How To Profit From Affiliate Marketing Business

I’ll be walking through proven online money-making models, which you can focus on while doing your business. 

Each of these models works, but you have to work on it in order to make it profitable.

Nothing worthwhile comes without effort, especially when your focus is on building an online business with long-term dependable income.

Here’s a personal mantra, which may also help you: “Success Is About Getting Things DONE”

It seems simple but it’s exceedingly powerful. Stop and think about this, and ‘see’ the real logic and truth behind this phrase.

It can move you forward and propel you to get massive results.

I know this to be true, now it’s your turn to experience it.

Let us look at the model…
Model #1: Affiliate Marketing 

Affiliate marketing is still, in my opinion, the number one way for aspiring Internet Entrepreneurs to get started.

 Why? Because....

1. There's no inventory expense

2. No hassles with payment processors

3. No extra time spent on processing refunds or returns

4. You still get to practice all the essential marketing skills that will bring success in any other business you pursue

Think of it this way: if you've ever seen a product that made you say, ‘Wow, I know I could make sales if that were mine!’, then affiliate marketing is just the thing for you.

For all intents and purposes, any product you promote as an affiliate is your product.

You take 'ownership' by promoting that product as much as you would if you were the merchant, or copyright holder, or whatever.

The beauty of it is that you reap a significant share of the profit on each sale, with less than half of the hassle.

Two Profitable Affiliate Marketing Models: Pay-Per-Sale and Pay-Per-Lead

The first thing to understand about affiliate marketing is that it is a ‘pay per action’ model.

However, the meaning of ‘action’ is defined in a couple of different ways.

An action can be...

1. The sale of a product

2. The generation of a new lead

So, in other words, affiliates get compensated based on referring either customers or potential customers (leads).

The action that the visitor takes is either to buy something, or to fill out a form providing their contact information (becoming a lead).

Which type of affiliate marketing is easiest? The truth is they're about equal, but pay-per-lead has a slight edge over pay-per-sale.

It is much easier to get a prospect to fill out information, especially if the merchant is offering them some sort of bonus in exchange for that information.

Let's delve into each type of affiliate marketing, you can decide which best fits your goals…

Pay-Per-Sale Affiliate Marketing:

Pay-per-sale marketing is what most people think of when they think of affiliate marketing.

You, the affiliate, are tasked with sending traffic to the merchant in order to help him/her acquire new customers.

Whenever one of the visitors you refer buys a product from that merchant, you are credited with the sale and you receive a commission. This is where your profits come from.

Now, in order to make good money with pay-per-sale marketing, you have to do two things: 

1. Be highly selective about the products you promote

2. Be strategic in your marketing efforts

Being Selective...

There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there.

Each program is unique in terms of how much is paid out per sale, and how much support the merchant gives to its affiliates.

The mistake most beginners make is that they join every affiliate program that looks good to them, without considering whether that program will truly 'fit' with their marketing plan.

The first rule of selection:

Choose your niche first, then seek out a list of products within that niche that you can

The second rule of selection:

Be choosy about the products themselves. You want products which are high-quality, in demand and priced competitively.

The third rule of selection:

Do a research on your target merchant(s). Here, you'll be sniffing out information on the merchant's reputation in the industry from both a customer standpoint and an affiliate standpoint.

See if you can find reviews or customer experience reports about that merchant.

Also, look to see what other affiliates of that merchant have to say about the affiliate program.

Does the merchant pay on time? Does the merchant provide tools and support?

Final rule of selection:

Crunch the numbers. How high of a commission is the merchant offering, and how well does the product convert? How many sales in order to reach your target of $100?

Setting Up Shop...

What's the best way to get started as a pay-per-sale affiliate?

In order to make the big money in this game, you need to put yourself between the prospect and the merchant with more than an affiliate link.

In other words, you want to keep potential customers several steps removed from the merchant's website so that you have time to pre-sell them on the product.

How do you do this?

You do it by setting up your own, special sales funnel, which includes your website and your opt-in list.

The goal here is to send traffic to your site first, get the visitor to opt-in to your list and then follow up with him.

If we diagram the process, it looks like this:

Traffic --> Lead Capture/Landing Page --> Prospect Opts-In --> You Follow Up Via Email --> You Re-Direct the Prospect Through Your Affiliate Link

There are two reasons for doing things this way:

1. Having the prospect on your list means you can refer him to a variety of products over time, thus generating repeat sales.

