There are many ways to make money on the Internet but affiliate marketing is by far one of the fastest ways. It is also probably the one that brings in a good return on investment considering that it costs little to set up and yet has the potential of giving back huge profits in a short time.
One important aspect of doing affiliate marketing however, is to have a surefire system. In this article, I outline a 7-step system that can help you get started on affiliate marketing and may very well lead you on your way to affiliate marketing profits.
Step 1. Find a Profitable Niche Market
A niche market's profitability will depend largely on the amount of interest people have on the particular theme or topic. But a good niche market should also be one that somehow matches your own personal interests. This way you can easily write things about it because it is a market that you personally understand.
First put down in a list things that you are interested in like your hobbies, favorite topics, or even areas you are relatively quite knowledgeable about. Next you try to identify something in that niche area that people might have difficulty with and which you might be able to provide valuable information about. Then go to Internet resources like directories, discussion forums, search engines, and the like and try to gauge the level of interest that people have about your chosen niche.
One you have zeroed in on a particular niche market, determine its probability by checking with a keyword research tool like Wordtracker to see what keywords or key phrases are related to your niche that people are using to search for information about it. A profitable niche market would be one that people search for quite a lot through various keywords or key phrases and one where you can find good products in the market that offer affiliate commissions.
Step 2. Set Up Your Affiliate Website
To set up your affiliate website, you need to build one where you can put in a way to build a mailing list and also your affiliate links. There are several ways to do it:
a. Doing product review
b. Providing informative content
c. Creating a one-page sales copy that redirects to your affiliate website.
The one which I recommend is to build an information-rich website related to your niche topic and have an opt-in form that not only captures leads to your affiliate offer but also builds up a mailing list for long-term profitability.
Step 3. Fine Tune Your Affiliate Website to Perfection
Make sure your website runs without errors before you formally launch and begin promoting it. Run a fine tooth over every page and check to see if all links are working correctly. Spelling and grammar are also equally important things to check.
If you have a lead capturing page with an autoresponder, it would be good to test the messages being sent out by your autoresponder by signing up for it yourself using several email addresses that you own. It would be a good thing to have several of these email addresses ready for such testing purposes.
Lastly, check for other things that can potentially turn off website visitors like browser incompatibility or even the ability of your website to be viewed through different form factors. Remember that nowadays, it is not just browsers that you need to worry about but also the different sizes of different gadgets that people might be using like laptops, tablets, or even smartphones.
Step 4. Create Leads by Drawing Traffic to Your Website
When your website is ready, make sure your potential market gets to see the website you have created by sending traffic to it. There are several ways to draw traffic to your website like paid advertising, sending backlinks from other websites, posting in forums or commenting on blogs, writing articles for ezines and other article publishers, or even going into joint ventures with other website owners who are also starting to build their own lists. Later on when you have built your own list, these joint ventures can become larger sources when you can cross-promote with others who have also built substantial lists.
Step 5. Build a Relationship With Your Leads
There is where an autoresponder becomes truly valuable. With an autoresponder, you will be able to automate the whole process of sending follow-up emails with those who are signing up for your mailing lists. Educate your potential clients with content and information-rich email messages. This way you are not only building up your trustworthiness and credibility but you are building a relationship with your leads that eventually will lead to a sales conversion and bring in your affiliate commissions.
Step 6. Increase Your Profits Through Back End Affiliate Marketing
This is a critical part in the whole income generating exercise. Once you have customers led into your affiliate marketing system, the key is to leverage opportunities to market more affiliate products. During the checkout process, you may strategically place a related product that your customer may want to check out. Other places in your marketing system could be your thank you page or even your error 404 pages so that even when they accidentally hit a non-existent page, your error-handling system will bring up a page where you can have more opportunities offered. This is the whole idea behind back end affiliate marketing.
Step 7. Duplicate and Leverage Your Affiliate Marketing Efforts
As the saying goes, "Success begets success." The experience you got from setting up your affiliate marketing system for your first product will be a valuable input to your succeeding efforts. If you happen to have generated a modest success in your first effort, the key is to continue perfecting the system and automating it more and more. Once you have automated steps 1 to 6 completely, repeating it and gaining bigger and bigger success in your affiliate marketing will become easier and easier.