The POWER OF FREE In Affiliate Marketing – Part Two

©2009 Doug Champigny, http://Captain-Affiliate.com. All Rights Reserved.

In Part One of The POWER OF FREE, we looked at how the recession spawned a sudden change in affiliate marketing and how the Resell Rights Fortunes launch was the first to capitalize on the changes. Today let’s look at how smart online businesses are using The POWER OF FREE to their benefit on an on-going basis…

While I’m a pro-blogger with a number of blogs I author, no one can keep right up to speed on every aspect of every area of online marketing, so for advice and a heads-up on WordPress issues I rely on two close friends who specialize in the technology, Alex Sysoef & Mike Paetzold. Both are close friends I first met at JVAlert Live events and have developed a deep respect for over the years.

Neither being shy about freely sharing their expertise, Mike runs an excellent free WordPress Q&A on BlogTalkRadio each month, while Alex is letting you download his free Expert WordPress blog installer, which he provides along with the training videos on how to use them.

This fits right in with one of the important points we made in Part One – the ‘free line’ has been moved, and today your free gift HAS to be something that’s of obvious value, something that proves you’re an expert in your field, and something you could easily be selling for a good buck if you had chosen to.

Do these two qualify? Of course they do! In Mike’s case, he’s giving you direct one-on-one access to his encyclopedic knowledge of WordPress – and his experience in using blogs to further develop his own Internet marketing and niche marketing efforts. Access to that level of expertise is often restricted to high-end coaching programs, yet Mike fields your questions for free through his show.

Alex’s Expert WordPress fills the bill too – plus has the added bonus of being unique! I’m not aware of another blog installer available, free or paid, that also installs the plugins you need for the full search engine optimization (SEO) effects for each of your blogs. Alex could easily charge $97 to $197 for the installer, with a $100 upsell for the SEO package – yet he lets you download the software for free!

Like the free incentives we discussed yesterday, both Alex and Mike have helped move the free line by giving away resources you’d have had to buy before the recession. But what’s more important is the differences between today’s examples and yesterday’s. While the Resell Rights Fortunes gifts were set up specifically for a big launch, Mike & Alex have created free resources that draw in targeted prospects day after day and will continue to do so for months, or even years, to come.

The upside to them is obvious – building their opt-in lists, branding themselves worldwide as WordPress experts and having the opportunity to pitch their wares to a growing circle of influence. And unlike launch bonuses, these gifts work their magic long-term.

But that comes at a price… When it’s just for a launch you create your gift and it’s done. Ongoing traffic-generating gifts aren’t usually that simple, as these cases in point demonstrate. Mike has to stay on top of every WordPress update and give of himself and his time every month to prepare for the call and actually host it, and Alex has to monitor changes to WordPress and the plugins and be sure he updates both the software and the instructional videos as often as necessary to keep it effective and cutting edge.

If you’ve used WordPress for more than the last 15 minutes you’ve probably already had at least one update to attend to – so you can imagine how much time goes into maintaining those two free resources. Not a problem when you’re being paid to keep up, but to do all that to maintain something your give away for free takes a special dedication and a true desire to help as many people as they possibly can. Kudos to them both – from me, and on your behalf as well!

The benefits to those availing themselves of these free resources is immediately obvious to all, and now you see how it helps Mike & Alex and what’s involved in maintaining their free resources. But what’s in it for you, the affiliate?

Most importantly, by promoting products from marketers like Mike and Alex you know you’re promoting true experts in the field. And not just experts – but DEMONSTRATED experts your readers will have no trouble identifying as experts. And you benefit too, by association with the best in their field.

Secondly, you know that customer service before and after the sale will never be an issue – no one puts that much effort into attracting quality targeted traffic just to blow them off with bad service. Not having to wonder about how many refunds will come after the sale is a big plus for ANY affiliate promotion… In affiliate marketing we work too hard for our commissions to sit back and watch them evaporate after the fact!

And third benefit is more intrinsic, but no less important… Big Dog Marketers like Alex & Mike who put that much into products & services they simply give away aren’t fools – they test & track everything they do to be sure they make the most of their time online – and FROM their time online. Think they put any less effort into testing, tracking and tweaking their products and salespages?

Obviously not… So while that doesn’t guarantee you’ll make a fortune in commissions every time they launch a product, or even that every product will be a hit, it DOES mean chances are you’ll make as many sales as possible for their products, given your prowess at driving targeted traffic and how tightly focused your prospects are to the products you promote.

And finally, have you considered creating a high-valued resource like these in support of one of your best ongoing affiliate marketing opportunities? Pick ones with recurring income potential that won’t go out of style or become outdated – say hosting or a membership site – and create a service or product like these to keep a steady stream of targeted prospects seeking YOU out for a change!

