Affiliate Marketing:My Favorite Money-Maker

What could be more exciting than making money without even using a Website of your own, without all the concerns associated to a “product’s” creation, packaging and order fulfillment, without any customer-service headaches… Sounds too good to be true?  You have to sweat a bit though.  Money comes because you’re doing the Marketing “thing”.  You are an Affiliate Marketer and get paid every time you generate a “result” -it can be a sale, an optin, filling a form etc- sending traffic to an OFFER which can be anything related to products (physical or digital) or services.  BBWSMXQBBP4R

Of course having a website would give you a series of advantages.  But that’s not a prerequisite to start with.  You are an Affiliate, which means somebody else’s “salesperson”.  Your job ends whenever a lead -a targeted visitor-  through your Affiliate Link  hits the Vendor’s OFFER-PAGE and takes the desirable action, the one you should be paid for.  Your Affiliate-Code is embedded in your affiliate link -we’ll discuss about ways to cloak it so you eliminate losses caused by malicious users-  and is your special ID which triggers the Agreement between you and the vendor, or the Affiliate Network you are a member of and the particular Vendor whose OFFER is being promoted by the Network.

To get yourself initiated into the Affiliate Marketing world, you’ll need the basic info about the types of Affiliate Networks, and of course you’ll have to setup your TRAFFIC GENERATION Strategy.

A great way to make your first steps would be to work with digital products – downloadable ebooks or software- through Clickbank.  You’ll have to pick a niche and we suggest to build a WordPress Blog following the fast and easy steps we’ll be giving you in a VIDEO Series about Affiliate Marketing.  You can then start adding quality content to your BLOG, and have a specialized plugin deliver  Clickbank Ads  with your Clickbank Affiliate ID in them.

Of course there are ways to hand-pick the info-products you would like to promote, but we will present them in more detail on another post.  To get started,  a WordPress Blog will be more than enough, and a set of  powerful  plugins will make your life easier.

Monetization:Looking for The Golden Eggs…

Simply put, by non monetizing properly our Website it’s like wasting our resources leaving tons of money on the table.  But things are not as simple as they seem to be.  Monetization is directly linked to our Online Business’s objectives and nature.  A different kind of monetization structure goes with a purely Online Business Model, and another one goes with the Online Projection of an Offline Business.

In this series of Articles, we’ll delve into the elements of a properly set Monetization Strategy for the Online Presence of an Offline Business.  We decided to give priority to this type of Websites, mainly because there are hundreds of thousands of Businesses who do  this wrong while structuring their online presence.  Online entrepreneurs and web-marketers on the other hand, are by far savvier in this regard, although we’ll shortly have that topic covered.

The first thing we should have in mind when setting up our Monetization Strategy is that our Website has practically unlimited potential of reaching and interacting with our target group.  Therefore, we shouldn’t think within a narrow channel of options.  Being openminded and watching successful models in totally different industries, might lead us to the breakthrough we need to boost our profitability by leaps and bounds.

So, what is needed for an effective Monetization Strategy?

There are FOUR PILLARS of Monetization we have to embody in our Strategy, and we definitely need to reverse engineer our Visitors’ action-sequence in order to identify the patterns that justify the monetization pillars.

  • CLIENT CENTERED MONETIZATION : It is all about our visitor’s psychology and going with the “wave” of their desires.  One of the most successful Client Centered Monetization we have seen is that of offering “Weight-Loss” related info-products to the core market of “Get-Your-Ex-Back” visitors.  Although our main market remains the “making-up” advice , we get into our prospect’s shoes and go a bit further following the “wave” of her/his psychology.  Being at a breakup-point with their relationship, what hurts more than anything else, is their self-esteem and although in most cases the true reasons of a breakup are linked to behavioral patterns,  the “being rejected-reflex” gets triggered almost always and self-denial or loss of self-esteem comes next.  So by offering the option of building that self-esteem again, on a silver plate, increases conversions and boosts profitability.  Another example of such kind of Monetization is Steve Job’s i-Phone but we’ll analyze it in detail on a future post.

