Affiliate marketing is an arrangement between an online merchant and affiliate, in which the affiliate earns a commission for generating sales, leads and/or clicks for the merchant’s web site.
Affiliate marketing works in a win-win situation for the merchant and the affiliate. The merchant gains opportunities to advertise his products for free to a larger market which will increase his sales. The more hard-working affiliates he gets, the more sales he can expect. By getting affiliates to market his products and services, he is saving himself time, effort and money in looking for possible markets and customers. When a client clicks on the link in the affiliate website and purchases the product, recommends it to others who look for the same item or buys it again, this way the merchant leverage his chances of earning. On the other hand, the affiliate marketer benefits from each customer who clicks on the link in his website and who actually purchases the product or avails of the service provided by the merchant. Usually the affiliate gets commission per sale, which can be fixed percentage or fixed amount. The best is that it won’t cost a single dime to join an affiliate program.
If you want to be an affiliate marketer and make money out of the Internet, you may follow these three most basic steps to start your effective affiliate marketing campaign.
Your first step is to identify a particular niche you are interested in or passionate about so you won’t be bored and forced to develop your affiliate web site later on. Focusing on a specific area you known well, it will help you bring out your best. Here are a few places you can research on – ClickBank Marketplace, AssociatePrograms.com, LinkShare.com, CJ.com etc
Secondly is to look for good paying merchants and high converting products .Make a list of good paying and high converting affiliate programs for your chosen niche and create a website. In choosing the products, you must also consider the support they are giving – Marketing materials may include articles, text links, banner ads, classified ads, reports, etc.
There are many affiliate networks and affiliate solution providers that can give you info on the most profitable products and best paying merchants. So be wise enough to choose the right affiliate program.
Now that you have decided which products to promote and the merchant you are supporting and have created your own web site with a domain name and reliable hosting, you are ready to promote. This is the toughest part, since it is through this that you would be able to increase traffic to the business website, sales and of course, profit. In affiliate marketing, it is possible to earn large sums of money in a short span of time if you use the right strategies and methods.
On how to promote the products would need a separate discussion. You must continue to educate yourself by reading books, courses or other articles online about the best and proven advertising techniques.
Remember, there is no quick path towards success. Affiliate marketing may seem very tempting due to numerous encouraging testimonies of merchants and affiliate marketers alike who have benefited from it, but it really involves in a great deal of hard work and persistence. You also need to be creative and flexible.
Most affiliate marketers don’t understand this, so when they don’t make sales, they quit, look for other programs and carry on the same mistake. In the end, they said that affiliate marketing is just one of those scams in the Internet. You can work your way to great success if you employ the right strategies in affiliate marketing. You can make money as an affiliate marketer if you willing to do what it takes.
Do you know that 95% of the people starting out in their internet businesses fail? In the middle of all the noise and hype on the internet today, not many people realize that all the ideas and techniques you can find are useless if you don’t first understand what your business model is or how are you going to make money on the internet. Even the most remarkable internet marketing technique will not work if you don’t understand how to apply it to your business.
The 3 most popular business models are:
1) Affiliate Marketing
Perhaps the most popular one out there, affiliate marketing provides a good start for newbies. Almost anyone can sign-up for an affiliate program for free and start promoting the chosen product or service. Commissions start coming in if someone will buy or participate in the programs promoted. Affiliate marketers don’t carry any risk, since they do not pay for the creation of the product, they do not handle customer service, they need not know the innards of internet transactions, like merchant accounts, autoresponder (what is that?), reciprocal linking, etc. It’s also possible to be an affiliate even without a website.
Some affiliate marketing programs you may participate in require little up-front investment. Some are free. It’s no surprise therefore that almost everyone and their neighbor promotes an affiliate program or another. In fact, if there is a single reason why the Internet today is so proliferated with ads and banners, it’s because of affiliate programs.
With the millions out there involve in affiliate marketing, only 5% ever make any money and only 1% makes really big money. The “Super Affiliates,” so they are called, do it very differently from the rest, therefore they earn the big checks.
2) Writing an eBook or other type of information product, recording an information CD.
This is a great strategy because there are thousands of possibilities for the type of product that you can create. There are so many niche markets that you can write about. It could be a course on Japanese gardens, how to start your own babysitting business, how to sell your artwork, taking care of your dog’s ears … there are endless topics and still many that have not yet been explored by online marketers. You don’t have to write the information yourself, you can get a ghost writer or hire someone to produce the CD.
EBook authors need to invest more than affiliates do. While affiliates can get something for nothing, the same is not true for the eBook type of business. EBook authors need to learn a lot more than affiliates are required to. They need to spend some amount of money getting the business up and running. However, when done right, the payoff in this online business model is much more rewarding.
