10 Concerns Affiliates Pose To Your Business

Affiliate marketing can be particularly risky in terms of liability exposure.

By Philip A. Nicolosi, J.D.

Affiliate marketing can be particularly risky in terms of liability exposure. There are a number of concerns, ranging from liability for affiliate spam under the CAN-SPAM Act, violations of disclosure responsibilities under the FTC Act and even affiliate trademark infringement. In fact, this list is quite expansive.

However, it is possible for businesses to manage this risk by taking simple steps and by always using a comprehensive affiliate marketing agreement. The legal issues surrounding affiliate marketing can and should be addressed through the use of a comprehensive affiliate agreement. Of course, I recommend that every business consult its Internet attorney to draft this since the laws are constantly changing and the nature of affiliates may present some unique issues. But, the following discussion is a basic laundry list of some of the issues that any business using affiliates should specifically address.

1. Affiliate CAN-SPAM Act & Anti-Spam laws Compliance

The penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM act are stiff and businesses will want to comply with the Act. This means your business should absolutely address email marketing in its affiliate agreement and, specifically, the CAN-SPAM Act. Your business can get into trouble for affiliate emails under the CAN-SPAM Act if your business is actually considered to be the original “sender”. The easiest way to limit liability is to completely restrict any affiliates from sending commercial emails. But, since this is not really practical, businesses should be certain to include a detailed clause in the affiliate agreement forcing the affiliate to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and applicable state laws related to deception and fraud at all times.

TIP! A list of all the CAN-SPAM requirements along with other state law requirements should be included in an affiliate Anti-Spam Policy. Businesses should provide the policy to each of its affiliates and require them to comply with it by incorporating the policy in the affiliate agreement.

2. Failure to Disclose Material Connections

Also, affiliates can get your business in trouble for not disclosing their affiliate status and the fact they are being paid to promote or endorse products or services. Affiliates must do so in conjunction with any endorsements or positive reviews they make, including in any emails they send. Both your business and the affiliate can be liable since the affiliate will be considered as a “sponsored endorser” and a material connection with your business, which must be disclosed.

An affiliate who receives any type of compensation or consideration and provides a review or endorsement of any of your business’s products or services will be considered to have a “material connection” to your business. All material connections must be disclosed by the affiliate. It should absolutely be stated in writing that affiliates must disclose the fact they are receiving some form of compensation whenever someone clicks on the affiliate link to purchase one of your business’s products or services.

TIP! Businesses should always include an indemnification provision in the affiliate agreement. This type of provision will require the affiliate to reimburse and more or less be responsible for all costs your business incurs for their actions. They could even be required to defend the business in such case. Of course, this isn’t something your business can really fall back on if it incurs liability since it will be liable. But, at least a contractual right will be created causing the affiliate to have to cover any damages your business incurs as a result of their actions. This is far better than not having such a provision at all.

3. Restrict the Use of Adware

Business’s should also restrict affiliates from using any type of adware in the affiliate agreement. Adware usually supplies a user’s computer with advertisements, or monitors the user’s internet shopping and consumer activities. It is a privacy violation to download these types of applications on a user’s computer without permission. If one of your business’s affiliates uses unauthorized adware, the fines and penalties will be extremely stiff. Affiliate marketing agreements should include a provision stating that the affiliate will not install or use any type of application or program that delivers ads to a user’s computer or monitor’s a user’s activities. The customer can only agree to such an installation on his or her computer after a conspicuous and clear explanation of the application’s purpose is provided first.

4. Keyword advertising Concerns

Keyword advertising is essentially bidding upon certain targeted buyer related “keywords” to use in an affiliate’s Google AdSense or other pay-per-click search engine campaigns. However, for affiliate marketing purposes, an affiliate marketing agreement should state that affiliates are liable for all claims of infringement, including trademark and copyright violations, arising from the content they use to market your business’s products or services. The content to be specifically worried about here is keywords they use that actually infringe upon some third-party intellectual property rights-specifically trademark rights.

TIP! Affiliates should be required to carry errors and omissions insurance where practical. Without this type of insurance, your business is taking a risk that any of its affiliates will have sufficient assets that you will able to liquidate to satisfy any judgment you should obtain against them. More often than not, they won’t have very many assets and you’ll be stuck without any real recourse. An affiliate marketing agreement should still cover this type of risk though, at a minimum.

5. Click Fraud

Click fraud is a great concern in dealings with affiliates. Click fraud basically occurs when affiliates cause clicks to occur to the link being promoted, other than by genuine search engine generated traffic.

Some basic activities that are generally considered to constitute click fraud and that should be avoided are as follows:

  • Using only “click programs” that generate clicks to an affiliate link with insufficient or no site traffic that could possibly indicate that the affiliate website could produce the clicks reported;
  • Providing fraudulent leads;
  • Using fake redirects, automated software, and/or fraud to generate clicks on an affiliate link;

Typically, you see click fraud where click-through rates are much higher than industry averages and where the website traffic does not justify such high conversion rates. This practice usually come down to whether a breach of the affiliate marketing has agreement occurred. So, if you are a merchant or advertiser, it is very important that the affiliate marketing agreement you use specifies the payment mechanism, prohibits fraud and deception, and details a remedy for a violation.

6. Steal Ware

Any type of software that modifies affiliate tracking codes or replaces affiliate cookies on a user’s computer and that diverts advertising commissions to another is known as “steal ware.” Your business should always describe these activities in detail and restrict them in your affiliate marketing agreement. Of course, be sure to provide a remedy for any violations of this provision in the affiliate agreement.

