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Affiliate Marketing is one of the fastest ways of making money online available to the work-at-home crowd - read this affiliate marketing blog regularly to stay abreast of the best affiliate marketing tips, tricks & resources!

Got a tip from Marlon Sanders yesterday, went and checked it out and snapped up my copy right away – and I definitely suggest you do the same…

Putting products online can be difficult for newbies, and managing an affiliate program is beyond a lot of those who’ve already got products online. And even if you know how to run an affiliate program, it can still be tricky and tiresome tracking it all, looking after the affiliates at the end of each month, etc.

But now, there’s a truly simple affiliate program that even a newbie can use, because it’s all done by a blog plugin! And it’s an instant commish program like RAP but much, much easier to set up and use. Use it to put your products online, to get affiliates (1-button click to get their link), manage OTO’s – it even tracks all the info for you and displays it in your blog dashboard.

Set it to 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% – the affiliates get their commission right away, so there’s no need for you to deal with any of that… Now you can have an affiliate program right from your first, or next, product. And Bryan is even giving you 3 Master Resell Rights products to use with it so you can get started right away.

Watch the video and you’ll see how easy it is to set products up and get them online.

Super-Affiliate Tip: Set this up on a new blog on a new domain, and load up a few $7 products at 100% commissions, then get as many affiliates to promote it as you can – even use it in ad swaps, etc, giving your swap partner 100% commissions anyway – when they see the money rolling into their PayPal account, you’ll see many of them start promoting your offers too.

And while you don’t make any money on those orders, you also have no additional work – they get paid directly, so there’s no accounting and affiliate payments involved from your end. What you ARE doing is getting them, in exchange for them getting 100% of the profits, to bild you a new list of known buyers, a list you can use in your ongoing affiliate marketing. This could potentially become your lowest-cost, highest-quality source of affiliate leads!

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New Video – Affiliate Marketing Super-Blogging

Affiliate marketing can be done in any niche market, and super-affiliates tackle a number of new niches to check them for profitability. Here’s a new video to show you one of the tricks to affiliate marketing super-blogging…

That shows you how you can take your affiliate marketing activities into a new niche in just one evening, yet automate your new niche blogs to run on autopilot for months to come…

Whether you’re using your own articles, articles from the article directories or PLR articles, you can see how getting more and more posts up with your affiliate marketing links on every page can skyrocket your affiliate commissions if it’s a profitable niche. Since your blog will ping the directories every time a new post goes live, you’ll know before long if the niche is hyper-responsive…

If it turns out to be a profitable niche, take your affiliate marketing efforts up a few notches, using all of your affiliate tools to make as much money from it as you can. If the niche isn’t very responsive, you’ve only invested that one night’s effort, so it’s not a big setback.

As to the tools I used in the video, the Adsense Alive blog theme and the Stealth plugin for masking your affiliate links are both part of the Adsense Alive PRO Pack. The most important part, though, and the part you’d need to automate any existing affiliate marketing blogs you already have is the Article Post plugin…

You can go right to the Article Post plugin order page, or if you want more information on how the plugin can be used in your affiliate marketing and Internet marketing mix, I’ve added more detail (and another video demonstration) on the Fastest Way To Blog page.

If you try to tackle new affiliate marketing niches without automating your efforts you’re going to be risking a lot more time and money – use my Affiliate Marketing Super-Blogging system to minimze the risks and let you test a LOT more niches quickly and easily. It’s the best way I know to find new sources of affiliate marketing commissions!

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The Simplest And Quickest Way To Start Affiliate Marketing

©2011 Doug Champigny, http://captain-affiliate.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Affiliate marketing successfully involves proficiency in a variety of online marketing strategies & techniques, but at the core there are just a few issues to deal with when you start affiliate marketing. Let’s take a quick look at the requirements for first getting started – not as a ‘quick-buck’ artist, but as a serious online business owner who wants to build a solid, long-term online business whose revenue stream is generated in whole or in part by affiliate marketing commissions…

Your Affiliate Marketing ‘Home Base’…

While it is possible to have minimal affiliate marketing success without a website or blog, building a sustainable online business will require you to have an online ‘home’, a centralized presence online to base your affiliate marketing activities from.

