Archive for the ‘ Affiliate Marketing ’ Category

Targeted opt-in lists are the lifeblood of any affiliate marketing business. Three opt-in list factors will determine how successful your affiliate marketing campaigns are and determine your income potential online: the size of your list, how tightly-targeted the list is to your niche and how much you help your readers once they’ve opted in to receive your e-mails.

Today I’ll deal with certain aspects of the first two – the third needs a whole series of posts on its own. The size of your list and how targeted it is are very closely related, as both are dependent on HOW you build opt-in lists…

If you’ve been doing ANY affiliate marketing so far, you should already know the importance of setting up list-building funnels – at least one for each niche you’re marketing to. These funnels are a simple process: an opt-in page giving away a free gift – e-book, report, audio, video, software, etc. – a confirmation page letting people know they have to click a link in the e-mail they just received, and the landing page they download their gift from. From there it’s up to you to use a pre-written e-course or regular e-zine issues to help them more than you promised to to secure their signup.

Once that funnel is in place, get your free offer in front of as many targeted prospects as is affordably and ethically possible. One of my favorite methods of promoting my free gifts is in list-building giveaways – joint-venture events put together for exactly that reason. Each participant in the giveaway promotes the event, and gets to put their gift on the site for event visitors to see. Make sure you’re adding your gifts to giveaways that are aimed at the right prospects for you – for example, as I write this I’m in two events that are looking for partners/contributors:

Kerry Russell’s Internet Marketing Giveaway that runs from Tuesday May 28th to Tuesday June 11th, 2013, and…

Stephanie Mulac’s Healthy, Wealthy and Wise Giveaway that runs Thursday June 6th to Sunday June 30th 2013.

(Both are open to new partners now, and while you’re best to get in before the launch date, you can still join and add your product right up til the end of each event.)

In these two examples I’ll use the former to build our lists in the mainstream Internet marketing and affiliate marketing niches, while the latter will help build opt-in lists to go with our fitness and weight-loss web properties. This is what I meant by targeting your funnels – even though I’m a Certified Personal Trainer, giving out reports about weight loss or building muscle to the general marketing trade would do very little to help them – or me. Similarly, offering marketing or business-building reports to the general public looking for health and wellness help would mean very few signups for the time I’ve invested – they’re not going to care that I’m a Certified Master Business Success Coach or that I have about 40 years of business marketing experience since it doesn’t relate to what they need right now. Sure, there will be some crossover, but not enough to make it a worthwhile use of my time.

Obviously you’ll be promoting your opt-in pages in other ways – on your blogs, on social media, maybe using paid solo ads or doing ad swaps, etc. – and that’s the beauty of opt-in list building funnels: their versatility. Build each one once, then use a number of ways to drive targeted prospects to the page.

One thing that always amazes me when I discuss list-building giveaways is the number of people making negative comments about them. Many point out that one gets a lot fewer signups now from each event than they did 5 years ago… So what? It’s still a free way to add dozens, sometimes hundreds, of new subscribers to your lists. Some say it’s too much trouble – but that’s a cover for them being too lazy to succeed – if they had a funnel it takes 3 minutes to get your gift listed; if they don’t have a funnel they don’t have a list and won’t be succeeding until they do…

But the remark that always bothers me is “they just attract ‘freebie-seekers'”. When I hear that I drop the topic completely, because the person has just told me they’re strictly looking to make money, not looking to help people – and I have no interest in helping people who aren’t also helping others. Plus, of course, having driven online sales of over a million dollars, I know their assessment is not just wrong, but foolish. When you pay it forward helping others, it always comes back to you one way or another!

Will leave it there for today… If you’re reading this in time and are in the IM/MMO or health & fitness niches, use the links above to get into the current giveaways. If neither is your niche, search for ‘[niche] giveaway’, substituting in the niche you’re after. If there isn’t one, consider setting one up – you may be into virgin territory, which usually means great response to the first few events. In my next post I’ll show you how to make money from your list-building efforts, money you can use to put your list-building into top gear – see you then!

