Affiliate marketing is publicized as one of the easiest and most effective ways to generate money online but it is not quite as easy as it appears to be. The smart affiliate marketer plans every action and implements every action the best way he can. He should also increase the potential to earn by utilizing the right tools necessary for a thriving affiliate marketing business. The first and most important tool an affiliate marketer must have is his or her own website.
The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. Your website is the jumping off point of all your marketing efforts. Build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase.
The second tool in your arsenal should be offers and incentives. Competition is a major problem in the Internet world. You must always be one-step ahead of your rivals to ensure that you capture a large portion of your target market so you must use every possible means to motivate individuals not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting. Building an opt-in email list is one of the best ways to gather prospects.
Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Better yet, offer incentives to your prospects to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters. You can present free software, free online videos, access to exclusive services and other freebies that will be helpful to your prospects.
Your talent and knowledge is another important tool to use to make your website a popular Internet link to visit. One of the best ways to do this – at no cost at all – is by submitting articles, with your website’s link at the resource box, to e-zines and free article sites. You will not only gain exposure, you will also have the opportunity to advertise for free, just include a link back to your site. The more sites you submit your articles to, the better your link popularity becomes.
The Age-Old Question: Do You Need a Website?
The most important and indispensable thing to assure your success in affiliate marketing is your own website. The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. Your website is the jump off point of all your marketing efforts. Therefore, you must first build a user-friendly website, which will attract your prospects and motivate them to click on the links to the products and services you are promoting and make a purchase.
You must first focus your efforts in building a website that will cater to what your prospects need. Above all else, make your website full of original, relevant and useful content. The most important thing you should consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, not necessarily to go and buy something. People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. Keep in mind that, in the Internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more dependable endorser of the product or service you promote.
Establishing a good name is a good step in building up a dedicated consumer base. Dedicated customer bases are the lifeblood of affiliate marketers. You must use every possible means on your website to motivate prospects not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting.
When you are creating your website, the possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, originality, resourcefulness and resolve. You can always explore other ideas and adapt other strategies, which you think might help you become a high rolling affiliate marketer but not until you have a great website.
Why an Auto Responder is Your Asset
Auto responders automate the process of following up e-mail marketing leads. Email Auto responders are special email addresses that return a message or set of messages in response to any email that is sent to the auto responder’s address. When your business is slow or just beginning you may be hesitate to use this tool because the good ones aren’t free. But be assured as your business grows, you’ll find a use and be glad that you have one. Most web hosts have auto responders – it is only limited by the number of email addresses your host provides you. However, there is one small drawback to web host auto responders –you are limited only to one message per auto responder, without the possibility of a follow-up email to your prospects.
You can purchase auto responder software. This software can be placed on your computer or you can purchase an online service, and all your information will be stored on the server where you purchased the service. Auto responder software can do a lot of different things to help your affiliate marketing business.
Auto responders can:
- Give prospective clients business information, pricing lists and resumes
- Collect names and email addresses
- Be used for training
- Give away free reports
- FAQ (if appropriate)
- Auto-send your article submissions
It is plain to see there are many uses, all of which will keep you in contact with your visitors and/or prospective leads, and the promotion of your products, services and business. Whether you use a free or paid auto responder will be directly determined by the growth of your business – and of course, your budget. The use of auto responders is only limited by your imagination and your ethics. Do not go crazy with this tool – it is to be used to help your business – so be aware of SPAM – and its dos’ and don’ts – and this tool will work for you.
Your Main Focus in Affiliate Marketing
The main focus of all business owners and their respective Web sites is website promotion. It is not something that happens overnight, however. This is because once you have a new Web site it takes some time before search engines upload your URL and it becomes part of search results. While your Web page might be returned in the results of free search engines, it will still not result in the amount of traffic you want but there is one particular way to increase traffic to your Web site that is inexpensive, and that is web site promotion through newsletters.
Online newsletter editors are looking for new information from new businesses all the time but they usually don’t want to pay for the article you write. They prefer to trade a byline or a small advertisement for your business or web page. As a result, all you need to do is spend a few hours writing a newsletter that discusses a relevant topic and that also has a plug for your web page. This is a way for you to quickly get the word out about your web page as well as increase traffic and business while you are waiting for the search engines to get your information in the system and part of the search results.
Newsletters provide easy and free website promotion, so don’t overlook the opportunity. Don’t transfer the copyright of your article to anyone. Only grant the right to print your newsletter. By doing this, you can submit this one newsletter to multiple e-zines and reach many more potential subscribers than you would with only one. Also, it saves you time because you do not have to write new newsletters for every e-zine. When you write the resource box for your advertisement, make sure you include your entire web site address so individuals can simply click on the address and be taken directly to your page rather than having to cut and paste. The easier you make it, the more individuals will take a look at what you have to offer.
Accepting Affiliate Payments
The main problem merchants have with affiliate marketer payments is that they have to initiate payments manually based on a commission report that would typically be generated by their own e-store software. If affiliate payments run into hundreds or thousands, this process can get very tedious.
Fortunately, Paypal (http://www.paypal.com/) has come up with a solution to the merchant’s problem. It is called Mass Pay. Simply put, Mass Pay is a solution from PayPal that helps automate affiliate payments. Instead of having to manually enter the affiliate amounts into the payment system; their e-store software generates a Mass Pay file that contains the details of the payments to be made. This is a boon to affiliate marketers and greatly reduces the problems associated with accepting payments from merchants.
Paypal is the generally accepted way to receive payments from merchants that you have an affiliate marketing agreements with. Paypal makes receiving payments from individuals easier, as well. Having a Paypal button on your website is a real boon to you. It makes it simple and easy for customers to pay for their purchases and is so well known that people feel very secure using it.
Paypal allows you to set up a business account. It is a very simple process. The only thing you are required to do is provide information that allows Paypal to verify who you are and that your bank accounts are valid. Proof of a valid credit card is also a requirement. When you have a Paypal business account you can accept credit card payments, as well. You can purchase software that will integrate with Paypal to help track your affiliate marketing sales and know what your commission is easily and quickly. There are several such software products on the market. You can easily find them by using your favorite search engine.