Tag Archives: Home Business

5 Essential Qualities You Need for Explosive Success in Affiliate Marketing

In general, there are two types of people. Those who like to take charge, who want to lead and command, and who are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Then, there are those who are a little timider, and a lot more reluctant to blaze their own path; they’re happy following the crowd.

The idea of being mere passengers on a ship meant to sail to the farthest points does not appeal to people who like to put their destiny into their own hands. Such are the kinds of people who are destined to excel in a home-based business such as Affiliate Marketing. Even if they don’t already possess the five “must-have” traits to become hugely successful as affiliates, they’re predisposed to being able to acquire these traits more easily than the average Joe.

They have the desire to maneuver the ship themselves, of being able to be the ones to take it anywhere they want to. Being aboard a ship on its way to a particularly great destination is something each and every one of them dreams of, and the knowledge that they have the power to steer it themselves is what makes them actually want to do it.

Maybe this is the reason why more and more people are turning to one of the most popular businesses around, affiliate marketing. It’s because in this business, there are no bosses cracking their whip to order the employees around.

There are no deadlines to meet and no piles of work to be finished by day’s end. In order to succeed in this fantasy-like perfect business, you need only be armed with the necessary tools.

Just what are the things needed to be able to succeed
in affiliate marketing?

What kind of drive must you have within yourself to be
able to do well in this industry?

There is a lot of competition in affiliate marketing, and to be able to rise above the norm and get propelled forward, you have to be equipped with just the ‘right stuff’.

There are five essential things you can’t do without if you want to achieve glory in this business. Let’s have a look at each of them in detail.

      A DESIRE TO LEARN

The very first quality you must possess is the desire to learn, along with the willingness to be trained.

Treading through unfamiliar territory is scary stuff, if you’re lacking in what I like to simply call the proper equipment. This is a combination of the right mindset, the appropriate attitude, mixed with a pinch of a strong work ethic.

As a beginner, you have to be willing to keep your eyes and ears open, using the experience of others to learn the tricks of the trade as you go along.

One of the best ways to do this is by frequenting Forums that specialize in Affiliate Marketing, reading other members’ posts, and asking questions yourself. Devour everything that pertains to getting ahead in this business; the equivalent of an MBA degree is available to you in these Forums – and, at just the right price. There’s no substitute for this kind of hands-on-learning.

      INVEST TIME AND EFFORT

The second quality one must possess is the willingness to invest time and effort in growing your business, even if direct results don’t seem readily apparent. Although weeks may pass by without good news, it’s important for anyone who has his/her foot in the business to hold on and wait.

Resist throwing in the towel prematurely. This is the core quality that will help keep you on course despite any discouraging setbacks you may run into.

      UNWAVERING DETERMINATION

The third quality you must possess is an unblinking determination. If you want to conquer the affiliate marketing world, you must have the ability to push yourself ahead. The ability to motivate yourself into scaling greater and greater heights will determine the kind of future you create.

Never knowing when to quit is an attribute that each and every beginning Affiliate Marketer needs to have in bunches. In fact, in any endeavor, this persistence that screams to the world “No, I won’t budge!” is what distinguishes the winners from the also-rans.

      YOU MUST BE DISCIPLINED

The fourth quality you must have is self-discipline. If you teach yourself to work every day with all the energy your heart can muster, then you’re closer to achieving whatever goals your mind can conceive.

Once you start to slack off, the whole house of cards you’re building begins to shake just before it crumbles. There’s no room for ‘goofing off’ when you’re running a home-based business.

      THE QUALITY OF OPTIMISM

The fifth and last quality you must possess is optimism. Negative attitudes, whether your own or someone else’s, should never discourage an affiliate marketer from pursuing his/her dreams in order to make life better for himself, and for everyone else who matters to him/her.

Your attitude toward the business should always be proactive because you have to realize that you’re the captain of your own ship and the master of your destiny.