The importance of this base cannot be overstated – you’ll use it to draw free traffic from the search engines, social networking and social bookmarking sites, article directories, podcast and video hosting sites and community sites like Twitter, Facebook and the various forums you visit.

And once those targeted visitors have arrived at your base, you’ll use it to presell them – to warm them up and put them in the buying mood – before sending them along via your affiliate marketing links. And during that visit, where prudent & possible, you’ll get that visitor to opt-in to your mailing list – otherwise those warm leads may well be lost forever once they depart from your site.

Currently, affiliate marketing blogging is the route most likely to succeed for you in this area. While static sites are still effective, they take much more time, effort and knowledge of HTML and/or CSS to keep current. For example, affiliate buttons and banners can be added or removed from every page of a blog by editing one file – on a website, each page would need to be done individually.

Additionally, adding new content to an affiliate marketing blog simply requires you to type in your message and publish the post – all of the linking by category, date, subject tags and other navigation is done automatically by the blog operating system. The WordPress blog platform, which is most commonly used, can also be configured to then notify the major search engines each time new content is added, along with dozens of directories that index blogs only and are not available to static site owners.

Perhaps most importantly, though, is that an affiliate marketing blog can be installed and up and running in 15 – 20 minutes by even those with no programming experience, following available step-by-step instructions in How To Install Blogs videos

Affiliate Marketing Hosting And Autoresponders

Having established that hosting your own affiliate marketing blogs using the WordPress blogging platform, to enable it obviously requires you to have hosting for your blogs. Two bits of good news for affiliate marketing bloggers – first, you can host numerous blogs in any desired niches all in one hosting account, and second the price of hosting has dropped significantly over the past ten years as web hosting has become more and more competitive.

The next online service you’ll require is a professional autoresponder account, preferably one that allows you to establish an unlimited number of individual mailing lists, as you’ll want at least one that’s exclusive to each of the niches you’ll be targeting. Put simply, your extreme sports affiliate marketing subscribers aren’t going to be interested in the information you send to your gardening niche subscribers and vice-versa.

Fortunately there is one resource that gives you both of these resources in one plan, allowing you to have both affiliate marketing hosting and autoresponders for one low monthly investment, and means you only need to deal with one interface to access both services. As to setting it all up, the package referenced in the blogging section also includes a full ‘How To Install Numerous Blogs in One Hosting Account‘ video tutorial.

Monetizing Your Affiliate Marketing Blogs

At first your blog traffic will be slow and affiliate marketing commissions will be few and far between – but don’t let that stop you! Remember, you’re building a long-term affiliate marketing business of your own here, one with the potential to let you eventually leave the boss and commute behind as you start affiliate marketing full-time online.

To get your income stream started, use Google’s Adsense program and some niche-specific affiliate programs. Adsense is a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) program run by the world’s largest search engine, and the system automatically displays ads targeted to match the content of the page each ad appears on. Each time one of your blog readers clicks on one of the ads, you make money, ranging from a few cents to a few dollars depending on the niche and the particular ad. Sign up for the Adsense program through Google, then either work your way through creating and installing the code on your blog or, simpler yet, just use one of the blog themes optimized for Adsense.

Next, sign up for affiliate accounts at ClickBank (digital products) and LinkShare (physical products) and browse each for the best affiliate programs for your particular niche. Don’t choose based on how much each affiliate program pays, but rather by which products and services will be of most help to your potential target market – you can sell a lot more that way, and the total affiliate marketing commissions will exceed what you’ll make from just the most expensive products.

Also, don’t forget to add a banner or other link to your own webhost’s affiliate program – with luck, over time you’ll build your affiliate commissions from your host to the point where they exceed your monthly hosting charges, effectively giving you your blog hosting and autoresponders at no net cost! The affiliate marketing hosting and autoresponders service we mentioned above has just such a program, for example.

Increasing Commissions From Your Affiliate Marketing Blogs

All of the above should only take you a day or two at most, especially if you’re following along with the video tutorials in the Adsense Alive Pro bundle (which could just as easily have been called How To Start Affiliate Marketing).

