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Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Part 1

Aug 17, 2007
There are many reasons why people searching for an online business choose affiliate programs. They are easily accessible, free to join and they cover a wide range of topics and services so you can find something that interests you personally. Commissions are paid frequently and stats can be tracked around the clock. You are provided with an unlimited supply of marketing materials from banners to email promotions. You can get started and be making money in a matter of minutes.

It all sounds so easy, so why is it that the majority of all affiliates do not make enough money to cover their marketing expenses and time and why for others they make no money at all? Is it the fault of the affiliate program they join? Or is it the product or service they promote? More than likely it is a combination of poor marketing skills and commitment on behalf of the affiliate.

Affiliate programs have many advantages as outlined above but it is this exact same reason why many people consider them to be an easy ride to online business success. If there is an online get rich quick scheme then affiliate programs are it!

If you have a look at any affiliate program sales page, they convince you that promoting their services is so easy that even an inexperienced marketer can make it a financial success. If you was looking for a quick route to easy street then this is it. So you sign-up, place a few banners here and there and wait. Nothing!

This is the point that most affiliate marketers bail out. They are convinced that no money can be made in affiliate marketing so off they go to join another income stream which they hope will be that golden goose. Sound familiar? If you could see a spreadsheet of an affiliate program that shows all of the affiliate members and the income they are earning each month then you will find that there is only around 5% making the money. This is a true fact about affiliate programs.

The programs themselves are aware of the situation and they know that the majority of their affiliate sales are coming from a minority of affiliates. To increase the success rate they introduce some new banners and a range of bonus incentives to get them earning. But they are missing the trick, it is not the banners or bonuses that is the problem. Their affiliates are uneducated with the general topic of affiliate marketing. The affiliate programs gladly give you the tools but not the knowledge on how to use them.

If you have ever contacted an affiliate manager and asked them to provide you with some cutting edge marketing tips to promote their brands they will probably come back with placing banners and not much else. I have found that on many occasions. The affiliate manager is not in a position to provide the information you need because they have little or no experience. More often than not the Company has outsourced the support side of the business so in effect you have the blind leading the blind. Not the best recipe for success!

So if the affiliate program cannot assist you with improving your sales then who can? What about the online marketing gurus that will gladly inform you (as if they are rubbing your nose in it) of their success and how they will gladly show you exactly how they did it for a free. There are problems with this? You need proof that they know what they are talking about and I mean financial and marketing knowledge proof. Here you will need to be careful because the Internet is riddled with people pretending to be a marketing guru just to sell you an ebook they had written for them by a ghost writer. Today they are a marketing guru and tomorrow they are an expert in the foreign currency markets, and guess what? They have another ebook to tell you how to do it! One thing always bothered me about these people. If their system is so good then why tell people about it? Why dont they continue to be successful in their own right? My advice is dont take everything you hear as read. Just because Guru X said do this, there is no guarantee it will work for you.

One of the best things I ever did was join as many mailing lists as I could find on the topics of online business and Internet marketing. I joined hundreds of them and they swamped my inbox. If you take some time to go through them you will find again that it is only a small minority that know what they are talking about. Experience will tell you this. It is just a matter of sorting out the diamonds from the rough. Out of a few hundred I whittled mine down to less than 10. I know that when I receive an email from one of these 10 then it will be honest, good advice that brings results.
About the Author
Mark Fynn has been involved in affiliate marketing since 1998 and has written many articles on the subject. http://www.thesuperaffiliate.com
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