The ingredients that lead to success in a business such as an affiliate marketing are diverse and manifold, but the most important thing anyone needs to make it big lies in yourself alone.

It’s that very desire which burns in your heart that’s the fuel which will keep the engine going.

Affiliate marketing is all about putting your fate into your own hands. The right attitude is the key to being able to steer your ship into that part of the ocean where serenity and smooth sailing can be found at last.

The Numerous and Exquisitely Profitable Benefits of Affiliate Marketing

To the average entrepreneur, with no product of their own, without an opt-in list, and with little or no sales experience, Affiliate Marketing can easily represent the chance of a lifetime, a gift from Heaven, if you will. It’s a viable way to circumvent all the usual requirements that go hand in hand with starting a home-based business.

For one thing, you stand to save thousands by not needing to develop and test a product of your own; you just use someone else’s already proven winner as your own. Also, you can skip worrying about designing your own website; here again, use what is supplied for you by the merchant, and run with it. This saves a lot of headaches, time, and, you guessed it — money.

You’ll also have the enviable last word on whether or not to continue promoting anyone’s product based on its performance. If it doesn’t sell, give it up. You’re your own boss.

For all the reasons touched upon above, as well as for a few others not yet discussed for the sake of brevity, affiliate marketing has evolved into one of the most effective ways to start an online business. And, for anyone with a decent website, it’s also one of the easiest ways to start seeing a profit online.

      WHAT'S AFFILIATE MARKETING? 

Affiliate Marketing is an agreement between a merchant (owner of the product), and a website owner (the promoter). The website owner, or the affiliate, allows the use of their site for the promotion of the merchant’s products by linking to the merchant’s website. In exchange, the merchant pays a commission to the affiliate on all sales generated by the affiliate.

Every time someone clicks on the link in the affiliate website and proceeds to make a purchase, the affiliate gets a commission. Obviously, a commission is earned by the affiliate only when a customer makes a purchase.

Affiliate marketing programs are described as a win-win situation, for both the merchant and the affiliate, because of the pay-for-performance scheme. And, as you’ll see, both the merchant and the affiliate do enjoy specific benefits in this arrangement.

      HOW THE MERCHANT BENEFITS 

There are many benefits to the merchant’s side. It gives the merchant a wider customer base to advertise their product or service to. Affiliate marketing gives the product or service the maximum exposure that it could possibly get, as compared to any other traditional advertising technique.

It goes without saying, the more affiliate sites a merchant has, the higher the traffic, and the higher the chances of converting visitors into sales.

Affiliate marketing is the equivalent of having an army of salespeople who do all the promotion and only get paid a commission if a customer purchases. If their efforts fail to make a sale, the merchant isn’t out of pocket one thin dime. The burden of performance is, thus, squarely on the shoulders of the affiliate.

It’s a “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?” kind of scenario.

      HOW THE AFFILIATE BENEFITS

As described, an affiliate marketing relationship is a win-win situation, so the affiliate also enjoys many benefits.

Foremost among these, is the easy chance to make a profit. The affiliate can earn by having an ad or link leading to the merchant’s website, which prospective customers will hopefully click.

As soon as the customer clicks on the ad on the affiliate’s site, they’re redirected to the merchant’s website, and if they make a purchase, the affiliate earns a commission. The more prospects being referred, the more profit potential for the affiliate.

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn money from home. There are no product production costs. The product is already developed and proven by the merchant. All you have to do is find as many prospects as you can who will visit the merchant’s web site.

There are countless, capable affiliates who have mastered the art of convincing prospects to visit the websites they promote. This elite group of marketers earns big chunks of money from their grateful merchants.

In affiliate marketing, start-up costs are minimal, if any at all. In addition, there is absolutely no sales experience required. Most affiliate programs offer excellent support when it comes to providing marketing material. The simplicity of affiliate marketing allows you to be an affiliate marketer with the least cost and the most support.

