How To Get Started In Affiliate Marketing
About one year ago, I decided to launch a website and in those days I knew nothing about anything to do with websites, back offices, social marketing, or any such subjects.
What I did have was a history of interest in personal growth, self- improvement and environmental issues. I had been reading and studying and growing myself over a long period of time and had become quite knowledgeable about change and growth.
I therefore decided to establish a business that could combine my interests and decided on the name of Spiritual Growth Tools as a company and a website- http://www.spiritualgrowthtools.co.uk. I had a company design the site for me as I thought that would be a little too ambitious, and set about writing some content for the site.
When it came to choosing products for the site, it was relatively easy- I considered all the products that I had used over the years, and came up with a list of the ones that had impressed me or helped me the most.
I contacted the companies and individuals concerned and asked them if they had an affiliate marketing program. Those that said yes, I filled in the application and where accepted, I then had to learn how to put the products on my website.
Essentially, most companies will provide banners, or pictures, and descriptions of the products for you in the form of html codes. These need to be copied and inserted on to the relevant pages of the website, and a picture added. A good piece of advice to follow, is always check that the links work!
What are the benefits of selling affiliate products?
One of the most obvious advantages to selling via the affiliate marketing program is that you do not have to hold stock, which for a start up company can be a very big consideration.
Similarly, you do not need any capital to begin trading, as the company will pay you a percentage of the sale when you have sent someone to their site. This means that it is a way of trading that is very cost effective for a beginner.
You can also sell products via an affiliate marketing program without a website. You can do this either by emailing friends and family about the various offers, or writing about them on blogs, and in articles, or alternatively, you can send out affiliate marketing links via your list using your auto responder.
Affiliate marketing programs allow you to sell products from all round the world, which gives you a lot more opportunity to find excellent products that not everyone else will have.
Another advantage is that you can post the link once, and then keep driving traffic to your page, so that lots of different people can see it. Essentially, as long as the product is still current, you could do the work once, and continue to see sales for it for months or years to come.
What are the disadvantages of selling affiliate marketing products?
One of the disadvantages of providing links to another site is that you are effectively asking your customer to leave your site. There are arguments for and against this. If you are providing excellent product links and really benefiting the customers, they are more likely to remember you and come back in the future as you met some of their needs that day.
If you only provide lots of links and very little content on your site, then you are likely to lose their interest quickly anyway, so it may be better to get them onto a different site where they are going to spend some money of which you will earn a share.
Another disadvantage of affiliate marketing links is if you are promoting more or less the same as everyone else, then you will have a disadvantage as you have little control over pricing, and very little to set you apart from others.
Also, people seem to dislike being on one site, and then being taken to another site to buy the product. An answer to this issue is to tell them that the link will take them to a different website.
My target market is the spiritual growth and personal development community, and some of the people or companies that I found that had relevant affiliate marketing programs for this market are:
Carol Look- EFT Master- Carol does wonderful recordings of sessions to help with Abundance, Business Abundance, Fear of Public Speaking, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking, Addictions and much more. I am not sure how I came across Carol Look, but I found her DVD’s and CD’s really helpful and easy to follow. See my website for links to her products.
G Jones- Hypnotherapy
– Literally hundreds of downloadable hypnosis MP3s for a very wide range of
issues. I have personally listened to Steve’s hypnosis recording and think that
they are great value for the money.See my website for links to these products.
Super Manifesting Products -
Manifesting. Being an affiliate for this company is a joy- they provide you
with a website, some landing pages and everything you need to start spreading
the word. See my website for details.
As I had experienced and used all of the above, I was happy to recommend them on my site. I will continue looking for good quality products and information to enhance my site.
A good tool for getting the word out there about your business is an auto responder service. Staying in contact with your customers and developing a good relationship with them is extremely important and can be one of the things that sets you apart from the competition, if done well. I looked at a few and decided to go with AWeber because of the ease of use, and the way that you can build up your list over time. They provide videos and tutorials to explain it all to you and when I could not work something out, the customer service is excellent. This is important if you are new to the business. Whether you are sending out affiliate links with your newsletters or just educating your customer base, people like to buy from people and this is a great way to build your relationship with your clients.
Another tool that allows you to talk to your audience about affiliate products is a blog. I have not done this yet, but it is on my very long to-do list.
I have, however, started writing and posting articles on sites like Ezine and HubPages, as this is a really good way to establish yourself in your market place and to let people know that you are there. It allows people who are interested in your niche to find you and as long as you are being helpful or informative, it can help to get your brand known.
Facebook is also a fabulous platform for sharing affiliate links if you have a Fan Page or a Business Page, and you are sharing links that are relevant to your target market.
Twitter is also a good place to share, although it is wise to get a service that will shorten your links, as you only get 140 characters to say what you need to. I have found budurl.com to be a great service and you get 21 days free trail to test it.
Affiliate Marketing can also be an effective way to bring in extra income for you if you have a blog or a website, or even if you just find some fabulous products that you want to share with family and friends. Write a review of the product or service that will encourage others to try it, and then send it to as many people as you think will be interested.
Written by Caroline Nettle.
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