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Increase you affiliate check
By David Callan
First I'm going to make sure your doing the most important thing necessary to being successful as an affiliate. That thing is of course to target your market. This means that you only join and promote products from affiliate programs that are related to the theme of your website and which your visitors are likely to buy.
If you sell teddy bears and promote an Internet marketing course you're not going to be successful because few if any of your visitors would be interested in the course. The moral of the story therefore is to always pick programs that fit into your site, this way visitors to your site will be interested in the products from the affiliate program and will be more inclined to buy them.
Most webmasters already knew that but I just had to make sure.
To start off then, don't just use banners. You've slapped that big banner across your main page and you wait for the money to roll it, but little or none does. This is because the Internet is saturated with banners and people tend to ignore them resulting in very low click-through rates and of course very low or no commission from sales. I'm not saying don't use banners, by all means do but don't rely on them alone because results are generally poor.
When you use banners to promote products always have them above the fold, either at the top of the screen or the middle, these are the places where people will see them most. The fold for those of you that don't know is the point on a webpage whereby you have to start scrolling to continue reading.
The banners which always get a higher click-through are ones that appear as though they're part of the website, these banners are commonly known as 'fake banners'. People think they're clicking on links to other parts of your website because either the banner graphic looks like a link with blue underlined text and the text has the words click here or the banner looks like a drop down navigation menu of the site, but in fact both are banners with a link to your affiliate URL. Below is an example of the fake drop down -
That covers the banner ad bit, don't however forget about simple text links as these guys pull in a lot more visitors than banner ads any day of the week. You may have a textual menu on your site, if you do simply add a link to your affiliate URL at the end, make the link sound as interesting as you can.
Other ways to integrate your affiliate URL into your site with text links include writing an article related to the industry of the product which your affiliate URL promotes and have links to your affiliate URL throughout the article. Don't forget about your links page, make sure you've your affiliate URL at the top of the bunch with a nice description of it too.
However the most powerful way to use simple text links is to put them in personal recommendations. Various Internet marketing professionals suggest that personal recommendations can increase click-through's to an affiliate URL by 400%, this in turns means a massive increase in commission.
It's best if you actually own and love the product your recommending yourself, this way your recommendation will seem more genuine. If you've a quality site with lots of valuable information people will value your opinion and check the product out. If you've an Ezine be sure to place a personal recommendation in that too. Imagine having 10,000+ subscribers all seeing the recommendation around the same time, your commission would surely skyrocket.
Another method which you can use on your website is the pop up window. Pop up windows are very powerful as they catch your visitors eye just as they're leaving your web site. In the pop up window you could place your recommendation of the product or a simple text link. Beware however that some people don't like pop up windows, so if you decide to use this method be sure to use it sparingly.
Most of the above methods can be done through either your website or Ezine, well except for the banner and pop up window bits as Ezines are just emails, but there's another method just for your Ezine or opt in list, it's the classified ad.
Classified ads are an easy but extremely profitable way to promote your affiliate URL in your Ezine this is because users value and trust you as the publisher of your Ezine and know that you won't allow poor products to be advertised in it. If you had an Ezine with 10,000 subscribers you could make hundreds of dollars just from that one ad.
Another excellent way to gradually increase your affiliate check is to place these banners, text links and personal recommendations in free ebooks that you give away. Allow other webmasters to give your ebooks away also and list it in all the ebook directories you can find.
The better the ebook the more people will download it. 10,000+ people could download your free ebook giving you almost unlimited free exposure of your affiliate URL. This of course will increase your commission check greatly, however it takes much more time to see the results of a campaign like this than to see the results from a new banner ad or recommendation you have put up.
A method that has brought some people success is one that uses pay per click engines like Google Adwords, Overture.com and Findwhat.com. Most PPC engines won't allow you to link directly to an affiliate URL, but you can easily get around this by having a landing page which links to the affiliate URL. I know you've to pay for visitors from these type of engines but they can be highly targeted and that means the people that click-through are highly likely to buy.
This strategy works best if your commission rate is high or very high. If you earn around $50+ a sale it's well worth experimenting with.
Let's say for example you bid $.10 cents on some detailed keyphrase related to the product your promoting which eventually takes the visitor to your affiliate URL, because it's very detailed your likely to make a sale from every 50 click-through's or so.
Now imagine you made $65 commission each time you made a sale. $.10 multiplied by 50 equals $5, this is what it costs to make a sale and $65 minus $5 equals $60. This $60 is profit, so in other words it costs $5 to make $60 in this case anyhow. The above figures are just general examples but they do illustrate what can be done with pay per click engines.
Remember to concentrate on affiliate programs that pay high commissions per sale. This will allow you to afford more clicks or higher bids while still keeping the majority of your commission per sale. More tips on using PPC engines to your advantage can be read in my article entitled Pay per click search engine guide.
The final method you could try to increase your check is time consuming. It involves posting in newsgroups and forums with your affiliate URL in your SIG file. You'll also want to watch out for posts where people are looking for others to recommend a good product or posts which give you a chance to direct others to your affiliate URL. Never spam newsgroups or forums though as other posters will report you and you'll be banned from your affiliate program for life, many programs will even withhold your current commission balance.
That brings to an end this article, in it you've learned what you can
do to increase your income from affiliate programs with techniques such
as fake banners and using pay per click search engines. I hope you can
put these techniques into practice successfully.