Tips for the Business Savvy: How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs to Join

Internet marketing is growing ever more difficult as the global marketplace expands. As more and more people buy goods and services online, more and more businesses are also scrambling to take their wares to the World Wide Web. The result is a virtual marketplace where everyone is promised a chance to earn money, but where people rarely do so.

There is hope for earning money online, and this comes in the form of affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is a technique of promoting online businesses, where various online businesses join an affiliate program, and are paid for every visit, subscription, customer, or successful sale for the affiliate. The online business can earn commission through various ways, depending on the terms of the affiliate program.

Commission can be generate through pay per click, where an amount of money is sent to the member of the affiliate program every time a site visitor clicks on an advertisement posted on the affiliate site. Other affiliate programs pay on a pay per lead basis, where money is given to the member of the program every time a new customer registers through a link from the affiliate site.

Many businesses have grown and prospered due to this marketing technique. Small and medium-sized businesses, in particular, have enjoyed more popularity because they were able to latch on to large affiliate programs early. Due to the proliferation of affiliate programs, however, affiliate members tend to earn less money. Affiliate programs, moreover, have become derogatory, and tend to be associated with multi-level marketing scams.

Affiliate programs, however, can still allow you to earn money if you know how to select the best affiliate program that you should join. If you are interested in joining an affiliate program, take note of the following tips.

o Some affiliate programs require you to have your own website. Other programs will request you to follow an existing template that their affiliate sites use. If you already have your own website and are garnering many visits, then you may want to retain your website and look for an affiliate program that will require little of you in terms of online modifications.

If you are interested in adopting the affiliate program’s template, however, then ask for a copy of the site template, or look at the websites of their current members. If the template appeals to your tastes, and if the members earn more visitors than you do, then you may want to change the look of your website and join such an affiliate program.

o The most active affiliate programs are those that include gambling, retail, and adult associated sites. If your website does not cater in any way to these three markets, then do not lose hope. Also experiencing rapid growth are affiliate marketing programs associated with the travel, finance, and mobile phone sectors. If you can tailor your business to fit the needs of travelers, mobile phone users, or even gamblers, then see how you can fit into the affiliate program.

o Read the terms of commission, and see what ways you can earn money. There are different methods for you to earn commission through affiliate marketing. Pay per impression commissions are earned every thousand times an advertisement is displayed on your site. Pay per click commissions are earned every time the advertisement is clicked. Pay per lead commissions are given when customers register with the main affiliate site after going through your site. Pay per sale commissions are given to you as a percent of the order that a customer makes at the main affiliate site after going to them through your site.

An emerging commission model is the pay per call, a scheme where commissions are paid after calls are made to the main affiliate site after a referral from your site. Whatever the method you choose, make sure that you are ready to update your site to accommodate the advertisements that you will need to post. Make sure that your site keywords are also in order, so that you know what advertisements will be placed on your site, and what advertisements your site visitors may be interested in.

Explore these aspects of the affiliate program that you wish to join. As soon as you know the compensation scheme that you want, and the market that you want to cater to, then begin selecting among the many affiliate programs available online. The best affiliate program will be one that will cater to your market and even widen your market reach. The best affiliate program will be one that will earn you money and make your business grow online.

The Secrets Behind the Best Affiliate Programs: Doing it the Right Way

Aren’t you curious about what makes some affiliate programs work and what makes other affiliate programs doom to failure? More importantly, don’t you want to know what the people behind the best affiliate programs have in common and how and why they’re enjoying so much success?

Critical Success Factors of the People behind the Best Affiliate Programs

EXCELLENT PRODUCT OR SERVICE – The success behind the best affiliate programs is not primarily due to marketing expertise alone. Beyond that, the success that these programs achieved was mainly due to the type of product or service being endorsed by its affiliates. If you don’t have an excellent product or service to begin with, you can only achieve marginal and short term success from your affiliate program.

It’s important that you concentrate first on finding the right product or service to sell before worrying about affiliate programs.

FORTITUDE – If you want the street slang counterpart for it, fortitude is also known as “staying power”. The people behind the best affiliate programs, believe it or not, went through the same things that you’re experiencing right now, obviously not to the same degree but your experiences are fundamentally the same.

What separates these people from others is their fortitude. They understood that it takes a considerable amount of time for any affiliate program to achieve success. As long as they were reasonably certain about the soundness and effectiveness of their plans and strategies, these people were willing to wait and bide their time, even if it seemed that there was no tomorrow and absolutely nothing was happening to their affiliate programs.

But something did happen, and all their waiting paid off. It can happen to you too, if you’re waiting with the right affiliate marketing strategy.

THE POWER OF ADWORD OR ADSENSE – Pay per click ads or any of its improved versions is the best way to advertise about your products and services. It is also integral to the success of your affiliate program. Indeed, if you make a study of the best affiliate programs presently in the Internet, you’ll see how most – if not – all of them have made use of this type of advertising.

Of course, making use of AdWords or Ad Sense is not enough to guarantee total success for your affiliate program. You also need to understand the types of powers it does have and to what extent it can be used before you can effectively incorporate it to your affiliate program.

IT’S ALL ABOUT SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION – The people behind the best affiliate programs in the Internet don’t allow themselves to depend completely on other people when it comes to the SEO aspect of their programs. If you want to experience success, you need to understand exactly what’s required from you and what you can do about it.

Choosing to delegate the unpleasant and troublesome aspects of the job is not the way to go about it. If you don’t take time to understand the principles behind SEO and its various techniques and choose to let someone take care of it, how will you know if what’s being done for your affiliate program is right?

