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The Proper Way To Do Affiliate Marketing

written by John Chow on February 5, 2007

Secure Affiliate Marketing

Many bloggers shy away from affiliate marketing because it puts all the risk on them and zero risk on the advertisers. Affiliate marketing is done on a Cost Per Action (CPA) basis, meaning the customers have to take some kind of action. This action could be as simple as signing up for a newsletter to actually buying a product. No action, no money. If the affiliate marketing doesn’t work, the advertiser is out nothing but the blogger loses a lot because the ad space he set aside for the affiliate program could have gone to money making CPC or CPM advertising.

It is really too bad that bloggers don’t look at affiliate marketing because when done correctly, affiliate marketing can be one of your biggest moneymaker. Many people point to Shoemoney’s $140,000 AdSense check but what many don’t know is he makes more from affiliate marketing than Google. How do you properly do affiliate marketing?

Affiliate Marketing Is All About The Presell

Most people think they can stick a Dell or Office Depot affiliate banner on their blog and watch the sales comes in. When they get no sales, they view it as proof that affiliate marketing doesn’t work and quit. Affiliate marketing is nothing like normal Internet advertising – it is all about the presell.

The TechZone sells over $200,000 of products each month through various affiliate deals. We have never used any banners to promote affiliate deals because frankly, banners don’t work. Instead we use a Hot Deals page to presell the readers. The Hot Deals page is just a page of affiliate deals. However, we present the page in such a way so readers don’t view it as advertising. We are showing them where and how to get the best deals on the Internet. The reader is thinking, “Cool! I can get 30% off a Dell laptop by using this coupon!” They’re not thinking, “That root of all evil John Chow will make a cut off everything sold on this page!”

That is what preselling is all about. You affect the potential customer’s mind to make them more receptive to the offer. You cannot do this with a banner. Preselling is also about trust. The readers know you and trust you, so when you endorse a product, or show them how it will make them better, sexier, smarter, save money, etc., they will be a lot more receptive to it. If I were to merely placed an AGLOCO banner on this blog, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to the 4,000+ referrals I have now.

Examples Of Some Affiliate Marketing Presell Pages

The best way to promote an affiliate deal is in the blog post itself. The post is guaranteed to be read (even by RSS readers) and by adding your personal opinion on it, you open up the reader’s mind to what the affiliate deal has to offer. Yes, this can create potential conflict of interest but if you make it clear that the links are affiliate links, then you should have no problems.

The following are some of the presell posts I’ve created. They work because the readers don’t see it as advertising. The pages also help add content to the blog and don’t take up any space that can go to CPC or CPM advertising.

In my Making Money From A Blog – January 2007 post, I showed that affiliate marketing was my third biggest money maker after direct ad sales and Text Link Ads. The affiliate income doesn’t include AGLOCO yet, but once the Viewbar is out, I can see affiliate marketing being my number 1 moneymaker.

Target Affiliate Deals That Match Your Niche

The key to affiliate marketing is the presell, but you still need the affiliate deals to match what your blog covers. For this blog, it’s the SEO Book (aff), Text Link Ads (aff) and AGLOCO (aff).

To find affiliate deals that match your niche, check out Other Advertising Networks Besides Google AdSense. The page lists over 20 primarily CPA and CPL ad networks. The TechZone deals with mostly Commission Junction, Linkshare and Amazon.com. CJ and Linkshare will give you access to thousands of vendors – you should be able to find something that matches your site.

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