02 September 2008, by A. Cedilla
Many entrepreneurs, micro-enterprises and companies use affiliate marketing as the quick solution to getting relatively low cost, highly focused traffic to their websites or to a “warm-up” site that boosts the chances of a customer actually buying something from the main site.
The affiliate marketing solution is a solid and very effective web marketing method which helps reduce a company’s overall marketing costs in the following ways:
- Because the company only pays for quality performance , they don’t have to shoulder the usual costs and problems included in using permanent workers, like taxes, health insurance, benefits, absenteeism, etc;
- It’s the most efficient use of outsourcing available now, where the company pays for a service on a microscopic scale which eliminates outsourcing companies adding a mark-up to cover risks taken or money invested.
Affiliates are prepared to risk and the first to take advantage of new emerging trends and technologies where more established advertisers do not dare to be active, and it is this nimble economy that affiliates can best earn their money. Why?
Because “trial and error” — the terror of many bigger companies– is probably the best way to describe how affiliate marketers operate.
Affiliates act as search engine marketers who run pay-per-click campaigns to drive traffic and sales for an advertiser, and they are compensated according to the value of the conversion through a variety of pricing models: including cost per click, a flat fee per conversion, a percentage of sales transaction or some combination of all three of these.
Affiliates generally attract traffic either via paid search or Search Engine optimization. If the affiliate agreement doesn’t work out, the affiliate can try other merchants to see a better fit and optimize his earnings. After all, the better the fit, the better the money he can get. It’s a win-win relation for both parties.
But wait, it’s not just about the money!
See, while people are often tempted by lucrative offers of earning money online without having to do anything –which is honestly a very appealing option — it is very important that you know exactly what you are getting into, before you start investing your hard-earned money on an online business which may not be a very good fit.
To become good at affiliate marketing, you need to be prepared to invest your time and money wisely.To be excellent in affiliate marketing, you have to put in real, focused effort, not just time and money.
Get your foundation in order: do as much research as possible about the company whose product(s) you will be promoting and the type of customers that might be interested in those products; try and find the type of places that users of these products are likely to be found, e.g. blogs, forums and social networking sites such as MySpace.com, and see what these people are interested in, have a need for, etc.
Once you have identified a good product with a good market, then it is usually a good idea to start an AdWords campaign where you pay as little as possible for keywords that are related to the product that you are trying to promote.
Time can help you as an affiliate marketer to hone your trade, as you can study what links your readers are most interested in by tracking their clicks, where your traffic comes from by seeing what keywords they used to find you, and what affiliate links convert to the most sales.
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