Thursday, April 17, 2008

Affiliate (Bum) Marketing Guide in 10 Steps

In the online world, Affiliate Marketing is one of the new frontiers for generating money from home. As with any method of producing wealth, it actually does take some amount of effort and work. If you are looking for a phony get-rich-scheme-in-thirty-minutes, look some place else. This column intends to explain how a person can successfully make money through affiliate marketing. For this purpose, I have compiled a list of 10 steps based off people who have struck success. Study, put the time in, follow this procedure and the money will follow in due time.

What is Affiliate Marketing?: In short, you write reviews about products and topics that are marketable, and then send them to websites that publish product reviews. If your articles are well written, and you advertise well, then they should gain popularity and search engines will soon pick them up. Every time someone who is referred from your article purchases the product, you the author of the review gets a large cut of the money made from the sale (normally 50-75%). After writing an article or so a day, after about 4-6 months time a steady flow of income should begin to appear. Nearly all of the resources you will need to get started are provided and explained below.

Step 1: Brainstorm a niche (a specific market area). The logic is simple, if you write about something you know and find interesting, the writing process will flow easier. So ask yourself what you are interested in? For example, if you are interested in video games then you may want to write reviews about products dealing with them. However your niche still has to be marketable, so if your interested in tape cassettes-sorry about your luck, you'll have to find something more sell-able. Some helpful examples are products associated with household items, sports, culture, computer advice etc. If your having trouble, go to the next step where you can search for ideas via the link provided.

Step 2: Find a few products you may want to promote. You can do this by searching in the "shop marketplace" tab at clickbank.com. These are the products you will be writing a review about later. Again, find products that are both marketable and are interesting to you.

Step 3: Read several articles at EzineArticles.com. EzineArticles . Chances have it, several people have already published articles on the product you will be writing on. Type in the name of the product in the search box at EzineArticles and read what they have to say. Then ask yourself, how can I improve upon what is already written? Further research your product to find more information using search engines such as Google or even Wikipedia.

Step 4: Start a blog. This is where your reviews will initially be published. The best suggestion for starters is to open one for free at blogger.com. It is now run by Google, and has a very easy format that practically anyone can understand. If your website begins to flourish, you can get your own unique .com for under 10 dollars a year. For this, I suggest godaddy.com. Don't forget, your page title and content should reflect your niche.

Step 5: Open an account at paydotcom . Earlier, I had you research products at this site. Now that you have thought through what you want to write about, its time to open an account (it's free). An alternative option is clickbank.com. If you don't have one already, you'll need to a paypal account in order to receive money (also free).

Step 6: Write a quality article. To rehash an old adage: quality first, quantity second. Simply put, if you write junk then no one is going to spend time reading it. After finishing the article ask yourself, would I want to read this? Again, for help look to see what others are writing about on the same product and improve upon what they are saying, maybe even combine info from multiple sources into something more comprehensive. Don't forget, link the product you are selling to the article to your paydotcom account! More info. about this can be found their website once you set up an account. Additionally, writing many articles is also crucial to your business, the more articles you have out there then the more chances people will come by your work. Thus, writing 1-3 articles a day at 30-40 minutes each would be ideal start for a beginner. Just don't sacrifice quantity for the sake of quality. Here is a good example of successful article (you may want to use this as a template at first.)

Step 7: Keyword research. When you enter a word or phrase into a search engine, that is called a keyword. How they function is that the author of an article list several keywords when he submits it to publishing sites. The keywords that are entered in the search engine match the ones attached to the article, and bring such articles into view. Hence finding the best keywords is crucial for generating traffic to your article, and thus making money. When deciding your keywords, you'll have three main considerations in mind. First and most obviously, the keyword must be relevant to the product you are reviewing (if you are writing about a fishing product, it should be related to fishing etc.) Second, if you choose keywords that are too popular then your article is going to get buried and no one will ever find it (thus the word 'fishing' by itself is too general.) Third, your keyword choices shouldn't be too specific in which no reasonable person would type it in a search engine (for example, "green and pink fishing rod with poka-dots") So, what is recommended is using keywords that are neither too popular or too unpopular. More specifically, this is anywhere between 100-200 hits daily. For finding our how many hits a particular keyword attracts use seotools.

Step 8: Publish your article! For this, you want to submit your article to several article publishing sites. Some sites that I recommend are: hubpages.com, squidoo.com, and EzineArticles.com. Again, the more places you submit your article the more chance you have of it being read. (You also may want to bookmark your website at socialposter.com. This is another way of generating more traffic to your reviews via your website.)

Step 9: Research which articles you wrote are most successful.One way of doing this typing the name of your article in quotes on the Google search engine (for example, "Affiliate Marketing Guide in 10 Steps"). Partway down the page look for something similar to: "Results 1 - 10 of about 1,360." The last digit (in this case 1,360) is the number of times your article has been citied on the web. The purpose of this is to see which articles are most successful, which in turn gives you a clearer idea what kind of products you may want to write more about in the future.

Step 10: Don't stop reading. Reading this article is just the beginning. Now you will need to familiarize yourself with the terms and ideas relevant to the online marketing field, and the only way to do that is to read as many articles as you can.

If you found this helpful, take a look at my my website for more information. I am currently researching other methods of making money online and compiling them into free easy-readable 10 step guides. In the near future, you'll also find articles on topics such as how to write a quality article, and an in depth guide into keyword research etc.s such as how to write a quality article, and an in depth guide into keyword research etc.

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