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!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (8)

Using Your Affiliate Program To Drive Targeted Traffic and Build Opt-In Lists

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

When first starting an online work-at-home business, most Internet marketers make two common mistakes with regards to setting up and running their own affiliate program – first, they wait too long to set one up and second, they don’t maximize it’s capability to build targeted traffic and build opt-in lists simultaneously.

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.

So just when should an Internet marketing newbie start their affiliate program? As soon as they put their first product online, whether it be a master resell rights product or one of their own creation. There won’t be a stampede of traffic from affiliates looking to promote your product, but at least you should be able to attract a few and get the affiliate program running.

Using your affiliate program to build opt-in lists is another matter – this takes a bit more work, but also should up your conversion rate noticeably and help those in your affiliate program to make more money from your products.

Normally an affiliate program offers the affiliates banners, buttons, sample e-mail copy, tweets, etc. to promote the products. The latest development in affiliate marketing is to now include funnels that begin with a free gift of considerable value. Upload a free report, e-book, audio, video, etc, and put it behind a squeeze page so people have to opt-in to see it or download it.

That signup puts them into an autoresponder-based e-course that provides more useful information over 10-15 e-mails, along with pitches for the product. Do not use affiliate links in this e-course but just direct links to the salespage, since you don’t want to overwrite the affiliate cookie of the referring affiliate.

This arrangement gives more value to the prospect while giving the merchant more chances to sell the product, and can increase the affiliates’ chances of making the sale and earning more affiliate commissions. And have no doubt – the more money affiliates make from your program, the more ways they’ll find to send more targeted traffic to your sites.

These new affiliate funnels are not hard to set up for each of your products, but it’s easy to see how they’d really turbo-charge your efforts to build targeted traffic and build opt-in lists quickly, since each person who downloads your gift or watches your video is added to your opt-in list right from the start. And getting other to help you build opt-in lists is always a good thing!

About The Author…

Internet Marketing Mentor and Speaker Doug Champigny

 

Doug Champigny, a.k.a. Captain Affiliate, is a world-famous Internet marketing coach, mentor, speaker and the creator of the PowerStart Marketing 4-week Internet Marketing Crash Course. To learn more about Doug or to book him to speak at your next event, contact him through his blog at http://DougChampigny.com.

 

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Comments (9)

Affiliate Marketing Strategy: Choosing The Right Traffic Tools

©2009 Doug Champigny. All Rights Reserved.

Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest ways to make money online, and the usual starting point for most work-at-home online businesses. Since the product, web site, sales copy and often even sample e-mails are already created by the merchant, affiliate marketing success simply involves sending enough targeted traffic through your affiliate link to the merchant’s site.

There are paid options to drive targeted traffic, such as the Pay-Per-Click ads you see in the major search engines, ads on web sites and blogs, and solo ads and sponsor ads in e-zines in the niche. But most people starting out with any work-at-home business need to conserve what little investment capital they have, and as such should focus on the myriad of free methods of generating targeted traffic.

The first concern is to decide which traffic tools are right for each affiliate promotion you’re doing. Look over the salespage and decide whether this product or service is short-lived, like a 7-day sale, or liable to be around a long time, like say a dog training guide. Is it a one-time sale, or can you earn recurring commissions as when promoting a monthly membership site or ongoing service?

If it’s short term, focus on the fast traffic generators like Twitter, your e-zine, your blog and social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon or Digg. You want targeted traffic that hits almost instantly, and don’t need to waste time using long-term traffic methods.

If it’s going to be around a while, start by using those same short-term methods to get sales started quickly, then hop over and do some articles, a Squidoo lens and a Google Knol. That gets you the quick traffic from the former, and then keeps some residual targeted traffic going to the page from the latter. If the conversions are good, keep up the short-term til results start to taper off, all the while adding to your long-term efforts. If results aren’t great, let your long-term efforts to date suffice and move on to the next product.

