Affiliate Marketing Profit Boosters!

You already know that you shouldn’t send your traffic directly to the product sales page. Instead, you should build a list and then pitch products. But you shouldn’t even send your list members directly to a sales page.

Read on…

Tip #1: Write product reviews. One of the best ways to pre-sell a product is to write a product review. But don’t just list all the positive points. You need to list the product flaws, too.

And that’s because your prospects know that the product isn’t perfect. If you try to present it as a perfect product, they won’t trust you… nor will they buy from you.

Example: “This homeschooling kit offers awesome lessons plans for science, history and English. However, the math plans leave something to be desired. That’s because… {reasons}”

Tip #2: Create product comparisons. If you’re reviewing two or more similar products, then you can pre-sell both of them by doing a product comparison instead.

Just like the product review, you need to present both products honestly (flaws and all).

You should also conclude by giving your recommendation for which product your readers should buy.

If the products target those with slightly different needs, then tell your readers who should buy the product.

Example: “If you’re mainly interested in learning more about the exercise plans that will help you lose weight, then get [name of product]. If you’re more interested in having a complete menu plan, then get [name of product]…”

Tip #3: Write pre-sell pitches. Sometimes you may not want to pre-sell with a product review.

Instead, you pre-sell the product using a direct pitch, which is where you highlight the main benefits of the product.

That way, your subscriber is ready to buy the product before they even see the sales page.

Extra Tip: A pre-sell pitch works best when you send it to your list, since they already know and trust you. If you’re pulling in traffic from other sources, then you’ll likely do better offering reviews and comparisons.

Tip #4: Build pre-launch anticipation for new products. Some marketers first make mention of new products on the day those products launch. However, you can sell more products if you spend a week or two building anticipation for a product launch.

Extra Tip: The good product vendors will provide pre-launch marketing materials for you to send your list. However, you can do “pre-launch” product reviews and pitches to whet your prospects’ appetites for the product. Come launch day, they’ll buy the product without even hardly reading the sales page!

Tip #5: Let people peek inside the product. People who can imagine the product (and imagine themselves owning the product) are more likely to buy it. That’s why you can boost your conversion rate by providing screenshots and even video of parts of the inside of the product.

Example: You might provide a screenshot of the table of contents of an ebook. Or you might present a video of you scrolling through a chapter in an ebook.

Note: Get the product creator’s permission before employing this tactic.

Tip #6: Provide reviews for products you don’t recommend. Earlier you learned that you can increase your conversion rate by listing a product’s flaws as well as its strong points.

As long as the strengths outweighed the flaws, you probably still recommended the product.

So what happens if you come across a product (especially a new one) that you wouldn’t recommend to your readers and visitors?

Many affiliates simply wouldn’t bother writing a review.

But you owe it to your readers to give them the information they’re seeking… even if you don’t include a link (and therefore don’t earn any commissions).

No, you won’t make money from a product you don’t recommend. But you will build good will with your readers. And that translates into more sales in the long run!

Quick Recap

You just discovered six ways to boost profits by pre-selling products. Next up, you’ll learn how a blog can put more money in your pocket…

 

Blogging Your Way to Bigger Commissions

By now it’s no secret that you shouldn’t send your visitors directly to a vendor’s sales letter. So far we’ve mainly talked about turning your traffic into newsletter subscribers.

Now we’ll look at how blogging can help you bank more affiliate cash…

Use WordPress. There are plenty of blogging solutions for you to choose from, including installed software and third-party hosted solutions. However, one of the best platforms is the self-hosted WordPress (WP) platform.

Here are five reasons why WP is a good choice:

  • It’s easy to install.
  • It makes blogging quick and easy, even for someone without any technical skills.
  • It’s highly customizable, both in terms of form and function.
  • It’s frequently updated.
  • There are plenty of “plugins” (tools) you can add for greater function.

In short: Choose WordPress and you’ll spend less time managing your blog… and more time making money!

