When to say "When" to an affiliate programWritten by Chuck McCullough
Continued from page 1
you will be able to appeal to merchant and ask them to consider increasing their payout to you. This happens a lot in this industry, especially if it is a good fit for both sides. Worse case you might be able to get away with telling them that if they don't cooperate with you, you're going to change to another program. Chances are they don't want to lose your business, and they will work something out for you. So now we've done easy part and dumped programs that we know aren't appropriate for our site. What about ones that are fairly targeted to our content and that our visitors might be interested in? How do we know when amount that we are going to earn doesn't justify time and effort to promote a particular program? I once read that you should give at least 3000 impressions to any given program before making decision to keep it or drop it. I don't quite agree with this statement. According to this, I post a banner on my site, and if it hasn't made me any money by 3000 impressions, dump it. We all know (at least I hope we do!) that there is much more to being successful with affiliate programs than just adding banners to your rotation. So how do we set a benchmark? This has to be determined by you. It is based on your website, your visitors, program, and amount of effort you have put into promoting program. Have you blended product offerings in with your content? Have you given personal recommendations for any of products? Have you displayed links and/or graphics prominently so that majority of your traffic has a chance to see them? Have you mentioned new product offerings to your newsletter subscribers? If you can answer yes to majority of above questions, then you can make a determination as to how long to try affiliate program. If you've done these things and your visitors have passed right by offerings for a decent time frame and nothing has happened...its time to move on! Find another program and give it same due diligence. If you do this with each and everyone of your targeted programs, you WILL find a program that will perform for you! This process should be familiar to you...many, many internet marketers preach this concept...simply known as...TESTING!! Your online career is a series of continual tests. Try one product, if it doesn't work for you, get rid of it and try another one. After you have done this testing, then and only then, can you say "When" to an affiliate program.
Chuck McCullough is the editor of The AffiliateMatch Informer, a bi-weekly newsletter dedicated to teaching you how to make money through affiliate programs. For the latest news, tips, and articles visit his website at http://www.affiliatematch.com. While you are there you can signup for his free newsletter, and search the affiliate program directory.
MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS the 'Affiliate Way'Written by Carl Hruza
Continued from page 1
a short-term strategy, and then plan and implement a strategy for mid to long term. An effective short-term strategy might involve use of a combination of Banner advertising, opt-in email lists, and Ezines to get some traffic flowing quickly. The effectiveness of each will be largely dependant on your category of business and marketing message you create to front your ads (your web copy). At same time you must implement your mid to longer term marketing goals, which will form 'backbone' of your marketing strategy. The ideal vehicle for delivering steady 'targeted' traffic in higher volume and at low cost - 'Search Engines'. Consider this. If I email my 'sales offer' through opt-in email to a subscriber base of 300,000 people, I can expect to pay anywhere between $1500 and $5,000 for a one-time mailing, depending on target audience. Alternatively, for less than $1,000 I can register a domain name, setup some basic advertising web pages, have pages 'optimized' to rank well on search engines and host site for a whole year. When traffic starts to arrive through Internet searches it will be targeted and will produce a far superior visitor/inquiry ratio than through any other advertising medium. Most importantly it is a sustainable and predictable flow of visitors, generated at a very low 'cost per visitor' rate. Those businesses that plan for long term will mostly be around in long term. Those that do not, most certainly will not. "Making it big without spending a penny on advertising" - we see very few ways of effectively promoting a business on Internet these days without some costs. There are many places where your site can be advertised for free, but how effective are they? Be prepared to invest some money into marketing your business and try to seek out reputable services. Exercise caution whenever you see 'money for nothing' style promotions and do not gamble with your livelihood. Thoroughly test all your marketing campaigns so you can identify those that are successful and those that are not. In same way, monitor progress of your web site and record information about your visitors and how they found you. As a small or home based business entrepreneur, value your time! If you spend five hours submitting your site to free resource boards that bring you little or no business, remember that it has actually cost you at least $500. Trust only to good fortune, never to luck!
Carl Hruza - Top Web Promotion Learn more on how to market your web site effectively and improve visibility through the Internet search engines, along with how to start and operate your own Affiliate Program. http://topwebpromotion.com mailto:email@example.com