Internet Affiliate Marketing 101 - It's All About Relationships
So you've found the perfect affiliate program, you've signed up and they gave you a website....now what? "They" say that "all you have to do" is drive traffic to your site...but you don't have a clue where to begin...
Never fear, Affiliate 101 is here...here's a list of a few simple, free or inexpensive tasks you can accomplish today. Details follow, first just the list:
1. Send emails to friends and family;
2. Make new friends on the internet;
3. Print out and distribute posters, business cards, and/or postcards;
4. Write articles and post free ads.
First of all, don't panic. You don't have to do ALL of these, just whatever you feel comfortable with. But I do heartily suggest that you push the envelope a little on your comfort level...
Email Friends and Family: If you're uncomfortable with contacting family members (they CAN be your sharpest critics) first scan the options, maybe one of the less obtrusive ones would work.
Be sure to write ONLY to friends. Anything else will be considered spam; any worthy company will drop you like a hot potato when they receive legitimate spam complaints.
Consider the friends and family you might write to and decide the best approach for each:
1. The Second Opinion Approach: save this for the hard nuts to crack, flatter them with "I've signed up for this opportunity and would really like to hear your opinion..."
2. The Beating Around the Bush Approach: "I'm making some extra money doing this biz, do you know anyone who might need a few extra dollars?"
3. The Direct Approach: for those close friends that you KNOW could use some financial miracles in their lives... you can lead with the business opportunity or with the products. I think it's Avon that has a nice promo these days, "products you can buy and sell". Simple and to the point...
4. The Chummy Letter Approach: just write a letter to a friend as you usually would and casually mention what you are doing, that it's on "wait and see", or already is making you a little money, or whatever.
5. The No-Mention Approach: just add a signature to all your emails that includes your website's URL and your email address, maybe the name of your company. Subtle, let's them explore if they want.
Getting to Know You...
How do you currently meet people on the internet? Game chat rooms, forums, opt-in email lists, Yahoo groups, messenger services...these are only a few ways to meet people. Many sites such as Yahoo, AOL, or ICQ let you create a profile including favorite websites, etc. While direct advertising is often frowned upon or prohibited, usually signatures at the bottom of posts is allowed. Many friendships formed in forums and chat rooms lead to email and website exchanges.
Printed fliers can be distributed everywhere you go, posted on your car...be creative. Include a business card or flier in every piece of mail you send including bills, on tables in restaurants, in phone booths, stick them in business books in the library. Make it fun! If you have mailing addresses rather than email addresses of anyone who might be interested, send them a flier or postcard.
Become a Famous Author
Anyone can write an article, everyone is good at something or has an experience that would help someone else out. Article writing helpsbuild trust and over time will brand your name and drive traffic to your website. And it's free. Submit your articles to individual webmasters and editors as well as article directories.
Banner Swapping and Text Linking
Some say that banners are not very effective in getting traffic to your website, but hey, it's free and it doesn't hurt to try. It's best to spend some time finding a high traffic site or two and not fill your site with banners. Text links are still your best bet.
There you have it, lots of good ideas for beginning promotion of your website.
I'll leave you with one more thought, something to come back to and mull over as time goes on...Spend some time on this one...
Find an online entrepreneur that you truly admire. There are lots out there, but there will be someone that really rings true for YOU. Maybe it's this person's style, or background, but something makes him or her stand out in your mind. Think of something that you can do FOR this person, and pursue that thought. Joint ventures...more on this later.