Copyright (c) 2007 Titus Hoskins
Creating an online affiliate marketing system which produces a monthly income is relatively easy. With one catch, you have to know exactly what you’re doing and how the whole online marketing system works. Figuring out all the details can take you years to learn.
What the beginning webmaster or marketer doesn’t realize building a solid online business takes time and patience. It is not done overnight, despite what the latest marketing gurus are trying to sell you, it simply takes time and a lot of hard work to build a solid online business.
First, you must have a basic understanding of how the Internet works and the future role you will play in it. You must understand the net is basically an extension of the real world: it is an enormous virtual playground as well as a vast storehouse of the world’s collective knowledge. But you must also understand the web is a global marketplace unlike anything that has been seen before on this planet.
If you want to be an affiliate marketer you must place yourself or your site into this whole online environment. As an affiliate marketer you must play some sort of role in the transfer of information within this complex structure.
Simply give surfers what they’re looking for: information.
Supplying valuable, needed information is your key to online affiliate success.
Here are some proven affiliate marketing strategies or tips to get you started on your affiliate marketing career. Each is a brief summation of some of the factors to keep in mind as you create your own complex, yet simple, online marketing system.
1. Acquiring Knowledge
Your first step is to acquire the basic skills and knowledge needed to run an online site or business. When I started I had to learn how to write HTML from scratch and go from there… today there are many online site builders and WYSIWYG editors to get you started. Plus, you now have whole online site building systems you can use – Ken Evoy’s SBI comes readily to mind.
No matter which route you follow, you must understand how an online site works, how to use keywords, how to create valuable content and how to tie in your affiliate links with this content… all this basic knowledge you must acquire.
2. Get The Big Picture: Your Role – Your Content
You must fully understand your role in the whole online affiliate marketing process. Your content must be valuable to the Internet user, it must offer information, solve a problem or offer a special deal. There must be some reason why the surfer will use your site to find what they’re looking for on the web. They must benefit in some way from using your site.
Again, offering valuable, helpful information will spell online affiliate success for you.
3. Build Your Foundation
You must have your own domain or domains. You must create your own piece of virtual real estate that you can build and gradually add to as you proceed. Be wary of free sites. Don’t rent, own your real estate outright. Your sites will become your valuable properties you will continue to build for years to come.
When picking a domain name try to get as close as you can to the main keyword or keyword phrase represented by your site’s topic. Use hyphens if you have to but choose a name that is short and can be easily remembered and typed directly into a browser.
As for site design and layout – a simple solution is to use a blog format such as the free WordPress software and host it on your own domain. Extremely effective way of creating a full-powered content site without having to worry about learning HTML code or programing. You can have a website up and running within minutes.
4. Know Your Partners & Their Products
As an affiliate marketer you will be selling other people’s stuff. You must get to know these future partners and their marketing systems. Pick affiliate products directly related to the topic of your site. Something your visitors are interested in and would likely purchase after you have supplied them with valuable information about those products.
A good way to find potential products and partners is to join the well established major affiliate networks on the web. These networks represents most of the Top 500 Companies in the world. Affiliate networks like Commission Junction, LinkShare, Amazon, ClickBank, Shareasale… these networks have been around for years and offer excellent payment structures and commission rates.
5. Long Tail Keyword Marketing
Develop content and high rankings for long tail keyword phrases related to your site’s topic. These are some of the least competitive keywords yet they will also prove to be the most lucrative for you. Find the long tail keywords within your niche and exploit them. Using exact brand names of the affiliate products you’re promoting make for effective long tail keywords.
Consistently use and develop this long tail keyword strategy and you will succeed at affiliate marketing.
6. Build Your One-Way Links
Take a pro-active approach to link building. Don’t sit around waiting for links, instead go out and get them. Use your keyword anchor links in the resource box of your articles. Distribute these articles to all the major article directories… make sure Ezinearticles.com, Goarticles.com, ArticleAlley.com… are on your list.
Recommend products that you use, make forum posts, create viral videos, join social media sites, offer a free newsletter and build your own subscriber base, create follow-up autoresponder series on the major products you promote… these are all ways of creating traffic and customers.
7. Embrace Google But Don’t Ignore the Others
Embrace Google as if your affiliate marketing life depended on it – chances are it will be!
Google is the search engine that you must optimize for if you want your site to really succeed online. Don’t ignore the others, but Google has become the most popular search engine in the world and even accounts for 50% of all the searches made in the USA. (comScore)
So short of a brown-nose, do everything you can to please Google. The rewards are worth it. Whether you’re a Google fan or not, Google has gained the trust and respect of the majority of Internet users. Getting a top 10 placement for your targeted keywords will often mean money in the bank.
8. Be Aware Of The Social Media Revolution
Be aware the Internet is constantly changing and in the next few years everything will be turned topsy-turvy. We are talking about the growing popularity of user-generated content sites such as MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, Digg, Technorati…
Stay within the flow by making sure any site you create has a blog and RSS feed attached to it. Make sure all your content can be easily bookmarked in all these different social bookmarking sites. One simple solution is to use the easy bookmarking system supplied by Addthis.com, place their code on your content pages and let your visitors bookmark your content for you in all these different media sites.
9. Model It
In art one of the best ways to learn is to model or copy the masters. You learn by seeing how someone else has approached and solved a problem and then use their model or example. In affiliate marketing, one of the best ways to learn is to copy or model your business on one that has already been proven to work.
This is NOT literal copying of a site or business but simply modeling your own business on an existing example that works. Same structure, same marketing techniques, same principles… building your affiliate business on an existing mold or model is a wise route to take if you want to succeed.
10. Be Patient For Results
Building a viable online affiliate business takes some time so be patient. If you’re building a content rich site and targeting specific keywords it can take months, sometimes even years, before you obtain significant results. So have long term goals in place and expect plenty of hard work before you reap the real rewards.
Just remember becoming a full time online affiliate marketer is well within anyone’s reach. However, like most things in life, the journey is always much more enjoyable than your final destination. Many of you will probably discover, like I did, that ‘the reach is the grasp’. Actually doing something is the main reward, all those monthly affiliate checks are just pleasant aftershocks. Very nice aftershocks that add up very quickly into a healthy monthly online income!