So with your base installed, operational and monetized, increasing affiliate commissions becomes the focus. Add a new article or post to your blogs every couple of days – once a week at least – and make sure each article has information relative to the particular niche you’re targeting. The more helpful information you offer, the sooner you have a steady blog audience and start to build the credibility as an expert in your field, necessary to maximize your affiliate commissions.

The rest of your available time should be spent on generating as much targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing blogs as you can – increase web traffic and you’ll see a corresponding jump in commissions as long as you keep that traffic to highly targeted leads.

There are many free ways to generate targeted blog traffic – it took Willie Crawford and me over 3 hours to detail just 15 free ways to increase web traffic on our Top Traffic Tips teleseminar. Start with that guide or research the various methods on your own – just be sure to try as many as you can find and track the results from each. Over time you’ll be able to increase your success – and your affiliate commissions – by focusing more time and energy on those working best in any given niche and much less time on those that aren’t producing as much targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing blogs.

How To Start Affiliate Marketing in 3 Simple Steps

So there you have it – the simplest and quickest way to start affiliate marketing…

  1. Get Your Hosting & Autoresponders
  2. Install Affiliate Marketing Blogs
  3. Increase Web Traffic with Free Targeted Traffic

Now, get ye hence and start making affiliate marketing profits of your own! 😉

Pro Tip: Bookmark this post and come back to re-read it once you have your affiliate marketing blogs installed. This post is a perfect example of affiliate marketing pre-selling: It provides extremely helpful information to this blog’s target audience, showing how to set up an affiliate marketing business quickly and simply while demonstrating the need for and usefulness of three separate products. Try to emulate this in your affiliate marketing blogging on your chosen niches… – DC.

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What They Don’t Tell You About E-Mail Marketing For Affiliates…

©2011 Doug Champigny, http://captain-affiliate.com
All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Affiliate marketing information abounds online, as does information on almost all aspects of e-mail marketing. E-mail marketing resources tell you how to build opt-in lists, how to build squeeze pages, how to write free reports to put on those squeeze pages, how to use social media marketing to drive traffic to your opt-in list-building pages, how to load up your autoresponder messages so they go out automatically and so much more… But what DON’T they tell you about e-mail marketing for affiliates?

Consider this scenario: You’re new to affiliate marketing and have been reading various blogs, e-books and reports on using e-mail marketing as part of your affiliate marketing promotional mix. You’ve learned, correctly, that a list of targeted leads who have double-opted-in to your list will normally become your largest source of affiliate commissions. You follow their advice, put up your squeeze page and starting pushing it like crazy using Twitter, FaceBook and all the other important social media websites – and the signups to your opt-in list start rolling on in…

Now what???

Oh yeah – you have to either upload a series of messages into your autoresponder or start sending out broadcast e-mails. Great! You can just tell them about… ahh… umm… Gee, being brand new at this, what do you write? You don’t have the knowledge base yet since you’re just getting started affiliate marketing. So how can you write informative, helpful e-mails to send out?

If you’re targeting a niche like car racing, baby showers or snowboarding you may have enough experience to get started – just make an ordered list of what people need to know and start writing your e-mails. But many starting out in affiliate marketing want to target the Internet marketing / online marketing / making money online crowd, since that’s the niche they’re most interested in themselves. But you’re new to affiliate marketing and e-mail marketing – so what do you send?

Fortunately there’s an easy solution…

Send them the information they need written by experts. You don’t want to steal, err, ‘borrow’ other marketers’ e-mails, that’s both unethical and illegal. You could send articles from the article directories, but you have to state the author’s name and link so that builds their credibility, not yours. What you need are PLR resources you can put YOUR name and links on and load into your autoresponder.

PLR, or private label rights, mean you can take that product and use it as if it were your own creation – in most cases you have almost the same rights to it as if you wrote it yourself. And since you will be reading each e-mail before adding your name and affiliate links, you WILL already have that knowledge by the time it starts going out to prospects, so it’s not like you’re sending about anything you don’t already know. Bingo – legal, ethical and it’s YOU sending them YOUR information.