7. Avoiding Brand Dilution

Businesses should be concerned with affiliates potentially diluting its brand identity. New or growing businesses should be interested in building a brand for its goods or services. Like any other brand, it takes time to build an identity and have it resonate in the minds of customers. Any type of dilution of the brand will undoubtedly slow down this process.

With that in mind, business’s should never allow affiliates to purchase keywords with an existing brand name for any of their marketing (PPC) campaigns. The goal is to have affiliates promote your business brand in previously un-chartered territory. But, if any affiliate obtains a conversion from your business’s brand name in a PPC campaign, they are essentially doing what the business could have done without an affiliate. Businesses want affiliates to drive traffic (and sales) through their own separate efforts. This means affiliates are supposed to create and monetize their own content.

If your business allows its affiliates to bid and use keywords that reflect its brand identity, your business will essentially be paying them for the work previously done by the business. Affiliate marketing agreements should restrict affiliates from bidding on brand names in any of their PPC campaigns. Additionally, affiliates should not be allowed to operate country-specific TLDs that include any business brand names. The customers who find you on country-specific TLDs and domains with typographical errors should be considered customers of the business anyways. Your business shouldn’t pay someone else for the work the business has already performed to brand itself!

TIP! Businesses should always claim business profiles and prohibit affiliates from marketing on all local search engine directories. Some affiliates practice what amounts to “spamming” Yahoo local search directories and Google Maps by embedding their affiliate links in those directories. Any potential customer who finds your business via local search engine directories was a customer of your business from the beginning. This is another form of brand dilution and should be prohibited in an affiliate agreement.

8. Using Sub-affiliates

If your business is going to allow affiliates to subcontract out some work, it is important to require that affiliates identify in writing any and all sub-affiliates. Businesses may be held liable for the sub-affiliate’s conduct, so your business should incorporate a way to identify any sub affiliates in the affiliate agreement. I also recommend that businesses include a provision in the agreement where affiliates indemnify the business and hold it harmless from any liabilities it may incur due to the actions of any sub-affiliates.

9. Unique Content

Affiliates should generate their own content! There are at least two reasons for this: (1) businesses are paying them to expand their brand into new space and enhance brand presence by identifying and expanding into new markets. Businesses don’t pay affiliates to regurgitate pre-packaged material into old markets and attract the same clients; (2) restricting affiliates from copying existing content will help minimize any duplicate content issues. Provide samples for affiliates to view, but insist that the marketers add value to the products or services being promoted by creating their own marketing content.

10. Uniform Quality Control

Another measure I recommend to businesses is to create uniform guidance and provide accurate information about their products. A single, uniform standard setting forth expectations in terms of affiliate’s quality of delivery and presentation and providing a single source of information about your business’s products (or services) will minimize issues. Every business should ensure some means of quality control over the sale and promotion of its products.

This article was written by Philip A. Nicolosi, J.D. Mr. Nicolosi provides legal services through his law firm, Phil Nicolosi Law, P.C., focusing on startup and small business law, Internet & technology law and commercial transactions.

Mr. Nicolosi serves as a trusted advisor to numerous startups and small to medium sized businesses. This includes representation for a wide range of business law matters including business organization, corporate/LLC governance, regulatory law, contracts and transactions and most other matters outside of litigation. Mr. Nicolosi provides guidance with e-commerce, Internet marketing and technology-related legal matters. He also assists startup technology companies with seed financing, venture capital and exit transactions.

Mr. Nicolosi is also the founder of InternetLegalArmor (www.internetlegalarmor.com), an automated custom website legal document solution.

Visit Phil Nicolosi Law now, or contact Mr. Nicolosi directly by sending an email to info@philnicolosilaw.com

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Set Your Marketing Strategy Apart From The Rest in 2013

One of the most fundamental ways a business can try and help come out on top lies with a strong marketing strategy

By Ella Mason

What is your marketing strategy?We all made New Years Resolutions at the end of 2012; whether they consisted of vowing to try and be more on time to work, or even vowing to eat less chocolate. And, although we all made them, chances are, a lot of them were based on personal aspects of our lives that we’d like to change for a better 2013.

But what about if you own a business? Because, chances are, there will also be certain things that you’d like to change in your business, in order to help and make this year even more successful than the last. And, now couldn’t be a more crucial time to do so.

It’s fair to say that in a current time of financial hardship, the business world has evermore become a dog-eat-dog world, and more and more businesses are struggling to stay anywhere near the top because of it.

However, one of the most fundamental ways a business can try and help come out on top lies with a strong marketing strategy. After all, the point of any marketing campaign is to draw in customers and entice them into doing business with you over any of your rivals – this becomes particularly key when you’re a small business.  So, if you’re a business owner looking to turn over a new business leaf for 2013, then here are a couple innovative marketing techniques that will help to get your business noticed, and in turn, help you to remain the top dog in your field, for 2013:

Promotional Gifts
We’ve all received one at some point; that free branded pen, that handed USB stick, and not to forget, that free mug you make your first coffee of the day in. But have you ever stopped to think about the purpose behind that free promotional gift you’ve been given? For many businesses, promotional gifts such as these, are extremely effective marketing tools. So, if you’re looking for ways to get your company name or brand out there in a completely individual and different way from your competitors, incorporating these into your marketing strategy may significantly pay off.  Promotional gifts are great for increasing brand awareness – they help to support your company where other mediums can’t reach. Think about it; give someone an item of stationary with your company logo stamped on the side of it, and you can guarantee that your company message will remain a prominent feature of your customer’s desk for months.

