Affiliate Marketing Tips – Why Don’t My Products Convert?

This article addresses one of the biggest frustrations that affiliate marketers have. They find a product that supposedly has a high conversion rate and yet, when they promote it, it doesn’t convert for THEM. Why not? What are they doing wrong? Are they doing anything wrong? Well, I’m going to let you in on a few secrets that I am sure are going to surprise you. After you read this, you shouldn’t have any questions as to why the product you’re promoting isn’t converting.

At the top of the list is the lie. Yes, the lie. See, numbers don’t tell the whole story. Many people will pick a product purely on how popular it is with other affiliates. In the case of ClickBank products, that would be indicated by the gravity score. Well, I have a news flash for you in regard to ClickBank gravity scores. They can be SERIOUSLY manipulated. In other words, a product that LOOKS like it converts well may not convert very well at all. See, gravity only shows how many affiliates made at least one sale in a given period of time. It DOESN’T show how many hops they had to get in order to make that one sale. So the figure, even if accurate, can be very misleading.

But aside from gravity, there is another problem. Let’s assume the gravity is accurate and that the product truly does convert well. Why isn’t it converting for you? Well, there are several possible reasons. I won’t go over all of them but I will tackle the two main ones. First, there is the quality of your traffic. Where are you showing the offer? I can tell you from experience that there are certain methods of promotion that will bring you tons of eyeballs to your offer but almost no sales. And then there are other methods that, while they don’t bring nearly as many views to your offer, convert much better. So you have to look at the quality of your traffic.

Assuming the traffic is good and targeted well to your offer, there is still one more problem. See, affiliate marketers are at a bit of a disadvantage. The offer they’re showing to their prospects is the same offer that every other affiliate is showing. There is no difference. So buying from you specifically becomes a crap shoot. Let’s face it…what are you providing to the prospect that every other affiliate ISN’T providing? If you can’t come up with something for an answer then you are seriously hurting your chances to convert.

Ultimately, you need to learn some affiliate marketing advantages that will give you the edge over the competition and turn those great converting products into great converting products for YOU. In my signature, you can get some more info on this subject.

If your product isn’t converting, yes, it may be the product’s numbers are a lie or at least a misrepresentation of reality. But it also may be simply that you don’t have an edge over other affiliates.

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Internet Marketing Tips – Viral Marketing 101

Viral marketing is one of the most effective forms of advertising anywhere. If you don’t know what it is or how to do it, this article will show you how and give you probably the greatest example of viral marketing in the history of this planet.

I can’t believe it when people ask me if viral marketing really works. Do you know what the most successful form of viral marketing in the history or mankind was? Well, I’ll tell you later. For now I’ll just let you think about that for a while and come up with an answer.But the purpose of this article is to give you some solid techniques for viral marketing that work like gangbusters.

The first thing you want to do, whatever niche you’re in, is get your rear end over to a forum for that niche. Start talking about things. Talk about what you do. Help other marketers or other members. Become a presence. Eventually, people are going to start talking about you. When that happens, they’ll start checking out your web site. Most forums do allow web site links in your signature. Make sure that yours is filled in.

The next thing you want to do is put together a brief ebook or report on your topic of interest and just give it away. That’s right, give it away. Go to one of those sites where you can download free ebooks. There are tons of them on the Internet. Just go to Google and do a search for “Free eBook Downloads” and you’ll find them. Upload your ebook or report there. Make sure you have income generating links in the book. Over time, as the downloads of your book increase, you will begin to see some sales, just because you uploaded a book to this site. Upload it to multiple sites and you’ll make more sales.

Okay, I’m now going to tell you what the most successful form of viral marketing was of all time. A few guys got together and decided that they were going to spread the word of this great thing. They were real ambitious. They were determined to spread it everywhere, all over the world. And they were going to do this one person at a time. That’s right. They’d tell one person and that person would hopefully tell somebody else. This all started with about 11 guys. By the time you’ve read this article, the word on this great thing had spread to billions of people. In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about Christianity. But you knew that all along from the very beginning, didn’t you.

Viral marketing…It works.