So to sum it up, in Part One you learned how The POWER OF FREE makes you more in JVs and affiliate promotions during site launches, and today you’ve seen two simple ways to use The POWER OF FREE as ongoing tools for your own sites or as affiliates.

Next Up: In The POWER OF FREE In Affiliate Marketing – Part Three we’ll look at a couple of sites that have added a viral component to their POWER OF FREE resources to make them even more valuable – see you then!

To your Profitable Affiliate Marketing…

Doug Champigny
http://Captain-Affiliate.com

PS – Before leaving today (but after hitting the Retweet button above 😉 )be sure to download Alex’s free Expert WordPress installer and bookmark Mike’s BlogTalkRadio show. After all, might as well get as much benefit as you can from being here today, right?

And speaking of which, be sure to leave your comments as well – both to help me be sure you’re getting all the info you need for your successful affiliate marketing, and to get yourself the one-way backlinks to your site. Naturally, this IS a ‘DoFollow’ blog! 🙂

Enjoy! DC.

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The Power Of FREE In Affiliate Marketing!

©2009 Doug Champigny, Captain-Affiliate.com. All Rights Reserved.

Affiliate marketing has changed since the onset on the global recession. Not just evolved, but changed suddenly, leaving many affiliates behind and confusing a lot of newbies who are seeing their confidence eroded as the techniques they’ve been taught fail time and again.

Understand this right now: If your affiliate marketing strategies are based on information more than a year old, on tactics people still teach from a few years ago, or on methods you’ve been using for years, your commissions have dropped significantly or been completely wiped out, and your efforts going forward will be increasingly less effective.

To listen to an Audio Version of this affiliate marketing article, click this arrow:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you’ve been in the biz for more than a couple of years, you don’t need me to tell you your affiliate commissions have dropped – either you’re working 3 times as hard now and accepting a lowered lifestyle or you’re looking for a full or part-time job to supplement or replace what was a full-time income until recently.

If you’re new to affiliate marketing and following advice from one of the gurus or super-affiliates who are still milking their success from a few years back, as most are, then you know you’re not experiencing nearly the results they told you you would, even though you’re following their instructions to the letter, right?

Well, fear not. For all the changes, there are still more affiliates making more money online today than ever before. But the business has both evolved continually over the years and changed suddenly a few times…

When Teri & I started affiliate marketing 12 or so years ago there was very little competition. A simple banner at the top of a page on your website pretty much guaranteed traffic to your affiliate link, and thereby some commissions each month. When we started blogging 5 years ago, a graphic in the sidebar drew traffic and a blog post could simply be the first half of the text from a salespage, followed by your affiliate link to that page – and it got results.

Search engine optimization was easy because the directories told you the truth about how they rank websites, whereas today you only need compare any search results to what they state are their ranking criteria to know you haven’t been told the truth, either intentionally or by lies of omission.

By now, I’m sure you’re wondering about all this… How can what I’m saying be true when it flies in the face of what most of your tutors, guides and mentors are telling you?

There’s a simple test – compare what they’re telling you to what you see actually going on online. Have they released a new product in the last 6 months? Not a Master Resell Rights product, but one they actually wrote? Do their blog posts teach you instead of just selling you? And most importantly for affiliate marketing – are you still seeing their names on the leaderboards of various JVs and affiliate launches?

On the other hand, some have been giving you valuable advice all along, but for the most part it’s been too vague and general for most people to integrate the ideas into their strategies. The most valuable information you’ve been given vis-a-vis the current state of online marketing is:

1) Pay It Forward.

2) First Give, Then Collect.

3) Teach your audience so they know WHY they need the product you’re recommending and HOW to use it once they have it.

But the question was always ‘Just how do I implement that in my daily activities?’

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the biggest launches this summer…

In June, Resell Rights Fortunes launched – and as an affiliate marketing opportunity, I think this was the best launch so far this year. Not only did we make more on this launch than any other, but so far the residual commissions have added another 40% to what we made on the launch!

So how was the launch made so successful? First, Socrates created two powerful videos showing relatively unknown ways to build your opt-in list faster. He put them online 2 weeks apart, allowing his launch partners 2 weeks to send traffic to each video, and cookied each visitor for the affiliate. Then he added in a short e-mail course that gave them more powerful information without pitching anything.

When the time came for the launch, he already had a new 5-figure opt-in list of marketers from those promotions, and he did his best to convert as many of those leads to sales as he could to help out both the affiliates and himself.

To keep the JV partners and affiliates motivated, he ran TWO contests during the pre-launch – one for the most referrals during the whole pre-launch and another for the last few days of the pre-launch. We took home a notebook and a flip cam from those two contests, so obviously we were happy with it – especially since those were on top of 4-figure commissions the first week the site was open.