By also launching a marketing campaign based around promotional gifts, you you’re may also start to see an overall increase in your sales and profits. Promotional giveaways are a powerful form of ‘added value’. Generally, customers who feel that a company is giving more value for money are more likely to spend more.  And, believe it or not, investing a little time and money into promotional gifting can in fact help your business to save money on your marketing, as they help to promote your company at a much lower cost than traditional advertising techniques. As the British Promotional Merchandise Association has found, ‘promotional merchandise can deliver a higher return on investment. The cost per impression for a mug is £0.001, a mid-range pen £0.001, and a USB stick £0.005. With an average cost per impression of £0.003, these figures compare extremely favourably with the cost per impression of other media such as television, newspapers and radio.

Promotional Videos
Now, I bet you’ve never have thought about incorporating a video into your marketing strategy, have you? Well, other businesses haven’t either, so you’ve instantly got yourself another unique selling point for your company, if you decide to. If you provide a service that your customers can’t physically test out or ‘try on’, promotional videos are great for showing your customers exactly what your business does and how by investing in you would greatly benefit them.

But, I’m just not talking about making a YouTube video, here – because these can often look very unprofessional. Instead, there are many companies who’ll help you to produce a high quality DVD or CD displaying your business in full glory. By having a video made and edited professionally, you’re guaranteed to maintain the professional edge over all of your rivals – and, after all, the more professional your company appears, the more likely customers are to trust you.

Similarly to promotional gifts, videos also help to significantly increase brand recognition by grabbing people’s attentions in ways that other traditional marketing techniques tend to ignore.

About the Author
Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specializes in writing about how businesses can improve their marketing schemes through promotional gifts and videos, available from companies such as Disc Makers

Move Beyond the Parked Web Page

With the way the world is changing, it is important to stay on top of the changes in technology. You will want to adapt your web page so that it can be shown on mobile devices. You will also need to stay on top of social media trends. Using photos will also help you to attract new customers in the future.

By Sarah Rexman

The Internet is an important part of any business’s marketing plan. Most businesses have at least put up a webpage for their business on the Internet. This basic website usually offers contact information, business hours and a list of services offered. This is the most basic way to handle your Internet marketing. It is important to change your marketing plan so that it includes all other aspects of Internet marketing.

Social Media Marketing
Social media allows you to reach your customers even when they are not necessarily looking for your information online. If you have a Facebook page, any updates you post or deals you offer will show up on followers or fans of your business page. This is a great way to reach out to your customers when you are offering a promotion or trying to drum up additional business. You can hand out pamphlets or links in your email newsletters to gain followers. Twitter will work in the same way. You can offer promotions, sales or other information through Twitter. Some restaurants post the daily specials through Twitter or on Facebook, so customers can stop by and get their favorite items. Social media also lets your customers advertise for you through their networks as they share posts or tweets with their friends.

Using Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are a great, inexpensive way to offer sales information to your customers. This works for nearly any type of business, and is often less expensive than the traditional newsletter. You can collect email addresses when customer’s check out at the register or when they sign up for a service or product. If you have a difficult time composing the newsletters your self you can hire a freelancer to complete the job for you. When you send out newsletters you want to be consistent in the frequency and the time you send them out. It really depends on the type of product or service you offer. Usually a weekly newsletter is sufficient but if you sell a product your clients need just once a year, you should choose a monthly or quarterly option instead.

Making More of Your Website
You can use your website in a variety of ways, rather than just providing the basic information for your clients. One way to do this is to add a blog to your website. If it is updated regularly, your clients are more likely to come back and check your site more often. You can also provide a place for your clients to purchase products online or to place specific orders for items you custom make. This allows your website to become another portal for your customers to access and use your business. This may be a switch if you primarily work out of a storefront, but as you watch your sales increase, you will find the extra time and effort is worth it.

Embracing Technology
With the way the world is changing, it is important to stay on top of the changes in technology. You will want to adapt your web page so that it can be shown on mobile devices. You will also need to stay on top of social media trends. Using photos will also help you to attract new customers in the future.

About the author:
Sarah Rexman is the main researcher and writer for BedBugs.org. Her most recent accomplishment includes graduating from Florida State, with a master’s degree in environmental science. Her main focus for the site is determining what causes bed bugs and displays a nice assortment of bed bug photos.

Six costly affiliate marketing mistakes

It’s always one of those “I can’t believe its true” moments for new affiliates once they discover the world of affiliate marketing. When they realise you don’t have to worry about product development or shipping they immediately jump on board, forgetting to perform such things as due diligence on the company they are joining. Then soon afterwards they expect to start making money within weeks of starting, but reality always strikes home soon after. They are yet to be millionaires..! Here are some mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Lack Of Patience
It took years for MacDonald’s to be a successful; it took years for Microsoft and other big companies to take off to success. Treating your affiliate business as a real business is important. Super affiliates that earn $20,000 a month took years to get to that point. Research a program before signing up. Commit to stick it out. If they offer guides and training take advantage of it. Update and maintain your site with fresh contents. Don’t jump ship when the going gets tough.

2. Too Many Programmes
Avoid the temptation to subscribe to too many programmes. When the going gets tough, its easy to think the grass is greener the other side. The problem about subscribing to too many programmes at the same time is that you’ll fail to give them the attention and focus they deserve to make you money. I recommend two or three programmes at the same time to enable you turn your hard work into cash.

3. Wrong Choice Of Programme
When it comes to choosing affiliate programmes, choose the ones that have a generous commission structure, and that pay their affiliates easily and on time. Have affiliate products that fit in with your target audience. Choosing programmes that offers products that might not interest people means no commission or money for you. If you join a programme that offers products that are “hot” you will be competing with thousands of others who are promoting the same product. Choose a niche you KNOW information about! Check the profitability of that niche.

