Hot Topics in Affiliate Marketing
My favorite session today was “Hot Topics in Affiliate Marketing” with Janna Lord moderating with speakers Jerry West from SEORevolution, Elisabeth Archambault an independent affiliate marketer and Rae Hoffman from Outspoken media.
Jerry has been one of my personal coaches and mentors since 2001 so I must admit I may be a little biased when I say that his presentation was the best overall I had attended today <grin>
Jerry opened his presentation by saying something that I would agree with 100%, that affiliate marketing is hard and not as easy as some of those SEO gurus would like you to believe when trying to sell you their new secret affiliate marketing program for $2000. If it was so good and making them rich, why then are they sharing it with the world?
When you’re an affiliate marketer your competition includes;
- The merchant
- All the other affiliates
- And other merchants
Affiliate Marketing has also become harder because;
- The merchants have a habit of changing the affiliate terms without warning
- Also there are changes in your prospects behavior, they are more web savvy
To overcome these obstacles today your must;
- Have a point of difference
- Your offer should be easy to understand
- You must have a clear call to action (above the fold)
- Be sure that every site and landing page is “kick ass”
The merchant must also be advertising his product/services on other channels, if he is not he is doomed to fail and so are you.
Communication with your affiliate manager is vital to your success; email is good, telephone is even better. Speaking with them once a month is fine and if you screw up confess.
- Always cloak your links leading to your merchants offer; they can track back two times.
- If your affiliate manager/merchant asks where the traffic is coming from admit nothing!
- Create feeder blogs in areas that you love, get following, post banner ads
- Banner advertising is back and converts well
- Offer to do reputation management for the merchant to get higher payout
- Be creative, think outside of the box, use a journal
- Survey your audience
- Keep it real!
As an affiliate you sell other peoples stuff, you get paid for results.
The merchant handles the inventory; your job is to sell
Today there is more competition in affiliate marketing and classifies the competition as follows:
- Savvy affiliate marketers – These she can compete with on a level playing field
- Newbie’s – These are hard to compete with as they do allot of overspending on PPC, you have to wait till they burn out their resources
Avoid those “self appointed” gurus selling “snake oil” to wantabes. Elizabeth echoed Jerry’s comments that these “gurus” are selling expensive “secret” training programs to desperate newbie’s who are trying their hand at affiliate marketing without any background in SEO, Internet Marketing or PPC. Affiliate marketing is hard, you need to have a strong foundation in Search Engine Optimization training to be successful in today’s markets.
The phrase “build it they will come” is not adequate anymore, you need to stand out from the crowd, and here are some of her tips;
- Quality content; real information for real people
- Entertainment works, but uniqueness is what counts!
- Do your homework, do your market research, keyword research
- Your job is to please the spiders (search engines) and people
- It is vital to find ways to promote your website without depending on the search engines
A common question merchants ask “Why should I pay an affiliate when I could do all this stuff myself”. To answer this you must be able to bring something new to the party, add value.
There are two promotional styles today in affiliate marketing;
- Spray and Play (spamming – gets banned by Google)
- Affiliates that create tightly targeted website/pages to demographic audience on the product offered. (Good for the long haul, can even be sold to the merchant)
When selecting products to promote as an affiliate;
- Find a product that has high demand
- That the product is relevant to your resources
- Your landing pages are on target with the product and your audience.
- Find products that you know something about, you need to understand the products that you’re promoting
- Success will take time; test, test and test again
Conversion is the key in affiliate marketing
- What is the quality of the merchant website that you’re directing traffic to
- What is the effectiveness of your presale
Biggest Cause of Failure with Affiliates
- Too much dreaming, not enough doing
- Landing page not unique enough
- Affiliate loses focus, jumps from idea to idea
- Doing things vs. Doing things to get things done
- Failure to leverage other peoples skills (outsource)
Involved affiliates are;
- Thinking about branding
- Focus on creating a site that ranks because it should and not because you’re gaming the search engines
- Understands that trust translates into money
Involved affiliates are NOT;
- Throwing up banners all over the place
- Willing to do ANYTHING
- Are NOT spamming
Mapping your website;
- Choose domain name with branding keywords and the “Tweet Spot”
- True and real content that is unique
- User generated content has lots of possibilities
- Create link bait topics
- Plan your expansion from the beginning
- Propping – Use the blog on your site to prop up your main offer page
- Design; launch a beta version with eventual professional design. Thesis WordPress theme is an advantage for low budget websites
Have a point of difference from your competitors – Fill the Hole
- Info on products/services
- Have a personality
Making Money as an Affiliate
- Have multiple affiliate offers; in content, honest reviews, user reviews, targeting ads
- Channel Targeting in Google Adwords; learn it and understand it
What are some of the HOT TOPICS in your affiliate marketing that you are experiencing?
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October 16th, 2014
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