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Start Affiliate Marketing!

Affiliate marketing is one of the simplest, and therefore most common, ways to make money online. Tens, possibly hundreds of thousands of people world-wide have started an affiliate marketing home business online, either to supplement their income with a few extra dollars each month or with the intention to create a full work-at-home business opportunity for themselves.

What is it about affiliate marketing that leads so many to start affiliate marketing? For most, it's the ease and low upfront investment needed to start their own online business. Since you're promoting other people's products as an affiliate, there's no need to delve into product creation, build salespages, create the graphics, etc. That's already been done by the merchant, leaving it to you simply to drive targeted prospects to the salespage. For each of those prospects that purchases the product you, as the referring affiliate, make a commission that's usually in the form of a fixed percentage of the selling price.

And since you're not creating the products nor the websites, you're also not limited to doing affiliate promotions for one product, one merchant or even one niche - you can promote any products or services that have an affiliate program - and there are tens of thousands of affiliate programs to choose from these days. Naturally, like starting a business in any field, there is the potential to make nothing or even lose any time and money you invest when you start affiliate marketing, but being prudent in researching the industry before starting and doing your full due diligence as to the benefits and pitfalls of the business will go a long way towards helping you make informed decisions.

For a more detailed description of what affiliate marketing is, read the Google knol on Affiliate Marketing.

As to driving traffic as your main affiliate marketing activity, this video shows just one of the many ways to drive targeted traffic to your sites, blogs, squeeze pages and affiliate links:

For more on driving targeted traffic to your affiliate links, download the free guide '7 Powerful Ways To Build Traffic & Build Opt-In Lists'


Start Affiliate Marketing: Take The Shotgun Approach To Affiliate Marketing Success

© Doug Champigny. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Professional affiliate marketing can be accomplished in many different ways, but the safest way to start affiliate marketing is to take a shotgun approach to your online activities as an affiliate.

Whereas a rifle fires a single shot with great speed and power, a shotgun uses less force but spreads out a pattern of shot that expands further the greater the distance. And that's exactly the same pattern your marketing strategies should embrace online for maximum effect.

Rather than count just on your pay-per-click campaigns, your e-zine or your blog, spread your efforts (and the risks) over a much wider mix of affiliate promotion resources. Yes, you need to have your main focus on building your targeted opt-in list, but use every tool at your disposal to build it, especially the free tools that have been shown to work well in affiliate marketing.

These free tools include your affiliate blogging, social networking sites like MySpace, FaceBook and the like, micro-blogging sites like Twitter and web 2.0 sites like MyBlogLog, Technorati, Squidoo, HubPages, Google knol, etc. Yahoo Buzz and Google Buzz are also both powerful affiliate marketing resources when used properly, as is any site where you're able to contact those people who have chosen to follow you.

The affiliate marketing shotgun approach has numerous advantages over other systems, like:

- Casting a wider net - the combined reach of the resources above is FAR greater than any single approach could be;

- Business Networking - you'll make a lot more contacts both in your niche and in the affiliate marketing world by covering all of the bases;

- Spreading the risk
- if all your efforts are concentrated in one area and for some reason that area doesn't respond to an offer, you've made little or nothing. Since each of the resources above has a somewhat-unique community, you stand a better chance of one or more finding your affiliate offer appealing;

- Multiple signposts - Think of each link back to your blogs, squeeze pages or affiliate offers as a signpost, guiding people to the spot you'd like them to arrive at via your link. The greater the number of these signposts you have out there in a larger number of areas, the greater the chance new people will stumble across them in future. A TV or Radio ad is gone as soon as it's over, a newspaper ad is around for a day or a week, a magazine ad is around for a month or a quarter - but your resources on the Internet can be there for years and years, with a growing potential audience each day;

- Powerful backlinks - each of the sites and resources mentioned are spidered, in whole or in part, by the major search engines. Since each backlink they find can help your search engine rankings, over time your accumulated mass of materials will help your blogs and squeeze pages rank better, thus increasing your traffic once again and hopefully your affiliate marketing commissions along with it!

