Four Questions Before You Look For Affiliate Programs

I’ve been receiving emails from folks posing for my recommendation on which affiliate programs are the most effective, who pays the foremost and most often, and several other basic questions. I’d prefer to answer those queries on this forum, however I can solely sort so fast.

I went out this weekend looking for content that I could publish here briefly while I got all the way down to writing. I had a onerous time finding unbiased content. Most of the therefore-called reviews out there are infomercials, which’s not what I used to be wanting for with this blog. Thus you’re going to have in touch with me. I’ve been trying and learning and reading and talking, and I’ve got a ton to say. I just would like the time to write it down, and I will, starting tomorrow. No, very I will.

In the meantime, you need to ask yourself this — are you prepared for an affiliate program, or Internet Advertising generally? I place together four queries you must ask before you embark on your affiliate program or any Web advertising.

Before I get to the four questions you must ask before you enbark on your affiliate program, I am visiting review 2 ideas that I take advantage of usually here on Affiliateblog. The first is what I decision the macro read of your Web presence:

Incoming guests – Internet Presence – Sales or Actions

You’re extremely running two campaigns with your Internet presence — the primary campaign is anxious with getting visitors to the location, and also the campaign is ongoing. The second campaign is to urge those visitors to do something. That one thing might be just to pay a lot of time at your web site, or it might be to sign up for one thing or purchase something.

The other represents the method of Net advertising:

Impression – Click – Action

Most affiliate programs pay publishers in the last part of the method, the Action. I’ll be using both of these ideas in my questions. Thus here we go…

1. Do you recognize enough concerning your visitors?

There are literally thousands of affiliate programs out there. Whereas some affiliate selling hubs are experimenting with context-sensitive serving of affiliate banners and banner rotation on affiliate sites, YOU can be the one to decide what kind of products and services you wish to supply your visitors. This looks sort of a minor detail, however it is a major issue in your success.

If you haven’t already, take a peek at the stats for your net site over the past month or so. Where do your visitors come from? Have you got Google, Yahoo or other search engine traffic? What are the keywords that people used to get to you? A lot of advanced and specific search terms tend to end in a lot of immediate conversions, while broader search terms might lead to sales later. If folks get to your website using what you suspect to be broad search terms, you need to make certain that the cookie life (the amount of time that passes between someone from your web site visiting the affiliate merchant’s web site and therefore the sale) is long.

Do you have got textlinks or alternative advertising on other sites? Do you know the demographics of the guests from those sites? Have you spoken to the webmaster, owner or manager of the sites on that you advertise and asked her concerning their guests? Do you know the websites? Have you visited the sites that advertise on the identical sites as you? After you investigate all of these things a profile of the guests to your website should begin to emerge.

That search engine brings you the foremost traffic? If it’s Google, the user is slightly a lot of apt to be male, and in the center (of MSN, Yahoo and Google) as way as propensity toward shopping for one thing (forty two% a lot of possible than the common user). There’s a terrific article on marketingvox.com if you want to determine a lot of details. You can also notice some attention-grabbing demographic data on the most important search engines from AQABA.

You should pay specific attention to the domains of your visitors. If you’ve got a heap of AOL traffic as an example, you should contemplate that the profile of the average AOL user is 35 or older (77%) and married (sixty two%).

If you have got bother with textual illustration vs. graphical representation (as I do), there’s a terrific product referred to as VisitorVille that takes your web logs and animates them. The text is represented as footage (buildings, people, buses for the search engines, etc). You can see it here. Disclaimer: I’m a VisitorVille affiliate.

Once all this you must be able to sit down and come back up with the profile of a typical visitor. This profile should hopefully embody estimates old, country of origin, education and income.

Try to think like your visitors. Try to anticipate their interests and also the products and services they could need to purchase. Affiliate programs raise the bar from PPC — your payment comes at the end of the Web promoting process (the Action) rather than at the beginning (Impression or Click) like Google Adsense or Doubleclick. You need to use a lot of brainpower to the method, and you’ll build more money if you are doing it right.

2. Is your site perfect?

You’re asking somebody to buy something from your site. If the pages have sloppy html code, broken links or instability from a unhealthy Cascading Stylesheet, it makes you look cheesy. We have a tendency to’ve all been uncomfortable shopping for something off a cheesy website. You don’t wish to be that website.

Let’s begin with the html code. Are you positive there are not any errors in it? Have you ever used an html checker just like the one at W3C? I realize mistakes in my code all the time. Unless you check your code on several browsers in several resolutions you would possibly not catch an error. The validator will. If you use Cascading Stylesheets you ought to conjointly visit the CSS Checker.

Speaking of validators, you ought to check your links often. W3.org additionally contains a link validator.

The site should conjointly be optimized for search engines, be simple to perceive and navigate, and ought to have a sitemap for people (and spiders) to seek out their manner around. You ought to have had ten of your closest friends take a look at the site and provide you their feedback, and you ought to forever listen to unsolicited comments from users with an open mind and place price on them. If someone takes the time from their busy day to send you an email about your website, they feel strongly about it and you ought to take a shut take a look at what they’re talking about.

Perceive that if your Incoming Visitors campaign is not working right, you’re wasting it slow along with your Sales or Action program.

3. Do you know how much ads you’re visiting use, and where the ads are going to go?

Folks are ignoring banners for ten years. That’s why they shake and make sounds (someday I’ll tell you regarding the screaming match I had with a artistic director the day we tend to place out the first talking banner ad) to try to urge your attention. Where you set it on the page goes to form a large difference. Briefly — banners would like to travel somewhere the eye naturally rests (next to the masthead, near the navigation, at the bottom of the page).

Placement of any ads could be a huge half of obtaining them noticed or clicked.

A ton of folks (as well as me) believe that text ads should be placed at natural breaks and be shut to the same in text size and color because the text. You would like to surf around and study where folks place their ads, and you wish to figure out where you think that they would work on your site.

If you plan to create pages for some of the products you endorse (a nice plan), you need to figure out how prominently you want to position the advertising. Most people won’t purchase something if they believe you’re shilling for a specific company. They will purchase from somebody they believe honestly endorses the product or service. You need to work out how to keep the distinction.

4. What’s your hunch on the right reasonably offers for your web site?

I raise this query a lot. Currently that you have a better idea of the demographics of your visitors, try to come to a decision on that action you think that they would be more apt to require — pay-per-lead, pay-per-sale or maybe pay-per-click (onerous to return by) on your site.

If you’ve got a general interest web site that offers away free stuff it’s most likely visiting be difficult to sell folks product from that website. It might be smarter to attempt to urge them to sign up for a free products newsletter from one among the affiliate programs, or you will want to look for offers that target the age group of your site instead of offers that target a particular interest. You might be trying for smaller-price ticket sales or only leads. Leads get the user to the end of the advertising process chain, however need less of a commitment.

Strive to return up with the four, 5, six or fifty ways in which to slice this all up, by sort of action, by sort of sale or lead, or any alternative method you’ll be able to come up with. Then you’ll be able to go out and notice the various offers that might charm to your visitors. When it comes time to place the ads, try to place different ads in similar areas on the same pages, and see how they do.

Get your queries answered and you’re prepared to require the plunge into affiliate marketing.

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