10 Steps to Successful Affiliate Marketing
Are you considering affiliate marketing as a means to bring in an income? There are so many different affiliate marketing programs out there and thousands of different products that it can be overwhelming just to start. We will discuss what makes a successful affiliate marketing venture in an easy to understand ten step program.
Step 1: Find a niche
It can be difficult to choose an affiliate program and this can cause frustration right from the beginning. Before choosing what to market, find a “niche.” A niche is a very specific area of any given market. Think about different things that you are knowledgeable about, and narrow it down to something that you could write about day in and day out with ease. Finding your niche is going to make selecting an affiliate program a lot easier. Whatever your niche might be, I can guarantee that there is a product out there that you can market as an affiliate.
Step 2: Find an affiliate program
There is a slew of affiliate marketing programs available out there. My recommendation would be to search, as a consumer, for products that are related to your niche. Find products that would be easily marketed to consumers that would be within your targeted audience (people that will find your knowledge within your niche useful). Each product that you run across that is a “must have” for your targeted audience, search that website for an affiliate program. Typically, most reputable companies will have an affiliate program because it is a very effective way of advertising. Read through the terms of every affiliate program that you are interested in promoting and make sure that you can find your way back.
Step 3: Find a method of publication
Within the terms of affiliate programs, they will show the restrictions on what type of publications (i.e. website, news letter, paper print) you can use to promote their products. All affiliate programs allow you to use a website (which includes blogs) to advertise with. This is a good place to start because having a website will allow you to reach many people that are particularly interested in your niche. Just because you start with a website doesn’t mean that you can’t add additional publications to your marketing strategies later, and I would actually suggest that you do, We’ll discuss this more later.
Step 4: Build quality content
There are several different incarnations that your website can take on. Whatever form whether a blog, a forum, or just a well-designed web site, you need to begin building quality content on your site. Building quality content will draw peoples’ attention to your site so that you can place advertising in front of them (people aren’t just going to your site to be advertised to!). Get use to building content, because you should try to add content to your site regularly to keep people coming back.
Step 5: Get your affiliate links
Now that you have some content, you can start signing up for the affiliate programs. After you sign up, you will get links that contain a code so that the company running the affiliate program will know to pay you when someone from your site. You should place the links in places that don’t take away from the value of your content, but you also want to make them noticeable to your visitors. Advertisements that are “above the fold” will perform better than those below the fold. Above the fold simply means that a visitor will not have to scroll down to see it.
Step 6: Monetize with Adsense
Adding Google AdSense to your site will allow you to generate more revenue from your site. There’s several different speculations about Adsense, but not everyone that visits your site is going to buy something, so having AdSense will provide another way for visitors to leave your site where you still make money. Remember to keep your advertising tasteful. A website that bombards visitors with advertising can be annoying and hurt a lot more than help.
Step 7: Getting traffic
A great website is no better than a horrible website if you do not have traffic. Along with creating quality content on your site, consider creating other quality content in other places and linking that to your site. This will increase your search engine visibility and you can pick up traffic to your website from these places as well. Make sure your website is listed in the major search engines and try to get it into several directories. DMOZ is undeniably the most important directory on the web and your site needs to be there. Social media networking is very important as well. If you create an article that goes viral or create content on your website goes viral, you can expect unparalleled results. ALWAYS submit any new work you do to social media networking sites, providing that your content doesn’t break any of their terms and conditions.
Step 8: Maintaining your site
Make sure that you keep the information on your site up to date. Do not let outdated content linger around because this can drive people and search engines away from your site. Also, make sure that you don’t have broken links or any problems with navigation on your site or navigation to any links away from your site. It is important that you keep building quality content off and on your site to keep attracting new visitors and keep the ones you have coming back. It never hurts to do “overhauls” once in awhile to give returning visitors something new to look at. If you do an overhaul to your website, make subtle changes, don’t make it where your site is completely unrecognizable to your existing visitors, just make it more eye-catching.
Step 9: Adding additional publications
Whenever you have a reasonable audience, you should start adding ways to stay in touch. One great way is mailing lists. You need to make sure that you are conforming with the terms and conditions of your affiliate program and also with the CAN-SPAM Act. Having a weekly newsletter allows you to keep your visitors informed about updates and special offers. You need to make sure that in your newsletters, you’re providing quality content that will attract people to your site. Sometimes your affiliate programs will allow you to include affiliate links in newsletters, but make sure that you won’t be violating the terms and conditions of the affiliate programs by doing this. If you want to expand even more, you can explore the world of newsprint. This is going to be more costly than running your business strictly online, but it provides a way for you to reach deeper into your niche market. Once again, make sure that any routes you take conforms with the terms and conditions of the affiliate program(s) you are participating in.
Step 10: Diversify
After you have had one successful venture in affiliate marketing, you will see how simple bringing in this type of income is. Take advantage of having a whole world of information on anything you could possibly imagine and also having virtually unlimited products that are promoted through affiliate marketing. No matter what you are marketing, if you follow this model, you’ll be successful. Once you are running full speed with one affiliate marketing web business, create another. Whatever niche you go into, become an expert. Make sure that information that you provide is always accurate and never give up. Just because you do not see instant results, if you consistently work at it, you will build a very healthy residual income from your efforts.
Affiliate marketing provides a way for anyone with the commitment to generate an income online. It might take a few dollars to get up and running, and a few dollars here and there to maintain your business, but running an affiliate marketing business has a very low overhead and takes a lot less planning and structure than a traditional business to run.