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5 Factors That Influence the Success of Your Affiliate Program

June 24, 2011

Affiliate marketing is probably one of the most popular forms of advertisement today. That is because you do not need any money down to advertise; you just need to be able to prove that your product is worth that website owners time and before you know it, you will have sites clamoring to promote your products.

When using affiliate marketing to get ahead in the business world online, you need to make sure that you are aware of the issues at hand. Like everything else, there are a few problems that could occur when using this type of marketing.

#1 Traffic

One of the most common issues with any of the online money making ideas is not having enough traffic. When you work hard to build up your landing page and marketing strategies, you may be disappointed to see that there is hardly any traffic to the site at all. First focus on getting those few people to your site – through search engines or partnering with other sites, and then build on your success.

Once you see that traffic is coming in on a regular basis, you may think that your job is done and you no longer need to worry about it. That is not true. Getting comfortable with your current amount of traffic is the worse thing you can do. When running your own business and promoting products, the more traffic there is, the better it is.

Keep traffic coming in from all directions. Work hard on all major search engines and networks including social media sites. The more areas you can announce your product in, the better you will be. There is always another site that you can promote on. Finding it is not a problem either. You can always do a search and get different results every time.

#2 Pricing

You will need to rethink your prices. You may have them too high and no one can afford them. The same goes for prices that are too low. You won’t make enough money and people may be skeptical and think you are scamming them. Do your research and compare pricing. Be competitive but make money as well.

You can adjust your pricing on occasion so you can always have a competitive price list. Giving the potential affiliate a choice of pricing can make a difference because it puts them in control.

#3 Keywords

Keywords are very important in promoting a business today. If you don’t use good keywords you will not have enough traffic. Do your research and change the keywords a little to promote a product. This can generate more traffic and it can create more money for you. There are several online tools that you can use to help you come up with the right keywords based on the product that you are promoting or the focus of the product.

#4 Put it in words

Another issue is believing in the product that you are offering. If you don’t believe in your product then no one else will either. You need to offer the passion behind the products and people will begin to take you serious. Use the product, take pictures of you using the product, do a before and after picture, blog about it every day, hire a few people to also test the product for you and write a review.

#5 The focus

Losing the focus on the quality is a BIG problem. It takes continuous effort on your part to keep the quality high on your site. When quality is no longer a priority, traffic will decrease. You will need to work even harder to build up your traffic again. This can take time and you can lose money.

Regardless of how much money and time you have to spend on a product, you can use affiliate marketing to help you promote it. As long as you work hard to make it a success, anything is possible.

This is a guest post by Mary Mack. She is a contributing author at the site gradmoneymatters.com and loves to write about money making ideas.

Six Strategies to Lose Your Viewer

June 9, 2011

A strong web presence is crucial to the success of your business, especially in today’s economic climate. You know it, your marketing team knows it, and, unfortunately, your competition knows it. In other words, if you don’t pay attention to the quality of your website, you’re going to lose business to someone who does. According to a study by leading web traffic controller Akamai Industries, a poorly designed website can lose 30% of its viewers within seconds. They also found that if a site takes more than four seconds to load, 75% of its viewers will not return to the site.

Fortunately, there are simple solutions to the design problems that could be keeping your website from being as effective a tool as possible to bring you additional sales and optimize your search engine rankings. Take a look at the following “how-not-to” list, and then cast a critical eye on your own website. Even a few simple changes could pay big dividends in increased direct business and a more robust web presence.

Six Strategies to Lose Your Viewer: An Overview of What Not to Do and Why

1) Make sure your homepage takes forever to load:

Why Not Do This? To return to Akamai’s findings, you don’t have much time to keep a viewer. Web surfers are an impatient bunch. If they have to sit for five minutes waiting for a page to load, they’re going to look elsewhere. A friend of mine got married recently. When she was looking for a wedding photographer, she found dozens of photographers who wanted to showcase their best (and most high resolution) work on their homepages. The problem for the photographers was that the bride-to-be never got to see those pictures. She got impatient and went on to the next site. She didn’t use their services, she never linked to their sites on her wedding website, and she never raved about their fabulous photos to her friends. I’m sure their homepages looked fantastic once they loaded, but did they achieve their purpose?

2) Make your homepage visually boring

Why Not Do This? This may seem to contradict point number one at first, but a visually unappealing homepage can lose viewers in seconds. Use graphics or photos that catch the eye and draw a viewer in. We can take a lesson from print media here. Newspapers try to place a particularly striking photo “above the fold” on the front page to make their paper look more interesting than the one next to it on the newsstand. You can benefit from this technique as well. Just make sure that your graphics don’t compromise load time.

