I’ve recently delved into the world of affiliate marketing. I’ve seen the stuff for years, but never really gotten into it. The idea is simple enough, you get paid a “commission” for selling someone else’s “product.” These products can be anything from ring tones to dating sites to tuna fish. The key to all of this is getting traffic to the offer for less of a cost than what you are being paid – easier said than done.
I’ve studied this for some time now, but am far from educated on it. You could say I’m very low on the affiliate-marketing-street-smarts scale. However, here’s a few of my very simple observations on the methods people use to get the traffic and make the moolah.
The Brute Force Method
Send as many people to your landing page as possible (even if it sucks) and a few are bound to complete the offer and earn you some coin. This is by far the easiest method. You don’t have to have a good offer. You don’t have to have a good sales/landing page. You don’t have to have a good domain. You just have to have traffic.
This problem is, how do you get that traffic? One of the primary ways of generating traffic in affiliate marketing is through PPC advertising. Well, if your offer or your landing page stinks, you’re going to be paying out the you-know-what for junk traffic. Operating at a loss isn’t the most profitable position is it?
The only way this works is if you can drive hoards of traffic without paying for it – usually not an easy task. I read the blogs of many who have run this route. Their final conclusion is usually that affiliate marketing is a scam, no one makes money in it and Santa Clause is a lie.
The Look-At-Me-I’m-a-Fricken-Genious Method
Sending a few interested people to a targeted offer with a well done landing page is a much better way to go. This keeps your costs much lower as you’re not paying for hundreds or thousands of clicks and your conversion rate higher as the people comming to your sales page are actually interested in what you have to offer. Lower advertising costs plus higher conversions equal higher profits.
But, if it were only so easy. This method requires two very important things (and two of the closest guarded secrets of affiliate marketers) – great keywords and a great landing page. Both of which take a lot of research and experimenting to get. That’s more work than most people are willing to put into it and come to many of the same conclusions that the ‘Brute Force’ people come to.
Are you and idiot?
Obviously one of the two methods above isn’t going to win American Idol (or County Star Idol or Canadian Mountie Idol.) The thing is, most people try to succeed in affiliate marketing by using Method A. Sure, they’ll tell you that their keywords are targeted and they’ve spent hours stealing other people’s landing pages. But, their stats say otherwise.
Which category do you fit into? Honestly, most of us are fooling ourselves. We have to look at this stuff objectively. Affiliate marketing is a tough business, but if you’re really willing to put the work into it, it can pay off in big ways.
June 19, 2008 1 Comment