4. Generalized Marketing
Focus on Niche Marketing: Focus on a tiny niche, the tinier and narrower that niche is, the better. Try improving on a single key aspect of your business at a time. Putting your efforts in one of two ways will help you achieve your affiliate programme goals. Try getting people to join your list. Then keep in touch with them by sending out valuable info.

5. Organic Traffic Only
Another mistake most affiliates makes is the idea of generating only organic traffic. True it is possible, but only after time. If you are a “proper business” you will advertise, promote – sell…!

6. Link Exposure
Hiding your affiliate link on your website is crucial nowadays. Most affiliate marketers still make the mistake of making there links visible. The truth is that internet users have become more sophisticated and the honest truth is that most web users won’t click on an affiliate link or anything that looks like it. You’ve got to learn how to hide your affiliate links to ensure click through’s. Also, stories of people’s affiliate links being changed to divert traffic has happened and is still happening.

There are many big mistakes made by affiliates that can be easily avoided, but these are just a few of them. However making mistakes in business are inevitable and important. I recommend failing and making mistakes fast and early in your business than learning from them. This would move you forward towards success.

Key Insights and Trends in Affiliate Marketing

Global digital marketing company bigmouthmedia has announced the results of its annual affiliate marketing survey. Titled ‘Exploring Online Affiliate Marketing Trends’, the survey of UK based affiliates took in the views and opinions of a number of affiliate marketers to reveal insights on how this market is performing and indicates key technology and operational trends on where it is going.

In particular the survey analyses and identifies key insights in to the relationships between affiliate marketers and agencies, the impact of Google (as an affiliate) and Google’s Panda algorithm, how affiliate networks have fared over the past 12 months, threats and opportunities and trends in taking a multi-sector approach with an ever increasing digital toolkit – especially social media.

Fiona Robertson, head of performance marketing at bigmouthmedia said: “The affiliate market in many ways is the bedrock of e-commerce. Our survey is an important tool for listening to the space and making it aware of the trends and opportunities.

Fiona, who is speaking at this year’s A4U Expo in London [http://www.a4uexpo.com/london/speaker/fiona-robertson ], added: “What is really interesting is how affiliates have continued to adapt over the last year to embrace new areas such as mobile and location based opportunity and ever growing techniques such as social media. The overall picture is a vibrant UK affiliate industry which continues to innovate and grow.”

Key insights include:

  • Google: 71.5% of respondents believe that Google has designs on becoming the largest affiliate compared to 56% in 2010. 31.4% of respondents have seen Google Panda as having an impact on their business.
  • Affiliate networks: Digital Window remains the most popular network, followed by Tradedoubler and Commission Junction, with 57.97% of survey respondents picking it as their first choice in 2011.
  • Commission attribution: 50.8% believe that modelling threatens the affiliate industry. This figure is up from 34% in 2010 showing a significant increase and evidence of genuine concern within the affiliate community.
  • Channels: 32.6% of respondents see opportunities in mobile marketing. Video advertising is still seen as an opportunity by 13.3% of respondents (down from 15.2% in 2010). The biggest growth is in location-based marketing which has leapt up 12.4% to 40.7% since 2010.
  • The digital mix: SEO and content marketing remain the most popular at 63.2% but social media has leapt from zero in 2010 to 27.2% in 2011. Moreover, affiliates are increasingly adopting a blended approach with 40% opting for combining two or three different methods to reach their audiences and 28% using four or more.

Andrew Girdwood, Media Innovations Director at bigmouthmedia said; “Marketers can learn a lot from affiliates. They’re often quicker to test and learn than large brands or clumsy ‘build first, think about the media later’ agencies. This report reveals a whole bunch of interesting insights from those digital natives who feast or fast based on their marketing successes.”

Interested parties can download the full executive summary and results here: http://www.bigmouthmedia.com/downloads/files/LBi_bigmouthmedia_AffiliateSurveyReport2011.pdf [PDF].

The Joys Of Passive Income

By Jon Rhodes

For years when I worked in employment I instinctively knew that something was not right. I am not by any means a lazy person. I have regularly gone to the gym several times a week for years. I used to spend hours every day practicing the guitar, and I got good grades in my law degree. I even learned to juggle! However I could never quite feel motivated by employment.

Passive Income StrategiesI tried several small business ideas, such as being a musician, and being a clinical hypnotherapist. Now I still love music and hypnotherapy, but I no longer rely on them as a means of earning a living. Well scrap part of that – I do earn considerable money from providing hypnotherapy online, but more of that later.

The problem with being a clinical hypnotherapist and a musician is that they still follow the basic rules of employment – you only get paid when you work. (This of course is not the case if you’re successful enough to sell masses of records). That means that the instant you don’t work, you get nothing.

This concept, I realised after several years, is what made me feel subconsciously uneasy with employment. With employment you are not really building anything to secure your future. Sure you can work hard, for someone else’s profits, and receive pay rises and promotions. However these pay rises and promotions are far from guaranteed, and can be used as carrots for your obedience. I hear far too many stories of someone giving decades of their life in good service, only to be left on the scrap heap and leave with virtually nothing. These people have helped a business to thrive, and are left with nothing at the end of it all.

With passive income businesses such as Internet marketing, things are greatly different. You can build your empire of websites, becoming stronger and stronger over time. If you want time off for a month, it should not greatly effect your earnings.

I have deliberately built my online business network around the principals of passive income. With the online hypnotherapy ( which you can see at http://www.HypnoBusters.com), I resisted lots of advice to do ‘live’ sessions over Skype. Although I would probably have earned a lot more cash very quickly, this was not the point – at least not in my eyes.

