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  1. #1
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    How to get involved in affiliate marketing
    Hi all

    I have a fair idea of how affiliate marketing works but not enough to dive right in. How would i know if affiliate marketing is the thing for me. Is it or was its intentions to be a type of online sales job or are there underlying intracasies that make it more than that.
    Is more for marketers that dont have their own products ......

    Some advice would be appreciated
    Andrew

  2. #2
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    Well it's a little of everything you suggested. It can be a part time, small change-earning thing or a full time mega-buck operation, all depends on what you want it to be. There are lots of things to do and ways to be involved, best suggestion I can make is to read through the boards and get lots of info. You can decide if you think it's your cup of tea or not pretty quickly. There are lots of sites to look on too. People around here are very helpful but you may want to have more direct questions for a more direct answer... Hope that helps a little!

  3. #3
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Gillian
    Well thats the thing what are the right or direct questions to ask, i can say i want to try it but without stating the obvious questions like where do i start. Ive read a couple of the postings in midnight cafe but the questions are to specific for me if you know what i mean. Some of the ideas im not even there yet.

    Bit hard right now, but for the last 6 months ive been gathering my bits and pieces, i know what it takes to run your own business, been doing it for 17 years, these guys that think its an overnight thing should talk to me. Im still trying to sort out a receiving payment structure for an online business. Paypal and the rest that i know of dont allow payments reveiving. I can open an account put money in to purchase goods but cant receive payments. So these guys who think they have problems its a joke to me. And of course theres the currency conversion im paying 8 times more for a product, so imagine a $20 ebook and then imagine paying $160 for that same book.
    Welcome to my issues.
    Hoefully just by starting this post as time goes on maybe guys will ask me the questions and ill be able to say yes or no i dont have that or havnt done that, if you get my drift.

    Thanks Andrew

  4. #4
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Cool
    basic premise:

    you build some kind of Web site. (some don't, but let's keep it simple)

    you put links, text or graphic or both on one or more pages, the links for merchants or their products.

    you try to design the site so the search engines can find it, understand it. (this can drive you crazy)

    visitors come along as the result of searches, find what they are looking for, trust your site enough to trust the link to the merchant, and buy something.

    eventually, you get a finders fee in your pocket.

    this is usually followed by a wild dance on the knees. In my country it can go on forever.



    so what's not to understand? (except for that nasty conversion problem, but asking one question about that at a time should bring answers from others with similar issues.)

  5. #5
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    If you're an affiliate you don't need paypal or any of that stuff.

    You don't handle money, merchandise, shipping or anything like that.

    You put out a site with links to merchants that you are an affiliate with and they have all of the headaches with shipping and handling the money.

    If a customer clicks through your site to a merchant - and buys something - the merchant owes you money and you will receive a check for your part of the sale.

    If you're wanting to be a merchant instead of an affiliate - that is a different story than being an affiliate.

    Are you wanting to be an affiliate or a merchant?

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  6. #6
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Burger Boy
    Thanks, at least someone is asking me the right questions, and now we can start finding out what it is i need to start with. I doesnt help if i dont know what questions to ask pertaing to affiliate work.

    Ok, i have no products yet, so a suppose the affiliate route is the way to go for now.
    Now the step, i have a number of sites, they are all my niche sites, is it advisable to maybe put a few affiliate links pertaining to the niche market. Or is the ideal thing to put up a site and put alot of affiliate links up. Sort of like putting up a supermarket site and guys can browse to see what they like.

    Thanks
    Andrew

  7. #7
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtledesign
    I have a number of sites, they are all my niche sites, is it advisable to maybe put a few affiliate links pertaining to the niche market. Or is the ideal thing to put up a site and put alot of affiliate links up. Sort of like putting up a supermarket site and guys can browse to see what they like.
    You can do either one, or the other, or both one, and the other. However, whichever route you choose to go, before you do anything to your niche websites, put yourself in the consumer's shoes, thinking what you would accept better if you were in his/her place. Highly targeted text links and banners work well for niche sites. Also, you may want to consider putting together a "shop" of your own, which would be a part of your niche website with a bunch of products fitting your niche (they will have to be fed to the your database through merchant datafeeds, and may include products of more than one merchant).

    Say, you have a photography website.

