Affiliate Marketing Everything
Affiliate marketing is more obvious than you think. Today, the web is generally the first place you go to for information, either preliminary or detailed in nature, on a daily basis.
Sometimes you will end up on a blog or news site, get the information you are looking for, and move on about your day.
How many times, however, have you started searching for the answer to a question only to find that process ends with the entering of your credit card information into an ecommerce site? How did you get there? Very often, this has happened with influence from the application of skilled affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing means earning a commission for promoting someone else’s products, so in its most basic form, is a quite simple idea.
There are companies that have products to sell (duh right?). These may be physical products such as clothing or baby strollers, they may be services such as cable TV or web hosting, or they may be information distributed through electronic documents.
Companies that offer these products for sale rely on referrals from trusted sources for sales leads. This concept is not an idea that was invented out of the web. Marketers have earned commissions on sales for as long as marketing has been a product.
The main idea with affiliate marketing is to pre-sell a product. Notice I said pre-sell. The actual selling of the product will be handled through the vendor’s sales page. The distinction between pre-sell and sell is significant and warrants some expansion here.
With pre-selling, you are mainly presenting an informational solution and product to your site visitor. Most of the time, people are looking to the web for information, at least for the type of queries that would end up on your marketing page. With selling, you are actively trying to solicit a purchase.
This should be reserved for the sales portal. To pre-sell, you must be offering a quality informational service to gain trust. Otherwise, you will sound like a Vegas strip time share salesman, and let me tell you, that approach does not work on the internet.
Consider this example. If a woman knows she wants to buy a case of diapers through an online retailer for her 11 month old child, she is probably just going to go straight to Amazon and order the diapers.
She already knows what she needs and where to get it. What about a woman expecting her first child, who knows nothing about diapers? She is most likely searching for information to help her make that selection.
Let’s pretend you happen to be a mother or father of 4 kids and are a leading authority on diapers. You know everything there is to know about the ins and outs of diaper purchasing.
Along with being a diaper consultant, you can advise new parents on topics ranging from how to select a stroller, what sippy cups to buy or what is the best laundry detergent to get strained carrots out of a silk blouse.
You have a genuine, high quality skill set to share. So, what does affiliate marketing have to do with this?
How Affiliate Marketing Works
As an affiliate marketer, you sign up with a merchant, Amazon.com for example, to send them traffic to sell products. You will get a specially formed code to include in your links to Amazon, and when a customer follows that link from your site and completes a purchase, you get a percentage of the sale as a commission.
Continuing with our example, let’s say you have developed a nice blog with a varied selection of helpful articles related to raising children. In one particular post you discuss the merits of various diapers and your personal experiences with them. Somewhere on the page, you include a link to your recommended diapers that leads to the Amazon product listing.
If done correctly, the customer will not feel like you are telling them to go there. It should be perceived as secondary content on the page with the primary content being the information in the post.
By offering this link, someone who finds your post helpful, and is persuaded into making a choice to purchase the product, is likely to click the link and buy some diapers.
This is the holy trinity of web commerce; the customer has information they need, the merchant sold a product and you earned a commission from the sale.
The best part is if you continue to provide ongoing and relevant content, people are likely to bookmark and refer to your site on a regular basis.
There are four main principles to successful affiliate marketing that I would like to briefly discuss here.
Powers of Persuasion
Persuasion is a type of influence, a very specific type of influence requiring the active involvement of a person or force to induce the influence.
You may not think about it, but you hold a considerable amount of persuasive power. When you love a product, you talk about it to your friends, show it to them, demonstrate it and let them try it out.
People remember these things when it comes time to make a purchase. You can apply this concept to pre-selling for affiliate marketing. Gain the trust of your followers, and they will be influenced by your suggestions.
Recognize Pain Points
Understanding the causes of pain and pleasure offers endless opportunities for producing high quality content. If you can offer credible advice that will mitigate pain, or produce pleasure, the selling part of marketing will take care of itself.
The Power of Your Persona Towards Your Audience
With your persona, you are building an identity that your audience can relate to. A battle proven mother of 4 will be seen as a credible source to the new mom.
Building this persona and maintaining trust with your audience is absolutely critical to successful affiliate marketing, and don’t confuse “persona” with trying to be someone you are not, instead, find an audience that resonates with your natural self.
Maybe you are a gamer, or a musician, or an introvert. Regardless what your persona is, find an audience that resonates.
Provide the Best Possible Content
People have been using the internet for a while now, and they generally know what they are looking at. If you produce trash, you will be ignored.
It is impossible to guide someone to a link for a product if the actual product you are offering, information, is garbage. Again, trust is critical to this process.
Whether you produce your own content or buy it from others, the quality of the content will ultimately determine your success
Clickbank Affiliate Marketing Program
Clickbank is an affiliate marketing network that specializes in selling downloadable information and products (digital products).
This information comes in the form of eBooks, videos, instructional guides and software. There are a wide variety of topics available, and anyone can produce a product to sell through Clickbank.
There are winemaking guides, cookbooks, computer repair manuals and thousands of other options to promote. Since anyone can produce anything for Clickbank, you need to be very careful when choosing what to promote.
Although I have experienced that their review process is very well established and reliable.
Remember, you are pre-selling through a trusted relationship, and protecting that trust is a foundation principle for your business.
Thankfully, there is plenty of high quality content to be found here. The best part of being an affiliate marketer with Clickbank is found in the high commissions earned from each sale, which can be as high as 75 percent of the total sales price.
If you have a blog that covers computer repair or iPad app reviews, you will find Clickbank articles that expand on topics you discuss in your blog.
These can be linked and you will get commissions from any sales. Maybe you have a web design blog and you are discussing WordPress themes.
There are plugins and themes available for sale on Clickbank that can be provided as links on your site
I used Amazon in the first example detailed in this article, and that was not just a random chance. Amazon has a large, well respected, affiliate program called Amazon Associates. Some of the first dollars that I ever made online were with amazon associates.
You provide a link to Amazon, either to their main homepage or to a specific product, and get a commission from each sale made resulting from that click. Notice I said each sale.
If your new mom clicks through to Amazon to buy the diapers that were highly reviewed in your article, and while on Amazon also decides to purchase a variety of baby clothes, a sippy cup and the latest copy of “A Step by Step Guide to Baby’s First Year,” you will earn a commission from each of these purchases.
This is a huge benefit since Amazon sells nearly anything you can imagine, is highly trusted, and once on the Amazon site, customers are highly likely to make a purchase.
If you are interested in promoting physical products, or if the information you have to share is primarily related to physical products, Amazon should be at the top of your list for affiliate marketing.
You now have the basic idea for what affiliate marketing pertains to, and I have given you two reputable companies with outstanding programs. From here it is up to you to take advantage of this opportunity, and share your valuable knowledge with a world of internet information seekers.