How To Choose The Best Affiliate Programs To Promote

November 10, 2008

Promoting affiliate products is a fast and easy way to generate cash for your business.

The merchant would handle the product development, fulfillment, payment processing and customer support. All you have to do is just send visitors to their website.

However, with so many affiliate programs out there, choosing a great program can be a challenge.

So here are five elements to look for when choosing an affiliate program:

1. Conversion rate

The first and most important element in an affiliate program is the conversion rate. You need to know how successful is the merchant’s sales page in converting visitors to customers.

This metric is critical especially if you’re advertising the affiliate product. You must be able to calculate whether you’ll be profitable with your advertising campaign. Read more

Why You Should Not Use Free Blogging Services

July 28, 2008

Many bloggers use a free blogging service to support for their first entry into the field. This makes a great deal of sense. Free providers offer very easy to use and relatively powerful platforms. Additionally, avoiding a cash outlay reduces the risk involved to a bare minimum.

Free blog providers can be a great way to introduce yourself to blogging and to learn a little bit about the process. However, they are a poor choice if you’re hoping to generate significant blogging profits. There are simply too many pitfalls associated with their use.

1. Advertising revenue

Firstly, many free blogs hamstring your ability to utilize one of the most effective ways of generating a profit via blogging, Adsense. Some free blog providers offer the free blog and server space in exchange for the right to display their own Adsense ads.

The terms of service directly prohibit you from displaying any additional contextual advertising. This is how the free services generate their revenue and the prohibition makes perfect sense. However, it takes the most powerful revenue stream away from you.

2. Control

Second, whenever you use a free service, you lack control over your site. This is not simply a matter of advertising or content restrictions. The lack of control is far more serious.

Blogger.com, for instance, is known to regularly freeze and/or delete blogs outright for unexplained reasons. Those blogs simply disappear and a great deal of work vanishes with them. Other lesser-known services may be undercapitalized or lack profitability and may simply go under – taking the blogs right down the drain with them.

3. Credibility

Third, there is the issue of credibility. Whether it’s right or wrong, surfers tend to bestow a greater degree of credibility to (and are thus more likely to visit) sites that have their own URLs. A blog that is an obvious sub domain at a free host can make potential visitors and customers wary of a blog’s legitimacy and can have a negative impact on profitability.

4. Flexibility

Finally, there is the matter of flexibility. Some free blog services limit your options in terms of appearance and may use platforms that lack some features that can really aid in profitability.

For instance, the blogs at Blogger.com lack the categories found in their WordPress counterparts. Other free services may offer only a few templates that can only be tweaked ever so slightly. In order to perform optimally, you should be able to make any and all desired changes to your blog.

You can find a variety of powerful blogging platforms that won’t cost you a dime. The competitive fields of hosting and domain registration make owning your own chunk of cyberspace surprisingly affordable.

So, using a free blogging service as a means to launch part of your online business simply does not make sense. The minimal capital required to own and control your own site is a definite bargain when you consider the pitfalls associated with the alternative.

The Key To Publishing A Profitable Blog

July 22, 2008

Blogs may have originated as a means of online journal writing and community building but this model won’t accomplish much for the affiliate marketer or Adsense publisher. Unless you are an amazingly interesting person with some tremendous writing talents, your personal blog will get lost in the chorus of voices that crowd the world of blogs.

To make blogging profitable, you must select a good topic to focus on.

Topic selection is the key to blogging success. You must choose a topic in which you can be competitive.

Ideally, you should find a blogging niche that is underserved yet has a high level of interest. This will allow you to attract a great deal of visitors more easily which will translate to higher profits.

Here are three tips to help you choose a profitable topic:

1. Find a topic in which you have a personal interest.

This is especially important if you plan on writing your own content. Successful blogs require regular updates and it can become difficult to regularly produce quality information if you have zero interest in the topic. If you choose to hire a writer to produce your blog posts, then this is a far less important factor.

2. Find a topic in which interest is relatively high.

You may be able to rule the search engines on the topic of 17th century wooden paperweights but there are so few, if any, people with an interest in the subject. So, that number one ranking in Google will not produce the kind of traffic stream you will need to turn a healthy profit.

It may be more difficult to enter a highly competitive marketplace but the potential rewards are far greater too. The key to topic selection, however, is not just writing a blog on a hot topic. It is finding a field from which a healthy number of visitors can be culled.

3. Find a market that is underserved.

Basically, you are looking for a strong disparity in the number of interested parties and the amount of readily available information. If you can find a topic in which many people are interested but is not well-covered online, you are sitting on a potential blogging gold mine.

It is perfectly acceptable to build a wonderful blog and to expend the effort to compete in a more crowded area but this does require much more work. Finding an underserved niche and filling a hole in the marketplace is a much easier way to produce blogging revenue.

Choosing a topic for your blog can be a challenging process. However, this first step is probably the most critical. The choice of a topic not only establishes the nature of the blog, it also determines its potential for success.

What Are Affiliate Networks And How They Can Make You Money

June 23, 2008

Affiliate networks are companies that act as middlemen between merchants and affiliates. They manage the affiliate programs for merchants. They will recruit and compensate the affiliates so that merchants can focus on running and building their businesses.

They are sometimes called “marketing solutions provider,” “pay-for-performance network,” “cost-per-action advertising network” or “performance-based online marketing services company.”

Most affiliate networks allow anyone to join. However, some networks require your website to achieve a certain amount of traffic before they welcome you. Read more

What Is Affiliate Marketing And How To Get Started

June 23, 2008

Affiliate marketing is a way to earn commission for every visitor, subscriber or customer that you send to a merchant’s website.

Most internet merchants (e.g. Amazon, eBay, Yahoo) have an affiliate program that you can join and earn commission for referring people to their website.

In a way, it’s a partnership between you and the merchant. The merchant will handle the product development, fulfillment, customer support and payment collection. All you have to do is refer people to the merchant’s website. Read more

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