Being an affiliate marketer can present you with a whole host of problems to solve and decisions to make. In this article, we will endeavor to provide you with some guidelines, in the form of our ten top tips, to steer you away from indecision and get you onto the right track.
The internet has become quite notorious for the unaware and uninitiated. There are all kinds of scam merchants and unscrupulous vendors out there in cyberspace, all trying to sell you their latest shiny object. No more so than when it comes to choosing an affiliate network or product to promote.
So big is the selection of affiliate programs, networks, and products at your disposal that you can be spoilt for choice, which can be very confusing. Let us see if we can lighten the load with our top ten tips.
1. Paper Sift: First on our list is the standard paper sift, you will probably do this on your computer so maybe we should call it a screen sift of potential products and networks. Do your research and make a long list of potential prospects and then carefully go through that list and just delete ANYTHING that appears to be amateurish, unprofessional or downright dubious. You will end up with a very viable shortlist.
2. Interests & Hobbies: You've probably heard it many times that when starting out in Internet Marketing, you should focus on your strong points, particularly if you intend to create a product. It's equally valid for affiliate marketers, choose a product to promote in a niche that you are comfortable with. This could be career related, a hobby, an interest, or anything that you really enjoy and gets you going. It's far easier to go forward when you are enthusiastic than when you are bored or in a rut.
3. Quality Over Quantity: Many affiliate marketers' start out with a cheapskate mentality. They would rather promote rubbish products on dubious platforms just to save a few dollars of seed or investment capital. It's worth remembering that quality always sells, no matter what state the economy or markets are in. Develop a quality mindset and you will build a proper long-term business.
4. Due Diligence: Cannot emphasize this one enough. Before you take that decision to sign up to a particular network or join up to an affiliate product, make sure that you have spent adequate time researching and doing your due diligence. Get online and check out those forums, blogs, and review sites, see what other affiliates are doing or saying. A little input at this time can save you a lot of frustration and money further down the line.
5. Growth Markets: It isn't always easy to predict a growth market, especially a brand new niche market. It goes without saying that you should associate yourself with products that are current and have growth potential. Being able to spot these product or market trends tends to be a bit of an art. When starting out our advice would be not to become involved at the very start but just to keep watch and let some momentum build.
6. Residual Income Programs: As an affiliate marketer, you will want to automate as much of your business as possible. One of the best ways of doing this, without doing any work, is to ensure the programs you sign up to have long term residual income schemes built in.
These are schemes that will pay you additional income anytime the customer renews their contract or even possibly purchases an upsell at a later date. There are many available variations for residual income and not enough space in this article to cover them, but a good example would be a Hosting Company. Check it out!
7. MLM & Pyramid Schemes: Have to be a bit careful here because MLM (Multi Level Marketing) is a legitimately recognized business practice and it would not be fair to tar all schemes with the same brush. Unfortunately, there have been many cases of abuse of the system over the years so that it has acquired a bit of a bad boy reputation.
Just be very careful if you are thinking of joining such a network or program. There are "red ribbon" type packages that promise the earth but deliver very little. You may find yourself having to fulfill minimum quotas before getting paid anything.
When starting out our advice is to avoid pyramid programs at all cost and give MLM a miss until you become more experienced.
8. Customer Support: One of the really great benefits of being an affiliate marketer is that you don't have to engage with customers at any level if you don't want to. This means you don't have to sort any payments, queries, complaints or refunds This is only true however if you choose wisely. You can still end up having to deal with the customer service side of things if you sign up with a vendor who fobs you off with all of this hassle.
Better when starting out to stick with the big players who will be able to provide 24/7 365-day customer service. Apart from saving you a lot of headaches, customers like to deal with vendors they know will look after their needs. Just think Amazon, Clickbank, JVZoo etc.
9. Tools & Resources: As an affiliate, you will be spending a lot of your time promoting the vendors product. This is no easy task, you will need banner ads, email sequences, blog posts etc. Now you can do all of this yourself and good luck with that, but do remember a more professional vendor will provide as much help in this area as they possibly can. After all it's in their best interest to get you onboard, so take advantage.
10. Continuity: Always look for a network or product provider that has been around for quite awhile. This generally means they are a proper business and in it for the long term. They will constantly work to provide new products and services for their affiliates.
A one-off product producer may well be inclined to enthusiastically promote their product using affiliates and when they feel they have made enough money just let it die a death. Leaving affiliates annoyed and frustrated and even downright angry if they haven't been paid their commissions; this happens quite a lot.
At the end of the day, it's your reputation as an affiliate marketer that is at stake here. Vendors come and go, but it's not so easy for affiliate marketers if you lose that customer trust then it's a long hill to climb back up. Make yourself fully aware of the network or program you are signing up to.
You now have a few of my Affiliate Marketing success secrets. If you would like to learn some more then just head over to http://terrydeeonline.com/blog and get them with my compliments.