You can even build a successful affiliate marketing business right in the comfort of your own home, which is what most affiliates do. In affiliate marketing, your responsibility is simply to find prospects for the merchant; you do not have to worry about inventory, order processing, or product shipping. These, along with customer service, are the duties of the merchant.

Another benefit of an affiliate marketer is the freedom you enjoy. If the product you’re advertising isn’t making money, you can dump it and choose another. There are no long-term binding contracts tying you to products that are not profitable. As an affiliate marketer, you have the last word about what you promote.

This kind of freedom is something you’ll never see in the offline world if you’re in sales. For instance, if you’re shoe salesman, and your company’s buyer blew it this season and bought nothing but alligators, it’s very unlikely that you’ll turn your back on your career as a result, and start selling home owner’s insurance, or kids’ bicycles. Chances are, you’ll have to stick it out, and hope for something better next year – or, for a different doggone buyer!

By far, the best benefit of being an affiliate marketer is an unparalleled opportunity to increase your income; and, you can make good money even if affiliate marketing is only a sideline business.

Indeed, as you’ve seen, affiliate marketing is one of the simplest and most effective business opportunities available online today, or anywhere else, for that matter.

Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Programs Checklist

The article Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Programs Checklist provides a useful list of criteria you can use as a guide when selecting the best affiliate programs to promote in your Internet Business.

“All Internet Businesses Are Not Created Equal!”

When building a successful Internet business to promote affiliate products and services, you must first have a solid understanding of market research and testing skills. All Internet business opportunities and affiliate programs aren’t created equal. Affiliate programs, associate programs, referral programs, or partnership programs are only as good as the businesses behind them.

Make it your goal to identify the very best affiliate programs available in your niche. Research and test until you discover which businesses have the products, services, and marketing systems in place to convert the traffic you send them into profit.

Free franchise anyone? Identifying the best affiliate programs is like finding successful small business franchises, except they are absolutely free. The types of business owners that are best to target will already have designed, tested, and optimized a sales & marketing system that their affiliate sales force can easily plug into and profit from. Affiliates can then concentrate on referring as many qualified prospects to the company’s web site as possible.

Affiliate Program Checklist:

Here’s a great list of criteria to consider when evaluating affiliate programs to promote in your internet business:

• Make sure the web site’s tracking software works properly. Some affiliate tracking software isn’t as accurate as you would like, so be sure that your affiliate id is tracked accurately throughout the system all the way to payment.

• Look for an automated follow-up system promoting your affiliate links. Most sales conversions are made after several e-mail follow-ups are sent. Very rarely do customers buy on the first visit to a web site, so you need smart auto-responders with follow-up sales letters going out automatically to your referrals. This may be in the form of an e-mail course, an e-zine, or a newsletter that contains sales messages promoting your affiliate links. If you can access and replace the links with your own tracking URLs, that’s ideal. For full control have smart auto-responders installed on your own web server and create your own series of e-mail follow-ups.

• Affiliate Marketing tools. Look for pre-tested ads and e-mail copy, affiliate banners, satisfied user testimonials that you can include in your own pre-sales copy, viral reports and e-books, etc. Wherever possible, personalize the affiliate programs’ sales & marketing materials and add extra value to the offers. You will want to do this because, in many cases, you’re competing with hundreds of other affiliates for sales.

• A strong affiliate management program is needed. This means a responsive owner or affiliate manager who is easy to contact and provides multiple forms of contact such as phone, an online support desk, and e-mail. The main thing is that a quick helpful response is provided.

• Internet marketing training. If you’re counting on earning income from the sales of Affiliates that you’ve referred to a program, take into consideration that many of these people will be new to the internet marketing business. In order to succeed, they will need a good training package.

• An accurate visitor and sales tracking software system you can access online. An affiliate’s virtual office where the number of visitors, sales conversions, and statistics can be tracked to determine what traffic & advertising sources are profitable.

