An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing – Part Two
The article is a follow up to our first article in this series entitled, “An Introduction to Affiliate Marketing – Four Cornerstones to Success.” In that article we laid down the four initial cornerstone to success for affiliate marketing:
A) The importance of creating a blog that is both a niche and an authority site,
B) Finding a niche that your truly passionate abut,
C) Utilizing that niche to crafting a long-term business plan that can produce both quality content and sales conversions, as well as
D) Embracing the passive income mentality when it comes to building up the initial traffic for your blog.
This article continues to build upon these cornerstones with five more common sense strategies that should be incorporated into the fundamental core of your business plan.
I) You’re not selling products; you’re selling a relationship. There’s actually a lot of truth to the statement that a blog really isn’t a business, but rather a “friends with benefits” relationship that the blogger has established with their readership.
Truth be told, there’s actually a lot in common between successful bloggers and successful salesmen in traditional, brick-and-mortar businesses. Yes, the product is important, but good salesmen would be the first to tell you that they’re selling themselves to a client as much as they’re selling a product.
Be conscious of the fact that social media has merely amplified the potency of word-of-mouth advertising, meaning that it can either make you or break you.
Be conscious of the fact that the true objective is to attain both profitability and long-term stability, and the way stability is attained is through converting the trust that a first-time purchaser has given to you into long-term loyalty through repeat customers.
Finally, be conscious of the fact that quality content is the cake, especially if it’s content focused on a niche that your truly passionate about (and that passions is reflected in the quality of your writing). Being able to monetize that passion and make a living from it is simply the icing on the cake.
II) Create an email subscription service immediately after starting your blog. Your email list represents the segment of your readership where you have the highest chance of sales conversions, the highest chance for repeat customers, the highest chance of increasing site traffic and article comments, as well as the highest chance for word-of-mouth advertising.
Be courteous and respectful of your readers’ time, patience, and goodwill towards you. Pestering and bombarding them with a constant barrage of email and advertisements could end up getting you branded as a spammer and either ignored or blocked as punishment.
Instead, start out by sending an email once every three or four weeks, why consciously zeroing in on the most engaged readers who might be interested in more content and promotions.
III) Make your site mobile app accessible. We live in the age of smart phones, and this year internet searches conducted by mobile devices finally surpassed those made by desktop computers (http://searchengineland.com/its-official-google-says-more-searches-now-on-mobile-than-on-desktop-220369).
Google also announced in April of this year that they were going to start using mobile-friendly sites as a ranking signal (meaning that those that don’t adapt could plummet in page rankings).
Web hosting sites such as WordPress and Joomla already have plugins to help make this vital transition such as JetPack and WPtouch for WordPress, as well as Responsivizer and Joomlashine for Joomla.
One of the keys to survival in the online business world is to stay ahead of the emerging trends and technologies, and when it comes to making your website more accessible to mobile devices, Google has spoken.
Adapt or die.
IV) Don’t get trapped in a “virtual mindset,” brick-and-mortar advertising and networking can still be highly effective. Too often we forget this very simple common sense observation, and the first and most obvious place you should be focusing on is your local community.
Social mixers, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Rotary Clubs, Lion Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, Elks Clubs, and Masonic Lodges are just a few great targets.
If you want to branch out into other cities, then use online groups like Fiverr and pay someone to hand out fliers or staple posters onto telephone polls in busy areas that get a lot of pedestrian traffic.
Even though we live in the Digital Age, Analog Advertising can still pack a punch if used properly, and where it could really give you an edge is in recognizing…
V) October, November, December, and January are the gold rush/salmon run/oil bonanza of the affiliate marketing world – your business plan should reflect that fact. Christmas shopping really starts getting kicked into overdrive in October, and these are the months were affiliate marketers work long hours and have many sleepless nights in an attempt to haul in as many salmon as possible.
We go back to the point I made about passive income in the first article of this series. When first starting your blog it’s incredibly easy to get discouraged because of the lack of track to your website, and without that traffic, fish can be incredibly few and far between when it comes to sales conversions.
During this time period, you have to view the value of each post both individually and collectively. Individually, each post is like a trout line being strung across a river (i.e. the internet), while collectively, each post is a piece of quality lumber that helping to construct a seaworthy ship that’s going to haul in a massive catch from the ocean.
As October draws closer and closer, investing into a few Analog Advertising Campaigns could yield huge dividends, and the great irony is that while many “marketing gurus” want you to think nationally and globally when it comes to building your customer base, the bulk of your profits could actually be netted from your own backyard through networking and handshakes.
Conclusion – Create both profitability and stability by recognizing that your selling your own personal brand as much as you are the products on your website. Focus on the benefits of word-of-mouth advertising, repeat customers, the fact that quality content is what truly makes a blog profitable, as well as creating an email list that helps to identify your most loyal and valuable readers.
When it comes to technological innovation, the internet truly is a jungle where you either adapt or perish, and making your website accessible to mobile devices is crucial for success. But at the same time, brick-and-mortar business practices such as Analog Advertising still has they’re place, especially when penetrating local markets in order to maximize sales conversions during the yearly salmon run.