These marketers make more money because they have very, very low production and maintenance costs. Once the product is produced, it doesn’t cost a cent to reproduce thousands of copies. Start-up costs can be covered by selling just a few copies of very high-margin eBooks. You can even recruit hordes of affiliates to do the selling for you.
This has taken the internet by storm. There are tons of testimonials from people making outrageous income from adsense.
Adsense is Google’s advertising program wherein webmasters display ads from Google’s extensive list of advertisers. Unobtrusive text-based ads are served in member sites, who then earn a commission every time someone clicks on the advertisers’ links.
Google Adsense uses a technology to deliver ads that are highly relevant to the content of a page. Google’s engine will scan through the content of the page to determine its topic, and will then serve ads that are relevant to the page’s content. Running Google Adsense is quite simple. First build a website full of content of your desired niche or topic, and then register in Google’s adsense program. Once approved, you then paste a code in your page, and the ads start appearing immediately after you upload the changes to your server.
Google is silent on how it shares the revenue per click with their partners, but how much you will earn per click depends on the topic and the product being advertised. Products with profit margins of $10 for the advertiser will most likely give you a smaller pay per click than a product with a $100 margin. Similarly, ads with high conversion rates will normally give you higher payouts than less effective ads, since they can afford to pay more dollars per click, with a portion of that money going to you.
These are the top 3 most popular online business models today. No matter which model you choose, make sure you understand the basics. Stop buying courses or information not applicable to your business. Information overload can stop you before you even get started.
We’re going to be looking at the process of creating a web site and how to make money online with your site. We’ll take you through the steps of choosing a domain name, web site hosting, designing your pages with web site templates, adding content and making money online with google adsense and affiliate programs.
STEP 1: CHOOSING A DOMAIN NAME/WEB SITE ADDRESS
To begin the creation of your website you will need to come up with a domain name or website addresss. Try to get an address that has specific keywords for what your business or website is about. This will make it easier to remember and will also benefit with keywords searched for on search engines. There are a lot of additional domain extensions to choose from .com .co.uk .co.nz .net .biz .tv etc.. A new domain extension is recently available .ws (WorldSite or WebSite) Try this domain name extension as there may be more names available than the .com’s.
Top 5 Tips:
* Make the address easy to remember.
* Choose an original domain thats reflects what you are about.
* Include keywords in the domain for what your site or business is about.
* Decide what domain extension to use (.com .ws etc.) a local or international domain.
* Buy multiple domains if required. Similar wording for the domain names.
STEP 2: SETTING UP YOUR WEB SITE HOSTING AND EMAIL ACCOUNTS
Once you have your domain name, you can signup with a hosting account web server. There are many hosting account deals out there on the web. Search around for something suitable for your website and business. It can sometimes be best to get a hosting account that is within your country. There are even hosting deals called ‘resellers accounts’ where you can create hosting for unlimited domains plus divide and sell webspace!
Top 5 Tips:
* Search online for an appropriate hosting provider.
* Choose hosting that is within your country.
* Check details for MB allowance, email accounts, databases etc.
* See if the hosting account has an easy to use control panel.
* Decide if you want to run a ‘hosting resellers account’.
STEP 3: THE DESIGNING OF YOUR WEBSITE BY YOURSELF WITH WEBSITE TEMPLATES OR USE A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER!
If you have the skills you can design your website yourself by learning HTML or use web design software. Otherwise hire a web site designer to create your site. If you design yourself, there is a range of software available that is freeware and shareware, although we recommend buying Macromedia Studio 8 as a professional web design package.
You can take shortcuts in your design by using web site templates. Pre-designed sites that have navigation and colour schemes already created. These can save hours of time, lots of money and make your websites easier & enjoyable to design. 1000’s of free and professional templates are available on the internet.
Top 5 Tips:
* Create the website yourself or hire a designer.
* Choose suitable design software.
* Surf the internet to get ideas and learn from other websites.
* Use free or professional website templates.
* Search for free scripts and tools.
STEP 4: ADD SITE CONTENT AND PROFIT WITH GOOGLE ADSENSE!
Google adsense is a great way to earn money online and add content to your web site. Google makes it easy for website designers to display relevant Google ads on their site. Because the ads match your keywords and content, your visitors have will be interested in the links, plus you will profit from the links they click on. It’s as simply as that. You can also make extra money by referring others to the program. The first time they make $100US, your account is credited with $100US. Additional to this you can be credited $1 for every download and install of the Firefox web browser.
Top 5 Tips:
* Use text ad units for best results.
