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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Programs Are The Best For Sales Tracking

Affiliate Marketing ProgramsAffiliate marketing programs are the way to go if you’re trying to track which one of your sales people made the sale so you can pay them their rightfully earned commission.

Before jumping straight into the topic, I just want to bring newer people up to speed on what is affiliate marketing.

Internet entrepreneurs sell their knowledge through courses mostly available digitally. It’s got a low overhead and huge profit potential.

Once the business owner releases a new product, he could sell everything himself or he could get an army of sales people to promote his products.

In the traditional world, you’d call this your sales force but online, it works a little bit differently.

Lots of blog owners or people of influence have large audiences and in order to monetize their efforts, they’ll partner up with an internet entrepreneur and promote his stuff.

We call this form of partnership “Affiliate”. So in our example here, the internet entrepreneur would release his new product with an opportunity for people to become his affiliate. The affiliates can then in turn have a product to sell and would get like 50% of the product sale.

In order to keep track of who signed up as an affiliate, who made how many sales and how much the “internet entrepreneur” has to pay them, he either works with affiliate marketing companies or uses an affiliate program software to keep track of everything.

Most of these companies you have to sign up as a vendor at a onetime cost. If you just want a merchant account and collect money online and don’t want affiliates then you can get a merchant account at PayPal.com. But remember, the purpose of this article is to give you options that allow you to track your affiliates. There are different solutions here they are:

If you’re just starting out and want the simplest solution Clickbank.com would probably be your best option. Sure their monthly transaction fee is a little bit more but you also don’t have to worry about paying your affiliates and collecting tax information on what you paid to whom. Clickbank takes care of all that for you. Truly, set, forget and peace of mind.

The next option is PayDotCom.com. This offers you to keep more of the percentage of your sales but you are responsible to pay your affiliates and make sure they are “tax compliant”.

This solution is good if you have an accounting department and that could be one of their extra responsibilities. They’d go in the back office regularly and pay the commissions. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’ve got to be very disciplined and not forget to pay your affiliates otherwise you’ll carry a bad reputation.

Next are the self hosted affiliate marketing tracking programs that are installed on your website. PostAffiliatePro.com and iDevDirect.com. Because these are paid solutions they have good customer service available to help with one phone call away. These software allows you to have a back end on your website and see all your affiliates, you have control to accept or reject their application and you are responsible to make sure they get paid on time.

It also allows you to have more “link juice” on your website because the affiliates would be promoting your url with their affiliate ID, which is your domain with an extension ex: careerfh.com/?bob, that means Bob would make a percentage commission on whatever the prospect bought on my website because they came in through his website.

But for me as the owner, Bob advertises careerfh.com/?bob instead of clickbank.com/product=86259?affiliateIDnumber, which works to my advantage in link building. The drawback from these again is that you have to micromanage everything. So if your organization is big enough and you have that as part of an employee’s responsibilities, then that’s cool but if you’re a small business, I’d say leverage your time and partner up with Clickbank.com.

Another one falls in this category but it’s open source it’s called Butterfly Marketing Open Source Code. It’s the same technology that PayDotCom runs on, it’s made by the same guys. This was originally part of the Butterfly Marketing Home Study Course that used to be sold at $1997 back in 2006. Now in this code, the course doesn’t come with it but you have access to the infrastructure that you install on your servers.

Think of it as a WordPress platform but instead it’s called the Butterfly Open Source Code and it’s specialty is to allow you to track all the affiliates on your site for free. It’s pretty cool, but you’ve got to be way more tech savvy to figure that one out. It doesn’t really offer peace of mind if you’re not the greatest with computers, that’d be ideal if you have a programmer in your business then by all means go for it.

Affiliate Marketing Programs With Shopping Carts

If you’ve got more than one products and you want to integrate all that with a shopping cart solution where you can measure and track your affiliate marketer’s sales then 1ShoppingCart.com is the solution for you. It’s kind of a mix of all the above but doesn’t run on your servers.

