "do not compete" clause
    Never feel that you MUST do a deal with a company as the competition's product is usually just as good.

    You should focus on building a relationship with the Affiliate Manager or Merchant. Whenever possible, pick of the phone and contact them. This will help them to trust you and also help you to stand out amongst their other affiliates and possibly gain better commission rates.

    Step Eight: Buy & Use the Product. I am a big advocate of buying the product/service and using it before you begin to promote it. Doing so will not only give you intimate knowledge about the product and its points of difference, but it will also allow you to test the sales process and your affiliate link. Be sure that the sales process is smooth and you get credit for the sale. If you don’t, contact the merchant to fix the issues before continuing your promotion.


    Step Nine: Create a Landing Page. The landing page is the weapon of choice for most affiliate marketers. It gives you more control over your client base and allows you to test and track what works and what doesn’t.

    You will need to create a Landing Page that is professional, matches the intent of the buyer, lures them further into the page with the use of headlines, Calls to Action, and does not distract them.

    My Kitchen Table Copy Method which shows you how to use your competitions work and research for your gain is a good one to follow too.

    Step Ten:Keyword Research. Keywords are important in Affiliate Marketing. There are various tools available for Keyword Research. Whichever you use, always test keywords via PPC to see if they will convert. I use the Google External Keyword Tool, WordTracker, NicheBot, Keyword Secret and Keyword Discovery.


    Step 11: Drive Traffic. Be sure to drive traffic in a number of different ways so if you lose one it isn’t the end of your business. Brad Fallon of StomperNet once had his wedding favor site disappear from Google due to a fluke in the index. His entire business was in jeopardy of going under. However, he had the tools, including various methods of driving traffic, to succeed.

    A few ways to drive traffic to your sites are:

    PPC – Create compelling ads that answer the demographic’s pain and send them to your Landing Page. If you are answering more than one pain, you may want to create more than one ad and Landing Page.

    SEO – Use SEO to bring organic qualified traffic to your site.

    Email Marketing – To use this method, you must first have a list to mail to. It takes a while to gain the trust of a consumer, email marketing or newsletters make it possible for you to keep in contact with the prospect to build the relationship of trust and get the customer to buy from you.

    Blog – Blogging is an effective way to "frame the offer" and pass the visitor to another site for "more information." Pay attention to make sure the "pass through" is smooth and fall-out is minimal.

    Step 12.Test , Track and Tweak. Be sure to use tracking code, including Google Analytics and Crazy Egg, to see where and how often people are clicking different areas of your pages.

    Google’s Website Optimizer is also a great testing and tracking tool for affiliate websites. GWO will test variations of your Landing Pages to see which headlines, graphics, colors, etc. are most appealing to your audience. You may be surprised at what is most effective. Make adjustments to your page based off of the data you receive.

    Helpful Hint: Keep a back-up in case you make a mistake and need to reload the old version of the page.

    Always be looking for ways to increase the flow of qualified traffic coming to your site. If you do this, then conversions may also increase.

    Step 13. Monetize Your Site. Add AdSense to your web pages to monetize the traffic that may click on your ads. Generally, you will earn about $27.00 for every 1000 visitors to your page. So to earn $2,700.00 you need roughly 100,000 visitors. Translation: Focus first on driving qualified traffic to your site to purchase the products you promote and then add AdSense.


    Step 14. Renegotiate Terms with Merchant. This is where the relationship with the merchant that you started to build in step 8 will come into play. The one constant truth in affiliate marketing is the affiliate who drives the most sales to a merchant's site makes the rules. Merchants count on the revenue brought in by their affiliates and if you are a top affiliate, then you have more pull with the merchant, because they do not want to lose your sales.

    Once you have become a valuable asset to the merchant, call them up and ask them for a raise. Be respectful, but be firm. Remember, you are not only providing sales for them, you are also marketing their product, which cuts their marketing costs. If they lose you as their highest performing affiliate, they not only lose sales, but they are likely to have their marketing budget affected as well.

    Note: Do NOT do this over email. Pick of the phone and call your merchant and let them know how many sales you are driving for their company and for how long. Tell them you want a raise in commission and if you can get to level X in the next three months, you want another raise.

    Step 15. Get Other Affiliate to Work for You. Very few take this step, but it is something that can greatly increase your EPC. I'll have more info on this in an upcoming video.


    Step 16. Lather, Rinse and Repeat. Once you find what works for you as an affiliate marketer, follow the directions found on the back of your shampoo bottle: Lather, Rinse and Repeat.







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    Best Regards,

    Jerry West
     
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  2. WizGizmo

    WizGizmo Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Good stuff, barsha!

    I will put these ideas to work right away. Thanks and rep given!

    Cheers! - "WizGizmo"
     
  3. droppin loads

    droppin loads Newbie

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    Great post, +rep added.