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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Part 3 – Affiliate Programs

Get Affiliate Programs to Promote

Affiliate programs are far from equal. Commission structures and affiliate networks can be very confusing. Generally, affiliate programs are used by merchants to manage their affiliates, commissions and payments. Although the look and feel of programs vary from merchant to merchant, the idea is the same. When you join an affiliate program you enable yourself to send traffic to the merchant site and be paid commissions on any sales that you help generate.

Affiliate Networks

Although a majority of affiliate programs automatically approve applications, there are some programs that have a review process in place to limit their program to affiliates with relevant web sites. If your site does not meet their requirements then you will not be approved. This can be quite frustrating since some of the more strict affiliate programs are highly profitable.

If you do not have a website or do not want to build a website that is specific to the product, you can join an affiliate network such as Clickbank.com. There are many affiliate networks available but the main 3 that we recommend you use are called Clickbank, Commission Junction, and Link Share. These companies allow you to sign up once, and then provide you with thousands of products that you can sell in many different industries. The difference between independent affiliate programs and affiliate networks is that you will be paid your commissions from the Affiliate Network rather than the companies that you are promoting. The affiliate networks take care of all money handling and transactions.

You do not need a website and you do not need to search all over the internet trying to find products that have affiliate programs. Affiliate networks put thousands of affiliate programs at your fingertips.

Do you have an affiliate website that makes people want to buy anything? Well, finding the top affiliate programs is the easy part. While some companies have their own in-house affiliate program, others have theirs run by a major affiliate network.The top affiliate networks in my opinion are:

  • You must Signup this :
    • Clickbank – Sell digital products, that are available by download, like softwares, E-Books, etc
    • Commission Junction (CJ) - sell physical products like computers, credit cards, clothing, etc.
    • BeFree – Owned by Commission Junction, sell other things that are not avaliable in Commission Junction.
    • LinkShare - sell physical products.
  • If you have more time you can signup this :
    • Performics - Some decent, large brick & mortar companies here.
    • WebSponsors - With a few decent programs such as free giveaway programs.
    • Shareasale - Not bad, not great.
    • ClickxChange - A few hundred small advertisers.
  • If you still have much more time, signup this :
    • ClixGalore - Multi-tier affiliate network offering a decent variety.
    • FineClicks - A division of Shareasale.com.
    • FastClick - Small network that thoroughly screens merchants and affiliates for quality control.
    • AffiliateFuel - Medium sized network. Sites must be a top level domain and have a minimum of 2,000 unique visitors per day.
    • DarkBlue - Reasonably sized network of programs. Unique in that it doesn t charge any fees.
  • If all doesn't match for you, find the good one on :

High Paying or High Converting

The key to finding profitable products to promote is to find a happy medium between high payouts and high conversion rates. Although a product may pay up to $200/sale, a product that pays you only $20 per sale could potentially be more profitable if it converts into sales at a higher rate.

Ideally, you could find a product that pays $200/sale and converts very well. Although this may seem impossible to you, there are several products available that pay this much, and convert very well. Here are a few examples:

  • Web hosting
  • Jewelry
  • Dieting Programs / Supplements
  • Loans
  • E-Commerce Software
  • Dental Plans
  • Insurance
  • Voice Over IP
  • Make Money Digital Products
  • Gambling
  • Satellite Services

Which Programs not match with Google Adwords?

Pay-per-lead affiliate programs are probably the most difficult to promote using Google Adwords. The reason for this is because Pay-per-lead companies generally pay $1-8 per lead. This makes it very difficult to turn a profit. These programs are best applied to websites that are related and receive large amounts of free traffic though Search Engine Optimization. This is not a good place to start if you have limited Internet Marketing knowledge. If you have several low-cost (preferably free) channels of traffic, pay per lead programs can be profitable.

Select Products To Promote

Choosing a product to promote can be a very difficult decision, especially if you do not know what you are looking for. When selecting a product it is very important that you perform some sort of research. Researching a specific product or industry will greatly benefit you as you begin advertising and driving traffic to the site.

The following are some things you can do to determine whether the product will be profitable to sell, and if it is of high quality.

1. Purchase the Product

This is not the best option for everyone as it can be very expensive to purchase every product that you promote. However, by purchasing a product you will be able to review the product first hand and convey more detailed information to your website visitors. This typically translates into greater sales as you become the expert on the subject matter and by understanding the product, you will be able to pin-point your target audience much easier.

If it is not within your budget to purchase the product, you can get product information using other mediums. You can take a look at what others are saying about it on forums, blogs, and focus groups. You can also take a look and see how other affiliates are reviewing the product and what they have said about it. These are alternate techniques you can use to get product information without purchasing the product.