It’s supercharged with e-mail list integration, shopping cart capabilities, you can fully control the affiliates that want’s to joined, is affordable, and quite simple to use.

Now for the ultimate beast that top internet marketers are using is Infusionsoft.com. This is by far the absolute best option on the market if your business is big enough to support it. It’s the priciest and not the most user friendly but the level of customization that you can do is absolutely insane.

It also does e-mail list integration, it also does list segmentation, changes an e-mail from a buyer to a different list, has shopping cart capabilities and can fully control affiliates. One of the best thing is that say your affiliates sends you a prospect, well this prospect is coded to that affiliate for all future sales.

Even if you send out an e-mail broadcast later on, the original affiliate’s code is still attached, hence making more money to your affiliates. The big boys with HUGE mailing list look for that. They’re not going to send their traffic for only one commission. They want to know that their buyer is assigned to them for life.

All that said, there are tones of affiliate marketing programs out there and I didn’t even touch on CPA (Cost Per Action) which very similar but totally a different topic on its own. Chose a program that best suits your needs today and as you grow and evolve, then you can upgrade to a different affiliate marketing solution.

What about you, which affiliate marketing programs seems the most interesting for your needs?

Backlink Tools For Search Engine Optimization

BacklinkBacklinks are one of the most important “off page” search engine optimization factors measured by the search engine. In order to be at the top of the search engines nowadays you must have high quality PR Ranked pages that points back to your site.

Essentially that works like a “third party approval” or someone else vouching for your site. It’s like a catch 22, you need traffic, visitors and other website owners to point to your site in order to rank high in the search engines but you need to rank high in the search engines in order to get lots of traffic, visitors and other website owners to point to your website.

So before we get lots of visitors and other website owners pointing back to our site naturally, we have to manually engineer authority on the internet. The way we can achieve that is to:

  • Post on to social sites
  • Post on social networks
  • Post on social bookmarks
  • Create web 2.0 profiles, write and post a new unique article with a link that goes back to our own website.
  • Create forum profiles and engage in conversations
  • Send out a press release to press release sites
  • Create other Worpress blogs, again writing unique articles and linking them to your site
  • Participate in Wiki sites
  • Create PDF documents and make them available for other people to download
  • Participate in Google Places
  • Create videos about your content and put your website in your description
  • Create podcast and publish audio content
  • Submit articles in article directories with your website in the author link box
  • Submit your site to directories
  • Create your RSS Feed
  • Ping your site

By doing these techniques, you will get the “link juice” from those high PR Ranked pages point back to you. Again in all those techniques above, you’ll want to create new accounts with new e-mail addresses and sprinkle your website link in the new content you’ve created. This part is the most boring, long tedious and just sucks your time away. Yet it’s so important and crucial in your backlink strategy.

Note of caution stay away from software that wants you to install a script on your website to automate the backlink process by creating directories on your site. This is a technique that used to work around 2005 but it’s been abused and now the search engine will penalize you for doing something like that. It’s considered “spam” in their eyes.

Ok so what if you’re super busy and just don’t have time to do all that? Well, again, I’ve got some pretty awesome news for you my friend. You see, everything I just explained to you is how an amateur would go about it. They’d read that backlinks are important, they’d figure out they have to do that and off they go for hours upon hours of work.

For us professionals, we automate that whole process with tools that can actually do all that tedious work for us. Now there are all kinds of tools available out there and based on experience and additional research they all vary in services they give you. So without further due, here’s a review of some of the best tools on the market today.

By  far, the best of the best in my opinion is SEnuke XCr. SEnuke offers a 14 days free trial then for their full service the price is $147 per month and on the low end of their service $67 per month. I personally use the $147 per month plan as it’s the best bang for your buck. The reason I do internet marketing and work from home is to leverage my time fully automate the process as much as I can so I can enjoy time freedom; besides my time is worth more creating valuable informative videos than creating accounts.

