No Product – No Website? Make Money With Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate Marketing is a way of selling an Arsenal of products you never have to own – with little or no cost. How do we enter this potentially lucrative market… and what exactly is it?
Affiliate marketing is a way of selling products we don’t actually own on a commission basis, so when a sale has been registered from our “affiliate link” to us, we receive the appropriate commission.
Mainly, it is digital products that are sold this way, i.e eBooks & online memberships, however it is possible to also sell physical products this way but this is known as dropshipping, whereby the product maker or wholesaler ships the physical products out to your customer.
For the purposes of this Affiliate marketing article, we are referring to Digital products.
First you will need to register with an Affiliate product platform such as ClickBank
As you register you will be asked to choose a “nickname”, this is very important as this is how ClickBank will recognise that is is you who made the sale, therefore make your “nickname” an appropriate one – if you are going to be selling money making products, don’t make your “nickname” Sheilas Shoes (lol)- if you see what I mean
This nickname is embedded in your referral link, otherwise known as a hoplink, I will explain more about this in a moment.
ClickBank is where product vendors list their products in the “Marketplace” – this allows affiliates to choose appropriate products to sell and to create their own personal links (called hoplinks) to the vendors websites, so when a customer who was referred through your link, clicks to buy the product, you will receive the appropriate commission in your ClickBank account.
ClickBank will pay you by cheque when your commission balance has reached at least $100.
Before you qualify t receive commission checks from ClickBank, you would have needed to have made sales from at least five different customers with 5 different credit cards. This is to try to stop affiliates circumventing the system by buying products after registering as an affiliate for the very same product, in effect to get the product cheaper for themselves.
Once you have found a product, check out the vendor’s website – this is very important as you will be sending YOUR customers there.
Does the vendors website contain a video explanation of the product? – is the site well designed and easy to navigate? is it inviting and easy to understand?, and last but most importantly, does the site make it EASY for the person to BUY?… if YOU would buy from this vendor, then your customer that you are referring probably would too.
If any or most of the above points are missing, it may be best to move on to another product and another vendor whose website DOES have most of the above points.
Their are thousands of products on ClickBank to choose from, in many different categories
How about price? – as a new affiliate, I wouldn’t start with a high priced product – make it easier for yourself and go for a product preferably priced under $50 to start with – it should also have at LEAST a 50% commission payment, preferably 60%+ if you can get it.
It’s better to sell products with lower prices to begin with and generate more sales, than to have larger priced products, with less sales…
As you grow your affiliate business, you can add higher priced products to your product list later.
Once we have our ClickBank account open, and we have chosen an appropriate product, we now need to market our ClickBank product.
The hoplink you create when you have chosen a product to promote can be a long and uninspiring URL (web address link), so I would suggest that you to go to one of the many free URL shorteners, online and get your affiliate link shortened for free. This makes it much easier to fit into a classified ad or a TWEET on TWITTER as it is much shorter. It also looks better as it is less cumbersome.
Also by changing the appearance of the link, unscrupulous people cannot change the link id from yours, to their own affiliate id – and receive the credit for the sale themselves.
The ultimate way to do this is to BUY a domain name similar to the Product title and point it to your affiliate link – this has a more professional look and if done properly, can be “cloaked” so no one would know that the website wasn’t yours.
Check with your domain registration company, there should be a facility to “point” it to whatever web address you choose. Just point it to your affiliate link. you should also have a facility to “cloak” the link – this will disguise the link so the customer only ever sees your nice URL.
So where can you sell affiliate products?
1) Make a free 30 second video at Animoto put your cloaked affiliate link in the video itself and in the accompanying description, use the http: format so that it will appear as a clickable link under the video when you upload it to You Tube
2) Make a FAN page on Facebook – include your affiliate link in your personal profile and also on your Fan Page wall amongst useful content.
3) Add your affiliate links with the product description on your Blog or Website
4) Include an affiliate link in your email & forum signatures
5) Tweet your product’ benefit & URL to your many Twitter followers
6) Include your affiliate links in your profile on all the other social networking sites, too numerous to mention here
7) Write related articles and include your affiliate link in the bottom half of the article (below the fold) and also in your “bio”
8) Use FREE classified ad sites such as “Craiglist” to promote your affiliate products
9) Create a free eBook giving great content, with your affiliate links discreetly placed within.
10) Mail out to your email list (if you have one).