Archive for June, 2010

List Building For Making Money Affiliate Marketing

©2010 Doug Champigny. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Whether you’re looking to start a home business, earn a little extra income using affiliate marketing or considering affiliate marketing work for an outside company, building a list is of prime importance to your success.

But to make affiliate marketing pay, it can’t just be a generic list of people in general – you have to make sure it’s a list of targeted prospects, people you already know are interested in your niche and hopefully in buying products and information you’ll be recommending.

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Currently there are two main ways marketers are using to build opt-in lists – by getting involved in joint venture giveaways and by offering a free incentive to those who sign up. The incentive is usually a free download of a report, audio or video that contains worthwhile information relevant to your target niche. The tighter your gifts’ focus the more targeted an affiliate marketing lead it will produce, since only those interested in that information will bother to sign up and download your gift.

Don’t make the mistake of using single opt-in, where the person fills in the form and gets instant access – you have no way of knowing if they entered a valid e-mail address or not. And if they entered someone else’s e-mail, you’ll be guilty of spamming if you start sending your affiliate promotion e-mails to that address.

Most autoresponder companies these days are set up for double opt-in, a system that protects you from that scenario. Once your prospect has filled in the form, an e-mail is generated to the address they gave asking that they click to confirm their intentions. Only once the person clicks that link are they then forwarded to the download page, thus verifying they really are a legitimate affiliate marketing lead who has given you permission to e-mail them.

Once you have that gift signup system, known as ‘squeeze pages’, in place, use the Web 2.0 sites and the business networking sites to let people know the gift is available. Web 2.0 sites like FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter have millions of users and usually include target market prospects for any given niche. You’ll find it’s much easier to draw traffic from these sites and the business networking sites with links to free downloads or videos than it is to get people to click on your affiliate links there.

Once that much of your affiliate marketing work is complete, considering adding an affiliate marketing video or podcast to your blogs and the video and podcast directories. At the end of the video or audio, invite your audience to download your free report on the subject – this can add some powerful juice to your affiliate marketing list building efforts, and will stay in place long-term to attract an ever-growing number of potential leads for you.

Once you’ve started building your list, send them regular e-mails to warm up your prospects. Focus on strong, related information that’s of help to your readers, and place your links where they fit the natural flow of your letter. As your list grows and your readers get used to you and your style, you should start to see your affiliate marketing pay rising as your readership does – just keep repeating the process above to get there faster!

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If you’re ready to start making money affiliate marketing or are already an affiliate but not making what you should, be sure to check out the professional Affiliate Marketing PowerStart coaching program created by world-famous super-affiliate mentor, coach and speaker Doug Champigny. Take a moment now and visit http://www.Affiliate-Marketing-PowerStart.info for information on the coaching program!

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Using A Blog As Your Affiliate Marketing Web Site

©2010 Doug Champigny, http://captain-affiliate.com. All Rights Reserved.

One of the most powerful tools for affiliate promotion is your affiliate marketing web site, and with today’s online technology a blog is usually your easiest and best choice.

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Self-hosted WordPress blogs are easy to set up, easily updated and can be indexed in many directories beyond the traditional search engines automatically. This makes doing SEO for your affiliate marketing web site much easier and lets you focus that much more of your time on other affiliate promotion strategies.

Building a money-making blog using affiliate marketing involves everything from the ads in your sidebar to the topics you write about. By keeping all your posts targeted to the particular audience you’re targeting you can build a following and start to warm them up regarding the products and services you’ll be offering them in your affiliate promotion.

Further, you can use ads and posts to drive targeted traffic to your squeeze pages and opt-in forms, thus building your affiliate marketing list at the same time. This dual purpose – building your list and demonstrating your expertise within your target niche, will constitute the bulk of your affiliate marketing work online, and can go a long way towards making affiliate marketing pay for you.

Your affiliate blogging also gives you a home base online, a great place to drive targeted prospects to from your article marketing, podcasting and affiliate marketing video efforts. While your site is designed to be a traffic magnet on it’s own, sending additional web site traffic to it using these techniques and the various Web 2.0 sites that allow business networking will help a lot for making money affiliate marketing.

Using affiliate marketing to make money online, especially with your own affiliate marketing web site, is one of the most common ways to start a home business – and setting your site up right, hooking it into the various Web 2.0 sites and using strategies like Twitter affiliate marketing to drive targeted prospects to your web site should make your affiliate marketing pay that much sooner.

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Affiliate marketing has always been the easiest way to get started making money online, but it’s getting even simpler to start your own affiliate marketing business online…

Now don’t misunderstand – it still takes time, effort and money to get going, but at least the current trend is evolving toward ‘push-button simple’ resources that could really ramp up your affiliate commissions while shortening the learning curve dramatically. When I first started online full-time over a dozen years ago, you had to learn it all – and all on your own. No experts existed yet, and we ‘online affiliate pioneers’ had to pretty much make it up as we went along.