* Blend link colours to match your site.
* Place the google ads amongst content.
* Have links for referral signups.
* Place ads on all your pages and websites.
STEP 5: MAKING MONEY WITH AFFILIATE PROGRAMS!
Affiliate programs are a great way to make money online. You simply have links to products and services on your website. Once a visitor makes a purchase through your link your can receive some great commissions on sales or even simply by people clicking on your links.
Top 5 Tips:
* Signup to a selected few good programs.
* Create your own affiliate program for your products.
* Signup with Google Adsense to create profit fast & easy.
* Create multiple streams of income on different sites.
* Use your mailing lists to advertise your affiliate programs.
Stay tuned for the next part where we’ll look at promotion of the website you’ve created..
Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners are often misled or misguided on the topic of how to properly conduct market research that uncovers a profitable niche.
The path most unsuspecting entrepreneurs take is by ending up at keyword tool or database to begin their search.
As a keyword research expert and founder of one of the leading keyword research services on the internet, I can say with firsthand experience that keyword databases are not the first place to look nor should be even considered. Here’s why.
The primary keyword databases that are currently available to the general public only give search counts on a limited amount of data that accounts for 1% – 2% of the actual searches people do around the entire world. They can only predict (emphasis added) the real majority of searches that are being done on the big five search engines such as Google, MSN, Yahoo, AOL and Ask.com which hold 97%-98% of the keyword data.
Most importantly, keyword research only shows what keyword phrases people are using in the search engines to search for answers, not what people actually buy on the internet. Just because a group of people search for specific terms or brand names does not mean that’s what they purchase. That’s a key distinction many entrepreneurs and business owners tend to gloss over.
When looking for a profitable niche marketplace, your primary focus should be looking for proof of a group of hungry and rabid buyers that want to exchange their money for a service or product (information, physical or digital). Without this crucial qualifier, you may have the greatest product in the world, but you may be lacking a market to sell it to.
This article will present a number of great sources to look at which will give you a running start to uncover a truly, profitable marketplace exists before you go for the gold and put all your resources into a website, product creation or expenditures toward some sort of online property.
Once you establish that you have located a market that contains signs of adequate commerce moving through it, you then have a worthy reason to look further into a keyword research service to find out what keyword phrases people use to find the market you have chosen.
Let’s begin looking at how to identify a profitable market.
One of the best ways to find signs of a truly profitable marketplace is looking for a magazine in that industry. If a publisher has enough money to print and circulate a full color magazine, there are most likely advertisers that support the funding of the magazine’s ability to circulate all the copies which most likely means there are sales being made by those advertisers.
Now, this may bring you to question whether there is too much competition in a marketplace with so many advertisers selling in a magazine.
In fact, it’s a great sign to have competition which means there is an adequate amount of customers to sell to and a portion of a sizable pie to be had in that marketplace. If there is very little competition, you may (1) not have adequate product being sold in that space; or (2) not have a marketplace to begin with. The larger the competition is, the larger the piece of revenues you will be able to grab.
Without having to leave your seat, you can hop on over to Magazines.com and looking through the number of different categories to find a profitable topic or industry in which to start an online concern.
One of the things you’ll want to focus in on is the number of subscribers each magazine has and how long the magazine has been in print for stability purposes.
Make a list of magazines you want to look into and then go hunting for them at one of those large dedicated newsstands that covers just about every magazine on every topic.
To get a better look at what people are buying in the online world, you will need to ultimately decide whether you wish to represent physical or digital products.
There are two incredibly huge marketplaces that are massively trafficked, move a lot of product and are great places to find what people are really buying.
Let’s start with the first huge marketplace…
At eBay, you can look through a list of the most popular products people are buying through auctions or from eBay stores that vendors have setup. To see a visual path on how to locate the most popular products, please use the reference below to view the extended version of this article.
Another really big marketplace is Amazon and it’s not just for books. You can find just about any product and name brand that is a mover and shaker. Again, look at the most popular products in those categories that catch your attention.
If you wish to sell products of the digital nature which does not require inventory and which usually carries high profit margins for affiliates, you’ll want to check out the Clickbank digital marketplace that ranks product sales from highest to lowest sellers in each category.
Just browse through categories at Clickbank.com and you’ll instantly find the top sellers of digital info products, software and subscription services which are located right at the top listings. See also reference section below for a link to the extended version of this article for visual aids and more detailed guidance.
