I hope that by sharing one of my first profitable affiliate experiences with you, you will find inspiration in your own quest to become a successful affiliate. A positive outcome for you would be to get inspired and invent your own first experiences, which in turn, will improve your comprehension and skills in the field of Internet Marketing.
Before getting into the details of my first money making online experience, I would like to share 3 tips.
When I first started in this field, I spent weeks reading everything I could find about affiliate marketing trying to piece together the rare nuggets of information I found here and there. To this day, I still seek knowledge in any way I can. So I guess that would be my first tip: Learn hard and always stay curious.
The second approach I embraced was to try as many techniques as possible to extend further my knowledge. By practicing some of the things I read about, I ultimately maximized my chances of success. My second tip is to experiment as much as you can while still being FOCUSED and giving your all in everything you try.
One day my wife asked me what a certain $25 deposit in our company account was. I responded to her that I would look further into it. After a bit of research I realized it was my first commission deposit from Amazon. A few months before I had inserted into one of my sites some ads for books sold on Amazon. Those ads had actually sold books and when I had reached the minimum pay-out amount, Amazon deposited the money in our bank account. This is when affiliate marketing became very real for me. This leads me to my last tip.
Once you find success, expand and “refine/tune” by a few degrees to try to turn you success into a bigger one.
Based on that first Amazon affiliate experience, I decided to try to sell Amazon products directly from Ads purchased on the Google search results.
Amazon provides tons of sales information. This is a goldmine of information that should not be ignored when dealing with selling retail items (books, DVD, electronics etc…). You can find things such as top selling products in every type of category you can think of (future releases of movies, books etc.) Basically I would use that information to promote top selling DVD movies (preferably expensive ones). Using the expected release date of the movies, I would prepare my campaigns in Google (Adwords) and when the movie was actually released for sale I would enable the Campaign I had prepared.
Amongst the many things I learned, here are a few of them:
1) Amazon converts very well (probably one of the best conversions in the
industry) because they have good prices and an easy shopping experience.
2) When targeting product specific sales it is very difficult to sell a different item. In other words if someone is looking to buy beer it is hard to sell him an Ipad. However if someone is not searching directly to purchase a specific product she might be more open minded to actually purchasing a different product. In other words, if someone is looking to purchase a specific thing, give it to them or get out of the way. However if they are “wandering” around, you do have a chance to offer them a compelling offer.
3) You need to develop techniques to track your sales/success.
More generally, to become a successful affiliate marketer you have to master 3 things:
– Traffic: Get people to visit your site or affiliate link
– Conversion: Turn visitors into customers
– Tracking: The better you get the more detailed tracking you will do. Beginners should not worry too much about this as they first have to encounter success before “counting the beans”.
This Amazon technique is a beauty since you don’t have to master all 3 specialties at once. The traffic is relatively easy to test, since you can buy it in real time with programs such as Adwords for Google or Adcenter with Bing and Yahoo. Being able to direct link to the Amazon DVD page, I did not have to worry about developing a website. Additionally, since Amazon has good prices and a good reputation, the conversions were at an excellent rate. If I recall correctly, probably in the range of 1 sale every 4 clicks.
Today the Amazon affiliate rules do not permit direct linking from search engines (actually you might want to double check that). The main reason is that Google will only show one ad that directs to the same website (i.e. one direct Amazon ad). Many merchants still permit direct linking. Some affiliates specialize in direct linking offers. This enables then to skip the development of a website and focus on directing paid traffic to the right offers. You could also develop a mini-site with your Amazon offers and see if that works for you.
There are many ways to reach affiliate success; this is just one of dozens of techniques you can use to learn and improve your skills. Now if you want to develop a content rich site for weeks and take some months to develop the traffic using SEM techniques that is also a very good goal and will probably yield the longer lasting results. Some ways might work well for some while not for others. In others words, read, learn and come up with your own way.
There are many opportunities in the affiliate marketing segment. It’s not one size fits all.
I would always recommend thinking “out of the box”. Use my own experience to find your own first success. It will take some time but with perseverance, some luck and maybe some of the affiliate tips you will find here, you will slowly gain experience and knowledge on your own path to affiliate success.