And while there are obvious advantages to being a ‘senior statesman’ in affiliate marketing, the fact remains I REALLY wish that today’s tools had been around back then, that someone else had blazed the trails and already created these powerful resources so I could have just focused on making money online!

So what would I have done so differently? First, I wouldn’t have built over 150 websites – in fact I probably wouldn’t have built ANY static sites. I’d have focused instead on driving traffic to squeeze pages, both to build my lists and to build my affiliate commissions.

Now we know the best way is to offer a free report to attract targeted visitors who opt-in to our lists to download the free report. That gives you the virtual real estate on the confirmation page and download page to pitch your affiliate links, plus puts the targeted prospects into your pre-written e-course designed to sell them into that and other products, all on auto-pilot. You have to get the traffic to that squeeze page – the rest runs automatically.

But writing that report, setting up that squeeze page system and then writing the followup e-course still sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? And dealing with the autoresponders, squeeze page hosting, etc, just adds to it, right? Well Cindy Battye and Soren Jordansen thought so too, so last year they came out with ClickBank Pirate, a service that looks after all of that for you, leaving you free to just focus on driving the quality traffic to the video squeeze pages they set up for you. A MAJOR step forward towards making affiliate marketing push-button simple!

A huge leap, especially for those just starting an affiliate business – no need to learn HTML, PHP, FTP or any other refugees from their alphabet soup – they could simply sign up, get their links and go to town with it – and many new and experienced affiliate marketers have done just that and done very well by it – myself included!

But for experienced marketers who aren’t lazy (we’re a small but important group 😉 ), it wasn’t yet perfect… You see, while Soren & Cindy do a GREAT job at the automated followup – and the Captain doffs his cap to them for it – the fact remains the list is on THEIR server, under THEIR control. Yes, they keep putting new offers out to the people, ALWAYS using YOUR affiliate link, but then it’s not you who decides which offers to promote, and you have no way to promote your own products to that list. Hmmm…

So this year they developed an additional resource, much like ClickBank Pirate, that both goes great as an additional resource to CBP and addresses that issue too. Affiliate Silver Bullet gives you that many more squeeze pages to send people to, but also gives you the choice of having them host & run it all or downloading the components and running it on your own webspace, building your own list through your own autoresponders. And with services like Hosting4Marketers offering both hosting & autoresponders for just $20 a month, it’s really no big leap to choose that option once you have a bit of experience – experience easily gained pushing the ClickBank Pirate and Affiliate Silver Bullet pages they’re already hosting for you!

That makes that whole end of the biz push-button simple – but now what about the traffic-generation aspect – what’s new to help you build traffic, especially targeted traffic so vital to your affiliate marketing success?

First, you need a home base – your place on the web, your affiliate marketing base camp as it were. Once again, it’s become push-button simple to set up your own affiliate blog, thanks to the WordPress software and Alex Sysoef’s free secure blog installer – in fact, take the $17 upgrade there and installing blogs becomes a one-button simplicity – and that’s as push-button simple as you can get!

Turning that new blog into a powerful and profitable affiliate marketing blog IS NOT push-button simple, however – but don’t despair because at least it’s a lot easier than it was until recently. Mike Paetzold is an expert at all things WordPress and has been affiliate marketing for years now, and he’s recorded a 10-video set of step-by-step how-to videos on affiliate blogging called Profitable Blog Steps. While it doesn’t do the work for you, at least it shows you what to do, from researching your topic to picking your affiliate programs and CPA programs to creating your posts!

Even then, things like automating your sidebar advertising have become simple, using the new services like Jeff Dedrick’s Automated Traffic, which lets you choose various ads for affiliate products from ClickBank and then rotates them for you each time a new visitor hits your blog – sweet, eh? 🙂

Beyond that, article marketing, podcasting and video marketing all attract more traffic, more recognition and more signups, which is why we teach all 3 in the PowerStart Internet Marketing coaching program. And social media sites have become another major source of targeted traffic, and therefore affiliate commissions. Use guides like my Advanced Marketing on Twitter to learn the best and fastest ways to draw traffic from those sites. Use Squidoo, HubPages, and write Google knols – use my affiliate marketing knol and Internet marketing knol for examples.

So while affiliate marketing success as a whole isn’t push-button simple just yet, many parts of it now are and great guides exist for the remainder – check out the resources listed here and use them to help you build or start an online business of your own today!

About Captain Affiliate:
Captain Affiliate is the affiliate marketing alter-ego of world-famous Internet marketing mentor, coach and speaker Doug Champigny. Keep up online with Doug through his:
Internet Marketing Blog;
Internet Marketing Coaching Program;
Affiliate Marketing Coaching Program;
• On Social Media Sites: Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, EzineArticles, LinkedIn, iTunes;
• Or catch Doug speaking at a Live Internet Marketing Event near you soon!

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