Affiliate Earnings and Market Strategy

Concerned about how to convert traffic into revenue? Or maybe you are concerned about cost-effective web promotion?  Find the answers to these questions and more in this piece by Terrence Tan. In it, he shares with us tips on how to select a web marketing strategy. In addition, he delves into the affiliate earnings arena and how you can maximize your earnings.

How to Select a Website Marketing Strategy

You are operating online, or you plan to. Have you thought of a website marketing strategy? You would like to achieve one or more of a few marketing goals with your website:

  1. If you are using the website to present your products/services to potential customers – you probably would like them to contact you via contact form, telephone or call back service. You would also like to provide them with details on your products/services to enhance exposure and enthusiasm, shorten sales cycle and reduce marketing costs.

  2. If you are running an informative website – you might want visitors to register to a newsletter, join a forum, read your articles or subscribe for premium services.

  3. If you are an online retailer – you are interested in selling through the website.

{mospagebreak title=Basic Website Marketing Strategies}

Your website marketing strategy will be derived from the goals that you are assigning to your website, the nature of your offering and your potential customers.

There are few different website marketing strategies to adopt in 2 basically distinct scenarios:

  • Your target market is an established online market  Potential customers are aware that they can find your offering online, and actually looking for it in the Internet. In this case search engine optimization for carefully selected keywords that your target market uses is your best website marketing strategy. If it will be executed in a professional manner — it will definitely drive focused traffic into your website. However, keep in mind that in competitive markets other players will compete for those keywords as well, and you should try to be as focused as possible and narrow down your targeting to specific terms that are still popular and best describe your particular niche — which is not an easy task.

  • Your target market is not an established online market  Potential customers might not be aware of your online presence. In this case a different website marketing strategy should be employed. There are a few options to consider given your budget, your specific needs and your industry positioning. Online market creation for your products/services might involve one or more of the following:

1.  Raising public awareness and information about your offering. This can be achieved through various channels like:

      • i. Publishing articles that describe and promote your offerings in related online portals, forums and large websites with links to your site.
      • ii. Banner campaigns on selected online channels.   
      • iii. Offline media advertisement, especially within related media channels.

2.  Targeting more general, established markets on the search engines  Think of this example: You are a California-based company offering rafting adventure tours. However, many potential customers might not be aware of your offering and won’t look for it. You might try to target the market of California tours in general, California adventure tours, U.S tours, or U.S adventure tours. Targeting of more generic markets is both harder and less focused (will get you some irrelevant traffic) but it will drive relevant traffic to your website and build the awareness that you need.

3.  PPC campaign  another option is to bid for more general terms in one of the search engines PPC programs like Google AdWords or others in order to generate incoming traffic more quickly than you would with SEO, which takes time. If time is of major importance than this option should be considered.

  • Achieving the Website Target Action  Driving focused traffic into your website is a great idea, but without having your website optimized to achieve its target action, traffic may come and go without you actually gaining business through it. To read more about how to build your website to achieve its target action visit here.

  • Monitoring your Website Performance  To understand users behavior patterns in your website (i.e. why do so many surfers don’t go beyond my homepage? Why do users quit the contact form in the middle of filling it?)  and learn how to optimize it for best results, it is advised that you use one of the many traffic analysis tools. This will give you a good idea what’s going on in your users mind, how they are using your website, and what can you do to make your website experience effective and enjoyable for them.

{mospagebreak title=Working with Affiliate Programs}

Affiliate programs are undoubtedly one of the most powerful systems of business available today. When they first appeared, they were a stunning example of how the powerful traditional strategy of joint-venture marketing, when combined with the power of the Internet, created an entire new industry that solved the biggest problems faced by webmasters and web merchants.

For webmasters who specialized in creating valuable web content and building web traffic, the problem was how to effectively convert their traffic into a viable source of revenue.

For web merchants who had to spend their energies on creating good products and delivering them to customers, the problem was how to do web promotion in a cost effective way.

Affiliate programs quickly became a natural solution to these problems, offering merchants a way to market their products in a “cost per sale” manner, while allowing content publishers to profit from recommending affiliate products to their visitors.

As a result of the huge success of affiliate marketing, there are now an incredibly large number of affiliate programs for publishers to choose from. These vary in the type of products offered, the reliability of the affiliate merchants, and many other areas. An unfortunate problem for affiliates is that it is often very difficult to decide which affiliate programs will make them the most money in the limited space available in their e-zines and websites.

A small but rapidly growing number of merchants, in their attempts to stand out from among the crowd of available affiliate programs, and sign up good affiliates, have begun to offer affiliate programs that pay affiliate referral commissions to multiple levels of affiliates.

In doing so, they offer affiliates the opportunity to leverage their efforts through the viral nature of such programs and maximizing the value of their visitors.

{mospagebreak title=Regaining Lost Opportunities}

The opportunity to affiliates lies in the power of “lost” visitors to increase their earnings.

For example, a successful website may attract 1000 visitors a day and recommend a related affiliate product to them. Of these 1000 visitors, only a small number, perhaps about 5 visitors, would be interested enough to buy the product. The other 995 visitors end up as “lost” visitors, of no value to the affiliate.

However, if the affiliate program paid commission on multiple levels, some of the 995 visitors (and also the 5 who bought products), would probably sign up as sub-affiliates of the original affiliate. When they in turn recommend the affiliate products and make sales to their friends and to visitors of their own websites, the original referring affiliate will also get paid a referral commission for these sales.

Depending on the number of levels of referral commissions the merchant offers, the original affiliate may even make commissions on subsequent levels of sales!

Through such affiliate programs, affiliates end up benefiting from the viral multiplication of their commissions generated through visitors who would otherwise be of no value to them.

While some people have compared these multi level affiliate programs with the MLM programs which flood the net, web merchants have been careful to draw a clear distinction in that as with single level affiliate programs, no joining fees, training fees, nor “start-up” fees are ever required. Since no money is ever required to participate in these multi level affiliate programs, no money can ever be made by simply recruiting people to join these programs.

The value of these programs lies in their ability to unlock the huge earnings potential in the large numbers of web visitors who would otherwise be “lost” to affiliates.

If you already participate in affiliate programs, simply switch to a multi level affiliate program and watch your affiliate earnings multiply.

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