Have you ever walked into a store, bought 100 of something, then walked out with only one or two of them – or paid for 100 gallons of gas but then only pumped 2 or 3 gallons of gas into your tank? Sounds pretty silly, yet thousands of affiliate marketers do the same thing every day when they buy traffic that goes directly to their affiliate links.

Are you guilty of this major affiliate marketing mistake? Do you buy Cost Per Click (CPC) ads, ads on social media sites, solo e-zine ads, banner ads on websites, premium listings in search engines or any other such types of ads, all linked directly to your affiliate links? Let’s take a look at why this is so glaring a mistake, in light of it being so common amongst affiliate marketing methods…

Typical results for online advertising of products goes as follows: you buy 1,000 clicks from a targeted source, and of that thousand visitors you get sales from 1 – 2% of them – maybe 4 – 6% for a great offer or a spectacular result of 10% if the product is unique, timely, priced right and comes with powerful bonuses, right? Sounds both good and profitable – and it often is.

But what about the other 90 – 99% of those clicks you paid for? These people read the offer and rejected it for whatever reason – yet you still paid for them to view the site. Now they’re gone and you’ve derived no benefit whatsoever from the majority of your advertising budget. Sounds a lot like those silly examples above, doesn’t it? But what option do you have when you’re trying to build a profitable affiliate marketing business, especially in the early days of your online business when you don’t yet have a viable opt-in list to build your commissions with?

The solution is not only simple & elegant, but works equally well for super-affiliates and those just looking to start affiliate marketing. Set up your own blog, post about the product or service, and link to the product using your affiliate link – then use your paid advertising to send targeted traffic to your blog post. Suddenly you’re deriving at least SOME benefit from every click you paid for with your hard-earned advertising budget! How?

  1. The people who would have bought anyway will still buy,
  2. Effective pre-selling in your blog post can double your conversions, making buyers out of some who wouldn’t otherwise have bought,
  3. Some may not buy that product, but instead end up buying something else they see in your sidebar ads or in another of your posts,
  4. Some may subscribe to your e-zine or RSS feed, giving you more chances to put your links in front of them,
  5. Some may not buy, but find your post or overall blog worthy of mention on their social media pages,
  6. Those active on social media sites may use easy links on your blog to follow you on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and similar sites, and
  7. 100% of that traffic has just seen your name, your blog and your writing, branding you worldwide over time!

Easy to see the impact this can have on your affiliate marketing commissions, isn’t it? If you don’t have your own hosting for a blog, get that & unlimited autoresponders in one great package from http://hosting4marketers.com or if you don’t know how to install a blog get a free secure WordPress blog installer here. And by making that one small change in your marketing technique you can potentially invoke and derive profits from all seven of those points and stop paying for worthless traffic – starting today!

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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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