If you don’t already have a blog, here’s a video showing you how to buy a domain name and get hosting: http://www.kevinflatt.com/domain-name-hosting-video (Will open in a new window).

Install the best plugins. The best WP plugins allow you do to things like cut down on spam, encourage visitors to become interactive and boost your conversion rates by automatically recommending related content elsewhere on your blog.

Create a “product of the week” or “featured post” section on your blog. You can keep your blog fresh by creating a “featured post” section that highlights a new product every week.

Offer multi-media. NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) teaches us that different people have different learning styles.

That means that some prefer to learn by reading text products, others prefer to listen to audio instructions and still others prefer hands-on, emotion-based learning.

And that means if you use multi-media content – which includes text, audio AND video – you have a better chance of appealing to a wider audience.

Extra Tip: As an added bonus, offering multi-media also allows you to reach out to those with sight or hearing disabilities.

Encourage discussion and participation. If you encourage discussion on your blog, then you create a sense of community.

Not only that, but getting your readers to interact with you helps you build a relationship with them.

Both of these things result in more affiliate commissions for you.

Here’s how to get interactive members:

  • Blog about something controversial and ask for comments. People tend to reply when it’s an emotional topic.

 Example: Ask your dog blog readers which breed is smarter: border collies or poodles?

  • Ask for feedback. This feedback could be about a report you’re writing or even about the features on your blog. Doesn’t matter. The point is to get your readers talking to you.
  • Email your list to tell them about a new blog post. Be sure to ask for their comments.
  • Run a commenting contest.

Example: Ask your readers to write 100 on a niche-related topic. Best post wins a product.

Post interviews with product creators. Here’s a nifty way to boost commissions: Interview the product creator and use your affiliate link to pitch the product at the end. Then post the interview on your blog.

Extra Tip: You can post either text or audio interviews. If you’re doing an audio interview, you can give your blog and newsletter readers access to the live call.

Let’s suppose you’re selling a weight loss ebook. You can ask the product creator about one aspect of losing weight, such as how to boost metabolism.

Then you point to the book for more information on that topic (as well as weight loss in general).

Blog regularly. Have you ever visited a blog where you noticed the last posting date was months or even years ago?

Even if the content is good, you probably didn’t read any further than the front page (since it’s easy to assume the content is outdated).

And you definitely wouldn’t visit again.

Likewise, your traffic wouldn’t bother visiting again if your blog looks abandoned. And that’s why you need to post often.

Posting regularly – about once a week – helps make your blog “sticky” (meaning you get more repeat visitors) and it helps you build a relationship with your readers. Bottom line: More affiliate sales!

Post case studies. We’ve talked a lot about pre-selling affiliate products in order to boost your conversion rate. Another way to boost conversions is to offer some sort of proof that the product works. And you can do that by posting case studies on your blog.

Examples:

  • You’re selling a weight loss product. You can post an inspirational case study of how one woman lost 75 pounds using the product (and kept it off). For best results, include progress pictures (before and after pics).
  • You’re selling a vegetable gardening product. You provide the testimonial from a gardener who used to get barely edible pumpkins and now wins prizes at the county fair.

Create a live journal. Instead of posting an “after the fact” case study, you can create a live journal where your post your progress and results using a certain product.

Examples:

  • You’re selling a search engine optimization product. You can use the step-by-step instructions to optimize your own site for the search engines and post your results as your page rises up in the rankings over the course of three months.
  • You’re selling a “be a better photographer” product. You can create a one-week journal where you take pictures daily to show how your skills are improving.

Quick Recap

You just discovered how to use a blog to put more affiliate cash in your pocket. Next up, you’ll find out how to beat the competition…

Beating Your Competition

When you’re an affiliate, you have two kinds of competition:

  • Competition from those selling similar products. So if you’re selling a Black lab dog training book, you’re competing against other black lab training products.
  • Competition from other affiliates. Naturally, there are others selling the EXACT same product to the same market

Here’s how to whip your competition and put more money in your pocket…

Create a USP (unique selling proposition). Your prospects have plenty of choices when it comes to merchants. They can buy direct from the product creator.

