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10.07.2014

Utilizing free blogs to get started as an affiliate

Using free blogs for affiliate marketing gives affiliates the chance to get started with absolutely zero start-up costs. Blogging websites are very popular sources of information that many people seek out to find information or reviews on certain products.

They typically have a more personalised feel then your average website and for this reason alone can be great platforms for affiliates. There are not many industries where itís possible to get started without any initial outlay and if you are a youngster or have limited funds they give you the chance to make something from nothing!

Not all free blogging websites allow affiliate marketing or advertising and itís worth researching a little bit into this as not to waste time building up content on a blog just to get it suspended. Letís take a look at the most popular free blogging sites and establish which ones allow affiliate marketing and which ones that donít:

Wordpress: WordPress is most likely the most powerful blogging and website content management system online today. It gives people with no html or programing skills the ability to build a website with relative ease.

You can choose between thousands of free templates or even purchase top quality premium templates. Unfortunately for affiliate marketers advertising and affiliate banners are generally not allowed on WordPress free blogs and this rule seems to be heavily enforced with many blogs being suspended or even deleted.

Although they do not allow affiliate marketing you can still build your website with a WordPress template and then migrate over to your own domain and hosting, but this of course involves spending money which is not what this blog post is about so letís move on!

Google owned BlogSpot/Blogger: Generally Blogger allows all types of affiliate marketing although there have been instances of blogs being suspended once either flagged as spam or if the blog is using stolen content.

There is a thriving affiliate community on BlogSpot with fierce competition for the best domain names. When new products are on the horizon itís a race to see who can get to the premium URLís first with the quickest off the mark winning the race.

Google provide a great service with their free blogging platform allowing anyone with internet access the chance to make money online and in my opinion itís the premium free blogging website for affiliate marketers.

How to get started as an affiliate with Blogger for free

Create an Account

To get started you first need to create an account. To do this go to www.blogger.com . If you already have a Gmail or Google+ account you can save time by logging in with these. Otherwise fill in the required details and create a new account.

Choose the Name/Domain

This is where you need to decide which domain you want to use for your blog. If you are a casino affiliate look for domains like ďbestcasino.blogspot.comĒ or ďonlinecasinoreviews.blogspot.comĒ. If you are a Forex affiliate look for domains like ďForexbrokers.blogspot.comĒ or ďforextrading.blogspot.comĒ. The domain is important and should be easy to remember and relevant to the content in your blog posts.

Pick a Template

There are many attractive templates on offer that you can use. The right template can make or break an affiliate marketing blog and the layout should be easy on the eyes and more importantly easy for your traffic to digest. The blogs template is not permanent and you can change this at a later date so donít worry too much about this right now.

Create Your First Blog post

This is very simple. Click ďcreate new postĒ put the title in, add your content and voila you have successfully created your blog and published your first entry!

Adding the Affiliate Links

Without correctly configuring your affiliate links none of your sales will be tracked and you will receive no commissions so you need to get this part right! First of all I would recommend signing up to a reputable affiliate network such as the Advertising365 Affiliate network

Once you have created an account go to ďbrand subscriptionsĒ page and subscribe to the brand or offer you would like to promote. Then create a campaign, go to the ad-server and copy/paste youíre tracking URL to the appropriate place on your blog. You can attach your tracking link to text links/banners/pictures/logos etc and all sales through this link will be tracked to your account. The reason why I like the Advertising365 affiliate network because they have a powerful tracking software that allows you many ways to breakdown and analyse your traffic which can help increase conversion rates and commissions.

That should be enough to get you started. Next week we will look at simple techniques you can use to drive traffic to your blog. If you have any questions or feedback please sign up to our forum and post a new thread, itís always great to hear from my readers!


27.06.2014

Profitable Affiliate Niches

If you are new to affiliate marketing you may we wondering which niche you should dive into, how can you possibly make a decision when there are so many? Donít be fooled by all the different products on offer nearly all the profitable internet affiliate marketing niches fall under three categories and when choosing which products you want to market you should consider which one of these categories you are going to choose:

Wealth

Health

Relationships

Why are health, wealth and relationships by far the most profitable internet affiliate marketing niches? Most affiliate marketers money will be made by people making impulsive buys or deposits (for gambling niches) in the heat of moment. There are lots of commissions to be made if you able to take into consideration what motivates people and what their concerns are likely to be.

It doesnít matter who you are you will most certainly want to become either healthier, wealthier or find a relationship. These are areas where people will naturally seek to improve in which will motivate them to open up search engines to seek advice and of course this is where you can help! If you understand what drives human emotions you can use this knowledge to drive traffic to your website and in turn commission in your pocket.

