Tuesday, 23 September 2008
Over time you learn a thing or two and you get accustomed to the way the industry ticks. For example, I can now distinguish between an idea that will make me money and one that won't. That's a skill that takes time and is always being fine tuned by actual results.
I thought it might be handy to jot down a few simple "rules" for ensuring your affiliate marketing efforts are a success.
Don't Run Before You Can Walk
It can be a bit daunting in the affiliate marketing arena. There are so many "idols" I respect and look up to. It can sometimes seem impossible to get from where I am to where they are.
It's true to say I've got a long journey ahead of me but it's wrong to say it's an impossible one. Affiliate marketing isn't a case of A to B. It's A to B to C to D to E ...... right through to at least Z - then there's the numbers to consider which go all the way to infinity (and beyond).
Believing you can get from A to B in one jump is a sure-fire way of failing. You couldn't run before you learned to walk.
Another interesting point is that affiliate marketing is like any other industry in any other sector. There's always ranks involved. For example, a courier driver needs to go through plenty of levels to become the Managing Director. Believing he could be the MD in one step is a sure-fire way of never reaching that goal.
Don't Go For The Obvious
I started with satellite navigation price comparison. I chose price comparison because that was most obvious to me.
It's not a big money spinner because it only attracts one type of searcher - a frugal one looking for the cheapest price. Immediately I have lower commission potential as the cheapest system is often the one purchases. Then there's the sector to consider - electronics is one of the lowest paid sectors.
the overall message here is that the most obvious idea may not be the best. Try and look for a unique angle. Find a writing style that is different, promote a sideline as a main selling point, etc.
Instead of promoting flowers as "bouquets of flowers", target your efforts to promoting events where flowers are given. Even this may be too mainstream so try and focus on an even smaller niche - how about hospital flowers? Get well soon flowers?
Remember that the major brands already invest millions in advertising. Your job is to generate sales by clinching the deal. Visitors are probably already familiar with the XYZ brand of TV's - they just need a reason to buy.
It Takes Time
You won't become rich and famous overnight. Just as you can't get from A to Z without going through all the other letters, you can't get from A to Z in a day. In my journey, I'm probably around the first eighth of the alphabet. Most "gurus" are probably not near Z as they would invariably always name an idol above themselves, who is further down the line.
Bear in mind a site can take months and even years to develop into a lucrative one. PPC can speed things up but can also be a great way to burn cash for the uninitiated or unskilled. I'm not buying my Lexus LS600 just yet and I'd advise you don't buy your Lamborghini Murciélago on the back of your first successful affiliate site.
It takes time but as the Guinness advert rightfully explained, "good things come to those who wait".
Don't Do It Just For The Money, But Consider The Money
Affiliate marketing is all about living a great lifestyle whilst working. It's about promoting products to people and being rewarded for generating sales. It's about getting the occasional freebie too!
Whilst money is the be all and end all, there are other factors to consider when choosing a niche. Firstly, you need to look at the volume of people searching. If only a handful of people are searching for "diamanté dog collars", you could build a niche site but don't expect it to fund your new car. On the contrary, higher searched markets are often more competitive so "mortgage" is going to be tough (not impossible given the right long term strategy). Generally speaking, the higher the payout, the greater the difficulty in getting conversions - either because of large industry costs, negative press or a high level of rejections. Examples of these are clearly loans, mortgages, contract mobile phones, etc.
Lower paid commissions are "easier" to secure but you need to work hard to create good volume. One mortgage sale could be equivalent to 100 TV sales. You need to determine which is more lucrative for you. Which will motivate you?
So ultimately, higher paying programmes can be more difficult to convert but don't disregard them simply on this basis. You need to consider the money but you need to consider many other factors alongside this.
Learn From Your Mistakes
The time when you stop learning is the time when you have reached your maximum potential. If you are not willing to learn (usually through trial and error) you could be doing it for the wrong reasons.
Ebooks are a classic example of this. You are way more likely to develop skills by reading "How To Do PPC Successfully" rather than one that says "I Make Millions And I'll Show You How". If you buy the latter, you are essentially saying that you are after a "get rich quick" scheme rather than learning the basics properly.
Mistakes are simply a way to learn and develop. Don't look at mistakes negatively. Okay, so some may have negative impacts (e.g. financial repercussions) but there's a lesson to be found in every mistake you make. Ignoring these lessons will not help you grow and develop.
Ultimately, if you do not actively seek knowledge then you cease to grow. You can, at best, hope to remain static but inevitably the only direction left is down.
You may also be interested in reading:
Comments are manually approved and hence can a while to appear. Questions, informative posts, and feedback comments are gladly accepted. Spam is deleted. Spam-type comments have their links removed (Comment Policy)
Thanks a lot for the great information. I sometimes take me affiliate marketing business for granted. I do not really spend much time on my campaigns, but I still do make money. Thanks for the articles.
Written on Thursday 25 September 2008 at 16:58:44 GMT (Permalink)
Thank you to all previous commenters.
Comments are now prohibited for this post.
This could be for a number of reasons but is most likely due to prevent the discussion from digressing.