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Developing an E-Mail Newsletter

The creation of a newsletter is a serious decision because initiating one without the infrastructure and commitment to sustain it can wind up doing more harm than good. Your e-mail newsletter, once launched, will create an expectation among recipients and if you fail to deliver on that expectation it could lead to a backlash as your customers cll your reliability or commitment into question. The infrastructure you need includes content sources, graphic sources, and the e-mail capacity to send the newsletter. The commitment is eased when you create a timetable that details when the content needs to be concluded, when the graphics need to be completed, and when the newsletter needs to be edited and then ultimately sent.

In choosing your send date, you need to think about the other newsletters your readers are likely to receive and make sure that you do not become just one more newsletter in their inboxes. We recommend you send it during a time of the month when there is traditionally less traffic. For example, Tudog sends its e-mail newsletter at the end of each month because most of our competing newsletters are sent either at the beginning or middle of the month. We have found that this increases our readership by approximately 20%.

The construction of a successful newsletter has 6 phases. They are:

1. Content
The newsletter you send stands or falls on the relevance and quality of the content you incorporate. If your website is meant to entertain you content needs to be entertaining. If it is meant to educate, your content better be educational. Tudog does not believe in using the newsletter for self-promotional purposes, as we think that readers rapidly grow tired of reading commercials and self-serving material. There are other forums to engage in self-promotion. Your newsletter is a service to your customers and needs to be written from the perspective of what they need, and not from the view of how it can serve you. By having your newsletter serve your customers, it will ultimately serve you too.

2. Frequency
You need to decide how often you are going to issue your newsletter. There are two primary considerations that need to make up the decision. The first is how often your customer base would engage you newsletter. If your sector is flooded with newsletters, you may conclude that there is an excess of reading material and that a quarterly newsletter is appropriate. Conversely, you may notice that there is both an absence of other newsletters and a hunger for information, leading you to conclude that a bi-weekly newsletter would provide you with an excellent opportunity. The second consideration is your internal capacity. You do not want to create an expectation for a newsletter that exceeds your production capacity. How many newsletters you are able to release each month needs to be the underlying driver to the decision how often your newsletter is released.

3. Design
How your newsletter looks is crucial not only because it represents your company, but also because it could determine how people receive the newsletter and whether or not they are drawn to read it. A well designed newsletter includes a clear delineation of all areas of content, integrated, relevant images, and an identity that is consistent with your company’s identity. It is important that you view your newsletter as an extension of your company and that its personality is representative of the image you transmit to your sector.

4. Database
Your database is the list of people to whom you send your newsletter. Your list should be extracted from your client/customer base, prospective clients/customers, and your sector influencers. You should make sure that everyone receiving your e-mail newsletter either requested it or has a way to be removed from your list (clearly and easily marked in your e-mail). Your newsletter can be sent via snail mail, but the costs of printing and postage make e-mail a much more realistic and cost effective often. Using e-mail, you are able to send your newsletter as HTML, text, or in PDF format. You should pick your format based on customer preferences. Tudog uses PDF after our inquiries indicated that our clients were most interested in receiving our newsletter in that format. You clients/customers may prefer a different format, but it should be noted that the content, design, and frequency are not influenced by format.

5. Marketing
Your newsletter needs marketing support so that it can reach out to a wider audience and better serve your company as a marketing tool. The support it receives can be as simple as being listed on your website (with a sign-up option) to advertising and special attention. Tudog markets its website by permitted reprints of our articles in magazines and other newsletters, drawing attention to the company, our expertise, and that our newsletter offers continuing exposure to the ideas and hints we publish.

6. Testing
We recommend that you test your newsletter before you send it out to your widest audience so that you can benefit from the feedback of your test group and ultimately send out the best newsletter possible. You should pick a random group of people (between 50-200) to send your newsletter to, alongside a brief questionnaire asking for reviews on your look and content. Once you have their responses and incorporate some of their comments, you will know your newer version is close to the needs and wants of your target market.

Your e-mail newsletter is an excellent way to reach out to and become meaningful to your clients/customers. Embark on an e-mail newsletter only if you have the resources and commitment to sustain it. Done properly, it is a powerful and continuing tool for exposure and reinforcement of your expertise.

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An Internet Marketing Lesson I Learned From My 7 Year Old Grandson

A few weeks ago I was watching my 7 year old Grandson Joel as he was drawing a picture of a strawberry patch.

