Friday, April 15, 2005

Basic Steps To Affiliate Marketing

1. Set some goals. How much money do you think you can make by affiliate marketing. While it is true that you can make some very good money, it is also true that you could make nothing, after a great deal of work.

So figure out what you think you can make a month, a week, or a day.

How much work do you want to put into it? Why make this a goal?

Because the amount of money that you will make is a function of how much work you will put into it. So make this a goal also, eight hours a day, forty hours a week. It is up to you and is a function how much energy and how motivated you are.

2. Learn as much as you can about Affiliate Marketing by reading forums, blogs, affiliate net works. And understand that as soon as you learn something, it will probably change. Affiliate programs change, technology changes, the web changes, merchants change. The only thing that is certain is that there will be change.

Check out the various Affiliate Networks like LinkShare for example. LinkShare - Join now

3. Find your niche. You will be more successful if you market things that you understand, and have some passion for.

Niche is defined as;

a. A situation or activity specially suited to a person's interests, abilities, or nature.

b. A special area of demand for a product or service.

You really have to give your niche careful consideration. By picking something that you have passion for you will probably be more successfully. No one can tell you what your niche is. I think you just have to try things and move toward things that you like. Affiliate marketing requires you to do a lot of writing, you will write ads, you will write copy for web pages, you may even write in a blog like this one. If you care about the subject matter you will write better and your readers, and customers will detect this.

Here is an example of a journal for mp3 blogs called Backbeat. I built this journal / site to market merchants in the music industry. It is an industry that I enjoy and am willing to put in the work required to keep track of what is going on in the mp3 / digital music world. I write reviews about mp3 blogs and promote companies that sell music products. This is the type of blog that you could also put together. You just have to pick a niche that you care about.

4. Identify Merchants that match your niche. What will your web site be about? Is your niche, something that will allow you to you sell books, toys, collectibles? Your niche will determine the merchants that you select to promote on your web site.

In the example above I have chosen the following merchants to promote on my mp3 blog.

iTunes Essentials Fantasia

General Banner Banner 10000064 - Everything about the music!

Musicmatch Jukebox 9.0 -Get more out of your music Download Napster 2.0 now! Real Networks

You can see from this line up of merchants that they all are related to the music industry and so they all are appropriate for my blog.

5. Build a useful, interesting web site on your niche. That last sentence makes it sound as if it is easy, but it is not. A good affiliate marketing site should be content rich, have many key words, and be easily found by the search engines.

There are many ways to reach this goal. And there is no one right way to do it. Also being found by the search engines requires some knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization). See this post for some ideas of how to get your blog found.)

And building your site again involves researching and writing. Some people focus on the search engine aspect of their sites, while others focus on the content side. (you can read articles here about the merits of both approaches).

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