    1) Join affiliate programs selling cameras, lenses, photographic equipment, and accessories.

    2a) Put up links (text ones or banners around your website leading to merchants that sell products relevant to the pages that their links are placed at)
    2b) Grab their datafeeds, and import them into a designated area within your website, where you will have your own online shop. Your visitors will be able to view the products and their descriptions right at your website, but when they decide to buy, they will be transferred to the respective merchant's website. You may import datafeeds via tools like WebMerge or online solutions like GoldenCAN (the latter requires minimum of programming knowledge).
    2c) Play with both 2a and 2b during the same time, and see which one converts better for you.

    Hope this helps, and by the way, welcome to ABestWeb, Andrew!

    Geno

  8. #8
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Geno
    Thanks so much,
    the data feeds youre talking about would that be, for example the product pics code
    and of course the product coding for the copy about the product. Then i would imagine either setting up an order button or a click through (with affiliate info) from the text, pic or whatever to send through to the merchant and they take it from there. If i setup a virtual shop type thing is it necessary to setup for a full virtual shop or palce products on the site with click throughs as mentioned above.

    Thanks for the welcome
    Andrew

  9. #9
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Andrew

    You might want to check this out http://www.goldencan.com/

    This is what Geno was telling you about.

    They do the pictures, buy links and everything for you.

    You just put a code on your page and it is all automatic from there.

    You don't have to do anything else.

    Just be sure that you join the merchants that you use as an affiliate or you will not be paid for your sales though.

    When you go to get links for the merchant you will see a link to join the merchant. Click on that link and join.

    Once you are approved to be an affiliate for that merchant - then you put out links for the merchant because you do want to get paid.

    Hope this helps you.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  10. #10
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Burger Boy
    Hi BurgerBoy

    Thanks, im starting to get a clearer picture now. I see that, correct me if im wrong - basically these merchants allow you to have their whole shop, if you want on your own website!. I have been breezing through some of the merchants on the "goldencan dot com site" to see what they offer and so on. I have already found a few merchants that could tie in with my websites.

    I felt a bit intimidated, there are some big boys that are merchants. My only concern is of course, because im starting out my sites dont pull any significant traffic yet. Obviously for it to really work and earn some cash, it would be advisable to up the traffic, correct?. What is the difference between this type of affiliate and a guy who signs up for, eg: "Harry's Pig Farming Techniques Ebook" and promotes that to earn a living, without stating the perhaps obvious - size.

    Thanks you guys are really the bomb
    Andrew

  11. #11
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    in the beginning it can seem like a tightrope-walk, with the need for visitors and orders with which to make sure the merchants are happy with you.

    but please bear in mind that amazon.com signed up hundreds of thousands of affiliates over a long period of time and hardly ever squawked about lack of sales. their only concern seemed to be one of making sure the affiliates put links up so there were at least some clicks.

    some merchants are extremely short-sighted about perceived activity and will cut you off quickly if they don't see results. all you can do then is contact them to let them know you're doing the best you can. if they persist in losing you don't consider it much of a loss. You're entitled to more respect than that. Also, they have competition and you can go there.

    about GoldenCAN: look at how the inventory is structured for a merchant. you can build a link to a group of niche products or to the whole inventory. But if your page or site is dedicated to a niche you should restrict the products offered to that niche. If there is enough variance in what is available you can put a slightly different collection on more than one page. You can't put more than one instance of GoldenCAN on a page (not easily) but you can use it to fill many different pages on a site.

    We're probably as a group going to tell you to stop worrying about it and build a trial site -- now --. Domain names and hosting are cheap.

  12. #12
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Herb
    Thanks for the advice, the domains and setup are the easiest, i have a wife
    who designs and sets up cms websites so she can sort the design and setup etc
    my job really is facilitator, chief-cook and bottle washer, and a host of other things.

    I really just need to make sure that my resources are not stretched too thinly, because of me only starting a few months ago to really persue the online business environment im up and down like a yo-yo right now.

    Ive already started with putting some ideas down on paper, so its on the ball

  13. #13
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    good to have a plan. if you don't have your first domain name net, spend some time making a list of possibles. some that don't come up when you type them into your browser. wait until you're ready to buy before you visit a registrar because some here think you have to grab them before some software at some registrars grab them if you check and wait.

    amazing what you can find when you're creative and careful!