I didn’t want to be tied down to endless appointments at all hours of the day. What I wanted to do was record a session once, and sell it many times. This had the advantages of only taking my time once, plus I could offer it far cheaper since it is such a time efficient method of therapy. Once I had made the session, my time was then free to do other things. I can make more sessions, start new projects, or even chill out for a while and think of new creative ideas.

With this basic model in mind, I feel I can only ever get stronger online. With never being tied time wise to anything, my time and energy are free to keep creating. Creating new products, new content, and new projects. If I was busy full time doing live hypnotherapy sessions, then I would probably be more or less treading water.

I feel so confident in the strength of my passive business model that I feel I could take a year off and still be earning the same as I am presently. It is even possible that it would continue to grow, although obviously not as quickly, through word of mouth and the redistribution of my articles on article directories. This gives me ultimate freedom of choice with my career and my life.

If I wish, I could take a year out to go traveling. I could even build some sort of offline business without having to compete my time with my websites. The possibilities are greatly enhanced with this type of business model. Very few people in life enjoy having both time and money. Having one or the other is not enough in my book. If you have loads of time but no money, it is difficult (but not impossible) to keep yourself fully occupied. With loads of money but no time, you simply don’t have the opportunity to enjoy your wealth.

Like I said before, I sometimes turn down opportunities that I feel are too time demanding. I want the freedom to keep creating new things as I know that in the long term this is the best strategy. I am not simply chasing the cash at any cost.

So if you think you would like to enjoy both time and money in the future, then Internet marketing is great for this. However not in all cases. If for example you heavily use PPC campaigns to sell products, then you probably can’t just leave it ticking away. The market could change and you could end up losing money.

That is why I prefer to create high traffic, high quality sites with loads of useful resources. You will create a loyal following, that attract more through word of mouth. You build a stable foundation that can serve you for many years to come. Once you have a decent amount of content, you can please yourself if and when you update it. In my experience people really don’t mind if there are no regular updates as long as there is a good amount of quality content already there.

So think about time efficient ways to make money. I believe the key to building wealth is down to speed. We can all earn 1 dollar, but can we do that a million times? We need to find methods to do this in a time efficient way.

I like to sometimes think about the analogy of building a well. You could build a business where you get a bucket and fetch water for people from the local river. You will make money, but there are only so many trips a day you can make. Your earnings are capped. Plus if you are ill, you don’t earn anything. Once you stop working, you stop earning.

If instead you build a well, you might not initially earn anything while you are building it. However once finished, you can earn easy money by charging people to use the facility. You can charge them a lower price than you did for collecting water in a bucket, but you can make far more profit as you can sell a lot more in a day. This creates a win win situation for both you and your customers.

Also you can pay someone to look after the well for you, whilst you build another in a different area. Each well can eventually be making you money with very little effort. You could eventually have an ’empire’ of hundreds of wells, all making you money. If you begin struggling overlooking the running of all these wells, you can also pay someone to do this as well.

Now go out there and build your well!

Jon Rhodes is a successful Internet marketer from the UK. He shares his amazing secrets of success on his blog Affiliate Help

Plan affiliate marketing strategies that can help you earn money

By Marlon Powell

The online money making options are various and among them all, affiliate marketing is one such option that is quite popular among the people trying to make money online. There are various benefits of making money through affiliate marketing. The best advantage is that you are not even required to sell any items online. So, if you think that you need to earn some extra money and if you are Internet or computer savvy, you can start off with affiliate marketing. So, you can make money affiliate marketing if you follow some good strategies.

Making more money with affiliate programs

If you want to make more money with affiliate marketing, you will have to be careful and strategic about the ways in which you are going to involve in affiliate marketing programs:

  1. Find affiliate programs relative to your website – try to find the affiliate programs with the merchants who sells the products or offers services that are in some way related to the content of your website. This will improve traffic to your website. Only if you are able to improve traffic to your website, you will be able to earn better revenue.
  2. Determine where you will incorporate links – in affiliate marketing, you are required to incorporate links and ads or banners inside your web pages. So, before you incorporate the links, decide on the places or articles where you will like to add the links and the banners.
  3. Promote your website – you can promote your website to earn more. If you promote your website, you will be able to increase the number of visitors to your website. This in a way increases the probability of increasing the leads for the merchant. The best way to promote your website is through the social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  4. Write reviews of your posts and the merchant products – include a review of your posts in your website and in some other websites too. This will help the visitors to get a comprehensive idea about the contents of your website. Thus, number of visitors may increase and thus leads will increase too. This will improve your revenue earning option.
  5. Choose a program that pays well – there are various kinds of affiliate marketing programs like the pay per click, pay per sale, pay per lead affiliate programs. So, you will have to choose the one that pays well. For example, pay per lead is considered to be the best affiliate marketing options to make money.

In addition to the above, you will also have to remember and try out other such simple things that can help you to make money affiliate marketing programs.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Promote A Product

By Jun Yuan Lim

The income opportunities that you have (as an affiliate marketer) is huge. There are tens of thousands of products and services that you can promote as an affiliate marketer.

Best of all, most of these merchants allow you to promote their products without prior approval – All you need is to sign up to become their affiliate, and immediately you will be given a unique affiliate link (so as to help them identify which affiliate has referred the sale so commissions could be paid out accordingly) and you are ready to go!

While there are many products and services that are genuine, there are also many that are not.

As an affiliate marketer, your name is on the line when you promote products and services. Promote genuine products that work, and you will gain a good reputation from the community, and be able to generate more income (as people are more receptive to your product recommendations and get them). On the flip side, if you promote a bad product, people will lose confidence in your recommendations and this will definitely affect your affiliate income.

In this article, I am going to share with you traits in which, if you see them in the products, you should not promote (as there is a strong likelihood that they are scams).

