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8 Ways to Explode Your Affiliate Commissions

by Michael Hopkins

   Affiliate programs are a great way of generating income
for your online business if -- and only IF -- you go about
them the RIGHT way.

   Simply signing up for every half-interesting program you find and then sticking a link somewhere on your website is NOT enough. This is what a great many people do when starting out and, when it doesn't generate any income, they become discouraged and lose confidence in the concept of promoting other people's products.

   This is a shame because you CAN make good money promoting affiliate products -- but only if you promote the right products to the right people using the right methods.

   So, if you're fed up of making zero cash from any of the programs you promote, then you might want to consider the following points and adjust your approach accordingly...

1. Choose programs relevant to your target market

   This is a crucial point that is ignored by a great many people. Just like any aspect of your online business, it's vitally important that your affiliate program promotions are FOCUSED on your target market.

   Joining a hundred different programs and placing all their banners on your web pages will get you nowhere. Join only those programs that will appeal to your target audience and then promote them heavily.

   If you don't know who your target audience is, then you need to work that out first. Then, once you've established who your market is (the narrower the focus the better), promote only those products that will appeal to that market.

   Don't promote too many different products either. Select a few of the best and concentrate all your efforts on promoting those products only.

2. Treat affiliate products like your own

   This is a very important point that, again, many people choose to ignore.

   Rather than just putting a link to the product sales page on your site, you should pre-sell the product on your site. This is best done through writing a thorough review/recommendation of the product in your OWN words. Leave the 'hard-sell' to the product website itself, the focus of your mini-site should be on putting the visitor in the right frame of mind before visiting the product website.

   Some of the web's most successful affiliate marketers will create a mini-site (including domain name) for each product they promote and then they use that mini-site to:
(1) pre-sell the product and
(2) collect the email addresses of their visitors.

You could offer visitors a free e-course (or ebook) related to the product you're promoting and then integrate your affiliate links into the e-course.

   By collecting email addresses, you achieve two things:
(1) you can follow-up with the visitor to remind him/her about the product and
(2) you can follow-up with the visitor to promote other products that appeal to the same target market.

Promote you mini-site using PPCs, ezine ads and any other online marketing strategies that you usually use.

3. Test and track

   The only way of knowing which links, banners, ads, etc. that are working (and, consequently, which ones aren't) is to test everything.

   You can do this by using an ad tracker (also known as a link tracker). This will add just a few extra minutes to setting up your links and, over time, it will provide you with an invaluable insight into what kinds of links and ads get clicked and what ones don't.

   If you're not doing this, you'll continue to wonder why you're not earning the commissions you feel that your efforts deserve.

4. Write recommendations/reviews

   Writing product recommendations is one of the most effective ways to promote any product.

   If your subscribers (or visitors) trust you, then they will also trust your recommendation. Be careful, however, to use this approach sparingly. If you start promoting everything by way of recommendation, your credibility risks wearing thin -- especially if your recommendation seems exaggerated or without merit.

   Don't be afraid to mention the things you DON'T like about any given product. This will make your recommendation more believable AND will increase your credibility.

   Remember, if your visitors are even remotely interested in the product you're promoting, they'll be delighted to learn what's good about the product, what's not good AND, above all, how exactly the product will BENEFIT them.

(Continued below...)

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5. Write your own ads

   When one of the 'big name' marketers launches a new product, it seems like EVERYONE jumps on the promotional bandwagon within days.

   The result is usually countless emails arriving with the same subject line and the exact same write-up inside.

   The first time you see it, you accept it for what it is. However, after the twentieth time, you find yourself unsubscribing from many of the ezines because, what you first thought was a genuine personal recommendation turns out to be just another pre-written sales pitch for affiliates. Again, it's a credibility issue.

   When promoting a product, don't use the tools offered in the product's affiliate site -- chances are your subscribers have already seen it all. Instead, write up your own ads using your own words.

   Again, the best way to go is to test the product yourself and then write up your recommendation or review.

6. Create promo freebies

   We're all familiar with the concept of offering freebies to promote our own products, but very few people do it to promote affiliate products.

   Some affiliate programs will offer you freebies that you can use to promote the program but, like the ads, if possible it's best to create your own.

7. Test the product AND support

   Never run the risk of promoting junk. It takes a long time to build credibility and trust -- but it takes just one bad mistake to destroy it.

   ONLY promote products that you have 100% confidence in. Also, it's a good idea to test the product support before you begin promoting to ensure that the people you refer won't be left high and dry as soon as there's a problem.

8. Offer bribes

   This is possibly the most effective strategy of all. This belongs to the 'make them an offer they can't refuse' school of thought.

   In a nutshell, you tell your visitors/subscribers that if they order via your affiliate link, you'll give them [WHATEVER PRODUCT] for free.

   It's important that the product you're offering as a bribe is laser targeted to appeal to those same people that will want the affiliate product you're promoting.

   It's also important that the product you're offering is not freely available elsewhere -- your bribe must represent genuine VALUE to the would-be customer.

   If you don't have a product of your own that you can offer, then here's an approach you might consider using:

Let's say you're promoting [PRODUCT A] that costs $97 and pays out 50% affiliate commissions. That means that each customer you refer would earn you about $45 - $50 (depending on credit-card processing fees, and so on).

Now, let's say there's another product, [PRODUCT B], on the market that sells for $47 and appeals to exactly the same target market. And lets say that this product also has an affiliate program that pays out 50% commissions.

Now, you write to your list telling them that you'll give them [PRODUCT B] absolutely free if they order [PRODUCT A] through your affiliate link.

So how do you do this?

Firstly, you tell your list that, once they've ordered [PRODUCT A] through your affiliate link, they should forward the receipt for their order to you.

Then, you order [PRODUCT B] through YOUR OWN affiliate link and give it to the customer. That way, you'll earn about $45 commission on [PRODUCT A] which you re-invest in [PRODUCT B]. Then, you earn your commission of $20-$25 on [PRODUCT B].

Obviously, you need to have enough cash in your bank account to cover the costs of buying [PRODUCT B] until your commissions come in. Apart from that, this is a hugely effective way to motivate your list to click on your affiliate links.

One final point, be sure to contact the seller of [PRODUCT B] before doing this to ensure that he/she is okay with the idea and, while you're at it, you might even try to negotiate a special discount to help further increase your profits.

There are lots of other ways you can 'play around' with the 'bribe' concept to increase your commissions.

   And there you have -- 8 ways to start earning serious affiliate commissions.

   Go back through each of the points again right now and look at which areas of your affiliate strategy you can improve right away. After all, the quicker you get started, the quicker your bank balance will begin to feel the benefits!

Michael Hopkins is a Successful Web Marketer and Owner of BizzyDays Ebook Publications. Visit Now to Download Original Ebooks for Free at: http://www.bizzydays.com
This Article First Appeared in Michael's Newsletter, Ebook Times. To subscribe visit: http://www.ebooktimes.com

NOTE: You're free to republish this article on your website, in
your newsletter, in your e-book or in other publications
provided that you include the 'About the author' information (above)


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