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Have you recently been trying to figure out why a new breed of affiliate marketing names are showing up above yours in affiliate contests? Are your affiliate marketing efforts being blown away by younger affiliates and work-at-home moms? Chances are you’ve been disadvantaged by competitors that are using social media far more effectively than you are!

Most online business owners who have been running their online businesses for any length of time use social media and social bookmarking sites in a very limited, one-off manor, not yet realizing many of their traditional marketing techniques have lost a lot of their power in the last couple of years. Article marketing and video marketing are still very reliable – but then those really were the start of the whole social media trend, allowing for comments, feedback and discussion and allowing others to share and/or embed the content. Isn’t that the premise that made sites like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest profitable?

So social media isn’t new – but it’s come out of it’s infancy and is now flexing it’s online muscle. Billions of page views are generated by the big social media sites, and they’ve become a major source of traffic generation for online marketers who have mastered the art. But how are YOU doing at mastering social media marketing strategies?

Sure, you know about Facebook, Twitter, Google+, EzineArticles and YouTube – but what about Pinterest, Tumblr, Klout, Kred, Feedage or StumbleUpon? Do you know how each works, and which do help your affiliate marketing results and which don’t? More importantly, do you know how to tie them together into a cohesive marketing effort to build your traffic and your branding right now, while building an empire of online material for unstoppable long-term traffic to your sites and affiliate promotions?

Download Doug Champigny's Niche Social 2012 For Free!

Download Doug Champigny's Niche Social 2012 For Free!

Well, not to worry… Having heard that same story over and over again from people at all levels of affiliate marketing, I decided to reveal my strategies for dealing with it all, since it’s working well for Teri & me in our niche marketing efforts. Better still, I’m going to let you download Niche Social 2012 for Free! Just follow that link to the site, and just for signing up for my free newsletter you’ll be able to immediately download this power-packed, no-fluff, 37-page guide to socail media marketing…

Most social media guides either focus on one site or just lightly discuss each – Niche Social 2012 shows you how to quadruple your online presence for free, then how to use the various social sites to promote those. From Twitter & the 3 other free resources you need to manage Twitter effectively right on through, every step ties all your marketing into a tightly-knit marketing mix that’s unstoppable when you stick to the plan.

Try out the strategies in Niche Social 2012 today – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results! And if you think of it, once you’ve got the system in place, come back and let our audience know how it works for you, ok? Thanks!

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Affiliate Marketing 2011 – Affiliate Marketing Predictions For 2011

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

Affiliate marketing in 2011 will require more effort but should lead to higher residual affiliate commissions for those who put in the effort to start affiliate marketing correctly.

Earlier today I posted my Internet marketing predictions for 2011 – if you haven’t read that post, please do before carrying on reading here. Not only does it give a lot of background on the basis for those (and these) predictions for 2011, but there’s also an important case study on blogging for affiliate marketing and Internet marketing in general.

Let me preface the following Affiliate Marketing Predictions for 2011 by separating affiliate marketers into two groups – the wannabes who have bought into the push-the-button-and-make-millions-with-no-effort-or-experience myth and serious affiliates intent on building a stable online income, either to become self-employed entrepreneurs or simply to create an affiliate marketing income stream as a supplement to their current offline earnings.

In 2011 the former group will find reduced returns that continue to drop throughout 2011, and we’ll ignore them in this post. If you believe you can make a good income or reach super-affiliate status with little or no effort, stop reading now – you’re just wasting YOUR time and MY bandwidth. But if you’re less gullible and realize there’s great money to be made online but that it requires time, effort and a reasonable investment in your own future, read on – this post is for you!

2010 Was a brutal year for most affiliate marketers, as response to mailings dropped and people dropped out of membership sites in droves. Not those who were using and making money from the memberships, but the 50% or so who sign up, seldom or never use the sites, but also don’t bother to cancel – this year they did.

