4 Strategies for Success with an Affiliate Website

Today I’d like to “bust” a certain affiliate marketing myth that’s been making the rounds since: well, since affiliate marketing started. It goes something like this:

To be successful as an affiliate, just join any affiliate program, slap their banner ads onto a basic web page, and PRESTO, you’ve got an INSTANT web business that will make you money hand over fist! For the record, YES, you can make a LOT of money by marketing other peoples’ products on the Internet but NO, affiliate marketing is NOT a shortcut to instant wealth!

As with any other online business, building a successful affiliate site still requires research, planning, and “here’s that four-letter word I keep insisting on using” work. It’s like building a house. The more solid the foundation is, the more stable the entire structure will be!

So if you’re thinking of starting your own Internet business promoting affiliate products, here are four strategies you MUST follow to GUARANTEE you earn the maximum amount of commissions:

Strategy #1: Start By Finding A Niche Market

I’ve probably said this a million times, and I’ll keep saying it until I’m blue in the face:
Do NOT get started by choosing the affiliate program you want to join!

Most people who start affiliate sites make the mistake of picking the products they want to promote first, because:

  • they look fun to sell
  • they think people will want them
  • they offer the highest commissions
  • they assume the products must be profitable, because so many other people are promoting them.

Trust me, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. You’ll end up working around the clock trying to drive qualified traffic to the site, and failing miserably (and you’ll likely drop a hefty chunk of change on pay-per-click ads in the process)!

So do your niche market research first:

  • What are your interests?
  • What kinds of problems are people going online to try to solve, within your areas of interest?
  • Which of these problems seem to be neglected by most of the sites out there?

Identify a group of people who are desperately trying to find something online without success and then offer them that something. They’ll be sure to snap it up.

Strategy #2: Make Sure Your Products Are Relevant and Related

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing all of those affiliate sites out there with banner ads promoting everything from cheap holiday travel to pet health insurance, steak knives to Internet marketing tips, all from the SAME page!

I call them “flea market” sites, and they’re a complete waste of time! Make sure that ANY products you promote are closely related to your niche, and closely related to each other! Otherwise, you’ll struggle to find qualified traffic for your site, and you’ll have a heck of a time writing copy that directly relates to your visitors’ needs.

But worse, you’ll also risk hurting your credibility. That’s because, rather than look like someone who has the interests of your visitors in mind, and really wants to help; you’ll look like someone who is out to sell anything to make a buck!

Strategy #3: Build A Strong Opt-In List, Then Establish Lasting Relationships With Your Subscribers

When you’re an affiliate marketer, email plays a BIG role in your ongoing promotion efforts. So make sure you start with a strong opt-in offer containing truly useful free information that’s relevant to your visitors. Then, over time, continue to send even MORE free information, to start creating that bond.

The more you can PROVE to your opt-in list that you’re a reliable source of useful information: the more you can train your subscribers to look forward to hearing from you: the more successful you’ll be! Not only will you build a rapport with your subscribers, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field, making it easy to recommend your products, which brings us to my final affiliate strategy:

Strategy #4: Personally Recommend Your Products For Maximum Conversions

If you were in the market for a new television, would you be more inclined to purchase a particular model because you saw an ad for it on tv, or because a friend that you trusted recommended that you buy it?

You’d likely go with the recommendation, right? And most people would, which is why plunking down a bunch of affiliate banners or links in a website, and then hoping that someone “anyone” will decide to click on them, is NOT going to make sales.

Remember, you’ve been building relationships with your customers through email marketing: they trust you: they view you as an expert: so now they’re open to your opinion.

Take advantage of that to TELL them about the products they should consider purchasing: and why they should own them. They’ll actually appreciate the recommendations, and as a result, your conversion rates will soar!

While affiliate marketing isn’t the “magic bullet” that will let you enjoy instant success online, it IS possible to earn substantial profits promoting other peoples’ products, if you do this, start by clearly defining your market, and then build an information-rich website that your audience will WANT to visit. Be sure ONLY to include products that are relevant, and take advantage of your site to build your credibility and establish yourself as an expert.

At the same time, be sure to build a large list of qualified subscribers, and take advantage of email marketing to both build lasting relationships, and promote your products. With the right planning and research and a reasonable amount of effort, you’ll be well on your way to a successful website recommending affiliate products.

Written by Derek Gehl

Taken from http://blog.marketingtips.com/affiliate-website/featured-articles