SEO is what drives traffic to your website, so isn’t that enough reason and motivation for you to sit down and finally tackle the concept of search engine optimization?

ALWAYS GET SECOND PEOPLE OPINION – Although the people behind the best affiliate programs are in some way or another confident about their decisions and choices, this doesn’t mean that they are convinced they know all there is to know about the Internet and about the products or services being advertised.

Adopting such an attitude is in fact career suicide. If you wish for your affiliate program to work, you need to acquire a second or even a third opinion about what you’re doing. Naturally choose someone you trust, capable of dishing out the truth no matter how unpleasant and whose expertise is a given. Don’t feel bad if you hear something critical, because you need to learn about these deficiencies in order for your affiliate program to approve.

WHERE TO FIND CUSTOMER LOYALTY – Old clients are easier and harder to please than new ones depending on the situation. Gather the contact details of die-hard customers by building an email opt in list. With such a list, you’re guaranteed an ear that’s ready and willing to listen to what you have to offer!

Incorpate all the factors discussed in your strategy and you’re sure to end up with a winning affiliate program as well!

The Difference Between Web Marketing Channels and Destinations

Sometimes within web marketing, we can be guilty of placing all of our hopes on our favourite web marketing channels, be that SEO, social media, PPC or another latest technique for overnight success. Any method of sending visitors to our website is a “marketing” channel”. Web marketing however isn’t just about generating traffic, it’s also about enticing that traffic to act. Equally as important as our marketing channels are our marketing destinations. In simple words, “channels” are how we entice people to our site, “destinations” are the places we send them to within our website and/or web properties. This article looks at why we need to consider our marketing channels and destinations as individual parts of an overall online marketing strategy.

People often come into web marketing with an excited focus on one, or more, marketing channels. They have recently read an article outlining why LinkedIn can unlock the true potential of any B2B business, or how the latest changes in Google AdWords allow them to follow their B2C customers around the web. Often, people come into web marketing with the belief that if they can simply get traffic from whatever popular web marketing channel people are talking about today, they will be instantly successful. The truth is that NO web marketing channel can be the sole solution to all of your business dreams. Marketing channels are great at generating traffic, but once we have traffic, we then have to make it as easy as possible for our traffic to find what they are looking for and act.

I Get Traffic But No Customers From My Website

One of the most common statements within web marketing is “I get traffic to my site, but hardly ever any leads or new customers. Web Marketing doesn’t work for me.” If we are getting lots of visitors from any web marketing channel, but not in turn getting at least a handful of new enquiries, then something has to be wrong with the relevance of our web pages with what people are looking for when they find us? The most common reason for lack of conversion is the “destination” we send people to from our chosen web marketing channels. For example, if we “tweet” about white chocolate, but then send people from that tweet via a link to our website homepage that shows many kinds of chocolate, then we are asking our website visitor to do some work in order to find what they were interested in.

So what should I do?

Let’s look at another example. Let’s suppose you let holiday homes in some wonderful seaside, holiday town. Let’s also suppose that some of your homes are dog friendly. Let’s say that you currently run ads via PPC for dog friendly holiday homes in your seaside town. If everyone who clicks on one of your ads lands on your generic website homepage that’s simply shows images of random holiday homes, then we are asking our website visitor to filter out the dog friendly homes from the others. They have to so some work to find what they are looking for.

Alternatively, with a little more work on our part, we could send people clicking on our PPC ads to a dedicated page that only shows your dog friendly homes. Maybe we also show a few great reviews for each one and perhaps even include some images of happy dogs spending time at our pet friendly holiday homes? Our website visitor has landed on a much more enticing and relevant page. We have both given the website visitor less to do and, more importantly, shown them exactly what they were searching for. It’s easier for that website visitor to now act.

In this second instance, our web marketing channel (PPC) and website destination (dedicated dog friendly holiday homes page) work in tandem to promote our holiday properties much more effectively. You may have read/heard the phrase “Landing Page”? A landing page is the most commonly used phrase to describe a website destination used online. I prefer the term “destination” because it helps me envisage an exciting place we send our website visitors to where we help them to “do” something they are interested in.

So, channels and destinations? Anything more?

Last week we went over that the difference between “connect” and “buy”. We can also apply this principle to our work on web marketing channels and destinations. Let’s suppose that a good number of our website visitors to our holiday homes page are not quite ready to purchase their holiday today. Maybe they are unsure where to go on holiday? Maybe they even want to know what would be the best destination for a dog friendly holiday? At present, if they land on our dog friendly holiday homes page, we currently only have a call to action for people ready to buy now. What can we do to “connect” with all those people currently researching where they want to go on holiday with their dog?

What if we offered a free downloadable guide to “Great Dog Walks In and Around Our Wonderful Seaside Town”? If we offer this guide in return for our website visitor’s email address, we have given them an action they can take today that will help them decide whether our seaside town is the place for their holiday, or not. We also gain the ability to continue communicating with that website visitor beyond this initial visit to our webpage. Perhaps some of our website visitors won’t book this time but will next? Perhaps some might book another destination that we offer holiday homes in? Perhaps they were even researching on behalf of someone else? Whatever their reason may be, by giving them an action to take and “connecting” with them (via our free dog walks guide), we have the ability to communicate with them continually about dog friendly holidays. The onus is, of course, on us to communicate well.

Web marketing has never been just about channels. SEO, social media or even PPC are never a sole answer to your online success. To be truly successful, we need to think about where we send people to and how relevant that is to their point of interest. We also need to think about what we offer people as a next action to take. If people are ready to buy great, if however they want to learn more, then we want to help them do that too. Business is a path of customer care, when people come to us we need to look after them every step of the way.