Not everyone saw major problems with affiliate marketing in 2010 – and those who did well point to the solutions for affiliate marketing in 2011. Those who combined effective pre-selling with a diversified marketing mix set up affiliate marketing funnels that led to, and will continue to lead to residual commissions that continue long after the affiliate has moved on to other projects.

Forget about the ‘wild west’ days of affiliate marketing in the 1990’s and most of the first decade of 2000 – 2009 when you could just choose any product at random from ClickBank, send out your e-zine promoting it and be finished for the day, knowing the commissions would come pouring in. Same for jumping from big JV launch to big JV launch, simply sending out the same canned pitch as 50 or 100 other marketers. Successful affiliate marketing in 2011 will require more planning, research and effort than that.

Don’t misunderstand – affiliate marketing will remain the easiest way for someone to start a business online, and the sky’s still the limit for what you can earn in affiliate commissions. But to achieve those lofty super-affiliate incomes you’ll have to convert your affiliate marketing efforts into a professional and polished business, not just a haphazard collection of promotions. And you’ll need to pay more attention to testing & tracking in 2011, to be sure you’re using your time and energy in the most effective way possible.

If you’re already groaning at the idea of the extra work, re-examine your goals to be sure you’re not really in the first of the two groups mentioned above. If it hasn’t already become obvious to you, 2011 will hammer home that affiliate marketing part-time or full-time is a BUSINESS, and you’ll need to make sure you operate your online business that way. Salespeople focus on getting THIS sale – marketers focus on building sales volume in a sustainable fashion over the long term. Yes, anyone can be an affiliate – but only those willing to invest the time, sweat-equity and at least some capital will be able to build a solid affiliate marketing business that can sustain them long-term.

Credibility in Affiliate Marketing

Forget the days of sending out just anything or promoting a product just because it pays a high commission. In fact, when you get an invite to a JV launch that focuses on how much you make per sale or the prize you can win, simply delete the invite without wasting your time clicking through. If the product is truly useful and of benefit to your target market, they’ll focus on how good the product is instead – telling you how much you’ll make because it’ll be an easy sell since it delivers so much value for the price.

Too many people are starting to see affiliate marketers in the same light as the offline world views used car salespeople, but acting professionally can keep you from being tarred by that same brush. For proof, look at the reputations of super-affiliates like Rosalind Gardner and Willie Crawford – both have huge followings that love, trust and respect them – and trust their product recommendations completely.

So how did they get, and continue to earn, that respect and credibility? First, they check out any product before they promote it – both to ensure it’s high quality and that it over-delivers value for the price and, more importantly, that it will help their people in their online pursuits. Recommend just one or two poor products and your credibility plunges – recommend good products that aren’t of help to your followers and your affiliate commissions plummet.

So rule #1 for affiliate marketing in 2011 is to never recommend a product you haven’t checked out first. Yes, this means investing a bit to get the product yourself first. But if it’s the right product you’ll make that back many times over when you promote it, and if it isn’t then it was a cheap price for protecting your reputation and credibility and keeping the trust of your hard-won audience.

Residual Affiliate Marketing Commissions

Historically, the way to residual commissions has been to promote great services or memberships that continue to pay you as long as your referral stays a part of the site. For example, in 2010 we received ClickBank cheques every month from promoting ClickBank Pirate and Affiliate Silver Bullets, a cheque every month from Socrates Socratous at Resell Rights Fortunes, and affiliate commissions via PayPal from Viral E-Book Explosion, Hosting4Marketers and Expert WordPress.

But 2010 saw the trend to people being more leery of joining membership sites, or joining and then leaving sooner. In tough economic times caused by the global recession, your target audience will be less likely to commit to ongoing payments than they will to paying a one-time price for a product, except for necessary services like hosting and autoresponders. So what you need to do is create your own recurring commissions from products and services that only charge, and pay out, once.