Take a look at the PLR e-courses at Optin-List-Building.com. As I write this there are already 18 different e-courses there, all of them dealing with aspects of online marketing, and all ready to use for e-mail marketing for affiliates – there’s even an e-course on affiliate marketing itself! And all come with those PLR rights…

Most of the series are 5, 6 or 7 days, so you can use them as a stand-alone e-course or combine 2 or more into a longer course. Each also comes with a ready-made squeeze page and confirmation page, so you can use those to help build opt-in lists too. And to top it off, you get a salespage & download page as well, because each course also comes with resell rights.
In other words, you get to learn from the e-course, use it to build opt-in lists, use it as content to send to your subscribers, and use it as a product to sell yourself – 4 different ways to profit from each course!

And THAT’S how to overcome what they don’t tell you about e-mail marketing for affiliates – download your PLR marketing e-courses now and get cracking – your affiliate marketing commissions are waiting!

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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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Affiliate marketing has low entry costs, and as such it’s a natural for many people looking to start home based businesses. And while it’s true that the most effective way to start affiliate marketing, as I teach in my affiliate coaching program, is through setting up niche blogs, one can always start home based businesses for free and build to that point as revenue permits.

So how do you start affiliate marketing without a website or blog? Start by deciding which niche you want to target first. It’s best to start with a topic you know a lot about, but that isn’t strictly necessary. As long as it’s a subject that interests you you can find the info you need online, in books, in magazines, etc. Then do a quick search for those topics and related areas at the major search engines – is there evidence of it being a viable niche? Forget the generic search results – are there paid ads above the results? Plenty of pay-per-click ads down the right side of the first few pages? Pay-per-click is an expensive form of advertising online, so if there are plenty of people using it in those niches you know there’s money to be made in those niches. Don’t guess – check it out!

Once you’ve found good niches that interest you and have a good advertising base online, look for affiliate programs that target those niches. Start at the big directories like ClickBank and LinkShare, then search for your keyword and put ‘affiliate program’ after it, such as ‘waterskiing affiliate program’ or ‘scrapbooking affiliate program’. Find some you like and set up an account. Be aware that some programs require you to already have a web site, so those you’ll have to leave til later. But get your links from those who don’t have that requirement and save them in an easy to find folder on your computer.

Now you start writing articles on the topics of interest within your niche – what we in the biz call article marketing. The articles are written in the third person and are NOT salespitches or salescopy – they’re good, informative articles between 350 and 800 words long. The idea is to give such great info that the people reading your articles will want to click your links at the end of each article to get more information. And because these articles are part of your affiliate marketing process, those links will be YOUR affiliate links. Your article topics don’t have to be advanced – remember that in every niche you have beginners, those with some experience and experts, plus those just starting to enquire about that niche, those whose curiosity is just now leading them to research the field.

Don’t pretend to be an expert – you’ll be setting yourself up for ridicule and lose credibility in the niche if you aren’t really knowledgeable. No one minds an article by someone just sharing information, so there’s no need to pretend to be an expert if it’s not true. Besides, there are few true experts in any niche, so as an affiliate marketer those aren’t your targeted prospects anyway – you’re after the bulk of the market. For broad appeal, aim at the newbies, the middle ground and the fairly curious in your niche.

The idea is to write articles and put your link(s) in the final paragraph, such as: Click to find out more about building your own wine cellar. If that were the product you wanted to promote, your article might have been about how to build a wine cellar, why you should build a wine cellar, 10 things you need when you build a wine cellar, temperature control when building a wine cellar, planning to build your first wine cellar, etc. Notice that each article suggestion revolves around what the product covers – building that wine cellar. That way you attract a very targeted audience that have the greatest likelihood of buying the product. Simply writing about great wines wouldn’t suffice, because too many of your readers would be those in apartments, in condos, those who already have a wine cellar, etc. Plus, the tighter you target the sub-nice the product applies to, the better your chances of good search engine rankings, since you’re no longer competing with everyone in the whole broad niche.

Now you want to get those articles published and have them starting to draw attention from targeted prospects. Your first step is to find those article directories that will let you use affiliate links – many won’t, insisting you can only use links to your own sites or directly to other sites without an affiliate link. To be honest this makes no sense to me – it seems an article directory should be concerned with the content of your articles and ensuring they only link to legitimate sites, not what type of link you use to get people there. And yes, I DO put my money where my mouth is on this point – our own article directory has no issue with you using affiliate links as long as your article has strong, useful content and links to an appropriate site. So start by submitting your article to the Articles-and-Content.com article directory and then as many others as you can find willing to take them, especially any article directories specific to your niche.

