Affiliate marketing can be easy and it’s one of the cheapest kinds of business to set up online. There are four basic steps that need to be looked at before building an affiliate site:
- Find a market where people are looking for answers to their questions or solutions to a problem.
- Locate an affiliate product that will remedy that problem
- Join the affiliate program that offers the product
- Market the product
You don’t need anything other than a blog or website and there are many places where you can advertise/market your product online free. It just takes planning, effort, dedication and time.
It looks so simple but why do so many affiliate marketers fail?
There are dozens of smaller aspects of affiliate marketing that must be understood before starting out. Google wants the internet to remain the information highway, not an enormous cyber shopping mall. That means providing high-quality content to visitors in the form of informative articles, educational videos and participating in social media. The essential thing to have is a plan.
Article writing for some people is difficult for any number of reasons. A professional writer can produce a well-written, keyword rich article in less than 20 minutes. Most people who are not used to writing may take two hours to write a terrible article. If that’s you, then outsource your writing. Content is the key to success in internet marketing of any description. Know your weaknesses but don’t let them hobble your efforts.
Promoting certain products can be difficult and writing about them even more so. By varying the kinds of articles that you write (or have written for you), you can keep your visitors engaged and coming back.
If someone is having difficulty in choosing a specific product, an honest product comparison article can often tip the scale. If you know your product very well that will help, and if you know the products you’re comparing yours to, that’s even better. (No doubt you will have chosen to promote the best product.)
Focus on the benefits of your product, if it’s easier to use than a similar product say so, if it uses less power, mention that. Anything that saves time and money is a great benefit to most consumers these days. Try and write your article in such a way that you’re not overly promoting your own product; your article will come across as being too heavily biased. You could even mention a couple of small points about your product that you personally don’t like, but you can mention that others may like something that you don’t. “The buttons are rather small, but then I do have big fingers but it does make it all the more compact.”
It may take you quite some time to write a comparison article but the effort you put in will be appreciated by those who can’t decide.
Testimonials have to be handled quite carefully, thanks to many internet marketers who make them up. Convincing testimonies should include photographs, perhaps before and after shots. Too many testimonials don’t ring true, especially for a product that has only been on the market for a couple of days. Testimonials should be personalized “Mary’s weight loss techniques helped me lose 40 pounds in two months.” If it’s a physical product then the testimonial is even more convincing if she is photographed holding the product. Getting genuine testimonials can be difficult, but please don’t resort to making them up. You could offer free products to a limited number of “testers” if they’re willing to submit an honest testimonial to you. That can work like magic! Check out Warrior Forum, marketers call for reviewers frequently.
The Latest News in your Niche
One of the best ways to stay on top of what’s happening in your particular niche is to subscribe to other people’s RSS feeds and relevant news feeds. You can gather a lot of ideas for articles this way and if there’s breaking news and you can quickly write and post an article talking about that news, that will keep you on the leading edge. You can also create a Google alert based on your product’s brand name.
This is slightly different than writing a product comparison article. There will be many people hunting around online for information about similar products to your own. Remember with a product review you’re not comparing it to the product that you are promoting, so it’s a lot easier. Obviously it’s a good idea to have experience with the product you’re reviewing – even if it means purchasing it and then taking it back for a refund! If you have photographs of you with the product you’re reviewing your article will be a lot more convincing.
The idea behind writing any of this kind of content is to build a trusting relationship between you and your potential customer. I’m a great believer in honesty and if you don’t know the answer to something, for heaven’s sake don’t make an answer up. Someone will find out and all that trust will dissolve. You are there to help people make decisions and find out what’s best for them. By building trust they may not buy the product you’re promoting, but there’s a good chance they may buy something else from you in the future, especially if you have built an email list.
If you’re an affiliate marketer do you use these different kinds of content? If you don’t then do you think this could be useful?