How do you do that? By creating resources online that presell the product and sending traffic to that page using your long-term traffic tools like your blog, social bookmarking, article marketing, podcasts and videos, etc. For examples, see my Advanced Twitter Marketing Blog and Road To Twitter Success website, both of which exist to promote my Advanced Marketing on Twitter e-book and various Twitter-related affiliate opportunities. Another example is my Simple ClickBank Profits Blog. Even if I never touch those sites again, they’ll still get traffic, will still be in the search engines and will continue to generate recurring affiliate marketing income streams for us.

Affiliate Marketing Pre-Selling

As stated above, pre-selling is becoming more and more a part of affiliate marketing success. Lets look at the two reasons for this…

As an affiliate, your job isn’t to sell the product or service – that’s the merchant’s job. Yours is to deliver targeted traffic to the site, traffic that is liable to buy the product. But what if a great product has a salespage that sucks? You’re not making any commissions. Even a great salespage may not convey all the benefit of a product, or may go over the top in it’s description of the benefits and ease of use and make the prospects cynical of it’s claims.

By putting up a few blog posts on the product and it’s benefits, or building a small site outlining the problems prospects face and the solutions the product provides, you’ve ‘warmed your audience up’ to the product, and can now send them through to it via your affiliate link in a much more receptive mood. Trying to do all that in your e-zine is sure to run afoul of the junk mail filters, and even if it got through it’s often buried under dozens of other marketers’ e-mails. Plus, your audience either takes action right then or forgets about it quickly, stopping it from being viral or producing recurring commissions.

And that brings us to the second reason for effective affiliate marketing pre-selling – your ongoing and growing sphere of influence. People signing up to your optin list don’t know what you sent yesterday, last week or 6 months ago. But your blog visitors can look over your posts on any topic, and visitors to your pre-selling sites will always see the information since that’s all that’s there.

Another powerful pre-selling strategy is to write short 5 – 10 page reports that provide useful and helpful info to your target market (NOT salespitches) and end them with a recommendation and your affiliate link. You can offer the free report through a squeeze page to build your opt-in lists or just give it away to achieve even wider distribution. Be sure to include a squeeze page in the download so others can distribute it to build their own lists – without that added incentive they probably won’t pass it along. Most won’t pass it along anyway, but those who do will be spreading your branding and your affiliate link in the report.

Driving Targeted Traffic For Affiliate Marketing In 2011

The bulk of the targeted traffic you send to your affiliate links should come from your e-zine and your blog. That hasn’t changed – but what has changed is the strategies and techniques you use to drive that traffic to your blogs, pre-selling sites and squeeze pages.

Your blog can attract a lot of traffic all on it’s own if it’s done right. Be sure you’re using a good SEO plugin, keep your blog tightly focused to one niche only, and use the standard keyword strategies in deciding what to blog about, what to title your posts and the actual content as well, aiming for search-engine-friendly posts that still read properly and deliver true value to your blog readers.

After each posting be sure to bookmark your post to the social media. Plugins will tie your blog post to your Twitter account, FaceBook Account, LinkedIn, MyBlogLog, etc, giving you much wider exposure with no additional work on your part – and those links can also be backlinks that help the search engines find and spider your post that much more quickly! Also use plugins to make it easy for your readers top promote posts they find helpful – like the ones on this page for FaceBook, Twitter, Google Buzz, LinkedIn, etc.

Long-Term Traffic Resources
Use a variety of methods to drive targeted traffic to your blogs. Submit articles to the directories, podcasts to iTunes, Podcast Alley, Podcast Ready, etc, and videos to YouTube, Viddler, etc. Do teleseminars and webinars on your own and/or with niche experts you’re interviewing – then use the recording as a giveaway to drive that audience as well. From time to time build a Squidoo lens, a HubPages hub, a Google knol or a WetPaint site, again pointing them to your blog.

“Sure – But where do I find time for all that???”

