Affiliate Marketing- What are the 4 essential must have tools for the affiliate marketer?
You've decided that you want to start an online business and a short while after doing some research into how to start, you find yourself in a virtual sea of information.
Trying to find reliable information on what the essential tools are can be difficult. Your search leads you to join membership sites promising overnight success if you just stick with it and pay monthly or alternatively promise instant Google popularity by blogging. You usually end up in virtually the same place you started minus a few hard earned dollars and some useless software and no idea of where to start.
Foremost in your mind are the questions that most have who embark on this journey:
What does it take to become a successful internet marketer?
What are the ingredients of an affiliate marketing success story?
Is there a shortcut to Affiliate Marketing Success?
All of these questions play around in the minds of affiliate marketers who want to be successful in this business and while each of us wishes otherwise, there is no quick and easy answer. It takes determination, organization, hours of learning and yes, it takes time and work to get to the point where you see the light of day.
While it is true that there are some who stumble into their 15 minutesÂ of glory and make significant amounts of money, you're better off buying a lottery ticket than trying to duplicate/purchase their product or copy them and I'll tell you why in a minute.
Often Affiliate Marketing is touted to be the easiest and most effective ways to make money onlineâ¬Â¦..but it's not as easy as it sounds
Consider the following topics that are all elements of the marketing scene:
Testing, Tracking, Server Maintenance, Site Maintenance, Article Writing, Site Content, Niche Research, Audio Creation/Editing, Video Creation/Editing, Free Reports, Graphics, Blog Posting, Budgeting, Keyword Research, Upsells, Cross-sells, Newsletter Writing, Autoresponder Content, Analyzing Your Market, Segmenting, Copywriting, PPC Campaigns, Recruit Affiliates, Customer Relationships, Legal and Compliance, Manage other Sites, Find JV Partners, Fulfillment, Acquiring testimonials, Link Building, Handle Sales/Refunds, Product Creation, Search Engine Optimization, Site Design, Handling Merchant Accounts â¬Â¦ and that is only the beginning. (thanks to Dave Everett online for that brief outline)
Now after realizing the shear amount of information that is involvedâ¬Â¦is it any wonder that many look for that hidden shortcut and buy the next miracle product that guarantees to rocket you to success?
It takes time and knowledge, but with affiliate programs by the thousands, flashing advertisements of how to make money instantly overnight, Â many starting out Â simply try to spend their way into success by purchasing every offer that looks like it's the "Answer" only to find that the promise of instant riches is usually only true for the seller.
There is an old saying that "you can't roller skate in a buffalo herd" and the same holds true for the affiliate marketer.
The more popular an instant get rich product becomes the harder it becomes to actually realize any actual profit from it as the market becomes flooded with it. Save your money and invest in Camtasia, Xara or XSite Pro instead, if you have the budget.
So the question really becomes:
How do I find reliable sources of information that won't cost me a small fortune to learn the process?
What Are the Basic Tools That I need to start building a business?
Having a basic overview of the process will help clarify the essential tools that you need to start and then in subsequent articles and videos, I will concentrate on each individually â¬Â¦
After consulting some of the most successful affiliate marketers in the business, including Sterling Valentine, Marlon Sanders, John Thornhill, among others ... the following are:
The top four must have tools/ingredients for the successful affiliate marker:
Must Have Tool #1: Your Own Website
The most important and indispensable tool in Affiliate Marketing is your own website.
The first step in any successful affiliate marketing business is building a good, credible and professional looking website. It should be a user-friendly website, which will appeal to your prospects and encourage them to click on the links to the products and service you are promoting and make a purchase. Therefore, you must first concentrate your efforts in building a website that will cater to what your prospects need.
The most important thing you should consider is that almost all web users go online to look for information, not necessarily to go and buy something. Above all else, make your website full of original, relevant and useful content.
People will love articles that are appealing and helpful. Keep in mind that, in the internet, content is still king and good quality content will not only build your credibility, it can also help you achieve a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and useful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the field, making you a more trustworthy endorser of the product or service you promote. Establishing a good reputation is a good step in building up a loyal consumer base.
To help build that website and to learn the process by actually doing, I am creating a Toolkit to take you through the process from start to finish using free tools to start you off without spending a great deal of money .