• Multiple forms of payment that can be accepted on a secure server. Some of the major payment forms are major Credit Cards like Visa & Mastercard, Debit Cards, eCheck, Paypal, eGold, etc. The more options offered the better. This includes you pay and not just customer payments

• Strong back-end products that you will profit from. Check that the program allows you to further profit from other products that your referral buys while at the affiliate web site. The program should give you a commission for every product bought not just the one you have referred a subscriber to. One sale should lead to another, each product creating a desire for more.

• Long-term credit for sales made after the first visit. Lifetime is best, a year is good, 6 months is a little bit too short and less than 30 days is too risky. Since most subscribers won’t buy on the first visit, if they choose to buy it will be after receiving about 6 or 7 follow-up messages.

• Pay structure that’s fair to you and to the company. How much will the merchant web site be willing to pay you? There are several ways to earn commissions such as earnings per click or payment for a visitor who follows the lead from your site to the merchant site. Or pay per lead, which requires a visitor to submit details on a lead form. You find this information by requesting it from the program manager. You should not consider programs that are under $.10 as they will not produce enough income.

• Quick payment schedule. Look to get paid as quickly as possible. Most programs pay once a month although there are several that pay bi-monthly and there are even a few where you can get paid daily.

• Low commission payout threshold. This is the amount of sales commission you must earn before being paid. It should not be too high. If you don’t get paid for a month’s commissions because of the threshold, make sure that the payment gets rolled over to the next month.

• Residual income potential. You can leverage your time and effort by selling subscription-based services like membership programs that bill monthly and pay residual commissions. This way you receive a monthly income from each referral as long as they stay members. You can also create residual income by promoting multi-tier affiliate programs that pay you for recruiting or referring other webmasters as affiliates.

• Fast automated product fulfillment. The quicker the customer receives a good product when they order, the better the chances of them purchasing more products in the future.

• Great customer service. Make sure that the merchant web site has a good customer service program available for your referrals should they have comments, questions or need further assistance.

• Good reputation. Does the merchant web site have a good reputation with both their customers and affiliates? This is one of the most important factors when dealing with a merchant site. To get an idea of the reputation of the merchant company, speak to other affiliates who are part of the program. They will tell you whether they are happy with the treatment they receive.

Many good programs don’t fill all of these criteria. But, the more support they do have in place the better your chances of building a successful small business income marketing on the Internet.”

Ask Yourself One Question! Making Money With Affiliate Marketing

So you have decided to give Affiliate Marketing a try or you are looking at different ways to make money on the internet; either way, I know you have been poking around in the businesses on the internet. That’s the only place you will find this series. So, now that we agree you have been looking for an opportunity, I can imagine you have found a few that interest you. If you have been looking around for more than a few hours, you realize there are some tall promises of making…

So you have decided to give Affiliate Marketing a try or you are looking at different ways to make money on the internet; either way, I know you have been poking around in the businesses on the internet. That’s the only place you will find this series. So, now that we agree you have been looking for an opportunity, I can imagine you have found a few that interest you. If you have been looking around for more than a few hours, you realize there are some tall promises of making huge money by clicking a few buttons and turning your computer into cash spewing machine. Well, if it was that easy everyone would be doing it and nobody would be telling you how you could do it; they would be keeping the secrets to themselves. So why then are there so many claims and why are people trying to give them, sell them, or otherwise get those ideas into your hands?

Well; you see, my fine Affiliate Marketing friend, YOU, are the reason those ads are out there. It takes you, the customer, to buy into those various different ideas and then part with your cold hard cash to purchase said venture. It is your belief that you too could make some money doing whatever it is the seller is selling. As we go through this series, we will look at the various different opportunities that exist on the internet. I don’t pretend to be all-knowing about all things; but, I will do my best to impart to you some of my thoughts that guided me down the road I have chosen in internet marketing.