I heard that… And the answer is one of the things that’s changing for Affiliate marketing 2011. The online marketing case study I wrote about earlier shows that you’re further ahead doing SOME of each of these methods than you are focusing on just one or two. Instead of blogging 7 days a week, blog two days a week and use the other days for the other traffic-generating activities. Instead of writing 5 articles today, write one, then record it as a podcast & use both to make a video version of it.

While each activity gets less attention than it would if you focused just on it, the overall effect is you build up an empirical body of work in all different markets, all linking back to your blog. As I write this, when I Google “Doug Champigny” I get over 75,000 results in Google – think that brings me a bit of traffic on a residual basis? 😉

A Word On Blog Commenting…

As a final note, a quick spotlight on blog commenting. Not the spam blog commenting by those nonsensical ‘auto-comment-posters’, but true blog commenting where you go to the site, read the blog and leave a legitimate comment that directly relates to the post in question. I’ve been truly surprised by the traffic those have started to generate for me, especially those using the CommentLuv plugin. Plus the volume of Google Alerts I get on those makes me wonder if Google is now ignoring the black-hearted ‘no-follow’ tag that WP uses as standard coding on WordPress blogs. (If you haven’t installed the DoFollow tag on your blogs, do it right now!) So be sure to add blog commenting on blogs related to your niche as of of your regular promotional activities for Affiliate Marketing in 2011!

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Advanced Affiliate Marketing – Using Social Media For Affiliate Marketing

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

Advanced affiliate marketing requires both a good knowledge of marketing and a constant eye on the trends online. Unless you’re aware of the online trends you’ll always end up as a ‘me-too’ marketer that catches on to new avenues only once you see other marketers already succeeding in that arena.

Perhaps the best example of that to date is the emergence of the social media sites, web 2.0 sites and the other various social marketing platforms that have risen to prominence in the last couple of years. Many Internet marketers and affiliate marketers either ignored social media for too long, or jumped in early, couldn’t figure out how to monetize their activities there and so abandoned their social networking activities.

Prime examples here are Twitter and FaceBook, two of the most popular web 2.0 properties. Twitter is a micro-blogging platform limited to 140 character posts, while FaceBook is a true online networking community where users connect, comment on each others’ posts, display videos and photos, play games and socialize with their ‘friends’ – other users they’ve decided to follow there. FaceBook alone has over 400 MILLION users, and any marketing pro can tell you that a demographic of that size represents a valuable target market in dozens, if not hundreds of niches. So the issue is not does a market exist on these sites, but how do you utilize the social media in your affiliate marketing mix?

Look to see who the people are that use each site… What age group, what income group, what segment of the general population? Most people will be surprised to learn that most of these sites attract better educated, older and upwardly mobile users rather than the ‘kids’ they believe are the majority on social networking sites. FaceBook stats recently released show 80% of those playing the games there are women in the 30’s & 40’s – a far cry from the stereotypical online gamer.

 


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So once you’ve established that various social media sites are worth targeting, it becomes your task to determine how to do that effectively. Understand that social networking and social media are named that for a reason – while using the sites your prospects aren’t shopping, they’re being social. Attempts to use hard-sell tactics directly on these sites will at best result in mediocre results, and at worst either get you ignored or banned altogether depending on the sites.

Profiting with your affiliate marketing using the social media sites is a 2-step process. First, you write informational, solid-content posts on your affiliate marketing blogs on topic you feel will attract your targeted prospects from these sites, or build great reports on those topics and make them available free from your squeeze pages. You then let them know that this information is available to them for free, and provide the link so that those who are interested can get to your sites. Once they are on your blog or your opt-in list they can now be regarded as any other visitor or opt-in – if your information is helpful and well presented they’ll hang around, otherwise they’ll be gone in one click of their mouse.

Do the same with the articles you submit to the directories, with your Squidoo lenses, with your WetPaint sites, Hub Pages, etc. You can set your Twitter stream to show up automatically on social networking sites like LinkedIn, FaceBook and Google Buzz, so that tweeting your links to your articles and pages has those links show up all over your social media accounts as well – and plugins exist to automatically tweet each blog post you do too.