But you’re not done yet – there are a LOT of articles on a LOT of directories, and you want yours to stand out. Fortunately most article marketers aren’t pros, and they think that submitting their articles is all they need to do. As both an article marketer AND an affiliate marketer you know that content is 10% of the job – the other 90% is driving traffic to your content – lots of good highly-targeted traffic. Announce each new article as it’s published in the directory, using Twitter, FaceBook, Google Buzz, StumbleUpon, Digg, etc. The more you can use these free sites to promote your articles, the greater your following can build – and the greater the chance the search engines will find a link to your article and index it that much quicker for you.

And just as the icing on the cake, as it were, every so often promote your author account at those directories as well. There’s usually a page that lists and links to all of your articles, so that’s the page you want to promote aft6er every 5 or 10 articles you publish.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that article marketing seldom leads to massive, immediate traffic or even quick small sales. It’s an empirical process, with each article bring in another trickle of results, and as in nature trickles combine to streams, streams combine to rivers, etc. Over time you can develop a huge body of work online, all capable of adding to the targeted traffic and thereby to the affiliate marketing commissions stream you’ll receive.

It’s seems a huge task when starting out, but think of it this way… One article a day is over 350 per year, 2 articles a day is over 700 a year, and if your can keep your article marketing efforts to an average of just 3 articles a day you’ll have published over 1,000 articles by one year from today. As article marketing expert Willie Crawford would say, that’s over 1,000 signposts pointing to your links. And as a super-affiliate, I say that’s over 1,000 links pointing to your bank account! 😉

Go. Do. Profit. Prosper. – I’ll see you at http://www.articles-and-content.com!

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Advanced Affiliate Marketing – Extend Your Article Marketing Efforts Through Podcasting

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

One of the secrets to advanced affiliate marketing is to find ways to multiply your marketing reach without having to multiply the effort and time you put into your marketing strategies. For example, if you can invest 20% more time to reap 50% or 75% more sales, you’ve multiplied your efforts while saving time and are headed toward bigger advanced affiliate marketing commissions.

A perfect example of this is the relationship between your article marketing and your podcasting. Since both your targeted readers and your targeted listeners are both interested in the same niche, it stands to reason that both would enjoy access to the same content. And with independent directories for either type of media, chances are high that each attracts an audience of affiliate marketing needs not reachable by the other format.

Here’s how it’s done, and why it works so well to boost your affiliate sales. You’ve done your keyword research, chosen your topics for your articles and written 5 or 10 articles to start. Handle them exactly as you always would, submitting them to the top 1-3 directories you want your articles to appear on. Then put on your headset or pull out your microphone and record a version of each article as an MP3 file, being sure to include an audio version of your Author’s Resource Box at the end with any URLs spelled out for people to copy down or type in.

When you’re happy with the recording, post it to your blog along with the summary you had written for the article or a similar paragraph or two of teaser copy designed to get your visitors to click the player and hear the article. Then, just as you did with the original article, submit your podcasts to the various podcast directories.

And that’s all it takes for this advanced affiliate marketing strategy. Because all the original research and content had been done to create the articles, all that needed to be done to create podcasts was top read the article and record it as an MP3 file. Thus, with very little extra work you’ve potentially doubled both your reach within your target market and the number of affiliate marketing leads you derive from it.

If you wish, multiply your effect once more by taking this advanced affiliate marketing strategy one step further. Now that you have both the article and the audio, import the audio into your video editing software as the soundtrack and match up the text from the article to it along the timeline. Render it with or without a custom background and you now have a video version of the article as well, one you can now use to target additional affiliate marketing leads, this time through the video sharing sites.

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Podcasting & Vlogging Your Way To Success Online!

