This is one of the biggest mistakes many affiliates make and when I first started online I did the same thing. I want to share this with you so you won't make the same mistakes.
The one major mistake many affiliates make including myself was NOT setting up a list the right way!
Affiliates will often send traffic that they generated to affiliate links, rather than a list. When they do this, they are unknowingly making a bet that visitor will buy on first contact. Unfortunately, this is generally not always the case in most niches.
Many marketers using bum marketing aspects of article marketing are doing this and it's not wise for a long term business plan.
If you really want to sell other peoples products make sure they are closely related to your own and to the subjects of your blogs and or newsletters if you already have these aspects set up. Otherwise you will not sell a thing and risk losing them as a subscriber if your content is not related. Try to get away from the idea of just doing things to make money.
Your success will come from adding really good products in a skillfully written email that makes you sound like their friend and gains their trust but only once you have given them something of value. If you don't have their trust they will not buy in most cases. One off sales are nice but for long term it's sort lived.
Visitors often need to be warmed up to a product through the course of multiple visits and additional information before they are willing to purchase from a person or a business. This is where building a list comes into play.
By building a list, as an affiliate you can fix this issue. Additionally, you can retain traffic, warm it up, and then direct it to different purchases in the future. This means that it isn't a one-shot deal: instead, you can attempt to sell the same person multiple products over the course of time.
Now, in order to do this successfully, as an affiliate you must purchase the necessary tools. I personally suggest using Aweber for the actual auto responder service.
Aweber is relatively inexpensive about $25 per month and comes with a formidable range of services, including spam checkers and macros. Best of all, it is white listed by many email clients and boasts a delivery rate of 99%.
Find one that you like or that someone you know has used with success. there are pros and cons to most anything in life.
This service will not only manage your list, but it will also help you build it. It includes free tools that allow you to create web forms, pop-ups, and hover-ins - all of which can be used to increase your opt-in rate.
Now, in addition to purchasing the auto responder service, you will need to setup your own site if you do not already own one. If you already own a related site, you can simply add your opt in form to a page on your existing site. If not, I suggest purchasing cheap domain and hosting.
Once you have your site and your auto responder setup, there are only two steps left: the first is building a course of some sort that is related to the affiliate products you will sell; and the second is creating an opt-in form that converts.
The first part is relatively easy. Start by determining your topic and then outline it over the course of five to seven days. Remember that everything should be written as if you are talking to a person, rather than as if you were writing a formal article.
You don't have to set up an entire e-zine like I've done for a couple of my niches but over time you might want to consider doing this in some niches.
I primarily use the idea of using for the first 3 to 4 days of giving away really cool free stuff like reports, videos, keywords, squeeze pages and other related stuff. Of course with a guitar niche you would not give them keywords and squeeze pages.
Be very conversational when sending it and speak to them as if they're your best friend.
Example. "I found this really cool guitar video on how to play pentatonic riffs... thought you might like it. Here you go:"
Do this for 3 days in a row. Send short, concise messages that are to the point giving them new cool stuff everyday for 3 days.
Step #3. On day 4, send them the following style of email.
The reason I'm saying that is because I'm receiving so many emails thanking me for the stuff I've been sending that I can no longer reply to them all personally. Otherwise that's all I would be doing all day.
So, I'd just like to tell everyone...
You're welcome and it was my pleasure to send out those cool guitar videos. Hope you learned some new riffs.
Truthfully, I know that you would do the same for me if you were in my position.
I was wondering if you would do me a favor... I've updated the course for 2009 and I've added all new stuff. Before I take it to the rest of the world, I was wondering if I could get your feedback on it.
Here's the scoop...
You can have the entire course for free - and if you decide to keep it, you can pay me for it a month later, what I'd really like to do is just get your opinion on it and have you go through the course and tell me what you like about it because I'd like to use you as a testimonial for my new guitar site.
Please let me know if this is okay.
Here's where you can go to get the course:
< LINK HERE TO GET THE FREE TRIAL (GET NOW/PAY IN ONE MONTH) >
If you don't feel comfortable writing these types of emails and articles yourself, you can always hire a ghostwriter at Elance for $5-15 per issue, depending on the size or right here on the Warrior Forum you can find deals in the WSO section. Sometimes you can find email series on your niche already written for you and you can simply ad your own personality to them.
Once you have created your auto responder series, you will want to feed it into your auto responder, setup advertisements in the text for the affiliate product you are planning to sell, and then create an opt-in form for your list.
Once you have setup your opt-in form, the only remaining step is to drive various traffic sources to your opt-in list, collect their email addresses - and then wait for the commissions to roll in!
A tiny list of 500 can be more effective than a list of 2,000 if you set your list up properly. I'm simply amazed how many lists I'm on within the IM niche that are 100% sales driven without providing any related content to the niche. I'm NOT saying this is wrong, I'm simply just amazed by them.
If you have no ideas on what or how to write a proper email series you can simply subscribe to a few within your niche like I've done within the guitar playing niche and emulate the good ones. This does not mean copy them. Emulate which means use them as an example and write things from your own perspective and use your own personality and ideas within them.
I hope this helps you in some way because if I did this when I first got started online I could have saved a lot of wasted time driving hard earned traffic to build other marketers lists...