Additionally, don’t forget that video directories like YouTube and Viddler, web 2.0 sites like Twitter, article directories like EzineArticles and a raft of other social media sites produce RSS feeds of your content as well – embed these on social media sites that allow feeds and remember to submit those feeds to the various RSS directories too. In each case, you’re multiplying the effects of your affiliate marketing efforts with very little additional work, and the results continue as long as you’re producing new content for your feeds.

But go into it realizing one thing about social media marketing and social networking – if all you’re doing is putting your links out there in front of people on a regular basis, you’ll see some results and be building backlinks for the search engines to find, but many people will ignore most of what you post since they don’t ‘know’ you. To maximize your results from social marketing, be sure to interact from time to time with those you meet there, and put a reasonable amount of effort into building your following on each site. In other words, to maximize your affiliate marketing success with social media and social networking, socialize and network!

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Marketing mentor Doug Champigny is the author of Advanced Marketing On Twitter and has recently expanded his Internet Marketing PowerStart Coaching program to include more instruction on both affiliate marketing and social media marketing. To maximize your online success enroll in the PowerStart coaching program today or watch for live appearances by Doug Champigny as a featured speaker at a marketing convention, seminar, workshop or conference in your area soon!

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Advanced Affiliate Marketing – Building Affiliate Marketing Funnels

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

When first starting out in affiliate marketing, it’s common to use a blog post, an article, a video or an e-mail to promote affiliate offers. Before long, however, it becomes clear that this is no longer enough, especially if you want to reach the large affiliate commissions earned by those practicing advanced affiliate marketing strategies.

The solution to this transition from affiliate newbie to professional affiliate begins when you learn to build affiliate marketing funnels to promote merchants’ products and services. These funnels not only increase sales and thereby increase affiliate commissions, but also help you to build an opt-in list of targeted affiliate marketing leads for your future promotions as well.

The affiliate marketing funnels may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of practice they’ll become routine. Your affiliate marketing funnels begin with a free report that will appeal to your target market and is offered to them for opting into your mailing list from a page known as a ‘squeeze’ page. Once they have joined your list and confirmed their e-mail address, they are forwarded to the download page to get their report.

While on the site they’ll have seen your affiliate ads on the confirmation page and on the download page, plus any links or ads you’ve included in or with the report. And after signing up to your autoresponder they’ll receive your pre-written series of e-mails, which should include additional helpful content along with your affiliate marketing promotional materials. While some of your affiliate marketing leads will drop out of the series early, others will stay in your loop a lot longer as long as you make sure to include useful, helpful, targeted information along with your pitches. And the greater number of contacts you have with each targeted lead, the higher the possibility that you’ll make the sale and collect your affiliate marketing commissions, all on autopilot.

Once your affiliate funnel is in place, all that remains is to drive as many targeted affiliate marketing leads into it as you can, using all of the standard traffic-generation strategies and techniques. With each funnel you should be able to improve your autoresponder series for higher conversions and be able to drive more targeted prospects into your funnels.

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To see one such funnel in action, download Doug Champigny’s free guide to Building Traffic and Lists. For direct help from this super-affiliate marketing mentor, enroll in Doug Champigny’s Affiliate Marketing PowerStart Coaching program and learn to make money online using effective affiliate marketing strategies and techniques.

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Advanced affiliate marketing involves using a lot of strategies and techniques not utilized by average affiliates – but then if you’re looking to make super-affiliate levels of commissions, you already know you have to work harder and smarter than the bulk of those who start affiliate marketing businesses online.

And one of those advanced affiliate marketing strategies seldom seen in average efforts is joint ventures. While the big joint venture launches and joint venture sites are common throughout the Internet marketing and niche marketing worlds, most affiliates have never caught on to using them in their marketing mix.

