Saturday, August 16, 2008

An excerpt from 4 Pillars of a Successful Affiliate Website

An excerpt from 4 Pillars of a Successful Affiliate Website
by Derek Gehl

Today, I'd like to "bust" an 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'll 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 first picking the products they want to promote, because:

  • They look like they'll be 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?
  • Within your areas of interest, what kinds of problems are people going online to try to solve?
  • 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 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 to 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.

Even worse, you'll risk hurting your credibility. Because rather than looking 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.

24 Techniques for Closing the Sale

Please don't hesitate to contact me with ANY concerns or questions you may have. I am here to help YOU!

To your success in 2008!

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