SEnuke’s easy to use, user friendly wizards and clean layout makes the whole process take 30 seconds. Enter your website, your keywords, the tags, and it’s done. SEnuke combined with Article Builder, writes unique good quality articles, spins them together, it goes in and creates email accounts, social accounts and pretty much everything I mentioned above, verifies all the e-mail addresses, automatically fills out captchas, you know those little box with an image that asks you to confirm you’re a human being by filling out the words on the images, submit and post your fully automated written articles everywhere. It truly is peace of mind and set and forget technology.

Their support is awesome and they have an awesome training section if you want to go in deeper and apply different strategies. They do all that in socket mode which means it’s all in the background and use less bandwith. If you’re in business, this is the way to go. Now, if you’re a small business and budget is an issue, I don’t recommend the $67 version, there are better solutions out there that I will cover so stay tuned.

The next one on my list is Magic Submitter. It’s very similar to Senuke but less automated, there’s a little bit more of work and little greater learning curve. They offer easy to use click and drop campaign (similar SEnuke). The price is $67 per month and you can start with a $4.95 first month trial. Remember I was saying some are a little cheaper money wise, but you have to compensate with more of your time. This service offers you a way to spin the articles and pretty much all services and software offers you that however it doesn’t write it from scratch. You have to provide an article and spin it. They do give you tons of free private label rights articles that you can use and spin. So you don’t have to write everything articles from scratch but still requires some times.

My 3rd choice would be SERobot. It goes for $20 per month so if you really are on a tight budget, this still offers an automated way to create account and spin articles. It’s got good training and clean user interface. In this one however they don’t give you private label rights articles. No turbo wizard so a little bit more of a learning curve also. But this would be my third choice for a super affordable solution. Requires a more time but can definitely get the job done.

Other Backlink Tools

Here are other SEnuke XCr alternatives and more solutions available out there. I’m giving you these additional solutions because I encourage you to do your own research to figure out what’s best for you based on your needs and available budget.

Brute Force SEO EVO fully automated kind of SENuke, 5 day $1 trial, then $157 per month or  $87  per month on the low end. There’s not a lot of demonstration of the software on the actual site.

Rank Builder $4.95 then $67 per month

Ultimate Demon $47 per month or $397 one time fee, no link with article builder no, little bit of a learning curve, no turbo wizard

Seo Link Robot, $27 per month

Sick Submitter, 3 day free trial then 19.99 per month, uses internet explorer browser when doing the work  instead of socket, which takes more bandwith and makes it slower. You have to manually go in and create emails, then bring back the e-mail to the profile.

Side Note! In my opinion SEnuke XCr is the best bang for your buck. This is what a lot of the pros in the internet marketing world uses to create their backlink campaigns

XRumers – Starts at $290 for their Lite, $650 for their Standard and $900 for their business. All packages you have to pay an extra $10 monthly fee.

GSA SER Goes for $99 one time fee. Really not user friendly, looks like you need to  be a programmer, it’s a very powerful software but looks busy, cluttered and hard to navigate. Way bigger learning curve, doesn’t intergrate with content builder. Lot’s of set up and I would recommend for more advanced users and limited to no training included.

Scrapebox ($97) Looks like a powerful tool to harvest information automatically from the internet

Licorne AIO is $150 I really don’t like their website, it’s very slow, there’s no video tutorials on their site, hard to navigate

Article Marketing Robot is $157 aka AMR for short, automates account creations but you have to manually click on verify.

There were tons more but lots of them when out of business. Either they’ve had bad marketing practices, poor support, not enough paid subscribers, etc.

Remember, it’s not because a software is less money per month that it’s cheaper. You have to consider your time, your effort, your research, the learning curve and/or if you hire a staff to operate the software and work on that part of your business meaning that there’s more cost associated to run the less pricey ones them.

If you don’t want to purchase any of the softwares you can also outsource backlinking on Fiverr. This guy does SEnuke basic campaigns at $5 and the Full Monty v4 template for $25 (this is the recommended one).

Finally after you chose the one that’s right for you then I recommend you get WebFire $99 per month or $500 per year for a lot of additional ways to get traffic to your site. This should be used as a supplement to the submitters you’ve just learned about.