1. Sounds Too Good To Be True?

As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is probably not true“.

Prior to promoting a particular product, I would read through the entire product sales letter (or look through all the pages available in the merchant’s site), and ask myself if the claims made are too good to be true.

If they are, then I will not promote it and look for others.

2. Promises To Make You A Million Dollars Richer Overnight

There is absolutely no way you can make a million dollars overnight. Despite knowing this fact, many people still fell for this trick and ended up being scammed.

Especially when I am promoting products in the business and marketing niches, if I see products with claims that promises people they will be a million dollars richer in the next 24 hours or less after investing in the product, I will not promote it – Simply because of the fact that it is definitely not possible to make such huge amount of money overnight!

3. Anonymous Product Owner

If the product is genuine, I don’t see why the product owner would want to remain as an anonymous (and just calling himself Mr. X, or just X).

Therefore, I would also avoid promoting products and services where the product owner’s name is not known.

4. No Contact Details Available

Before I commit myself to promote a particular product or service, I will find out whether or not there are any contact details available (such as an email address) for people to get in touch with the product creator if they have any questions.

Also, prior to promoting the product, I will also send an email to the product owner to find out more about the product. I’m doing this to not only find out more information about it (so as to allow me to be able to promote the product better), but also to find out how prompt is the support provided by the product owner.

As a general guideline, avoid products that have no contact details available, or product in which, the product owner does not respond to email messages.

5. Too Many Negative Reviews

One thing you will want to do, prior to promoting a particular product or service, is to find out what others are saying about it.

You can search for the term “[product name] review”, where you replace [product name] with the name of the product in the search engines.

If the number of negative reviews far outweigh the number of positive ones, I will not promote the product.

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Finding An Affiliate Item To Promote On Your Site

By Richard Eng Lim

Provided that you already have a website which caters to a particular niche, the next you have to think about is how to find an affiliate item that which you can promote on this website. An affiliate item is any product or service which you can display on your site or blog that visitors can see. With the affiliate link provided on your website, people may purchase or make transactions thus earning you a commission. But how does an Internet Marketer find an affiliate item?

Pay per Sale Affiliate Products

When looking for an affiliate item, you don’t have to look very far. Various products which you personally use or patronize may have affiliate programs. If you have a website, undoubtedly you are using web hosting; web hosting companies have affiliate programs. If you are satisfied with the services of your web hosting company, share it with others by promoting it and earn a few bucks. If you are using an Autoresponder, Aweber has an affiliate program, so as GetResponse. The software program that you use may also have affiliate programs, same goes to any membership sites which you belong to. If you are getting benefits from any websites, other people may also be interested to be just like you so why not promote it? At least, your commissions from this affiliate programs may cover your hosting, membership, or software expenses.

1. Go and talk to the Manufacturer – If you’re using a certain product, tendency is that the manufacturer of that product has an affiliate program. Take for instance a USB Flash Drive called Kooky Drive, if you Google it using the keywords “Kooky Drive Affiliate Program” you will be routed to their site where you can sign up and be one of their affiliates. Do this with other products you are interested, just type the products’ name and follow it with the word “Affiliate”.

2. Your Favorite Website might be the answer – If you frequently use a particular website or even purchase something from that website, check if they have an affiliate program.

3. Amazon Affiliate Program – One of the most popular affiliate programs for Internet Marketers is Amazon. Their affiliate program is very easy to join, and since they rarely turn down applications you can expect that after 2 or 3 days, Amazon is already an affiliate item on your website. They employ banners, widgets, buttons and you can even showcase Amazon videos or an Amazon store on your website.

4. eBay Partner Network – Yes, you can feature eBay auction items on your site and be paid for every sale. Only eBay has stricter requirements compared to Amazon and you can be turned down on your first application. What you can do is try again later on a different site and make tons of money with an eBay affiliate item.

5. ClickBank – ClickBank has a wide variety of products to choose from and this is the affiliate program that Internet Marketers start with. All you have to do is register and set up an account and you’re already an affiliate. No need to wait for authorization or approval, just sign up and that’s it! Their commissions range from 50% to 75% and their products include downloadable eBooks.

Mentioned above are the most popular choices for Pay per Sale Affiliate Programs available today. These sites offer good commission structure for their affiliates which can range from a few cents to a hundred bucks over a period of time. The only thing is that, before you can get these commissions, the visitor has to make an actual purchase after they clicked the affiliate link seen in your website. After clicking it, they will be routed to a sales page that will do the job in selling them the product. Your only participation is the link in your site that the visitors have seen.

BY: RICHARD LIM

Richard Lim is a specialist in online marketing and affiliate marketing.

He loves to share his knowledge and you can visit his site at http://www.houston-seo-guru.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Eng_Lim
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7 Simple Affiliate Marketing Tips For the New Internet Marketer

By Jai Grishin

Affiliate marketing is a great way to stat making money online. By being able to promote other people and companies products with free traffic, it is possible to get started with very little outlay and start making money straight away. Most affiliate marketing programs are easy enough to join, have good products to promote and pay out their commission on a regular basis. Because of this, there are more people getting involved in this business.

As with all businesses, affiliate marketing has it’s fair share of “hard knocks” and lessons that need to be learnt to be successful.

The following are 7 affiliate marketing tips that you can use to be more effective:

1. Learn what the best programs and products are to promote – Of course you want to be involved with a program that you give you the biggest profits in the shortest period of time

2. Choose the right affiliate program – that is the right program for you. So many people get started with a product they think is hot, rather than what you are interested in, only to find that there is a lot of competition and no sales. In the end if you are doing something yo don’t enjoy and are not making any money, you will quit.