    If I remember right, you're in S. Africa (?) so conversion of currencies will be an issue. Some of the networks let you build commission in an account up to where you don't mind paying for exchange. Some in South America have family in the U.S. that can receive the money and do whatever is necessary with it.

    Also, some of the networks have merchants that are based in other countries than the U.S. and you can build sites later on with that in mind.

  14. #14
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    One suggestion turtledesign...if you are at an early stage in the site design process you might want to put 80% of your time into optimizing your websites to get more traffic. The whole monetization/affiliate side is moot until you get traffic.

    Once you have traffic you will get a much better reception from the merchants. You can negotiate better deals and links and promotions.

    Traffic will come from creating pages that both humans and SEs will want to see. Sites that provide real value to a visitor will win in the long run. That value may be in niche content or product reviews or providing coupons and deals. The point is that the more you provide value the more visitors will come and come back and the more the SEs will like you because you make them look good. Master that part first and you will be on your way. Having a nice datafeed means nothing if there's no one to look at it.

    I'm a big fan of Ken Evoy's stuff. He really explains how the thing works very well. He has lots of good free ebooks to get you started. You can go here to take a look.

    Another great idea is to use the search tool here at ABW until you get all the basics down. Then you will have some good questions to ask.

    Good luck turtledesign

  15. #15
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Herb
    Thanks for the great advice, also being a marketing consultant here in south africa, if i dont then take my own advice that i give to customers, when starting a business - well structured planning and patients then you can kick me in the butt. Ive been punching away at the keyboard now for a few months, maybe on average about 17 hours a day. If not designing, keeping my current customers happy,searching,downloading, talking to fine (and of course insightful individuals like yourselves) all with the goal to do something good on the net.

    The currency is still an issue and has been since i started, the exchange rate is a killer 1-8, also i still have to have some way of sorting out this paypal debacle - to be able to transfer money from paypal to my accounts (dont allow South Africans to do that, they are all like that) need some form of international acc to be able to transfer funds.

    I think the affiliate networking is slightly different because they can pay by cheque?

    Thanks again
    Andrew

  16. #16
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Gigagolf
    Yeh, this traffic story is a major thing, ive been working on it for a while. I have figured that learning and writing articles will be the way to do it. I am a self-taught writer, had to because being a freelance designer i could never turn down any work that came my way. I have been writing free articles for ezinearticles for the last 3 months and have noticed an increase rush of traffic to my sites, not what i had hoped for considering ive only written about 60 articles, and my stats from ezine have shown over 9000 views - ive figured out it probably was due to the fact that when i started 4 months ago i had one site covering all my niche markets (big mistake i now realise but couldnt be helped) i now have 2 sites, busy with 2 and plans fors 3 more covering all my niches. Ive just learnt the process of blogging and, and and, its been quite a rollercoaster ride.

    The whole traffic thing, i think im getting it, but havent been doing it for long enough to really gauge any results, ill check out Ron Envoy have heard his name pop up .

    Sorry GigaGolf, dont me to sound stupid, please direct me to the search tool, i thinks-me-braaain-is-toast.

    Thanks mate, appreciated
    Andrew

  17. #17
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    At the top left of every page there is a search button. Click on it and you will get a search form.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  18. #18
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    >>>I think the affiliate networking is slightly different because they can pay by cheque?<<<


    you'll find the networks and many merchants have more than one or two payment options.

  19. #19
    Member turtledesign's Avatar
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    Hi Herb
    If most pay by cheque thats cool, you wouldnt be able to tell me where i could find some inside info for internationals opening US or any other bank accounts so that i am able to transfer money from paypal to that account, south africans arent allowed that luxury.

    Thanks, Andrew

  20. #20
    Outsourced Program Manager Rick - Bitcom's Avatar
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    Yes Turtledesign the article thing works very well. You've written 60 articles? That's great. I think some AMs don't realize how hard affiliates work to get their traffic. Ezinearticles is definitely the best of the article bunch. Have your tried goarticles.com. articledashboard.com, articlecity.com, and there are many others.

    Another great thing that has worked for my affiliates is spending time on forums related to our niche. In golf there's many forums where people go to talk golf. You can get a lot of traffic from forums plus you build up your reputation as an expert in your niche.

    Once again, good luck.

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