Most affiliate marketers look for a market or product to promote that will give them the biggest paycheck, and is the "hottest" thing going. Some also seem to think there is a magic formula readily available to them, and if they could only find it, they would be instantly making money.
Actually though, the truth of affiliate marketing is more complicated than that. What it really comes down to is first of all to pick a good niche, but not just a good niche. You want to find one in an area that you're interested in and that you will enjoy working at. From there, it's just a matter of good marketing, hard work and dedication.
While there may not be any "secret" or "magic formula", there are a few "rules of thumb" that will work well in your online marketing endeavors will help you to increase your sales and survive in the affiliate marketing world.
What are these three rules?
First of all.. while a few people succeed in affiliate marketing with nothing but an email address and PPC marketing, a unique web page to promote each separate product is a must in my experience. Don't try to lump all of your products together on one webpage, or even on one domain just to save some money on web hosting though. It's best to have a site that is focused on each and every product, or at least a separate page for each product if you are in a broad niche such as internet marketing and want to promote several products in that niche.
One of the best ways to succeed in affiliate marketing is to include product reviews on the website so that your visitors will be able to learn firsthand from you about the product and what it can do for them. Testimonials from users who have already tried the product are also a good idea, but be sure that you are in compliance with the new FTC regulations regarding testimonials and have a legal page on your website stating it.
As of December 1st however, you need to have full disclosure when doing product reviews, stating whether you received the product for free, and also telling your customers that your affiliate links make you money. When using testimonials you have to do the same, and also tell people either that the results stated by your testimonials are not "typical", or state what you believe typical might be SInce this has not been clearly defined by the FTC as of this writing, it's best to cover your assets.
You should also write informational articles about the niche you're promoting, highlighting the product and including the articles on the website as well as posting them to article directories. When creating your pages, make sure the pages area attractive, compelling and include a call to action.. such as a "get it now" button linked to your Paypal or Clickbank address. Each headline should attract the readers to try and read more, even contact you. Highlight your special points. This will help your readers to learn what the page is about and will want to find out more.
Second.. build a list. To do this you can offer a free report to your readers, a weekly ezine, or a training course delivered via email.. If possible position your opt in form at the very top on the right side of your page so it cannot be missed. Whatever your opt-in method, create autoresponder messages that will be mailed to your prospective customers that have good content and value. According to research, you usually won't make a sale until at least your seventh contact with a person.
Only two things can possibly happen with the web page alone: closed sale or the prospect leaving the page and never return again. By placing useful information into their inboxes at certain specified period, you will remind them of the product or other products that you may be promoting. Be sure though as I said, that the content of your email is valuable and that you're not just giving a sales pitch, or you will lose your customer fast, I guarantee it. People don't want to be sold to, they want help, and they need to trust you. So establish that trust, and give them help, and you will a friend, and a customer for life.
When you write about your affiliate product, focus on important points like how your product can make life and things easier and more enjoyable. They came to your site in the first place because they were looking to resolve something, or to learn something. So, Include compelling subject lines in the email. And as much as possible, avoid using the word “free” because there are still older spam filters that dump those into the junk folder before anyone can read them.
And third.. Get targeted traffic. If the person who visits your site has no interest in what you are offering, they will click off and you will have wasted both their time, and potentially your money if you are using PPC. To make sure your free traffic is targeted, write articles for publication in e-zines and e-reports in your niche. Traffic from blogs, ezines, article directories etc will be targeted because the person was looking for information on your product in the first place.
Try to write at least a couple of articles per week, with 400-600 words each. If you continuously write and also upgrade your website, not only will you have current and relevant content that will bring in customers, Google and other search engines will love you and you'll get much better ranking. Through articles you can generate hundreds of targeted readers to your site in a day.
Remember too that even the best sites usually only convert 1 to 2 out of every 100 people into customers, so the more traffic the better. If you can generate 1,000 targeted hits for your website in a day, it means you may be able to make 10 sales based on average stats. This isn't a hard and fast rule though, some niches and pages generate as much as 20% or more in sales!
The above are not difficult to do. They will however, requires a little time and an action plan on your part. So put them to use in your affiliate marketing and you'll end up creating a good source of income and surviving in this business when most others fail.