As he drew, it began to look more and more like a Christmas wreath than a strawberry patch. I told him that it looked pretty good, but suggested to him that “maybe you could put a few strawberries here, and here and here” as I pointed to the big white area in the middle of his drawing.

He looked at me in all seriousness and said…

“Grandpa, it doesn’t matter what YOU think, it’s what the artist thinks!”

It was funny at the time, but I have been thinking about this quite a bit.

You know what? He is right!

There is a great lesson to be learned here. The lesson applies very well to Internet marketing. Actually it applies well to ANY kind of marketing, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on the internet.

We have a tendency to come up with an idea that we think is the greatest thing since sliced bread. We’re absolutely convinced that everybody will beat a path to our door to buy our product. We spend lots of money to develop a sales campaign, build a website, buy advertising and so on, and spend a lot of time and effort to draw people to our website, get good search engine positioning, and then more often than not we’re disappointed because very few people buy our products.

Could it be that the marketplace doesn’t care about our opinion?

Does that hurt your ego? It shouldn’t. It should open your eyes to this very simple, but wildly profound truth.

IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU THINK, IT’S WHAT THE MARKETPLACE THINKS THAT IS IMPORTANT!

Big companies spend millions of dollars on market research, testing and surveys before they ever spend any money in developing a product or marketing a product. Doesn’t it make sense that before we ever spend a dime on any kind of product development, website development or whatever that we should spend some time first to find out what people are buying, when do they buy, and how do they buy?

By doing proper research in advance, you’ll save yourself a lot of wasted time and effort, and you’ll be rewarded many times over by successful, money making websites. Finding profitable “niches” is not a difficult process, but it can make all the difference in the world as to whether or not your website will be a huge success or a dismal failure.

As you consider what kind of websites you’ll be building, keep in mind the lesson learned from a 7 year old.

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10 Ways to Advertise Online (and where to get started)

Most business owners fully understand that not advertising is the surest way to kill your business.

However they are also bombarded by so much information and so many choices they quickly lose track of what options are available to them.

There are a number of cheap and easy online advertising options available to you.

1. Ezine Advertising

Ezine advertising is one of the best ways to reach your future customers because it is often inexpensive and flexible as well as offering you the option to match the ezine audience with your product and ad. It also often offers a double benefit–your initial ad plus longevity in the ezine archives.

2. Text Links

This simple tool is often overlooked by many. It is simply one of the least expensive and yet most powerful advertising option available. You can often buy text links for under $10 and the link will not only promote the specific site or page you choose but also connect it with the specific key words that will benefit you the most.

Text links also provide a double bonus. You can attract immediate traffic from the host site as well as achieve better search engine ranking which will further increase traffic.

3. Pay per click advertising

Just like it sounds pay per click advertising is simply paying for specifically targeted traffic. You can monitor and control these advertising programs very closely and tweak your ad copy and the key words that you are sponsoring. This can be a very expensive option but doesn’t have to be if you plan carefully and watch closely.

4. Email marketing

Despite ever-increasing vigilant attempts to stop spam, we all know that email marketing is still alive and well. While it is foolish in the extreme to risk your business, web host, or internet connection, by sending out spam you can still use email marketing as a way to reach out and touch your customers and your future customers.

You just need to make sure that no one receives mail except the people who ask for it. People are still willing to sign up for mailing lists–especially if you have something to offer them in return for sharing their email address. Sponsor a contest; give away an article, ebook, or tutorial; or offer a discount and you will have people sign up willingly.

Then if you don’t abuse the mailing list you will have the opportunity to reach them again and again!

5. Banner Ads

Banner ads have a bad reputation. In part because of the proliferation of banner farms that killed all the banner swap programs (or at least made them completely ineffectual). Also we all have memories of those hideous banners flashing across the top of so many web sites.

Banners have come along way since then and a cleverly designed banner can be a real asset to any advertising campaign. Also don’t forget that you don’t have to use one of those big giant banners that span the width of the screen. You can use smaller simple ads that can fit easily into the sidebar or special box on a web site so they can suit the design and work more effectively.

It is also important that you pay close attention to what sites you will choose for displaying your banner. IE. A site about web development for your web hosting service ad or a site about parenting for your ad promoting your potty training book.

Many text link and pay per click advertising vendors also offer the option of banner ads. Similarly many ezine and newsletter publishers sell space on their sites.