To start your own affiliate marketing business you should be thinking long-term, building your base of operations as you go along. Take the shotgun approach to affiliate marketing for your best shot at affiliate success!


Start Affiliate Marketing: Are You Building An Affiliate Marketing Business Or A Job?

© Doug Champigny, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Affiliate marketing is possibly the most common way for people to start making money online, and an affiliate marketing business might help your earn more money than you ever have before - but for the majority of affiliates they find too late that they haven't built a business, they've just created another job for themselves.
You may be wondering how that's possible - after all, isn't affiliate marketing a self-directed occupation with no one over you? Yes, in most cases that true. But let's take a look at the differences between a job and a business, shall we?
If you have a job right now, you get paid for your efforts - it may be an hourly wage, it may be a salary or you may be on some sort of draw against commissions. And if you're on salary or draw, chances are you can miss a few days and still get paid, as long as it doesn't happen too often, right?
But what happens if you take a month off a couple of times a year - or say one month in three? Or if your company doesn't provide insurance, and you're taken ill and miss three or four months? Either way, the income stops. Maybe not immediately, but very soon. Even doctors, lawyers and judges find their income dries up quickly if they're not practicing.
Compare that to a successful business owner like Bill Gates, Donald Trump or Warren Buffet. If they take a month or two off, does their company fail? No. Does their income stop? No. If they take one month off every quarter, do they go broke? Does their company go under? Of course not.
Affiliate marketing mirrors both scenarios depending on your style of operation. For most affiliate marketing newbies, the lure of quick affiliate commissions has them firing out every type of missive they can to make affiliate sales right now, with no concern for the future. Yes, they make sales, and yes over time they may make great sales. But what happens if they stop for a few weeks, or start taking every 3rd month off? With no active promotion, their affiliate marketing commissions slow and eventually dry up completely until they start promoting again.
And if they should take ill and can't tend to their daily affiliate marketing tasks, what then? Same result - the tap is turned off on their affiliate earnings. Sounds a lot like our description of a job, doesn't it?
Now take the affiliate marketing professional, known in the industry as super-affiliates. Yes, they send out regularly, often daily, as in our first example. But then they spend the rest of their day building long-term resources and putting them on autopilot. Here's what that looks like:
- choose a niche with a number of profitable affiliate marketing programs;
- write a short report with impressive content on any aspect of interest to that target market;
- Build an opt-in page, known as a squeeze page, where prospects can download your free report in exchange for joining your e-zine list;
- Put the link to the report and a few affiliate offers on a download page to send them to after they confirm their e-mail address;
- write a series of informative e-mails and place them in an autoresponder to go out to those signups on a regular basis. Be sure to have your various affiliate links wound into the copy and have a few solo ads in the mix;
- Once that whole system is in place, use external sites to drive traffic to the squeeze page. Use affiliate marketing strategies that will continue to work long-term like article marketing, podcasting, video marketing, social bookmarking, etc.
- When that entire affiliate marketing funnel is in place, start in on the next one!
As you can see, these affiliate funnels are self-sustaining; traffic comes in from the various outside sources, prospects sign up for the download and then receive your ongoing e-mails giving them more information and plenty of opportunities to follow your affiliate links to purchase products your make a commission on. It's all hands-free from that point on, other than to review it from time to time to ensure the products and information are still relevant.
But if your income comes from a number of these funnels, taking a few weeks off here and there, or a month every quarter - even taking a 3-month holiday - will have little impact on your income. Now you have an affiliate marketing business and affiliate marketing is not just another job you created for yourself!


That's it for now - be sure to bookmark this page and return regularly though, as I'll be updating this page and adding more affiliate marketing information regularly. In the meantime, you'll find a lot of archived affiliate marketing information on affiliate marketing blogs like Captain Affiliate's Affiliate Training Blog and the Affiliate Marketing Domination Blog. Or for professional affiliate marketing coaching to get you going in the right direction right from the start, consider enrolling in the Affiliate Marketing PowerStart coaching program.

So until next time, may you find every possible success as you Start Affiliate Marketing!


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