I will now elaborate further on the most profitable niches in the wealth sector.

Casino Affiliate marketing -

This is perhaps my number one most profitable niche. The online gambling market has increased every year for well over ten years, a mere thirteen years ago online gambling was worth $7billion, in 2013 it amounted to nearly $40 billion. This is outrageous growth and explains in itself why so many casino affiliates have struck it big over the last decade.

Everyday people are blasted with ads from gambling companies and many will take to the internet to seek out peopleís opinions on which of these companies are the most reliable and trustworthy. Gamblers also look for advice on the best casino bonuses, games and customer service which provides lots of topics for affiliates to write content about with the main goal being helping your traffic to choose a casino to play at.

Lifetime commissions for all referred players makes casino affiliate marketing a great proposition for all affiliates! Forget CPA deals, if you have decent casino traffic you will make an absolute killing on revenue share which you will receive for the lifetime of that players account.

I personally know casino affiliates who are still making money from players referred 5+ years ago, whereas if they had chosen the CPA route they would have made a single amount on the first deposit and missed out on staggering amounts of commissions.

The only problem with rev-share is that unfortunately every now and again a player you have referred will win big, although it may be annoying not getting commissions for a month nearly all casino affiliate programs employ no negative carry over meaning all negative amounts are zeroed at the end of every month and from my experience casino players who win big nearly always lose it back at some point meaning your commission pay-out will be higher the next month!

Itís clear to see why casinos affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable internet affiliate marketing niches. Letís now take a look at another that is starting to make waves in the industry.

Forex/Binary options Affiliate programs

The forex market is the largest in the world with over 5 trillion US Dollars exchanged on a typical day. It is estimated Retail speculators (the everyday public) account for 5-10% of daily transactions.

When you consider that between 70-95% of all retail traders lose money you can certainly start to understand why this may be a profitable niche to get involved in even if you have limited understanding of the markets .

There are a few different ways to approach forex affiliate marketing, either just do a standard review site on which are the best brokers/binary options providers or make videos or blog posts on your predictions where the market is going , signal providers are also a good method although will require a more advanced understanding of the markets.

The commissions available for Forex affiliates are similar to casino with Rev-share and CPA being the most prevalent and again if you are confident of your traffic you can make commissions for the lifetime of your referred traderís account which can last for many years.

Next week I will move on to part two where I will elaborate on some of the best products and marketing strategies in the health market where there is endless opportunity for online affiliate marketers.


20.06.2014

5 Things to Consider When Building Your Website

Affiliate marketing through websites is one of the most common and easiest ways to get started in the game.

All you need to do is purchase a domain, pay for the hosting and build a website and you are good to go. This is not an expensive process and you can now build websites and blogs in minutes thanks to Wordpress and other website template providers. So letís take a look at the different stages and processes of designing an affiliate marketing website and things you need to consider along the way.

1. Construct a detailed plan of what you want to achieve

Before building your website you should always plan ahead so you have a clear idea of your goals and know what you want to achieve. Itís important to have everything laid out in a clear and concise fashion so you donít get lost along the way. Figure out what you want to promote and the keywords associated with that niche. Then decide if you are going to build your own website or use WordPress or a similar website template provider.

2. Choosing a domain name

The domain name is an important part of the website and is what your traffic will remember you by. A good URL will inspire confidence and also help with ranking your page in Google. Itís good to try and get an exact match wherever possible, for example if you were promoting casinos try and think what would your traffic type in Google, something along the line of bestcasino.com or bestcasinobonuses.com would be perfect but obviously these are prime pieces of internet real estate and will have been snatched up many moons ago.

This is why nowadays other extensions such as .info or .ws are becoming increasingly accepted and you can even try adding a hyphen for example best-casino.com. Itís usually possible to find a decent domain just spend a bit of time searching on go daddy or any of the other domain registrars.

3. Learn about SEO and apply it to your content

Your website needs to be designed with Search Engine Optimization in mind. This is how you will get highly ranked on all the search engines which will result in lots of traffic hitting your page. I cannot emphasise how important it is to do your research regarding SEO, for more info please look at the following article in our affiliate school here: http://internet-affiliate.com/school/index.shtml#news_66

4. Website hosting

Itís very important to pick a good solid host for your website. Iíve heard many stories from affiliates who went with the cheapest option assuming it would all be ok only for their website to go down time and time again. Every time your website goes down you are missing out on potential commissions and itís also a good way to lose your loyal returning customers. When choosing a hosting provider there are a few important things to consider such as their server capacity and guaranteed uptime (if you shop around you should be able to find 99.9% guaranteed uptime). Also make sure they backup all the data and have adequate virus protection. Customer service is also important and ideally you want a provider that has 24/7 customer support as if something goes wrong you want a quick response.

