You do need leads, preferably warm or hot leads, and a lot of them.
(btw: warm leads are people who know that they need something, they just don't know what exactly; hot leads know that they need something and they also know that the product you have to offer will solve their problem...)
But the goal is to turn those leads into satisfied buyers and before that can happen, you also need a great product, a way to attract those leads and somewhere that you can direct those leads to!
If you have managed to find that great product, one that you have used yourself and that you believe offers great value to your warm/hot leads, it will be much easier to introduce them to the product by sharing your experiences.
Particularly if your prospects (another word for lead) are already beginning to trust you. Building a relationship, and demonstrating that you do actually have something real to say about the product (or service) will go a long way towards converting your leads into buyers.
Which let's face it, is exactly what you want to do with your affiliate marketing leads!
But for now, let's assume that you have your product all lined up, your sales page (lead page) is set up and you have tested all of the steps in your sales funnel and it is all ready to go. Now it is time to start attracting all those affiliate marketing leads to your page or pages.
How to Attract Affiliate Marketing Leads
No matter which method you use, attracting good affiliate marketing leads is going to cost you. Either in time or money. The trick is to invest enough to get them to buy, and still earn some income either from that initial transaction or from up-selling, down-selling, or repeat purchases. And as you gain experience you should be able to pin down which methods you use to attract new affiliate marketing leads are the most cost and time effective for your affiliate marketing business.
Organic (Free) Traffic
Free is good right?
Well yes it is. But it is going to take a considerable amount of time and effort to build a site big enough and worthwhile enough for the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo to recommend you to the searchers using their search engines.
Basically the way to generate significant organic traffic is to build a content rich site, one that offers the people who are likely to buy your affiliate products valuable information about a related topic. Using this method/strategy, you become an expert in a topic, and give away your knowledge and expertise to your visitors in order to build a solid reputation with them and with the major search engines.
You also need to work on developing relationships with you visitors so that they keep coming back, sign up for your newsletter and listen when you make a recommendation about the perfect product to fix their problem, bring them joy, make their life easier or what ever it is that your affiliate product is designed to do.
If you want to make serious money with this strategy, it is important to carefully select your area of expertise.
One of my sites, www.knitting-naturally.com generates a serious amount of organic traffic - over 82% of all traffic to that site is organic.
And I am talking 000's of visitors a day back when I was actively working on it, but I will never make serious money with it.
The absence of high value products related to knitting for one, and the dis-inclination of most of my visitors to spend a lot of money on what is essentially a hobby for middle aged and elderly women on low incomes. But then I didn't start that site with a profit motivation.
Knitting is something that I enjoy and I wanted to share my joy with others while I was learning something new - how to build an online business!
If this is the way you want to build your online affiliate marketing business and you have the time available to do it yourself, I recommend that you check out Solo Build It!
(...and yes I am an affiliate, so if you buy I get paid a commission. But I am also a long-time satisfied consumer of their products and services and I wouldn't recommend them unless I truly believed that they offer the best chance for you to succeed!)
Not only can you choose between hosting with SBI! or using wordpress on a hosting account elsewhere, you get step by step instructions on how to build a business (not just a website - there is a difference...) and plenty of support from the company and your fellow users.
But be aware that this kind of business site will take a lot of time to build any kind of traction with the search engines. Unless you are extremely lucky, extremely clever, or are prepared to splash a lot of cash around, you are unlikely to start making serious money for at least 12 months - and for some, it will be much longer.
Word of Mouth (Online...)
Another source of free traffic can come from social media, chat rooms and forums. Whether or not you have a content site, you can create a Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram account or create a YouTube Channel for your affiliate business and start to build a network of people online that may be interested in what you have to offer. You still need to offer your followers with content that they see as valuable, it could be posts or tweets on a particular topic, photographs or memes that you create and share or short videos. (How to videos are easy to make and it seems they are quite popular, regardless of the topic!)
The idea is to use the power of relationships. You find one person who loves what you have to offer and encourage them to tell others in their network. If that one person likes your site it is likely that others in his or her social circle will also be interested, and they are likely to have other people in their social networks that might be interested and so on and so on.
(Birds of a feather and all that...)
If you get lucky a post on your page might even go viral (video is good for that) and all of a sudden you get an influx of visitors to your site or your sales page. Once they are there, they have to see some value in what you have to offer, but if you can demonstrate that, you will start to build a core following.
But this is still traffic (affiliate marketing leads) that is hard to plan for, manage or control. Much of the reach of your marketing efforts (a post about a product that you found particularly helpful for instance) will be determined largely by the platform you are using, not everyone that follows you will see everything you put out there.
Unless of course you are prepared to pay to boost your posts...
Paid Advertising Online
Paid advertising can cost a significant amount of money, and if you are not careful, systematic and logical when you are setting up and monitoring your paid advertising campaigns, you might burn through all of your advertising budget with very little return.
The two platforms I have the most experience with are Facebook Advertising, and Google Adwords. Both can be a little frustrating if you are in a make money online, gambling or health and well-being niche. In my experience, (and from the experiences shared by others in my social circle) weight loss, body image, quit smoking etc. are tricky because both platforms are hyper sensitive when it comes to the possibility that one or more of the words, images or products that you include in your advert is going to offend someone.
I have had my account virtually closed down with Adwords because after several years of paying for advertising with them, Google decided that offering hypnotherapy services to help people quit smoking was offensive or fraudulent.
(It is not, it is a real service that helps real people overcome a real problem, quickly and effectively. But google does not listen and will not change their minds even in the face of compelling evidence. And let's face it, it is their playground so they set the rules...)
Be prepared to experience some frustration. Often the explanations as to why your advert cannot be approved will be extremely vague, and definitely not helpful. They will not tell you whether it is the text or the images that they don't like and they will not tell you what you can do to fix it. You are just left to tweak the advert until they do approve it. Again, in my experience, having this happen to you can lead to frustration, impatience, and errors. You might finally get the advert running, albeit in a different form with a different message to that which you intended, only to find that some small detail was wrong (like a bad link, or incorrect targeting) or it fails to engage your intended audience so you get no new affiliate marketing leads.
And all that money is gone.
There are ways to learn more about how to effectively use these platforms to generate affiliate marketing leads and if you are planning of spending a significant amount of money on paid advertising, I would recommend that you check some of them out. Do a couple of google searches on paid advertising online and watch as the paid adverts for this kind of course suddenly pop up in your facebook news feed or on any content sites that you visit online.
Not all of them cost a lot of money (see below - this free course provides some training on using Facebook Advertising), but often they are providing you valuable content (the training) so that you will invest in their products and services at some point.
Free Affiliate Marketing Course
If you would like more information about how to start up as an affiliate marketer, Clickfunnels offers a free course that runs over 100 days on all things affiliate marketing. Naturally, the main focus is promoting their own product but don't let that stop you from checking out the course.
They are offering the training as a way to help their own current/future affiliates do a better job of promoting their products, but everything they teach you can be applied to any other product, either your own or any other affiliate product. Check it out. It is free and you also get a free 14 day trial of their software to try it out.
Not everyone will want to use Clickfunnels to build their sales pages (I do for several of my sites and yes I am an affiliate...), but I guarantee that everyone will gain huge benefit from participating in the training, particularly if you are new to affiliate marketing.
So what have you got to lose - just give it a go...
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