~~ Sell Your Knowledge ~~

These next five advertising methods are all free or relatively inexpensive because you are trading something of value — your knowledge and expertise — in return for advertising.

6. Publish a Newsletter

Creating your own regular newsletter or ezine offers you all the advantages of ezine advertising and email marketing offered above.

7. Publish a Blog and RSS Feed

While publishing a newsletter or ezine isn’t that difficult it is much easier to create a blog and make its content available via RSS feed. This can offer you the benefits of regularly updated material for your web site which will be attractive to visitors and search engines alike. It will also help establish you as an expert in your field.

I personally like using WordPress on your own site but many web hosts now offer blogging services and there are many free blogging sites around where you can create a blog on their site.

8. Write Articles

Take some of the material you have generated for your newsletter and/or blog and share it with others. Make it available in one of the many free content directories available on the web. This not only helps to establish your credibility but the contact info you provide in your resource box (which will run every time someone else publishes your material) will bring in both direct traffic as well as search engine attention.

9. Create an Ebook

Once you have enough material generated from your newsletter and blog then you can package it into a convenient Ebook and give it away. Make sure to collect names and email addresses and offer a coupon or discount to bring people back to your site!

10. Post in Forums

If you have the time you should start your own forum but even if you only have a few minutes a week to spare for this effort then it can be well worth the effort. Don’t offer blatant spam posts but find a forum where you have something to offer. Make sure that you include an appropriate url and description for your forum signature and you will attract the double benefit of traffic and search engine attention!

No successful advertising campaign embraces one single method of advertising and no single method of advertising works for everyone. Advertising cannot be treated as a one-size-fits all proposition. However you know what your business needs and can offer–mix and match methods and make sure to track your results–to optimize your choices.

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10 Powerful List Building Techniques

The lifeblood of any Internet marketer is their list. If you have an opt in email list then you are sitting on piles of cash, if you properly use your list then your earning potential is very high.

As many people ask “How do I build a list?” the following points describes some of the best ways for building your email list.

1) Newsletter / E-zine

We are in the Information Age and so people are desperate for information. Everyone is so busy with their lives they don’t have time to find the information for themselves. Publish a newsletter in your niche that is full of valuable content and you will get people flocking to you to sign up.

2) E-Courses

People are hungry for information, so a free e-course will persuade people to part with their email address. Create at least a seven part course that is delivered every few days into their inbox. Of course, the e-course also subtly sells your product!

3) Articles

Write articles and distribute them to article directories. Include your newsletter sign up in the resource box and if you have provided good quality content, you will get the visitors who will sign up to learn more.

4) Free Books

A free e-book is an excellent way to build your list. It doesn’t have to be an epic tome, just valuable information that people will exchange their email address for. You can write one yourself or get one ghostwritten for you. Make sure though that it is information that your visitors will want to have, and make sure you have included links to your products and sites in the book. You can also include affiliate links to further maximise your earnings.

5) Free Membership Site

Creating a free membership site is an excellent way to get people’s email addresses. Offer valuable content for free but only to signed up members. You can then upsell them other products or other levels of membership with more products and more resources available to them.

6) Squeeze Page

A squeeze page is a pre-sales letter page where you capture a person’s email address before they move on to view your sales letter. This is reportedly very effective and you can also personalise the sales letter with their name or other details from the squeeze page.

7) Pop Up

Pop up windows, particularly unique and different windows, can be very effective at persuading people to sign up for your newsletter. These can either pop up as the visitor enters your site, or when they leave, reminding them to sign up for more information.

8) Viral Marketing

Viral marketing is where you give away something of value that people want to pass to all their friends. It may be a video, a book, a game or anything similar. However, whatever it is, it has your web address in it so people can come and sign up to your newsletter and get more info.

9) Free Giveaways

A very popular new method of list building are the big Internet giveaways where lots of people submit products that are available for free in exchange for a newsletter sign up. These are excellent ways to rapidly build your list – though be aware that freebie seekers may not make for the most responsive of lists.

10) Sign up bonuses

Offer your visitors a bonus if they sign up for your newsletter, e.g. “20% off XYZ for readers” or a number of e-books or reports that will be of interest to them.

Using these 10 simple strategies you can build your list and then leverage their earning power.

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