[cbmage]monetization, affiliate marketing[/cbmage]

  • BUSINESS-MODEL CENTERED MONETIZATION : An overlooked option by many businesses which tend to be quite ancylotic  when it comes to broadening their vision spectrum.  Many Businesses go online thinking of attracting new clients for their products or services in a sterile and monolithic manner.  They can’t see the potential of building a COMMUNITY of Clients or Prospects and rip the rewards of offering value through a MEMBERSHIP Section within their Site.  They ignore the importance of building trust with their visitors, and authority for their brand, by taking advantage of the Info-Marketing option.  They think that there is no ground of educating their visitors or creating info-products for them. Big mistake.  Training Material in the form of E-Courses, Reports, White-Papers, VIDEOS etc, can add another stream of online income to our Business’s bottomline and as a BONUS we get our Brand solidified in our market.  Of course we can digg as deep as we want and expand as wide as we like on our quest for creating Info-Products of REAL VALUE to our visitors.
  • TRAFFIC-CENTERED MONETIZATION : Once we establish a steadily growing flow of Traffic to our Website, we definitely focus on improving our Conversion Rate, but there will always be a HUGE percentage of  traffic which will just NOT convert for a million reasons.  This doesn’t mean we can’t profit from them.  This Monetization Pillar stands for a range of actions we can take to turn those visits into money.  It is estimated that each visitor has an average value of $0.10.   So if we attract 1000 visitors to our website per month, we should at least make $100 from them.  We can monetize on our traffic by “selling” advertising space to Third Parties. There are many types of Advertising we can choose to include in our website. Contextual Advertising, such as GOOGLE Adsense Program and others is an option.  BANNER Advertising is another.  Promoting Affiliate Offers is a third.  And the list goes on…
  • JOINT-VENTURE  PARTNERSHIPS : Perhaps this is the most powerful way of Monetization because we monetize on our business partnerships which are based on relationships with people.  The leverage this model can give us is tremendus.  By Setting up our own Affiliate Program we can practically “recruit” partners on Auto-Pilot and slowly build an Army of Affiliates who will promote our OFFERS to their lists or through their sites etc.

Proper Monetization is about seeing the WHOLE PICTURE of our Online Business and setting our Standards really high.  Practically there is no limit to the Growth Rate that can be achieved by a Robust Monetization Strategy.

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Landing Page Optimization for Search Engine Spiders :)

Talking about the different types of Landing Pages will be the topic of another posting, because our ultimate goal will determine how simple or complex our Landing Page should be in terms of elements included.

Optimization is about improving our Landing Page’s performance and consequently our Site’s Rankings and exposure by appealing to TWO distinct kinds of “visitors” :  people and search engine spiders.

SEO is about luring the spiders with the kind of “info-food” they love.  When they visit our Site, they do it for one purpose : to categorize the info they’ll collect in their huge Database, in order to serve it to the people when they type certain keywords in their query string.

To make sure our site offers useful info and its content is relevant, they will use certain criteria to give it a score.  They will check which are  our Main Keywords, if we use them on the Title, in the description, in h1, h2, h3, h4 header tags, and if we mix them up with keywords of  similar meaning or related semantics.  LSI is the “Latent Semantics Indexing” technology  embodied in the Search Engine’s Algorithm.  LSI keywords must be included in the Description as they must also be contained in the body of our content.
[cbmage]landing page, optimization, seo[/cbmage]

The images are another major point of our Landing Page’s SEO.  SE Spiders are “blind” to images named with numbers i.e.  2345.jpg   On the other hand, GOOGLE loves images which are named or have ALT TEXT with keywords that match.  The reason GOOGLE loves such images, is that they offer value to its IMAGE Searchers.

How will SE Spiders help our Site?  They’ll help its pages get indexed, and by evaluating the on-page optimization elements we mentioned as well as the volume and the quality of incoming links -backlinks- from other sites will add to its PAGE RANKING score and will directly push its ranking on GOOGLE’s organic results listings.