Anthony Robbins said, "You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action."
Today, I'd like to share with you some "action" things I've been doing to grow my Internet business.
Affiliate programs… everyone is talking about them, and for good reason…
Affiliate programs are hot.
I was working affiliate programs long before joining a network marketing opportunity. And, I was happy to see that building a network marketing business was not all that much different. The same principles for building a successful affiliate program applied to building a successful MLM business on the Internet.
With both affiliate programs and network marketing, you can sign up and be selling products within 5 minutes. The web sites, sales letters, and order shipping are all done for you. All you have to do is promote.
It is a surprisingly sad statistic when you find out that only around 10% to 20% of affiliate members do enough to ever get a check. Then, only a small percentage of those go on to earn really good incomes.
I regularly get paid from numerous affiliate programs myself, and I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the top affiliates in programs all over the Internet.
The principles below are true of almost every one of the top affiliates in every program I have looked at. If you want to succeed and earn at least $5,000 or more per month from affiliate programs, then you will have to be following the five steps below. If you don't, it just isn't going to happen… and you have no one to blame but yourself.
1. Create Your Own Web Site.
While almost every program gives you a "replicated" web site to use to promote with, you really shouldn't be promoting that site… at least not initially. The top affiliates always have their own web sites which they promote with. Then, they link to the replicated affiliate program sites from that site.
I rarely drive traffic directly to any of the affiliate programs. I drive it to my site (squeeze page), get their name on my opt-in list, and then promote the affiliate program on the backend. If you are serious about earning profits online, then you will do the same.
For example, rather than promoting my Silver Snowball site, http://www.silversnowball.com/1926/ directly, I've created my own website http://www.buysilversnowball.com/silvercoins where I can capture the visitors lead information for long term follow-up, then send them to my Silver Snowball site.
And, I don't stop with just one site… I've created multiple contact points to reach a much broader audience and make it *easy* for people to find me. See for example, http://www.buysilversnowball.com and http://www.mysilverinvestment.com.
Having your own site and linking to your affiliate program gives you some additional advantages as well:
- You can write up a short two to four paragraph endorsement and testimonial for the site yourself.
- You can generate subscribers to your opt-in list first (this is the key to Internet profits).
- If the affiliate program ever stops or changes your link, you still have all the traffic you worked for at YOUR site (this happens quite often).
If you don't currently have a web site, but want to earn through affiliate programs, you need to get one today.
If you're just getting started, I recommend Host Then Profits by GVO (Global Virtual Opportunities), where you can host four different websites and/or blogs. It has a very affordable cost and you can always upgrade when the need arises.
If you're a more advanced marketer and already have allot of affiliate programs you're promoting, I recommend the Titanium Reseller account at GVO, where you can host as many different websites and blogs as you want.
Both the above also include many additional tools and resources you'll want to use to promote your business: lead capture, autoresponders, web conferencing, and video creation tools.
2. Generate Traffic
You can't earn a single penny in any program without generating traffic to your site. No traffic equals no income. Combine the right ingredients of an opt-in list, good site design, and the right sales offer… and your income will be directly proportional to the targeted traffic you generate.
An advantage that I didn't mention above in why you should own your own website is getting listed with the search engines. The pages given to you by your affiliate program owner aren't going to receive virtually any traffic from the search engines. They won't have top rankings because there are 1,000's of other pages just like them (from the other affiliate members) and many software programs create pages which can't even be indexed by the search engines.
Having your own domain and website will give you the freedom to create web pages which achieve high rankings on the search engines. Each of the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and the others have their own ranking algorithms which change virtually monthly.
This brings up the subject of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). No doubt you have seen the ads online or have received emails from companies promising you top search engine results if you let them optimize your site. Don't do it!
The vast majority of those services are quite frankly… "bogus". The high cost of their programs simply will not get you the results you need, and indeed may even damage your reputation in the search world.
That being said, SEO is important and if you'll follow my lead and learn from what I and others will teach you, you can accomplish far more in your search engine results than those high priced services will ever provide. In fact, if you're using a WordPress blog, there are many built-in and add-on plugins you can use to optimize your site for search engines.
Search engines are not the only way to build traffic to your site. Social networking is taking the Internet by storm and becoming as important, if not more so, than search engine marketing. You can trade links with sites, include your sites in traffic exchanges, place free and paid classifieds, send advertisements using credit based list builders, and even use banner advertising. There are dozens of ways to generate traffic. If you want to make money from your affiliate programs, you will be using as many of them as you can.
3. Start an Opt-In List.
All top affiliates have their own opt-in email lists and are pretty aggressive marketers to those lists. It's true… the money is in the list. If you're not yet building your list… this is the ONE thing you must start doing immediately.
Over 90% of my income comes through using opt-in email in one way or another…either through my newsletters or through my autoresponders with follow-up. If you don't know how to use email, then you're always going to be living on barely get by street in the online market. The web sites which I send the most traffic to have one purpose to them… and one purpose only… to sign them up on my newsletter lists. All of the content that I have on my site is for that one purpose.
If you can't get a visitor to sign up for a free newsletter, then you aren't going to be able to get them to fill out your order forms and order. Get them on the list, and then start emailing them as often as you can put out good content (along with the ads).
I've already recommended you host your site with either Host Then Profits or GVO and both includes an autoresponder and lead capture system you can use to begin building your list.
If you already have your web hosting taken care of, another GVO product called Pure Leverage includes the autoresponder tools and capture pages that you'll need to build your list. In addition, Pure Leverage includes a WordPress blog you can use to promote either Pure Leverage or another business opportunity of your choice.
4. Develop a Unique Web Position.
Here is a trick to increase your sales from ANY affiliate program, but people rarely ever mention it. Any successful web site finds a way to make their products and or services unique from their competition.
When you are an affiliate though, you have thousands of competitors selling the exact same product at the exact same price. Every other affiliate in that company is your competition!
You will have to become unique if you want to beat the other affiliates competing against you. You may think it would be difficult to do, but it isn't.
All you have to do is add on some extra bonuses to those people who are purchasing from you. For example, you might give away a free ebook or audio tape.
If you own an opt-in list like you should, you could give a free ad to anyone who enrolls with you. For example, you could write that anyone who joins your primary business before midnight tonight will also get a free ad ($30 value) in your newsletter… or three free ads.
The key point is to ADD VALUE.
Do something like this and tell your opt-in email list subscribers and web site visitors about it. You will be setting yourself apart from the competition and be giving your purchasers an even better deal than buying from someone else!
Special limited-time offers work extremely effectively when combined with your own opt-in list.
5. Generate Multiple Streams of Income.
If you follow all four of the principles above, then you are going to be able to earn money from many different affiliates programs, and that is exactly what you should do. You should join several non-competing programs which sell products to the same targeted market.
For example, a niche I work in is "Preppers" – those folks concerned about the direction our economy is going and are preparing for disasters. In addition to my primary MLM program offering storable survival food, these same folks are likely to be interested in precious metals, and I have several affiliate programs for that sub-niche. In addition, you can likely find affiliate offers on ClickBank that would also interest your niche.
This is building what I call Multiple Streams of Complimentary Income. Once you've identified the niche you want to target, simply find several programs which target that niche group, and promote your offers through websites, blogs, lead capture pages, autoresponders, and social networking.
You can be earning 3 to 10 streams of income from the same visitors at your web site and subscribers to your newsletters. Having several streams of income helps every visitor to your site be worth more money to you!