2. Being able to pre-sell your prospect on the product boosts your revenue.

If you didn't do this, opting to send traffic straight through your affiliate link, you end up leaving a lot of sales on the table.

The prospect might not buy the product on the first visit to the merchant's site.

By the time he's ready to buy the product, he may have cleared his cookies (erasing your affiliate link, and
causing you to lose the sale).

Also, it takes more work to generating new customers than it does to get repeat sales from previous customers. You want these prospects on your list, so you can sell to them again.

Pay-Per-Lead Affiliate Marketing:

Under this model, you generate commissions by generating leads (also called Cost Per Action – CPA  for those using these services). Rather than referring people directly to a product, you refer them to product information.

Let me give you some examples to clarify this...

Common Types of Pay-Per-Lead Offers:

• Refer prospect to a mortgage refinance company, where he fills out a form to get pre-qualifying information about potential loans.

• Refer prospect to a health company offering free vitamin samples in exchange for filling out a contact form.

• Refer prospect to a trial version of a product or service

You see, the prospect is not making a purchase in any of these cases. Instead, he's getting free stuff.

The freebie might be a sample of a product, a trial or just an information request.

In any case, you get paid for generating that lead.

Now, you must be careful in the types of pay-per-lead program you promote. Always make sure that your merchant collects lead information ethically and unobtrusively.

This means that your prospect shouldn't have to take too many steps in order to get what he wants.

Filling out a simple form or two is the most it should take.

The better the offers and the easier they are to complete, the more you'll build a reputation for quality, and for protecting your prospects' privacy. 

Setting Up Shop… 

You have some leeway when it comes to promoting pay-per-lead programs because the imperative towards pre-selling is not as strong (we'll talk more about why in a moment).

 This means you can promote your programs through 'simple' methods, like: 

• Direct links to the merchant via Adwords, Blogs, Classifieds

As well as use the more involved method of collecting leads and publishing a newsletter.

Also, in most cases, a lot of your work will be focused on driving as much traffic as possible through your links for as long the merchant is running the pay-per-lead program.

Some merchants run them all the time, while others set them up only for limited-time special offers.

The real key here is to know how to best position the offer. Pay-per-lead is trickier because, often, there's only so much you can say.

Whereas as a traditional product would offer you ample opportunity to generate follow up content like special reports, e-courses and the like, a pay-per-lead offer just isn't suited to that level of detail.

At the heart of the matter is that the pre-selling tactics you'll need to use will be opportunity- focused, rather than benefits-focused. Ok, So What Do I Do…? 

“One of the most common approaches to pay-per-lead marketing is the freebies website or freebies newsletter”

This is a scatter-shot approach which allows you to promote a variety of unrelated programs under the guise of being a sort of freebies clearinghouse.

In order to narrow things down to a manageable level, you'd want to create your site or newsletter around some sort of theme, like ‘Top 10 Freebies Per Month’, or ‘Best Internet Free Trials’.

You'd then choose a couple of categories to focus on something like health, computers and finance - and build your website/newsletter around those.

In this sense, you're providing a service as a publisher of hard to find information.

Now, if you really want to limit things down to one niche, you'll need to choose high-paying pay-per-lead programs.

This means looking into the professional services like financing, debt reduction, attorney referrals, insurance and the like.

 >> Commission Junction ( ) has many of those. 

Those niches will allow you room to publish more content. 

What you'd do is set up a content-focused website or newsletter, and concentrate your efforts on publishing educational articles.

For example, let's say that you're promoting a life insurance pay-per-lead program. What types of content would you use?

• Articles about choosing a life insurance policy, estate planning, reviews of different
insurance providers.

• Interviews with experts in the field

• Quizzes that help people determine their overall health and life expectancy

• Useful tools – maybe a life insurance calculator that helps people compare plans side-by-side to see how much they'll spend for a $1 million policy over X numbers of years with Company A versus Company B

Now, in order to monetize this, you'd need to place your affiliate link in as many places on site (and in every newsletter) as possible.

 For example, at the end of each article, you would have a hyper-linked text-ad saying: “Need life insurance? Get a free quote in under 5 minutes”.

You would also benefit from using well-placed banner ads across the site.

All the Best.

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