So let’s take a look at how the POWER OF FREE made this a successful launch:

From the Site Owner’s perspective:

Socrates put more into making this launch successful than any of the other events we’ve promoted. First, he gave away thousands of dollars worth of prizes to his affiliates and JV partners – prizes based on pre-launch opt-ins, not on sales. If the launch had flopped, he’d still be on the hook for all of the prizes.

Secondly, for the new prospects he gave away the content of those two videos – powerful list-building strategies he could easily have turned into a product and sold. Yet by giving them away free, he both built his opt-in list and demonstrated his expert status to the visitors his partners sent to the site.

From the Affiliates’ perspective:

We were able to warm up our lists, blog readers, Twitter followers, etc. to the site by offering them not a product for sale or a membership to join, but instead by sending them to free information on how to build their lists faster. Since everyone in online marketer always needs to be building their opt-in lists as quickly as possible, this was a very powerful free gift we could give them.

Then, two weeks later there was another video showing them yet another way to build their lists. Not only did those who visited the first video return, but an almost-equal number of additional people went to watch the second video, and were able to watch the first video as well – Socrates invited them to view the first video as part of his followup sequence.

Then Resell Rights Fortunes launched – a new PLR and MRR membership site, launched at the height of the recession when most membership sites where losing members in wholesale fashion… The result?

Resell Rights Fortunes launched with over $100,000 in memberships sold the first week! Granted, if it hadn’t been (and still is) the best site for marketers to get their PLR and MRR products, with innovative search technology that makes the site much quicker and more profitable for members to use, the launch wouldn’t have been as hot – and we certainly wouldn’t be making as much in residual commissions because the members wouldn’t be staying as long as they are.

But even with the best membership site and the highest member value online, the site still would have flopped – or been very small – if it hadn’t been for the free resources that Socrates used to attract targeted prospects, and the free gifts he made available to his affiliates and JV partners during the month-long pre-launch. And the affiliates who promoted the launch wouldn’t have had nearly the success we did if we hadn’t had those free videos to send people to in the first place.

THAT is the POWER OF FREE in affiliate marketing. No longer is it enough to just send people to a salespage to make your living, and no longer can site owners expect to have big sales without paying it forward by offering both solid, valuable information for free upfront and using that free information to demonstrate their expertise in the niche and assure people they’re not buying into one more source of overused and rehashed material.

That’s it for today – next post I’ll show you how the POWER OF FREE is being used by Expert WordPress, ClickBank Pirate and the Niche Audio Club to benefit their members and their affiliates on an ongoing basis – tune in then!

To your Profitable Affiliate Marketing…

Doug Champigny,
http://Captain-Affiliate.com

PS – If you’re not already a member of Resell Rights Fortunes, be sure to check it out today – I’ll be showing you how to use it effectively to boost your affiliate commissions in the new affiliate marketing paradigm and how it lets you master the POWER OF FREE strategies with ANY affiliate marketing promotions you get involved in. Watch for those posts coming soon – same profit time, same profit channel! 😉

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Why I Love Affiliate Marketing – Part 5
By Jimmy D. Brown of “Affiliatenaire”

The word “overhead” is not a favorite among those who run
businesses of any kind. Nobody likes the expenses of
operating a business. And nobody really talks about them
much when it comes to promoting all of the “money-making”
products and services online.

But, don’t kid yourself, there’s a lot of overhead.

That brings me to the fifth reason why I love affiliate
marketing…

** You don’t need a big budget to make it work **

Do you have any idea how much money is spent running an
internet business? There are monthly fees for…

* Autoresponders
* Hosting
* Management
* Advertising
* Scripts
* Much more

There are regular fees for…

* Licensing
* Outsourcing
* Support
* Customer Service
* Maintenance
* Development
* Recruting
* Much more

It’s not uncommon to spend tens of thousands (even
hundreds of thousands) of dollars in operational
costs — which is fine if you’ve been in business
a while and are making the bucks. However, if you’re
a newcomer, it can be taxing on your budget!

SIDEBAR: I paid one girl over $30,000 last year
just to oversee one small part of my business.
No one talks much about it, but there ARE a lot
of expenses involved before you get to the
“bottom line” of profit.

BUT, with affiliate marketing, you don’t need a big
budget to make it work! You can simply use a variety
of free and low-cost marketing methods to generate
clicks to your affiliate link.

That’s why I love affiliate marketing.

You don’t need a big budget to make it work.

…………………….

Jimmy D. Brown is the author of “Affiliatenaire”, teaching
you how to create big-time affiliate commission checks in
only 1-3 hours each week. Click here to discover how you can get cash in
the bank without a website, experience or even an idea!

…………………….

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