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Affiliate Marketing Tips For Beginners (6 questions and answers)
by Michael Rasmussen 2009-04-20

1) I'm brand new to online marketing. Can you tell me
if affiliate marketing is a good way to start? (asked
by William Ackersly)

ANSWER: The short answer is, "Absolutely!" There's
nothing magic about affiliate marketing, but it's a
great place to get started. The reasons are pretty

* It takes VERY little money to get started. I
recommend having your own website, and you should have
an autoresponder account as well. But that's really
all you need to pay for.

* It's easy to get started FAST. You can get set up
within a day and easily start promoting products the
next day, or even that first day. It's not hard.

* The profit potential is great.

Even if you've already got an online business,
affiliate marketing is worth a look. It's a great way
to supplement your income, and in most cases, it's
easy to add affiliate marketing to what you're already

So, regardless of whether you're just getting started
online or you've been at it for a while, affiliate
marketing can be a great way to make solid cash.

2) How do I pick affiliate products that are likely to
sell well? (asked by Bethany Simmons)

ANSWER: The best strategy is to find products that are
already selling well. They're likely to keep doing that!
So how do you find them? Here are three quick ways:

* Search the ClickBank Marketplace to find products with
a good gravity score. I recommend looking for scores
between 20 and 150, which gives you a popular product
that doesn't have outrageous affiliate competition.

* Monitor what other marketers are promoting. I
suspect you're already signed up for several lists.
Keep your eyes open for what they're promoting. The
odds are good those products are converting well
enough to make it worthwhile for you to promote them.

* Ask the product seller how well it's doing. Most
people overlook this one, but it really works. I've
asked sellers how well their products are selling, and
they're usually honest about it. If it's selling very
well, they'll certainly have no problem telling you so.

And of course, you can combine all of those methods to
get an even better picture of what's selling well.

Regardless of where you start your research, one thing
you absolutely MUST do is review the sales page for
any product you're considering promoting. Is the copy
good? Does it make you want to buy? Is the sales page
attractive? Does the payment link work?

And you'll also want to sign up for and analyze any
autoresponder for a free sales page offer as well.
That will show you how aggressively the seller is
following up with people to try to sell to them
again...which can boost your commissions.

3) What's the best way to get people to take action
and purchase through my link? (asked by Chuck Greene)

ANSWER: The best way to get people to take action is
to give them incentive to do it. The two most common
tactics are:

* Offering additional helpful information on a product
review page. (I'll talk about review pages more in the
answer to a later question.)

* Offering a bonus to people who buy through your link.

Offering a bonus for an affiliate product has become a
sort of standard in affiliate marketing, but you don't
have to be intimidated by people offering massive
bonus packages. Your bonus just has to be attractive
to prospects.

For example, you could offer another related ebook
that you wrote and have never released before. That's
definitely unique. It might not be a huge bonus
package with everything from video training to
coaching, but it might be attractive enough to get
somebody to buy.

Here are a few other guidelines for offering a bonus:

* Make the value of your bonus several times the
purchase price of the product. Don't lie about it!
Make sure what you're offering is really worth at
least 50% more than the product, and preferably at
least double. So your bonus for a $37 product ideally
should be worth at least $75.

* Get a nice graphic image for your bonus. This makes it
look more attractive, professional and (most important)

* Make people sign up for your list to get the bonus.
That's that way to build your buyer list over time,
which will help you boost your affiliate earnings in
the long run.

4) What PPC strategies do you recommend for promoting
affiliate products? (asked by Robert Williams)

ANSWER: PPC is a great way to promote affiliate
products, and it's easier to do than most people
think. Here's the plan:

* Use trigger words and question marks in ad headlines
to get more clicks. For example, your headline might
say, "Be An Affiliate NOW?" That attracts attention,
leads somebody to want to answer the question, and
uses the trigger word "NOW" to get people to act.

* Target long tail keywords and product specific
keywords. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases with
three or more words. They typically get decent clicks
with lower competition. That means you can bid lower
for clicks, something like 25 cents or less, and still
get good traffic.

* Send people to a product review page where they can
click your affiliate link to get to the sales page.
This lets you "pre-sell" the product, which often
improves your conversions.

* Wait for 200-300 clicks. Ramp up your campaign if
it's converting, move on to another product if it's
not. Or you can try other keywords before switching
products. It's up to you.

That's the simple PPC strategy that keeps you from
spending too much while you figure out what works.

5) What makes a great product review page? (asked by
Ruth Ames)

ANSWER: I've mentioned product review pages a couple
times. If the concept isn't familiar to you, a product
review page is a page where you offer additional
information about an affiliate product, often as a
"review" of the product. That helps people know if the
product is worth buying.

Your goal with a review page is to excite a buyer and
make him more likely to click your affiliate link and
buy the product on the sales page. Here are few tips
for how to do that:

* Use a headline that includes some controversy. That
might be something like, "Is Product X Junk?"

* Foreshadow the sales page headline when you can. So
for a list building course that makes a bold claim on
its sales page, you might say, "Can You Really Build A
List Of One Million Like Product X Claims?"

* Offer helpful information and personal proof. If
you've used the product and got great results with it,
talk about that! If you haven't gotten results, talk
about your experience so far.

* Use a bonus offer as an incentive to click your
affiliate link. This tends to produce the best
results. It almost certainly will get you more clicks
through to the sales page.

6) Which is better, promoting high-ticket items that
sell fewer copies, or promoting less expensive things
that sell more? (asked by Ruth Ames)

ANSWER: This is sort of the wrong question. The real
question is how can you do BOTH?

What you really want to do is start by promoting some
less expensive stuff, then promote more expensive
stuff later as sort of a back-end marketing effort.

Once you've built a big high-ticket list, you can
promote the more expensive products more often. Your
list has build some trust in you at that point, and
your high-ticket promotions are more likely to convert

You can even start the process by promoting FREE products
with reasonably priced back-end offers built in. I've
used that strategy myself, and it works very well.

Remember, affiliate marketing isn't just about making
a pile of cash on a single promotion. It's about using
affiliate products to build a business. If you focus
on building a list and giving the people on it what
they want, they'll buy over time.

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