What about you, how are you doing your current backlink campaigns and will that change? Share your thoughts.

Affiliate Marketing – How Can I Make Money from It

Affiliate MarketingSo what is affiliate marketing you said?  Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing trends on the web.  It’s also true that it’s one of the simplest ways to make money on the internet and to start your career from home.

“Ok André, you’ve told me about affiliate marketing but it still doesn’t answer my question!  What is affiliate marketing?”

Well, to put it in a simple way, affiliate marketing is selling other people’s products in exchange for a commission.  Think of it as a real estate broker.  The real estate broker sells and promotes what’s available in the inventory, like what’s in the MLS listings.  They’re not in the business to build houses, just like an affiliate marketer is not in the business of creating or making products.  The affiliate marketer sells and promotes products that other people or companies have created.  And since we are talking about the internet, most of the time, they are info-products, which is short for “information products”.

Nothing stops you from creating your own product over time but you don’t need your own product to sell when you first get started.

Affiliate Marketing Tips

In order to be successful in affiliate marketing, consider these:

  1. Your personal website where you brand yourself as the expert in the market you’re targeting. That’s the place you make your marketing efforts count, you’ve got to build credibility, trust, loyalty and connection with your audience or your target market. You can achieve that by giving value (your opinion, reviews, stories, etc). You want to keep in mind that in order to be a successful at affiliate marking you want to have an awesome, user friendly, professional looking website that will compel people to follow your recommendations. I personally use IMX Productions for all my design and website needs. If you’re more of a “Do It Yourself” kind of person, there’s nothing wrong with that either, a WordPress.com blog is a great platform to build your website on and if you’re more advanced, a self hosted WordPress blog is in my opinion the best way to go about it. You can get the package at wordpress.org.
  2. Once you got your site up and running you got to have some products to sell. There are sites that take care of all the “paper work and agreements” so to speak to help you connect with product owners of all genre from fitness, to dog training or to whatever you can think of, chances is are, it exists. Such sites are Clickbank.com, (click bank is like the granddaddy of them all, it’s been around since 1998 and for the internet, that’s old) haha. Another one is PayotCom.com. Generally speaking these sites have a broad range of commission split but generally speaking 50/50 is the norm. Sometimes you’ll have 70/30 (70% for the seller and the product owner keeps 30%).If you chose the marketing and promotion arena, there have been some private exclusive membership sites, that if you’re part of the community, you got access to top quality info products and you can therefore get 100% of the commission. A site that comes to mind is MLSP.com which I personally use myself. I think it’s great! Don’t worry about all the links, I’ll put them down below and/or the description.
  3. Once that figured out, you’ll need to market and promote your site or affiliate sites. This is where you’re advertising and promotion come into play. Basically you’ll have to keep track of how much you spend vs how many sales you make. If you earn a $1 commission for every $1 in advertising spent, congratulations, you broke even, if you earn $2 for every $1 in advertising spent, congratulations, you’re doubling your money every time you do that campaign.The challenge is to get more earnings than what you paid in advertising. Sounds simple but it’s not. Most people fail at this hence why they’re losing money but it’s not the system that fails, it’s the ability to keep track of their metrics (meaning the stats, dollar received per dollar spent). To put all odds in your favor, you got to know the secret formula for success, after all, it is a calculated risk. This affiliate marketing formula goes like this: test, measure, keep track, tweak and repeat. Once you apply this formula, then you have the unfair advantage against the odds of failure.
  4. The reality is you don’t need your own website and you can only promote your affiliate marketing links. However times have changed, people don’t want to be pitched and bombarded with ads anymore. With all the information available online, you’re audience is more educated than ever and they do not want to get pitched at. This is why having your website and connecting with people will help you in your business. Think about it, people love to buy things that they need but hate being sold to. If your recommendation is genuine and you’ve build that trust, connection and loyalty by giving value, then your audience will support you by purchasing through your affiliate marketing link when that product is right and beneficial for them.

What about you, what does affiliate marketing mean for you?

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