Now you can purchase all of these ready-made but I believe that by creating with the free tools and a free html editor (Kompozer.net) helps you to learn the process on a shoestring budget using your own creativity. From the toolkit here is another resource that will help in that area - http://notepad.com/
Must Have Ingredient/Tool #2: Motivational Incentives
Competition is extremely tight in the internet world. You must always be one-step ahead of your rivals to ensure that you capture a significant share of your target market. Therefore, you must use every possible means to encourage people not only to visit your site but also to click and proceed to the websites of the products and services you are promoting. Building an opt-in email list is one of the best ways to gather prospects.
Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Better yet, offer incentives to your prospects to encourage them to subscribe to your newsletters. You can present free software's, access to exclusive services and other freebies that will be helpful to your prospects.
Must Have Ingredient/Tool #3: Autoresponder
Of all of the tools that are needed, this is one that is indispensible. You need to build a client base list so that as you build your product list you can then offer your solutions or affiliate products to them.
Endeavor to create an ongoing relationship with them, no matter what niche you're in by sending surveys and questionnaires to determine just what it is they need; then provide relevant emails containing information addressing that need and put your product as a secondary offering -- perhaps a linked banner or website at the end of the email.
Use Survey Monkey in your emails to find out what they really need! It's free and easy to use with options to upgrade at a certain volume.
You have undoubtedly seen for yourself and watched with amazement (if you have ventured into marketing and subscribed/purchased a product) as they fill up your inbox with email after email with promotional offers but with little or no content that is actually useful.
Some will send out 4 or 5 a day believing that you're bound to order something but nothing could be further from the truth.
Just sending out email after email containing nothing but affiliate offerings will quickly get you off their list! If you don't double opt in (send a confirmation request then an "opt" out link in every email) you will be added to their junk list (because they can't opt out) and you will be left wondering why all of your effort in creating your emails is creating such a high bounce rate!
After choosing a niche, you need to build up content, both for your website and for your emails. You want to provide relevant content that is informative. So visit your intended niche by searching for magazine articles or forums on the topic.
With that in mind, I have an Internet Marketing Library available for free, which you can use to start and I have included access to a free autoresponder that you can use to build that list.
It is absolutely free and is used by some of the top marketers that were consulted in making this article.
Must Have Ingredient #4: Link Popularity and Targeted Traffic
The importance of driving highly targeted traffic to your website cannot be emphasized enough. The all-important web traffic is at the top of the list of the most important entities in the internet world. Attracting people to your site should be the first step you should carry out. Do everything to achieve a high search engine ranking. Link Popularity is one of the factors that search engines use to determine search engine rankings. Therefore, to enhance your link popularity, you must launch an aggressive reciprocal link campaign.
One of the best ways to do this - at no cost at all - is by submitting articles, with your website's link at the resource box, to e-zines and free article sites. You will not only gain exposure, you will also have the opportunity to advertise for free, just include a link back to your site. The more sites you submit your articles to, the better your link popularity is. Make your articles original, relevant and useful so that more websites will pick it up and post it.
By utilizing these sites you're making your written works available to people on the Internet and mobile devices, and most importantly, fueling the conversations happening round them. All three are online communities and marketplaces to search out and share professional documents.
Here are the three sites it's essential to try:
- see the Article Directory section on my website for an ever-growing list.
(read more about driving traffic toÂ your site under the Article section Drive Visitors to your site- http://neilsonsweb.com written by Â Mark Schwartz.)
These are but a few of the many tools/ingredients that an affiliate marketer can use to maximize earning potential.
The possibilities are endless and are limited only by your imagination, creativity, resourcefulness and determination.
And by the way in my newsletter I'll let you know who to submit your story to when you do succeedâ¬Â¦. to gain even more targeted traffic!
Notice I said when and not ifâ¬Â¦.?? Remember this journey is not a short one, so be determined to succeedÂ Â In a nutshell:
1.Â Â Â Â Â Â Look for a product that fits in with your business theme
2.Â Â Â Â Â Â Create a web page for itÂ with useful information
3.Â Â Â Â Â Â Find a host to host the web page
4.Â Â Â Â Â Â Publish it and drive traffic to it
5.Â Â Â Â Â Â Capture emails to create a list to promote other products with an autoresponderÂ -
6.Â Â Â Â Â Â Never give up. Know that you will reach your goal!
Thank you and look for more informative articles in the near future. To view the video and for more ideas and resources visit http://neilsonsweb.com and for the free lnternet Marketing Library with free autoresponder visit http://neilsonsmarketing.com