Affiliate Marketing Is The Best Way to Make Money
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money that I know of. Basically, all I have to do is send web site visitors to a web page built by someone else. On that web page, someone is selling products I don't have to stock. Then, they sell the item, ship the product out, and handle everything for me - bliss!
And then I make money when they persuade the person to buy. Pretty cool, right?
Yet still lots of people struggle to make money using this method.
So what are the challenges here?
Trusting the Tracking
Many people have expressed concern to me that they don't know if they can just trust they will be paid, or that their traffic will be tracked correctly. We've addressed that in this article.
Getting Traffic To Your Web Site
Also, lots of people are concerned with the idea that they don't know how to get traffic. While I wouldn't say getting traffic is easy, it is really not that difficult either. You can learn how to get traffic for free (link).
You also should really learn how to get targeted traffic, rather than just flooding a web site with people who have no interest in what the affiliate partner (also known as a merchant or advertiser) has to sell. But getting targeted traffic isn't really the key ingredient people are missing.
Selling the Right Product(s)
What about the products? It could be difficult to know what products to sell your customer, and you absolutely need product that people genuinely desire. As an affiliate marketer, you should promote products that are both useful and profitable for you, and hopefully solve some burning problem that the visitor has at the moment.
The #1 Most Important Factor
When it comes down to it, regardless of what you're promoting, how you're getting traffic, or how you'll be paid, the main factor to making successful sales as an affiliate is finding offers that convert really well. Finding a merchant with a web site that does split testing and strives to convert traffic to sales more effectively over time will help everything else starts to work more effectively. By promoting offers which have sales pages that convert at a mediocre level, the best you can do from an income perspective is mediocre.
When you promote a product or service as an affiliate, and that offer starts to convert 15% - 20% (or more) of the traffic you send, you will be motivated to work harder. I can guarantee that. You will want to find new and better ways to drive traffic to that offer.
You might even do some testing on your own, trying out different ads, or advertising sources, or paid traffic.
So why do most people fail?
Most people fail because they give up too quickly.
It can be SO frustrating to send traffic to web sites through your affiliate link, and the web sites simply don't convert your traffic into sales. If you put all that effort into getting people to the advertiser/merchant's web site, you should get something back in return, but frequently, their pages and offers might only convert .5% or 1% of your traffic into buyers, which would mean you would need to send hundreds of visitors before getting back something in return.
Most people see these numbers on the first few offers they promote, (or simply don't even send enough traffic to the web site), before giving up promoting an offer. Some people will try promoting another product or service (also called an offer), but seeing the same low or non-existent results, new affiliates will frequently quit entirely.
However, with an offer that converts well, Internet marketing becomes a LOT of fun!
So, how can you pick the offers that doing the best job of converting visitors into buyers?
Well, if you go to any of the major affiliate networks, you can usually see how well an offer is doing by looking at the statistics of an offer across the network. Pick the offers that are selling the most in terms of both sales volume and in commissions paid.
Then, you can test different offers on your web site or in your advertising. You can change back and forth between some of the best offers in a particular category. Record how many people click through your links, and watch how many people actually buy from the different options you're showing them.
After 100 or so purchases, you'll get an idea of which offers work the best. Once you have this, all you have to do is keep the winning offer, and discover new ways of promoting it.
Another thing you can do is simply call the affiliate manager (or the owner) for the program. Introduce yourself and let them know you are a new affiliate/publisher for their program. Let them know you only want 5 minutes of their time, and be very polite (this is the person who will pay you at the end of the month, after all). Simply ask the affiliate manager if they do testing on their web site, and how they track conversions.
If they can't give you a clear answer to those questions, it's likely they're not doing much testing, if any. You might want to move on to promote another offer if that's the case.
By promoting offers that are on pages which are designed to convert well (and to convert better and better over time), you can maximize the traffic you're sending, as an affiliate, to a partner web site. This not only helps your pocketbook, but helps the customer to get the product they really want, and helps the merchant to discover what's working and what's not, so that the traffic you send in the future can lead to even more conversions, and more money in your pocket.
Advice from this article: check the conversion rate of the offers you're promoting!