Once you gather the adequate market research, you can do one of the following:
• Create an online store that ships out physical products and merchandise (requires inventory)
• Sell merchandise through eBay auctions or their online stores (requires inventory)
• Create a site that represents vendors as an affiliate (requires no inventory)
• Create your own product, service or software for a digital product (requires no inventory)
Having used at least two of the four places above, you can be assured that you have conducted proper market research to uncover “proof positive” what people are buying and, thus, a profitable niche market.
You can then quickly build out a non-complex site with a simple product offering, find some low cost keywords to use in a Google Adwords Pay-Per-Click campaign with a minimal spend of $50 to test the market and see if you have a winner.
If the initial test results pan out, meaning that you pulled a profit from your test, you can invest more energies, conduct more extensive keyword research and expend more advertising dollars. If the test results do not pan out, find another market until something sticks.
I believe this should arm you with enough information to get you moving toward finding a market with bottomless profits.
I was looking around at some websites to see what things I liked and disliked about them. There is no doubt that there are things that attract people and there are things that totally turn people off.
I have made a list of 13 tips that can help make your website more successful. Most of them are simple but quite effective at making your site more user friendly.
1. Make your site simple – With all of the bells and whistles available, too many people are trying to see how impressive they can make their websites. They may be attractive but unless your goal is to win a contest for best site, impressing people with glitter will not make sales.
2. Make sure your site loads quickly – You do not have long to grab your customer’s attention. Make sure that you at least get a fair shot at grabbing his attention. If your site takes too long to load, you will lose a lot of potential customers without even giving your site a chance.
3. Don’t have too many items on one page – You do not want to confuse your visitors. You want to make sure that they understand th purpose of your site. Too many items on one page can make this difficult for some. Don’t take the chance. Make all of your pages simple.
4. Make sure every page lings to home page – It is much easier for your visitors to navigate if all of your pages link back to the home page. You will not lose as many potential customers if you make your site easier to navigate.
5. Get your own domain name – Free servers are great for some things but trying to gain credibility in a business is not one of them. It is well worth the price to get your own domain.
6. Make sure your hosting service offers full support – You want your service to have CGI access and offer secure ordering. This is a place that you don’t want to go for cheap. Make sure your service offers the things you need before you choose and save a lot of headaches down the road.
7. Offer as many options for ordering as possible – The more options you provide for ordering, the fewer cutomers you will lose. You should have a secure order form on your site. Offering the options to order by phone, fax and by regular mail can also increase the number who will order.
8. Make sure you accept credit cards – If you don’t accept credit cards, you are making a huge mistake. The biggest percent of your customers will pay this way if the option is available. Don’t take the chance that they will choose another method if credit cards are not a possibility.
9. Offer free information on your site – You will want to offer some type of free material on your site. Free material such as courses are a very good way to build yourself as an expert in the eyes of your visitor. Free ebooks are another good thing to offer. Make sure these freebies are good solid information that can help your visitors.
10. Get your visitor’s email address – You can accompish this in quite a few different ways. Giving away the courses or ebooks is one great way. You can publish a newsletter or ezine that your visitors can sign up for on your site.
11. Make sure to build your site with purpose in mind – If you are trying to sell a product on your site, then sell that product. If you are just trying to get addresses and make the sale later, then make that your purpose when building your site.
12. Encourage feedback – Make your visitor feel like his opinion is important. Offer him the chance to provide you with feedback. Don’t be too proud to make changes if you start hearing some of the same things from your visitors.
13. Remember that you are building this site for your customers – This is not a site to fulfill some fantasy of yours. Remember the purpose of your site. Keep your customers wants and needs in your mind as you design it.
Your website is one of those things that will determine if you are a marketing success. Make sure that you make your website user friendly. Also make sure that you don’t lose sight of the purpose of your site. If your sit e does not come across direct to your visitor, you are going to lose many visitors before you can even make a pitch.
The World Wide Web has captivated my attention ever since I was introduced to it by my mother (another WWW freak!). That was about 10 years ago and ever since that time, my interest about all the different things that can be done through the internet has continued to grow.
For the last couple of years, I have been grappling with the idea of making money online. Although I searched and found a lot of information, but most of it was vague and did not give me any concrete answer to the most important question: what to actually DO to make some money on the internet.
During my quest of getting answers, I came across a very informative video on the internet which gave me a lot of information about internet marketing and gave me some pretty good food for thought. The video talked about “Niche Markets”; what they are and why they are important to any person who would like to make money on the internet by selling a product or service. In fact, the concept of Niche Markets is applicable to any business or service provider, whether they operate on the internet or otherwise.
If you look it up in the dictionary, the word “Niche” means “A situation or activity specially suited to a person’s interests, abilities, or nature”.