Or they can choose from among dozens or perhaps even hundreds of affiliates. And that’s why you need to create your USP.

In short, your USP is the “reason why” your prospects should buy from you and not your competitors.

Example: You provide an additional guarantee (in addition to the vendor’s guarantee), such as a conditional “double your money back” guarantee.

Add value to your offers (with products). Another way to beat your competition and get your prospects to choose to buy through your affiliate link is by offering a bonus.

Think about it…

If you were buying a pair of shoes and saw them at the exact same price, but one came with a bonus set of laces, which one would you choose? All else being equal, you’d probably choose the better offer (the one with the free laces). And so would your prospects.

Here are three examples of adding value to an affiliate offer:

Example #1: You sell a diet book. You provide a free recipe book to anyone who buys through your link.

Example #2: You sell “headline generator” copywriting software. You throw in a headline “swipe file” to anyone who buys through your link.

Example #3: You sell a marketing product. You offer access to a private forum to those who buy through your link.

Add value to your offers (with services). Products are easy to deliver, which makes it easy for you to add value with products. But certain services have a higher perceived value, which can help further boost your conversion rate.

Here are a few examples of how to add value to an affiliate offer using services:

Example #1: You sell software. You can offer free installation and support.

Example #2: You’re selling a copywriting product. You offer a free headline critique to those who buy through your link.

Example #3: You sell a weight loss product. You offer a free consultation session to help customers design a personalized diet plan.

Develop relationships with your prospects. I know, I’ve said this before. To repeat: People do business with those they know, like and trust. And that means you’ll make more money if you develop relationships with your prospects.

Here’s how to build relationships with your prospects:

  • Start blogging. Get your readers to comment on your blog.
  • Publish a newsletter and send out weekly messages.
  • Ask your readers for feedback (either publicly or privately) – and then implement it when possible.
  • Get your readers to take surveys and polls on your blog.
  • Visit niche forums and interact with your prospects.

Establish yourself as an expert / authority. Imagine this: Your car mechanic tells you to start taking fish oil supplements. Are you going to do it?

Probably NOT.

But the moment your doctor tells you the same thing, you’ll probably rush right off to pick up a bottle of fish oil.

And that’s because we tend to listen to and trust experts and authority figures more than anyone else.

You can see where I’m going with this.

If you position yourself as an expert (and perhaps an authority figure), you can boost your sales.

For example, creating a content-filled blog, participating on niche forums and getting endorsements from other experts will all help you position yourself as an expert.

Extra Tip: If you hold a degree in a related field or have some other unique qualification, flaunt it as a way of establishing your authority. For example, if you’re a registered nurse and you sell health books, let everyone know you’re a nurse! People are more likely to listen to your recommendations over the average affiliates.

Sell your own products on the front end. You just learned that one way to boost your sales is by establishing yourself as an expert. And one of the best ways to get others to see you as an expert is by creating your own product.

That way, you can build a big list of buyer by selling your own product on the front end… and then make a big bundle of money on the backend by recommending affiliate products.

Borrow credibility from the “big dogs” in your market. You already know that you need to build relationships and establish trust in order to sell more products to your subscribers and visitors.

But that takes time.

So how can you get a good reputation if you’re new to the niche?

Simple: Joint venture with the well-known experts and marketers in your niche. In doing so, you’ll “borrow” their credibility, meaning others will see you as a niche expert too.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to get others to associate you with the existing niche experts is to create a product with them.

For example, you can get half a dozen or more of these experts to agree to an audio interview.

Then you can freely distribute the recordings to get as much exposure as possible.

End result: You’ll become a trusted name in the niche virtually overnight!