If you’re promoting an affiliate marketing opportunity that pays residual commissions, pull out all stops. Do all of the above, plus record & submit some podcasts, videos and press releases, do either a recorded interview with the site owner or a live teleseminar, use the recording in giveaways, do a few e-zine swaps and maybe even create some viral e-books on the topic to help promote your affiliate links.

In short, there are a lot of ways to drive targeted traffic to your affiliate marketing links for free – just be sure to use the right tools to match the potential returns, start off slow and if you see your affiliate commissions mounting, turn on the afterburners and maximize your return before moving on to your next affiliate marketing opportunity.

***********************

About The Author

Doug Champigny is a well-known Internet marketing mentor, speaker and super-affiliate. For more on affiliate marketing read his Captain Affiliate Affiliate Marketing Training Blog. For more detailed information on 14 ways to drive free targeted traffic to your links, see Doug’s Top Traffic Tips Training.

***********************

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Comments (8)

The Most Important Skill For Successful Affiliate Marketing

©2009 Doug Champigny. All Rights reserved.

We’ve been discussing the need for affiliates to build their opt-in lists, and talked about the fact that failing to do so is the main mistake made by affiliates. But to be successful as an affiliate, both for making money online and for building your opt-in list, one very important skill must be mastered – the most important skill for successful affiliate marketing.

In fact, this one skill is the main ingredient in the success of all online businesses, and the most important tool in your affiliate marketing skills toolbox: the ability to drive massive amounts of targeted traffic to your links! Whether you’re sending that targeted traffic to a free report on a butterfly-marketing type of site, a free download to entice them to join your list, to your blog in whatever niches you operate in or directly to your affiliate links, the number of targeted visitors you can mobilize quickly is going to be directly reflected in your affiliate commissions.

The good news is that many of the most powerful tools and techniques used by traffic masters are free, or require a very low investment – one that can often be made back on the first couple of affiliate promotions you do after including the new tool into your marketing mix, leaving you with pro tools with no net cost in short order.

The bad news (for some) is that it takes work – true effort – both to learn these various promotional techniques and to apply the tactics to any given affiliate opportunity. If you thought affiliate marketing was a way to make a lot of money online with little or no effort, you’re sadly mistaken and have probably been reading the salespages of online scammers, not professional super-affiliates. None of us got to where we are today without a lot of effort, even those who are able to outsource a fair bit of what they do – just learning what’s needed and how it must be done is necessary before you know what to outsource!

Now this doesn’t mean you’ll have to use every one of the traffic generation strategies in every affiliate marketing promotion you get involved in – far from it. Some techniques are short-term, bringing in targeted traffic almost immediately but then tapering off or stopping altogether, while others take time to build momentum, but can keep supplying visitors for weeks, months or even years. Tweets on Twitter are a good example of the former, while article marketing and video marketing are better examples of the latter.

So it stands to reason that if you’re promoting a 3-day sale, or even a week-long event, you’ll want to rely on your short-term, immediate-response tools. If you’re promoting a product or service that will be ongoing, especially one that pays residual commissions, you’ll want to use them all. Start with the techniques that bring instant traffic, then shift your focus to the mid- and long-term sources to ensure you continue to make money from your efforts for that opportunity. The higher your recurring commissions the less time you need to focus on making quick bucks, and the greater amount of your affiliate marketing activities that can be focused around list-building, pre-selling and getting involved in pre-launch joint-venture opportunities.

Start right now, today, and set the goal for yourself of learning as many different ways to drive targeted traffic as you can using both free and paid traffic sources. As your knowledge grows so should your ability to mobilize targeted visitors almost on demand, and that’s one of the biggest keys to achieving the super-affiliate status and big affiliate paydays you’re dreaming about now!

*************************
About The Author:

Doug Champigny is a well-known marketing coach, speaker, super-affiliate and targeted traffic expert, and the author of the Captain Affiliate Affiliate Marketing Training Blog. For more advice from Doug on driving targeted traffic, visit the Top Traffic Tips website.
*************************

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (6)