A “Niche Market” is a group of people with a common interest or ability or nature, who would all be interested in a common product or service. The common interest of these people can be any thing ranging from a common hobby, a common problem, a common cultural background, to any common desire they might have. Let me explain this to you with a few examples:
1) A niche market of people who have a hobby of scrapbooking
2) A niche market of people who have common problem of lower backache
3) A niche market of people who are all Hispanics
4) A niche market of people who have a common desire of learning plumbing
People with common interests tend to cluster and you can easily find pockets of such people online; in forums and groups or visiting websites of their interest.
It is best to direct your marketing to select niche audiences for maximum benefit to you and to them. It is always a waste of time, effort and resources to market your product or service to a niche audience which is not interested in what you are selling. For example, if you try to sell scrapbooking materials to a niche audience who wants to learn plumbing, you will not get any customers. Granted that you will find a rare plumber who also likes to maintain his scrapbook, but you will not make a profit! Similarly, marketing a new and effective acne product to a group of people with lower backache will only lead you to lose the money you spent on marketing your innovative acne solution to them.
Niche Marketing is very cost effective and powerful; the world’s most successful businesses use this concept to maximize their profits. Therefore, if you have a certain product or service that you want to sell, concentrate your marketing efforts to the Niche Market that it caters too. Conversely, if you do not have a specific product in mind that you want to sell online, it is advisable that you seek out large Niche Markets and then think about what they would be interested in buying and then provide them with that particular solution/product/service.
I wish you great achievements and prosperity in all your endeavors.
Many marketers have been shifting their marketing budgets to the web over the past few years. Marketing online allows you to target specific audiences and easily track return on investment, commonly referred to as ROI. Unlike traditional marketing methods, results of Internet marketing campaigns are almost immediate. This allows you to better evaluate what elements of your campaign are producing results and which are not. When buying online media, you must be willing to shift your marketing dollars to the online methods that produce a positive return.
To be successful at Internet marketing, you must understand the essential secrets of Internet marketing. These secrets can allow you to achieve success by finding the right audience, communicating your message properly, and leading consumers down the path to purchase. These secrets include:
1. Website Directory Listings. Before you begin any marketing campaign, make sure that the website you’re promoting has been listed in the common directories such as DMOZ, Yahoo!, and Google. Even if you’re using a marketing page off of the root directory of your website, be sure that the primary site is listed. This ensures that prospects can continue to find your marketing pages long after you’ve launched your campaign.
2. Generating Traffic. In order to realize a return on your investment, you need to generate traffic to your marketing pages. There are a number of ways to do so online. Some of the most popular include Google AdSense, Overture, and Looksmart. Other methods include affiliate programs and targeted website advertising. Research other websites that have the audience you’re looking for and negotiate favorable ad rates for your online marketing campaign.
3. Marketing Pages. Don’t lead prospective purchasers to a generic website. If you do, potential buyers won’t know what to do next. The easier you make if for prospects to take advantage of your offer, the better. Whenever creating a marketing campaign online, provide a specific page for leading purchasers to your product or service or a billboard that showcases the offer. Take the guess work out of making a purchase and more consumers will buy.
4. Testimonials. Customer testimonials are the most powerful way to sell your product or service. When consumers hear from those who have purchased and used your product or service, they gain a certain level of trust and comfort in what you have to offer. Solicit testimonials after each purchase and use those that are the most convincing to prospective purchasers.
5. Create a Compelling Offer. Be sure to offer something that no one else is currently offering. If your offer is similar to your competitors or is not very interesting, consumers have no reason to learn more. Of course providing something for FREE is often a great way to entice potential customers. Maybe it’s a 3-day free trial or a free evaluation of some kind. Be creative, try something new, and measure the response.
6. Developing Trust. Before anyone will buy from you, your website or company needs to be seen as reputable. This means that consumers can purchase from you and not worry about the safety of their credit card information, personal information, or anything else being exchanged. A good method for developing trust is to purchase and display safety and reliability icons such as BBB Online, Trust-e, and VeriSign.
7. Provide a Guarantee. Nothing makes a consumer more comfortable with a purchase than offering a guarantee. Perhaps you can offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a money back guarantee. A guarantee is a great way ease the risk of making a purchase. If your competitors are offering a guarantee, you want yours to be equal or better.
Internet marketing is an incredibly powerful medium for segmenting your prospects and delivering targeted advertising. Online, you can easily measure you return on investment and refine your marketing campaign over time to improve results.
If you are a local business you can benefit from Internet marketing as well. Look for local directories to list your business or service. Or, you can supplement your local advertising with product marketing pages on your website. Internet marketing is more than just placing ads online, it’s using the web to communicate the value of your products and services.