3) Design your site thinking only of SEO and not an audience of real people

Why Not Do This? In the quest for SEO and those all-important backlinks, businesses often forget a very basic truth. People aren’t coming to your site to help you increase your web presence or your search engine ranking. They want something – to get information, to buy a product, to be entertained. If you don’t provide interesting and original content, they won’t be satisfied. A site with quality content that is updated regularly will keep visitors on your site longer, bring them back again, and prompt them to email a link to friends. This will help you build backlinks naturally. Remember that sites go viral because they’re entertaining or emotionally engaging – not because of their keyword density.

4) Make the purpose of your site unclear:

Why Not Do This? Again, I’m impatient, and I know there are lots of other sites out there that will give me what I want. If I’m looking for grass-fed, certified organic goat cheese, I need to know pretty quickly whether I can find it on your site. If I need to spend more than thirty seconds trying to figure that out, you’ve lost me.

5) Make navigation confusing and difficult:

Why Not Do This? Ok. I can tell from your homepage that you have the cheese I want, but I don’t want to spend all day figuring out how to find a list of your products, prices, and shipping information. Make it clear where the links are that I’ll need to get around your site by placing them in one or two main areas. Don’t bury them all in a lot of text that I may or may not read. If I spend ten minutes on your site, but I never end up buying your product, you’ve won the first battle but lost the war.

6) Jam the homepage with lots and lots of text:

Why Not Do This? Your homepage should draw a viewer in and provide clear links to get to additional information. Use enough text to make the purpose of your site clear and capture the viewer’s attention, but don’t use so much that your viewers get information overload. Think of your own web browsing habits. If you wanted to spend hours reading a lot of words, you’d pick up a copy of War and Peace; you wouldn’t hit the Internet.

The common thread here is that you should always remind yourself that real people are viewing your site. Put yourself in their position. Is my site interesting and fun? Is it easy to get around on? Does it quickly give viewers what they’re looking for? If not, is there really any reason anyone should spend their time there?

Guest post written by Tim Eyre. He helps residential and business customers who use self storage when they don’t have enough storage space on their own property. Tim’s company has locations from coast to coast, including Las Vegas self storage.

The True Importance of Building a List

June 1, 2011

We have heard the saying “Money is in the list” many times before, but for some reason a lot of affiliates and marketers still don’t realize how important building a list actually is.

I am not sure why affiliate marketers forget this crucial business building step, but list building should be your highest priority if you sell anything online. I don’t care if you are promoting a “how to build an igloo” ebook. Build that list of subscribers, or your business will not last very long.

For example, Google banned thousands of affiliates a while back from their Adwords program and those who weren’t capturing names and email addresses got left out in the cold. Their income dropped almost instantly and there was nothing they could do about it.

The fact is that it should be your highest priority to build a list of raving fans that read your emails. Sure you can make money online by simply driving traffic straight to an offer, but as soon as your traffic source stops producing clicks or your ads get disapproved, you are finished.

Let me give you some of the biggest key benefits of owning a highly responsive list of subscribers.

1. Traffic on Tap – Anytime you want to test out an offer or make some quick cash, you can simply load up your auto-responder with a promo email and click “send”. When that email hits people’s inboxes they click on your link and go to the offer. If you did a great job at preselling, they are going to buy whatever it is you recommended. What’s really important is that you no longer depend on other traffic sources for income. You basically own a traffic source that you can always count on without paying a dime for clicks it generates.

2. Joint Ventures – This is a huge benefit that most affiliate marketers forget about. If you have a highly responsive list, you can leverage it to sell your own products and services. When you promote someone else’s product and do a decent volume of sales for them, 98% of the time they will offer a reciprocal mailing for you. There is a reason why marketers with big lists make most of the money in the internet marketing niche.

3. Knowing What Your Market Wants – Use your list to find out what they want and sell it to them. You can use a service like SurveyMonkey.com and create a simple survey to send out to your subscribers. Ask them what they want or what they need help with. Then create a product or service based on the data you collected. Why guess what they want, when you can simply ask them and remove the risk of poor conversions completely from the picture?

4. Leverage – Don’t ever underestimate people on your list. Some of them might have successful businesses and could become your super affiliates. Imagine announcing your affiliate program to thousands of people with a single click of a button. You could literally overnight get your site flooded with traffic by leveraging your subscribers’ efforts. 1000 affiliates driving 100 clicks per day is better than one joint venture partner, who can send a limited number of clicks.

5. Be Viewed As An Expert – When you have a big audience, your opinion and message, which you send out matters. You could have a big impact on your niche market if you have the power to reach thousands of people with a click of a button. A lot of marketers do not know how to position themselves as experts. Build a list and eventually you won’t have to worry about that because of the instant social proof you can generate.

I think the above 5 key benefits make things very clear and why it’s absolutely crucial to put 100% of your effort into growing your subscriber base. I hope you now realize how powerful this actually is, and how it can take your business to a new level very quickly.

Your ultimate goal is to capture the attention of your market and have it at your disposal any time you want them to take your desired action.

This is a guest post written by Pawel Reszka, the founder of Affhelper.com, a blog dedicated to making money online and internet marketing. Check out his blog is for some cool super affiliate tips.

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