But; before we can do anything; I mean anything, I need you to ask yourself one very important question. This question will be the determiner of all things you endeavor on the internet. It comes before you determine what type of business you might be looking for, before you make a business plan, before getting money for your business before you get a web site before you pick a business name; it even comes before breakfast! The question is:

WHY? Why do you want to make money on the internet? What is it that is driving you? Is it the want or need for money? That’s not enough! Why do you need money? To buy something? To get out of debt? To buy a house or a car, take a trip? Do you just want to be stinkin’ rich? Without a “why”, you might as well give up right now, send me $20, and move onto something else. The internet is no place for you.

I know, that sounds pretty crass! Well, it is; but, it’s the truth. If you have been at this for more than an hour, you know by now, you won’t make money quick! It’s sales hype. If you don’t have a “why” etched in stone and tattooed on your forehead or painted on the wall in front of you, you WILL fail! That I can guarantee you. You have to be determined to make a business work, in the real world or on the internet. On the internet, it is too easy to get distracted, discouraged, derailed, you name it! You have to have a “why.” It will be unique to you and your situation and it has to drive you like never before. If you get a good enough “why” you will be able to succeed online or anywhere for that matter. I’ll show you the ropes in future installments. Right now, I want you to get comfortable with a piece of paper and a writing implement and write down all the reasons you can think of “why” you want to make money on the internet. Be specific! There just might be a quiz next time! Seriously; this is a truly personal experience for you. Be completely honest with yourself and get some real reasons down on paper.

For me, I couldn’t stand the thought of failing. I absolutely had to be able to look at my family and know I made something that they could be proud of. I had been in so many opportunities over the years that I was determined to build a business that worked.

I found my why. You MUST find yours.

Stone Evans; known as The Home-Biz Guy around the internet, says you must have three intangibles if you are to be successful. The first is “why”, which we covered above, next is:

“You must BELIEVE that it is possible.”

“If you don’t believe that it’s POSSIBLE for you to make money with affiliate programs or make your living on the Internet, you won’t. It’s that simple.”

“Figuring out that it was possible, was just a matter of realizing that many other people were ALREADY making great money online. If they could do it, I could too. It would just be a matter of figuring out what those people were doing and then adapting it to my situation. “

There is no shortage of undeniable PROOF that people (millions of them) are making money online with affiliate programs. Just get online and do some research and you’ll find countless testimonials and stories of REAL PEOPLE making real money on the Internet. Or head to your local bookstore and you’ll find the same documented evidence of this fact. Truth is it’s getting easier and easier to make money online with affiliate programs.

I’ve always said that “affiliate marketing” is the job of the future. In the “old” days, you had to go to a potential employer, apply for the position and hope for the best. Now you can simply go to any company you want, fill out their affiliate application and start work immediately. Affiliates are the new working class. Believe me, making money with affiliate programs or making your living on the Internet is WAY MORE than possible.
It is pretty much (or will be soon enough) unavoidable now. Affiliate marketing is the “job” of the future that’s already here TODAY.

The last intangible you MUST have is:

You must be willing to MAKE THE LEAP.

Ready, FIRE, then aim… This is the operating philosophy you MUST adopt to succeed with affiliate marketing.

That’s backward for most people who like to aim before they fire. The fact is the Internet is a moving target… The only thing constant about it is change. You need to stop analyzing the game and simply jump into it. You can’t learn from the outside… You have to be IN THE RING to truly understand it.

The lesson here is that you will never really be READY to start an affiliate marketing business. You simply have to start one. This is what I call “Making the Leap.”

The good news is that the cost of failure on the Internet is very small. In the “brick and mortar” world you need to evaluate things very carefully before you decide to open up a business. It’s almost always necessary to invest thousands of dollars to get an offline business off the ground. However, on the Internet, you can often start a successful business for less than $100.

You simply need to get IN THE GAME… Each moment that you stay “out there,” you’re wasting valuable time that you could be learning the skills necessary to become a successful affiliate marketer. In fact, if you’re not in the game yet, you’re ALREADY behind the times. Make the leap to becoming a successful affiliate marketer today!