Saturday, February 25, 2006

Promoting Affiliate Programs through Personal Recommendations

Publishing articles online is a highly effective way to increase affiliate revenue. In the current marketing environment, it is increasingly important to differentiate yourself. Consumers have become savvier and are increasingly suspicious of pure shopping websites that send them to another site to complete product purchase. Furthermore, you may capture a consumers purchase once, but they are not likely to return to your site. Instead, they will simply return to the retailer you referred them to complete a purchase.

One, highly effective, way to attract new visitors and motivate them to return to your site later is to publish articles related to the product you are trying to promote. For example, if you are trying to promote a new portable MP3 player, you might publish a product review online and include your affiliate links in the article.

These product reviews add value to your website and can dramatically increase consumer confidence in your site. In addition, if you carefully craft your article, you can include targeted keywords which may help you achieve a higher rank in search engines. If your review is useful, users may even link to it from their personal blog, which may also increase your search engine page rank.

You may be thinking, "I am not a writer, so this strategy will not work for me."

However, if you choose affiliate programs carefully and focus your energy on products that you have a genuine interest in it becomes much easier. There are a couple of easy things you can do to increase your affiliate revenue and make your affiliate marketing strategy easier. Write articles that give more than a recommendation. You should talk directly to the consumer about how this product has impacted your life. Speak directly about your experiences with a product, tell a story about using it, ask questions that make the consumer think about how their life would be improved by owning the product.

By writing a product review, consumers will be less likely to be suspicious when you refer them to another site. In the consumers mind, you are simply reviewing the product, but are not involved in selling it directly. If your audience begins to trust your recommendations, you will find that you can sell products to them over and over again.

Now that you have written a compelling, personal article about your product, you have to make sure that other people find your masterpiece. How do you promote this article
One method of promoting your articles is to publish your own newsletter. Publish an opt-in newsletter that features a teaser paragraph about your article and a link back to your website for the complete article. Be sure to avoid sending your articles out as spam. Be patient as your subscriber list grows and only send people information they have asked for.

If you do not have a mailing list, you still have options. You can publish your article in article databases so that other newsletter publishers will run your article in their newsletter or on their website. Publish your new product review in an article database with a link to your website in the articles credits. Do a search on Google for free content and then learn how to submit your articles.

Finally, you can post your articles or product reviews on related bulletin boards and forums online. It is free and people will be able to interact with you. Of course, if you try posting an affiliate link, people will notice and you will immediately lose credibility. Simply include a link to your website in your signature. If your articles are interesting, people will visit your website where you can use your affiliate links.

In summary, provide your audience interesting, relevant content and they will trust your recommendations. If they trust you, they will buy from you. Promote your affiliate programs with personal recommendations in newsletters on relevant websites and online forums. The visitors will come, but more importantly they will buy.

Stephen Kelly founded Article Agents, a free tool you can use to promote your affiliate accounts by publishing product reviews and articles online. Simply submit your article, with your affiliate links intact, and it will be published on our network of sites for free. Visit http://www.articleagents.com/ for more infomation

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