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Affiliate Marketing For Beginners Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
One of the biggest mistake affiliate marketers can make is to get involved in a program just because the commissions are high, such as Loans, Mortgages and the Forex market for example. They know nothing about these financial industries and they have no intention of learning about them either. They just want a part of the action for financial reasons alone, and nothing more. Put up a basic web site, add some free topical articles written by someone else, add the affiliate banners and then wait for the commission checks to come rolling in. This time next year you could be a millionaire!

The harsh truth is that if you plan your business around the above example then you are doomed to failure from the very beginning. If you like the concept of affiliate marketing and have made the decision that you would like to get involved then you first need to do some serious research. The work you do at the very beginning, such as looking into the areas you are personally interested in, and the affiliate programs available, will be the foundation of a successful business.

When I mentioned the areas that you are personally interested in I meant it specifically. You need to get a pen and paper or open up a word document on your computer and make a list. This list will outline every subject, pastime and hobby you are interested in, no matter how vague it may be. Do not get distracted thinking about big commissions or what is in vogue at the moment. If it is of personal interest to you then make a note.

Once you have made your list I would take some time to visit Commission Junction and Linkshare and any other affiliate network that takes your fancy. Now compare your list to the list of affiliate programs available. This marriage of convenience will ensure that you have the right combination. You are promoting a product or service for a Company as an affiliate in an area that you are personally interested in. This is one of the easiest research tests you will make and will ensure that your affiliate marketing business gets off to a good, sound start.

There are many reasons for doing this test. It will firstly confirm that there are affiliate programs out there that cover your passion. If you are going to take the trouble to build a web site from scratch as part of your business then you need to ensure that there are various income streams available. Ignore the amounts of commission on offer for now. You just need to confirm that money can be made promoting these products or services.

To find this out you can do another free research test on the pay-per-click advertising on Google and Yahoo. Type in some of your main keywords and do a search on Google first. If you see paid advertisers on the right then make a note of them and what they are selling or you can print the page. Go to page two of the search results and do the exact same thing. Repeat the exercise on Yahoo. After 1-week do the same test and see who is continuing to advertise. If the same advertisers are there after 1-week then this will tell you they are making money in the area of affiliate marketing that you are interested in. If you get negative or less than convincing results then you can either do more in depth research or choose another area.

So you have chosen a niche in an area that you are personally interested in and you have seen from the results of your initial research that other web sites seem to be making money in the same business. But how are these other business selling to their market and what products and services are they promoting? You now need to spy on the possible future competition. Dont forget you are doing this before you have invested one penny, so this is free, valuable information. You need to open up a word document and add tables or you can use a spreadsheet if you wish. Make lots of columns where you can add data for each web site you spy on.

What is your first impression of the web site? The loading speed, layout, colors and information? What are they selling and for how much? Do they have an opt-in form? How about a newsletter? Any bonuses on offer? Where are they ranked on the search engines, how many link partners, page rank etc. Just write or type what you see and make a note of all the pluses, minuses and where you consider changes could be made for improvement.

Do the same for at least 10 competing web sites, though the more web sites you compare the better. Now you can check the results. This will inform you immediately if there is room for you to build a web site and compete in the exact same market. It is very rare for the top 10 web sites to be perfect on any search engine results page so there is always room for improvement. This research will give you lots of ideas when it comes to building you web site.

Dont forget you are already an authority on the topic because this is your personal interest so you will know immediately if the web site owner has a real passion for the subject. This is why I mentioned and endorsed in the beginning to only get involved in affiliate marketing areas that are of particular interest to you. This is how you can dominate a market by writing articles, web site and blog content, newsletters etc. Take it from me, your web site visitors are not stupid and they will know immediately if you have a passion and the knowledge on the topic. This is the basis of affiliate marketing success. Once you have the respect and trust of your web site visitors you have the making of a very successful affiliate marketing business.
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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