2. Watch Other Affiliates

If you are researching a product, you should definitely look to see what other affiliates are doing, and what type of keywords they are promoting. Type a search query into Google using the keywords. Take note of the affiliate websites that are under the search terms. Typically, the more affiliates under a search term, the more money to be made within a particular industry (and also the more competition).

For example, say you were promoting a product to help improve someone s golf swing. If you search golf swing within Google and you get a list of affiliate websites promoting golf swing products under the paid listings, chances are some of these people are making money. One technique that you can use to confirm the profitability of these keywords is to watch these ads. If the same websites are still showing up under that listing 2 weeks from the time you perform your original search, they are making money.

3. Check the Alexa Ranking

This is not the be all end all for determining whether you should promote or not, but you can get a good idea of the amount of people who visit any particular website by checking its Alexa Ranking. To do this, go to Alexa.com and type in the URL of the site that you want to get the traffic ranking for.

This will help you determine which sites receive the most traffic, and therefore receive the most traffic. For example, if you do a search for Defeating Google Adwords, you will see that it is ranked roughly 50,000th on the Internet in terms of traffic. Any website that is under 100,000 receives a healthy volume of visitors. From this, you can determine that the product most likely has many affiliates promoting the product. High traffic sites that offer affiliate programs are usually VERY profitable to promote.

Promoting Clickbank Products

Finding a product to promote is the question that every Internet Marketer has. How do I find a good product to sell?. The main concept is, if you find a Good product to sell, you re going to make money! This is one of the most obvious misconceptions in the Internet Marketing world. Although selling a good product will determine your Return on Investment, it does not affect the ability for you to make a sale.

Before making a purchase, a user does not know what the product is like. This means that if the visitor makes a purchase it is entirely based upon your marketing techniques. We are stressing the fact that the techniques that you use to sell a product is what makes you money, not the product its self. Obviously some industries and products sell better than others, but the fact is that there are Internet Marketers making money in every single industry imaginable. Your success as an Internet Marketer is not dependent on which products you choose to sell, it s based on your ability to implement the proper techniques to make the sale.

When looking for a product to promote, you want to look for products that do not get refunded at a high rate. Clickbank.com is one of the best affiliate networks to find a product to promote. You can easily search their 10,000 products by keyword or popularity, and setting up your affiliate links is very easy.

We highly recommend that you learn how to use Clickbank.com and promote their products when you are starting out. They offer an easy to use interface, and getting started is quick and simple. Once you ve signed up for a clickbank account, you can start promoting any product on their network.

A product with a high gravity means that there are many affiliates making money selling the product. This also means that there may be quite a bit of competition, but if you use the techniques written in this articles you will be able to outperform your competition. It doesn t matter if there are 100 people advertising a product, or 10 people advertising a product. There is still opportunity to make money within every industry online no matter how much competition there is.

Clickbank Product Organization

Clickbank organizes their products by using the following four factors:

$Earned/Sale:

Average net amount earned per affiliate per referred sale. Note that this is the net earned per actual sale, and so it is impacted by refunds, chargebacks, and sales taxes.

%Earned/Sale:

Average percentage commission earned per affiliate per referred sale. This number should only vary if the publisher has changed their payout percentage over time.

%Referred:

Fraction of publisher's total sales that are referred by affiliates.

Gravity:

Number of distinct affiliates who earned a commission by referring a paying customer to the publisher's products. This is a weighted sum and not an actual total. For each affiliate paid in the last 8 weeks we add an amount between 0.1 and 1.0 to the total.

The more recent the last referral, the higher the value added.

We want to focus on two of the above factors. $Earned / Sale, and Gravity. Gravity is the popularity of the product and is calculated by the number of different affiliates that have sold the product. If the product has a high gravity (50+) it means that many affiliates have had success selling the product. This is a very good indicator of how well the product is selling. Again, we need to stress the fact that you don t need to focus on your competition. Implement our techniques and competition will not play a factor in your success.

We are going to show you a technique that very few people know about. The technique is very simple to use and we highly recommend that you use this technique when you are choosing clickbank products to promote.

Determining Product Refund Rates

By using the $Earned/Sale and a formula that we will outline below, you can determine the rate of refunds for a product. Along with Gravity, this will help you determine if the product is worth advertising. The worst thing that can happen you an Affiliate Marketer is to make a sale, then have it taken away due to a refund by the buyer. You can use the following formula to calculate the refund rate of a product, and help determine the overall customer satisfaction.
(Product Price - 7.5%) - $1 = Post CB Commission
Post CB Commission x Payout Percentage = Affiliate Commission
Affiliate Commission - $Earned/Sale = Refund Difference
($Refund Difference Affiliate Commission) x 100 = Refund Percentage

Here is an example that you can use to help calculate a clickbank product refund rate.
Product Price = $47.00
$Earned/Sale = $19.86
Payout Percentage = 50%
Clickbank takes 7.5% + $1 of the Product Price as a fee.
$47 - 7.5% - $1 = $42.47 (Post CB Commission).
$42.47 x 50% = $21.24 (Affiliate Commission)
$21.24 - $19.86 = $1.38 (Refund Difference)
($1.38 $21.24) x 100 = 6.49 (Refund Percentage)

Using The Refund Rate

In the previous example we calculated that the example product had a refund rate of only 6.49% which is very low for clickbank products. Clickbank says that every product can expect a 5% refund rate because of consumer fraud, and this cannot be helped. A product with a refund rate of below 10% is a high quality product and it means that customer satisfaction is quite high.

