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The Tao Of Affiliate Marketing, Part 1

Mar 29, 2008
Do you find the process of affiliate marketing a bit confusing? Do you wonder if it's even possible to make a living through affiliate marketing? Maybe you've spent countless hours setting up marketing strategies for your affiliate products, such as blogs, articles, Squidoo pages, websites, and so on, only to find that you're not making the kind of money you need to justify your effort.

Sure, if affiliate marketing was easy, everyone on the internet would be making a living this way. Of course, this isn't the case. Most people who try their hands at affiliate marketing fail - sometimes because they spend themselves into a hole, and sometimes just because they get burnt out from working hard without making any money, and they give up. So how can you rise above and succeed where so many have fallen?

A clue lies in the 2nd chapter of the Tao Te Ching, the mystic explanation of "the way" written by Lao Tse over 3 centuries ago:

For "is" and "is not" come together,

Hard and easy are complimentary;

Long and short are relative,

High and low are comparative;

Pitch and sound make harmony,

Before and after are a sequence.

Now, what the heck does this "new age ballyhoo" have to do with affiliate marketing? How could this mysterious passage help you become a better affiliate marketer, so you can finally get paid fairly for your time?

It turns out, The Tao Te Ching contains quite a few insights that can help you on our path to affiliate marketing success.

See, most affiliate marketers concentrate only on selling - that is, focusing their efforts on nothing but getting visitors to buy their products. Their efforts come off as blatant sales pitches, and it turns potential customers off. No one wants to be sold to - when was the last time you visited a website, hoping for a pushy sales pitch?

The most effective way of selling through affiliate marketing is to "not sell". That is, to educate your potential customers, and make your affiliate products seem like logical solutions for their problems, needs, and wants, without making it obvious that you want your visitors to buy your affiliate products.

How do you do this? Well, mot importantly, you should make your marketing content have value. Whether you're promoting your affiliate products through website content, articles, email marketing, or blogging, your readers should take something of value away from your content, regardless of whether they ever buy. It could be a tip they can use to make their lives easier, a recommendation that helps them become wealthier, or an idea that sparks them to be more productive.

Here is where the "is" and the "is not" come together. Of course, your affiliate product will be the ideal resource for your readers. But while you'll mention your product as a "recommendation", you won't overtly push readers to buy. If your content is engaging, informative, and useful, they'll decide to buy on their own.

Affiliate marketing, like the Tao itself, is full of dichotomies, and can seem nearly impossible to figure out. Yet its complexity lies in its simplicity. And this simplicity is the one thing that 99% of affiliate marketers fail to understand when planning and executing their marketing strategies. Once you understand this, you can easily place yourself ahead of the vast majority of affiliate marketing entrepreneurs out there.
About the Author
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