Quick Recap

You don’t have to be scared of a little affiliate competition when you use the tips and tricks you just learned. Next up, you’ll find out how to make even more money as an affiliate…

Banking Even More Affiliate Cash

This whole post is all about you making more money as an affiliate.

In this section, you’ll find out what the super affiliates know about banking bigger checks (or cheques to some of us)…

Read the affiliate agreement. That’s right, before you start promoting a new affiliate product, be sure to read the affiliate agreement and terms of service on the vendor’s site.

Doing so will eliminate nasty surprises, such as “no affiliate payouts until you reach $1500 in commissions or until Haley’s comet swings by Earth again.”

OK, I made that one up – but you’d be surprised at what type of profit-draining clauses you’ll find inside some of these agreements!

Ask the product vendor for bigger commissions. Once you earn a reputation as a super affiliate in your niche, OR once you’ve proven your sales record to a specific vendor, you can approach that vendor and ask for a bigger commission rate.

Many vendors already have a rate that they offer to special partners.

You can simply ask, “do you have a higher super affiliate commission rate?”

If not, then ask the vendor to provide you with a higher commission rate.

If you’re making a lot of money for the marketer, he probably won’t refuse.

Ask the vendor for a unique landing page. One way to increase sales is by personalizing sales material as much as possible.

And while you can’t greet your subscribers personally by name on a vendor’s sales page, you CAN ask the vendor for a unique landing page that offers something a little different than the standard page.

Example: Your custom landing page might greet your subscribers like this, “Special Offer for [Your Name]’s Subscribers and Friends.”

Extra Tip: As usual, it helps if you’ve already demonstrated to a particular vendor that you can produce sales. Once you’ve done that, the vendor will be more accommodating to your requests. This applies to the next two tips as well.

Secure exclusive discounts for your customers. As mentioned before, your prospects like to get a good deal. And one way to get them a good deal while making you look like a hero is to secure an exclusive (perhaps limited-time) discount through the vendor.

If you haven’t yet made any sales for this particular vendor (and you don’t have a reputation in the niche), then you may suggest a commission split.

Example: The vendor can create a special link on a $100 product that gives you a $25 commission and gives your customers a $25 discount. This is no hardship on the vendor, since he still gets his 50% commission. (However, some vendors don’t want to sell the product below a certain price, so they may refuse.)

Ask the vendor for exclusive bonuses for your customers. Earlier you found out that you can beat your competitors by “adding value” to an offer.

However, once you’ve proven that you can produce sales for a vendor, he or she might be willing to add an exclusive bonus package for anyone who orders through your affiliate link.

Automate as much as you can. Tools aren’t magic bullets that turn a slumping affiliate business into a cash cow. But once you have the basics in place, a few good automation tools can free up your time so you can focus on other income-generating tasks.

To that end, you should automate as much as you can.

Examples:

  • Instead of delivering bonuses manually, set up an automatic system (even an autoresponder). Or ask the vendor to create a unique landing page and download page which include your bonuses.
  • You can create a year long (52 message) autoresponder series (evergreen) to automate your newsletter. That way you don’t have to write newsletters. Instead, you can focus on building the list.

 Develop large networks. Social media sites are all the rage right now, so you should take advantage of them.

But don’t just limit yourself to finding prospects on these sites. Instead your time may be better spent finding JV partners and cultivating relationships with them.

If you haven’t yet started networking, you can get started on Twitter.com, Facebook.com and LinkedIn.com.

Look for two-tier affiliate programs. This report has mainly focused on tips and tricks to boost your affiliate income by making more sales and getting bigger commissions.

But you can also boost your income – without making any extra sales – simply by joining two-tier affiliate programs.

Here’s how it works:

You refer another affiliate to the program. Every time your referred affiliate makes a sale, you get a small commission too.

Extra Tip: Choose two-tier programs with relatively small second level commissions. That way, affiliates focus on selling products (rather than recruiting one another).