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April 4, 2011

Affiliate Marketing – How Do I Generate An Income?

There are several different ways to generate a viable and sustainable income in Affiliate Marketing, The very first thing you need to determine is what product or service you want to promote or sell. Out of the millions of products and services out there, how are you going to choose something that is desirable to the public, yet has a low threshold of competition? My first recommendation would be to think of a product you are passionate about. Doing research and promoting a product or service you love will be fun and exciting for you. Don’t get too general and pick a huge market idea but grill down to a niche within that large market so you can concentrate on a specific area that is of great interest to you.

After you have made this determination, you need to find someone who has this product and needs other people (affiliates) to help sell their goods or services. That’s one thing that’s so great about Affiliate Marketing; people are out there doing the work and are looking for people to help promote and sell what they have. There are several affiliate services available to you such as ClickBank or OfferVault where you can find the product(s) you have an interest in. You sign up in the program that interests you most, and you have the first step done. The next obvious step will be to figure out how to get traffic to your product so prospects will purchase it. These is where a great percentage of people get frustrated or give up, because they lack the skills to promote or market what they want to sell. It can be a very daunting task, but there are many venues at your disposal which will alleviate the frustration and make your plans and ideas come to fruition.

Let’s go over some ways you could market your product or services so you can monetize your efforts.

1) A Website – A website always becomes an issue because most people don’t know how to go about putting one up on the Internet properly. They either don’t have the skills, knowledge, or the determination to create a website. The first question would be: can you generate an income without a website? The answer is a resounding…YES. The facts are, however, your chances of generating a viable income rise exponentially with a website at your disposal. If you research enough, you will find all the information you need to create a good, professionally looking website on your own. There are also sites out there that charge very little to teach you how to do it. They won’t build it for you (site builders can be quite expensive), but you will learn the fundamentals of putting together an income producing website.

You will also have to choose a domain name (very reasonable cost) and find a hosting company. There are hosting companies that do exist that are free of charge and do a good job. Once you have your website up and running, you can link to a blog, post links to the product or service you want to promote, and create several pages to inform people about the different advantages and benefits of your products you would like to sell. The main thing is to find a reputable site that will help you accomplish this without spending more money than you are willing to expend.

You usually won’t create and market your particular niche for absolutely no expense involved on your part, but it can be very minimal. It is a good idea to find some site(s) that can help you with your foundation so as to avoid the frustration involved with finding everything on your own.

The website you create can be your most important ingredient for guaranteeing your success with Affiliate Marketing.

2) Article Writing – this is another simple way to get started in Affiliate Marketing. If you are going to write articles, you are going to have to post them somewhere so people and prospects can read them. There are an abundance of free article sites upon which you can post your article(s). I would have to say that one of the most popular sites is ezinearticles, but you can find several out there that are also free. You can also find article submission sites that charge you a monthly fee. If you feel you can get more bang for your buck using a fee based site, then you have to weigh that decision out for yourself. One important aspect in reference to your title in any article you write and post is that you need to use the right keywords so you can expect to draw some traffic. Google Keywords is still the place where you can research the best keywords available for your niche product.

If you don’t ever get anybody to read your article, you will never get any traffic. You also have to do that research we talked about because if you do not project a level of professionalism and knowledge on your subject, you will lose them to another site. You do have to be aware that when you submit an article; you cannot refer anyone to a particular affiliate link. You are allowed to put your referenced blog or website in their resource box, but you do have to follow the protocol of the article administration. You also will have to get used to publishing about 6-8 articles per month if you ever want traffic. One article won’t do it, but you will get the hang of it, as this is a great system which will allow you to gain the traffic you need to sustain an income.

3) Blogging – a relatively easy way to get started is to create your own blog. You can go to Blogspot or any free blog site, and you can get set up with a free blog page. It is not my favorite method to promote a niche product with Affiliate Marketing, but it does have its advantages. What I like least about blogging is the aspects of promoting it, and how you have to continually keep it fresh. If you have the same information on your blog all the time, prospects will quit coming, because you offer nothing new to help them make a buying decision. So, how do I actually get prospects to my blog? There are two very acceptable methods that work, and I will share them with you.

First, you can go to Google Keywords and find the right keywords that will draw traffic to your blog site. If you’re passionate about being physically in shape, you can’t just use the keyword “HEALTH”, as it is way too broad. You have to look at keywords that go deeper into your niche that promotes abs, thighs, buttocks, biceps, or jogging, and then you have to determine if you are going after the male or female traffic (or both). It is necessary to narrow your competition down by using more of the long tailed keywords that will apply to your niche product, and Google keywords will do that for you. An example of a long tail keyword might be: rock hard abs, or how to run a marathon, or enviable buttocks in six weeks. We could go on, but you have to find the right combination for the product you have chosen. If you go the blog route, I feel it’s important to use a keyword in the Title of your blog, as well. This technique helps draw traffic to your blog site and should convert to sales. Once you have decided upon your niche product, done your research, and picked your keywords, you can now create that blog. I would recommend that you start out with a review of the product, how or why you used it, and how it helped you. Then you will need to add the appropriate link to your product.

Second, you could use your social networking to attract people to your blog. Whether you tweet and follow people, have a following, or you do the same on Facebook, you can get people to your blog simply by strategizing a method that would make people want to visit your blog. You need to inform your prospects something about what is in it for them to visit, they, in turn, need to see what’s in it for them, and you need to make that call to action for them to at least visit your blog. These will be your prospects, and you then need to make them your customers.

Regardless of how you go about getting yourself involved in Affiliate Marketing, you need to do your research, not only for the product you want to promote, but the method(s) you choose to employ to promote it. Once you have a solid foundation, it will not only get easier, but you will continually get better at it and generate that income you deserve.


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