Some products have a very high refund rate, some well over 20%. We recommend that you are careful promoting products with a refund rate of over 20% because your Return on Investment is quite low due to poor customer satisfaction. With this being said, it is sometimes still very profitable to sell a product with a high refund rate. If you are happy with the return on investment after the refunds have been taken, you may want to continue to promote a product, but this will be a personal decision on your part.

We have promoted products that have over a 50% refund rate, but this is high risk.

You don t want to spend $10 to make $1 profit. Products with high refund rates yield very low Return On Investment, much lower than 100%. If a product yields 100% ROI it means that you spend $10 in advertising to make $20 ($10 profit). We consider Campaigns that Yield 100% ROI to be a success.

By using the Gravity (popularity), and Refund Rate, you can make informed decisions about a product and whether you should promote it or not.

We always stress the fact that choosing a product to promote does not determine your ability to make the sale. The proper advertising techniques are what determine if a sales is made. Use our techniques when setting up your campaigns, ad groups, and adcopy and you will outperform the competition. Understanding how to properly set up your Google Adwords campaign will play a big role in your success.

Finding Profitable Keywords

What is the best way to find profitable keywords? There are many tools that can be used to help find keywords, including the Google and Yahoo Keyword tools and independent keyword software. We use the preceding tools to find keywords, but this alone does not necessarily find the niche, high converting keywords. Wouldn t it be great to know how to get these keywords using a few simple search techniques? Below we discuss how.

Buy & Purchase Keywords

What type of keywords sell? What do people type in when they are looking to purchase a product or services? Here is something obvious that most people forget about and it can be applied to any industry. If you add buy or purchase to any product, it will become one of the highest converting keywords that you will have.

For example, when some searches for something like buy Google Adwords ebook , it is most likely someone who has their credit card on the table, and is eager to pay for information. In fact, some of you who purchased this articles probably typed this exact search term into Google. You can apply the same tactic by adding the term purchase to your keyword phrase.

We integrate this technique into all of our campaigns and see great results. If you think about how many millions of products, services, and industries there are out there, then you can see how this technique alone can make you $1000 s a day.

Product Keywords

It is very effective to advertise using keywords that include the product that you are promoting. You can use the name of the product or company and include misspellings and different arrangements of the keywords.

These will be some of the highest converting keywords to use to promote the Defeating Google Adwords e-book. When customers learn of a product or see a product on a website, they may do a Google Search for the name of the product. You want your ads to be displayed for these kind of searches. Remember to use the Search Term within your title and adcopy.

Misspellings

Often overlooked is the fact that people are not always perfect on the keyboard, and do make mistakes when using Google. Although these keywords do not receive high amounts of traffic, you can get high quality traffic at a fraction of the price.

For example, if someone was attempting to type in the search term, make money they might accidentally type in the term make monye. If you are promoting under this keyword you will receive highly targeted traffic for a fraction of the cost.

Singular and Plural Keywords

In order to be guaranteed a sponsored position for a singular and plural keyword, it is necessary to have both contained within your Ad Group. Although a lot of the time Google will list your singular keyword ad under plural results, it is not guaranteed.

So how does Google determine whether a singular keyword is to be displayed within the plural search results? Google s algorithm takes historical results from your account, and the Click Through Ratio (CTR) performance that your singular keyword ads have had in the past when displayed under plural search terms. If your CTR has been good in the past, your singular listing will be displayed in the search results.

Otherwise you will not get listed. Rule of thumb; add the plural keywords to your Ad Group if you want to guarantee that your ad will be displayed.

Note : CTR and Google Adwords Account Performance will be explained in the next section.

If you advertise the keyword: Buy Marketing E-book , you should also advertise the keyword: Buy Marketing E-books.

Keyword Resources

There are several free resources that you can utilize to building keyword lists and conduct keyword research. Here are some of the best free keyword research tools available.

Finding good keywords is not just about typing a keyword into one of the preceding tools and gathering the results. Using the techniques that we have mentioned will drastically increase the number of sales that you are able to generate for any given product.

This is part 3 of 9, bookmark this valuable information with bookmark button below !

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