5. Building your website

This is a big decision and there are many different ways to approach the construction of your website. Letís take a look at the available options.

Build it yourself: If you have the time you could potentially learn HTML/CSS and build it yourself. Of course itís always good to learn new skills whenever possible but this can be time consuming and not everyone has the time or patience.

- Hire someone to build it for you: This is not my preferred option as you want to keep the costs as low as possible and by hiring someone you will not know the ins and outs of your own website making it hard to make quick changes and optimizations. I would only go with this option as a last resort or if you are confident the person you have hired is reliable and trustworthy.

- Use a template: This is a solid idea although it will still require some basic knowledge and you will most likely have to pay for a decent template. This will get you up and running very quickly without much hassle and is a nice compromise. Going the template route is probably my preferred option and if you are just getting started there are lots of great website and blog builders out there such as WordPress that have made it easy for newbies to get started in affiliate marketing.

There you are. Five pointers to consider when building your affiliate marketing website. Be sure to check out our affiliate school which provides you tons more additional information for free and will be more than enough to get you started!


13.06.2014

5 Common Mistakes Made By Affiliate Marketers

Following on from last weekís article regarding words and phrases that should be avoided in your marketing campaigns, lets now take a look at some common mistakes affiliate marketers make that can result in failure of campaigns and low conversion rates.

1. Advertisement Overload
This is a common mistake made by newbie affiliate marketers. They make a website with little content and just ram it full of affiliate links and banners. This is not an enjoyable experience for traffic landing on your page.

Try to build a resourceful website that people will use and return to and donít be afraid to give negative reviews regarding offers and companies you think should be avoided. Once you have proven that you actually care about which companies are good and bad your opinion will be trusted and you will be acknowledged as an expert in your chosen field. This means your audience will happily sign up to your recommended offers which will result in loads of lovely commissions!

2. Donít Do The Legwork

Donít just be attracted to the biggest companies with the most aggressive affiliate managers. Have a look for reviews of affiliate programs and see if they have been suspected of carrying out fraudulent activities such as skimming affiliate commissions or poor customer service. Generally a leopard doesnít change its spots. Commission theft is unfortunately a common activity in the affiliate marketing world and in the Casino and Forex industries many affiliates have long suspected affiliate programs of de-tagging and other nefarious activities.

The truth is there are more honest programs than dishonest but you can lessen your risk with an hoursí worth of research. Spend some time looking for reviews from other affiliates or trusted portals such as www.internet-affiliate.com. Alternatively join an affiliate network like Advertising365.com where all brands are vetted before being let in.

3. They Donít Educate Themselves

The beautiful thing about the internet is that there is tons of free information out there can help you started in almost any field or industry. Affiliate marketing is no different and there is enough information on internet-affiliate.com to turn a novice into an expert in a relatively short space of time. Put yourself through our affiliate school here: http://internet-affiliate.com/school/ no student loans required!

4. They Believe The Hype, Not The Numbers

Affiliate managers will tell you what you want to hear to get you promoting their product. They will pluck mindless figures out the air regarding commissions and conversion rates. Itís important to use your own common sense to assess whatís possible. I personally prefer a realistic approach to predictions and targets, affiliate managers spouting nonsense is a big turn off for me.

There are no short cuts to making money in affiliate marketing and you need to put the hours in building a resourceful website. Lots of new affiliate marketers have unrealistic expectations, they think they can quickly build a shoddy website and just throw up a load of affiliate banners job done, and then they lose interest when they donít see the commissions rolling in after the first week. The truth is it takes a while to get going but when it does the results can more than compensate for time spend.

5. Slow Off The Mark

Have you spotted another affiliate with a great idea? Have you noticed that your traffic has slowed down? Affiliate marketing is a fast moving business and you have to be quick to adjust to the ever changing landscape. Maybe your brands are saturated and you need to consider adding more, maybe google did an update resulting in lower rankings, whatever the issue is you need to quickly come up with a solution to move forward with. If you donít others will and your traffic and commissions will be quickly snatched from you.

Always remember to respect your audience by providing quality content and always research the affiliate programs and products before you promote them. Itís always great getting feedback from my audience so please sign up to our forums and ask any questions you may have in regards to affiliate marketing!

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