I personally prefer affiliate marketing over PPC advertising. I feel you get more value for your time, assuming you have targeted traffic that is actually looking for the products you promote.
I’m always looking for new products to push. I’m having some great success with a new product – The Philippine Expat Survival Guide E-Book. I also put up a site for the Philippine Expat Basic Training Manual and am starting to see some sales.
I like selling e-books because they give the customer real value. The hardest part about it is generating quality traffic, because there are quite a few sites pushing these products, and it’s hard to rise above the noise.
We’ll get into traffic generation in other posts; for now, I want to show you how you can promote e-books starting today. Literally today.
First, you need to sign up for one or more affiliate programs. An “affiliate program” is simply a company that handles marketing for someone’s products. They are sometimes called “referral programs” because you refer customers to someone’s product site. The affiliate program sits in the middle, managing the affiliates that generate the traffic to the product sites.
There are generally three ways to get paid from affiliate programs.
1. One-off sales. You send a paying customer, they buy something, and you get a percentage of the sale, or possibly a flat rate payout for each sale. You only get paid once for that sale, no matter how many times the customer buys the product.
2. Recurring Sales. Again, a customer you send buys a product. Maybe it’s a membership to a web site or a monthly newsletter. You get paid for the initial sale, and you also get paid every time the company re-bills that customer. I have one program that pays me 60% of every sale and every re-bill, and that really adds up over time. I have several customers that have re-billed with them for over four years!
3. Referring affiliates. Some programs have a “two tier” payout system. If you sign up for a program, using my referral code, and you make sales, the affiliate program pays ME a small percentage of each sale, usually around 10%. People have had great success simply marketing to affiliates, and letting them do all the work of generating sales.
My favorite program of the moment is ClickBank.com. ClickBank has thousands of products you can choose to promote, and has a good interface. They have tons of e-books on a huge variety of topics, as well as products like WordPress themes, software, training CDs and DVDs, and a lot more.
Note: The ClickBank link above only gives commission for signing up vendors. They don’t pay out for sending affiliates. Bummer.
I use ClickBank for the Basic Expat Training Manual I mentioned above, and will be adding more products from them soon.
ClickBank also has a tool that you can quickly and easily add to your web site to make some sales. Check out the sidebar to the right, and you’ll see the widget titles “More Goodies”. The code for that box is provided by ClickBank, according to keywords you provide for each tab in the box. It’s really easy, and only takes a few minutes to get it populated with the correct products.
[box style=”note”]I’ve removed the Goodies box while I’m rebuilding the site. I need to change the dimensions, and other things take priority. You can see an example at Philippine Expat Guide under More Expat Resources in the right sidebar.[/box]
I feel that most expats are interested in three basic things: Travel (duh), dating and relationships, and money (another duh!), so I chose those topics.
Once you determine your topics, you simply add keywords for each tab. I find it best to start with a very general term, then add in keywords that filter the results to your specific niche.
For example, for the tab titled “Travel”, my keyword entry is simply as follows:
Travel Guides, Philippines, Thailand, Costa Rica
It’s not an exact science, so play around with different terms for each tab until you are reasonable satisfied.
Affiliate marketing can be very profitable, if you can generate enough targeted, qualified traffic. In future posts we’ll talk about doing exactly that.