3. The money is in the list – You may have heard this saying already. If not, it is a good idea to start collecting email addresses of your visitors to your website as soon as possible. Most people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation.

4. Get traffic that is targeted to the product you are offering – You want people that are interested in what you have to offer. Writing article for directories, visiting blogs and getting involved will all help drive targeted traffic to your offer.

5. Use a different web page for each product you promote – do not put all your offers together on one page. Each website should have it’s own look that matches the product and niche you are targeting.

6. Ask for a higher than normal commission from the publisher – If you are having success in a promotion try and ask the merchant to negotiate a higher percentage of commission for your sales. This only works once you start getting consistent success.

7. Put similar offers on the same site and test them out – Split testing is a good way to find out what is, and what isn’t working.

There are a lot of things to learn in your new affiliate career and this is just a small sample of things that you will need to learn. Take your time and do good research before plunging into any old affiliate program. The care you take now will pay off in a large way for you later on.

Jai Grishin’s website, http://makemoneyonlinewithaffiliateprogram.net, shows you how to make money online. Information, and valuable resources are available at: => http://makemoneyonlinewithaffiliateprogram.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jai_Grishin
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Problems For Affiliate Marketing Beginners and How to Solve Them

Author: John Bergman

Succeeding in the affiliate marketing arena is not difficult if you follow a few simple rules and make up your mind to work hard to succeed. You need to start by understanding that there are no get rich quick schemes out there that really work. Okay, maybe there is one, but the chances of you finding it are pretty slim. The road to success is paved with hard work in the beginning and affiliate marketing is no different.

The biggest problem for most beginners is they get into affiliate marketing without a clue of how to succeed. They may pick a product, put up a website, write an article and wait for the sales to start rolling in. The bad news is, it doesn’t work that way. Here are some steps to follow for successful affiliate marketing:

* Find a starving market – In other words, find out what people are looking for and are ready to buy. One way to do this is to go to the Clickbank Marketplace and look for products that have a gravity or 20 or above. The gravity is a measurement of how well a product is selling. If you find a product that is selling well, it’s just the beginning.

* Investigate the product for affiliate marketing help. In other words, what sales tools do they have to help you. Do they supply good sales support with banner adds, etc.? What keywords are they using and what do they suggest you use?

* Go to Google and research the keywords for traffic volume. You want to make sure there is enough traffic searching for the keywords to warrant getting involved. There should be at least 3,000 searched a month to make it worthwhile.

* If everything is okay up to this point, type the keyword into the Google search tool and see how many competing pages there are. If there are more than 500,000 you might want to keep looking. There’s no point in trying to compete in a market that has millions of competing pages. Just move on, there are products that you can find that fit your criteria for affiliate marketing.

* Next you may need to set up a website or blog. This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There is plenty of help out there. Start by picking a domain name with Go Daddy or some other service. If possible, pick a domain name that includes your keyword. Your domain name is your URL and what the search engines will see.
* You can use a free program like Kompozer or WordPress to set up a website. Kompozer is for a website and WordPress is a blog. Both will work well for your purpose and both are user friendly and have good tutorials.

* Once you have everything set up you need to start driving traffic to your website or blog. This where the rubber meets the road and where affiliate marketing either succeeds or fails. Without traffic, you’re just one of millions of other website owners who are hoping for the best.

In part two we’ll discuss the various ways to get traffic to your website. There are many options in both free and paid traffic so look for part two to learn more about how to succeed with your affiliate marketing program.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/affiliate-programs-articles/problems-for-affiliate-marketing-beginners-and-how-to-solve-them-part-one-3154981.html

About the Author

John Bergman works with affiliate marketers who want to put their affiliate programs on steroids. Is your affiliate program on life support? Are you making the amount of money you hoped for? Want to learn more by getting a Free eCourse with step by step instructions on how to succeed? Click here now =>http://tiny.cc/e62nd

3 Vital Tools For The Highly Successful Affiliate Marketer

By Penny Preston

Exactly what does it take to become a prosperous Affiliate Marketer? Exactly what are the elements of an affiliate marketing success story? Is there a quick way to Affiliate marketing glory? These questions play around in the minds of affiliate marketers who want to make it big in this business.

Even though affiliate marketing is touted as one of the easiest and best ways to earn money online, it isn’t as simple as it seems. The wise affiliate marketer plans each and every activity and completes it the best way he can. He must also take advantage of the potential to earn by making use of the correct tools essential for a prosperous Affiliate marketing business. We have consulted a number of of the most successful affiliate marketers in the business and here are the top 3 necessary tools for a profitable Internet affiliate marketing business.

Important Tool #1: Your Own Website

The most important and essential tool in Affiliate Marketing is your own website. Step one in any successful Internet marketing business is developing a good, credible and professional website. Your Internet site is the jump off point of all your marketing efforts. Hence, you will need to first develop a user-friendly website, that will appeal to your prospects and encourage them to click on the links to the goods and service you’re offering and make a purchase. So, you need to first focus your time and effort in developing a web site that will appeal to what your prospective customers want.

A vey important thing you should think about is that the majority of people use the Internet to find information, not always to go and purchase something. Above all else, make your website brimming with original, relevant and useful content. People will enjoy articles that are appealing and helpful. Remember that, in the Internet, content is still king and good quality content does not just develop your trustworthiness, it can also help you get a higher search engine ranking. By posting relevant and helpful articles, you establish yourself as a credible expert in the area, making you a more respected endorser of the services or products you market. Establishing a good reputation is a good step in accumulating a loyal consumer base.