So just how do you, as an affiliate, use joint ventures when you don’t own the product or site? Let’s look at a prime example: You’re involved in a week-long affiliate contest for a big launch and naturally you want to come out on top – or at least make as many affiliate sales as you can. You’ve blogged about it, podcasted about it, submitted a couple of videos and done your social bookmarking and social networking efforts to support it. And, most importantly, you’ve e-mailed your opt-in list about it the first 3 days of that week and have two more followups planned for the last 2 days of the contest. Pretty standard routine for your advanced affiliate marketing pushes, right?

But what about those other two days – the two days you haven’t planned to mail it out to your list? You know they’d get tired and your opt-outs would skyrocket if you sent them that same offer 7 days straight, so how can you use your list on those two remaining days to boost your sales even higher?

This is where you set up a joint venture with another marketer or affiliate. In your marketing network you’ll know a variety of other marketers and affiliates who aren’t involved in the promotion you’re currently promoting. Contact them and find one or two with lists similar in size to your own who are willing to swap e-mails with you those two days.

Then you either send out each of those two days for the other partner’s offer while they do the same for you, or you line up two partners and send once for each of them, with them each sending one day for you. Either way, you’ve used your mailings those two days to get more promos out with your affiliate links, this time to prospects who most likely aren’t even on your list, giving you access to virgin territory for this offer. Not only can this result in more affiliate sales for you, but might even bring in higher results than if you had been able to resend to your own lists those 2 days.

Now that you have the concept, use your imagination and business acumen to refine and improve the idea too. For example, if the contest means a lot to you for the potential commissions or the branding from being atop the leaderboard, start your strategy the week before – use joint ventures to send out 3 or 4 days that week for other affiliates or marketers who can then send for you the following week while the contest is on. That way you’ve got your 7 mailings that week PLUS 3 or 4 additional mailings from those e-zine swap partners.

Not hard to see how you could extend it yet another week and really hit the leaderboard with a big splash, is it? So don’t forget to use joint ventures as part of your advanced affiliate marketing strategies whenever you have an affiliate opportunity you really want to dominate!

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Super-affiliate marketing mentor Doug Champigny has plenty of free advanced affiliate marketing information for you on his Affiliate Marketing Training blog, or you can learn the processes directly under his tutelage through his PowerStart Affiliate Marketing Coaching Program. And be sure to introduce yourself to Doug Champigny when he makes one of his many live appearances onstage at a marketing seminar, conference, convention or workshop near you!

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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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http://www.automating-traffic.com is in pre-launch right now, and to entice people to join their early notification list they’re GIVING AWAY great software for affiliates looking to build a money-making blog.

Since you’re reading this column, chances are you already know that making money with blogs is best done with affiliate marketing, and that’s exactly where this free software comes it – it lets you choose from a number of top ClickBank products in your niche and set up banner rotation – with tracking. This means that the banner changes with each visitor, rotating between those you chose to display. Your tracking will show you which attract the most clicks, allowing to drop under-performing ads and pump up the ones that are making you the most money.

And unlike the banner rotators of yesteryear that only handled 468×60 banners, these include those, 125×125 buttons most favored by bloggers, 250×250 buttons and various other sizes. These are all professionally designed graphics designed to generate the highest volume of clickthroughs, and will be updated as time goes on to ensure rates remain as high as possible.

But what hasn’t been announced is when the service will stop accepting free members, so I apologize if you’re reading this post at a future date and they’ve moved to a paid model – all I know for sure at this point is that as I write this, you can still get into the program and use the resources for free by going to the Automated Ads information page.

Whether you’re a serious online marketer, a marketing hobbyist or just someone who loves to blog, not taking the 5 minutes to sign up and then 2 minutes to set up your ad campaigns could mean you’re leaving a lot of money on the table – both when blogging and when building static sites. Watch the Automated Ads video that explains the service and then decide whether this great new free service is right for YOU and YOUR online activities, ok?

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