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Seven Rules of Affiliate Marketing

Feb 25, 2008
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money online. In essence, it involves one person (the affiliate) driving customers to the website of another (the merchant) and earning commission on resulting sales.

As a business model it has a lot of advantages. You do not need a product, you do not have to bother with taking payments, you do not have to worry about packing and shipping and you do not have to deal with customer complaints. But if you are to succeed, there are golden rules the new marketer must obey. Here are seven of them.

1. Make plans and follow them
Working at home, on your own, it is all too easy to lose focus. Set yourself daily, weekly and monthly targets and stick to them. Check yourself constantly against these targets and do not allow them to slip. The targets should include both the amount of money you realistically aim to make and the actions you will take to earn it.

2. Make sure you pre-sell - not sell
On your website, blog or lens make sure you are pre-selling and not selling to visitors. New affiliates often make the mistake of trying to sell their sponsors products instead of getting the click through to the merchant page. The job of an affiliate is to pre-sell in such a way that potential customers are ready for the vendor sales page and prone to buy.

3. Build a list
Quite early in your affiliate career you must subscribe to an auto responder to capture email addresses and build a list of prospects. If you do not do this you will miss out on the opportunity to make real money as an affiliate. Without a list you are doing is promoting your sponsors business when you could be creating your own.

4. Understand your customer
When starting a campaign spend time getting to know your customers, for example by visiting the forums where they are likely to hang out. Find out what their problems are so that you can offer them a neat solution.

5. Test your campaigns
Before you go to all the expense of building your own website, test your campaigns to see if they are profitable. You can do this for free by making a Squidoo lens or Hubpage and driving traffic through linked articles. Or if you have some cash you can use direct linking through pay-per-click advertising.

6. Monitor your progress
When you try out different strategies, make a note of what you have done and make sure you monitor the effectiveness of the different techniques you try. It is a good idea to always have pen and paper handy.

7. Do not rush after the next big thing.
Never a day goes by without a marketing guru coming up with another get-rich-quick scheme. These are tempting but you must resist otherwise you will have a hard drive full of useless eBooks you will never read. Instead join a program that will give you ongoing affiliate education and the chance to interact with more experienced marketers.
About the Author
If affiliate marketing is a new concept for you, then getting training is a route that you should consider. To read about the best affiliate marketing training, it is recommended that you read the Wealthy Affiliate Review.
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