 

Super-affiliate marketing mentor Doug Champigny is the author of the podcasting & vlogging how-to guide and teaches newbies and affiliate marketing pros alike how to use these advanced strategies 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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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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Why Advanced Affiliate Marketing Pros Love Cookies

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

It can be said without fear of contradiction that advanced affiliate marketing pros love cookies – and we’re not speaking here of chocolate chip cookies, although those are almost as universally loved. No, these cookies are small files affiliate marketing software places on the computers of each prospect who clicks through to a marketer’s web site using an affiliate’s link.

The purpose of these affiliate marketing cookies is to track which affiliate referred each prospect so that the correct affiliate can be credited when any sale is made. That’s how merchants know how much affiliate marketing commission to pay each active affiliate each month.

But just as in the bakery world, in affiliate marketing not all cookies are created equally – or at least their effect can and does vary widely. For example, most of the big affiliate directories use tracking cookies that only track for that one product. If you, as the affiliate, refer a person to the salespage and that prospect buys the product, you get your commission. But from that point on the marketer now directly contacts the buyer and you’re out of the loop on any further purchases that buyer makes.

Some of the more advanced private affiliate systems, however, place affiliate marketing cookies that stay valid for weeks, months or years and apply to all of that merchant’s products. As such, once an advanced affiliate marketing pro has referred an affiliate marketing lead to the site, any and all future sales are also credited to that affiliate’s account, leaving room for them to make money online on products they’ve never promoted or aren’t even aware of yet.

Smart advanced affiliate marketing pros watch for these programs and promote the sites using them more often – after all, why run a heavy affiliate marketing promotion to make commissions on one product when you can make that initial sale and then have the merchant refer other sales through those same affiliate marketing leads for you? As long as those affiliate cookies make advanced affiliate marketing pros more money with no extra effort, you know they’ll keep on loving those affiliate cookies!

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Super-affiliate marketing mentor Doug Champigny uses and recommends the affiliate program at Hosting 4 Marketers for all serious online merchants. For affiliates looking to make money online, Doug teaches newbies and affiliate marketing pros alike how to use these advanced strategies 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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Maximizing Your Residual Affiliate Marketing Commissions

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

Eventually every successful affiliate marketer realizes that promoting affiliate offers that pay residual commissions is a great way to boost your affiliate commissions – web hosting, autoresponders, membership sites and the like can pay out month after month from one original sale. In fact, any affiliate sale that leads to the buyer paying monthly fees should lead to residual affiliate commissions unless they’re set up on a cost-per-acquisition-based front-end-loaded commission structure.

Residual affiliate commissions are the best way for an affiliate to build their income long-term, since each month you’ve got residuals commissions coming in on top of the commissions you’ve made that month. Until you reach the advanced affiliate marketing strategies, though, most affiliates don’t make as much as they should from such offers.

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The reason is simple – they treat their residual affiliate commissions offers the same way they do the more common one-off sale offers. They promote it two or three times to their list, blog about it and then move on to the next offer, and this myopic view of how to promote residual commissions offers means they’re leaving a lot of potential profits still lying on the table waiting for a more advanced affiliate marketer to pick them up.

These offers usually pay the most for your time invested, since you usually continue to make affiliate commissions for months, even years, after you promote them. As such, these are the offers you should be spending more time on than most. Sending it to your list and blogging about it should be just the start of your advanced affiliate marketing mix for residual commissions offers – after all, the effect of the e-zine promos only lasts a few days at best, and your blog probably only reaches less than 1% of your potential target market.

Residual affiliate commissions can be maximized by using every long-term traffic building technique you know, from article marketing and social bookmarking to podcasting, video marketing, forum marketing, etc. It’s also a good time to considering using pay per click (PPC) advertising, since the lifetime value of each sale is higher than most single sales opportunities. Just be sure you calculate the average duration that each sale is sticking with the service or site so that you don’t over-bid on your PPC – it’s easy to lose money on a pay per click campaign if you don’t know what you’re doing and track your results closely.

But by using all of your advanced affiliate marketing arsenal, you can build up a strong funnel to continue leading targeted prospects to the site long after you’ve moved on to other promotions, leaving your long-term systems in place to keep you earning residual affiliate marketing commissions for some time to come!

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Super-affiliate marketing mentor Doug Champigny has plenty of free advanced affiliate marketing information for you on his Start-Affiliate Marketing WetPaint site and at Affiliate Marketing Revealed, 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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