Important Tool #2: Incentives

Competition is extremely tight in the Internet world. You must always be one-step ahead of your competitors to make certain you catch a substantial share of your target market. Subsequently, you need to utilize every possible means to encourage people not only to visit your website but also to click and go to the sites of the products you are promoting. Developing an opt-in e-mail list is one of the best ways to gather potential clients. Offer a newsletter or an e-zine. Also, give incentives to your prospective customers to motivate them to sign up for your newsletters. You can present free software programs, use of exclusive services and other freebies that will be helpful to your potential customers.

Important Tool #3: Link Popularity

The value of driving highly targeted traffic to your website can’t be emphasized enough. The all-important web traffic is at the top of the list of the most critical entities in the Internet world. Attracting people to your site ought to be the first step you should do. Do everything to achieve a high search engine ranking. Link Popularity is one of the components that search engines use to determine search engine rankings. As a result, to boost your link popularity, you need to launch an aggressive reciprocal link campaign.

One of the most effective ways to do this – at no cost at all – is simply by posting articles, with your site’s link at the authors bio box, to e-zines and free article directories. You will not only obtain exposure, you’ll get the chance to advertise for free, simply add a link back to your website. The more sites you publish your articles to, the better your link popularity will be. Make your articles original, pertinent and useful so more websites will pick it up and post it.

These are only three of the numerous tools that an Internet marketer may use to maximize earning potential. The options are endless and are limited only by your imagination, creativity, resourcefulness and resolve. You can always discover other ideas and adapt other techniques, which you feel may help you develop into a high rolling Internet marketer.

For the most foolproof path to great affiliate earnings, visit AffiloBlueprint.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/affiliate-programs-articles/3-vital-tools-for-the-highly-successful-affiliate-marketer-3096408.html

About the Author

The PLR Connection is a free resource to help website owners find great private label rights content for their sites and reviews of the best PLR and Internet marketing products.

Tips For Managing Your Affiliate Marketing Business

By Zack Lim

Many people started their own affiliate marketing business because they want to earn extra money. Those who are serious in this business will be able to make a fulltime income online if they know how to manage their business properly. Here are the 3 tips you will want to know to properly manage your business.

Tip 1 – Follow A Proven System To Operate The Business

Before you even take action to start your business, you will want to make sure that you are following a system that is proven to work. If you observed the habits of most of the successful affiliate marketers, you will realize that they do follow a system to operate the business. Since there is a system that is proven to work for many people already, it will be a smarter decision for you to simply follow the system. You will simply be just wasting your time by reinventing the wheels.

Tip 2 – Have Your Own Marketing Plan

The amount of money that you will be able to earn is directly proportional to the amount of targeted traffic that you can drive to your website. There are many different traffic generation methods which require different time and investment of money. You will want to start asking yourself the amount of time and money that you will be able to invest into your marketing campaign. Once you understand your limits, you will be able to choose several methods that suit you. You will want to input these methods to your own marketing plan so that you will know clearly the things that you need to do on a daily basis.

Tip 3 – Focus On Building Your List

If you have been doing the affiliate marketing for some time, you should have heard many people mentioning that the money is in the list. When you have your own list of subscribers, you will be able to communicate with them to build good relationship with them and promote more relevant products to them. One of the most important things you need to know is that people will only purchase product from someone who they can trust. You will want to focus your time on giving values as this will ensure that they will be more willing to find out the products that you are promoting.

Here are just 3 of the many tips that you can use to manage your affiliate marketing business. Do follow a proven system and take action on it as this is the only way to get real profits.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/affiliate-programs-articles/tips-for-managing-your-affiliate-marketing-business-2937478.html

About the Author

And now I would like to invite you to claim your FREE Instant Access to my affiliate marketing 7-Day mini course when you visit http://www.MyAffiliateMarketingOnline.com

From Zack Lim and http://www.MyAffiliateMarketingOnline.com

How To Learn Affiliate Marketing If Your New To Internet Marketing

Sales & Marketing business signpost

By Sam Bakker

If you want to learn affiliate marketing there are some important things that you need to know. In this article I am going to describe what I see as the biggest stumbling block for new Internet marketers who want to learn affiliate marketing.

I can recall when I first started to learn affiliate marketing, I was new to the online world but I knew its potential after a friend had gone from earning practically nothing to 300 thousand dollars within just a few months. I was determined to make this Internet business work for me; the problem was I simply did not know where to start affiliate marketing. I had no website, no contacts and no one to tell me what to do next. As a result I began to research deep into many niches and spent a lot of my time thoroughly researching until I found a market with little competition that I could dominate. As a result of using this method I wasted months of my young Internet marketing career.

What many Internet marketing trainers don’t tell you is that in order to learn affiliate marketing you first of all need to learn how to build a list. A list is a group of contacts who have expressed an interest via an online form that they want to receive information from you on an ongoing basis. The benefit of a list is that once you build it, it’s always going to be there to profit from. Treat your list in the right way and nurture a relationship with the members of that list and you can make a lot of money on an ongoing basis.

The money really is in the list if you learn and implement the right process. I never realized it before but a list is a real necessity when it comes to making money selling affiliate marketing products. Without a list it is a long and hard path to success online.

So when you first start to learn affiliate marketing you should be drawing your attention to first of all building your list and finding key methods or traffic sources to further build your list. List building is something that completely passed me by when I first started to learn affiliate marketing, now that you know about the influence a list can have you’ll have a head start on others beginning online and you’ll avoid all the headaches that hit me when I first started to learn affiliate marketing.

If you would like to learn about Affiliate Marketing you can do so by signing up for free at Sam Bakker’s new Internet Business website ModernCogs.com. Once you sign up you’ll get his weekly affiliate newsletter as well as a guide to creating your own website and getting it online within minutes.